One of my lovely friends—I don’t know what I would do without him—recently introduced me to “(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano,” a piece from Sampha’s debut album Process. The song’s title quite literally captures the essence of it, in which the British songwriter repeatedly croons, “No one knows me like the piano in my mother’s home.”
Like Sampha (“And you drop-topped the sky, oh you arrived when I was three years old”) and countless others, I began playing the piano at an early age—seven, to be exact. Even now, I can still see myself seated in front of the golden piano in the basement of my apartment, the keys neatly spread out in front of me, my fingers stumbling through each step of the C Major scale as my teacher’s hands hover above mine, the disparities in size and skill both apparent. By first grade, I had found a new teacher who would place a white eraser on the back of each hand as I struggled to read through a single line. With time and practice, my indifference began to shift into a tentative love.