Being prepared…

So last week I completely forgot to write a post!  There goes my system of numbering the weeks as they go by.  Never mind.

I wanted to talk a little bit about the things I’ve been learning since starting my new job, and how they translate into my musical life.

Being in a new role as I currently am, there are lots of questions, and I don’t particularly like asking questions as I don’t want to seem silly (although that’s possibly a lost cause) BUT, which is worse, asking and looking silly for a minute, or not asking, never quite being sure and looking very silly further down the line?

As you get comfortable with certain aspects of the job (for example, cashing up, using the till etc) there will be things that I’m not as comfortable with (say, handling refunds or exchanges).  But the quickest way to get past that nervousness is to do the things that make you a little edgy.  I was a little nervous the first few times I answered the phone at work as I wouldn’t know who it would be or what they’d need, or if I’d been given the training for what they require.  The only way I could get over that is to make sure that I answer the phone as much as I can so I get used to it – avoiding things won’t make them any easier, only getting used to them will.

On another note, I have a Recital coming up on March 12th, in St. Ann’s Church in Manchester – myself and the wonderful Elfair Dyer will be playing solos and duets from 7.30pm until around 9pm.  More information can be found here:

While practising and memorising music in preparation for this concert, the same principles apply – I have such limited time to practice that I have no time to waste by staying inside my comfort zone.  I have to go straight to the sections that aren’t quite up to scratch and work on those.  If I don’t feel like playing a piece through, I just tell myself that it must be because I’m worried it won’t be securely from memory – which would mean more work needs to be done (sounds pretty lazy doesn’t it?) but I have been playing it again anyway – just to make sure – and then once more for luck.  And you know what?  Pretty much all the notes are from memory and I still have a week to go.  I have one more day off work between now and the recital so it’ll be a case of squeezing in concentrated practice before and after work.  

Bring it on!

So it seems, in work, in music, (and maybe in life?) the only way to get comfortable with things that we are nervous about is to just do them anyway.  Mistakes are good because they show what needs work, and that’s how we learn and improve.