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.