From Awkward to Beneficial

When playing the organ, the organist may be required to use awkward positions of the hand and fingers. In a piece I am currently learning, there are some suggested fingerings. Fingerings are notated above or below the note with a number (or numbers for multiple keys). Each finger is numbered from 1 to 5 with the thumb being #1. In most cases I decided to go with those fingerings in the score. Someone (probably not the composer) felt confident enough in them to have the printed in the score.

This lead to some awkward hand positions for a few measures but I pressed on with them not even considering alternate fingers while practicing. At my last lesson Michael noticed. He suggested a different sequence which was much more comfortable for my hand and would make the section easier to execute. But my muscles only new the awkward way. I had a choice to make: keep playing the key with the awkward fingerings way or make the effort to switch to the suggested more comfortable fingerings.

In life there is often more than one way to accomplish a goal or task. Perhaps we have done it the same way for years. Then we learn of a different way which would be easier or more efficient (or better anyway).  But change can be hard and often requires effort. Some will stick to their old methods and say change is too hard! They would rather remain awkward than make the effort to learn a new way with a beneficial result. Sometimes awkward can be beneficial but not in this example.

I choose to learn those new fingerings and the benefits that came with making the change.

What choice will you make when change is presented in your life?


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Heidi Bender writes about her experiences of learning to play the organ. She started on the adventure in 2009.

She also writes on her website Tons of Thanks, which helps people write thank-you notes. Heidi is also a cat lady who writes at The Joy of Cats.

2 thoughts on “From Awkward to Beneficial”

  1. Heidi,

    Somehow this post reminds of my kids when some were learning to play 2 handed songs when starting piano lessons or trying to use the exact suggested fingering suggested in the piano books or trying to march in band at the very time as playing their instrument. Interesting as to how somethings in life sort repeat themselves. Some things take more practice than others but anything worth doing is worth doing right. Mom

    • Thanks for the comment Mom! I really did struggle learning how to march in high school. It took a lot of practice to get that right. I remember earning most improved marcher at band camp my sophomore year.


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