One of the most inspirational people in my life is my piano teacher. He made me realize that art is not just about the practice, but also about the mentality that comes with it. Before I came to him, my mind was clogged with self-doubt and self-depreciation. Every piano practice and lesson consisted of me telling myself that I couldn’t do it and that I wasn’t good. People around me told me that I was so talented, but when I watched other players and lost competitions, my self-esteem lowered more and more until I wanted to quit. I put my focus in other arts and neglected my piano.
My piano teacher was a breath of fresh air for finding renewed appreciation for classical piano. Most recently, we have been spending our lessons discussing the law of attraction and how it relates to piano, and even better, life.
But what is the law of attraction?
According to my teacher, there is a vibration that radiates from your inner being and translates into the future. To put it simply, if you tell yourself that you can’t do it, then you’ll never be able to do it. Inversely, if you tell yourself you can or at least that you have the potential to achieve, then you’ll get there eventually because you eliminated any mental resistance to your goal.
This is where things get slightly complicated. I’m sure you’ve heard of people telling you to live in the now or at least live in the present. What if I told you that there’s a deeper take on that statement? Let’s relabel the present to be “now” and introduce a new idea called “Now”. The concept of Now is that there are vibrations linking you to the past, present, and future and that if you formulate your desire Now, the universe will immediately create your end goal in the future and it’s up to how strong your vibration is to determine how you’ll get there.
Do you want me to stretch your mind a bit more? The universe creates so many different paths to your end goal that it almost creates different realities. Let me connect it to music in the way that my piano teacher taught me to think about it. When you’re playing a piece, don’t think about the next note you have to hit or the right way to drop your hand or the fingering you’re going to use for the passage. Instead, put yourself in a different reality where you’ve played this piece before and you know it by heart and you’re satisfied. That is when the music will flow and it will come from a place of sentiment rather than tension from the stress of hitting all the notes correctly.
I’m not going to say that this mentality immediately flips a switch and makes me a better player because it definitely hasn’t and I still need to practice but now I know that piano practice and any practice in general is not just a training of your physical body but also your mentality. Just one minute every day of telling yourself that you can will make a difference in how you perceive every goal you ever make in the future.
My piano teacher never fails to amaze me in how well he knows me. He knows that I struggle significantly with the self-doubt I mentioned previously and he pinpointed exactly what the issue was. This is where I get into the idea of goal-setting.
Goal-setting is difficult because sometimes you know the general idea of what you want but you can’t really put it into words besides just saying “I want to be better at this”. The problem with my piano-playing was that I was telling myself that I will be happy and satisfied when I reach an endpoint. The problem with telling myself that was that if I told myself that I’ll be happy and satisfied in the future once I reach that goal, that means I’m not happy and satisfied right now and that shows in my work.
A different way of looking at goals is telling yourself that you’re going to keep improving and there’s not really an end goal. I’m not going to have my personal goals be an emotion; for example, I’m not going to have my goal be to obtain happiness. I’m also not going to have my personal goals be objectified; for example, I’m not going to have my goal be to play Gershwin’s piano concerto in F Major. My mentality has to shift in a more philosophical, deeper way and it’s just going to be the general idea of improvement. That way, I’m training myself to gain confidence through breaking down mental barriers while doing the physical practice to improve technique.
Hopefully this law of attraction introduced a new idea to you or clarified a philosophy you already have. Thinking about this whole idea has really reshaped the way I perceive a lot of my future and is useful for a student entering college.