Long Term Relationship with Music

The discovery of music and playing the piano is a lifelong journey.  I've been playing since I was 6 years old and yet there is no end to what I can learn and how I can better my skills as a pianist.  I am constantly in awe of how much I have yet to uncover.  

 

I always hated Saturday afternoons growing up as that was the day I had to go to piano lessons.  I didn’t understand why my parents forced me to go other than remembering the one line they said over and over again, “trust us, you’ll regret it someday if you stop now.”  I am now forever thankful for them because I have truly grown to love playing the piano and even get to use it now as a source of income!  

 

But going to piano lessons wasn’t the only thing I didn’t want to do. I didn’t want to brush my teeth, most days I didn’t want to go to school, I didn’t want to get up in the morning and shower, I didn’t want to do homework.  Can you imagine if my parents allowed me to have my way simply because I didn’t feel like doing it?  Or how about the reverse?  Imagine my parents giving up on me and saying “forget parenting, this is hard and I won’t show up for my daughter.”

Long term relationships require a deep level of commitment but it’s the best way to uncover our strengths and weaknesses and grow as human beings.  It tests how we will show up for ourselves and it tests the validity of our word. If you, as an adult student or you as a parent of the child have made a choice that music and learning an instrument is important for our overall wellbeing, then we have to acknowledge the fact that we are about to enter into a very long term relationship with music.  

 

 

The great thing about it is that it’s pretty simple to understand the nature of long term relationships.  There are 6 components that define all long term relationships, divided into two domains.  The first three are under the domain of Quality which are the peaks, plateaus and valleys and the second three are under the domain of Quantity which are prolonged, sustained and brief periods of time. 

So what it means is this: all long-term relationships can be, at any point in time, any combination of those six ingredients. There will always be one quality ingredient and one quantity ingredient going on at any point in time. We can liken this to a graph of the stock market over a hundred years or a graph of the value of real estate property or the value of gold or something like that. And if we were to see that graph, we'd see that the value of property is going up, and then it's going down, and then it plateaus for a while, and then it shoots way up, and then it crashes way down, and then it plateaus again, and then it starts to improve, etc.

 

And here again is the fundamental truth about all long-term relationships: every one of them looks the same way. So for any of you that have been in any long-term relationship or any of you who knows anyone who’s ever been in any long-term relationship, we know exactly what that long-term relationship has looked like. It’s been a combination of peaks, plateaus and valleys, over a combination of brief or sustained or prolonged periods of time.

There is a certain level of commitment in your time and energy whether you want to learn how to play sports, how to dance, speak a new language, become a doctor, open a business, and literally everything else you want to learn or cultivate.  Knowing that any skill you will ever want to learn in life will require you to commit as you would in a long term relationship, the question to ask yourself is “Who will you be for yourself when you are in a sustained period in the valley?”  “How will you show up for yourself or for your child when you or they are in a plateau?”  

 

Music is a gift that will keep on giving for years to come.  Scientifically, there is a huge difference in how we are affected by music simply when we listen to it VS. actually playing it.  My hope is that you’d partner with me on this beautiful journey of ups and downs with playing the piano!  I’d be so honored to help you discover your musical language for years to come.  

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