This month’s article is by Sara Jenkins, one of our incredible piano teachers! Enjoy!
Confidence: A Musician’s Mindset
“I can’t!” “That’s too hard!”
“I’ll never be able to play as well as_____.”
I’ve heard a few of those sentences from my students, and if it’s not those words coming out of their mouths, it’s a side-eye squinty look that says, “You want me to do what? You gotta be kidding me. That is beyond my ability!” What do those words and looks have in common? A lack of confidence.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. Even though I’m a piano teacher, I’ve been there, too. I’ve lacked confidence in my piano skills, the same as my students. Lots of times. However, that’s given me lots of opportunities to overcome that lack of confidence, so I’m speaking to you as a professional confidence builder. Here’s what I’ve learned:
Thoughts are seeds and seeds grow. And grow. And grow. One little seed thought says, “I’m not that good!” or “I can’t do it!” and before you know it that seed grows into a nasty weed (in this case) that can cripple and stunt your musicality. Your seed thoughts become actions, and those actions might include getting discouraged, mad, and giving up. So, how do you (or your child) uproot those negative seed thoughts?
There’s a simple way to start. Add the word “yet” to the end of those negative statements. As in: “I can’t do it YET.” or “This is hard. It’s not easy YET.” or “I can’t play as well as _______ YET.” As you add the magic word “yet” you give yourself permission to learn and improve.
So if you or your child are struggling with confidence learning something new in your music, jump into Club Confidence. And remember that your favorite song/band/instrument would never have been created if someone hadn’t tried something that hadn’t been done YET.
Piano Teacher, KC Rock Band & Guitar School of Music
August Student of the Month – Othello Chandler
Othello has been taking piano lessons with KCRB for one year! Karren Schiele is his teacher. He’s got great energy and a huge love for music! Way to go, Othello, for being our August Student of the Month! Here’s a little more about Othello:
What is your favorite instrument? Piano!!
What is a piano song you’d love to play?
My goal is to play Fur Elise.
Favorite song – The Greatest Show on Earth
What are other hobbies? Reading hard books, like Diary of a Wimpy Kid. And some non-fiction too.
Keep up the great work, Othello! You’re a dynamite pianist!
Helpful Apps to aid your music learning:
Music Flashcards: tool that teaches you how to read notes in the treble and bass clefs.
Musical Notes: game based on a classic memory cards game.
Rhythm Sheep: Listen to the rhythm and tap it as accurately as you can.
Musical Lite: pocket toolkit for musicians, songwriters, singers, recording artists, and people who just love music.
DooDah: Note and pitch recognition.
Flashnote Derby: Horse Race Derby‐style note drill game. Can customize what notes to drill.
LineSpace: Space arcade‐style game, can have up to 3 notes at the same time.