Wow, is been way too long since my last blog. Maybe you noticed that there were some technical issues which resulted in the fact that my website could not be reached. These problems are solved now, which also gives me the motivation to start blogging again 🙂 In the meantime I thought of something new I want to do and to share with you. I don’t really have a creative name for this, so for now it’s called ‘Project Piano’. Today I will tell you about this project.
Since the beginning of this year I have been interested in a phenomena called ‘bio hacking’. Bio hacking is a process in which you ‘hack’ certain things in order to improve your life and health. An important thing is that you also measure the effects of these hacks. Think of measuring the quality of your sleep or keeping track on how your diet influences your energylevels during the day. I haven’t become a real bio hacker (yet?), but the idea that you can really influence your health is very interesting. And you can also use this for other things. You can ‘hack’ your job or hobby, which in my case is playing piano. This inspired me to think about ‘piano hacking’. But what should I hack? And how?
In December last year I read the book ‘The Happiness Project’. The writer of this book is on a quest for happiness and tries to find this by giving her self a challenge every month for one year. I thought this is a great concept to use for Project Piano. I do not have a list of 12 challenges yet, so I am not sure if this project will last a year. But I’ve already got 6 challenges, so half a year will work at least. And if you have any ideas for a challenge I would be happy to hear this! You can let me know by leaving a comment below. Ok, so we have a name and a concept, but how do I get the experiments? I started by making a list of learning goals, or rather: a list of things that don’t go well right now and really need improvement. For instance: I think playing for other people, whether they’re friends, family or total strangers, is super scary. Even during my lessons with just my teacher I cannot play really relaxed. When I play I am too much focused on the notes which results in not really playing musically. Also: I have trouble reading the bass clef. I want to improve my sight reading skills. And lastly I want to learn to improvise (and be confident about it). So… that’s a lot! I don’t have to be able to be good this after 1 year, but I hope that during Project Piano I will find some tools which will help me to learn all this. A few weeks ago I want to a seminar called ‘Mindlift Live‘, which also was about bio hacking. Here I got a great tool for formulating an experiment for a ’30 day challenge’. The tool is to formulate your experiment as a research question: What is the effect of [the thing you want to change] on [what you will measure]? I think measuring results won’t always be easy, but we’ll see.
“So… when will you start?” Well, I already started this month. Last week I had a chamber music workshop, for which I had 3 weeks time to learn the music. To me this seemed like THE opportunity (well, necessity) to start on my first challenge: everyday 1 hour of focused piano study. In my next blog post I will tell you everything about this challenge! As said: if you have any ideas for challenges/experiments please let me know! Do you want to join me on one or more challenges? Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will let you know in advance what the next challenge will be.