It’s been an exciting year at Musical U. Since switching from audio-only to video interviews at the beginning of 2019, we’ve had the opportunity to speak with some amazing musical experts from all over the world! In this special Rewind episode of Musicality Now, the Musical U team reflects on some of the episodes from 2019 that had a big impact on our musical lives.
We’ve all learned so much and were really excited to share some of our a-ha moments with you! We are so grateful to have the honor of gaining insight from such powerful musical minds – and we don’t want you to miss any of the golden nuggets of information and inspiration packed into the vaults of the Musicality Now catalogue.
Dive in to this special Rewind episode and unlock an excitement for musicality to propel you to your musical goals!
Watch the episode:
Links and Resources
Enjoying Musicality Now? Please support the show by rating and reviewing it!
Adam: Hello and welcome back to a special end of the year episode of Musicality Now. My name is Adam Lee, Director of Operations for Musical U, and I’m so happy to be joined by the other members of the musical youth team for this special look back on the last year of the show, and what a year it’s been. Just to recap, we started the year by beginning a new video format and publishing the show on YouTube. We talked with over 30 top music learning experts from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines. Beatles Month was our first featured month, and we dove deep into the musicality of The Fab Four with several renowned Beatles experts. And of course revisited our favorite records and songs from the band while doing It.
Adam: And in the last part of the year, we unveiled our new Pathways series, where we interview normal, everyday musicians that have unlocked a new musical path with musical you. If you haven’t listened to our Rewind episode before, we’ll be playing short sound bites from previous interviews from the course of the year. And then we’ll talk about how we’re able to use these tips and tricks in our actual musical life. Perhaps you’ll hear something that you missed the first time around, or discover someone new that could change everything for you. In any case, we’ll link to the full episodes in the show notes at musicalitynow.com. I’m particularly excited by this episode as I begin thinking about new things that I’ll be doing in the coming year with my music and my life. Well, I’ve talked for long enough, why don’t I bring the rest of the team in? Andrew, how are you doing today?
Andrew: I’m doing great. For those of you don’t know me, I’m Andrew Bishko and I am the Product Manager at Musical U.
Anastasia: Hi, I’m Anastasia Voitinskaia and I’m a Content Creator and Graphic Designer here at Musical U.
Zac: =Hi, I’m Zac Bailey ZSonic on the Musical U. I’m a Community Assistant and I’m feeling real good about being here today.
Adam: Great. Thank you so much for joining me today. I know I was looking over the list of the clips that you all brought, and there’s so much goodness in this episode, I really just want to dive straight into it. So we’re going to start off with Episode 195 with Josh Turknett, who runs a website called Brainjo, and he had some really awesome stuff to say.
Josh Turknett: So, I think there’s enough evidence to indicate that when we learn new things, the brain takes that as a signal that we need to keep this apparatus around that allows us to do this. So it sort of keeps that machinery in good working order. Whereas, our brain is not stupid. So if we stop using it, it literally just down regulates, there’ll be the genes of things that are required to maintain that, and that has consequences. Has consequences on our cognitive function, but it also likely has consequences in terms of how protective we are against degeneration and disease. So there’s reasons from that perspective.
Josh Turknett: So the other thing that comes out, if you take this perspective, is that if you’re optimizing for brain health and brain function, then it’s actually great to be terrible at something. You want to choose that thing where there’s the most capacity for growth. So this can completely flip on its head how we might typically feel about things. So from this perspective, if you’re terrible, there’s a huge gap between where you are now and some idealized version you want to be down the road. That’s fantastic. Because that means there’s a tremendous amount of growth that can happen, which will then translate to all these cognitive benefits that you can accrue for it.
Adam: So that clip was really personal to me. In the past couple years, my grandmother has had degenerative brain capacity and Alzheimer’s and it’s a reminder to me that we learn music not just because it’s a part of our lives, but it actually is good for us to be learning music and to be learning new things. And I know in this coming year, I have a couple personal professional challenges from my music life and my business life and just being a dad and all these new things that are happening all the time. And it’s a good reminder that it’s okay to learn. It’s okay to not be the best at something right away. It’s okay to be terrible, as Josh said. And by being terrible, it actually gets all those synapses firing and gets your brain working in a new way.
