Why I Started Piano Lesson At 26

I had played piano for over a decade, but my fingers still plunked piano keys with the precision of bratwursts.

The way I saw it, I had an excuse: I had never taken a formal lesson.

Piano became a hobby in junior high. I wish I could say I was inspired by a Mozart concerto and had a grand vision of morphing into a musical maestro. But the truth is that I just really liked Linkin Park. We had a piano in our living room, and I thought it’d be awesome to learn “In the End.” That was my grand vision.

Those first nine notes, which I insisted on learning by ear, took me a week and a hundred iPod listens to unlock. I was not a musical prodigy — I was just persistent and obsessed with a rock band.

The more I played — and I would learn every song from Hybrid Theory — the better I got. Songs that used to take me weeks to learn would take days. Then hours. It was addictive.

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Ciara McAllister