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  • Mike Orsini

Playing by 'Ear'


My daughter was learning to 'play by ear' on the piano the other day and it got me thinking about how this relates to success in our personal and professional lives.

Firstly, what is 'playing by ear'? It's the ability to play a piece of music just by listening to it. The skill involved in translating sound (the music), back into something physical (fingers playing), which reproduces the sound (the music) is tremendous.

'Playing by ear' is an incredible talent. It means you have experience, knowledge, and insight into the instrument you are playing and the music you are listening to.

This is the way our life is. We 'play by ear'. Possibly more so when we're younger but we never necessarily stop. As infants we're sponges that soak up all the sights, sounds, behaviours, words, etc. that are around us. We begin to mimic ('play by ear') what we see around us. Our life's path is dependent upon how we learn to 'play by ear'. If we don't like the path that we've found ourselves on then we need to change the music we're listening to. For example, if we've found ourselves on a negative path of self-destruction then we need an influx of more positive, hopeful music.

How far do we ever move away from what we learn when we are younger? As mentioned above, as infants we soak everything up and it somehow becomes transformed into the tune that we play unconsciously for ourselves. The tune is our path. The tune becomes and is our 'home'; our comfort zone. Our tune becomes what we know.

If we recognize the tune that we're playing is not something that we want to be playing then we need to learn new music. It won't necessarily be easy. In addition, it we learn best when we mimic. So start learning to the tunes that you want to incorporate into your lives so that you can change the internal tune that your current life is playing. Over time we will learn how to incorporate the new music into our own lives and make it our own based on our own unique and awesome gifts.

As always, Strive to Optimize!

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