In today’s self-isolating culture, many people have taken up unfamiliar hobbies to keep busy in quarantine. For freshman Maria Nguyen, it’s been all about dusting off the ivory keys of the old family piano.
Having ample time because of this new normal, Nguyen decided to re-learn one of her favorite childhood hobbies.
“My sister taught me to play when I was eight,” Nguyen said. “I stopped playing in middle school because I was too busy. But now I have more than enough time.”
Never having taken serious piano lessons, Nguyen was unsure where to begin. But having a musical background was a key part in helping her discover how to pick up where she left off.
“I took violin lessons for seven years, so that helps a lot,” Nguyen said. “Being in choir also makes learning piano easier.”
Choir classes at Bishop Miege teach important musical abilities such as sight-reading and pitch accuracy.
“Luckily, I’m not too rusty because choir has taught and is teaching me a lot,” Nguyen said.
Although choir class focuses on improving the voice, the music room at Miege is home to a wide array of instruments and more than three pianos.
“I admit that I did spend a few classes last semester messing around on those pianos,” Nguyen said. “So I have touched a piano since middle school.”
Since the beginning of self-isolation, Nguyen has learned how to play popular piano songs such as “Fur Elise” and “Don’t Stop Believing.”
“It’s a lot of fun to learn and play songs on the piano,” Nguyen said. “I could easily sit in front of the piano all day.”
However, this turns out to be more difficult than she thought.
“When you have thin walls and are quarantined with six family members who like to play instruments, it’s hard not to get annoyed with each other,” Nguyen said.
The musical tension between family members isn’t created just with her dad’s guitar or her younger sister’s trumpet, Nguyen said.
“Everyone in my family likes to sing,” Nguyen said. “Especially my older sister. She sings nonstop all day, every day.”
Even with the challenging environment, Nguyen tries to find time to improve her newfound skills.
“It can be hard sometimes, but I can always figure it out,” Nguyen said. “I think that with lots of practice, anyone can learn how to do it.”