Thursday, May 18, 2017

Inside Out Practicing

I'm still very committed to my 31 posts in May promise (it's VERY important to me to help the Maverick Flute Choir raise money to go to NFA), so I owe you a double post for missing yesterday!

In the picture above, you will see the project that has been all-consuming for me this week. All-consuming and a ridiculous amount of fun! I'm so crazy proud of my students and of this musical play we've created for the Texas Flute Society Flute Festival this weekend. 

If you look at the picture above, you can see the "inner voices" of the flute student. As she listens to her teacher and plays music in her lesson, the voices of her inner voice characters chime in with what she's actually thinking.

The teacher says: "Take a deep breath and give yourself a fresh start!"

Perfectionist hears: "Take a deep breath and play it perfectly..."

People Pleaser is constantly cheering when she feels validated and depressed when she thinks she's disappointed the teacher or the audience. 

Busy Brain is chattering on at breakneck speed, reminding the student of all the details she had "better keep track of!"

Procrastination has a million reasons why she was going to practice but didn't, and Stage Fright is obsessed with the judgment of the thousands of people (well... feels like thousands) in the audience tomorrow night. 

The villain of the story, Shame, is there to remind the poor student that she will never, ever, ever be good enough.

Spoiler alert!

Over the course of the play, Procrastination gets upgraded to Patience (because when you start early there actually IS plenty of time!). Busy Brain gets upgraded to Focus, because the reminders ARE helpful, but just one at a time please :-). 

People Pleaser finds a new way to be happy. Having self-respect and being happy with herself is way more fun anyway! Stage Fright learns that breathing is a way to turn fear into excitement and gets upgraded to Confidence.

Perfectionist is slow to come around, but is ultimately pleased with her new job of finding Beauty instead of Perfection. Last, but certainly not least, Shame discovers that being vulnerable is not a weakness but a strength. There is a lovely inner voice group hug when Shame agrees to help the student "just be herself."

This play cracks me up, makes me cry, and most of all reminds me that we all have inner voices as we practice and work on improving ourselves as musicians. 

Next time you are plagued by inner voices that are anything but helpful, remember to give them a brand new job... 

after all, YOU are in charge!

Happy Practicing!
Terri Sànchez

P.S. Hopefully the Inside Out reference in the title of this post makes sense now!