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In this episode, you will learn a few simple steps to pushing past insecurities in flute playing.
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Feeling less than adequate as you learn and progress on an instrument, like the flute, is kind of normal. But, these feelings of insecurity can actually damage your ability to thrive in the subject of playing music. So, what can you do to help yourself in pushing past insecurities in flute playing?
Let’s dive right in – this is gonna be good!
Welcome to this episode of the Learn Flute Podcast today, it’s fun to have you here.
My name is Rebecca Fuller, the expert of all things flute and the creator of the Learn Flute Online programs at LearnFluteOnline.com, where it’s the perfect place for people like you to come and learn from the comfort of your own home, at your own pace, and on your own schedule.
And- we have a great time, and we’re improving constantly.
There are hundreds and hundreds of you in here, and it’s fun also to be part of this global community because the flute and music is truly a universal language. It’s so cool, and I’m so glad you’re here to be part of our flutie family.
This podcast is released every other week, and focuses on our mindset as a growing and learning musician.
In the Learn Flute Online member’s area, we learn in an organized manner by moving through sets of modules that are set in perfect learning order.
These modules contain what you need to continue stepping forward in the learning process on this beautiful instrument, flute.
So, we get it all here – we have education and content, we have mindset, and also there’s also opportunity for me to help you implement all the fun and keep you in your lane of progression as well.
These situations give you the ability to learn and enjoy at an exponential rate compared to traditional learning.. You know, the way it used to be before you found me here at Learn Flute Online! Again, I’m so glad you’re here.
You know, many of you have similar goals in your music education. You’ll be interested to know that almost every single one of you are here learning because you enjoy music.. Live music, made by real people. And you love the sound of the flute and it’s beauty is just so attractive that you want it for yourself.
You may have goals to play with or for friends some day, perform in a church setting, play with a small band or even in an adult community band of some sort. You may also wish to spread cheer through your own heart and home by filling it with music.
This is so great.
Having goals, aspirations and dreams is a good way to be sure you continue putting one foot in front of another. I’ll help you get there, I promise.
One thing that has been popping up as a subject for some of you has had kind of had me thinking lately… we need to talk about something no one ever talks about in flute playing – especially when learning as an adult and maybe even aspiring to play within a group.
This subject is all about the feelings of inadequacy. So this might hit home for you today more than you think. And, I’d say the reasons are because learning to play music well, kind of takes a level of.. Well, kind of like perfectionism as we strive to get things ‘right’. Its just kind of how music goes- we kind of have to get certain things right, so that we sound good.
This can be a big huge plus in our life because it helps us learn to strive and achieve also.. Which in turn has the result of more confidence in what we’re doing and also motivation and a desire to continue on the path.
But, what happens when these feelings of perfectionism turn into something darker or negative for us? It can happen without the proper outlook and gentle reminders.
So, today I want to help you get and stay on the up and up by going through a little list of what you can do to continue pushing past insecurities in flute playing.
Seriously, we humans are funny. One minute we think we are awesome and we’re ‘all-that’, and then next we can be down in the dumps because we noticed someone else is better at something than we are. S illy people.
It’s okay though because today we’re going to learn a few things, and just talking it out and gaining some tools to help ourselves is going to be the fix we need to make this the best year ever and to allow our efforts in flute playing and music become the best for enhancing our lives.
So let’s get into our list now:
When playing an instrument, and especially the flute, there will be days when you feel you can’t really do anything right. The opposite is also true. There will be times when you are just ‘on it’ and things are really clicking. Kind of puts you on a high, and it’s really so much fun.
It’s most important for you to know that this does happen to everyone. Literally probably everyone. Allowing yourself to dwell on those negative emotions and feelings as you play the flute can lead to some self-esteem damage, and your flute being put away and left in its case far too often after this, and maybe even permanently for some, sadly.
No one wants this as the outcome for our efforts, so what can you do to find confidence in your flute playing so that your physical and emotional well-being are fed instead of punished as you practice and learn on the flute?
Well, first of all it’s important to take note of any self-damaging thoughts and emotions, just like what I was first describing here.
Just take a second to step to the side and notice it.
Are the feelings you’re having coming from not being able to do something right, quickly enough?
Are the feelings perhaps, coming from a feeling of being rushed?
How about jealousy of someone else who seems to already have or is doing what you want for yourself?
Also, maybe something called impatience?
I’m going to put a label on these things I just described. These feelings are of not being ‘good enough’. And this really is hazardous to your education and well-being. Our self-esteem should be protected at all costs. So, what can we do?
Well, the good news is that there are actual ways to build up your own self-esteem. Yay!
It can happen quickly, or a bit more over time, but it really is doable, and actually quite necessary as studying musicians, especially if you’re an adult because adults for some reason, seem to think they should already know everything.
Um. Not true. I don’t know everything, and I actually don’t know of anyone who does.
There are people who are farther ahead of me in certain journeys though in life, but there’s no one who knows absolutely everything. Even google is still learning and growing.
Think about this for a minute, as we continue on.
Let’s take some steps today towards knowing how to implement strategies that will help us build our self-esteem daily and even change the way we feel about ourselves.
So, number one on our little list today is to take some time to see what you have and are already doing right. Yep – basically take a little inventory of your own value. You are here today, and this is a big one. You have your instrument and you’re striving to do your best with what you have right now, right?
Great! This is something to celebrate. It really is. I notice it, and now it’s your turn to notice it as well.
You can even pause this podcast right here for 5 seconds, to think on what you’ve done right, just today!
I mean, you woke up, you got up, maybe you even got dressed. Don’t discount anything! Everything counts, and you are amazing.
