Monday, February 1, 2010

What's Keeping Me Down

 Would you say that pride is one of the biggest hinderances of growth?  I'm considering it.

Here's an example.  I've played the piano for a really long time but I've never been good at sight-reading (the ability to pick up a never-before-seen piece of music and play it moderately well the first time through).  Until recently, every time I would try to improve this skill, I would sit down with music at a level I would be proud of in the presence of others.  Of course, this was fairly difficult and, without fail, I would give up on the endeavor before too long.

Several weeks ago, my husband brought home a book of children's songs from the library.  In his sweetness he thought I might enjoy it and find some songs to use with my students, but apologized for the easy skill level.  Because they were easy, I thought it would be fun to play through the entire book at least once.  So, that's what I have been doing and guess what? It has been the BEST exercise for sight reading I've ever had.  The music is fun, easy enough for me not to get discouraged and every page turn is improving my sight-reading skills!

I'm starting to believe this idea that we should be better than we are only stirs up a big pot of deception and destruction.  We're ashamed of failure, inactivity and insignificance.  I get it.  I live it daily sometimes.  But once that deceptive pride either runs out or you get tired of it, ultimately what have we gained? Nothing. No growth, no improvement, just more regret and shame.

So, what's the moral here?  I guess it is that baby steps are better than imaginary steps. :) What do you think?


Unknown said...

Thanks for that! That was very encouraging to me. I needed that.

Melissa Wallace said...

I have always been a firm believer in baby steps. To me, baby steps usually result in a better outcome. I've enjoyed reading your blogs. Very eye-opening and though provoking. You are a wonderful writer.

Amy Butler said...

Thanks you guys, but you know I do this because I need it - the writing AND the accountability. My goal is to keep it a daily thing as much as possible. I'm glad its useful at times, anyway. :)

Debraney said...

This is slightly off the point of your blog, but one of the ways to increase reading fluency is to read books that are below your reading level. I love to read children's books because my reading speed increases (and I love the stories). Now, when I have to read more difficult books, I've noticed my overall reading speed has increased as well. It's just a good fluency exercise.

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