Adam: So as I’m constantly being pulled into new directions, just reminding myself that that’s okay. That really inspired me as I go planning my goals and the things I’m going to be doing in the coming year to remind myself push myself harder and farther than I have in the past.
Andrew: That’s so true, Adam. It was reassuring to me that particular episode, that particular quote, I’ve been a lot more at peace with being terrible at stuff. I was really inspired in terms of my own self-improvement by this next quote. This is The Quebe Sisters who are professional musicians and touring musicians, is a little bit different than our usual podcast guests. We usually have people that have some kind of a toe in the water about education, music education. But in this case, these are from musicians all the way but their story was really inspiring and it’s something we can all learn from.
Quebe Sisters: And yes, I don’t think that we’re musical prodigies or anything. Not at all. But if you enjoy it and you are into something, you can learn almost anything. That helps immensely to already have an ear that was sort of trained for harmony, to listen for parts when we went to start singing, but we were terrible. We said to ourselves, now sing if we like it and if we sound good. It was really a struggle at first. Neither one of those happened in the beginning. We used to record all of our stuff on tapes, just like tapes and a tape player. And we get those little Sony cassettes. Thank you. That’s the word. We have our early singing tapes labeled as wretched singing tape number one. Wretched singing tape number two. We recorded everything.
Andrew: So you’re hearing right now from a group that’s known for their vocals. In fact, that’s what first attracted our attention to Musical U. Christopher was a fan of their vocal harmonies. And so, here you have they went from zero to hero on the singing scale. One of the things that I’ve undertaken myself is learning a new instrument. I’m pushing 60 pretty soon and I started a new instrument, it’s a Mexican instrument called the vihuela. I thought I was crazy for doing it. I really wanted to do it. It’s something I just wanted to do. When I first started it, it took me a while. Like, I’d pick it up and I’m like, this is hard. I don’t really get this.
Andrew: And then when I started getting into it, I started to just absolutely love it. I love it. I listened for in music. I love the sound of it. I love doing it. It feels really good. I’ve never played a string instrument before. So it’s that’s a new thing for me. And I realized, hey, this is not the last instrument I’m going to learn because it’s such a wonderful process, and if I love it like they said right in the beginning, if you love it and you want to do it, you can learn almost anything.
Zac: Yes, really nice. Really nice clip, Andrew. I love that episode, The Quebe Sisters, they are so pleasant and happy. And yeah, that recording yourself when you’re terrible and just pushing through it for the love of it, it will really take you very far. I actually think that those recordings, even though they might seem terrible at first when you record them, they might actually lead you to something bigger and better in the future. And that kind of ties in to my clip that I chose from Mark Cawley who is a very well established and successful songwriter. So yeah, let’s go ahead and take a listen to that.
Mark Cawley: You’ve got to find the inspiration, you can’t wait for it to hit you. So you need tools, not rules, but tools. One of the best ones I ever heard early on was to look for titles. That can be lines, that can be titled. But the way to find them, I’ll share the value of them but to begin with, what I’ve done over the years always is take, now it’s an iPhone, but it used to be a pad and pen and go to a bookstore. Walk up and down the aisles endlessly. Library, do the same thing. Watch TV and movies, same thing. Anytime something caught my eye or my ear, it’s on the list. I just keep adding them, adding them, adding them, adding them. Then when I sit down to write, rather than go, okay, I’m here, inspire me mews, I’d go, what do I have on the list? There’s a title. There’s an idea. There’s something kind of fun. That’s the difference to me, is to … And that’s what Rodney Crowell alluding to, is that it’s earned. I earned that inspiration by spending, how would I put it, intentional time. I intentionally went and sought things that might come into play in my summary all the time.
Zac: Yes. Mark Cawley talks about finding your inspiration there and spending intentional time cultivating ideas and collecting ideas. So for me, I do definitely collect titles, but also other musical ideas, rhythms from people talking or just nature sounds. Anything that happens to me in my daily life that could be a musical idea, I’ll write it down or record it into my phone. What I do is I think of them as Lego blocks. So when I go into my creative brainstorming sessions, my creativity comes from, how can I put these different ideas together like blocks, instead of trying to just come up with ideas. I already have a bunch of ideas. I collect them throughout my whole life, just like Mark Cawley talks about all the time.
