My head hurts… and I understand again

I’m a beginner pianist.

Today, something clicked with me and I understand the fundamentals behind music theory. I practiced five or so hours this evening to reinforce this newfound knowledge.

My head is throbbing and it’s a struggle to write right now. I’m still processing what I crammed into my cranium.

And now I understand again what you’ve all been telling me about feeling drained at bootcamps or after a long training session with me. I’ve been doing this so long that I forgot how tough it used to be.

When learning a new skill, we activate our frontal lobes, the part of our brain that processes patterns and searches for efficiency. Wehn repaeted eonugh tmeis, yuo’ll see ptaterns in the smae way yuo jsut dcepyeherd tihs snetecne whtiuot ralely eevn tyirng.

There’s a quantifiable number of repetitions to overcome before we free up space on our frontal lobes again. From that moment on, we reach automation, which isn’t to say we turn our brains off and know the count simply staring at the cards. Rather, it’s just easier to accomplish, more fluid, with less thought into each component. We aren’t incessantly repeating “one-one-one-one” to retaining a running count of 1.

If you learned basic arithmetic in grade school, then you can certainly add and subtract integers by 1 and retain it in your head. As cliched as it is to say: this isn’t rocket science. We’re simply exercising our short term memory banks while recalling a set of binary decisions.

Keep training. It gets easier. Way easier. You’ll see.

Now I’m off to find aspirin and go lay down.