In High School, I was a cheerleader for a few months. I auditioned for, and was accepted onto, the team. At the time, I was just beginning to gain recognition as a classical piano prodigy, but I loved dancing, and was trying to find a way to pursue both. I was flexible, strong, energetic and enjoyed the choreography. However, eventually, I had to make a choice about my artistic passions, and the piano won that battle. But I never stopped loving dance.
Overtime, I made decent efforts to maintain my physical flexibility, but of course, it has diminished with age. I recently started a new workout regimen which includes sustained, focused effort on stretching, and today I recognized some progress. Of course, I’m not as flexible as I was at 14 years old, but I’m pretty good for someone who spends about 15 minutes each day dancing and stretching.
I mention this because my flexibility breakthrough made me think about flexibility in life in general. As a musician, I’ve honed my skill set for maximum flexibility. I have created a career for myself that allows me to be hired for a wide variety of musical styles, whether reading or playing by ear. I have created a teaching practice that can cater to students of all ages and all levels, complete beginner to professional. I continue to develop my other musical interests (singing, guitar, percussion, composing, arranging), all of which inform and enhance my piano skills. I continue to practice yoga, and dance whenever possible. I firmly believe that having a flexible mindset allows me to thrive, and that by continuing to keep my body as flexible as possible reinforces the mindset. It’s all connected.
Flexibility simply means “the quality of bending easily without breaking”. The opposite of flexible? Rigor Mortis. Just sayin’!
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