Zac: And so that way when I go into my creative sessions, I don’t have to spend any time thinking of ideas and I get into my flow state much quicker because I have all these ideas. I pick one or two and see how they fit together. Does this is lyric go with this rhythm idea? Does this title go this chord progression? Does it sound like the mood of the title or whatever? So I just kind of do creative brainstorming where I put these Lego blocks ideas together that I’ve been listing out, basically. It could be text lists or audio recordings. So I’m really excited moving into 2020 because I’m building my repertoire of my own compositions and songs. So it’s really going to help me to like just have all these ideas ready to go and then I jump into my creative sessions and I just piece these blocks together. It really helps me flow.
Anastasia: I really, really love that Zac, especially your Lego block analogy. I’ve a really similar kind of approach to making music too and it’s so great to have like this catalog of inspiration before you, even like sit down to write a piece of music or play or whatever. I love that kind of intentional and deliberate path to inspiration rather than just kind of waiting around for something to hit you. I think that’s really great. I think this nicely segues into my clip which is from our episode with Robert Emery, episode 204.
Robert Emery: I believe in something that I made up, which is called the duvet of music, or the blanket of music, or whatever analogy you want, which is surrounding yourself with so much music that you have to fight your body and your mind and your heart and your soul to be able to not have that music penetrate you and affect you in a positive way. And I was really seriously lucky that when I was young, at my primary school, we had a dedicated music teacher. We had assembly every morning where we sung every morning, there was a school orchestra that performed pretty much every morning. It wasn’t a private school. I didn’t come from a wealthy family. This was just a local Church of England school down the road in my little village.
Anastasia: So I love this duvet analogy and I love duvets, and I think he makes a really great point when he says to surround yourself with music until it’s quite literally coming out of your ears. And the more you look for opportunities to do this, to push the borders of your own musicality by connecting with other musicians, by joining musical communities like the one that we have at Musical U, just by engaging with music really in as many different ways as you can. Really, the better off you’ll be, particularly when it comes to music communities, even something as simple as playing with someone else or playing in a band.
Anastasia: I found that in my own practice, immersion is just such an effective learning technique that gives you the gift of musical appreciation alongside kind of like all the technical skills and the ear skills and the background that you want. And just like he says in the clip, there’s just this ultimate positive impact of music. It’s just, it’s good for the soul. So in this coming year, I’m excited to kind of like immerse myself even further in my music community that exists in my town, for example, into just diving into learning more history and facts about music. Spending more time on forums, including the ones that we have at Musical U. I just know it’s going to be really, really, really great for my musicality.
Andrew: I love that idea too. This being wrapped up in music and I’m really blessed that I’ve been able to design my life that way in so many ways. I don’t know if it was intentional which came first, the music or the duvet, but it’s nice and warm and cozy. One of the things that I’ve been thinking about a lot this year is there’s certain places where I feel like I’ve achieved plateaus where no matter how much listening I do, no matter how much practicing I do, there’s certain places where I just wasn’t getting the results that I wanted to in my music. This next clip, Gregg Goodhart, has helped me tremendously in moving past those.
Gregg Goodhart: We already learned those, they’re not working anymore. So what happens is, and it all is in the communication, how we teach deliberate practice as you were saying. What happens is, is their teacher taught them a manifestation of the concept of desirable difficulty. They did not teach them about desirable difficulty. That they gave them a fish and they ate for a day, instead of teaching them how to fish so they can eat for a lifetime. And so yes, it works because you can bet when they first showed it to these people, it works spectacularly well. And then what happened? It worked less and less and now we’re right back where we started. How is it you didn’t give them the, we’ll just keep looking for something different to do. And so that’s what we do in the Practiclass.
