Peace family, learning is hard! Where do you need grace for learning, and where can you give grace for learning?
I recently started taking piano classes under a friend, and I’m really enjoying it, but it has taken almost two months before I’ve started to feel much confidence at all. I have wanted to learn to play piano for a long time, and I’m naturally very talented with music, so I’ve never had the discipline to sit down, learn to read, and practice the sometimes boring exercises that are an important part of becoming a successful pianist. I still struggle with many things, such as playing more loudly or softly (called dynamics), especially when the hands differ from each other. Time signatures can be pretty tricky for me, too. However, I know that if I keep trying, eventually there will be breakthrough. Frankly, I’m surprised by how much has clicked and actually soaked in! Despite the actual piano learning, I am learning other things, too.
One benefit from this experience, is that I am reminded of my imperfection, and that’s really important! None of us is above needing to learn something. Admitting that we are bad at something takes guts! Meanwhile, allowing others to teach us also take humility. It’s easy sometimes as adults, to spend our lives doing only what we are already skilled at, but there’s something so valuable about trying something new, and failing and succeeding in small steps. When I started, I felt pretty embarrassed any time that I couldn’t perform perfectly. I felt like I ought to be better.
Are you the same? Don’t we all wish that we could just be perfect at the very beginning, in whatever we try to do? I had to learn how to accept my need for improvement, how to play in front of my friend even though I worried about failing to meet her standards and losing her respect, and I had to play (badly) because I needed practice, even though my roommate could hear it.
Contrary to my fears, my friend/teacher has had patience with my imperfection and my roommate has had patience with my imperfection. I have had to learn how to have patience for my imperfection, too! For example, one afternoon, when I was practicing a long time on a piece that I just couldn’t seem to get right, my roommate came and pointed out how much I’ve grown, and how much better I am than when I started. It helped me to get my eyes back on the prize of wanting to play well!
This has also been a great reminder that I need to be patient with people around me who are learning something new. Do you have a child who you are trying to potty train? Is your spouse in the process of trying to be a better communicator? Do you have a friend who is a new believer, who is still learning what it means to follow God? What are some ways that you can offer grace, support, patience and love to them as they work on it?
Peace family, like I said, it’s taken me two months to start feeling a rudimentary confidence in my playing, and I have been working hard, almost every day! Surely I can allow those around me at least two months (or more!) to work through their own areas needing growth. All of this to say- if you are learning something new, keep trying, and remember that there is grace for you! If you have someone in your life who is learning something new, offer them grace! It’s a beautiful thing! And if you aren’t learning anything new, but recognize an area that you need improvement, or a skill you want to learn, go for it! You can do it, Peace family!