Today I started piano lessons with my 13 year old daughter.
That is, SHE is teaching me.
Considering she’s been playing since she was 3 (see a cool song she self-taught herself below), I figured she’d be an excellent teacher. Plus, I’d like to see if she likes it and would teach other young kids and make a buck here or there.
It went well, although my fingers and hands don’t really want to do what they must. Piano isn’t as much about learning what sound each key makes as it is figuring out how to control the movements of my body, and retrain my movements.
The sound I’m plucking right now are very simple, but if I can get the form down I’ll be able to move into other, complex, more beautiful music.
Just like earlier this morning when I took her to the raquetball court. She wants to hit with her wrist, and she wants to hit overhead, and she wants to have her body point in the wrong direction on a hit, and she wants to—— use bad form. Because it’s more natural.
But she’s learning good form, and as she masters the good form, and her muscles strengthen, and she gets more control, she’ll be able to play at a higher level.
Just like her mom, who started to write songs many, many years ago, but a few months ago she started to go to local songwriter meetings to learn how to write songs – what is a bridge, what is a hook, how to use twists, how to relate to the audience, etc.
She has dozens of songs started, but some of them are probably pretty sophomoric, because she didn’t have the training. But she’s getting the training, and she’s practicing – in the mornings she pulls out a notebook while her mind is fresh and she writes for ten minutes. She is reading books on lyrics. I’m sure she’s already improved, and over time her songwriting will only mature.
Just like blogging – when I started blogging I thought I was freaking awesome, but I’m coming up on my five year anniversary and I know my blog posts have gotten better. I didn’t go to blogging school, but I have been at it, writing almost 2,000 posts in the last five years. I’m experimented, played, tried and just plain written, and I can only hope that my posts are more meaningful, more impactful, and just plain better.
So, could the formula for getting proficient at something be:
proper instruction + plenty of practice = profiency
About Sam – she’s really good. She self-taught herself to play this song (we need to get a recording up on youtube):