Here’s a picture of me and my new toy!
It’s called a Melodica. I was inspired to get one after seeing Jon Batiste play it in a video with his group “Stay Human” before they got the Late Show gig with Stephen Colbert. Now I can’t put it down!
Here’s a clip of them playing in the streets of Williamsburg.
Some of you may know that I’m really interested in helping people to stop dreaming about playing piano and taking action or taking their playing to the next level by conquering their obstacles. So when people come to me asking for advice I often give it for free. I’m fascinated by the amount of people that don’t take it and the psychology behind why they don't. It’s FREE advice!!
When I ask them why they don’t just set aside some time to do the things I advised, I get a lot of interesting responses:
i.e. “I don’t want to be discouraged”; “I have no discipline”; “I just don't have the patience “;“maybe when the kids are older”; “It's just the amount of time it takes to learn a song”;”I forget and it all flies right out the door”
Often times these responses have hidden meanings behind their words. I’ve found that the root of a lot of these obstacles for us is anchored in fear and doubt.
Recently I asked the internet "what was/is the #1 pain in the ass when it comes to learning piano to you?" The responses I got were very enlightening.
Let’s look at what a couple of people said and what the hidden meanings behind their words…
"Most of my problems are pretty much what other people have already said, so I'll offer something new. Hearing someone who's really good and knowing that I'll pretty much never be able to play like that. It's a tiny bit demoralizing, but it at least gives a goal to work for. Even if I can't play as well as a real pianist, I can at least try, and maybe I'll get better in the process."
What’s he saying? He’s saying that it sucks to hear how much better someone is than him at playing piano but at least it gives him a benchmark to attain.
He THINKS he’ll never be able to play as well as well as a real pianist yet if he tries he can MAYBE make himself a better player.
It’s like the battle is already lost for him. He’s got no real faith in his self or his abilities. He’s bound to fail right from the start because of his attitude.
But with a simple switch in his thought process he can turn all of it around.
Let’s look at another aspiring pianist and his approach.
"I've been an adult learner for almost 8 years now. I started when I turned 40. My goal was to have learned and played piano for 10 years by the time I'm 50.
I'm at a little over 7.5 years and going strong. I play pieces in the grade 7-9 books, which vary considerably with respect to difficulty depending on whose set is being used. I'm also going through a tango phase right now; they're not much represented in the graded literature but I enjoy them, and they've helped me play some Joplin pieces since they employ a lot of 3 against 4 and 3 against 2 rhythms.
I like to mix the lessons with pieces I want to learn. So far that's worked great; a few pieces I keep going back to and getting better at, but I'm not there yet. Eventually I'll have the agility to do them, so I bring them back every now and then just to see what's gotten better/easier, and what I still need to improve on to play that piece in future."
What’s he saying? He’s given himself a goal of 10 years to learn how to play piano. He’s ambitious and determined to make it work.
He mentions what he’s working on right now and how he’s approaching attaining his goals. He knows his weaknesses, identifies them and knows he will improve them in the future.
This is the right mindset to have.
The mindset of “I can never do that. Even if I work at it I might get better but no guarantees” is no bueno but “I can’t do this right now, but I know if I work at it I can” is 100x better.
I’d much rather be the latter guy and I want that to be you too.
Change your approach today. Instead of saying “I’ll never be able to do that!” say “I can’t do this right now but I will later with a little bit of work.”
Do we all have to be the guy that makes a ten year plan? Of course not. Start with something small. 6 months to a year. Maybe even smaller like one week.
Set a goal you can realistically accomplish this week and make it happen by next week.
Try this out and get back to me in a week with your progress.
I promise, once you see the power of taking on a positive mindset, you won’t want to go back.
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Harry L. Rios
Founder of HarryLRios.com
Harry L. Rios.com
Photos used under Creative Commons from Art&Music*Woo-Hoo, starmanseries, quinn.anya, woodleywonderworks, quinn.anya, devinStein