As I'm writing this, the birds are chirping, the sun is shining, I'm listening to new music and have a six-page piece on the piano that I'm learning so I can teach a tutorial for HDPiano. Six pages, and no repeating sections!
Quite often when I'm learning a new piece of music my ego has a little whisper in my ear.
â"You should be able to learn this really quickly. Come on, why is it taking so long?"
For the first time in a while, I've really enjoyed the process of learning a piece of music. How? By silencing the ego's suggestion that faster is better. If I'm aiming to learn something quickly then I'm applying a pressure to myself. Pressure does strange things to my co-ordination, as it does with most people.
After a few weeks of regular practise, everything is falling neatly under my hands. It's such a beautiful feeling to have taken my time and to see and hear the results of that patience.
I've spoken to a few of my students about their expectation of how long a piece of music should take to learn, and I'll be continuing to have that conversation with all of you at some stage. If you're time poor and want to see results quickly, it will likely mean that you'll need to compromise in the complexity of the song you're learning. There are songs in my repertoire that I've been trying to master for 20 years because my technical ability doesn't match my ambition.
If you'd like to see what I've been learning, head to my Instagram or Facebook. I'll probably dust this piece off for the next performance day!
Things I've been watching/listening to this week:
Hip-Hop Evolution - this is a Netflix series that charts the rise of Hip-Hop and Rap from the very start. I've been watching this in bursts while I cook dinner and it's really well paced and very engaging.
Live theatre shows - In the last few days I've seen the new musical/play Fangirls at Queensland Theatre Company, a story of a teenage girl who is in love with a boy band star. It's very funny and has some amazing music and performances. I also saw Puffs at Brisbane Powerhouse last night - it charts the story of a bunch of side characters from a certain Wizarding universe that features a bespectacled young wizard and an enemy that must not be named.
Episode 5 of Hook Club - who says you can't listen to your own podcast?! This episode is all about Old Town Road by Lil Nas X. It was actually the first episode Vinnie and I recorded together.
This week's housework was soundtracked (still) by albums starting with the letter B: Travis (The Boy With No Name), Ben Lee (Breathing Tornados), Gomez (Bring it On), Elbow (Build a Rocket Boys!) as well as some new music by Ruel, and as I write this newsletter I'm listening to the latest album by Metronomy.