YourCreativeChord Podcast

Musical Expression: A Dynamic Chat With Piano Expert Ashlee Young Pt 1

June 11, 2024 Ashlee Young, Piano Expert Season 2 Episode 49
Musical Expression: A Dynamic Chat With Piano Expert Ashlee Young Pt 1
YourCreativeChord Podcast
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YourCreativeChord Podcast
Musical Expression: A Dynamic Chat With Piano Expert Ashlee Young Pt 1
Jun 11, 2024 Season 2 Episode 49
Ashlee Young, Piano Expert

Welcome to YourCreativeChord Podcast, where creativity and inspiration meet transformation. In this episode, I'm pleased to introduce Ashlee Young, a pianist, educator, content creator, and business coach who champions the philosophy of practicing smarter, not harder. With a master's degree in classical piano performance from USC's Thornton School of Music and performances at Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center, Ashlee has shifted her focus from competition to connection and expression in music.

Ashlee's dedication to helping others achieve their musical goals shines through her free YouTube tutorials, courses, programs, and her engaging Facebook group. Her approach is reminiscent of the teaching strategies I've employed in my 30-year career, emphasizing effective and efficient paths to confident, skilled musical expression.

Inspired by Brene Brown's vulnerability and relatability, Ashlee has reached a significant milestone: balancing her flourishing business with quality time spent with her young daughter. Ashlee's commitment to fostering a love for piano learning aligns seamlessly with YourCreativeChord's mission.

Join us in this vibrant conversation as Ashlee shares her insights on practical piano techniques, the importance of a positive mindset, and the power of recognizing patterns in music. Whether you're a new or returning piano learner, a teacher, or an aspiring online entrepreneur, Ashlee offers a wealth of knowledge that resonates deeply with the YourCreativeChord community.

Tune in to explore how mastering foundational skills like chord recognition and melodic expression can lead to long-term success and a more connected, expressive musical journey.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this wonderfully inspiring discussion on piano progress, airing next Tuesday on YourCreativeChord podcast!

CONNECT WITH ASHLEE YOUNG:

YouTube

Facebook Piano Group

Instagram

Join the FREE 4-day event, Piano Practice Lab! 

Snag a FREE sight-reading workshop!


Additional Piano Music: Simply You ©️ 2011 Jenny Leigh Hodgins

Support the Show.

Follow my podcast for motivational insights, practical tips, and stories on creative flow and inspired living. Please leave a review to help me support more people in nurturing creativity and inspiration. Click here, scroll to the bottom, tap to rate with 5 stars, and select 'Write a Review.' Share what you loved most about the episode!

Sun & Bloom © 2016 Jenny Leigh Hodgins
Finding Spring © 2016 Jenny Leigh Hodgins
All Content © 2024 Jenny Leigh Hodgins,YourCreativeChord.com
All Rights Reserved

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Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to YourCreativeChord Podcast, where creativity and inspiration meet transformation. In this episode, I'm pleased to introduce Ashlee Young, a pianist, educator, content creator, and business coach who champions the philosophy of practicing smarter, not harder. With a master's degree in classical piano performance from USC's Thornton School of Music and performances at Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center, Ashlee has shifted her focus from competition to connection and expression in music.

Ashlee's dedication to helping others achieve their musical goals shines through her free YouTube tutorials, courses, programs, and her engaging Facebook group. Her approach is reminiscent of the teaching strategies I've employed in my 30-year career, emphasizing effective and efficient paths to confident, skilled musical expression.

Inspired by Brene Brown's vulnerability and relatability, Ashlee has reached a significant milestone: balancing her flourishing business with quality time spent with her young daughter. Ashlee's commitment to fostering a love for piano learning aligns seamlessly with YourCreativeChord's mission.

Join us in this vibrant conversation as Ashlee shares her insights on practical piano techniques, the importance of a positive mindset, and the power of recognizing patterns in music. Whether you're a new or returning piano learner, a teacher, or an aspiring online entrepreneur, Ashlee offers a wealth of knowledge that resonates deeply with the YourCreativeChord community.

Tune in to explore how mastering foundational skills like chord recognition and melodic expression can lead to long-term success and a more connected, expressive musical journey.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this wonderfully inspiring discussion on piano progress, airing next Tuesday on YourCreativeChord podcast!