Gregg Goodhart: Sometimes it will be a different situation. Sometimes I want them to play it backwards. Backwards is great. Usually after we did that, played backwards, I can usually tell I’m backing it right when someone goes, that’s what I wanted to do. If it’s going to cause you that kind of distress, that’s what you’re looking for. And we just go through whatever variations we need to go through. They will struggle. I point it out to the group, look at them struggle. I talk about the universal sign of learning. There really is a universal sign of learning. For instance, this, everyone around the world knows what this is. It means you’re choking. It’s universal. A smile is universal. Everyone knows that means happy everywhere. You don’t need language. There is truly, and I’m not joking about this, a universal sign of learning. And you can see my videos when I point to it, it happens. It looks like this. The brow froze, the eyes narrow, that lips pursed. When someone starts doing that, losing track of their facial expressions and has to focus so hard, then you know you’ve hit the sweet spot. I call it the international sign of learning and that is the manifestation of desirable difficulty
Andrew: Okay, universal sign of learning. Perhaps I should have given a little more background in the beginning here. He’s talking about this idea of desirable difficulty. One of the best ways to get past a plateau in your music is to make things harder. Because our brains get bored, just doing endless repetitions, and they don’t really learn all that stuff that Josh Turknett was talking about. Where when something’s really hard, the brain just lights up. When it’s just only kind of hard or just repetitions, your brain just shuts down. It’s designed to be very efficient. So we want to keep our brain really active. And so making things harder is the best way to make things easier, in a sense.
Andrew: When he was talking about this idea, and I had learned these kinds of techniques when I was younger in terms of you play through a passage with dotted rhythms or with triplets or something like that. When he’s you saying that a lot of times people learn to do that, but they don’t learn what that whole idea behind it is, the idea of desirable difficulty. If you understand that, it’s really fun, you can get really creative about making things harder. Like one of the things he said, playing something backwards or playing something with a different rhythm or change the rhythm. I remember from Marc Gelfo’s podcast, he even will do a different emotion, he’ll play something with a different emotion. And he’ll change his emotional repertoire like he’ll play something where he’s feeling shame. Try that. Or happiness or joy, but he’ll even do the negative emotions where if these are all different ways to engender desirable difficulty.
Andrew: And it’s something that I want to be a lot more creative with because it’s actually while it’s kind of like not fun, you can get creative about it and it becomes fun to do that. It’s like, okay, how can I mess with myself today? I’ve learned that I don’t have to perfect something when I’m doing that. It’s like I just work on it, work on it. It’s like playing something backwards. I don’t have to perfect playing it backwards. And then also the next day, bam, I can play it a whole lot better. So it’s working with these really weird ways in which our brain learns and understanding them, counterintuitive ways in which our brain learns something that is helping me break through some of the plateaus in my music, and I’m really enjoying it. In fact, so much that I’ve started taking lessons with Gregg. We also have a masterclass coming up with him in January. So, flag the masterclass. We’ll be seeing more Gregg coming up. He’s fantastic.
Adam: There will be a link in the show notes to register for the master classes, go to Gregg’s interview. So if you’re watching on YouTube, the link is down there. Yeah, thank you, Andrew. That was a really powerful clip and I love Gregg’s approach and how he does that. It reminds me of like making something more difficult than it has to be. For some reason, what sticks out my mind is, I ran my first marathon last year. And I knew it was going to be … It was a very rural marathon, not in the city. So I would do my training runs like 10, 12, 14 mile training runs on a track to train my brain to deal with the boredom and to push past that.
Adam: So that’s just like one of those little methods that I had to use my own training to become stronger so I could actually do what I had to do. So for my next clip, I selected something about practice as well, and it’s from guests we just recently had the show Jonathan Harnum. And he brings this idea that I never heard of before, and it’s called guerilla practice. So let’s hear what Jonathan had to say.
Jonathan Harnum: Yeah, so guerilla practice is something that I’m using almost exclusively right now. It’s the idea that you can get things done and you can learn things in just short little chunks, five minutes, two minutes, one minute. And it’s a really powerful idea for a couple different reasons. One is that there’s a lot of research that shows the more that you recall an idea, let’s say I’m working on, say, piano fingering and I have to do, I don’t know what it might be. Well, when I’m sitting in line waiting to, I don’t know, get a coffee or whatever, I can practice that finger motion on my leg.
