August 14

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All Aspects of the Game

Remember the movie Happy Gilmore? The one with Adam Sandler?

This inappropriate-for-children movie from the '90's has an interesting lesson embedded inside.

If you recall, Happy Gilmore needs to save his mom's house from foreclosure. By coincidence, he discovers that he has a freakish golf swing. And so, he sets off to win enough money to save his mom's house.

But, most of his troubles revolve around one problem. He ignores his trainer's advice about taking some time to learn to putt before going on the pro tour.

And so, game after game, he is the first to get his ball to the green. But because his putting is so weak, he loses every time.

It's only when he goes back and learns to putt that he is able to defeat the antagonist pro golfer of the movie.

In our excitement, or our need to move forward, it's easy to forget there are many aspects to any game. Or to learning anything.

You could have the most polished piano performances. But if your sightreading is weak, it will take you months to learn every piece.

You could have an amazing ear and be able to figure things out on the piano quickly. But if you don't understand music theory or how chords work, you'll never be able to read charts in a band.

Your technique could be out of this world. But if you can't produce different dynamics and colors at the piano, then the music will be boring. Flashy, but boring.

We all have aspects we can improve on. But the first step is to acknowledge they exist in the first place.

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About Jonathan Roberts

I am the founder and director of the South Shore Piano School, and I have been teaching the piano for nearly 20 years. My work centers around bringing music to the lives of kids, parents, and adults in an enriching, meaningful way. At the South Shore Piano School, my incredible colleagues and I accomplish this through skill-based teaching, community, and an innovative, people-first business model. You can read more about me here.


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