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In this episode, we discuss the New Year and how we can be successful!
Learn Flute Podcast 110
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Warning: this is going to be an eye opening and thought provoking episode as we dive deep into the subject of exactly what YOU said you wanted this new year. I’m getting in your mind haha. Let’s get started!
Well hello there, I’m Rebecca Fuller, and welcome to this episode of the Learn Flute Podcast where we are learning and enjoying all things flute including what’s in the mind and what it takes to have true success as a learning musician.
Some people may think that it’s just all about getting down a few fingeringsand puff puff puffing until you’re magically a fluent musician. I wish!
When I started to learn how to play the flute many years ago, I already had some musical experience… What I mean is that I had experience listening to, and playing a little bit on other instruments. This kind of helped, for sure, but definitely didn’t prepare me for all of the specialized intricacies of this instrument… the flute.
It’s kind of it’s own baby, and once you start diving deep into the coolness of this instrument, you realize that this is a lifetime sport. I love it!
These past years at Learn Flute Online have been wonderful, and those of you who are members of the Levels or have participated in any way, know how incredible the content and program are here- not to mention the amazingly supportive community we have.
I could not ask for better flute friends. Y’all are so respectful and positive that it is no wonder that we are said to be the “best thing online” for mental health, especially.
Seriously, if you haven’t joined us yet, what is keeping you waiting? This new year is going to be full of fun and motivation… we can’t help but improve every single day, week and month because, as you’ll find out again today, everything I do here is fueled by You.
I am keenly aware of what’s going on. I hear you. I see you. I know the next steps, and I cannot wait to help you yet again.
In fact, this month a usual in January every year I host an incredible 10 day tone course where all we do is focus on the subject of Tone .. which is what we sound like and what it takes to produce a wonderful sound on the flute… which if you’ve been trying, you know that it’s not just a simple, ‘stick your mouth on there and blow’ type of a thing. There are intricacies that once discovered make small or even large improvements that make our flute playing lives so much better.
It’s more enjoyable to play and it’s more enjoyable to listen to.. Which is what we’re doing, right? We’re making sound to create melodies that spark different emotions styles of enjoyment in ours and other’s lives.
So, during this Tone course we dive really deep into every little direction of making sound on the flute, and I listen to your comments, your concerns, and basically any and everything around the subject, and the next day, you get to find lessons centered around these subjects. It’s a lot of fun! And I hope that if you’ve never joined my January 10 Days to Terrific Tone course, that you will put it on your calendar. It is not to be missed!
Alrighty then, the point I was making here is that I take and make content for you specifically – it’s not a bunch of over-your-head stuff. You’ll find everything we do here in Learn Flute Online is “just in time” content. And you’ll love it.
Today, we’re going to be talking specifically all about what YOU said you wanted this new year. Yep – I hear you. I did. We’re digging deep today.
It’s probable that you have been reflecting on your past year recently, right? If you haven’t, it’s time to start. It’s a great time to think about what worked and what didn’t work so we can adjust, right? I’m not necessarily just talking about your music education life, but every aspect to your daily lives as well.
I wanted to address some things that I’ve heard you say. You may have noticed inner chatter a little too much this past year, am I right? A couple of years ago I did a lecture titled something like “silencing your inner critic”. We are usually masters at self-criticsm and major guilt once we are of adult age. Why? I have no idea, but I do know that while it could be helpful, it’s usually pretty harmful to our self-education efforts.
When we were young, like really young, we were not very afraid of trying new things. In fact, most of the time we jumped right in. It’s how we learned to walk and talk.
I have a cute little granddaughter who I’ve had the complete pleasure of watching grow up. She started as a little tiny bundle just home from the hospital, and now she’s a fearless toddler who is running around, jumping off couches, and talking up a storm.
