Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Kira Seamon: PIANIST

Accompanying the cast on the piano.
I challenged myself to perform on the piano during the performance, when I wasn't dancing!
I have a strong piano background.
I began piano lessons, along with my ballet lessons, at age 6.
I was a STATE WINNER and won gold, silver and bronze awards for my playing. I completed the numerous requirements for the National Piano Playing Auditions, administered by the National Guild of Piano Teachers!
My piano playing was always know for my expression and sensitivity.

At age 11, my teacher beckoned my parents to come with him after my weekly piano lesson. He led us all to the recital room (which had a grand piano instead of the usual uprights used in the lesson rooms) and bid me play the piece he had given me a couple of weeks before-Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, 1st mvt.
After I finished, he told my parents that my playing "comes from the heart!!" and pounded the area by his heart for emphasis! He went on to say that he had given the same piece to a 17 year old who despite working on it for months, in his opinion: could never play it with my sensitivity and power of feeling...This was quite an accomplishment as the 1st mvt is a truly "grown-up piece of music" and surprising that an 11 year old could bring that much power to it. He wanted it performed on a grand piano to hear the full effect-he even opened up the lid! :)

Things were going along great (or so I thought), until one day at age 13, he yelled during my lesson!! He was tired of my lack of progression. From 11-13 years old, I had averaged about 10 minutes/per week of practice! Ballet was simply taking over. (You can read in the "Swan Lake Variations" blog about my prodigious ballet/pointe schedule at age 11!)
" You should Quit doing ballet and become a pianist"!!!!!!!!!
Well, I decided that day, then and there, that I would actually quit PIANO instead!
I stopped going to lessons, the piano lid came down and the piano stood dormant for years.
Then I tore my hamstring, and unable to experience the creative outlet that dance has always given me, I turned back to the piano to play once again. (funny story: I actually forgot all the names of the keys except middle "c", and couldn't read a note of music anymore...HOWEVER, unbelievably, I could sit down and play small pieces I had memorized years before as an 8 and 9 year old (no Moonlight Sonata, but small 1-page long Sonatina movements!)...It was true "muscle memory" taking over)...

I relearned how to read music and play again and now have that wonderful creative outlet as well as dance! Now I have the best of both worlds-Finally, I can dance and play piano! (I also took up learning the violin when my hamstring was torn...I picked that up super quickly and even got to the level of playing major concertos (in Italian: "concerti") -probably all helped because I am nearly ambidextrous and am very at ease using my left hand in a highly skilled fashion)

As a highly creative person, it is a great comfort to me to know that I will always have these wonderful creative outlets through music making-if I am no longer able to have that with dance.