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5 Steps for Perfect Pitch | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

5 Steps for Perfect Pitch

Small children’s violins should come with a surgeon general’s advisory: Flat violin notes cause toe curling, hair loss, early onset arthritis from cringing and upset stomachs for parents of children who play them.

When my preschoolers were in violin, I was the Pitch Nazi who insisted they hit notes neither sharp nor flat, but on pitch because the alternative made me physically ill. Their pitch might not be perfect, but it didn’t need to be mortally wrong.

Perfect pitch – the ability to hit a note correctly without a cue. Traditional American thought is you’re born with perfect pitch, or you’re not. Japanese thought, however, is perfect pitch can be trained. The older I get, the more I agree with the Japanese.

When I play the perfect pitch game, I’m often 2 steps flat – maybe my childhood piano was flat.  After 13 years as a music mom as my kids have sung and played guitar, piano, handbells, percussion, and violin, I win the pitch game more often than I used to.

Isn’t life a lot like perfect pitch? Some assume those with wonderful lives were born to them or got lucky. Others believe with hard work, we can make our lives better.

Let’s assume perfect pitch – and a better life – are trainable. What can improve your ability to hit the notes right? As a former Suzuki mom, these are the steps I’ve seen to develop perfect pitch:

  1. Repetition - Repeat basic building blocks often, no matter how advanced you get.
  2. Focus - When practicing, don’t get distracted. If you get distracted, refocus yourself.
  3. Smaller chunks – if a building block is too difficult, make smaller chunks of it that you can handle.
  4. Expand your repertoire - After mastery of building blocks, always seek to develop your talent.
  5. Share your talent with the world – Play in public with others. When you play music with other people, you must listen not only to yourself but the world.

Perfect pitch will get new tech twists in the future.  When my daughter takes her violin to play in public, she uses the G-Strings app on my phone to ensure she’s tuned. 

Though we may never have truly perfect pitch, we can develop the talents we do have and make them better.

With great love, anyone can learn new things.


One Response to “5 Steps for Perfect Pitch”

  1. Michele Price December 27, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    Mary

    You continue to amaze me how you can take an everyday life situation from your family and convert it to a life and business lesson.

    Makes it so much more fun to learn. I could see this being used in businesses across the country.

    1. Repetition – Repeat basic building blocks often, no matter how advanced you get.

    How many times have we heard this same advice from multi millionaire business owners? Do you do it is the better question?

    2. Focus – When practicing, don’t get distracted. If you get distracted, refocus yourself.

    In a day when distractions are a plenty how often do you give yourself the gift of working without distraction? Do that for one day and see the difference in what you accomplish.

    3. Smaller chunks – if a building block is too difficult, make smaller chunks of it that you can handle.

    Here is one of the biggest toe stumpers. I know because I have don it over and over. when you are overwhelmed break it down into smaller chunks and have fun checking them off, build your momentum in the direction you want results.

    4. Expand your repertoire – After mastery of building blocks, always seek to develop your talent.

    This is an area I see a lot of people both in corporate and business owners. Only wanting to do what the HAVE to to make it through another day. Their thinking is there is too much so why take on more.

    My thinking is they are doing the wrong things and need to delegate then create within their absolute passion and they will see their talents growing (which will grow confidence and profits)

    5. Share your talent with the world – Play in public with others. When you play music with other people, you must listen not only to yourself but the world.

    How many times have we diminished our talents, successes for fear we will be seen as boastful or envied? How does that support a world in which you evolve or whether away?

    Step into your talent with every fiber of your being and you will find a new source of energy spring forth from in you.

    Wow you inspired a new blog post right in side your own blog comments, chuckle. Now that’s a good blog post.

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