I went through them, my friends went through them, and I’m pretty sure even my parents went through them as well – awkward teenage years. We thought we were the coolest and didn’t want to listen to our parents or teachers ever.

My practice drastically declined because I thought, what’s the point? I was around level 6 and things had just started to get a little tough. I had just started 8th grade so school was getting hard. There just wasn’t time in-between school, friends, and countless other activities to practice.

My mom would tell me to practice every night and I would try to, but after a while, I just honestly didn’t want to. There just wasn’t any glamour in it like there was when I was younger.

Then something honestly quite magical happened. A group of friends and I were just playing around after school, one of them was in the band and we went to get his instrument from the band room. While we were in there one of them went over to the piano and started to play (it was a little obvious he hadn’t taken lessons). Then someone mentioned that I took lessons and someone kind of started to egg me on to play.

So I did. I started to play the piece I had been practicing for the upcoming recital and they were so impressed. I remember one of them saying, “You’re just amazing! You’ve got brains and can play the piano.” Something changed at that moment. I went home and practiced for a long time. I’d imagine that that recital piece was one of my best.

Fast forward 7 years and now I’m teaching piano.

There are so many things that go on in our lives that just make them busy and complex, and the worst part about this is that we have to choose our priorities. Usually, these are good things, but sometimes we might discard things that can end up having a deep impact on our futures.

There’s no secret to finding how much to practice and when to practice and how to practice to be able to get through these awkward teenage years. The secret is just to stick with it because hard work and dedication always pay off, and you might even enjoy it. It might get you a job, a group of friends, or just a fun hobby.

Music is magic, sticking with it can lead to amazing things. And remember, you don’t have to do just one thing – do a combination of activities you enjoy, like football and piano!

-Justin Sciarini (Bravo Employee)