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  • Writer's picturetai-cheri

Don't Run So Fast...

When we are really young we love to jump, climb, run, skip, move all over the place. Wait, what am I saying? I still love to do those things. Shocker! I just remember that there were times that I would be running and jumping and leaping and my mom would say don't run so fast. As a little kid, I couldn't understand why would you be crushing on my fun?! Well it was not to take away from the only way of measuring up against the boys, but to try and make me aware of the potential hazards that would be in my way so that I didn't trip and fall and then ultimately need mummy to come and make me feel all better. I was still learning my way and my legs and coordination. Why am I going down memory lane? Because often with new students, I see them trying to run too fast. They may have seen a friend play their instrument or they may have seen a professional musician on tv or had the privilege to see them live. The point is, they see how it is supposed to be and then have the expectation that when they get started learning, they are supposed to be just like that. I'm not saying that you will never and can never, I am saying that my new students get used to their legs, coordination, and their way of being. I am saying that we have to learn how to walk first to learn things like coordination before we can start to know how to run. I say this to not hold anyone back - if my student can truly move fast we most certainly will do so - but I say this so that they can see the hurdles, overcome them, not trip up or hurt themselves physically because we did it the right way, and see success faster than they could have imagined. I've seen it time and time again with my students and even in my own experience. I went at a song that was super advanced and I wanted to be virtuoso like right away. It took me so long to learn that song and even then I wasn't super happy with how it turned out. It was not flawless and I kept finding myself hitting humps. When I tried a different song and took it step by step, at the pace that worked for me, in the way that worked for me, I learned the song so fast as if it was in a snap. This is something I see happen with students who need to accept what they can do and know that they can achieve the seemingly impossible if they take it a step at a time and take small bite sizes out of the music instead of trying to run full speed ahead and then end up toppling over. Nothing is impossible. Next time a song seems to frustrate you, slow down and work out the pieces that are in your way and then you will find you can run as fast as you can without falter soon enough.

Learning how to play music is marathon not a sprint

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