We’ve Got This!

Sure, I’m a little bit older than lots of people, but I am honestly not THAT OLD! Why is it then, that to me, kids these days seem to be born already knowing how to use a computer keyboard (or TYPE as we used to call this) like a pro! Not only that, from my perch the younger generations seem to me to be instantaneously a whiz with a cell phone! And worse yet, the CAMERA function ON the cell phone! When I see a young child with a cell phone, it appears as if they grew up teething (probably even using a teething APP to do so!) as a toddler! I’m completely flabbergasted! I remember having to take the time to learn some of these really important life skills in a slow, laborious, painful, and methodical fashion. I remember taking more than one semester in high school for the required classes in typing for instance, which you would then only be able to accel with by employing constant and continual repetition and practice! Boy have times changed! Are younger people smarter? Or is this how evolution starts! We see it first with our kids’ ability to intuitively find their way around a cell phone or a laptop or better yet, the TV remote control and the 200 other ways to watch TV rather than just turning it on and staring. One thing is for certain and that is that our youth are absolutely capable, but I’m here to assert that so are we!

I’ve heard that our brains are much more spongy and absorbent, and retain information better when we are young. Truthfully, I feel like I am living proof that this is probably the correct theory! I believe as young children we would be able to pick up many things, particularly those requiring physical dexterity, with more seeming ‘ease’ than after we are a bit older. Maybe the real point here is that although it appears to me that though our youth are able to absorb more quickly, we are still capable of absorbing information! And I want to share a fun success I had this week with you. I was working on a very simple piece of music that is included in my adult piano lesson book. There was a simple song, using the chords from the lesson in both the right hand and the left hand. In one measure, the notes, while simply laid out, seemed to throw my hands off as if I was trying to play something way outside of my ability. I was frustrated. I was angry. I stuck with it, because I knew I could do it.

Sadly, but humbly, I am here to admit that I worked on this ONE MEASURE for three days in a row. Shaking my head, no, I’m not joking. That’s how long I worked on this one measure and then the strangest thing happened. I had to be away from my piano for the weekend and did not get any practicing in for three days. And the very next time I sat down to practice, I went through some of my warms ups and repeated some of the chords I have been working on, and then I slowly, went through the entire piece, you know, the one that had thrown me for a loop for three days in a row, and I’m jazzed and at the same time shocked to tell you that somehow, during the three days of NOT practicing, my brain seemed to process at a more comfortable pace, the information I was hammering into it for three practice sessions, and I was able to magically play right through this tricky measure that had given me so much grief without any incident at all! I said out loud, ‘WOW’! Honestly, it was as if someone else was making my fingers work all on their own! Fast forward to last night and in our group online class, I learned that our brains take 24-48 hours to carve the neuro pathway or ‘mental groove’ in our brain that translates to our fingers!

I was stoked to hear this because that’s exactly what happened to me! I know one measure may not seem like a huge success but for me, that was enough to keep my motivation strong. My less the youthful spongy brain is still capable of absorbing new information, and I can’t wait to see what else I can absorb! Yours is too! Sure, the younger kids may be whirling drones around our skies, texting one another with impeccable speed and accuracy, all while creating impressive and world-changing new technologies with their enviable youthful capabilities, but we still have many capabilities, and I’m here to tell you, we’ve GOT THIS!


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