A blog about learning to play the piano...

I always said that if I ever had a piano, I would take lessons. So here we go...

I want her whipped into shape…

Stage managing this musical has been an utter nightmare.

Long story short, my lighting guy is completely useless. The director orders changes, and I schedule for them to be done in time for me to come rewrite cues and when I arrive, the changes aren’t done. And the director yells at me. This went on every day all through tech, dress, and even into the first couple of shows. Ugh…

I’ve been at that theatre all day, every day and most of it was spent sitting on my hands, thinking about all the productive things I could be, should be, and would rather be doing.

I tell you this because my teacher really got on my case this week. I got a lot of grief for cancelling lessons due to lack of practice time. In the narrow scope of things, he’s being unreasonable. This week, I was down to the choice of sacrificing sleep or my one meal of the day that wasn’t beer if I wanted to find time to practice. And you’ve probably gathered by now that I’m not one of those people. My well-being comes first, always.

But in the bigger picture… he’s right. I don’t practice enough. And more importantly, I don’t practice aggressively enough. I have a very passive and Zen attitude about my practicing… I do what I’m instructed, how I’m instructed to do it, so it should work. And if it doesn’t, I try not to beat myself up about it, and I keep at it. In some ways I think that has served me well. It’s kept me from getting frustrated and quitting early on. It’s given me permission to be patient with myself.

But I think I’ve out-grown that.

I need grit. I need drive. I need to get angry with myself. Because my teacher is not going to do any of these things for me. He’s going to patiently sit and listen to me play piano once a week. And he’ll tell me funny stories about composers and performers. And when he thinks that I’ve gone as far as my passivity will carry me, he’s going to break me to the point that I never want to touch a piano again. His words, not mine.

And now is a great time to be deciding to change my practice habits. I still have four shows to do this weekend (one’s a double), plus a lot of other catching up to do as well on things like laundry, my church job… but if I wait until I “have time” it’s not ever going to happen. No one ever “has time” to do anything ever. We make time. Those are his words too.

So here we go. Piano practice 2.0. Every day. For as long as it takes. No excuses. No whining (okay… maybe a little whining). More anger. More drive. More shit getting done.

Because I’ve come a long way and it will not be for nothing.




Charts show how history’s most brilliant people scheduled their days

Based on research from Mason Currey’s Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, Podio created beautiful charts that show how some of modern society’s greatest thinkers, writers, artists and philosophers spent their days. It begins with the earliest risers and reveals how much time each of them spent sleeping, working, socializing, relaxing, exercising and at their day jobs or doing administrative stuff like managing their holdings or paying taxes.

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I am Richard Strauss

God bless you, Balzac

(via mahleriana)

If you entertain the notion of limitation or failure, it will rest comfortably in your company, and it will become a familiar location. I am not talking about the failure of risk: I am talking about the failure of imagination; the failure of faith. No one is looking at you; no one cares what you are doing. Get over this vain sense of observation and devote yourself to life and to others and to your work. You have no audience yet, but you have your soul and your fate, hovering overhead to see how you’re going to husband both.

—Martha Graham

I don’t believe you should be ruled by fear in anything in your life. I don’t like anything that scares me, and I prefer to face it head-on and get over it. Anyone who says they’re not scared is a fool or a liar or both. I just don’t want that fear in my stomach to be part of my life, so I work to eliminate it.

—Anderson Cooper

My piano teacher has decided that my cats are Nazis.
Kaylee is apparently a Nazi U-boat captain. And Inara is the commander of the Nazi moon base. Because of course she is.
Between you and me… I think my teacher has just been playing too much Wolfenstein.

My piano teacher has decided that my cats are Nazis.

Kaylee is apparently a Nazi U-boat captain. And Inara is the commander of the Nazi moon base. Because of course she is.

Between you and me… I think my teacher has just been playing too much Wolfenstein.

Omigod you guys…

I picked up a stage management gig last Saturday for a production of Legally Blonde: The Musical that opens this Friday. Between frantically learning the show, writing up cue books, dealing with malfunctioning lighting systems, and trying not to murder anyone, practice time has been non-existent. So no lesson this week. But yay paycheck!

I’m sort of grumpy because I felt like I was getting some traction and momentum… Hopefully it won’t diffuse too much before I can get back to the grindstone.

Everything you want is on the other side of fear.

—Jack Canfield (via oiseaur0uge)