Jonathan Harnum: Maybe I practice it for two or three minutes or less, 30 seconds, maybe two or three run through. I’m not at the instrument, but that’s not necessarily … There’s nothing wrong with that. You can still practice the motion. So there’s lots of times during the day where you can get in short, little bursts of practice. Whether it’s, say, a difficult spot in a melody or remembering lyrics to a tune, I mean, could be a million different things. And just taking that moment in your car or wherever you are, to do this little short bursts of practice. I mean, it all adds up.
Adam: Cool little concept. And where it appealed to me is I just returned to music. I had an eight-year break where I did not play music at all. I was busy doing a different career. And when I came back to music finally, I wanted to get back into the habit that I was able to have as a professional musician and as a student, where I would have practice sessions. We all know what we mean by that. Were these long, two to three hour expansive practice sessions where I’d have a proper warm up and I’d go through some etudes and then some prepare pieces, and some sight reading. Just had this like system, this formula I was working in. And I still need to play. I need to express myself musically, but I don’t have the time to do that anymore.
Adam: Between professional obligations, family and community, I mean, if I get an hour away and I try to take it off to practice, my phone’s going to ring or something’s going to come up on Instant Messenger, it’s going to happen. But I do have five minutes. I have five minutes at multiple points throughout the day. And I can find those five minutes and instead of wasting it on Facebook or watching another YouTube video, I can have my trumpet right next to my desk and pick it up, play a little bit, put it back down, go back to work. Good enough for me. So I definitely plan on doing that to the point I now keep my trumpet in my office. And it’s the first thing I take out when I get to the office. I take out my trumpet, put it on stand, and then I take out my computer. So it’s very intentional that I’ll be doing this in the coming year.
Anastasia: Cool. I love that. I think a lot can actually happen in five minutes. And even though it seems like it’s no time at all, I think a lot of like flashes of brilliance can happen in those short little time chunks. I know at points when I’ve been writing a song, I’ve just like, come back to it for maybe 5 or 10 minutes, and suddenly I’m like, oh, wait, this is a good idea. I can put this in, which is something that just never happens when I’m at it for like two hours and I’m breaking my brain trying to kind of make something happen. So that’s really solid advice. My next clip actually deals with something tangentially related to this. And it’s from an episode called How Composers Improve with Matthew Ellul, and it’s Episode 198.
Matthew Ellul: If you compare, and I did this back then, if you compare the first works and the last works by anyone, any non-composer, we can see a huge difference that they continued to grow. And so that’s what we should aim for, I think, this continuous growth. Not comparing my level to someone’s level or this work to that work. No. Let’s just keep learning. Let’s keep improving. Let’s enjoy the process. And let’s all hone our skills, just like the greats before us did.
Anastasia: Just like the greats before us did. I love that and I think it’s a really necessary reminder that Mozart was not, in fact, born Mozart, and his dad did have to show him where middle C was on the piano. So I think the stop comparing is kind of certainly easier said than done. But I do think that it’s absolutely essential for music practice, sorry, and in some cases, you almost have to force yourself to put your blinders on and stop looking to the left and stop looking to the right. Because when your blinders are on, that’s when you’re totally focused on your own skills and your own craft. I think that’s when practicing becomes this like totally engrossing like involved activity. And that’s really like when the real magic happens.
Anastasia: In my own practice, I’ve noticed that really nothing kills inspiration and my enthusiasm and my exploration quite like looking around me to see what and how everyone else is doing and drawing comparisons to myself. It’s just like the easiest way to kill my mood and make me want to put down my instrument, which is such a shame. And increasingly, I found that, conversely, my best practice, my best work, my best flashes of inspiration, come to me when I’m not thinking about anybody else, but instead I’m fully and totally focused on my own art.
Zac: Really, really beautiful on the stage, really. I agree with that. I’ve had same experiences. You got to really just put those blinders on and get in your zone. That’s really awesome. And about Mozart, that ties into Robert Emery because Mozart definitely would have had to do via music. He was definitely music all the time. So that’s saying something there. I think that really helped him become Mozart. But yeah, just getting in your zone and working on you and not worrying about anyone else. That really ties in well to the clip I chose here from Susanna Olbrich, who specializes in mindful music practice. And so let’s go and listen.
