September 19

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Looking Too Closely

You know those books for beginning readers? Like, for four-year-olds?

The stories go something like this.

Mat had a bag.

Meg had a bag.

Mat and Meg had a bag.

Meg sat on the bag.

Mat was sad.

Here's the funny thing about those books. I will read them with my kids, helping them through the pronunciation. And then, at the end of the book come the questions to test your understanding of the story.

And I won't be able to answer a single one of them.

Why?

Because I was so focused on the pronunciation of the words, I neglected to pay attention to the story itself.

Fascinating, right?

The same thing happens with music. And a lot of projects we work on. We get so involved in the details that we forget to pan out and look at the work as a whole.

Don't get me wrong, though. That first step is necessary. You have to learn spelling and pronunciation before you can understand. And you need to walk before you can run.

But, if you don't take some time to step back and look at the bigger picture, then you'll always be left with unanswered questions.

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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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