by Vivian Handis, Piano Consultant at M. Steinert & Sons.
Many years ago, I realized that I only feel truly whole when I am in sync with myself as a pianist. It is the shimmering thread in the tapestry of my identity. Wherein lies the magic of this shimmering thread? Exactly why do I choose to continue to play, even now when I have a health issue that impedes my finger control?
I play because I love being a citizen of the piano world. I play because along with my workplace colleagues and community of piano teachers, I am deeply rooted in service to music. I play because I refuse to give up hope that I can still reclaim more and more of my former self as a player, as my inner pianist and musical soul remain fully intact. I play because no matter how long I wander away from actively practicing for any number of reasons, I always come back. I find my way home.
The magic of the shimmering thread is in the bliss of connectivity.
In our technology driven world, I totally appreciate the “ahhh” of connecting to Wi-Fi or any virtual platform. But the inward connectivity while for example, playing Bach … feeling my fingers and brain untangle together on the keyboard is sublime. The connectivity of producing a beautiful tone on a piano that satisfies my ear is delicious. Connecting with a person emotionally moved or inspired by music from my hands is pure joy. Revisiting repertoire as a touchstone, a musical photo album if you will, connecting across decades of my piano journey is bumpy but worthwhile! As I embark on learning an exciting new piece of music, I reconnect with hope. It illuminates my chosen path to keep that shimmering thread in place, and fills me with gratitude.