Can You Re-Learn The Piano? A Lesson In Perseverance

Whether you will re-learn the piano or another forgotten skill from childhood, it can be demoralising, but for Donika Gashi, it was a reawakening of an old passion.

When I was nine years old, I’ve started playing the piano. I was part of a music school in my city and I had two lessons per week. I wasn’t that talented but I really liked the piano and I worked hard to be a good pianist. My tireless work was rewarded.

I managed to be part of different concerts and I played in front of dozens of people. I used to play parts from the best classical musicians of all time – from Frederic Chopin to Ludwig van Beethoven and Johannes Brahms.


With practice, those pieces were very easy for me. To be a good instrumentalist you have to practice every day for long hours. That’s what I was doing for six years straight. But when puberty kicked in something changed in me. I lost my interest in playing the piano. And, I made a quick decision. I stopped playing.

I said to my parents they can sell my piano because I don’t want to play anymore. And that’s exactly what I did. I stopped playing the piano.


Years passed and the piano was only an instrument that I used to love and play when I was a little girl.   


Now, 13 years later, I found it very hard to play. Not just hard but almost impossible. 




How To Re-learn The Piano


My sister used to play the piano as well. Recently she bought a piano keyboard.


While I was at her place, I sat at the piano and started to play something. ‘Started to play’ is not the perfect description of what happened next. I couldn’t move my fingers. 


I couldn’t remember anything from the years I’d spent playing the piano. I asked my sister if she faced the same problem, and she said the same thing. She finds it very hard to play piano as well now.


I was nervous. A lot of questions were going through my my mind: How could I forget to play the piano? Is that even possible? I’ve spent six years practicing and now I can’t remember anything?

It looks like years faded everything I knew about the piano. Of course, I still know how to read sheet music but my brain and fingers don’t work in the same way and at the same time.  That’s the reason why I am writing this article.  



Facing The Problems


After I faced this terrible truth for myself, I started to Google it. Is it possible to forget what you’ve learned with so much passion? Is there any possibility to relearn something again? Why my fingers of both hands don’t play as easier as they used to? Is it too late to relearn the piano?  


After pressing the search button, I felt relieved in a certain way. First of all, I understood that I’m not the only one facing this problem. The most important thing is that I learned that I can start playing again.

Be patient and find time to practice at least half an hour per day. I was nodding my head as a sign of agreement for two of them. It was clear that I would not be as good as I used to, but at least I could play something.


So, I started practicing almost every day. I searched for a ‘music sheet for beginners on the piano’ – even though I didn’t like to call myself a beginner but that was the truth.


It was the time to accept the ugly truth. After a long hiatus, I was a beginner at the piano. Simple as that.  



Back To Basics


I started with Ode to Joy of Beethoven, but of course in the easiest version, that one for beginners. Firstly, I played only with my right hand.


After practicing my right hand, I started with my left one. Then after almost an hour, I could play the music sheet. 


Of course, as I used to and not perfectly but that didn’t disappoint me.  At least, I could play. 

Then the next day I started with something new. Again, the same routine.


Sheet music for beginners: one hand then another one, then with two hands. The next day, the same thing again and again.  


After almost a month, I can play three music sheets and I feel confident that I’ll be able to play again. I am trying to do my best.


The reason why I shared this personal experience is that you can do it too. You can regain your skill by relearning everything you used to know. Remember, all you need is passion and patience.   

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