Inspiration and claiming your passion

The Piano Speaks, a Poem

The Piano Speaks, a Poem

In this poem bursting with nature imagery, Sandra Beasley channels the perspective of an old piano that is woken back to life by a master like Erik Satie.

Thanking My Mother for Piano Lessons

Thanking My Mother for Piano Lessons

In this poem for her mother, Diane Wakoski expresses gratitude for her childhood piano lessons that provided a respite from the ugliness of life.

Power Poses for Piano Practice

Power Poses for Piano Practice

Learn how to use power poses, posture, and other bodily strategies to take on the challenges of piano practice, through applying principles from Amy Cuddy.

Seeking Expert Piano Tuner

Seeking Expert Piano Tuner

In this piece of short creative nonfiction, the author’s out-of-tune piano brings up everything from the elephants’ ivory to her current family dynamics.

Top 10 Holiday Gifts for Piano Nerds

Top 10 Holiday Gifts for Piano Nerds

This insider’s guide offers 10 holiday gift ideas, from silly to practical to beautiful, for the adult piano student or classical music nerd in your life.

Top 10 Benefits of Being a Piano Nerd

Top 10 Benefits of Being a Piano Nerd

The sooner you admit to being a full-on piano nerd, the sooner you can start to appreciate the unexpected benefits it brings to the rest of your life.

The Wurlitzer

The Wurlitzer

In this literary short story by Christi Craig, a piano tuner reluctantly turns up at the house of a flighty woman who has no appreciation for her Wurlitzer.

Grandpa’s Gift

Grandpa’s Gift

This amateur pianist received a valuable life lesson from her concert pianist grandfather, but his words didn’t sink in until many years after his death.

Ode to the Piano, a Poem

Ode to the Piano, a Poem

Mary Jo Balistreri, who has a hearing loss, writes of the piano as an honest friend and lifelong teacher in this uplifting poem dedicated to Nancy Williams.

Your Brain on Adult Music Lessons

Your Brain on Adult Music Lessons

Studies show that music lessons are good for your brain as a child or an adult. An adult student wants to see if studying the flute will improve her memory.

Prelude in E Minor, a Poem

Prelude in E Minor, a Poem

During a performance of the Chopin Prelude in E Minor, the feeling of fear brought poet Mary Jo Balistreri’s memory back to a childhood drowning incident.

Happy Fingers: An Oscar Winner

Happy Fingers: An Oscar Winner

After playing piano for a century, Holocaust survivor Alice Herz-Sommer looks back on her life in the Oscar-winning short documentary The Lady in Number 6.

Ditching Debussy for the Day

Ditching Debussy for the Day

Practicing the Debussy Clair de Lune just doesn’t fit one day, so although this piano student only has an hour to play, she sight-reads a new piece instead.

Portraying What Cannot Be Seen

Portraying What Cannot Be Seen

Abstract painter and amateur pianist Leya Evelyn keeps representational images out of her art in order to explore deeper qualities of the human experience.

A Contemporary Romantic

A Contemporary Romantic

Watercolor artist Annika Connor, whose work has enhanced essays and poems on this site, explains why she considers herself a Contemporary Romantic painter.

Fantasy Impromptu, a Poem

Fantasy Impromptu, a Poem

In her poem Fantasy Impromptu, Mary Jo Balistreri writes of playing Chopin on the piano as temporary relief from the pain of loneliness, envy, and longing.