We live in a time of instant gratification. That could be a problem when dealing with an art form that provides no easy route to mastery. I have found that over the years, as technology continues to propel us forward in terms of speed of communication, travel and information, the process of learning to play the piano or learning anything for that matter, remains a steady constant.
Yes, every day we turn around and there’s a new technique, system or trick to help us lose weight in 10 days or make us rich in a month but the truth is, , in the back of our minds, as much as we want to believe all those empty promises, we know that reaching any goal of value takes time investment and perseverance. So called short cuts usually delay us even further from reaching any measurable goal. Ask anyone that’s tried diet pills or a get-rich real estate course and I think we all know the outcomes of those attempts.
With all of that said, what I want to share with you today is some words of encouragement on your musical journey and specifically, your journey in learning the piano. Perhaps this is your first go at the piano or maybe it’s your 10th. Wherever you find yourself on this musical road, I want to let you know that this time can be the real deal for you and I’m going to share some hard, but exciting truths that will keep you motivated and on track.
I am in the process of reading a great book called GRIT by Angela Duckworth. A great read by the way and I highly recommend it. In it she talks about studies that she’s done to prove that talent, IQ or luck are not the deciding factors when figuring out who succeeds in life and who doesn’t. Of course, those things may help you out in the beginning stages of life or any endeavor, however, the most important trait that separated those who complete goals and those who don’t is simply GRIT. Grit is simply the idea of pushing through something until it gets done, no matter what. We all know many examples of people who we know didn’t have all the chips in their favor, yet managed to break through and make extraordinary things happen.
How many stories of internet companies that began in garages, like Google ir DELL. These are people that kept going, regardless of whatever presented itself on their path. That’s where we come in with learning how to play the piano. Some days, you may not want to play at all while other days, you want to practice for hours on end. Some days, you may feel like Billy Joel or Beethoven while other days you feel more like a kid banging away on a toy piano. I won’t lie, this journey will have it’s ups and downs, however, the ups of sticking with it are immensely more rewarding and long-lasting than giving up.
It’s easy to give up and find a million reasons to not do something in life. The world will constantly remind you to throw in the towel, forget your dreams and tell you why you can’t do something. I’m here to remind you that history is filled with amazing stories of people just like us that stayed the course and did amazing things.
And so, my conclusion to all of this is simple: get out there and play. Enjoy music. Enjoy playing the piano. Enjoy learning the piano. Enjoy listening to music. Go out and see live music. Listen to styles you wouldn’t otherwise listen to. Go see an opera. Go see live jazz. Live it, breathe it and take it all in. Music is powerful and you are now on a journey to be a part of the group that creates it. Not too shabby, huh?
Here’s to happy playing and being a part of creative history.