Friday, October 5, 2012

What Comes Naturally

Don't you think that there are some people who are just meant to play music and others who aren't?

What do you mean?

You know, like there are people who pick up an instrument and before you know it, they're playing it. Other people work at it for years and never seem to get it. Some people sing like birds and others can't carry a tune in a bucket.

So you're saying that the people who get it quickly are meant to do it and the others are not?

Well yeah, I mean, it sure seems that way, right?

I agree that different things seem to come more quickly to different people, but...

But, what?

I don't know that it says anything about their potential to do the things that don't come quickly.

Like, if they kept going, they could do just as well as someone who got it quickly?

Yeah, something like that.

But, it seems that there are things that come naturally and things that don't. Shouldn't we go after the natural things? I mean, it'd be going against nature to try to do something else, right?

I don't... um... hmm... You drive a car don't you?

Sure, every day.

And when you drive, are you constantly thinking about where the gas and brake pedals are, where the gear shift is, and how to coordinate them.

No, of course not.

So driving feels pretty natural to you, even intuitive? Your body knows what to do so well that you can talk on the phone or listen to the radio?

Yeah, sure. What's your point?

Was it that way the first time you drove?

You mean, like the very first time?

Yeah, the very first time.

Well, um, no. My dad took me driving and we had to stop every five minutes so that he could get out of the car and smoke a cigarette to calm his nerves. Thank god he smoked, otherwise he might of killed me.

So driving didn't come right away? It took some time?

Yeah, sure.

And now it feels natural?

Yeah, so...  Ooooh, I get it. Just because it doesn't come naturally doesn't mean it can't become natural?

Yup, something like that.

So you're saying that, even though I've never been able to play trumpet, if I stuck with it, I could become as good as if it came right away?

Yeah, something like that.

But what about all the people who have stuck with it and it never got natural?

Bad training.


Bad training. It's not their fault. Well, only partially their fault. A good teacher is one who can help you transform something that feels foreign into something that feels natural. It's your job to find the right one and then really do what she says.

OK, so then what about some things coming naturally and some things not? What does that mean?

Whatever you want it to mean.

You mean, I can make it mean anything I want it to?

Yup, like pretty much everything else.


Happy Friday,

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