Archives for posts with tag: Reading

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Day 1

Following my previous post about improving productivity and happiness through positive thinking. I start today’s post with my first day of documenting one positive thing about my day.
As I start to write this, I realise that looking back over my day, I never usually look for the good, and it feels almost unnatural to try and sieve through the days events through a positive lens. I don’t know about you but my usual thoughts (especially on a Monday) would go go something like this; I forgot to start this, I need to remember to do that, I didn’t have time to do this etc. It does start to make you feel as though you had a very unproductive day, when in fact if I acknowledged all the good things in my day I actually have done pretty well!

– Taken on new tasks in placement
– Had a lovely conversation with the guy that served me coffee
– My first shift alone as a supervisor at my part time job – everything went according to plan! Woo

I know it seems very obvious that we should look for the positives in our lives and therefore will make us happier.  But this is not our default setting. We are trained to search for better, what could we improve, what did we do wrong. I am aware that it is good to challenge yourself with new things however taking time to appreciate what you have done, and acknowledge your successes, really does make all the difference.

So as for Day 1 – my positive thing from my day would be; A successful first shift alone as supervisor in my new job. 

What was the positive thing in your day?

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I am now a week into reading Alan Rusbridger’s diary ‘Play it Again’, a year where he tries to learn Chopin’s first Ballad on the piano. See my previous posts.

I must say, I’m really enjoying it! It’s so refreshing to hear the words of a true amateur explaining the frustrations of playing. How he has never been able to memorise a single note in his life (I suffer the same problem), how he has always played piano the way he wants to – by reading or playing the notes he feels is best, skipping the slightly harder parts, and blurring them in the background of heavily based chord melodies.

It has given me a kick up the arse to try and learn a semi professional piano piece properly – note by note. Well not professional, but classical let’s say. I’ve always LOVED listening to ‘Claire de Lune’ by Debussy .

So I thought I would give it a try. I’ve counted the piece and put in the fingering and now am playing it very slowly! It’s getting there though. I can play the first two pages.
I’ve had a rush of the old feeling when I was around 6 years old, learning for the first time. How it would take so much concentration and energy to do simple notes. After doing twenty minutes I feel physically exhausted. Although these feelings have come rushing back as I’m not used to staring at the music and not knowing where to begin. It does feel exciting that i’m learning new things, and I shouldn’t be complacent in what I’ve learnt. ‘You can always improve and get better’.

When it’s complete i’ll be sure to post a video of the finished piece.

Wow that was a long Monday! After completing a day at my placement I had a shift at my part time job. I guess that’s the downside of being a student. I’ve managed to have a quick something to eat before I now stumble to my bed.

Tired puppy, Monday, Music, Reading

(It’s just too cute not to put into a post!)

I am going to start my new book tonight ‘Play it again’ by Alan Rusbridger (the editor of the Guardian). He set himself the impossible task to learn Chopin’s Ballade No.1 in the space of a year. This particular piano piece is famously known for being one of the most technically challenging.

The book is mainly about (as I’ve read) how Rusbridger uses music to help him get through a year that witnesses the Japanese tsunami, the English riots, and the Guardian’s breaking of both WikiLeaks and the News of the World hacking scandal.

I always find it so interested reading and listening to how people use music in their lives. As a keen pianist, I often use it as a way of zoning out the day and just allowing the music to blur out the events of the day.
That was always my goal. I never had just the sole aim of obtaining ‘x’ grade in piano. My ambition was just to be able to play – what I wanted. I’ve done that. After many painstaking years as a kid where it felt I would never move onto anything harder than ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’. I can now say that it is a complete pleasure.

How was your Monday? Anything new / exciting happen?