December 17, 2014

Don’t confuse your bloopers with everyone else’s highlights –

I saw this quote a while ago and it grabbed my attention.  It really points out an activity many of us do – often without thinking or questioning.

You’ve been there – you are performing – at Carnegie Hall, at a local festival, in your church, for your cat - and you make a “unintended jazz improvisation”, an out of mode musical variation, an exciting opportunity to explore the entirety of the scale, a mistake!

In your head this diversion is accompanied by a cymbal clash, a thunderclap, and an accusatory glare from everyone within earshot.  You replay it in your head in a heart wrenching loop – you focus all your energy in reliving the moment. You play it in slo-mo.  You play it over and over and over.  You reconfirm all your fears that you are not a good harp player.

But then you make the real mistake – you point out to yourself that (insert your Harp Hero here) never makes those errors.  Your Harp Hero is perfect – you have never heard a wrong note emerge from HH's harp!  It is not possible!

The mistake you make is to replay your blooper reel incessantly with the occasional quick glance to focus on someone else’s highlights reel.  You fuel your inner narrative that you are not now, nor will you ever be, as good as (insert Harp Hero here).

This is pointless and silly and you need to stop!  Next time you are in the presence of a Harp Hero – really listen.  It was incredibly freeing the first time I heard (and did not dismiss) my Harp Hero’s musical diversion – it helped me see that we are alike.  Ok, we are separated by years of experience and practice – but underneath all that – we both have bloopers and highlights –

So the next time its Bloopers Showtime in your head, make some popcorn and watch your “Funniest Home Videos”. 

Then practice and gain experience – because you never know whose Harp Hero you might be!

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