Last night I watched, for the first time in ages, “The Matrix”. Something struck me whilst watching it – a thought that branched out into my “music world”. Throughout the film, the characters are plugged in and have information and skills uploaded into their brains. Yes, ok, I know this is from a sci-fi film which is pretty much unrealistic, etc., but it made me think about the nature of the world that we live in, in that so many things in our lives are available instantly. Latest news update, information via google, coffee. So much of this is pretty good (I can’t give opinion on the coffee side as I drink neither instant or freshly ground versions of that particular beverage), but on the flip side there has developed the instant-fame, instant-success, instant-talent culture which can be, and I believe is, such a damaging influence.
I’m not just talking about the innumerable “talent” shows and contests on our tv’s theses days; the shows which present individuals or groups performing a few numbers over the weeks, presenting them as if they just popped up out of no-where, having done nothing to get this talent, show off and “impress” certain celebrities and BOOM they’re all stars. Ok, I’m exaggerating. Some of the people on those programmes have probably worked quite if not extremely hard to get as good as they are – but the programmes just don’t show that. And that annoys me.
There there’s other, slightly more “culturally-orientated” shows. Programmes which portray bakers, cooks, choirs, etc. Those programmes are just as bad in neglecting to mention or pay special enough notice to the facts that those individual groups didn’t just achieve what they have in the space of an hour. The amateur bakers and cooks have most likely spent a fair chunk of their lives studying, practising, observing. The choirs we see on tv and film – which go from a mish-mash of strangers thrown together, attempting to make some lovely noises together but not quite getting it, to singing beautifully together within the space of an hour (in terms of our perception, at least), producing well-tuned but actually quite difficult harmonies, good rhythm and technique. It’s so frustrating to see people achieving the goals set out so quickly when it takes me hours of work every day, for months and years, to achieve something akin to it!
The most common question I am asked when a new student starts tuition with me is “how long will it take me to [achieve my goal]…?” All I can answer every time is “I don’t know; everyone progresses at different rates. It all depends on how much work, focus and dedication you can put into it.” And that’s the truth of it. When you’re working hard and watch something happen instantly, or even see a friend progress quicker than you without seeing what work they’ve put into it, you’re bound to feel disheartened and discouraged. The bottom line is – don’t compare yourself to anyone else, whether real or fictional, but yourself. Keep working hard, don’t let the bad days get you down and you’ll feel/see/hear the results. It takes time. Also remember that you will feel your progress the slowest; others see it more because they are not in your company (or brain!) 24/7!
Example of an overnight success being caused by many years of effort: Gangnam Style was touted as an overnight success, it was a viral hit for Psy. But Gangnam Style wasn’t his first music video, or his second – actually the figures are rough on this, but we do know in 2001 he had domestic musical success in South Korea (his home country) it was also a video that got him into trouble with the government of SK and landed him a fine. Gangnam Style was actually the 18th official pop single from Psy when it was released in July 2012, it was from his sixth album. It became the first video to ever reach 1 Billion views on youtube – it also become number 1 across 30 countries in the same year.
So, it turns out talent (as with luck I believe) accumulates over long time periods, gathering around those who put in the effort and of course enjoy what they do. If you want to get started on the journey to becoming “an overnight success” then get in touch and lets book you some singing lessons or piano lessons.