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Piano Lessons and Weight Loss

Friday, October 25, 2013


The summer after I retired from teaching at a local high school, I began to take piano lessons again. I had taken piano lessons for a period during middle school, and then during a summer or two in my early 20s before my children were born. I played well enough to play for a church service occasionally. As I began to think about what I wanted to do in retirement, I knew that I wanted to expand my skills in this area so made arrangements to take lessons with a local piano teacher. It has now been four years. I have progressed from Book 2 to Book 6 in the series that I am in; this is from late beginner/early intermediate to advanced. I am by no means done - there is lots of music out there that I wish to explore!

I was thinking the other day about how my progress with my lessons is similar to my Sparkpeople health journey.

*I enjoy playing a piece well. Depending on the piece of music, I may have to practice a lot, or my sight reading skills are good enough that I may just need to run through the piece a couple of times. ~ I also enjoy having a "good" week on my Spark journey. I may have to watch really carefully my nutrition or my fitness minutes, or it may be a week where everything is second nature to me. I need to take this in stride and make the necessary adjustments. If I struggle with either the music or with my Spark journey, I have found that additional time spent will make a difference, and for my personality it usually needs to be in small increments. Practicing one page of a piece of music at a time and mastering it, or planning meals for just one day rather than a week, or walking an hour but doing it in 10 or 15 minute segments works very well for me.

*I can do everything "right" and not be successful in the moment. I can practice my music daily and still not play a piece perfectly at my lesson. I can track religiously and get all my wanted fitness minutes in and still not see a loss at the scale at a weigh-in. It does all come out okay in the end, though. That imperfection in my piano skills at th*at moment in time might not be apparent to anyone else but my teacher and me; that weigh-in may just be a fluke. And how many days do the scales show a great loss the next day after a weigh-in day? LOL

*Sometimes I can "get by" with minimal effort. My teacher comments almost every lesson about what a good sight reader I am, so sometimes I can practice minimally on a piece and it will be good at my next week's lesson anyway. I also have some "stand by" meals that I have found will help sometimes before a weigh-in.

*Sometimes I will have to put in more effort to get the results that I want. Prior to the past year of lessons, playing a piece with more than two sharps in the key signature was really hard for me. I am a "flat kind of gal" as far as music is concerned. However, in the past year I have become more more proficient with key signatures involving sharps. This is because of increased effort on my part. As far as my Spark journey, I am decently good at losing at the scale most of the time, but if I want to be stronger as well, I need to put in more effort and do strength training, etc, at it will take time.

I started my piano lessons a year before I began my Spark journey but I have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy both so much.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    It makes me smile that you've found something that touches your heart & brings you pleasure! We all need these things that bring us JOY! Retirement is "me" time to enJOY the things we love! I am happy for you!

    By the way, I'm returning that sewing machine I purchased (the Brother) & I'm gonna purchase a Baby Lock today from the quilt store. I do want to continue quilting so I'm gonna make the investment in a better machine. I hope you continue to make quilting part of your retirement enJOYment, also! It's nice to be "sisters in quilting"! Now that makes me smile!!!

    emoticon Rose
    1091 days ago
    Well said. I am glad to see you grow on a daily basis ! TC
    1093 days ago
    I love that you keep challenging yourself!
    1095 days ago
    I love that you are doing so many things you enjoy and good or your soul. emoticon
    1095 days ago
  • JEN169
    Great blog!!! How wonderful that you are taking piano lessons!!! It gives me hope that someday I may resume my piano lessons!
    1095 days ago
    What a great comparison!! Thank you for sharing!!
    1095 days ago
    This is a beautiful blog!!! It describes so well the problem I have with some weeks being smooth and others so rocky with nothing going right!!! I appreciated your insights as well as your enthusiasm with your playing, also. It's so wonderful to have a special skill and I hope you have a successful journey with it as well as on your journey with SP!!!! emoticon
    1095 days ago
  • RICKI157
    Awesome Blog!!!!! Great Comparisons!!!!! Enjoy Your Piano Lessons and Sparking!!!!!
    1095 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/25/2013 11:47:28 PM
    emoticon Tammy...

    Playing the piano is always something I would have loved to do.My Dad could play and sadly he did not teach any of us 4 older kids any of his skills...he waited till my baby brother ( 15 yrs younger than me ) came along....LOL

    Thing was...we had no money for lessons etc... with 7 kids and my Dad the sole bread winner...But by the time my youngest brother came along...My dad got him into music lessons...and he became quite an accomplished electric guitar player & singer.

    I AM PROUD of my younger brother & his band days...

    I AM PROUD of you! emoticon
    1095 days ago
    Tammy in Missouri,I had no clue you are blogging. I see your little emoticon and thought you were still very busy lady.

    Now I know you are a busy blogging lady who plays the piano. I was a sight reader in fact I took music theory and I could write lttle melodies. We were getting prepared for a very big test so the instructor asked what instrument we will be playing. I told her that I had been doing piano as a child in someone eles's house so I have no instrument. She said you have a voice-use it.
    As soon as that day concluded I dropped the class. I had three broken teeth knocked out when I was 9 and it looked ridiculous on a 15 years old girl.
    I am so glad I found your blog HUGS Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon
    1096 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.