music personal teaching

Noob

January 26, 2022
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I do not like to be bad at things. I have been this way most of my life, and it is one of my worst faults. I will go out of my way to avoid doing things in which I do not excel. In some ways, this was easier to overcome as a young person because everyone is trying things for the first time, and no one is really good when they first start out. The divide between the things you can and can’t do well is narrower. However, as I have matured, things I am already good at have continued to improve, which provides an even more stunning contrast to the things that I am not good at–like, guitar, for example.

I am a professional musician. My degrees are in music performance; I’ve been a singer for 20 years and a voice teacher for over 10. I have high standards for myself and my musicianship. This is why it is so, so painful to me to be starting on a new instrument, one I have wanted to play for forever, but have yet to get past the OMFG-I-sound-so-bad phase. In the parlance of our times, I am a noob. And I don’t like it.

I am trying to keep my eye on the end goal of being able to self-accompany on a portable instrument. I’d love to travel and commune with people through music, and it’s not so easy to take your piano with you, you know? I know that even just 10 minutes of practice a day will yield improvement (I say this to my voice students every day, y’all), and with each baby step, I’m closer to achieving my goal. I really just have to get over myself, but dang, it sure is hard. To those of you learning new things, kudos. We have to keep growing, even if the growing pains are the worst. Hang tough, friends. I commend you.

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