The photo above was taken when I was around 11 years old (I'm estimating here based on the fact that I think I'm wearing my ever glamorous retainers, plus my hair was in a super awkward "I'm growing out my feathered layers" phase then). I'm fairly certain this was at my grandmother's house and not my own, since our piano always had a TON of music sitting on top. It's honestly a little hard to tell, though!
And here's the coolest part. My brother and I took piano lessons from the same woman who taught my mom, aunt AND grandmother! Her name was Anne Molnar, and I owe everything I learned to her. She taught me not only how to actually play the piano and read music, but how to play with feeling and emotion. I always loved that I had the same teacher as so many generations before me -- it gave us all a special bond and connection that I've treasured throughout my life.
|A photo of my mom, grandma and me with our shared piano teacher, Mrs. Molnar. This was taken after one of my piano recitals, I believe in either 1988 or 1989.|
I think what's most evident here is how happy playing piano made me -- and still makes me to this day. It's always brought me immense joy, especially when I'm singing, too. The one challenge I've always had is that it's very difficult -- really, almost impossible -- for me to play something after only hearing it. I've always needed sheet music. In recent months, I've been challenging myself to try playing songs WITHOUT the music, though, and it's happening, albeit slowly.
One of my projects was Bette Midler's "The Rose" -- it's always been one of my favorite songs, and to be honest, it was not incredibly difficult to learn by ear! I made a video, which I've included below for (hopefully) your listening pleasure. I know the quality isn't the greatest, but I mainly made it as a test run of whether I could really do it. I hope you enjoy!