• A Tale of Two Folks: Jumping Up vs Growing Up

    in Motivational Minutes,Self-Improvement

    growing up

    Shortly after launching an object into the air, it makes its way back to the ground.

    Why is this?

    As you probably know, it is due to the force of gravity. The force of gravity pulls objects downward back to the surface of the earth.

    This explains why after jumping high, throwing a discus, or even firing a slingshot, these things can’t remain off the ground forever.

    In this post, I’ll be showing you how you can defy the force of gravity.

    “What Goes Up…”

    One of the earliest quotes I learned in elementary school was that what goes up must come down. This quote is attributed to Sir Isaac Newton, a 17th century mathematician and philosopher.

    When the word must is used, it suggests an obligation, not a prediction. When you jump up, the force of gravity is already in place to return you back to the ground without any negotiation.

    It is true that the law of aerodynamics can combine upthrust, drag, and lift to keep an aircraft up in the air. However, after flying a predetermined distance, the aircraft must still land right?

    In reality, whatever goes up must come down.

    “What Grows Up…”

    In a previous post, I shared a lot with you on growth.

    Growth is an irreversible process that increases you in size, height, and weight. Once you experience growth, especially an increase in height, it is irreversible.

    (Ok, perhaps you might lose a cm per decade after 40 years old and more rapidly after 70, but you get the point!)

    We’ve heard of weight loss and other physical fitness programs.

    In as much as these programs can help one lose weight or drastically reduce in size, these programs do not reverse the process of growth.

    Jumping Up vs Growing Up

    Gaining height by jumping up is faster than gaining height while growing up.

    The second you jump up, you gain height immediately, as opposed to growing up where it takes months and years to add a permanent inch or two.

    This explains why so many people prefer jumping up to growing up.

    However, you must realize that what jumps up must come down while what grows up doesn’t. Growing up is irreversible, jumping up isn’t. I have never observed where the force of gravity reversed growth.

    Growing up may not pay off immediately, but when it does, it’s worth the wait and the effort.

    To inspire you further, I’ll be telling you the story of two people.

    A Tale of Two Folks

    Two guys, let’s call them James and John, started their keyboard training in 2004.

    Upon the completion of their basic training that same year, both of them started playing in their respective local churches.

    After struggling with playing in all keys for a while, John discovered an electronic way of transposing keys on the keyboard.

    He started mastering the key of Db because he always transposed to it and after a while, he was already so acquainted with the key of Db that he started sounding better than James. After a while, he started gaining popularity and local fame.

    James, on the other hand, was disciplined. He was overwhelmed with the technical, mechanical, and mental difficulties of playing in all twelve keys but he refused to throw in the towel even after seeing the progress John had made.

    In 2011, a quest for musicians was organized by a leading telecommunications company in their country and both musicians made it through their state audition to the national level.

    When it got to the third round of the competition, on stage was an ebony black acoustic piano – Fazioli to be precise.

    Long story short, John was asked to play “Cherokee” in the key of Bb and it was a flop while James sailed through the competition and came out as the second runner up.

    Moral Lesson: Grow up, don’t jump.

    I personally believe that John flopped because he couldn’t defy the gravity of playing in all the keys.

    He jumped over it years before then because he probably asked himself “Why should I struggle with playing in all keys [growing up] when I can just transpose the key electronically [jump up]?”. He sadly never saw a day when playing naturally in all the keys would be crucial to him.

    You and I may not be preparing for a piano competition anytime soon. :-)

    But truth remains that we may not know the circumstance that will expose us. For John, it was the acoustic piano; for us it may be something different.

    If you jumped up in music, don’t wait until gravity brings you down. Defy that gravity today by growing up.

    It’s Not Too Late To Grow

    Just like a vast majority of musicians out there, I started by jumping up.

    I was not exposed to the essential body of rudiments that would help me truly grow. Here’s how I started:

    “These are the white notes, and these are the black notes. Forget about the black notes for now and let’s focus on the white notes. Alright, let me show you the national anthem…”

    I progressed from song to song until I started playing in church. I was excited about playing songs meanwhile I actually jumped over notes, scales, intervals, chords, and chord progressions.

    Over the years, I had to apply the slingshot principle by going back to the things I skipped and growing up with them. Today, I’m better off and I believe that someone reading my words needs to make that same decision to grow today.

    One of the enemies of growing up that you must overcome is the euphoria or self-gratification of being able to play.

    No doubt, you know what you’re playing, but if you can’t figure out why you’re playing it, it’s quite likely you jumped up to those things and you still need to grow up.

    This decision will make you defy gravity.

    Pause and ponder.

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    Hello, I'm Chuku Onyemachi (aka - "Dr. Pokey") - a musicologist, pianist, author, clinician and Nigerian. Inspired by my role model Jermaine Griggs, I started teaching musicians in my neighborhood in April 2005. Today, I'm privileged to work as the head of education, music consultant, and chief content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with hundreds of thousands of musicians across the world.

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




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    { 2 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Yemi

    Thank you for this post. It is a very inspiring and educative. I can say I also started by ‘jumping up’. I used to play only on the key of C major. So if anyone raises a song in another key I simply transpose. Then I was encouraged to learn to play on D, F and G major which I did and F became my favourite key. But recently I took up Jermaine’s challenge to learn three songs on all 12 keys. I have just done just that and now I can play on all 12 keys, although of course some better than others.

    Reply

    2 bidemi

    It is quite tempting to want to jump when playing the piano because each stage of practise seems interesting but just as you said, it is very important to figure out why I am doing what I am doing. l too jump sometimes but I have come to realise that music is for life so, there is no reason for jumping. Thanks for your post and materials that aids growth.

    Reply

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