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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.


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
ROSEWCI 10/30/2013 5:59AM

    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

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GRLTAZ 10/28/2013 12:10PM

    Well said. I am glad to see you grow on a daily basis ! TC

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ILOVEMALI 10/26/2013 3:52PM

    I love that you keep challenging yourself!

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PJSTIME 10/26/2013 2:53PM

    I love that you are doing so many things you enjoy and good or your soul. emoticon

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JEN169 10/26/2013 12:12PM

    Great blog!!! How wonderful that you are taking piano lessons!!! It gives me hope that someday I may resume my piano lessons!

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WIZKEY 10/26/2013 1:25AM

    What a great comparison!! Thank you for sharing!!

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MISSLORI5 10/25/2013 11:58PM

    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

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RICKI157 10/25/2013 11:46PM

    Awesome Blog!!!!! Great Comparisons!!!!! Enjoy Your Piano Lessons and Sparking!!!!!

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

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HOLDINGMYOWN 10/25/2013 10:57PM

    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

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NORASPAT 10/25/2013 8:40PM

    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

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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.