If you live in the United States, you may have watched the Super Bowl last night. (For international readers, the Super Bowl is the championship game for American football.) The game was especially exciting this year, with the New England Patriots catching up from far behind to eventually winning the game in overtime.
Personally, I go through phases when I'm more into football than at other times, but what really got me excited last night was that the Patriots didn't give up. They never gave up! Tom Brady, their quarterback, later told the press that even when they were down 21-3 at halftime, he didn't consider they were "losing." Rather, he just knew that they'd have to start playing better when they went back out on the field.
I find this very inspiring!
How many times have you become frustrated when learning a piece of music? Have you ever said to yourself, "Oh, I'll never get this!" But what if, instead, you took a cue from Brady.
How would you do this? Simply by taking a quick break ("halftime") and freshening up both physically and mentally.
Stretch. Go for a walk. Have a snack. Most importantly; stay in the game.
When you sit back down at the piano, look at the music with a fresh perspective. Remember that it might take some time to learn this piece or master that skill. (Just like the Patriots knew they couldn't overcome the point deficit in a few minutes. They had to be patient, but persistent.)
Maybe it's enough to learn the song's melody today. That's totally fine. A lot of times we get frustrated when we're not taking one step at a time. (But as we know from walking, it is in fact necessary to take one step at a time.) So learn the melody. And then tomorrow, learn the chords. The next day, put them together. The day after that, start improvising. And so on and so on...
That's why I get so excited while watching a sports game like that! For me, it wasn't that the Patriots won. (Congrats to all Patriots fanes reading this!) For me, Tom Brady and their whole team showed us all, in a spectacular way, what we can do at the piano.
Stay in the game.
Maintain a positive attitude.
Never give up.
That's the recipe for success. Have fun, and remember to enjoy every step of the way!