26 January 2013

A Journey Out of My Comfort Zone - Day 3

I didn't think that trying to get out of my comfort zone will provoke emotions covering the whole spectrum. I was prepared to feel challenged. I knew I would face difficulties but that utter joy, the one that makes my eyes shine and my heart flutter and throb as fast as it can... that was a surprise.

When the time comes for piano playing I feel like a shy little girl, my hands start to shake and I can hear the pounding of my heart. And then the piano starts. It is a patient teacher and never gets angry but I am not sure how positive that is to me, because then I take the responsibility and start scolding myself for every mistake.

A passer-by would never think I am on a journey out of my comfort zone. What they would see is the smile on my face. I haven't looked at myself in the mirror but I know my cheeks get bright pink with excitement. And my eyes are shining. I feel so refreshed. My mind is busy with something completely unusual, an act of connecting to myself through music. My fingers, just like with knitting, are the connection between my soul and reality, between the inner and the outer.

The chords are coming out from beneath my fingers, one by one, different each time, insecure, too loud, too long, just like the stitches of wool in the beginning of my knitting journey. In fact I sometimes forget the original melody, this is how much I butcher it while trying to keep with it.

It is a rare occurrence in my life but for once I love the imperfection, it makes me feel more alive and forgiving. It is a sign that I am growing. Because as long as you have something to learn you are on the right track. 
I am trying to learn the basics. In fact, I think I am before the basics. And I am thankful to all of you who told me that an instructor is vital. I know you are right. But I also feel so challenged to fight this on my own. For as long as I can. Then I can move on to an instructor. Maybe one like Benjamin Zander.

Today, my husband sent this video to me. I love the gentle way in which he manages to feed my experimenting spirit and to expand my point of view.
"Arguably the most accessible communicator about classical music since Leonard Bernstein, Zander moves audiences with his unbridled passion and enthusiasm." Sue Fox, London Sunday Times
On this deliberate journey out of my comfort zone my eyes are shining. Get to the end of the video and you will know exactly what I mean.

Now tell me, what makes your eyes shine?

Follow the rest of my journey:
Day 1
Day 2
Day 4
Day 5 


  1. I took violin lessons in elementary school at age 11 and piano through someone my mom knew through church at 12. I gave them both up after 6 months. It was obvious I had no musical talent. I have also discovered in my adult years that I am almost - but not quite - tone deaf. However this does not stop me from singing silly tunes I make up about the weather, my dog and the people around me whenever I'm in a good mood. One of my New Year's resolutions was to try more new diy projects - so that's what I've been doing. The one big thing though that I've wanted to do, but haven't done yet, is make candles. But it will happen soon! Good luck with your pursuits!

    1. Thank you, Rebecca. I know you will achieve your goal, making candles is also on my to-learn list, after making soap...

      Talking about "tone deaf", you should see the video above. Benjamin Zander claims that nobody is tone deaf and gives great examples to prove it!

  2. This was beautifully said. It's great to hear that you're coming along and not getting frustrated by the little mistakes. Especially with piano there's bound to be so many. Talking about what makes my eyes shine when stepping out of my own comfort zone, is that I was recently reminded how stepping out can help other people as well as myself when I was asked to play the organ for my church because our old organist moved.

    Kind of intimidating because I didn't know how to play the feet pedals, and I had to play in front of a lot people less than 2 weeks after I started learning it (and I don't get to practice very much), it's been really weird to play with...feet (ps it is such a butt workout)...it's been a fun opportunity to mess up a lot (the other week I nearly blew the congregation out of their seats by accidentally pressing the crescendo pedal) but knowing that they don't care because it's better than no organist, and knowing that I'm helping my friends through music, makes all that practice and minor embarrassment worthwhile.

    1. Rachel, what a beautiful example! I think the moment we leave our ego behind is when we allow ourselves to make mistakes and to grow, thus opening invisible doors to us and the people around us. Ah, the magic of sharing. Thank you!