CONNECT WITH ASHLEE YOUNG:

YouTube

Facebook Piano Group

Instagram

Join the FREE 4-day event, Piano Practice Lab! 

Snag a FREE sight-reading workshop!


Additional Piano Music: Simply You ©️ 2011 Jenny Leigh Hodgins

Support the Show.

Follow my podcast for motivational insights, practical tips, and stories on creative flow and inspired living. Please leave a review to help me support more people in nurturing creativity and inspiration. Click here, scroll to the bottom, tap to rate with 5 stars, and select 'Write a Review.' Share what you loved most about the episode!

Sun & Bloom © 2016 Jenny Leigh Hodgins
Finding Spring © 2016 Jenny Leigh Hodgins
All Content © 2024 Jenny Leigh Hodgins,YourCreativeChord.com
All Rights Reserved

Jenny Leigh: [00:00:00] How do you see mindset and motivation influencing the development of fundamental skills like melodic expression, especially within the framework of fostering a love for piano learning? 

Ashlee: That's such a great question. And I think, you know, when it comes to connecting A high level of musical expression with, um, those beginner concepts that you have to get through in order to reach that higher level of musical expression.

It really comes down to, I think, being able to keep a positive enough mindset that you can move through all of the mud that you're going to have to tread through. What draws people to the piano is this inspiration or this love or this, like, feeling that they get when they hear a piece of music, where they hear piano music and they feel so connected to it.

And so I think the draw to music often starts with that, like, the feeling, the expression element, and people want to be able to do that themselves. They want that to come from [00:01:00] them, you know, their own hands and their own, you know. Emotions. 

Jenny Leigh: Welcome to YourCreativeChord Podcast, where we unlock creative flow, celebrate the artist within, and find inspiration in every moment.

I'm your host, Jenny Leigh Hodgins, and the voice behind YourCreativeChord, where we blend creative living with transformation. I'm here to guide you with empowering stories, insights, and practical tips to fuel your creative life. We're in this together from overcoming stage fright to changing obstacles into possibilities, to finding your unique voice.

Let's get started today. I'm pleased to introduce my guest, Ashlee Young, a pianist, educator. Content creator extraordinaire who believes in achieving musical goals through practicing and working smarter, not harder. Her traditional piano path, [00:02:00] including a master's degree in classical piano performance from the University of Southern California's National Thornton School of Music and performances at prestigious venues like Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center.

Yes, you heard me right. Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center has ultimately led Ashlee to prioritize connection and expression in music over competition. That's my kind of music maker. But what truly sets Ashlee apart, I think, is her dedication to others success. She works with piano players for free on her YouTube channel, through her courses and programs, and inside her Facebook group.

Her approach mirrors the teaching strategies I used for 30 years in my music classes and piano studio, focusing on helping music and piano students forge an effective, And efficient path toward confident, skilled musical expression, inspired by the vulnerability and relatability of her role model, Brene [00:03:00] Brown, Ashlee's commitment to her business has allowed her to achieve a proud milestone in the past six months, the ability to balance her work and family life, spending quality time with her four year old daughter while nurturing her business.

Ashlee is dedicated to helping adult self taught piano players establish solid piano practice strategies and develop confident musical performance skills through her free YouTube tutorials, her courses, programs, and Facebook group. She also hosts, which I just listened to this morning, the Prosperous Piano Teacher Podcast, try to say that three times fast, where she blends topics relevant to piano educators and online entrepreneurs.

Ashlee's insights into practical piano techniques perfectly align with YourCreativeChord, where creativity and inspiration meet. Whether you're a new or returning piano learner, a piano teacher, or an aspiring [00:04:00] online entrepreneur, Ashlee Young has a wealth of value to share. Ashlee's work with piano learners, educators, and entrepreneurs aligns with the mission of YourCreativeChord.

Our connections with Ashlee today highlight our focus on Practical piano strategies, mindset and motivation, building a strong foundation and fostering creativity and community engagement. Join our conversation with the wonderful and vibrantly energetic Ashlee Young, exploring her insights into practical piano techniques and her journey toward creating a more connected and expressive musical experience.

Let's get started. Welcome Podcast, Ashlee Young. 

Ashlee: Thank you so much. I am so honored to be here. Thank you for having me. 

