Monday Motivator: Fail at Something

As you may know, I  am taking piano lessons. Today my teacher, after listening to me play a song, suggested that I take a dance aerobics at the gym where we both belong.

Not because I’m chunky and out of shape (although I am). But because I apparently just don’t feel or hear the rhythm of the music. I can read the notes, but I can’t get the rhythm.

This is not how I imagined my foray into the world of music would be. I pictured sitting in class, learning the notes,and discovering that I am a natural player. I would amaze my friends and colleagues with my ability to pick up everything from Elton John to Mozart. At holiday gatherings, I’d sit at the piano and start a carol singalong.

Instead I am plugging away at “Down in the Valley” and have such bad rhythm that my teacher thinks I need a type of physical therapy.

Am I tempted to quit? Sure.

Am I going to? No.

For one reason, as bad as I am, I enjoy the piano.

But for another, it is good to struggle every so often. I have been working in the writing field so long that many of the skills seem natural to me; I don’t always understand how students can find essay writing or researching difficult. Being a failure at piano helps me be more sympathetic and understanding when students are frustrated in the research process.

And if you see a chunky girl out of step at aerobics at the Bellevue Y, do me a favor and just look away.

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3 thoughts on “Monday Motivator: Fail at Something

  1. I find this particular post quite amusing…not laughing AT you but cracking up at your description….I just came from my piano lesson, immediately following you…I was told, on the other hand, after clomping through my Bartok piano exercises (as the teacher expressed to me with an elegant, gesture that flowed like a ballet movement from Swan Lake,) “I told Margaret Faye that she needs an aerobics class…YOU NEED YOGA”! I had to laugh out loud. Certainly I wasn’t insulted or stunned (afterall, I have broken 5 banjo necks in my life…). I agree that it is an humbling, yet challenging and sweet experience. I say sweet because it is so reminiscent of being a young, vulnerable child to be learning from scratch over again. And, I love it even though it is frustrating at times (and I need to wash my mouth out with soap more than once a lesson…). So, if you see a middle aged woman (uh, that is middle-aged if I am going to live to be one hundred and ten) stooped over at Planet Fittness, grunting to stretch to my toes and attempting to move swan-like across the exercise floor…just smile and applaud. Piano Pam

    1. SORRY FOR TYPOS!! MY GOSH, I’m horrified my grammar isn’t correct- you being an aerobic English teacher and all…..REPOSTING: I find this particular post quite amusing…not laughing AT you but cracking up at your description….I just came from my piano lesson, immediately following you…I was told, on the other hand, after clomping through my Bartok piano exercises (as the teacher expressed to me with an elegant gesture that flowed like a ballet movement from Swan Lake,) “I told Margaret Faye that she needs an aerobics class…YOU NEED YOGA”! I had to laugh out loud. Certainly I wasn’t insulted or stunned (afterall, I have broken 5 banjo necks in my life…). I agree that it is an humbling, yet challenging and sweet experience. I say sweet because it is so reminiscent of being a young, vulnerable child to be learning something from scratch all over again. And, I love it, even though it is frustrating at times (and I need to wash my mouth out with soap more than once a lesson…). So, if you see a middle-aged woman (uh, that is middle-aged if I am going to live to be one hundred and ten) stooped over at Planet Fitness, grunting to stretch to reach my toes and attempting to move swan-like across the exercise floor, just smile and applaud.
      Piano Pam

  2. The director of undergraduate writing at a former institution made a point of trying to learn something new and relatively difficult every year. Her rationale? She was better able to empathize with students who were struggling with learning to write in college. She found it a humbling and yet liberating experience.

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