Do you remember the first time you ever used something that you learned in math class in real life?
Say...you had to add up the numbers on a receipt to make sure you were charged the correct amount? Or you're trying to develop a budget and you have to figure out percentages of your income to put in certain categories?
This is a really simple example of when we learn how to do something - such as add and subtract - and how what we have learned ends up helping us in other areas in our lives. If you hadn't learned how to add or subtract, you wouldn't be able to double check those receipts.
Have you ever noticed this with your piano playing?
In the last blog we looked at the types of things we bring into our practice sessions that can effect how well we practice and that can hinder or help us accomplish our daily goals.
Now, we're going to continue that type of flow right into the time after we have practiced and then start dealing with other things in our lives.
We have learned that the attitudes, thoughts, and emotions that we bring to the piano when we sit down to practice sort of melt into our playing. Well the same is true when we walk away from the piano too.
Think about your last practice session. How was it? Did you feel good afterwards? Or maybe you felt frustrated at something that wasn't getting worked out yet even after working on it?
Now think about what you did right after you practiced. What did you do, and how did your feelings from practicing either help or hinder your success?
Maybe you had an extraordinarily fabulous practice session - where you finally played a passage correctly that has taken you a couple of weeks to work through. That wonderful feeling of success...there's nothing like it, eh?! If you were to head into a business meeting after this, or a school presentation, or any activity that involves other people, you will see that the same excitement will carry over into these activities. You will bring an excitement and confidence to others that will motivate and inspire them. You might come up with some brand new idea that will propel your work project forward to success. There are limitless possibilities; all because of your own increased feelings of confidence and self-respect.
On the other hand, what if you had an especially frustrating practice time, where nothing seemed to work out and you made mistakes that you've never made before. We all know these types of situations and have experienced the disappointment and even anger that can come from times like this. Although these days are a normal part of the learning process, it's hard to get through them sometimes.
When you leave your piano feeling less than satisfied with your progress, try to notice how those feelings effect your other activities as well. Let's look at the same example as above. Instead of bringing those feelings of confidence, motivation and inspiration to a group or job, we come in feeling inadequate to resolve issues, fearful that our ideas won't be accepted, worried what others are thinking of our job performance, and any other number of things like this.
Wow...see the difference? Not only can we perform less well in our other responsibilities, we can also have a negative effect on a group or a project.
There's no guilt to be felt here about this...that isn't the point. This is simply how we seem to work as humans. What is positive about realizing how we carry around our emotions and how they effect us and others, is that we can do something about it, if we don't like the results.
On one hand, you absolutely want to take all of that enthusiasm and creative energy with you when you have a great practice session.
But when you have a not-great practice session, and you're feeling low...realize that you may not feel so great doing other things right after that!
This is when you want to take a little "breather". You need to process what happened in that practice time...and let it go so you won't carry those feelings for the rest of the day or night.
Don't jump into anything really hard right after a hard practice time. Realize that it's only one day, and not forever. Keep it at the piano. Just because you didn't get something worked out today doesn't mean that you won't be able to ace your exam in class that night, or wow your clients at the next meeting.
Being mindful of how your practicing makes you feel as you leave the piano will help you know how to "work" any negative feelings, learn from them and then let them go; instead of carrying them into the rest of your day or week. The key is acknowledging them...then you'll know what to do with them.
Think of your emotions as tools that can teach us a lot about what is going on inside. Realizing how much they interact with our lives on every level, allows us to step away a bit and listen to the message, instead of letting them control what we do.
So grab hold of all the gifts that those wonderful practice sessions give us where it seems like we can play anything we try to. And...grab hold to the messages of those really frustrating practice times but let go of any of the negative self-defeating thoughts that come with them.
Just as we need to observe how we approach our practicing to really get the most out of it, we need to do the same when we leave the piano and move into other activities and connections with people, because what we come away from the piano with has a direct effect on how well we do these other things and how much we inspire and support our colleagues and friends and family.
Stay Tuned to PianoLessonsOnTheWeb.com to learn much more and achieve your dream of playing the piano!
Most blogs written by