Emily Hamilton

What inspired you to play piano? At the age of 5, my sister, who was 8 and playing piano for 5 yrs. already, and I were given the option to take either dance or piano, but not both. My sister chose to stay with piano and, since I wanted to be just like her, I copied her choice. I didn't know what I was really choosing at that point, I just wanted to do whatever she did.

At what age did you start playing? Five years old! My instructor had so much patience and some great reward stickers.

What memories/stories do you have of piano lessons? Loads of memories. I remember feeling great after playing a piece successfully and making my teacher proud. I remember the embarrassment of not practicing and disappointing her.  It was a wonderful way to not only build a skill but learn a lot of life lessons about myself and others. I specifically remember wanting to learn Greensleeves and Moonlight Sonata because my sister was playing them in her lessons, and I was so excited when I could play them too. She was probably less excited at the time.

 

Do you have a favorite piece/style of music to play? A lot of what I play comes from Broadway musicals. They're fun and I love a good power chorus/ensemble piece.  I also love playing music by Tori Amos, especially from the Scarlet's Walk album. I really appreciate the variety, creativity, and poetry in her work.

As an adult, why do you still enjoy playing piano? The mental energy forces me to let go of stress and focus on something beautiful and fun.  It also feels productive- I never feel like I've wasted time when I spend it playing piano. 

 

Do you have a favorite experience that involves the piano? I think overall just having the outlet of piano during middle and high school years. It was cathartic for all those emotions, if I was bored it gave me something to do, and having skills boosts self-esteem which we all need, especially at that time. Learning piano taught me rhythm, which allowed me to circle back to dance later in life. It opened doors to musical theatre and theatre which became a huge part of my life through college. I guess a lot of my favorite experiences are personal and life lessons, because playing piano was/is a very private thing for me. I don't perform on piano, so I don't have lots of stories from that perspective, but more so reflections on where it has taken me in life.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not playing piano? I love a good book, dancing, and being outside! I especially love playing in nature with my toddler- everything is a toy! 

 

What do you/or have you done for a living? I'm an occupational therapist currently working as an Assistant Camp Director at Double H Ranch, a year-round camp serving children with serious illnesses.

 

Where do you live? New York, United States. 

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