Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Music Listening #14

Listening to a lotta jazz these days

Al Di Meola
Alan Holdsworth
Bill Frisell
Carlos Santana & John Mclaughlin
David Gilmore (the jazz guy, not Pink Floyd)
Garaj Mahal
Jaco Pastorius
Jimmy Smith
John Frusciante
Mahavishnu Orchestra
Marc Johnson
Miracle Orchestra
Pat Metheny
Wes Montgomery

Being kinder to ourselves

Tuesdays are one of my busiest teaching days. Four classes one after another. In my last class, I have four kids, all at various levels of competency.  I have to take a different approach with each child. Thankfully they all get along just fine.

In the middle of teaching today, I noticed one of the kids getting a bit frustrated over not getting a particular part of an exercise. I said 'Not to worry, these things take time, just keep at it, don't put any time frames in your mind and keep at it.'

After I said that, I wondered just how many times I've set deadlines for myself and when it (whatever 'it' was) didn't happen at that time, I became so mad at me for not accomplishing what I had set out to do.

For example - I normally give myself deadlines for mastering certain techniques on the guitar, when I don't think I'm progressing fast enough, I get so despondent, and stop trying as hard, I lose focus. But I noticed something recently. It's this -  Things don't happen in 'our' time, but they do 'happen'. Eventually, if we keep at it.

Sometimes things happens without us dwelling on it, but at the same time, we should make a conscious/subconscious effort towards the goal. And it could anything. Sometimes we put so much energy into getting something, making something work, that we forget that to a great extent, we don't have control over the outcome. We can only prepare to give our best shot and hope things turn out alright.

With respect to music, I've been practicing more regularly now and certain techniques that took my years to get, I'm now getting the hang of them. Granted it took me a year to get there, and not without the help of a couple of guitar teachers/mentors, but I am getting there. Life has a way of 'fitting' all the pieces of the puzzle around the same time when we didn't think it was possible.

I was so disappointed when certain opportunities didn't materialize last year, but everything is not lost. Those chances may happen this year. I guess the key is to keep on trying, no matter how dismal things may seem at times. Because situations can change, for better for worse. And it doesn't cost anything to think positive.

And of course it helps to have a positive, open mind and a kinder, more patient heart towards oneself.