Do you know how many times she has fallen as she’s learned to walk, run, and jump? A Lot. Most of the time, in fact. And how many times has she been singing “haaaa bur daay youuuu” as she is learning how to sing Happy Birthday to You. Well, instead of being reprimanded for her wrong pronunciation, missing words, and complete off key pitches… she is encouraged by an star fleet entourage of family and friends clapping, smiling, and cheering her on to do it again.. And again… and again. So she can sing “haaaa bur daay youuuu”.
So much encouragement that she does try over and over again. And, it’s not going to be long before she’ll be singing the entire song because of this type of inspiration boosting her confidence as she tries new things.
It’s time now to stop and ponder on this little subject for just a second. When is the last time you had a squadron of attendants, cheering your every new move?
Hmmmmm… it hasn’t exactly happened to me lately, and I’m guessing it isn’t the norm for you as well.
So, how can we create this type of support for ourselves as we learn? Because I know that if someone tells me my efforts are amazing and to try again, I probably would.
Well, as adults, or any age really, we get to realize that our inner thoughts and how we treat ourselves is either consciously or unconsciously taken and our next actions reflect how we’ve interpreted it.
Many of the members here at Learn Flute Online are either brand new to the game, or they’re coming back to the instrument after many year hiatus. Is this you?
Either way, it’s time to start looking at the mental game of pursuing your better self, and seeing that YOU and your thoughts have the biggest impact on motivation and self-creation. It’s true.
Channel your inner toddler and start seeing what you’ve done so far. Marvel at it, and imagine yourself progressing and being astounded that you’re watching yourself go through the stages of learning – all by yourself. It’s actually quite amazing!
Recognizing this and forming your own positive affirmations before, during, and after practice can make all the difference in the world to you. The point is to do what it takes to enjoy the process of trying over and over.
We humans are kind of wired this way. Think about the popularity of video games nowadays. Anyone can start a game, be really bad at it at first, yet as they see there are no real physical consequences to making mistakes except maybe their game avatar dying…. They can just start again and improve the next time, right. Trying over and over is the key. And then suddenly…. Voilá! They passed the board… and repeating this process every day over weeks and months and suddenly they’re passing off the levels one by one. It’s actually quite addicting, as we’ve seen.
Achievement is addicting and super fun if it’s fostered in a positive way. In video games, we are rewarded with points, in our musical education and practice life we are rewarded by… um… Let’s think about this for a minute. We don’t have a little digital angel hovering over our heads dinging us with points every time we do something right. Boy, that’d be great wouldn’t it! So, immediate gratification isn’t quite there the same way. But, the gratification IS there.
We are rewarded with much more profitable benefits and awards such as:
Self satisfaction and
Physical attributes such as better breathing and lung capacity, dexterity and manual control, relaxation and control of the fine muscles in the body and mind.
And we find an endless list of mental rewards as well: such as a sense of well being and positivity, having a known direction we are moving in is very motivating, and a sense of mastery creates positive self esteem which exudes confidence and a bright outlook on life… which spills onto our friends and family every single day.
I could go on and on all day about the effects of learning a musical instrument, but these are just a few that I thought I would mention now- and if I could purchase a video game for myself, my parents, or my children that guaranteed these types of side-effects, I’d be throwing my money at it right now… oh wait, I am, I’m already in this field! Oh… and because you are listening today, so are you.
Is there a certain age or stage we need to have “finished achieving this in”? No way. There’s no deadline here. We are human and we will be able to learn throughout the eternities. It’s so exciting, let’s keep moving.
One of you good listeners once told me that you had been unusually hard on yourself for a while, until you had a realization that the information, education, and content here at Learn Flute Online does not have to ALL be worked on and achieved ALL at the same time. This person said she realized that it’s more like a wonderful restaurant with the most amazing salad bar and buffet. She said she finally figured out that she didn’t need to eat it all in one plate or sitting. Well, yes this is true. We are all on our own journey at our own stages and we need to use some courtesy to not feel like we have to be able to eat it all. I mean, do or play it all or nothing? No, Let’s take the skills and challenges one bite at a time and see where it leads us.
I promise that I have everything laid out here for your success… It’s a lot like following the yellow brick road. Just keep taking one step forward each day and you’ll be able to look back and see an entire emerald city behind you eventually. It’s very cool. You’ve got this.
