Seahawks safety DeShawn Shead stands on the sideline before the Seattle Seahawks take on the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio Sunday, October 11, 2015.

RENTON — DeShawn Shead is standing in the Seahawks’ locker room, humming wedding music and wiggling his fingers across an imaginary keyboard.

Shead, a defensive back, is not crazy. He is trying to demonstrate a point. He is trying to show how he taught himself the piano in the past year.

“You’d be really surprised by what I can play now,” he says.

“When the Saints Go Marching In.” “Beautiful Brown Eyes.” “My Heart Will Go On.” And the wedding music.

Shead’s wife surprised him with a piano for Christmas last year. Her parents had a piano at their house, and every time they’d visit, Shead would play a few nursery rhymes.

But there’s a history, too. When he was younger, Shead’s mom bought a keyboard for Christmas so he and his brothers could play. Shead played here and there until he got suspended from school for a week.

“My mom took the TV, she took the radio,” he says. “And she left me with books and that piano. So I was just playing the piano all week. That’s when I really started playing. When I was younger, I was running around doing all kinds of crazy stuff. I was getting in all kinds of trouble.”

Shead joined the football team in high school and started realizing he might have a future in football or track. But he stopped playing the piano along the way.

Until his wife surprised him last Christmas.

“My wife knew I liked the piano and she randomly, out of the blue, went and bought me a little keyboard and a self-teaching book,” he says. “It was the offseason, so some of my off time I just taught myself how to play the piano.”

When Shead started playing again, he realized he had played it all wrong growing up. The keyboard he grew up on taught him to play by right or left hand. But Shead didn’t know that until later, so he never learned how to play with his left hand and instead used both hands on the right side.

“I wasn’t reading notes,” he said. “The little keyboard showed me what buttons to press. That’s how I learned.”

Now he has a repertoire of songs and can even read music. The only issue is time, because in April a small time-consumer arrived in the form of a baby girl.

“Sometimes I go up there with my little girl and play with her,” he said. “She’ll hit the keyboard, and I’ll play a song on the other side.”

Shead, a former undrafted free agent and practice-squad player, is in his fourth season with the Seahawks. The team gave him an unexpected $25,000 bonus this week, and sometimes Shead finds himself reflecting on where he is now.

“I’m a big believer in hard work pays off,” he says. “I’ve been grinding my way through. I never had it easy. It’s just been a grind.”

He was talking about football. He just as easily could have been talking about the piano.

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