Why I'm helping my mom learn to play the pianosteemCreated with Sketch.

in life •  last year

My mom is 80 years old and she has always wanted to learn to play the piano. When my siblings and I were little, she took us to piano lessons and waited patiently while we practiced our scales and arpeggios. I honestly don't know how many hours she must have spent taking us to piano lessons, and yet, she never took lessons herself because she wanted to save the money to spend on our education.

When my mom was in her late 50s, she finally took a piano class at the local community college. It was a class offered for free for senior citizens. She only took that class for one semester, but I think she really enjoyed it because I would see her practicing the songs she learned over and over at home.

That was more than 20 years ago, and now my mom is 80. She mentioned to me just yesterday how she wish she knew how to play the piano better. I told her it's not too late to learn - there was a very famous painter, Grandma Moses, who didn't start her painting career until she was 78! My mom said she couldn't remember how to read musical notes after so many years so we decided to start with the scale first. I wrote the fingerings on the piano keys to act as a visual aid for her.

Piano keys.png

When we were kids, our parents did so much for us and now that that we are older, sometimes we are too busy with our own lives - working, taking care of our own kids - to do very much for them. Many of us, myself included, do not even live in the same city as our parents for most of the year. When I was reteaching my mom how to play the scale, I couldn't tell who was enjoying it more - her or me. One one hand, I could tell she was excited to be playing the piano again and to be getting better at something she always wanted to learn. On the other hand, I felt so grateful to be able to do something that could make my mom so happy. 😊

Besides helping make my mom happy, I am reteaching my mom the piano because I want to encourage my mom to keep learning new things. One study published in the New York Times showed that more seniors are afraid of cognitive disability (aka losing their minds) then they are of dying. My mom's mind is still very sharp, but I can see she worries about losing her cognitive abilities because whenever she forgets what she wanted to say, she worries that she is getting senile or worse, getting Alzheimer's. I try to reassure her by telling her it happens to me all the time too and hopefully, I am not senile. Just yesterday I stood in front of the fridge with the fridge door open and couldn't remember what I wanted to get from the fridge. In fact, it was my mom who saw me standing there and reminded me "Are you getting the baby carrots? They're in the bottom drawer!"

So while I think my mom's mind is quite sharp, I think her self-perception of her mental abilities is very important too. And in any case, learning new things help grow new connections between neurons which keeps our brains young! This is why we are going to keep up those daily piano lessons.

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great to see that you share your passion with your mom.
this is a good way to spend some quality time with her.

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Yes, I really enjoy reteaching her how to play the piano. Finally there is something that I can help her with, and it makes me feel good to put those piano lessons I had to good use.

I've always wanted to have a piano and learn to play it. It's my dream item. I think I would be quite good at it. I consider the piano to be one of the most elegant instruments. It's so classy. Congratz for encouraging your mother to keep learning new things and making her feel good.

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Good luck with getting your piano, razvan-stanciu! Some of them sell for pretty cheap when you buy them used, and I believe some places let you rent them as well. I also like the electric piano because it is very portable and you can practice with the headphones on so it won't wake up other people in the house/apartment. The good electric pianos these days come with full pedals and have weighted keys.

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Thanks, I'm looking for an electric one to use the headphones. I don't want people to be forced to listen to my mistakes when starting :D

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Hahaha. Piano mistakes aren't too bad. Wait till you hear violin mistakes!

You sound like a very good dad and a very good son sizzlingmonkeys. It is so uplifting to hear stories of good deeds where everyone involved benefits from it.

The joy of giving is one of the best evolutionary bonuses!

I personally started learning the piano a few years ago. After a year I had to quit though because I could not find the time (prioritize it) when we had our second child.

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Hi ronni, yes, it's hard to find time when you have young children to take care off. Hope you can find time to learn the piano later on - maybe when the kids are older?

And thanks for letting me know I'm a good mom and daughter. 😉 I do try. From your post about your discussion of bumblebees with your daughter, you must be a great parent too!

What a beautiful story! Mom's are always putting themselves last for the love of their children. Now it is her turn to do what she enjoys and it is well past due. I love how you encouraged your mom to do something that she obviously loves and enjoys, and you proved to her that you are never too old to learn or re-learn anything. She is lucky to have you. I took piano lessons for 7 years beginning at age 13. I haven't had a piano for the last 20 years and I really miss playing. I can just picture you both with big smiles on your faces as your mom plays those beautiful ivory keys. :)

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Yes, she is enjoying playing the piano. We are working on a Christmas carol now as it has a nice melody and is relatively easy to play. Have you considered getting an electronic keyboard for yourself? They are quite economical and space-saving, and they come with full pedals and weighted keys too!

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Christmas in July! :) Yes, I did consider an electronic keyboard a few years ago but I can't have it where I am living now. But thanks for the thought. Keep enjoying your Mom; as much as I know she is enjoying you! :)

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Thanks for the sweet compliment! 🌹

It's been almost 10 years since i played the piano last time.
Wish your mom all the health and happiness in the world.

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Thanks for the good wishes, yaan!

omgsh! This is just the sweetest post ever. You're childhood reminds me of mine. My mom did the same for me and my sister, and now that she is older, she has just started practicing piano on her own for the first time.

I agree, it is a great way to work your brain and keep your cognitive abilities strong.

It's so nice you acknowledge all the hard work your parents did for you to raise you! :) I'm sure they appreciate having you now that they are older. I hope I can do the same for my parents when they reach their 80s.

Thanks for sharing.

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I'm glad your mom is finding the opportunity to start playing the piano too! Sometimes the hardest part about learning something new is getting started.

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I agree. It's challenging but really rewarding :)

This story is so warm, but the last sentence is crucial. Learning rejuvenates... Nice!

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Yes, I hope my mom will keep learning new things - it's a fun way to keep the brain young.

that is a WONDERFUL thing to be doing for your mother. We only get one mum, and it's important to treat her right! I am sure she appreciates you teaching her the piano! It's important for older people to keep learning, so their minds stay sharp. Keep up the good work and let us know on her progress! Following you now!

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My mom seems to enjoy practicing the piano. We are still doing scales, but adding some variety in now with thirds and sixths. I also showed her the melodic and harmonic C minor which she can practice whenever she feels ready.

Just goes to show - its never too late!

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So nice of you. Playing piano is the best way to make the cognitive ability stronger and keep her mentally fit.

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Thanks, I try!

that's very nice of you amazing !! wish you all the best :)

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Thank you for the well wishes

My dream is to learn to play the piano one day.

So I think I'll follow you :)

Upvoted!

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Good luck learning the piano in the future.