Jenny Leigh: I'm so excited that you're here. I've been really enjoying a lot of your YouTube tutorials for piano learners. You do such a fantastic job with small bites of information, but they're [00:05:00] chunked together in kind of compact videos that really pack a punch with effective learning for adult piano learners.

And even myself as a piano teacher, I love watching your videos because it refreshes my take on piano. I teach the same basic concepts, but your way of doing that kind of refreshes my energy toward helping other piano players, myself and my own practice, basically. 

Ashlee: Well, thank you. 

Jenny Leigh: Really good stuff. You do a great job.

I'm just going to dive straight in because I have a bazillion questions to ask you. 

Ashlee: Let's do it. 

Jenny Leigh: So your newsletters and your videos, we just talked about demonstrating your approach to mastering melody are so valuable. Your teaching approach reflects, as I mentioned, how I taught in my studio for 30 years.

Your teaching approach now is more nuts and bolts and hands on and how to and step by step than my current approach as a piano motivational coach. My upcoming books, courses, Facebook group, and piano tips newsletter for new and returning piano learners. I focus more on how to [00:06:00] build a solid foundation.

The philosophy centered on a positive mindset and motivation. How do you see mindset and motivation influencing the development of fundamental skills like melodic expression, especially within the framework of fostering a love for piano learning, which is one of our core missions here at your creative court.

Ashlee: That's such a great question. And I think, you know, when it comes to connecting. A high level of musical expression with those beginner concepts that you have to get through in order to reach that higher level of musical expression. It really comes down to, I think, being able to keep a positive enough mindset that you can move through all of the mud that you're going to have to tread through.

So, for example, I like to describe it as like, oftentimes what draws people to the piano is this inspiration or this love or this, like, you know, Feeling that they get when they hear a piece of music, and that could be something that [00:07:00] happened when they were a child or more recently, or it could be something that's been happening for their entire life where they hear piano music, and they feel so connected to it.

And so I think the draw to music often starts with that, like, the feeling the expression element, and people want to be able to do that themselves. They want that to come from them, their own hands and their own. Emotions. Now, when you set out to learn how to play the piano, you quickly find out that getting to that point where you can actually make that happen, you know, with your own hands can be really challenging.

And depending on, you know, the environment you were raised in or what your previous education has been like, or what kind of life experiences you've had, I've just found And I'll put it really frankly for you that people treat themselves like crap that we're just really hard on ourselves. And so I see that getting in the way.

Very often with adult piano learners of just like, you know, being so hard on themselves and oftentimes it's not even a [00:08:00] really conscious thing. And so I'm very grateful to the work that you are doing calling attention to this. And this is something that I talk about as well, because most often people don't even realize that they're being so hard on themselves or that they might be making that process.

Harder than it needs to be by, you know, what's going on in their internal voice inside or the way that they're reacting to the mistakes that they're making, or just simply the story that they are creating around trying to play the piano and practicing and things like that. 

Jenny Leigh: So huge point that particularly for adults that just raising the awareness that you're being hard on yourself and just recognizing that.

I love that you highlighted that. That's so important for adult learners. We really do not cut ourselves much slack. It's really something we got to learn to be easy on ourselves. So next question. Establishing a strong foundation as we both believe in is crucial for aspiring piano players. And this is a primary focus of a book that I'm about to put out for new and returning piano learners in a course [00:09:00] after that overcoming challenges like chord recognition. I've heard this a lot from adult piano learners in my Facebook group, learninchordrd recognition is a big part of establishing a solid foundation for intermediate or returning.

Piano learners, or as we're advancing a bit, considering my emphasis on helping my piano audience build a solid foundation, and you basically have the same idea, can you share your insights into how mastering foundational skills like chords, chord recognition, for example, not limited to that, but how do mastering these fundamental skills contribute to our long term success at the piano?

Ashlee: That's such a great question. And chords are so important and I like to liken them to patterns, right? I think that music theory as a subject is really, uh, it's all about patterns and it's all about finding patterns in music that some are common, some are less common, but being able to dissect what you [00:10:00] see on the page and make it make sense to the point that it can help you.

Now, oftentimes I think people get really stuck in like the studying music theory and not necessarily taking the study of music theory and applying it to their actual piano playing. And so I kind of make this analogy of learning how to read in a language. And let's take the English language. And so if you're learning how to read, you first might learn the alphabet, right?

