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Two Connections

My daughter just finished her kindergarten year. We love our school and its teachers. Her teacher has a wonderful phrase that helps the students think through how to connect an area of learning to other areas. She connects her hands together and asks, "What are some connections that we can make?"

I mentioned this before, but my father and grandfather would echo the ancient proverbs, "Seek wisdom. Seek knowledge." I delighted in the process of making connections across many bodies of knowledge and disciplines. Yes - I am unashamedly a nerd.

There are many parallels and analogs to the discipline of learning and performing music. Two come to mind this morning: 1. Deep Work 2. Reflection.

When learning a piece, we immerse ourself in that world. The sounds, the page, the life of the composer, the emotion, the intellect, personal stories surround us as we go deeper into the truths of the music that we are learning. After a practicing and training session, we are exhausted; spending enormous amounts of energy - spiritual, mental, physical. This is deep work.

After this immersive experience, we have to come up for air and reflect on what is going on. How efficient is my practicing going? Are there ways that I need to improve in the immediate, short term, and long term? How is my thinking and approach to a section of the piece affecting the performance? These macro questions need to be asked outside of a practice session. This is reflection.

There is a dance between the deep work and reflection. This dance needs to be experienced in many avenues of life; leadership, learning, investing, business ventures, education.

In what ways are you allowing for deep work and reflection in your life and learning process?

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