Give Up!

You don't need to try to be You

You and I both know the feeling of starting something new; whether it's something which will last ten minutes, ten days or go on to be ten years, the first moments of that journey are always the most daunting.  If we are unable to break through the initial noise created by the negative ego, we will probably be missing out on something very rewarding indeed.

I am here to tell you that what you believe is a wall of bricks in front of you is actually made of paper painted as bricks; it is an illusory difficulty.  You think you need to charge at it and smash it down with all your might, yet all you actually need to do is approach it, poke your finger through it and rip it open without much effort at all to reveal the magnificence of what is to come.

(Consider my new eBook: Water Pianism)

You hear much talk of pianism being difficult: "Playing the piano is not easy, it takes a lot of time and dedication".  And this is why it is difficult?  Because it requires dedication?  Dedication is part of the enjoyment of playing the piano; once dedication is relabelled as part of the fun, it no longer feels like effort; success becomes almost a by-product, a passive result rather than the actual goal.

I am also here to tell you that what may appear as a mountain of knowledge and technical skills to acquire is neither as steep as it seems, nor as difficult as others may tell you.  Consider: how does one climb a mountain?  It is certainly not straight up and over every rock and impasse - that would simply be impossible.  No, one follows a natural path as much as possible, climbing across the mountain and ascending little by little rather than vertically up it at speed; one camps along the way to regain energy and strength and enjoy the view.  And so, just as with climbing a mountain, pianism need not be a rapid vertical ascent but a casual journey with regular stop-off points, a natural path and enjoyment along the way.

Remember: the best traveller is never intent on arriving.

With this philosophy in mind, you may wonder how 'giving up', as the title states, is going to help you become the pianist you are naturally destined to become?  Giving up means abandoning, walking away or no longer trying, does it not?

It does not when dealing with the higher wisdoms.

There is a deeper message to this teaching and it is one that you would do well to apply to your journey through pianism.  I have used the phrase in other articles in passing and I have used it in my videos but here I shall expand upon it:

Steady Persistence

The first and foremost reason that newcomers to pianism 'give up' in the negative sense is because their ego's demands are not met; immediate results, understanding everything the first time, absolute dexterity, effortless sight-reading, perfect pitch, first-time exam passes, etc. and all that without any time to grow naturally and absorb knowledge and technique fully.

There surely is only one outcome and it ain't good!

Now consider Yourself, the newcomer who has taken the time to consider the content of my videos and articles, has perhaps read my Water Pianism Guide and is embarking on the great destinationless journey of pianism:  you take the time to acquire the absolute foundations and to develop your internal piano as you master the twelve major scales, you enjoy re-reading and re-playing particular concepts such as chord inversions or common progressions in all twelve keys so that you feel absolutely at ease everywhere on the piano, you spend 10-15 minutes every day doing the arm muscle and finger tendon exercises for strengthening and dexterity and you focus only on those technical skills required for the pieces you are working on instead of becoming a technical expert with no musicality at all.

By following the You method, playing the piano becomes effortless; you grow like a tree grows - effortlessly yet perfectly in harmony with itself - and flow like water flows - effortlessly yet perfectly in harmony with itself.

This is how you 'give up'; give up from the struggle of mastering something not necessary to your progress at this stage, from the excessive playing of things which you don't enjoy, from setting unattainable and unrealistic goals and then feeling frustrated, from stressing over hand and finger independence since you now understand how necessary it is and how much fun it can be from breaking down every component of pianism into its smallest possible component and working with that at your own pace...

Your journey through pianism need not be a stressful one.

Just give up, then grow and flow like trees and water.

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