Jacques Poujade has spent his entire adult life in the working in different areas of the financial world. Currently, he is a managing partner at LendPlus, an alternative mortgage lender. Despite being in the mortgage business, he still has time for his favorite hobby, playing piano. Here is a closer look at what he loves outside of the office.

What is your hobby exactly?

Piano at first was looked at as something I was forced to do. I’m sure a lot of people have been forced to take lessons as a youngster. I soon realized though that it was very fun and enjoyable. I stepped away from it during my teenage years, but have been playing steadily since college.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

My inspiration came from my family, as most everyone is able to play at least a little bit. It’s a fun way to learn a musical instrument, and I wanted to be like everyone else.

What do you love about it?

When I look at the piano, I look at it as a frustrating way to relax. Most might not think that frustrating and relaxing go together, but it is a fun type of frustration. I’m constantly trying to improve, learn new songs and more, but it’s enjoyable. Since it’s a hobby, I don’t stress out about it.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

I’m not much of a performer, although I will play in front of family and friends. I kind of like that part about the piano. I can do it on my own time. So I don’t really participate in groups related to the piano or anything like that.

Have you invested in any gear or equipment for your hobby? If so, what?

In the beginning, I pretty much just played on older pianos that I received for free. It wasn’t until I was established in my career that I started to invest a little into my hobby.

Currently, I have one main piano, and then a digital keyboard that can be packed up and stored away. I like to play both of them. The main piano sounds a lot better, but it can’t be played late at night. With my digital piano, I am able to plug in headphones and play at all hours of the day. Not only that, but it also helps to take the piano on the road if I am going to visit family or friends.

In total, I’ve probably invested a few thousand dollars into piano. That might sound like a lot, but anyone who is familiar with really nice pianos know that this hobby can get super expensive.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I haven’t made a purchase for my piano playing in a while, so I don’t necessarily have a go-to supplier at the moment. For my hobby in particular, it is best to shop online for new and used. A lot of gently used pianos are out there on the market for people to consider. If you can end up saving 50% off the sticker price because someone used it a few hours, it’s worth it.

Are there any good books for beginners?

There are so many piano books out there that it would be impossible to count them all! However, I will say, I think YouTube is perfect for people who are trying to learn. Seeing the hand placement and everything can help out a lot more than reading music. It takes a pretty advanced piano player to read music properly.

How has this changes your life?

I think that piano has really helped me relax in my job. I don’t worry about things when I’m playing piano. I really do get lost in the music.

Any advice for those trying to learn piano?

Like anything, just stick with it. If it is something you enjoy, eventually it will click. There is a learning curve, but the breakthroughs are worth it.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I like to run and stay active when possible. My favorite sport is probably tennis. I also enjoy traveling when I can.

How can people connect with you?

I have my own website at www.jacquespoujade.com. I am also active on Facebook, Twitter, and Medium.