Just the letters of the alphabet. And that would be kind of like learning your note names when you are learning how to read music. Now, if you only learn the letters of the alphabet, you're not going to be able to read Shakespeare. I mean, you might you might be able to sit down and sound out every single word, but there would be a lot of mistakes and it would be a really, really slow process.

And so then you can move on beyond the letter names to something like. The CH, right? Or TH. And that's. Like intervals, right? Where you start to recognize some of those patterns or like when two or three letters appear together. And then the chords I would say are a lot like the sight [00:11:00] words, the repeated words that you see often things like, and the, she, he, those shorter words.

And of course they can get more complex depending on the chord. Um, but you know, the major minor ones would be like those basic sight words that you see over and over again. The more you can recognize those, the easier it is to look at a piece of literature. And read through it or scan through it and understand quickly because you're not putting so much mental energy into looking at every single individual letter and trying to sound out the words.

There's just things on the page that you understand when you see them, and you don't have to think so hard about it. And so that's kind of my analogy that I use for chords, because I think most people can really understand that. That once you, even if it's. You know, you memorize a chord a week once you start to memorize those chords and you start to be able to see them in the different inversions and they jump out at you from the page and you are able to make much more sense of complex music than you were before you could recognize any of the chords.

Jenny Leigh: Really well explained, and I love the analogy, the comparison between [00:12:00] recognizing chords in blocks, just like you would recognize words or even phonetics, you know, sections of words like T H and C H your comparison of language, obviously, music is a language, and so I like the idea that you're kind of comparing music recognition of chords to, you know, Sentences or shorter phrases or words because I think and and your emphasis on Learning those simple things as patterns or tools in your box Those really do make it easier on you in the long run as you're going through Your lifelong practice at the piano.

How do you think adult piano learners that take this to heart? Benefit from your strategy to learn the chords and and piece these things into patterns. How do you think that impacts? I mean you mentioned it a little bit They're like, it gets easier to look at things. And can you go a little deeper into that?

Like, how does that really impact the long term success that they may feel at the panel if they put [00:13:00] that work into the chord recognition part of it? Does that make sense? 

Ashlee: Yeah, totally. And I think whenever I am helping adult piano players, I always want to help them experience the highest number of successes as possible.

And so that could be like, you open up a piece of music and there's a couple of different scenarios, right? If I open up, let's say the Moonlight Sonata, that's always my go to example. I open up the Moonlight Sonata. And I'm just overwhelmed because there's like thousands of symbols, none of which I immediately recognize automatically.

I don't feel successful, right? I feel a little bit like, Oh, maybe this is too hard. And those thoughts start to creep in. Maybe I can't do this. Maybe there's something wrong with me. Do other people recognize all of these symbols immediately? You know, and all of those like discouraging voices start to creep in.

Whereas let's say that you Have a pretty good knowledge of your major and minor chords. And maybe even you've gotten to the point that you start to recognize arpeggios and you start to group three notes together and [00:14:00] you can see those broken chords jump out on the page. So you open up the Moonlight Sonata and you're like, Oh, this whole entire piece is broken chords.

Awesome. Now, I automatically, you feel more successful, right? Because you, you see that and you understand something just upon first glance. And then the levels at which you can investigate that are endless. Right. You could go through every single broken chord and analyze it and see if you could figure out what chord it is.

You could go through and say, well, I know, you know, I know C sharp minor. I know that's 1 chord. And you could go find all the C sharp minor chords. You could do many different things to continue on that feeling and that path of like little successes. But if that initial experience with music is overwhelmed and a lack of understanding that the successes are fewer and farther in between 

Jenny Leigh: perfect.

Yeah, so basically it call out to listeners who are learning the piano right now, you know, do the work of recognizing patterns, do the work of learning your chords and arpeggios and things like that and scale so that you can [00:15:00] spot them in your music as Ashlee's describing. It makes it so much easier when you can recognize something you've already been working on 

Ashlee: Exactly

Jenny Leigh: What? . Right. There they are. 

Ashlee: I like to make the caveat of like, don't just go get a music theory book and start filling out worksheets. Take everything, like go a little slower, maybe go through the theory book at a slower pace, but take each concept and start to put on your detective hat and go to your piece of music.

So study the music theory concept in the music theory book, then go to your piece of music and find all of the examples that you can of it and then go back to the music theory book and then find all of the examples of it that you can in your piece of music. So you're always making that connection of like, yeah.

