If at all possible – Do it right the first time

Here we are in spring already, glorious spring! I love the new green in the landscapes and the flowers popping up everywhere, and by far, the warmer weather upon us! One thing I don’t look forward to quite as much, but am usually happy to do, is a tiny bit of spring cleaning! I know! Color me a little crazy, but mostly it’s the finished product I’m after, the clean, dust free windows, the clean bathroom, or the organized closet I’ve been throwing things into all winter with procrastination of “organization for another undefined future time” all over me.

Well, I found a bit of mildew in my shower, which was disappointing at best, and naturally had to be addressed. I knew there are products out there that will help with this dilemma, so I picked one up and took it right into the traitorous spot and sprayed like crazy. Then I started wiping like a mad person to remove this mildew, and nothing happened. I was annoyed, obviously. I expected a result that I was clearly NOT achieving. So, what did I do? Well, in the moment of frustration, I started complaining about this product and its lack of effectiveness and most importantly the false advertising right on the front of the bottle (for mildew) to my husband, who said, ‘that’s odd, what did the instructions say?” Yes, you are right, I stared at him blankly. There are INSTRUCTIONS on cleaning products? Honestly, I have raised an entire family and admittedly have never read, or worse yet, thought to read, cleaning INSTRUCTIONS. This interesting fact had merely not occurred to me at all! And therefore, I had not READ the instructions. (Chagrinned) And there I was, at a crossroads. I went ahead and I put on my reading glasses and read the instructions on the back of the spray bottle and you’ll never guess what they said. The instructions said ‘spray on mildewed area and let sit for 30 minutes before wiping’. Yes, I’m embarrassed, and humble, however I tried this product again, following these useful instructions. Well, after the 30 minutes, the mildew wiped off immediately. Success! Essentially, I had made double the work for myself, by not reading the instructions to begin with. Ahem.

Why am I sharing this riveting tale with you? Here’s the awful truth of it. I started learning to play Canon in D, by Johann Pachelbel over a year ago. It has been a challenging piece for me, the new piano student, to say the least. I honestly never imagined I’d actually learn all of the notes, let alone be able to play them. When I got this piece, I had not then learned as much as I know now (which to be honest, is still very elementary) about rhythm or notes, or learning this new skill of playing the piano, or anything really yet, and because of my limited knowledge, I forged onward in learning to ‘play’ this beautiful piece with my current knowledge and my unwavering resolve for this new challenge (and plowing thru this piece!).

Truth is, I had missed some very important information by far, but I had not yet realized this. I could tell it did not sound ‘right’ but I was getting to all of the notes, which was some kind of a victory, or so I had thought. I would then sometimes kid myself and think that because I have heard this piece many times before the ‘rhythm’ would automatically fix itself. I’m here to tell you, that is NOT going to happen! It’s just not. What I’ve learned and can’t wait to share with you, is that if you are also doing this fun little technique called ‘it’s going to work itself out because I know this piece’ I want to save you so much of your very precious time!

As we are taught again and again, about taking things slowly, this is yet another emphasis on why this is so critical. If you are currently working on a piece that you are anxious to play well, and you are finding yourself in a position where it doesn’t sound quite right, slow down. (And I really mean slow down, and separate the goal into tiny pieces!) Take the piece one measure at a time. Confirm with yourself, your learning tools, your teacher, the internet, or whatever you need to do, to make sure you are on the right track from the beginning. And most importantly if your notes are not being played as rhythmically as you know they should, STOP. Find out more information about the notes, their specific note values, review the rhythm of the piece and start building on your own piano playing success by perfecting each measure ONE at a time. You are going to have so much more efficient results, I promise you! And at the end of the day, you are going to be much happier with each measure of progress, (pun intended!) as you move forward with your piece.

I can’t even know how much time I had wasted by not doing these things the first time I was learning the piece. And *sigh* There is loads of information out there, about how once you learn a piece the first time (incorrectly as it was) that says, and I firmly believe, it will take you many, many more tries and practice and much repetition to ‘re-map’ your fingers and your brain to play the piece correctly. Effectively much more than double the work. I’m here to help remind you that, if at all possible, you can save yourself buckets of time, by learning it right the first time.


Become an even better piano player than you already are. As a member of The Casual to Confident Piano Player be prepared to be inspired, get a TON of encouragement from me, expert Pianist Ashlee Young, the community, AND learn a lot about EVERY aspect of playing and practicing the piano. After just a few classes, you will really start to see an improvement in your piano practice! As a Piano Masterclass Member you get exclusive access to a private Facebook community for inspiration, feedback, and tips, weekly live sessions, personal feedback sessions once a month (via email), and live monthly sessions together.

Learn more and join The Casual to Confident Piano Player Membership: https://www.ashleejyoung.com/pianomember

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