Because I know it can make a huge difference not only in music, but in our lives!
If you take two individuals with similar level of capabilities and talents, one could succeed while the other one can fail, only because of how they perceive themselves and how they look at the world.
Many a times I get reactions from students just glancing at a piece of music for the first time and saying: “that’s too hard!” Now, if you think that I have never done that myself, think again! I have said it many times, but then later in life I learned something about this thing called attitude!
You see, in declaring from the start that something is difficult you build an obstacle in front of you that is more difficult to climb than overcoming the initial challenge. Once you convinced yourself something is too hard to tackle, you give up on any opportunity to succeed about that particular topic. In reality it is only an excuse you make for yourself. If you don’t come with preconceived ideas and denials, and keep an open mind, you realize that it is just another thing you can learn with a little patience. Babies learn how to walk and they don’t say it is too hard, they keep trying over and over until they walk.
As another example, we learn how to read as a matter of fact, but many students complain it is hard to read music, although there are more letters in the alphabet and many more combinations that make words (not even to mention that the English language is not phonetic!) than music notes.
It is very interesting that after a student looks at a new piece and declares it is too difficult I point out one by one the things they have just done on the previous pieces that are just the same. Then they admit that it is no problem at all! I don’t know why most of us are having the first impulse to be a bit negative, but I think as with everything else it is a matter of practice and habit.
And for sure, I can tell you that the habit can be changed through awareness, by catching ourselves in the act and changing to the opposite. If your first impulse is to say it is just too difficult, then stop yourself and declare that you can easily just learn it. Many times I point to the beginner lessons that now seem so easy. Well, weren’t they just as difficult when they were first learned? Remember nobody was born with ready-made skills. We all learn them.
Everyone has more aptitude and talent at something, but that does not mean we don’t have to practice and the skills come from nothing. Of course, I would not say that by practicing you can become a Mozart! People get born wired with such talents, whether for music, math or athletic abilities. However we all can learn to enjoy and enrich our lives!
Speaking for myself, although I have talent, I can’t compare myself with the “naturals” but I am certainly so grateful to my grandmother who listened to my desire to play and facilitated my journey. In my busy life and very often hectic and not lacking stress, playing piano or violin brings me calm, peace and joy. Then I can also bring some joy to others when I play for them.
So remember, when you say it is “too hard” you may deprive yourself of some real rewards down the line. Attitude can propel you ahead or keep you back. Since you spend the time anyway why not make it count? Now, this is a choice!