Showing up is going to equal success. It’s inevitable. I’ve got your back.
So, we humans are pretty awesome, but we are also pretty short sighted. Now I want to talk about this for a second because as I mention the story of being a toddler and thriving on positive reinforcement – for some reason toddlers don’t always need immediate feedback. They can try and try again – relentlessly sometimes to get what they want. They will ask over and over and over for the cookie even if they are told ‘no’. So what happens to us when we get older?
Why does the skill of happy repetition start to wain in our personalities? I’ve wondered this, and noticed that it is about the age when we start to notice that someone else might already have the skill we are trying to learn ourselves… This makes us shy to the fact that we aren’t there yet. But honestly, who cares – everyone starts at a different stage, has a different background, a different set of already-known life skills,.. And we need to toss this comparison mind-set in the rubbish.
You know what I mean, right?
So what I mean by being short sighted, it’s time we find joy in looking out a bit farther away from ourselves. We don’t always have immediate gratification, but definitely it’s there.
I remember someone telling me that we so often underestimate what we can accomplish in a year’s time because we tend to focus only on daily achievements. I kind of agree with this. I am this way as well sometimes.. I see my to-do list and find that it is never ending, but instead of crumpling it up and throwing it in the garbage, like I really kind of want to sometimes, I know that by taking one thing and moving a step forward as I can over and over these daily actions turn into weekly, monthly, and ultimately huge gains over a year.
I’m in this the same as you – let’s work on this together this year. This progam is wonderful and has grown over many years, we can keep putting one foot in front of the other.. That’s a song from a little movie “keep putting one foot in front of the other”. Anyway, and soon we’ll be walking out the door.
We got this.
I just love the technology we have nowadays to help us journal our progress. In fact, I encourage everyone to start videoing themselves once a month right from the first day of learning how to play the flute here. You’ll enjoy the look back after a year or two for sure.
It’s really great to have goals and expectations – and it’s even better to have very specific goals and expectations. Here’s an example that we can all use this month:
Instead of saying to ourselves, “I have the goal of being able to play super fast, super fluent scales by the end of the year”.
Well, we need to break it down a little bit and give ourselves specifics that are the building block pieces to this final goal that we mentioned about “playing super fast fluent scales” well what we need to do is say: “I am going to repeat the F scale pattern perfectly 20 times per day this month so I build finger fluency and muscle memory.”
This is very do-able. It’s chunked down, and I have specific lessons to help you with this. Twenty perfect repeats takes a long time only the first few times, and then it becomes fun, and actually pretty simple. Repeating this idea and then adding them to the hints, tips, and the challenges that I give here in Learn Flute Online level modules will make success a simple given. It definitely will happen. So we’ll chunk things down and get very specific, and enjoy repeating!
I love that we are all on our own path, yet we are all on the same trail, right? Just moving on up the mountain, and enjoying every minute of it TOGETHER!
It’s been so much fun today getting this good conversation started at the beginning of this new year.
Am I right?
Does this episode hit home for you?
You know, I’ve kind of blown our cover as flute players and people who are drawn to the flute. We kind of have some perfectionism tendencies in us, so we especially need to work on our mindset as we continue our quest towards beautiful musician skills.
Let’s think this week about what our actual goals are here – is it to be able to play an adoring Happy Birthday for our family members? Is it to climb the ranks of a community band? Well, it doesn’t really matter the reasons, just having ideas is super fun, and it’s even better to be able to ride the waves as we find new options along the trail here.
I love that you are a part of Learn Flute Online – as a listener and as a flute player also as a beautiful human who is striving to be better each day.
You are awesome.
Thanks for being here.
I’ll play you out now – since we talked about scales patterns a minute ago, I think you’ll enjoy hearing a little bit of the fun we have in the lessons here.
Enjoy! See you next time.
Thank you for Tuning In!
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about how you can achieve your New Year goals this year. Join us for the next episode.