When you were 8, diligently hammering out your scales and forming a hate-hate relationship with your metronome, you likely had no idea how your practice time was a creepily early (but creepily accurate) proxy for how you would handle romantic relationships. Yes, it’s possible that some of your greatest—and, let’s face it—envy-inducing relationship qualities can be attributed to those character-building hours on that hard wooden bench, where you tirelessly trained your fingers to nimbly ascend and learned all those sexy-sounding Italian words like “vivace” and “sostenuto”. Here, 5 specific reasons why playing the piano makes you luckier in love:
You’re patient with your partner.
That’s probably because you understand what it takes to get to Carnegie Hall, i.e., you practiced challenging passages over and over and over again until they were perfect. You’ve likely found out by now that managing a relationship is no different, really, than managing the opening bars of Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptu. For example — perhaps you’ve selflessly planted seeds in your boyfriend’s head and have, taking no credit for yourself, allowed him over time to develop a Terminator-esque intuition when it comes to anticipating your moods, your favorite foods, and your preferred season of “Dexter”. That’s some real dedication.
You’ve never been Baroque-en up with.
Well, this isn’t exactly true, but you’re sure that you’ve handled yourself better than most in this situation simply because you’ve dealt with rejection and embarrassment before, and they have made you stronger. Remember when you forgot the entire coda of that Scarlatti Sonatina and you just kept playing the beginning over and over again until your teacher had to usher you off stage? You flushed and your palms were drenched, but you didn’t cry. You took a bow.
Maybe it’s because you watched as your older sister beat your beloved bust of Beethoven against the piano to make it look “antique” (that’s totally hypothetical), but you’ve learned to bounce back from the obstacles you’ve faced in life, and in love. You believe that time heals all wounds, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and that, if you can write killer arrangements of “SexyBack” and “Caribbean Queen”, you can overcome a little heartache. You also fervently contend that, if played loudly enough, “Holding out for a Hero” might actually call your own sexy hero out of obscurity, and into your life.
Just as you eventually allowed your hands to become extensions of yourself, so have you trusted your partner to become an extension of you in social settings. This takes a long time, certainly, but with trust comes confidence, and don’t you love the feeling that comes with knowing your lovebug won’t casually mention your recent weight gain to your friends when you get up to go to the ladies’ room? (It’s not your fault a creperie was just opened in your neighborhood!)
You have perspective, i.e., you’re more fortunate than 99% of your favorite composers.
Poor Mozart died unexpectedly as he wrote the music for his own funeral. And Beethoven never got to hear the opening bars of his Fifth Symphony. That’s seriously depressing stuff right there. After spending years studying the Masters, you understand that it’s tough to make a relationship work, but really, is it as terrible as putting your fingers in a “stretching machine”? My Magic 8 Ball (and Robert Schumann) would probably tell you “very doubtful”.