“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” ~ Robert Collier
Success is the greatest motivator. Enjoyment of any learning endeavor is dependent on continued progress, which is dependent on repeated success. For these reasons, regular quality practice and completion of assignments is very important. Few people, regardless of their age, are 100% consistent at these all the time, but when that consistency falls below 90% or so, struggle tends to occur and no one likes to struggle.
A great deal of success is process. All professionals have a process they go through when doing what they do. A good process ensures the work gets done well without problems. It uses time and resources efficiently. A master performs the same process every time, and in exactly the same way, which is the best way they know to get the work done efficiently and well.
Only masters can actually do that, but the rest of us strive for it. While learning something like piano, with a high level of complex skill involved, the process is going to change as the skill level and complexity grows. But there will be a certain basic set of aims and means that will be established early and built upon. Learning these processes and performing them well is extremely helpful to maintaining that 90% success rate. For more specifics on practicing processes see my blog post When Hard is Easy.
Success, progress and enjoyment, however, are greatly dependent on attitude.
A healthy attitude can even reduce the unpleasantness of struggle. With the right attitude, it doesn’t feel like struggle. While we each must choose our attitudes ourselves, children are in the process of learning this and need help. Parents can be very influential with this. Parents are models for their kids, so modeling a good attitude is a great way to foster a good attitude in their kids.
On the flip side, parents to a great extent are the mirror in which their children see their reflections. Striving to be a balanced, honest and encouraging mirror for ones child can have big benefits for them. Refrain from hurtfulness, but don’t avoid times when seeing an accurate reflection of herself is the best option, but could be painful to your child to see. Consider your response, and strive to place it in an encouraging context. After all, even when punishment is used, the goal is not to punish, but to use punishment to cause beneficial growth.
Putting these three together, we get SPA (Success, Process, Attitude). Those three things may not sound very relaxing, but in fact maintaining them makes the progress smooth and the opportunities for fun and joy many. So they do form a kind of SPA treatment to keep learning relaxed, healthy and continuous. it’s a proactive approach.
Summary – The SPA treatment is
- Success Maintain a 90% success rate. Less becomes a risk to motivation.
- Process Learn good processes and do them well.
- Attitude Maintain a good attitude. For parents, model a good attitude and encourage this regarding learning piano.