When I was a kid growing up in the suburbs in the 1970s, my first encounters with a piano were fairly typical. Starting when I was seven years old, once a week, instead of walking home from school, I’d walk around the block to my teacher’s house, where for half an hour I’d dutifully practice my scales and play whatever piece I’d been working on. Over the years I progressed from “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” to “Für Elise” and “Moonlight Sonata.”

In high school, I realized that if I wanted to keep getting better at the piano, I’d need to practice at least an hour a day. That would leave me no time for sports or any of my other extracurriculars. So I quit. Completely. Didn’t touch a keyboard again for 30 years.

I can’t remember exactly why I decided to restart my lessons after all that time. Maybe I’d read an article about aging and how mastering new skills can help you feel young. (Spoiler alert — it can!) Maybe I’d seen Lizzo playing her flute and wondered what might have been if I’d stuck with it.