Piano Teacher from Hell

Taking Manhood Back

Piano Teacher from Hell

We welcome Richard Poon to Act Like a Man. You will be hearing more of his thoughts about manhood, work and music on this site!!! Welcome Richard.

When I was a little boy, my Mom—who was a good piano player herself despite not being “classically trained”– decided that I would greatly benefit from having formal piano lessons early in life.

And so she came… my piano teacher from Hell, around 4 in the afternoon.   Old, boring, and STRICT!

Boy, was she strict! She would smack my little fingers with her old, intimidating 12-inch ruler when my hands slouched against the keys…. or when my posture was wrong…

“Heartless”… i said to myself.  ”How much and how long must I bear this unjust suffering?”

Why should I subject myself to such horror when every kid my age was happily playing games with all the other kids in our neighborhood?

I don’t remember how the lessons ended, but it did. And I was the happiest boy on the planet. Ha! What a victorious triumph!!!


Fast forward to almost 2 decades after…. I’m watching my favorite crooner Harry Connick Jr.(who is multi-awarded jazz pianist hailing from New Orleans) weave his magic on the upright piano, fingers smooth as silk on the ivory keys, I started to sinking into regret…

Imagine if I continued my piano lessons from youth… I could, NOT JUST SING, but play beautifully on the piano, write music scores and arrange for concerts, theatre musicals, plays, etc…

It dawned on me… I didn’t see it right.  My piano teacher wasn’t old, boring, and strict…   she was mature, focused, and disciplined.

And I?   The stubborn little Chinese rebel who lacked understanding.


How many times does it happen to us? Mom or Dad tells us to do something(or give us advice), and we kids resent it, only to find years later that they were right after all.

My heart goes out to every parent who endured the rebellion of their child, and yet they stuck to what was right, even risking that their kids hate them.

I found that it ends up just the very opposite. I’ve grown to  love my Dad and Mom even more deeply now that I realized I was wrong after all.

“Sorry Ma, sorry Pa,  I didn’t understand…”  but now I do…. and that piano teacher from Hell?     Nah….

She was an angel from Heaven.

I think I see better now:)