• Here and There: A Direct Letter To ALL Musicians

    in Motivational Minutes,Self-Improvement

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    Dear Musician,

    How are you? I hope you are good.

    Have you been practicing as much as you ought to? Or are you discouraged by the lack of what to practice? Are you on the verge of giving up? Or have you given up already?

    Honestly, I wish I could hear your answers to those questions (and perhaps I can in the comments area if you talk back to me).

    I’m taking my time to write this letter because I believe in you and I know that a great destiny lies ahead of you.

    There are two important phases in your journey as musicians that matter most. One is “here” and the other is “there.”

    What do I mean by “here” and “there”?

    “Here” is where you are.

    “There” is where you want to be.

    “Here” is your present.

    “There” is your future.

    Let me quickly share five things you must know about here and there.

    #1. “Here” is good; “There” is better.

    There’s always room for improvement.

    Think about the apps you use everyday. Several apps and software upgrade on monthly and even weekly basis. Below are some of the reasons that come to mind:

    • Introduction of new functions.
    • Enhancement of old features.

    As a musician, it’s good to appreciate your “here.” You must or you miss the gift that is called the “present.” However, I want you to realize that that there is more to “here.”

    The moment you start enhancing older features and introducing new functions, you’ll see yourself “there.”

    #2. As long as you are human, you will never get to that place called ‘there.’

    Where you are now was once a destination yesterday. Today’s ‘here’ was yesterday’s ‘there’ and today’s ‘there’ is tomorrow’s ‘here.’

    Where you are dreaming of today, will eventually mean nothing to you when you get there. Pause and ponder.

    #3. Your “here” is someone else’s “there” and your “there” is someone else’s “here”.

    There are so many people dreaming to get to where you are now and, likewise, your ‘there’ is someone else’s ‘here.’

    There are so many people who have gotten to, and have exceeded where you want to be.

    This is an important link between “here” and “there”. Through mentorship, coaching and association, those who are “there” can help you get from “here” to “there.”

    #4 What you do “here” may or may not get you “there.”

    “Here” is a means and opportunity to get “there.” The decisions, actions, investments, etc. you make “here” will either leave you “here” or take you “there.”

    The rationale behind all the religious rehearsal/practice routines, mentors/teachers and role-models we have is because everybody wants to get “there.” However, if you don’t do the right things and moreso, in the right way, you may not get “there”.

    #5 If you are not tired of “here”, “here” is tired of you.

    Deuteronomy 1:6

    The LORD our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain.”

    Life is a process in progress. To stay relevant, you need to constantly move from “here” to “there.” Loss of value, diminished excitement, monotony, etc. are all symptoms that reveal that “here” is tired of you.

    Most times, we get carried away by the fun and excitement of certain accomplishments to a point where we slow down to a halt. I pray that from today, you’ll remember the “No Parking” sign whenever you are growing complacent.

    The Bridge between Here and There

    Now, not so many people know the difference between the “here” and the “there”. In between “here” and “there” is a bridge. The bridge that divides “here” (where you are) from “there” (where you wanna be) is just the letter “T.”

    The letter ‘t’ plus the word “here” gives us the word “there”(t + here = there). Right?

    So that means that “T” is the bridge between “here” and “there”. I call it the “T-Factor.” Ladies and Gentlemen, the T-Factor that differentiates “here” and “there” is “Time.”

    Do you know that:

    Time is what will TAKE you from ‘here’ to ‘there?’

    Time is what will MAKE you get ‘there’ from ‘here.’

    “Dr. Pokey, How long will it take? I’m almost losing my patience.”

    Well, the T-factor (time) is a variable – it’s not a constant. Therefore, it changes in proportion to our level of dedication, commitment, hard work and other personal factors like talent and environment. So, no one can say exactly when you will get “there.” However, we can guesstimate how long it will take from your level of dedication, commitment, hard work, consistency, etc.

    Do you know that…

    I started teaching music in my neighborhood (Aba, Nigeria) in 2005 with the aid of HearandPlay courses? In 2015, precisely after one decade, I have grown to become a staff writer and content creator at Hearandplay. I’ve also been entrusted with the Hearandplay vision here in Africa.

    I am glad that there’s a then and there’s a now and the difference is the T-factor (Ten Years [3650 days]) among other factors like level of dedication, commitment, hard work, etc.)

    (Jermaine Griggs, our Founder wrote about the “10,000 Hour Rule” in this post.)


    Don’t be discouraged, don’t give up. I know how it feels being “here” when you want to be “there.” However, you have to be patient. Here are some of the things that worked for me:






    I’m doubly sure they will work for you too. Above all, stay hungry and discontented with any level of progress. In due season (depending on the duration of the T-Factor), you will get there.

    Until next time.

    The following two tabs change content below.
    Onyemachi "Onye" Chuku (aka - "Dr. Pokey") is a Nigerian musicologist, pianist, and author. Inspired by his role model (Jermaine Griggs) who has become his mentor, what he started off as teaching musicians in his Aba-Nigeria neighborhood in April 2005 eventually morphed into an international career that has helped hundreds of thousands of musicians all around the world. Onye lives in Dubai and is currently the Head of Education at HearandPlay Music Group and the music consultant of the Gospel Music Training Center, all in California, USA.

    Attention: To learn more about this, I recommend our 500+ page course: The "Official Guide To Piano Playing." Click here for more information.


    { 4 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Yemi Adesina

    Thanks for sharing this article on ‘Here and There’. I have been motivated to do more.
    God bless you.


    2 Venesha

    Thank you for this very encouraging


    3 Venesha

    I find I am best learning by hear, because I seem to find it hard to retain the theory, I am a more practical learner. So then I just need to practise more which I struggle to do, as I get frustrated during practise sessions as I can’t see any improvements, so I then practise less, but I will take this encouragement on board, and pray that I will play as Gid would have me pray. Your personal story is a blessing thank you for sharing


    4 Leolyn Gribben

    Yea ..I am positively dissatisfied with where i am … if there can be such a thing… this article is very encouraging to me!
    I originally played by ear as a teenager after formal lessons as a child. After many years resumed a few years ago because I wanted to play for God at church… was even gifted with a keyboard…Started out on Hear & play then I went through a real discouraging rough patch subsequently and virtually stopped playing… I had learned to play various progressions and all the scales in all the keys. But that did not translate into being able to play real live music.
    I then started taking local lessons, from ground roots level, which was way too slow, but i realise no learning is wasted so have continued with that.

    Recently I picked up again on my Jermaine studies and I have learned to play a few choruses. along with the other practicing advocated.. Hanon,,,etc
    This has been really heartening to me as I am now seeing come to life what Jermaine said over and over about the circle of 5ths etcand it translating into the patterns etc of so many songs…

    With the info on the bloggs etc, it is fleshing out a number of the courses etc bought from hear and play, So I am very excited for the future. I will in fact be attending a church band practice this weekend for the first time, with the intention to support in the background until ready to play!

    I realise these are the hard times and I need to persevere.. that I will begin to see more fruit as I put the Time in, just as you have said! My sincere thanks for your amazing courses, and the amount of very generous free stuff. With our ZAR exchange rate overseas purchases are really ridiculously prohibitively expensive… so i truly appreciate all I have. God bless you all for your generosity!


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