I met with Michael at the end of December for my last lesson of 2013. The lesson went well overall. I demonstrated improvement since my previous lesson which was an accomplishment itself. December was a very busy month with concerts and activities to attend. I also had a nasty cold for a week which decreased my practice time.
During the lesson, I was reminded of an important lesson that we can all apply to our lives:
Sometimes we make things more complicated than they need to be!
Prior to my lesson I had spent time working out some new fingerings (which finger will be used for the key corresponding to each note). I thought I was being crafty and thinking it through, exploring all of the options, and making the best choice. My goal was to determine efficient fingerings that would also be comfortable for my hands. Even after deciding the fingerings I thought were best, I still had trouble executing the section.
In playing this section at my lesson, Michael noticed that was having trouble. I tend to hesitate when I’m not confident in the fingerings. Michael watched my fingers. Then he offered an alternate fingering. His way was much easier and less complicated. It was an approach that I had not considered. With enough repetition, I would have eventually made my fingering choice work. But, oh how thankful I am for any easier way!
In our every day lives, we can benefit from input from from others if we are open to it. In this case taking the advice was easy. Michael is my teacher and I pay him to give instruction and guidance. Recognizing when we are complicating things can be a challenge. However, with experience, we can learn our own signals. Like for me, if I continue to struggle with a fingering that is a red flag. Another tactic, is to take a step back and ask yourself, “is there an easier way?” when things feel complicated.
If you are making things more complicated than they need to be, ask others for input. Or check out Marc and Angel’s blog where they share 28 tips to make your life less complicated on their blog. An outside perspective could be the key!