This morning I am reflecting on just how important practice is. The most exciting thing happened to me. I got to bring home my 4th instrument. If you know me, you know I LOVE music. I play the piano in many festivals and events throughout the year. I play the alto saxophone for my school band and a local Wind Ensemble. I play the soprano saxophone. I have been trying to perfect the soprano, so I can audition for my school’s jazz band with soprano, instead of the alto. However, lately I have found myself very interested in the clarinet. Clarinets always seem to get the really neat parts , in big band pieces of music. I decided I wanted to learn how to play the clarinet too.
I got to bring one home yesterday, and I could not wait to start playing some incredible pieces of music, on it. I got it all put together, put my mouth on this new mouthpiece and blew with all of my might. Guess what happened? The most horrible squeaky sound you have have ever heard came out. Honestly! So, I tried again, and again it was terrible! I was pretty disappointed. I was expecting to pick up on this new instrument where I left off on my current ones. Did I have a misguided expectation? Yes! It has been awhile since I learned a brand new instrument and I forgot the amount of work you have to put into learning anything. I forgot one of my most trusted quotes “practice makes anything easier”. I expected just to be a pro at it.
I think sometimes our expectations make us quit something new before we give ourselves a chance to learn it. I think we assume that we will instinctively know how to do something that we have never tried. I think we get really frustrated when it doesn’t go as well as we think it will. I think we just give up and quit chasing our dreams too soon. However, life teaches us differently. Life teaches us sometimes success comes from a series of small steps. I mean, look at babies. They have to crawl before they walk. When they first learn to walk, they fall down. A LOT! The thing about babies is, they don’t give! When they fall down, they get back up. I think sometimes we forgot that part. We forget to get back up.
With that in mind, and after petting my sweet doggie, and telling her I really am not trying to torture her audibly, I went back to the clarinet. Guess what? I have been able to master three scales! My mouth hurts and my thumb is killing me (all new muscles I need to build up). On my alto saxophone I can easily play all major scales and most of the minors, but you know what? I decided that I am going to play this clarinet just as proficiently, as I do my alto. I know I can do it, because practice makes anything easier.
I got to see the The Piano Guys in concert once. The chelloist Steve, said something I have never forgotten. He told the kids in the audience to keep practicing their instruments, because some day all of their theory and practice would just click, and it would feel like they were flying when they were playing their instrument. I can confidently assure you, that has not happened to me, YET. But I am confident I am just one practice away from it . I decided I am going to keep chasing my dreams and I hope you will chase yours too!
Have a great day! Go play acalympics. 😉