Reading My Way Around the World

Monday 12 September 2016

Learning new skills - go gently

Today I'm reminding myself to go gently.

I did a search for some music to go with this phrase and found this artist whom I'd never heard of before ... Suzanne Ciani - she's a synthesist ... I love the melody...


A friend called the other day to get help from my other half with her computer.  She was berating herself for not being able to do basic things on her new laptop,   I was trying to tell her that we all feel like that even if we're using the computer all the time but she wasn't hearing me to go easy and she'd get there.

Recently I've been working on arrangements for singing workshops and for my choir.  It's something I've avoided assiduously for years because the relevant software is sooooo slow to work with and on the face of it quite complicated.  And of course, having a go every 2 or 3 months isn't going to help the learning process.   By the time I get back to it, I've forgotten the little bits I did learn.

We live in a culture that demands instant gratification and that rewards speed and competence.  But what happens if we just slowed down and did a little bit everyday - eventually we get the desired result - a new skill or whatever.   And especially as we get older, or just have too much going on in our heads it gets harder and harder to learn everything quickly.

To paraphrase Homer Simpson - to learn something new, something old has to go out ... or something along those lines...
I love that idea, and it makes sense to me when I'm trying to learn more song words - something simply has to be forgotten to make room to remember something new.

So, deep breath and back to see if I can finally get to grips with this software.

Keep trying y'all and go gently.


  1. That's true. It's so easy to just berate ourselves for our self-perceived 'stupidity' and denseness but somethings take time. Like a melting pot! Which music program do you use? I use Sibelius.x

    1. At the minute I'm using Finale Notepad - I don't really need more than that, but I'd love one that I could play into rather than writing ... I believe Sibelius is great... any thoughts?

  2. Yes, dear Fil, we do have to go gently... I liked the artist you introduced, I never heard of her either. I think you are so right when you talk about instant gratification. Some things take time, usually the most important ones, the ones that are dear to our souls. These days we have not only instant gratification, but such a speed, things that never satisfy us, that people jump to the next novelty, and then that is not enough anymore and so it goes. Not the best way to live life, in my opinion, but even I catch myself sometimes in this pattern. I hope you are fine, dear Fil! I owe you an answer :) But I was so dizzy last week, need to see a doctor :( Hugs and kisses!

    1. Oh I hope you feel better soon Denise - go gently with yourself :)

  3. I said something similar to a boss once and he said I was implying that we had finite memories and they could only hold so much information.

  4. Hi Fil - I've never heard of Suzanne - but she gives us wonderful music. Taking that step back and re-looking at something that's a challenge is a necessary evil of our life ... there's always something new. I see something and think oh no another new thing - right I'll get there sometime ... and keep quiet - so I know about the newbie 'thing' and can relate to the genre or subject area ... but can also 'ignore' til it suits me ...

    Good luck with your learning skills - sounds like you're coming at in the right frame of mind now .. cheers Hilary

    1. A big phew Hilary :) I love new things though but it's great being able to ignore them too lol

  5. Hi Fil...
    What beautiful music and I appreciate your thoughts on going gently.. I can totally relate that to my music. Improving on my instruments and always looking for new songs to play and sing. It reminds me of the line from the song Emmy Lou by First Aid Kit. "things don't don't grow if we don't bless them with our patience" Extending grace and patience to ourselves.. Slow down and remember what we have already accomplished..
    It's nice to hear of others who are trying to embrace that a bit and not always trying to speed up and do more. It's almost a sickness here in America..

    Thank you for your recent visit to my blog. It was nice to have you stop by and say hello. I'm trying to get to recording some of my songs and converting them so I can share them.

    Best wishes for a wonderful week ahead and I hope all goes well with your computer project.


  6. I hardily endorse your practice Fil - going gently feels so much more nurturing and kind, and heaven knows the world needs as much of that as we can manage doesn't it?! Suzanne Ciani is a lovely find - thanks for sharing her. Good luck with your project - may it be filled with more joy and less hair-pulling. :-)


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