Stories about people's Fr Elise experiences

My Für Elise Challenge

This story was submitted by Robin and was added around January 2012.

At the tender age of 7 or 8, my parents enrolled me for piano lessons, which I hated. I soon gave up, and that was that. Some years later, I tried to learn a Grade 6 piece for Music O-level, but it proved too hard. Instead, I got by on a piano accordion for which the required standard was less demanding.

During the next forty years, I have occasionally dabbled on keyboard instruments, but never made any progress. A couple of months ago, I decided to give it another try and bought a second-hand keyboard. With an ambition to play Scott Joplin's piano rags, I went for a full-size one with 88 keys.

Clicking around the web, I soon came across this website - and was immediately hooked. After listening to the recording, I eagerly printed out the score and started to work out the notes. I soon set myself the goal of playing Fur Elise to my mother at Christmas.

To keep the cost down, the keyboard is un-weighted but I'd not appreciated the significance of this. I first tried playing a real piano again with just a week to go, and was horrified to find how much harder it was. As the deadline approached, the task seemed daunting.

At my mother's church on Christmas Morning, the vicar mentioned the current trend of giving "Experiences" as presents. A few hours later, after a full Christmas Dinner, my mother opened a card inviting her to an "experience" at a piano near her. Looking somewhat mystified, she was escorted into the next room whereupon I sat down at the piano stool and took a deep breath...

With no opportunity to warm up, I took it very steadily, and the familiar strains of Beethoven started to fill the room. The next few minutes flew by in a whirl but it all seemed to go remarkably well, especially the exciting sections. Having never heard me play anything of significance before, my mother was truly amazed!

Fur Elise was the perfect piece for the occasion, and ideal for the full-size keyboard. I am most grateful to this website for providing the inspiration and materials that I needed. Whether I can ever master 'The Entertainer' remains to be seen.

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