Piano Playing is the Cure for a Crazy Multi-Tasker

My multi-tasking skills made me an excellent barista during my time at Starbucks. Combine that with moving at the speed of sound and you’ve got someone who has a really difficult time to ever focus on one, single, task.

I think that’s why the man is so much better at taking the time to measure things correctly.

Which is precisely why piano has been such an asset for me. The challenge of learning new pieces (or polishing the same concerto you’ve been working on for 2+ years) is still there, but now there’s an additional requirement of forcing myself to stay focused on a single task for at least one hour a day.

I know, I was thinking this might be a #FirstWorldProblem too.

Like most kids, I started playing piano when I was young (10, to be exact). And, like most kids, I went through a period where I really wanted to stop lessons. Thankfully, my mother never let me. To this day I still take piano lessons from my same teacher, Marilyn Penn (who also played music I walked down the aisle to).

Nowadays our lessons consist less of ear training or music theory (sorry Marilyn), and more of just Marilyn and I playing a concerto together. It’s a lot of fun to play a piece with another piano, and it’s really taught me proper communication and timing. And since the piece (all 59 pages or so) features several scales, arpeggios, and scales in thirds, I’ve discovered that my practice has had a tremendous effect on other pieces I used to play, but could never quite get. Thanks Mozart!

Since moving out of my parent’s house, I’ve been practicing mostly on a keyboard. But since moving into the new house, I’ve finally had room for the dream piano I’ve always wanted.


It’s a gorgeous Kawai that I bought used from the Boulder Piano Gallery (used, meaning 1-year-old with nary a scratch or imperfection in sight). The posters were a neat find by Jason Munn, who signed the back of them before shipping.

Nothing beats playing on a real piano, nothing.

We recently had our Spring Recital. My sister and I might be the oldest ones there, but nevertheless it’s a great opportunity for us to showcase what we’ve been working on to the family.

Like that concerto.

Despite the fact that I’ve been working on this piece for quite some time, I still flubbed certain areas (curse those shaky fingers!); and if you don’t catch them, my horrible poker face will certainly give them away.

So without further ado, here is the third movement of the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467
(Marilyn is playing the orchestra part on the keyboard just in front of me, unfortunately out of view.)


  • Ana Yelen

    All kids need the opportunity to explore music. Well done, Natalie!