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If You Took Piano Lessons As A Kid, Prepare To Be Bummed

Piano stores may be closing due to young people not learning the instrument as much as they used to.

When I was a kid, I took piano lessons and I loved it. I loved the challenge of learning new chords and playing carols with my dad on Christmas. I loved playing Beatles songs and trying to awkwardly teach myself how to play slowed-down versions of hip-hop songs like "Snap Yo Fingers," (it was the '00s, don't ask).

And then I just kind of stopped. I got older, went to college, and left the upright Steinway at my family's house.

Just the other day, I was driving in the car with my parents and I turned to my mom and said "I should have stuck with the piano."

To which she replied, "it's not like your life is over - you still have time."

She's right, that's kind of the beauty of the piano—there's always time to learn and improve. The purpose of my weirdly personal/seemingly irrelevant anecdote is that the piano is a special thing. It makes you more disciplined, intelligent, and honestly, happier. That's why it's hard to see the recent reports that piano stores are in decline. Nowadays, only 30,000 to 40,000 pianos are sold per year. To put that into perspective, in 1909 (the best year for piano sales), over 364,500 were sold in a year.

Some speculate that the decline in piano stores is due to the fact that young people are not taking up the instrument as much as they used to. Simply put, kids have a lot of options these days. Between different sports programs and other extracurricular activities, not as many parents are introducing their children to piano studies. It's also been said that cost is a major factor in the decline of piano stores - many people are opting for keyboards instead or simply not buying at all.

Support your local music stores - it may sound trite, but they are fueling the next generation of artists. If you love music, you should learn to play the piano. Even the basic stuff. It can help you get over your ex boyfriend or girlfriend, or better yet, get you a new one.