Why I Play the Piano
by Michael Murphy, Piano Consultant at M. Steinert & Sons.
It was the summer of 72 and a time in my life when music was my preferred method of communication. I wrote my first song back then as a means to express what I was feeling as an adolescent boy of 13. The song was written on Christmas Eve of that year and was called ‘By Candlelight’. I’d just broken things off with a girlfriend and this was my way of making sense out of a sad situation.
I remember the feeling of writing it and how it came to me so freely. Maybe it was my age that had opened up this creative highway inside me but it was a rush and an unexpected epiphany. Playing and songwriting still delights me to this very day.
I used to wonder how other people expressed themselves because for me, this was a no brainer, an easy fix, an inspiration and ultimately a life long journey.
During the coming years I came to understand the incredible power of music that was living deep inside of me. I could make people cry, laugh, dance and dream with my music all depending on what I told my fingers and voice to do. I learned to play with other musicians, something that opened up many unexpected doors of creation and wonder.
Playing music with others allowed me to find the ‘pocket’, where the heart and soul of ‘feel’ resides. It’s hard to actually explain just where this mystical pocket is simply because it has no coordinates and no actual directions.
Sometimes you’re just lucky enough and it finds you.
And if it does, you’re in for a wonderful ride.
I play because there is no other alternative to express myself that gives me this sense of purpose. It also allows me to focus and dream in my own little world when the going gets rough. It costs nothing and has given back to me more than I ever could have imagined. I play because it makes everything in my life better.