Making peace with music, part 6

We are in a tsunami. Modern life has become a graveyard where our dreams go to die. We want to better ourselves, we want to learn a new language, start running regularly, dig into the wealth of knowledge accumulated by humanity. But there are shows on TV, segments of funny things on YouTube, a boss that’s demanding, friends that want to have a drink with us.

It has become increasingly difficult to stay focused.

But the task is far from impossible. Our brain, after all, is wired to try new adventures. We can’t help it.

One solution is this: take control.

Before you start piano, think about diversifying. In all sorts of directions.

Make a list of things that will connect piano playing and your life. Fun things. Make the list as long as possible.

It could include things like: “Play a song for my friends”. Or “Play a song with my musician friends”. “Listen to great works of piano”. “Get a good instrument”. “Record a video of a piece I play that I’ll put on YouTube”. “Go to a concert to see my favorite piano player”. “Participate in a jam at a local club”. “Compose a song for my family, my loved ones”.

Don’t be afraid of being ambitious, of being wild, but concentrate on what you can do, not what others can do for you. For instance instead of saying: “I will play my composition in a 5 piece band”, say “I will compose a piece for a 5 piece band”. Then “I will put together a five piece band”. You want to stay in control. Always. Make the task about you.

You can include in your list some lifestyle changes, but make them small and manageable. Instead of writing: “I will wake up at 6 every morning to do 2 hours of piano before work”, try “”Practice four times a week, 30 minutes each, and with my immediate goals in mind”.

You will have time to revisit your dream sheet. You will update it.

Put some deadlines on it. Some fairly easy deadlines. Convince yourself that you can play one page of fairly easy music by the end of the summer. That you can accompany a singer on a few songs by Christmas. That you can improvise a little piece a year from now.

This list does not have to be daunting. It has to be exciting. You are managing your fun. You are evaluating your cake.