Sunday, October 18, 2020

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Start where you are with what you have.

I do not have my piano yet; it is in storage. My things are still not unpacked. Clearly my home needs renovation.  And all I have is electricity, a keyboard and a table. 

That's enough to get started. 

Saturday, October 10, 2020

But HOW do you believe?

A student asked, But how do I believe in my abilities when it seems like all I do is make mistakes? 

What a fantastic opportunity.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Get your passport.

The Piano Instructors encourage all students to get their passports. Imagining where you can go, even if you can't quite get there today, works miracles in performance.

It is difficult to explain why if you haven't applied for your passport. 

You see, the application process itself primes you for travel. Are you applying because you're traveling soon, the officials ask. Do you have an expired passport? Where were you born?

The anticipation of waiting for the thing to come in the mail is delicious in its own way. 

And when it arrives...when the official document arrives...when you see your name and terrible explosion of "Where can I go right now?" thoughts take over. Two hours on Google Earth and Kayak Explore later, and your imagination is soaring.

And it is marvelous. 

Suddenly, your performances are not limited to your home country. You can perform anywhere your favorite artists perform or grew up or had lunch that one time.

This is a time of covid. So right now we can't go anywhere, not really.

All things change, though, and (these days) in strange and unexpected ways. Get ready now when it doesn't really matter and when nobody is thinking about this so that when it does change, you can move forward.

If you're already ready, you don't have to get ready.

Get your passport. 

Friday, October 2, 2020

Cancer sucks. Go get checked.

 My mom and I are at the clinic getting check ups. 

Most of what I do in terms of health revolves around joy. I love walking, I love fencing. Meditation is a must. If I don't drink enough water, I get headaches. Salads are delicious and sometimes I have competitions with myself to see how many days in a row I can create a different innovative culinary surprise with just vegetables. 

And I have a pretty good attitude in general, which I think contributes the most.

It so happens that all of those are healthy, cancer-busting activities.

And I still got cancer. Twice.

So another part of the regimen is regular check ups.

Go get your girls checked, ladies. Because I had a regular practice of self examination, when I did feel the pea sized lump, I was able to accurately tell my team that no, it wasn't there last month, helping us give a timeline, very valuable for treatment.

Early detection may have saved my life.

Cancer sucks. Get your exams.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Teacher PSA.

This is a public service announcement for teachers.

Today is October 1. 

Many of you have been teaching for almost a month. Some of you having been teaching for almost a month for the first time ever.

There are about 90 days left in the calendar year, and about an infinity left in the school year.

I want you to stop thinking about all that.

And think about what you're doing right now.

Think about your wonderful comfortable chair. Remember when you first got it? If it isn't comfy, change chairs. Just go ahead and do that right quick.

Where's your water? This might be a little TMI, but is your urine clear or close to clear? Go drink some water. Good!

Hey, since you're reading this right now, sit up a little bit (in your comfy chair). Drop your shoulders. Maybe roll them forward, then backward. That feels good. 

Drop your shoulders.

Take a deep breath. Did you cough at first?  If you coughed, just laugh and try again until you can get one good deep inhalation and then release it. Don't be alarmed if it takes a couple of tries; if you don't do it regularly it can be like that. 

Drop your shoulders.

Finally, feel your face. That sounds funny, but without touching your face, feel your face. Feel your cheeks and your forehead and your nose and lips. Move your brows up and down. And turn the corners of your lips upward.

This was your public service announcement.

You're going great!

Tina L, multiple award winning teacher, producer, and composer, is the founder of The Piano Instructor. Her curriculum, Musical Kinetics, teaches teachers how to create musicians for life. It is field tested by teachers, written by a teacher, and perfected as students respond and science provides more information. It is available here.