Play The Piano

Posted on January 9, 2017


There is a piano in my house and there probably will be for the rest of my life. Other than a brief and failed attempt at playing the trombone in fifth grade I have never attempted to learn a musical instrument. After living with the piano for a number of years I am curious about it.

It is said that regular piano playing sharpens fine motor skills and improves hand-eye coordination, boosts cognitive and intellectual abilities, improves memory, and a number of other claims relating to mood, health, and intelligence.

If these claims are true then learning to play the piano seems like a valuable use of time. If we think this is all “Big Piano” propaganda then I’d be better off spending my time on the computer.

Here is a picture of the whole family at the piano:

Past Discussion

awmahan 💼☕️ (40 shares, voted no)
I think you should learn a different instrument because your partner already plays the piano very well and I'd like to see you learn something different/complementary to the piano. What pairs well with piano? Trumpet? Drums? Stand-up bass?
awmahan 💼☕️ (40 shares, voted no)
Turntables? Analog synthesizer? Rapping? Harp? Violin? Shrekbook? Electric guitar?
arijkem 💯❤️☕️ (220 shares, voted yes)
I understand Alex's gripe, but I think piano is the right choice. It's the best for instilling the fundaments of music theory, and we can play songs for 4 hands. Plus he has a live-in teacher's aid. Speaking of teachers... are you planning to get one? Or just learn online? I think there's no substitute for a good teacher.
arijkem 💯❤️☕️ (220 shares, voted yes)
Although.... drums would be good for Mike I think!
davehayden ☕️💯 (152 shares, voted no)
Are you talking about committing to a practice schedule? There's no better way to take the fun out of playing an instrument than saying "I'm going to learn this!" and then feeling bad about forgetting to practice, not feeling like you're getting any better, etc. It takes a lot of time to learn to play well, and you've got better things to do. Er, I mean more efficient ways to render value to your shareholders.
Mike Merrill
I don't have enough information right now to lay out a formal process. If the vote passes I'll build an "agile learning process" that will begin with some online video tutorials and "noodling". From there I'll set near-term achievable goals on a regular basis. Finding a teacher would likely be part of that at some point.
davehayden ☕️💯 (152 shares, voted no)
Though I'd love to see you and Marijke do
E*Rock ☕️ (2 shares, voted yes)
There’s been studies to show that learning an instrument can increase your IQ, (even as an adult) and in our current meritocracy, increased IQ means making more money... just sayin.
padraicomeara (13 shares, voted yes)
"and there probably will be for the rest of my life"... there another motion coming here?
rwalworth3104 (56 shares, voted yes)
There is abundant empirical information and studies that indicate there is definitely a positive benefit from studying music and becoming involved in musical activity. Plus you might also find it is a very enjoyable activity.
Josh Berezin ☕️💯 (621 shares, voted yes)
I'm not really convinced you care about the piano enough to do this. That's okay! You have many other rewarding interests, but I've never seen a sign that playing an instrument is one of them.
dalas verdugo (16 shares, voted yes)
I would say make time for playing the piano, but don't worry about formal theory. You would be surprised by how much better at playing you can get just by fucking around for 3 hours a week.
arijkem 💯❤️☕️ (220 shares, voted yes)
Josh - I think we should encourage Mike's curiosity, especially when it is manifesting in unexpected ways, because isn't that the trait we all admire in Mike? I was VERY surprised the Mike suggested learning the piano, so I'm curious to see where it goes. Other reasons: Playing piano helps reinforce the sophisticated gentleman persona that has served him well in the past. This part of the K5M character has really taken a beating since the abandonment of Brooks Brothers and could use some attention, not in the least because Mike is currently looking for work and his public perception is of paramount importance. I play the piano and find it romantic that Mike is taking any kind of interest in this. It will be a fun activity to talk about and share together. Maybe if he learns an instrument he'll develop rhythm and become great at dancing.
brianrmohr (4 shares, voted yes)
aaronpk 💯☕️ (1271 shares)
I just caught up on these comments, lots of interesting arguments! I started learning piano when I was 4 years old. I stopped playing regularly in college, but still have a keyboard at home and play from time to time. For me, the piano is a great way to get my head around music theory. It's so much easier to visualize chords and harmonies on a keyboard compared to other instruments. (I've also played clarinet, cello, violin, accordion, recorder, and attempted to make some sounds on a trumpet.) I'm not yet convinced that I should vote "yes". I'd like to hear more about the goals for why Mike wants to learn the piano and what he hopes to be able to do with that knowledge.
arijkem 💯❤️☕️ (220 shares, voted yes)
Iankerr (4 shares, voted yes)
While I suspect it may lead to a certain level of marital discord, I support this motion. I recently began studying the guitar and found that it had many other benefits beyond providing me the ability to produce the melody to Brown Eyed Girl on demand. I wish you good luck.
Mike Merrill
To be clear, I don't yet have specific goals for the piano. I'm looking at this as the first question... should I attempt to play the piano? If the answer is yes the next step will be to do some research (probably YouTube videos) and then construct my first goal. I admit a big part is that there is a piano in the house, but also it's about trying new things and learning. I suspect playing the piano could be a satisfying creative activity and I like the idea of learning more about music (I watched one horrible YouTube video and already learned stuff!).
arijkem 💯❤️☕️ (220 shares, voted yes)
This has already inspired me to start playing scales and doing ear training online and buy a House of Troy piano lamp. It's getting CLASSY round here.
cxl (2 shares, voted yes)
What good is a piano in a house if no-one can play it? Aye!
Calv99 (10 shares, voted yes)
I think Mike should be able to play piano. And I just gave Mike a lesson. He learned fingering and a very easy part of Ode to Joy.
jkmilli (10 shares, voted yes)
This is my first time voting for anything. I think you should definitely learn to play the piano as it is a very admirable talent. I myself am a player.
Mike Merrill
Some people have expressed concern over the lack of structure in this proposal. To clarify, this is not a proposal to "Become a great piano player" but simply to spend time determining if the piano is a worthwhile hobby. If it passes I will update shareholders of my progress and interest and post additional proposals before starting classes or starting some kind of program. (Thanks to Calv99 for the lesson!)
Josh Berezin ☕️💯 (621 shares, voted yes)
I had the chance to witness the lesson Mike took from new shareholder Calv99, and it was an enriching experience for all. There was a nice balance of theory and practice, and Mike made a bunch of progress! Based on that, I'm changing my vote to Yes, contingent upon Calv99 delivering piano lessons to Mike, at least on occasion.
arijkem 💯❤️☕️ (220 shares, voted yes)
Alright Calv99! Good job convincing those shareholders!