Earlier this summer I was shopping and met a 20 year-old sales clerk who discovered that I taught piano. While he admired his favorite musicians on the radio, he had never studied any musical instruments himself, nor had he ever spoken with a real life musician before. I learned that he thought that all professional musicians were perfect and never made mistakes.
I took the opportunity to give him a reality check. Guess what? Even Michael Jackson made mistakes. When I told him that, he was completely shocked. Here was someone he admired, and he thought was perfect. The truth, however, was Michael Jackson was a human, and humans do make mistakes, especially when they are learning.
I also clarified that Michael Jackson prepared his music so well, and knew it so well, that he didn’t make that many mistakes in performances, but when he did, he knew how to keep going and not draw attention to it. Was Michael Jackson immune from making mistakes? No. This sales clerk was in disbelief.
I took it a step further. If Michael Jackson was still alive, you could ask him, “Tell me the worst public mistakes you’ve ever made.” And, he would be able to tell you.
I think I blew this young sales clerk’s mind that day. But also, I was hoping to open the door of possibility of his own potential. These people that you admire and are older than you, they are also just like you. They also had to start in the same place you started. Guess what you have in common? You are both human. And what is the one universal requirement for playing a musical instrument? A human body.
It’s easy to admire our favorite musicians from afar, no matter the style of music they play or sing, and forget that they are simply a human being who put time, energy and focus into refining their craft.
That same time, energy and focus is available to all of us to choose where we want to spend it.
We are fortunate to have so many opportunities available to us. The question everyone gets it answer for themselves is where do you want to spend your time, energy and focus?
If you’d like to spend yours learning how to play the piano, or taking your playing to the next level, give us a call at 360-527-9626. We’d love to help reach your dreams.