Dee's Blog
Tue 10/14/2008
Patience Wanted, Not Perfection
Topic: Making Changes

Some people, including many of my students, believe that patience and passivity go hand in hand.  They do not know the difference.  This goes for some of the parents of students, as well.

Problem is that they want me to be patient when they are passive.  Or pretending.  Both of the latter P words refer to another P word.  Spelled with a big P.  You guessed it--Practice!

What makes a good teacher is the same that thing makes a good student.  That leads to a 5th P word.  Persistence.

Whether we are dealing with systems or working on ourselves, a sixth P word needs to be eliminated.  That would be Perfection.

Occasionally, we'll get things perfect.  Problem with piano, like a lot of things in life, is that what one person sees as perfect, the next will only see as Progress.   Sometimes my students come in thinking they've gotten something perfect, only to find out that I see their "accomplishment" as Pitiful!  Depending on my mood that day, I may not be as patient as they would like when that occurs.  On my good days, I'll resort to just being persistent and give them a good lecture on the importance of paying closer attention to the details they are supposed to consider important already.  That is, if they want to make music rather than just a bunch of strident noise.

Practice does NOT make perfect--at least not usually.  It does make Progress in all of us.  Keeping this in mind is essential, as we patiently approach our own personal struggles, system challenges, or with individuals who can drive us insane. 

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 1:59 PM CDT

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