Have you read a book called The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks? He talks about how we can create an internal glass ceiling that can limit us from achieving our fullest potential. He aptly describes this phenomenon as an ‘Upper Limit Problem.’
I was reflecting recently on whether I may have hit this ceiling, in a particular situation, when I was studying music. I recall there was a student there that my lecturer raved about. This lecturer was also my piano teacher. He would tell me stories about how this other student was able to transpose Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca easily by ear and how impressed he was with her. Now, I’m sure he didn’t tell me these stories to make me feel any less. This was a man I respected immensely and I will always be grateful he took me from a 5thgrade student to passing my 8thGrade Australian Music Examination Board exam within 18 months. I have wonderful memories of his amazing wit, kindness and silly antics at the keyboard.
I do remember, however, that I made the decision at that point that transposing by ear was something I would never be able to do. As I reflect on this experience I am intrigued by the fact that I made the decision that I couldn’t do something before I even attempted to do it!
Quite often I will notice this same tendency with my students. They have already made up their mind that something is too hard for them before they have even tried to do it. Gay Hendricks talks about how we can be programmed to stay safe and fear failure. However, what I have found, personally, is that when we do step out in faith quite often the answer appears.
I’m sure you can imagine how excited I was when I found this program that had a sound pedagogical framework and methodology for teaching transposing that was easy to follow and made sense! I am someone that likes structure and process and being able to finally discover a system that showed people how to do something that they had always dreamed of doing, but thought they just had to be born with a special talent to do it, has been so eye-opening and needless to say rewarding.