Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Piano Lessons from a Pilot

As I listened to this inspirational message this weekend by Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a former pilot and current apostle in the church I belong to, I found some interesting analogies that related perfectly to piano practice.
Elder Uchtdorf explained that when inexperienced airplane pilots encounter turbulence, they often think that the best solution would be to increase their speed to quickly get past the storm. Sometimes I think my students are thinking the same thing when they run into a trouble spot in their pieces- despite my best efforts to explain the benefits of slow practice :)
Instead, experienced pilots understand that in order to make it through the turbulence with little problems, the pilot will, "Slow down a little, steady the course and focus on the essentials when facing adverse conditions."
I plan to explain this analogy to all of my students to help remind them of the benefits of SLOW Practice!
A few more quotes from his talk that I found very applicable to my life at this time...
"When stress levels rise... [we often think] the more rushed our pace, the better off we'll be."
"Focus on the things that matter most."
"We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best."
"You only become great by mastering the fundamentals."
"Diligently doing the things that matter most will lead us to the Savior of the world."
Sometimes I need little reminders like this to help me remember to take time to rejuvenate, ponder and relax so I can be the happy and encouraging piano teacher, mother and wife I want to be.
To hear this message in full, click on the link above.


  1. I'm sure your students would be inspired and motivated by that message. I agree on the message that "sometimes we need to fore go some good things in order to choose others that are better or best."

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  2. Heidi, I don't know why I haven't found youro blog sooner! I've spent this evening reading some of your posts. I think I found your link from either Foxx Piano Studio or Natalie. Anyway, I appreciate the reminder of this talk and plan to use it next week with my students. Also, a reminder to myself!