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Blog 61 Opurtunities, The one that got away.)



December 31, 2016

Happiness Is A Choice


I have just finished an excellent practice session. Not because of any particular flash playing, more from the opportunity to work at my pieces. Spending time at the parts of my playing that aren’t working so well. Adjusting arrangements to better deliver the song or create more interest for the listener. This type of musical work is such a pleasure for me and yet I don’t get to it enough. That is an interesting thought in itself.


Have you ever watched a child fully engaged in play? They are so content. There is no concern as to the quality of the play. Seldom does the quality of the toy make much difference either. The box often has just as much fun involved in it as the toy itself. What may be missing in their play can be filled in by skilled use of the imagination. No evaluation of the end goal result. No need to assess the process or judge the overall performance. Just simply play for the fun of playing. They play because they want to.


Now, try getting into a position where you can hear children playing but you can’t see them. Listen to that sound. It is awesome, and not just because you don’t have to supervise them. It is the sound of play or perhaps if you want to get all grown up. Uninhibited creativity. It is a really happy sound.


So, to be happy in what we do is a good thing. The most successful adults in the work place appear to be those who are happy in their work. For me it produces good results and a good day. So why aren’t we happy. You hear it in musicians when they talk to each other. They say stuff like. I’ll be happy when I can get through those dominant changes without a problem. Or if I could just get 2 hours practice a day then I would be happy.


Sometimes it is a certain work, for me it was Beethoven’s 32 Variations in C minor. My piano teacher told me if I can play that I will be able to play anything. The thought of that made me happy. For some it can be an exam or perhaps a position in a certain band. Often you may hear the comment “I’ll be happy when I can get the promotion”. The list is endless. My point is If you can choose to be happy then why not now?


Why not take joy in having such fascinating music to work on? Take pleasure in the gradual improvement brought about by our practice. Enjoy every part of the music process. Just like the children at play. No evaluation of the end goal result just yet. Spend some time in the moment enjoy the sound. Go right back to when you first started to play the instrument try to capture that fun of playing.


You will sound better you will start to perform better and you will take more risk. You will take risk in your music with a surety that one way or another you will make it work. Partially because you don’t have a predefined version of what “make it work” means. Partially because you don’t really care that much just like kids playing it doesn’t really matter. But also, because you back your skills and are having fun playing. We have a new year coming up so here is a wonderful new year’s resolution.


Choose to be Happy.

Cheers
Peter