eric


Simple Creativity Tips

Hi everyone,

As you may be aware, living a creative life is one of my priorities in life. I think that being creative encourages a zest for life- which I need! For me, I am most happy when I feel that I am being authentic and open to change.

That being said, I am always looking for ways to be more creative in my every day life. In my daily grind, I often find myself working into a rut. With many tasks and routines to get through, I tend to focus more on efficiency, rather than creativity. How can I do this better with less time?

Of course, the number 1 tip for living a creative life…is to create. Write a blog! Write songs! Draw! Even if it’s only for 10 minutes every day, that dedicated time adds up. At the end of the week, you would have been creative for more than an hour.

Today, I want to talk about injecting creativity into our everyday tasks. This helps boost that 10 minutes a day into an all day lifestyle direction.

  1. Add little differences to your meals–  cooking is my biggest challenge! I personally do not love cooking, but understand it is essential to my living. While making breakfast, I often experiment with little changes. Little things such as a different way I cut my avocado to different arrangements on the plate make a huge difference! Not only does it visually looks different, I feel myself more aware of what I’m doing- breaking out of the mundane routine. I also enjoy that I get to be more aware of what kind of foods I like and don’t like.
  2. Go for a 10 minute walk everyday, but walk in a different direction every day. I enjoy exploring my neighbourhood! It gives me different visual input everyday.
  3. Don’t use your phone while you wait for things– whether at the grocery store, at the elevator, or on your break at work, I try not to use my phone as a distraction tool. Breathe in every minute! The break from digital media helps me discover my own thoughts.

With these small changes, I find that I participate in my life much more actively, which is a key component of feeling creative.

 


Review of “Music Lessons Teach Discipline and Dedication”

Hi Everyone,

Today I will reviewing the article “Music Lessons Teach Discipline and Dedication” by Top Ten Reviews. This article details why piano lessons may have a positive effect towards children’s views on discipline and dedication.

Dedication of Piano Practice

The article states that in order to improve at any skill, a person must commit to a regularly scheduled training session for a specific amount of time. In a child’s life, this is often not introduced until music lessons. The article notes that this practice, is what sets the blueprints to attitudes towards higher education and career when it comes to discipline. Along with discipline, comes the ability to focus on one task at a time, and learn delayed gratification.

A Personal Account

As someone who went through 16 years of piano lessons, I thoroughly resonate with these. While I also clearly remember the struggle of maintaining regular practice times, as well as discourse with my parents who enforced it, I also understand that it was that 1 hour practice everyday that led me to play the piano at an advanced level. If I practiced one hour every day, that means I practiced a total of 7 hours in a week. To reflect, I now realize that I am likely to improve at anything  I spend 7 hours a week doing. If I wanted to improve on my health, I know that spending 1 hour everyday working on my health would have long-term effect. If I wanted to improve on my speaking, I know that spending 1 hour everyday practicing speaking would help induce improvement.

This practice has leaked over to other areas of my life. In University, this ability helped break large tasks in manageable chunk. I found this to be way more effective than cramming the night before the due date. In my work, I know that all quality work requires time and attention.

The article does not speak about the benefits of lower stress due to discipline. By consistently work on improving and building projects, I experience less anxiety over procrastination, deadlines, and lack of progress.

While piano lessons are not the only way for a child to build discipline and focus, it certaintly is one of the more fun ones.

 

Take lessons with Eric here
Learn more about Eric’s piano lessons here.

 

 


Going Slow

Going slow is both the best tool a music student can have, and a student’s worst nightmare. Every student wants to play at lightning speed. Like the rest of us, little piano students want to get right into the fun and exciting parts, without having prepared correctly first. However, as the music gets progressively harder, they are quickly met with the frustration that their fingers can’t coordinate their rhythm and notes at their usual fast speed.

At this point, every teacher would suggest for their students to play slowly to adjust to all the difficult passages; just like how our driving instructor asked us to drive slowly when we first were learning. Or when our parents told us to slow down when we talk, because they can not understand what we are saying.

Slowing down allows the students to take in the information and examine the details of the music. By reducing their speed, they become more aware of what each finger is doing, therefore building a stronger understanding on how to execute the passage.

Here are 3 tips for parents to help piano students slow down!

       

    1.  Don’t equate slow with bad, and fast with good.  All music can sped up or slowed down for a variety of effects. Let the student know that playing fast can be great, but let them know that playing slow sounds great too. Don’t make playing fast the ultimate goal.
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    3.  Ask them to count out loud. Most students will have to adjust to being able to count out loud, and play at the same time. This is a terribly tricky skill but incredibly valuable. Once they can count out loud, and play at the same time, it means they have truly understood the rhythm of the passage we’re working on. Count with them!
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    5. Play along with them. Students (especially young students) can have a skewed sense of time (Don’t we all!). 30 seconds of playing can feel like 5 minutes to them. It is very common for the students to play at lightning speed and think that they played slower than usual. Play along with them in the low or high register to keep them on track. If you are not a piano player yourself, simply play a C in a steady beat with them to act as a metronome.

 
Take lessons with Eric here.