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I am posting this as a benchmark, not because I think I'm playing very well yet.  The idea would be post a video every month for a ye...

Monday, March 7, 2016


I had an image of myself as not a very good teacher or service person. While there was some basis in fact for my low image of myself, in my performance long ago, I have decided that these beliefs about myself are no longer very useful to me.

These beliefs must have had some utility for me to have clung to them, but they are actually not as useful as I thought. Paradoxically, to believe that one is bad at something is a form of egoism. It is actually more obnoxious and damaging than falsely believing one is good at something. Both are forms of egoism, but the negative form is more damaging.

I could think of myself as a bad piano player. It is very true that I know a small fraction of what I need to know (in the sense both of knowing and knowing how), to play what I want to be able play. The consequence of this is that I can learn something new every day. Instead of being bad, I can think of myself as in the learning-very-fast-because-didn't-know-much-before phase.

Or I could think of myself as a good songwriter because I wrote songs with no formal training and they were ok, but taking the good and bad judgment out of it is actually the most helpful thing. Being able to write a song at all is an amazing thing for me.


I decided to learn a song from a fake book. I chose "Dedicated to You." I actually know, at some level, hundreds of jazz standards, so I already have a good starting point.

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