Susanne Olbrich: It’s a very receptive approach. I guess, in our culture, we have a very go-getting approach. So even in music practice, there can be a lot of striving to get this right, to improve technique, to get better gigs. And in mindfulness, for example, we also talk about non-striving to come from a place of letting things come to you. Sounds pretty revolutionary, doesn’t it? In our culture. And deep listening has a strong emphasis on rest, being receptive to really sit and listen and see what … Becoming curious of what’s happening. There’s so many sounds that go unnoticed, and then, there are also listening to your own creative impulses. There are so many creative impulses that go unnoticed just because we’re busy with the next email, with the next phone call.
Zac: I really love this episode with Susanne and there’s So much I could say about just that one little clip. So I’m going to try to like hold myself back from just like … That whole idea of just being receptive, really changed my life and help me find a lot more ease and a lot more flow. And like when I’m in my creative zone, if I’m just being receptive and aware to the things that are happening my body with the sounds, I’m naturally not even going to have brainpower to even think about what other people are doing, because I’m just so focused on just being receptive. And this really led me to kind of a golden rule that I’ve been using in my musical practice. I actually wrote it.. there’s a little note right here. I quite can’t read it, but it says, “Don’t try too hard.” Don’t try to learn. Don’t strive too much. It says don’t try too hard.
Zac: So when I go into my creative brainstorming sessions, when I’m putting those Lego blocks together, I don’t try too hard. I be receptive and I try to notice when I start trying to, when I to start trying too hard to do a certain technique or I start trying too hard to do a certain music theory or I started thinking about what people are going to think of this performance, I’m trying hard to impress someone who’s not even in the room. And then I start noticing what happens with my mind and my body when I start trying too hard. And then I notice how that affects the music that I’m practicing and playing. And then I noticed how that change in the music starts affecting my mind and body again.
Zac: So it’s just a cycle and the more I become receptive and aware of what’s happening in my practice, the more relaxed I become, the more focused I become, and the more things just start happening easily. I feel like I’m just getting started with this since I heard that interview, and I’m really excited to see what the next year of just being receptive has in store for me and my creativity.
Adam: Tremendous. I look forward to being there with you, Zac. We look forward to getting some recordings from you again. Zac has these most amazing recordings. Find him on Instagram. He’s got some really cool stuff out there. So one thing that we really like to do at Musical U is talk about light bulb or aha moments. And I know just listening to the rest of the clips and talking with the rest of you, I had a couple aha moments myself. So I kind of want to open up the floor and let everyone talk about what they’re walking away from this episode with.
Adam: Me personally, Mark Cawley, his episode, it made me realize that I need to be constantly searching and constantly working towards some of the professional goals I have. We talked about gathering song titles for years and years and years. There’s a story of James Hetfield from Metallica how he had this book of like song titles, and people are like, Enter Sandman, what’s that? He had that song title for about a decade before he actually wrote the song. And now it’s arguably the biggest hard rock song in history of hard rock. But the song title was written way before the song was. So how can I do that in my own life?
Adam: It’s great because we have all these tools now, right? These devices where you can just put anything on, just plop it into Evernote or whatever other doc you’re using, and it’s there. It’ll be there forever. So I’m going to make a more conscious effort to be gathering, always searching, always looking for the next inspirational moment in my life.
Zac: I love that you said tools right there. Because in that Mark Cawley episode, he said, “You need tools, not rules.” Because tools is what helps you facilitate creativity. And then I was also thinking about the clip you chose about the guerilla practicing, and when I was thinking about that while you’re playing a clip, it’s really very freeing. Because if you hold yourself to this idea, I need to practice however much time, 2 hours, 10 hours to be whatever. It kind of stresses you out and it’s limiting you. And this idea of you can get better in a short amount of time is very freeing. And then you start finding all these times and actually it ties into the Mark Cawley episode because in that episode, he says, if you’re a beginner, then maybe spend a shorter amount of time that’s more focused.
Zac: Gregg Goodhart also talks about how when you’re doing this focused practice, and making this stuff challenging for you, you can’t really do it that long, especially when you first start. So I think this guerrilla practice and these things, not only does it help you find more practice time in your day, but it could be the best way for you to practice depending on what you’re trying to achieve and where you’re at. You might only need to practice 5, 10, 15 minutes. And that might be great for you. I think that’s very freeing.
