When I began trapeze lessons, I stepped into the shoes of the beginning learner. It has been enlightening to learn a skill I have no prior experience in. My expectations center on the process rather than the product. Each week, I look forward to developing my skills, instead of looking for perfection or “doing it right.” I’m appreciative of small achievements, and take the time to recognize and celebrate change and the success. I have been humbled by the learning process, accepting that the pieces don’t always come together at once, and that is okay, because the process has become clearer. As I strive to be inclusively aware of the space, the sequence of movements, and the instructions of the teacher, I sometimes find I’m trying too hard or concentrating on a single aspect of the experience (my old habit.) This is the opportunity to broaden my awareness again, to fully engage in the process.
How has this affected my music making? I am kinder to myself. I celebrate the changes I experience, enjoy the process even more, and learn from the things that don’t go as planned. I have put the product (the performance) into the perspective of the process: how did I move? how did I utilize awareness? One mistake doesn’t invalidate the whole performance. I am reminded to embrace the idea that performances grounded in love, passion, and the sheer joy of music-making are the most gratifying to performer and listener.