04 Feb Get Your Mindset Right To Learn Piano
Hey everyone! As I mentioned in my YouTube Live video last week, one of my resolutions for 2018 is push out more content for you guys – full song lessons, tips and tricks, fun facts, motivations, and more. Well, my mom taught me to always be a man of my word, so here you go! Click the video below to learn Get Your Mindset Right To Learn Piano. I hope you enjoy!
You know what? I’ve been really stewing and pondering the last few months comparing students in my pianoinaflash.com online method who really shine and are making great progress against students who are struggling more and moving a lot more slowly. I’ve identified something that has bubbled to the surface that really seems to separate some students versus others.. I’ll share it with you in this quick video …
Hi gang… We are always trying to refine and keep improving the results we see in our online method at pianoinaflash.com. It’s really kind of a fun “living laboratory” as we keep getting more and more great data and feedback as more and more students work their way through the 6 Courses in the full Method.
The GREAT thing about it is that we can then make continuous, incremental improvements to the method by adding more, or revised, lessons and exercises, and we can add more supplementary resources where needed to give students a little boost in areas that we see need some improvement.
However, when looking at all that I kept feeling that, beyond the actual nuts and bolts of what i was teaching, there was something else that was seemingly causing some student to just sail through the method while others kind of went through kicking and screaming a bit 🙂
It had nothing to do with skill or previous experience because some were not asking a single question, and others were asking me about everything under the sun. And there also did to seem to be a correlation between those that had taken lessons previously and those starting from scratch with our Method.
After really pondering the interactions, questions, feedback, etc I think i have finally put my finger on the pulse of the situation, and the reality is that it comes down to the mindset of the student coming into the program.
I’m now going to delve into that further and share with you the mindset of the students really succeeding the most and the fastest…
I think this may help kind of visualize the process, at least as I see and perceive it:
When you start you come in with some mindset, or maybe you can call it a pre-conceived idea if that works better for you, of whatever it is you are trying to tackle – in this case learning to have some fun playing piano- right?
Then you bring that mindset into the game with you and start taking some action to achieve the goal – in this case you enroll and start working through the Method and take my instruction
Then after some effort you will achieve some results – good or bad— but results nonetheless… Some result will come out of this process … OK then…
What I am finding out is this mindset at the beginning is turning out to be, i think, very consequential to the end results my students are experiencing.
So let me list a few potential mindsets that I have found pretty well cover the vast majority of what I think my students are feeling coming to this Method as a newly enrolled student. Most everyone falls into one of the mental baskets I think:
“This online method obviously works for some people but it probably won’t work for me. I don’t think I am (insert smart enough, talented enough, young enough etc) to do this but I’ll cross my fingers and give it a whirl.”
– So maybe we call that the “non-confidents”. They don’t discount the veracity of my Course, they just don’t think they have what it takes.
“I’ve tried to play piano previously to no avail. I’ll hope Scott can work a miracle and teach me this time … This is my last chance …”
– I kind of think of this mind-set as the “wing and a prayer” group. Like “one more chance and this is it – it’s all or nothing now.”
“This is all hogwash – my Mom/Wife/Spouse/etc. is a classical piano teacher and I know better you charlatan. Just to prove wrong you are I’m going to enroll then send it all back in! (However, I sure would like to sound like the way you play and not need to rely so much on reading music …)”
– This group is who we refer to as the “know alls,” who if they “really” knew it all would have been exposed to this completely legit, yet very different style of playing previous to coming across my method. I’ve said it a million times in public… I didn’t “invent” any whiz bang new way to play. Non-classical professional piano players have been playing like this for 100 years … I just decided to bring this style to the masses with my TV show and online lessons rather than keep it under wraps.
– So as bothered as these folks get by what I seem to represent (which always makes me chuckle that someone could get so up in arms over trying to teach piano -sheesh!), this small crowd are too intrigued not to try, but they are clearly getting in feet first rather than head first and are ready to shout “off with his head” at the first moment possible.
(Actually the great back-story to this group is that inevitable, after a slow start of getting over total disbelief, they usually end up being some of our very best students. Ha!)
Well, those are all the mindsets associated with having a tougher road to hoe as you work through the method. It doesn’t mean you won’t succeed because I have many students that do succeed that share those thoughts with me at some point. It’s just not as smooth and efficient a journey … There are seemingly a lot more potholes and detours along the route that are caused solely by fighting mental roadblocks and not having anything to do with the physical reality of learning to play piano.
So instead of those mindsets, what is the mindset that I am finding students have who are having the easiest, fastest, and most fun time using my program? Well it’s something along these lines …
“Knowing Scott has taught this way non-stop on public TV, in multiple books and videos and now in this online Method for 20+ years, even if I have never heard about this style of playing before and am clueless about it, it can’t be some hocus-pocus BS or he’d have been tarred and feathered long before now.
And after learning about the whole program, and seeing the tons of testimonials from actual students, I totally trust that Scott knows what he is talking about and how to teach piano this way.
I may not be the smartest or most experienced or most talented, but by golly what I KNOW is that I am coachable. I am ready to take instruction.”
“I don’t think it will take a miracle, nor do I think Scott has a magic wand… I am confident that if I simply go through the program listening and watching the lessons and using the books, and actually take action and apply myself by spending some seat time at the piano, that I can join the thousands of people Scott has taught in the past and can get to a point of having fun playing. It will bring me immeasurable joy and pride to know I did this…”
I think that’s the critical point – not coming in *pushing back* against the process !!!
An analogy is probably anyone who has trained for a half-marathon or something where you know there are thousands of other people doing it, or have done it in the past. Some a lot more athletic, some a lot less, but you know darn well that if you just go through the effort of getting the miles in with smaller runs for 10-12 weeks, you’ll have what it takes to run the darn thing in the end. It’s no mystery or miracle. You’ll have some rough days where you feel terrible, and you’ll have some where you feel better, but if you just follow the program, in the end you’ll achieve your goal.
Well that’s the mindset that our most successful students have.
They don’t constantly wait for any small difficulty to mentally trip their “See -I knew it wouldn’t work!” switch … They have the calmness and confidence to just take the instruction as I give it, without constantly judging themselves harshly; and they ARE asking questions when needed without obsessing over perfection; and just letting their brain and hands slowly absorb this cool new stuff they are feeding themselves knowing it will not happen overnight, but it will also not take years. They relish in the fact they are finally chipping away at something they’ve wanted to do, for most people, their entire lives. In short – they are having fun and enjoying the process – and remaining receptive to the new bite-size chunks I keep dosing out throughout the Courses.
It’s really the beauty of the way I designed the pedagogy of this and the capability we have due to this being available 24/7 as opposed to going for big “blasts” every 7 days in a private lesson.
It is the ultimate real world example of the old adage of “How do you eat an elephant? One small bite at a time …”
So if you are pondering enrolling, or even if you are a current student just starting out and one of those kind of negative mindsets I described kind of poked you in the ribs … Try to get your mindset more squared away with simply being open to taking instruction without pre-conceived judgement, and having faith in the process.
This has worked for, literally, thousands upon thousands of people before you. Assuming you are willing to trust the process and take consistent small, easily digestible bites of instruction there is not a reason in the world it won’t work for you too …
As always – have FUN playing piano … Thanks for your time.