There are literally hundreds of little micro-decisions we make each day that pile up into what I’d call our bucket of awesomeness. How big is your bucket? Did you know that it can change sizes as our day goes along?
Making a habit of paying attention to our contributions to life rather than our shortcomings
Making a habit of paying attention to our contributions to life rather than our shortcomings is a HUGE, major way to create confidence, motivation, and also to help us in pushing past these insecurities that we’re talking about today- especially in flute playing.
Now, are you the type of person who is always paying attention to those who surround you? Perhaps you forget about yourself often in order to make sure others’ needs are met way before yours?
Well, this isn’t always a bad thing. You’re probably a really nice person, right? You like to serve, and make others feel special, and cared for. This is great! And it also feeds your self-esteem.
The times when it’s not so conducive to your own life is when it’s a repetitive habit to not take care of your own needs also, or ever. Or delaying yourself with what you need for so long that it is unrecoverable. You busy moms with children know what I mean.
It is quite important to make sure that there’s some space and time in your life for a bit of self-care. And, having time where everyone around you respects your practice and music time is a giant, important part of this.
Feeling that you are supported in your own efforts in life is a super way to build up your feelings of self-worth.
Have a talk with those who live in your household. Explain to them that it’s important to your well-being that you have some time for yourself and your music. They will probably wholeheartedly agree.
Okay, let’s move on to the next part of our list, which is going to be something you can take as either humorous, or it may make your face turn red. Let’s check your reaction. And then let’s gain some tools to take care of it, and make sure it becomes a major positive in your life:
There are many times when we flounder, stumble, and fumble as we strive to become a musician and learn.. And even when we do consider ourselves a musician, it’s so so easy to forget that this floundering and awkwardness is actually a part of every single time we pick up our instrument and learn a new piece of music or are learning a new skill.
Embracing our awkwardness is actually a part of life. Accepting the fact that we don’t know everything, cannot play everything at first, it’s really key to continuing on this journey.
I myself have to learn new things nice and slowly at first also. A secret I can tell you is that this is how most people and performers are. It’s normal! When you listen to the radio, see someone perform in concert, or hear a recorded performance, you’re just getting the latest result of someone’s playing abilities. You didn’t even get to see how, perhaps, painfully slow they were when they started.
Okay, here’s an example of this: I have a tune that I’m playing right now and performing this month, it’s fast fast fast. And, it includes tons of ornaments and embellishments that make it so cool to hear! But, when I first began this one, it was just a concept in my mind – I heard someone else perform it, and I thought – “I must do this have this for myself! It’s just too cool!”
Also, remember that I have been a practicing musician for close to a half a centure, and a professional for many decades. And I can tell you, this is a normal process.
So I began learning this piece, it was painfully slow. You couldn’t even recognize the tune as I played it. But, I did an experiment – I checked myself and noticed that I was constantly brushing away little negative thoughts that kept trying to fly into my mind like little mosquitos in the night – they just kept buzzing and flying at me, and I kept brushing them away as I plugged away.
I decided to keep track of how many times I made it to the end of the piece, so I put a pencil on my stand and started making tally marks.
Yep, good ol’ fashion tally-marks. One, … then 10 minutes later: two. Whew, I’m tired. Let’s continue tomorrow. Three. Then another ten minutes later, four. Again, that wiped me out, so I thought I’ll try again after dinner. Five. The next day I made it to six and seven within fifteen minutes, and by the end of the week I had hit twelve times through the piece entirely.
You’d never guess this is how a real musician begins learning. It’s true though – so let’s explore a little more of how I learned this now.
So, by the next week I had 25 tally marks on my page, and, I it was beginning to be a little addictive to find out how many I could do within twenty minutes of time I had to practice, and I now had visions of tally marks all along the sides of my page of music.
It would be so neat to stack and rack up hundreds of tally marks to help show me how many times I had accomplished this task that was so snail-paced slow at first.
Well, guess what? I did it. I persevered and am now polishing this piece for a big performance I have coming soon. And, do I sound cool? Oh, yes- you betcha I do!
I started out extremely awkward and slow, and of course, extremely self-conscious. But, staying in my safe practice space, laughing it off, and continuing day after day is what brought me to this success. How about you? Did you learn something by hearing this process of mine?
Do you have mosquito-like negative thoughts buzzing around and trying to attack you? Brush them away and laugh it off as you continue on.
Challenging the negative thoughts that can buzz around you as you work on learning something new is a good way to keep picking ourselves up over and over and over as we play and work on something new on our flute, over and over and over.
I don’t think it’s a problem to keep ourselves in a focus as we learn. What isn’t okay is being super hard on ourselves when we make mistakes. You know, mistakes are an important part of our learning process. In fact, it IS the process. So counter any negative thoughts that come your way and realize that, you’re creating a better you all the time. This is so cool.
Learning and teaching ourselves to overcome insecurity will build your self-esteem, and it can happen more quickly than you think. It’s something you can create in a split second, with the decision to brush off the fact that you’re learning and growing, and that you can love the process. Realize that all people are the same.
Seeing someone else play the flute better than you only means they are on a different timeline on their journey. They also started where you did- at the beginning! So high-five them for their efforts! And realize that you have me, and the program here at Learn Flute Online to get you there faster.
Also, expect to have days where you waver in confidence. Ah, it’s not a big deal. Continue taking the small steps you are taking, and I will help you.
Be sure to come into the modules at Learn Flute Online often to allow me to show you the path of learning here. We are doing what it takes to learn all about music, fun, and today, pushing past insecurities in flute playing.
It’s so great! I can’t wait to see you soon, let me know how you’re doing!
See ya next time!
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I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about what pushing past insecurities in flute playing. See you in the next episode!