it's been said that you can't teach old dogs new tricks. i don't know... i'm inclined to believe it depends on the dog. the older i get the more i tend to think it's not only possible to learn new things, but imperative to my sustainability, and continued growth. even that is a questionable concept i suppose, that as you get old you still learn and change and grow.... and dare i say get better???? and in the same way that improvisational jazz, which might be considered by some simply flying by the seat of your pants, actually requires a certain level of knowing and skill, learning knew things as we get older requires experience and exposure, as well as desire and discipline, curiosity, confidence and some courage too. it doesn't just happen.
as we enter a new year, and consider the (endless) possibilities, let's together commit to listen and learn, prepare and plan, let yesterday inform tomorrow but continually look ahead, gear up for the inevitable falling down and promise each other right now that we'll get back up. because we have before... and we will again. both fall and get up.
i don't think i've ever approached a new year with more NEW things having just happened or on the horizon. i never dreamed that at this stage in my life and career i'd be on the brink of such unfamiliar territory. from navigating the choppy waters of an ever changing music industry to dealing with personal transitions (like becoming an empty nester, dealing with family illness and moving from one state to another) it's been quite the challenging season.
on the upside: i've discovered a new found passion for music in general. i'm listening differently. more intently. i grew up in a musical family where piano lessons were basically a prerequisite to being a member. i never excelled. largely due to my aversion to practicing and my preoccupation with boys and cheerleading. granted, i LOVED music. i invested countless hours listening to Michael Jackson, Aretha, Chaka, Keith Green and Andrae Crouch. i just didn't put 2 and 2 together as a kid.... meaning i didn't listen to my mom when she said..."practicing piano will benefit you in the long run, love."
and so, at 46, i'm finally wising up and taking her advice. i received the Apple music software Logic Pro X for Christmas, in addition to the Alturia MiniLab controller (pictured below). my sister bought me the Real Vocal Book and i'm borrowing....indefinitely :).... my daughter's boyfriend's old Wurlitzer (got that?), to be able to plunk out, and yes practice, the songs from said book. i'm taking a Lynda course to learn Logic, a Berklee School of Music online course to refresh my theory skills and bugging the crap out of my capable musician friends and family as i go, asking for help along the way...because that's what we do!
this old dog is learning some new tricks. i'm not gonna lie, it's a challenge.... particularly in my line of work where everything is changing so fast... from the industry itself to the technology, but i'm finding that the more i invest my time and energy, the more i enjoy it. i'm also realizing that growth is something that happens continually.... all the way through life. there's not some little limited window within which we are contained. NO! if you are willing to get up and take steps forward you WILL undoubtedly grow. It's never too late to learn new things....