Sunday, October 23, 2011

Actually Listen to the Music!

I learn so much when I teach piano. I learn more than I teach! I learn to adapt, I learn to speak confidently. I learn to encourage a person and not sound condescending, especially when the student is older than me! I learn to think ahead and listen carefully. I learn so, so much! I wish I had more time to write down the insightful things I learn from teaching after each lesson!

Yesterday I was teaching a 37-year old guy how to improvise on simple chords and make up a melody. It wasn't easy for him because he was a 'grown up'. And you know, I have honestly learnt from my experience teaching adults, that even though adults are more intelligent than kids, they are actually so much less able to step out of their comfort zone, make mistakes and do something new!

The problem my student had was not his lack of ability to grasp the music. It was the fact that he was trying too hard to MAKE SENSE OF IT. When I played something to demonstrate how I could improvise on a chord and add a melody to it, he would try to figure out why I did this or that, and why I chose a particular note, but he would miss the most vital step: to ACTUALLY LISTEN TO THE MUSIC!

I thought I learned such an important lesson that day, just teaching this 37-year old man how to improvise. I learned that in all areas of life, we need to ACTUALLY LISTEN. We need to just for once sit back, stop questioning, stop trying to rationalize and figure things out, and actually just soak in the moment. Then perhaps you'll grasp what you've been trying so hard to comprehend with your puny human understanding!

I also realized why children learn so much better and quicker. It's because they don't have that stuck up self-awareness that they know it all. Adults tend to think they've got it the moment you tell them something. When actually they haven't! Kids will listen better, and they'll do crazy, silly things without worrying about looking silly. Now isn't that the way to live?

I dislike how the older we get, the more conscious we are of what people think. So we venture less into the unknown. We stay back, stay boring, and ofcourse, remain mediocre. And we also begin to think too much and try to make things make sense for us. Do kids do that? Hell no! If they did, they wouldn't be kids. And if you never noticed, children are much happier and creative than most grown ups.

It's inevitable that we're all growing older and that kiddo inside us is ever shrinking. (I feel sad now.) =( But... I resolve to not worry about what other people think when I do crazy thing and look silly! I'll listen more than I ask questions or try to figure life out. And mediocrity isn't my take on life. I won't be like that! And hey, you won't too! >:p

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