At the end of the day, I don't just want you to have 10 completed theory books, I want you to be able to connect what you're learning in music theory to what you're actually playing and how it gets you to the, excuse me, to that musical expression. 

Jenny Leigh: Yeah, that is so useful for so many people. Just applying what they're learning is kind of a missing link with a lot of new or returning adult learners, [00:16:00] at least in my experience.

Very well said. I love that.

Just a quick break to share some exciting news. On my birthday, July 16, I'll be launching the revised paperback edition of my book, Start Piano, What You Need for Successful Learning. This book is your trusted guide to unlocking the secrets of a successful piano learning foundation with strategies, tips for finding the right teacher and method and setting up effective piano practice routines.

It's also a perfect resource for piano educators to gift or recommend to students. Plus, right now, you can get a sneak peek with our free Unlock Your Piano Potential ebook. You can download that today at yourcreativechord. com forward slash piano strategies. Stay tuned [00:17:00] for exciting updates, exclusive bonuses straight from my book and everything you need to keep making beautiful piano music until book launch day, July 16, my birthday.

Keep nurturing your creativity and listen each Tuesday for a deeper dive into making confident piano progress. Let's get back to the show. 

Okay. So move on. This is great. Diggin' in. So the next topic is springtime growth. I loved how in one of your online pieces of content, you connected piano practice with nurturing a garden, which is very close to my heart.

I love I'm a garden freak. Love you too. Yeah. Love it. That metaphor really resonates with my approach at Your Creative Court. I use a lot of nature and things in my writings as well, my podcast. I focus on cultivating an appreciation for the beauty in our lives, which as we know, we find a lot of in piano and music.

How do you suggest pianists approach their practice sessions with [00:18:00] this kind of creative imagination that you used in your content to inspire long term growth and progress, keeping in mind the importance of building a. A strong foundation still. 

Ashlee: Yeah. So I think, oh, that's such a great question because really, when it comes to learning how to play the piano, wherever you are in your journey, it is never a straight upward trajectory ever.

Right? And we wish I know we wish and when you zoom out. That is what I want to see, like, if you're doing it correctly and you're practicing effectively, you can, when you zoom out, you can see that upward trajectory generally. But the trouble is when you zoom into the day to day, it's not always going to feel that way.

And it's not always going to be that way. There's going to be some days where things are going really, really well. And there's going to be some days where it feels like you're not making progress. There's going to be some days where it feels like you're backsliding. And I think comparing this to a garden works really well because everything in nature happens in seasons and cycles.

Right? Everything. You can take the cycle of one single plant of like, it starts as a seed [00:19:00] and then it, you know, it grows and grows and then eventually it fruits and all of that. Or you can look at it from like a seasonal cycle of there are seasons where nothing grows, right? There are seasons where rest has to happen in the winter.

I mean, depending on where you are in the world, but in most a lot of parts of the world in the winter, you're not going to have that growth. Right. And so I think when you can think of your piano journey as seasonal and secular, it, it allows you to play with it a little bit more and to, to trust the process.

I'm also. So, in addition to gardening, I'm a really big houseplant person. And I remember when I first started getting in the house, 

Jenny Leigh: I see those behind you there. 

Ashlee: Yeah. Yes. We're on video right now. And I have a video. I live, I call it a tasteful jungle. Um, but anytime, like, the tip of a leaf would start to yellow, I would freak out, right?

And I'm like, on Google, like, what does it mean when this kind of plant has yellow tips and da da And I'm like, immediately trying to like, water it and, and give it fertilizer and test the soil. And it's like, whoa. One yellow tip [00:20:00] does not necessarily mean anything. Like, if I zoom out and I think about that plant over the course of a week or a month, one yellow leaf tip doesn't mean anything, right?

You need more information, and you simply need more time. And I think all of that can be translated to the piano of like, if you have one bad practice session, As long as in general, you're being mindful about trying to be effective and efficient, and you are doing your best in that way, you don't need to freak out.

You can trust that those seeds have been planted. You're cultivating them. And it is, it's a longer term game. Music is not an arrival, right? There will never be a day where you know everything. It's a lifelong process. I heard you say that in your intro, and I fully agree. It's not an arrival point. 

