The first question I get when people learn I am playing the cello, at 60, is what are your plans?
Photo is of me playing a piano sitting outside some place in Fort Collins, CO. Photo credit Steve Weiss
I’ve been saying I wanted to play the cello for years. I do have some musical ability. My mom took me to piano lessons when I was five. In sixth grade I started the clarinet, moved to tenor sax, and contra bass clarinet. I was drum major my senior year.
Learning the cello keeps me in a growth mindset. While I do have an understanding of music theory, learning the cello has proven a challenging endeavor. I’ve had to learn bass clef. On the cello there are no frets, no holes to cover, no valves to push. Finding the notes is something you learn as time goes on.
The only plans I have for the cello is to simply enjoy the process, while I take back the regret of not keeping up with my music.
In his book The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward, Daniel Pink writes that as we age we tend to regret the things we didn’t do. Conversely, when we are young we regret the things we have done.
I don’t subscribe to the feel-good mantra of “no regrets”. We all have regrets and that is okay. My regret of not keeping up with my music has moved me to finally pick up the cello. I am happy to report that after three months of lessons I have memorized three pieces, the D Major scale, and have no feeling in the tip of my fingers on my left hand.
One of the many perks of hitting 60, I can be brave enough to suck at something new, and not caring what others think.
I want to encourage you to be brave enough to suck at something new.
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