I'm a bit sore and sorry today - yesterday I played in a tennis tournament at the Morningside Tennis Centre. "B Grade" Singles to be precise - the lowest grading I could enter! I play tennis once per week, social doubles with mostly over 60s on a Thursday morning and I love it, so I was keen to see how my skills stacked up against the general tennis playing public.
Well, out the four round-robin pool matches I played, I lost the first 3 but managed to notch a win in the 4th. As I was playing each match, I was taking notice of the thoughts that came in to my head each time I hit a bad shot or lost a game I could have won. It was an interesting exercise to hear how often I was putting pressure on myself, how often I was giving myself new instructions, and how often I was calming myself down. One point at a time, as they say.
How good was the rain on Friday and Saturday! It's sprung a bit of life back in to some of my plants in the garden, including some chilli bushes that I thought were dead and gone. I have to admit that in the midst of the best rain on Friday, I was sitting in my studio, headphones on, oblivious to most of it! After spending a few hours in the studio the weekend before (as I mentioned last week) I wanted to finish off a couple of projects that I started. One part of working on creative projects of any sort is the unleashing of the almighty beast...
...THE INNER CRITIC.
The inner critic is that little voice in your head that says, "No, that's rubbish. Stop what you're doing. How unoriginal."
So, is this voice in your head ever useful?
How many of you got caught out in some way, shape or form by the clocks switching to Daylight Savings time for the rest of the Eastern states? Everyone whose phones incorrectly tell the time seem to have a great complaint - "I had to get up an hour early!" But for those of you who often feel time-poor, how useful would and extra hour in the day be?
I had the opposite experience on Sunday - I lost a lot of time! My wife was away with some friends on a trip to Tasmania over the weekend, so I had free reign over how I spent my time. After doing some piano practise (yes, even teachers do it...), I looked at my electric drum kit, put some music on, and a half hour later had reminded myself of how fun it is to drum. That got me thinking about rhythm, so I decided to listen to some of my old demos, which took me back to the piano so I could play some songs I'd written a while ago but never recorded, which then took me to my computer so I could start producing one of those songs. All up, I spent about 3 hours playing and making music, and it went by in a flash!
I've been watching a lot of the TV series "Hip Hop Evolution" on Netflix over the past few weeks to help me fill in a few gaps in my knowledge of the genre (and there were some LARGE gaps) and it has me thinking about the way we can construct deliberate rhythms with our words. One of the exercises I do with students who are starting to do more rhythm-based improvisation is to ask them what they had for lunch today. For example, today I had cheese, tomato and tuna on crackers.
How's everyone been coping with the wind and dust and smoke over the weekend? I mainly kept myself shut up inside the house, watching lots of sports with mixed results. Wonderful to have the Ashes retained in the cricket, but losses over the weekend to the Broncos and the Lions made for frustrating viewing.
Do you ever notice what happens to your body when you get frustrated watching TV? Maybe you clench your jaw or other muscles, maybe you freeze everything in place, maybe you yell or groan.
What a treat last week to meet my piano playing hero Ben Folds once again - I've quickly devoured his book and learned so much more about his life, processes and much more. I can highly recommend it as a very easy read. I even got to ask him a question in front of the sold out powerhouse theatre! I've been buzzing on that all week.
Ben Folds is touring next year and playing with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in Brisbane on the 11th and 12th of March. I'll be buying tickets shortly, so if you'd like to come along with me, let me know this week. https://www.qso.com.au/events/2020/special-events/ben-folds-the-symphonic-tour
There's something strange in the air, something that I haven't felt in Brisbane in a while... WARMTH! I might even have to switch the air-con from heating to cooling! I've especially felt it today as I decided to rearrange my teaching studio (again) to bring the things closer to me that I use more often. The books have moved away, and the computer has come closer as I use more and more digital resources.
It's been great to get back to some routines after being back for a week. I'm making the most of the whiteboard on the fridge, laying out plans for each day to help keep me motivated when it comes to the not-so-fun stuff in life, namely CLEANING. It never stops! While I was on holiday I was thinking about new ways to find time to listen to more music. I was reminiscing about how I used to listen to full albums a lot more than I currently do, and it made me stop and reflect on why that's changed.