Jenny Leigh: Your answer is so great because it's well beyond the creative imagination.

It's, it's boils down to mindset and your long term mindset, you know, I was going to say motivation, but I'm, I'm not big on motivation. I think motivation is kind of overrated and I'm sure you feel the same as about doing the practice basically, whether you feel it or not. But that whole idea [00:21:00] that you just described, it's so helpful, especially for new or busy adults that are trying to fit it into their lives because we do have those ups and downs Transcribed You know, and it's so important to just again, going back to what you said earlier, give yourself a break.

You know, you don't need to talk. So strictly to your head in your head about where you are in this micro moment. You have to take, like, you say, the zoom out view of things and give yourself some. Time and some patience to get there and that there are seasons of that. I like that analogy. Your teaching approach of integrating practical techniques with symbolic concepts also aligns well with YourCreativeChord, where I encourage merging creative and motivational ideas into every piano practice session.

How do you strike a balance between these elements in your teaching or your personal practice? And how can piano students incorporate, kind of touched on a little bit, a motivational philosophy into their daily practice to inspire and empower themselves? [00:22:00] How do you incorporate a motivational philosophy?

How do you use that philosophy in their daily practice to kind of inspire and empower them to move forward? How do you use 

Ashlee: Yeah, okay, great question. So I think, yeah, it does it segues nicely from the last question, because I think if you can think about seasons and also think back to a previous answer that I gave that it's really all about creating as many small successes as possible.

It's not about I don't. It's not about, like, 5 hours of practice, right? And in fact, I would say if you had the choice between sitting down twice a week and practicing for 5 hours or spending 15 minutes at the piano every day, I would definitely encourage that 1 15 minutes at the piano every single day.

And when you. Commit to something. And I think that is one of the biggest motivators is allowing yourself to fully commit to it and to say, I'm going to show up and I'm going to do this thing every day, regardless of if I feel like it or not, not because I need to be rigorous or because I need to be hard on myself, but because I [00:23:00] understand that this is a lifelong practice.

Right? And so once you have that level of commitment, then you can play around with it a little bit. I say, you know, I'm a big proponent of like, creating a practice routine, because I think that that lessens the barrier to entry. If you know what you're doing, when you sit down at the piano, you're more likely to do it.

If you sit down at the piano and you have to decide what you're going to do, it's often like scrolling Netflix. You sit down to watch TV and you end up scrolling Netflix for an hour and you didn't watch anything. And that can happen with piano practice too. So decide on what you're going to do the week before or even the night before.

And then once you're at the piano, I think there are, you know, I don't always use the word motivation, but there's like little fun games you can play with yourself. Like if you have your routine set and in general, you stick to the routine. And in general, your practice is pretty effective, but you're not feeling it.

One day, let yourself have a day where you just go and play through old repertoire, let yourself have a day where you just explore new music. Let yourself have a day where maybe you don't even touch the piano, but you use that 15 minutes to just go listen to the music that brings you the most joy. Right.

And you can allow, you can like. [00:24:00] Bring in those components of flexibility, especially when you have a routine, because you've caught, you've made that commitment and you've carved out that time and you know that it's your music time. So then you get to have a little more fun and decide, like, you know, if I don't feel it, how can I be flexible?

Jenny Leigh: Very good. And I'm gonna go back to what you said at the beginning of that, where if given a choice between a 5 hour power session of practice and a 15 minute incremental sessions daily, you would pick the latter. Can you go a little deeper and explain why you picked that instead of the 5 hour thing?

Ashlee: Yeah. So I think oftentimes it's easy just in the world we live in. We all do this with a variety of topics. It's really easy to get caught up on, like, how much progress am I making or what is that end goal? And I need to see that progress fast and in big ways. And so that is oftentimes I think what motivates like the, like, I need to practice for 5 hours twice a week.

But what people don't often realize is that in practicing, yes, there's like what's happening. In your piano playing skills. So you're actually [00:25:00] developing skills. Hopefully you're applying the correct techniques and you are actually developing a physical ability to play the piano, but you're also building a habit and you're creating a relationship with yourself and with a new part of yourself and a different part of yourself and a creative.

Part of yourself and getting to the piano every day, not only helps you develop that physical, you know, ability to play the piano better. That's just proven when you, when you do something more often in smaller doses, that's the better way to do it. It also gives you like this play space where you start to get to know yourself better as a learner, as the creative.

