Virtually inspired: Student uses YouTube to learn how to play the piano

Sophia Bradley

Since early March, people have been quarantined in their homes with instructions to go out in public as little as possible. These rules forced many to lose relationships, jobs and sanity, but it also helped people gain new talents, hobbies, and friendships. Some people saw the benefits of being stuck at home, took advantage of it by learning things that many people typically would not.

During the extended pandemic period at home, junior Keeton Scott taught himself how to play the piano with YouTube as a tutor. When his friends and teachers found out, they were surprised and amazed at how far he had progressed as a musician. For many people, it is difficult to sit down and teach themselves how to play an instrument, but Keeton is determined in everything he does and will not quit.

“I think anyone can learn to play an instrument over the internet if they have discipline and a little passion for music,” Keeton said. “Learning to play the piano using YouTube might be the best way to do it. In just a couple of clicks, you can have a tutorial for basically every song in the world with varying difficulties.”

When learning to play, one of the most difficult parts is having to progress steadily and depend on whoever is teaching. Teaching yourself takes away the dependence and makes it easier to focus on what you’re doing and how well you’re doing it. It also allows more time to sit down and figure out what could be going wrong.

“One of the benefits of using YouTube is that you can control how fast you progress,” Keeton said. “Overall, using YouTube to learn the piano has been a solid experience.”

Keeton’s step-brother, senior Lane Blevins, has shown his support for Keeton throughout the process. Lane sees Keeton doing everything he loves with passion and determination.

“I think Keeton learning to play the piano shows how talented he is,” Lane said. “I think it’s pretty cool how he doesn’t need someone to show him in person, and he can just watch it on a video and interpret that and learn his own way.” 

One of Keeton’s most notable characteristics is his work ethic. It shines through in everything he does and is part of the reason he thrives in school, sports, and his other hobbies. 

“I think his work ethic plays a major role in who he is as an individual,” Lane said. “You can see that in his everyday life through sports, and if he wants something, he’ll go for it and work very hard. It really shows because he’s very good at what he does.”

Along with playing the piano, Keeton has other hobbies including cooking, weightlifting, and playing basketball. His basketball coach, Jerron Reese, is also supportive and proud of Keeton’s determination to learn the piano. 

“I think it’s awesome,” Reese said. “He told me a few weeks ago that he had learned something on the piano and I asked him how he learned it and he told me he had gotten on YouTube and listened to some notes and chords and was able to recreate it. I think that takes a great amount of discipline.” 

Reese is one of many people that get to experience Keeton’s work ethic daily. Reese knows how hard he works and is appreciative of his commitment to everything he does.

“The second word in the definition of discipline is practice and Keeton’s practice and work ethic is amazing and beyond anybody’s that I’ve ever coached,” Reese said. “When he told me he learned to play on YouTube I was surprised and not surprised at the same time because of his work ethic and the amount of time he puts into everything he does.”

Keeton has proved his determination through all of his hobbies and has shown that no matter how tough it seems, it’s always worth it in the end – there is always something more to learn and that makes it worth continuing.

“My goal with learning piano is to continue improving myself in various aspects of life,” Keeton said. “I don’t think the process of learning ever ends, so I’d say that I’m still, and forever will be, in the process of teaching myself.”