08 Jan Piano in a Flash Student Profile: Michael O’Halloran, Port Stephens NSW Australia:
Michael O’Halloran (57) is a professional ballroom dance tutor who always wanted to learn how to play the piano. His story is very powerful and demonstrates the age-old principle that if you want something, it’s there for the taking.
Q: Michael, how did you find out about Scott Houston and Piano in a Flash?
About 5 years ago, I was at Lemon Jam, a monthly Sunday at the water front park where musos could hop onto the little concrete stage and belt out some tunes in our suburb called Lemon Tree Passage. I’ve always been in awe or musicians, (I called em “magicians”). They were having such fun. “What is their secret,” I always wondered? I said to my wife, “Joelle, if those #@#’#. “*)$&@# can do it, then so can I.”
That night, I stumbled across a site from this piano guy who said he could teach me to play “Imagine” by John Lennon. Scott showed me a C chord, then he said play the 3rd and the 5th note together and play the middle C on its own. I sounded like John bloody Lennon. I was so excited. I went further and to this day I play that song right through and smile every time knowing that this song has set me on a new wonderful fun, new pastime.
Q: What was your experience like with Piano in a Flash
I bought Scott’s Course 1 and 2. I learned some songs, played a bit, had lots of fun, but I learned musical technique in a way I never thought possible. Joelle said, “You already know more about music and chords, than I learned as a kid after years of guitar lessons” And she was right! I could work out any chord because Scott gave me the simple and fun ways to work it out. So I bought Course 3 and 4.
Again I learned and learned—and had fun doing it. I was amazed when I sent a question to this guy, Scott Houston, my age, on the other side of the earth, and he, personally answered me, I didn’t believe that he would have the time for me. We have since shared many a fun e-mail and Scott even gives me a shout out on some live broadcasts that he does from time to time. I’m a nobody in Australia, but this Emmy-award winning artist, knows me personally.
Recently I purchased Course 5 and 6. I’m taking it slow because it will be a sad day when I click the last lesson in Course 6. It’s really more fun than I could’ve imagined!
Q: That’s great, Michael. And how are you using your new piano skills?
I can have a ball with close friends and family at dinner/birthday/impromptus parties, (who doesn’t like to sing?) but my favorite time is early morning and late at night. I still work way too much, but through the day I think of getting home to my wife, getting home to the two puppies and getting home for a beer and some piano!
In the last 5 years I have never once sat and “practiced” piano. I play piano. Good or bad, I don’t care, I’m playing my piano. And I’m getting better and better. Sometimes I feel that a piece isn’t working for me and sometimes I rock the hell out of it. I play it how I want to and that is a great feeling. I listen to the radio in a different way now, too. I don’t hear the words, I listen to the chord progressions. So much fun!
Q: What would you say to anyone thinking about learning how to play the piano with Scott?
I’m sometimes afraid to comment on Facebook when people ask about Scott’s courses, because it may sound false or pre-planned. I can assure you, I have gained so much confidence, fun and a little bit of “look at me honey“ from Scott—and I am eternally grateful.
And WE are grateful for you, Michael! Keep on killing it! Michael’s not alone and YOU can join all of these new piano players out there too! The kids are grown, career’s done and it’s YOUR time now. It’s YOUR turn to play!