“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” Albert Einstein
Happy November everyone! In two more months, and we will be out of 2022, a very difficult year for most of us. It has been tough, but I have a tough question for you; did you stay with it?
Did you stick with that horrendous schedule you were given? Did you practice that difficult passage over and over again? Did you give that student, who seemed like they would NEVER get it, more than one or two or THREE chances? Were you stubborn or did you give up easily?
Maisie* tells me she used to give up quickly when faced with a challenge. If it was difficult, time consuming, or what she deemed “not worth it” she gave up. Her time was “worth something” and she moved on. Crazy schedules were ignored, and she was often behind. Difficult passages were never fully learned. The students, who showed promise, were given something easier and not challenged to live up to their potential. Things were fine and the music she made and the students she taught were more than adequate, but something was missing. She didn’t know how to fill in that missing “thing” because her time was “worth something,” so she moved on when things got time consuming.
She often moved on, gave up, and started something new and easier when things got difficult. But that changed the first year of the Pandemic. Her schedule disintegrated and deadlines went POOF. For once in her adult life, she had time to practice a difficult passage over and over and over again. Her teaching was on Zoom, and she finally had time to be patient with each and every one of her students without a recital date looming. Things that used to frustrate her became chances to step back and take a look and be objective on how to make things better. And she flourished.
Her life, both teaching and personal, got back to more normal last fall. She tried to take some of the she lessons she learned with her to “normal” and is so happy she did. Her own musicianship has gotten better with her diligent and constant practice. Her students have improved, all of them. Her schedule, at times still horrendous, is something she adapts and works around successfully. She’s become stubborn, always looking for a way to “make it work” even if it takes a bit of time.
This fall, there have already been a few challenges, both in her professional life and personal life. Never feeling like she had “stick-to-it-ness” before, this new way of facing a challenge has re-energized her. Maisie has not given up, has stuck to it and feels, by doing so, she can now get through any of her problems to the solutions.