Tuesday, July 3, 2012


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.

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!


  1. Well said. I tried to learn Italian, found it to be much more difficult than I thought, and came to the conclusion that I must just be a slow learner and gave up with some serious self esteem issues. Now I need to learn this 3D program, Modo, and it's unfamiliar and confusing so I've been avoiding it. Thanks for the kick in the pants. :)

    1. I have the same issue with, of all things, WordPress. I know right? It is just intimidating no matter how many easy outs they give you, even with the for Dummies handbook. I should kick my own pants there. :P

  2. Hey Karen, I found this entry incredibly ironic! When I saw what you were writing about I had to read it - you know all about my Seven Year Saga with my company, so I don't need to fill you in on the details, but I've often felt (over the last seven years) overwhelmed by the immensity of what I was trying to accomplish and the massive amount of skills I would need to pull it off. That said, things are drawing to something of a release soon (check the facebook page!) and I have you - and others - largely to thank for where we are today and where we're going to be - because you and the others largely kept me inspired when the tasks felt to overwhelming to accomplish.

    Really impressed with where the Violin thing is going - work on your composition I could use some more musical tracks, haha!

    (Let me know if you want some help with the Wordpress stuff!)

    1. Thanks man.. I was just wondering the other day how the game was coming!! I might take you up on that help with Word Press. I REALLY need to make an awesome website and I am just so overwhelmed I can't get started.