April 2, 2017

How to learn – Turning our weaknesses into strengths

My family is almost entirely musicians and we can attribute this to my grandfather who, unfortunately, died about two months before I was born.  However, he left quite the legacy as he was both an incredible performer and gifted teacher.  His teaching techniques were woven into my upbringing and I want to share one with you now.


I began playing the piano at age 3.  As you can imagine, I made a lot of mistakes while sitting at the keyboard, but I was always able to correct them quickly because the first thing I learned after “middle c” and hand position was what my grandfather called “setting the fracture”.  Let me give you an example:


A piece of music is made up of notes of varying durations.  As I would play through one, I would make a mistake so I’d go back and try again.  If I made the same mistake, I then isolated the two or three problematic notes and played them over and over and over again until they were perfect.  After all, they’re only a few notes – a few small mechanical movements that I simply wasn’t used to.  Needless to say, that doesn’t take much time so then I’d add one note on either side.  Once that was perfect, I’d add one more on either side, and then rather quickly that portion of the piece was one of the strongest segments.  This is how I’d set the fracture.


This is how we can all create quick, powerful, lasting change and turn our weaknesses into our strengths:  Break down a problem to its most basic pieces and fix those tiny little issues that, when taken are their own, are so easy to fix. Then, slowly work outward to fill in the bigger picture.


The same is true for meeting women.  Each exercise is simple and designed to set a different fracture, as we set one we then widen the scope a little bit and set another, and another and another until it’s as simple and effortless as anything else in your life.