And so when you're doing that repeatedly from day to day, you get those doses every single day and you'll learn those things about yourself. So much faster. So one of the examples that I give about this is like the ability to evaluate yourself and this goes back to mindset. If you're always like, oh, man, that was so bad.

Or that was so good. And you're like, getting really caught up in the emotional aspect of your reactions to how the practice is going. You're not able to stay neutral and you're not able to evaluate. [00:26:00] But 1 of the things that I challenge people to do is to use that practice time, not only to develop the physical skills of playing the piano, but to see if you can remain neutral.

Like, see if you can detach yourself a little bit from, like, the emotional reaction of making mistakes or of, you know, being able to do something quote good or quote bad and give yourself that space to practice, like, just evaluating. How did that go? What about that practice session was effective? What was not effective?

What could I change for the next day? And when you're doing that in small doses every day versus 5 hours twice a week, you just get more chances to practice that as well. And I think that that is like. The unexpected benefit of learning how to play the piano don't usually realize that's going to happen.

But I think when you connect with a great instructor, like yourself, you get that space to really learn about yourself and your creativity as well. 

Jenny Leigh: That is deep stuff that you're talking about that I was just going to say, because we've talked a lot about mindset and motivation and what you love that description of how [00:27:00] you that whole approach that you just described, because.

Because that hang up that adults have about being really hard on themselves, your technique, the way you just described how to approach that, try to remain neutral and just let those immediate reactions fall by the wayside, let it go. That's really hard, I think, for a lot of adults to block that inner critic, that constant or even outer critic, you know, because the comparing ourselves to other people and where they are in their piano level or whatever.

So I love that because I think kind of. Is a through thread in a lot of what you do when you're teaching you, you basically cut adults some slack in terms of, yes, and teach them 

Ashlee: how to do that for themselves. 

Jenny Leigh: Yes, exactly. Because it's so important. And that and the idea of developing the habit of a 15 minute routine versus forcing yourself to try to accomplish this high level goal.

You know, intense goal with a five hour session. I mean, we're being facetious with a five hour thing, but, but, you know, a lot of people do [00:28:00] get really frustrated with themselves that they can't keep their practice consistent, or they are trying to be consistent, but they're not feeling that they're making any headway in it.

And I think a lot of it boils down to what you just talked about their mindset and how they're speaking to themselves in those sessions and how you've laid it out where. Cool. Hey, just test out trying to be neutral about things and set your goals in place beforehand and then just evaluate those things, you know, those musical goals that you have without your emotional response and your judgment in that inner critic.

That is so useful, I think, for busy adults. That's a gem. And can I Yeah, go ahead. 

Ashlee: Can I say 1 more thing on that? Because I think you hit the nail on the head when you said, like, it's hard. It's really hard to do that. Like, I can sit here and tell you to do that, but it's it's 1 thing to hear it. And no, you need to do it.

And it's another thing to actually do it. And 1 of the things that I often recommend is to think about how piano lessons traditionally have been. So, like, you have a teacher and you go to your lessons and ideally, That teacher is kind and encouraging, and that teacher approaches [00:29:00] the lessons with curiosity to say, what's going well, what's not going well, how can we improve this?

How can we make it better? And when the 1 thing that I think isn't spoken about enough is that when you are learning how to play the piano, you are alone. Often, like you are, most of your time is actually spent alone in your practice. And so you have to learn how to channel that teacher energy or to be your own teacher.

And so if you can treat yourself during your practice, like your favorite teacher, who likely did not berate you and who likely did not tell you how awful you were, right? And say those kind of encouraging things and approach yourself and your own practice with curiosity. That's a great way to take that difficult thing and actually put it into tangible practice.

Jenny Leigh: That's a huge zinger. We might have to soundbite that a bunch of people. Yeah. Love that. 

Remember on my birthday, July 16, my new book, Start Piano, What You Need For Successful Learning launches in paperback on Amazon. Mark your calendars and thank you for [00:30:00] making this launch so special. In the meantime, don't miss out on the Free Unlock Your Piano Potential ebook available right now at yourcreativechord.com/piano strategies

it's packed with valuable insights to kickstart your piano momentum. To learn about the paperback and purchase from July 16, visit YourCreativeChord.com/books 

Talk with you soon.