Let me ask you a question: When you listen to your favorite pianist, do you get inspired by the wonderful music you hear? Or do you get discouraged by how good they are and think, “It’s no use practicing; I’ll never play that well.”
If you gave the second answer, don’t worry: there is hope for you after all 🙂
Music is so personal to each of us that I can understand how you can get discouraged sometimes when listening to a great piano player. In fact, this is more common than you might think. But think about something like fitness for a minute. You probably know from experience that one of the best ways to get in shape is to surround yourself with other people who are in shape. People who eat healthy foods and exercise. Right? I may be wrong, but I’m guessing that you probably don’t get depressed when you see someone who looks fit. On the contrary, you can envision yourself becoming more in shape if you follow the same path that your friend did (exercise, etc.). You may even go jogging with the person, and that would continue to give you energy to work out on a regular basis.
It’s exactly the same with music. We all compare ourselves with other musicians, and we can’t turn off that “negativity switch” immediately. But if you lose yourself in the music and remind yourself that you’re just at the beginning of a long, wonderful journey, then the other pianist’s playing will nurture and feed you, instead of depressing you.
The next time you hear a great pianist and get a little depressed, give yourself a gentle smile and just enjoy their music. Remember that the more you absorb of their playing, the better you yourself will get.
Don’t worry, if you keep at it you’re going to be a completely different player in a year!
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