Andrew: My biggest aha moment in this episode, was that we started out with this idea that we didn’t have a set theme, we were just going to look at the podcast for the past year and what inspired us. But look at the themes that are coming out and how all these tie together. When you started, in each episode, when it came up was like, oh, yeah, there’s that. Oh, yeah, there’s that. And just to add what you were just saying about guerrilla practice. When we focus our attention for a short amount of time, we could really focus on being receptive and being mindful in thinking about what we’re doing here. That’s part of the work that we’re doing with Gregg. Is, I’m really thinking very deeply about what it means like to move from one chord to the next, or move all the little details and nuances of something that I’m working on.
Andrew: And by thinking about these, it’s improving my memorization of music, it’s helping me get past plateaus, and it’s making me realize, there’s some music that I’ve been practicing for years that I don’t really know. I can receive it and that could be knowledgeable and receive the knowledge of that music.
Andrew: So thinking about the Quebe Sisters, how they weren’t singers, and yet they love this thing. It’s like, I love this. I want to do this. And not holding ourselves back and not being afraid of being terrible at something, it’s all tied together so beautifully. I really appreciate this time to be together with Adam and Anastasia and Zac, with you guys it’s been really inspiring in my own motion forward and I’m going to remember these inspirations. I want to do some guerrilla practicing right now. Like let’s all grab out instruments and do some guerrilla practicing. But thank you so much.
Anastasia: This I think is my favorite rewind episode that we’ve ever done. It’s been a really special one and all the clips that we chose, all eight of them seem to tie together really beautifully. And I think what kind of separates this episode from our earlier ones is the fact that in this one we’re taking a much more kind of like holistic view of like practicing music and really talking about stuff like joy, whether you’re terrible or not, and kind of just how music makes you feel and how it fits into your life. I think that’s been really cool.
Anastasia: My main two takeaways from this rewind episode and what everyone has shared is, obviously, it’s okay to be terrible and don’t try too hard. No one likes to try hard. But no. I think just keeping those two things in mind and almost not overthinking it, and being able to turn your brain off even a little bit and just kind of let the music flow and let it happen and just play what feels good. And do what feels good. I think that’s a major takeaway from this episode for me.
Adam: Thank you all so much. This has been … I agree, Anastasia, this has been so much fun. I was up late last night, kind of preparing for this and I couldn’t sleep and so I started reading a book again. I’m rereading Michael Hyatt’s, Your Best Year Ever, which I’ve read before, but I don’t think I read it with intention. So this time I was reading it and actually going through, it’s on my iPad, so I am highlighting sections and I’m pulling quotes out that are cool and putting them in my Evernote files for later. That’s something I just started doing. Like, when I find a cool quote, I’m going to dump it into a doc, because you can never have enough good inspirational quotes.
Adam: As we get ready for the new year, everyone sets these new year’s resolutions and then we all fail, because that’s what humans do, we fail and then we try harder and then we fail again, and we keep failing, but it’s okay as long as you get back up. And one of the things that Michael said that I wanted to share with you before we wrap up is, the only people with no hope are those who live with no regrets. So that’s pretty powerful to me just for me to keep moving forward and keep growing as a person and a musician.
Adam: Well, that wraps it up for today. Thanks again to the team for joining me as we reflected back on the last year of the show. We hope that you continue to join us into 2020, as we have quite a lineup ready for you. It’s going to be another incredible year. As always, please drop us a line at [email protected] if you have any suggestions or feedback on the show. We’ll see you soon, ready for new challenges, opportunities and musical adventures. Until then, happy new year from all of us at Musical U.
Want to become more musical?
Whether you want to sing in tune, play by ear, improvise, write your own songs, perform more confidently or just make faster progress, first you need to know where you're starting from.
The Musicality Checklist will quickly reveal your personal musicality profile and how you can improve your natural musicianship.
Available FREE today!
Musical U provides in-depth training modules, an easy-to-use personalised planning system, a friendly and supportive community, and access to expert help whenever you need it.