Piano vs. toy piano…the discourse (yet again)

phyllisAs many of you might know, after spending twenty years on the piano, I found the toy piano much later in life and  it has become my instrument of choice. One thing that frustrates me is the amount of skepticism that I am greeted with in disclosing this passion of mine. I have fallen in love with the world of the toy piano for reasons as hard to describe as why people fall in love with music or another human being. I have often been misunderstood as someone who has picked up the toy piano to “diversify” myself as a classical musician and to boost my “image.” Well, let me tell you something– a toy piano really doesn’t seem like the kind of thing someone ought to do to boost their classical “image.” If anything, it probably makes you look weird and maybe even a little bit creepy. People think “there has to be something that makes you look different.” My advice is buy new clothes. Get a mohawk. Get some unconventional piercings or a tattoo. But why would I dedicate so much of my time developing repertoire for the instrument, writing for it, looking for new music for it if I didn’t sincerely believe in it? I have found the instrument to be truly beautiful and legitimate on its own and the need to prove myself as a classical pianist “first”  takes away from the revelation of the toy piano. This is not to say that I don’t enjoy playing piano anymore, but it does mean that I think the toy piano can stand alone as an instrument and I hope that minds aren’t made until it is seen in concert!