I have spent years trying to find the best way to tell a student
To Master a piece of music
To Conquer a piece of music
To Subdue a piece of music
To Vanquish a piece of music
To Prevail Over a piece of music
To Overcome a piece of music
To Fight Back.
To not let a piece of music Beat Them.
But none of these words felt right.
They all felt Fear Based, rather than Love and Joy based.
This isn’t a war!
This is gentle learning, peaceful playing, in a supportive environment.
And it’s supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable.
So after years of racking my brains,
I was today inspired by my 9 year old piano student, to tell her
not to fear a page of music,
but to BEFRIEND it.
Oh my, what a Light-Bulb moment!
Of course, we don’t work music, we PLAY music.
She totally Got It.
We proceeded to make the sheet of music our friend.
We took it bar by bar, and relished the notes.
We then happily played the same line several times, until it became easy.
Finally, she sang the high notes, and I sang the low notes,
and we laughed.
By the end of the lesson, she had truly Befriended that page of music.
It was no longer scary, it had become her friend.
What was difficult and hard, became easy and playful.
And we had so much FUN along the way.
Music is about Play.
Years later, she can return to that first book of music,
with delight, appreciation and happy memories,
and meet with all her ‘friends’ again,
and Play with them.
These are much higher emotions.
Be grateful to the composer.
That’s another secret – to Thank a piece of music.
For playing with me.
For allowing me to play you.
For sharing your secrets with me.
For bringing me so much joy.
And don’t forget to thank your instrument too, for letting you play with it!
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