My “Real Life” Benefits of Playing Classical Guitar

For those of you who read the blog regularly and follow me on Facebook will know that in the last year or so I’ve been travelling a heck of a lot with my work. That has its ups and downs, but mostly ups because it’s pretty cool work (environmental management and development of sustainable infrastructure in a nutshell), I get to work with some great people and see some nice parts of the world (including 4 Australian states and both islands of New Zealand in the last month alone!). **

On my recent travels over to New Zealand to deliver some training on sustainability I had time to mull over the fact that my experiences in learning classical guitar, playing classical guitar and teaching it really do cross over into other areas of my life, particularly my work life.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the intrinsic value in learning and playing the classical guitar (or any other instrument for that matter) is highly valuable in and of itself. And the title of this blog post is a little bit misleading – music making is definitely a part of “real life”. There’s no denying that from me for sure! But it’s great that there are also added benefits, if you like, that the process of music making can teach or show you and can really help you in perhaps your working life.

During my mulling (which is helped by some quiet down time on various aircraft!), I came to realise that there are some key aspects of the musical journey that have crossed over and definitely shaped (and continue to shape) the way I work. I thought it was an interesting reflection so thought I’d share with you today.

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Here are my top 5 observations of cross over benefits in my journey:

1.There is no substitute for consistent, persistent hard work, or rather smart work – the application of ones energy in the right direction at the right things. Along with the appreciation that new skills take time to master, but can be mastered with the right mindset.

2. Presentation and stage presence – deliver what ever it might be that you’re playing or presenting from the heart, knowing that you’ve put solid work into (you definitely have to number 1 above). Then hold yourself with poise and confidence in its delivery and your audience will be listening.

3. When working with others on new approaches or concepts, show them the ropes but let them hit upon realisations for themselves and find out the best way to do something for themselves (but provide positive guidance along the way).

4. Working with others produces results that just wouldn’t happen playing solo.

5. When working/ playing with others go in with ideas on the outcomes you want, but also be prepared to listen to differing thoughts. The outcomes, musical, work or otherwise, may produce interesting results.

I might come up with some more of these, folks, as I muse on it a little further!

** As a little side note, as a result of my hectic schedule you may notice that I’m not posting with as great a frequency as in the past. Rest assured that I am continuing on with the blog, but for the sake of my sanity and writing posts that are actually useful for you, dear readers, the less regularity thing will continue to be the case for the time being. I’m sure you understand 🙂

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