Sometimes it is REALLY hard to be motivated when I think of the huge expanse of skills and knowledge that I have yet to learn. But then I just want to kick myself for getting scared of what will essentially just be hard work. And, like I tell my own students, if I work at it in bite-size pieces, the work won't be nearly as hard as I anticipate.
I had conversation with one of those students today that really inspired me to write something about the real reasons behind what I have turned this blog into. I have only been teaching a few years, but I have already seen quite a few adult students throw in the towel the moment things get challenging and decide that they won't EVER be able to do it and quit. Of course, in the past couple of years my track record has been much better, because I have banned the word "can't" in my studio, but I am still taken by complete surprise once in awhile.
It is SO important for adults to keep their brains motivated and active! There are many studies (and I will not cite any because I am just that lazy... but I have read them ok?) that say staying active and especially keeping your BRAIN active is a huge advantage in the battle with dementia and Alzheimer's. And then there are a bunch of studies (again... look it up yourself) that prove playing music lights up the brain (in CT scans... not chemically) in ways no other activity does. In fact, musicians tend to have quite a few more cells between the lobes of their brain than anyone else, probably due to the coordination involved in handling an instrument.
I think it is sad that many adults dub themselves "too old" to pick up something new. I have 6 perfect examples in my studio of people who can prove that is not true and I met another guy today in my violin teacher's studio who, along with me, can also prove it is not true. And I have several that have fallen by the wayside. Like my student pointed out to me today, because they already know what music should sound like, adults assume that, when they try it the first time and it doesn't sound right, they can't do it. That is one reason I am making this recordings, to show myself and others that, even though you sound like crap at first (Don't lie to me! It is crap!), diligent practice and following your teachers instructions will pay off. (I hope. ;P)
... ok I think I have probably come full circle here.
Messages of this blog:
1. Try something new. It doesn't have to be music. Pick a sport!! I have also taken up Tae Kwon Do!
2. Work hard at it. If it's easy, it's not worth doing.
3. DON'T GIVE UP WHEN IT GETS DIFFICULT. WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GET GOING!!!!
Alright, I will step down off my soapbox. But I hope that anyone who wanders across this blog will take what I am saying to heart and just get out there and challenge themselves. It's not as hard as you think it is!