Vidas: Hi guys! This is Vidas.
Ausra: And Ausra.
V: Let’s start episode 522 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. This question was sent by me, Vidas, answering what I have been struggling the most this week. And my answer was,
This week, I’ve been struggling the most with having an 8 hour sleep at night. Used to wake up quite early..
A: Well, I guess this problem applies to many people, not only you. When I was starting to teach at the 1st of September, I don’t get 8 hours of sleep almost every night. I don’t get it just because if I have to get up early to school, I simply, there is no way I could sleep 8 hours before that.
V: You know, there is a trick. To get to bed earlier.
A: But if you will get to bed earlier, it doesn’t mean that you will fall asleep right away.
V: Maybe that means that you’re not enough, not tired enough.
A: Well, or you are too tired.
V: Oh, you’re…
A: I think it’s for me, it’s probably most often that I am too tired to get, to fall asleep.
V: I can feel what you mean. Your head is full of thoughts right?
V: And they don’t let you fall asleep.
A: But also, if I will do more physical activities in the second half of the day, you know, in the evening, then I also won’t be able to sleep.
V: Do you notice that you sleep better when you take a walk?
A: Well, yes, it helps a little. But not always. Actually, what helps me most is not to have to go to work. If I don’t have to get up early and go to work, then I sleep much better.
V: Aha. We’re recording this conversation on Wednesday morning, so we are not going to work today, right?
A: Well, we will work, of course, but not teaching.
V: Yes. You don’t have classes.
A: No, I don’t have classes.
V: So, did you sleep well tonight?
A: Yes, I think I slept 8 hours straight. Almost 8 hours straight - maybe 7 ½ . And that very rarely happens, actually.
V: I see. But me not so much. I, yesterday I, before, you probably fell asleep around 10:00.
V: And I spent at least 45 minutes of writing a post, a blog post.
A: Well, I think your problem is that you spend too much time with technology. With your phone, with your computer. Then, I’m sort of wondering how you can sleep at all.
V: (Laughs) Sleep at all!
A: Because if I would be so technologically engaged as you are on a regular basis, I would not sleep at all.
V: Mm hm. Yeah, it’s very tricky to disconnect actually. To disconnect long enough to relax. Some kind of breathing exercise might help, but I have to find to incorporate it in my day, maybe in the morning and in the evening.
A: I think to find the right balance in your life is a challenge for everybody. That you would have enough mental activity but also enough of physical activity.
V: You know, I no longer consider myself employed by other organizations, right? I always consider myself employed by myself. For a long time, even when I was working at school, I still was considered running my own business as a priority. You know, basically, Secrets of Organ Playing. And when you do that, when you have your own business, small or large, it doesn’t matter probably, you feel responsible. And it’s like running your own school, imagine. Do you think your principal sleeps well?
A: Well, actually, I don’t care!
A: I don’t care about it. It’s my last concern.
A: Sure. Do you think my principal thinks about how I’m sleeping?
A: And if he does not, then why should I bother about it, and even think about it?
V: Maybe not principal, maybe your supervisor, let’s say, or someone else.
A: Well, who cares a shit, actually.
V: Mm hm. But, you see what I mean, right?
A: Yes, yes.
V: When I have to deliver content constantly and do technological calls on the computer to maintain the business side of things.
A: I think this is the reason why so many people, so many talented people, don’t want to start their own businesses. Because we’d better be part of something, and we don’t have to do all this stuff that you’re talking now.
V: So is it a good thing or a bad thing?
A: Well, I guess we need both kinds of people.
V: Are they missing out on something, or are they protecting themselves?
A: I think both of these sides have their own advantages and disadvantages.
V: Mm hm.
A: There is no white and black in life. Everything is somewhere in the middle. I guess if you are sort of your own boss, you have advantage of being able to organize the work the way you want. Maybe you don’t have to get up at 6 a.m. every morning. But also you have the responsibility to do things…
V: Mm hm.
A: That nobody else will do for you.
V: That’s what I’m talking about, yes. I have to think about what I’m going to do next. Because there is no schedule set up for me.
A: But I guess because you are not that kind of person that would like to do, somebody that is told to do, then I think it’s better for you to run your own business.
V: That’s what I needed to hear. Thank you.
A: So I guess everybody has to find the right path for them.
V: Yeah. Finding your own path is crucial. Being stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time is making things, making you miserable, right?
V: Mm hm.
A: But I think sometimes it’s the quality of your character that you know that this might not be good for you, but you have no inner power to change anything.
V: You know, there is some solution to this problem of not, not being able to disconnect myself for long enough to relax. I need to find out what 20% of my efforts give 80% of results.
V: This 80/20 rule. And this is called Pareto Principle. And then focus exclusively on those. And maybe neglect everything else which just sucks my time.
A: Well, yes, but you know, when we did those psychological tests a few years back in school, and the speaker of that, he told that there are no way that people could jump from one character to another one. That it’s sort of like predestination - if you have this psychological portrait, you cannot become another person. And remember, you were like, Enthusiast.
V: Uh huh.
A: And I and my colleague, we were these so-called Loyal Realistic.
V: Uh huh.
A: Realists. And so another colleague of ours made a joke that me and my colleague, we will never quit the school because of that.
V: Uh huh.
A: Unless we die. So, that’s not so funny actually. That’s pretty sad, but that’s who I am and I cannot change that.
V: This is called Myers-Briggs test.
V: With 16 personalities.
V: Mm hm.
A: So you can do it for fun if you want to find out more about yourself.
V: Yeah, it’s interesting to find out your own personality type, because then you might discover something too, about yourself, what you really value, right? About other people, maybe, who are close to you.
A: Well, it’s good to know your strengths and weaknesses.
V: Mm hm.
A: Because I think all of these personality types have their own strengths and their own weaknesses.
V: Do you think that this test is accurate enough?
A: Yes, I guess it is, because from what I see about your character, you are real Enthusiast.
V: Mm hm. Extrovert?
A: More extrovert than I am.
V: There are more gradations than just introvert/extrovert in that test.
A: Sure, sure.
V: Because there are 16 kinds of personalities.
A: But you know, sometimes, I remember myself taking the test and answering some questions, and I had doubts sometimes, which one answer to select. It means that, you know, I might have other personal qualities as well. Not that the only one.
V: Mm hm. So, lots of things to think about. If you want to find out your own personality test, check out Myers-Briggs test. It’s available for free online obviously.
A: Yes, because I think our personality types also determines the way we practice the organ.
A: And knowing that, also can help us to improve the quality of practice on the organ.
V: Yeah. For some people, doing this very strict practice of counting the repetitions, and eliminating mistakes, and practicing scales and arpeggios is too rigid, right?
V: They want to be more free and more independent, and to feel artistic inspiration. But for others, it’s the opposite, right?
V: They want to be strict.
A: It’s a pain.
V: Yeah. When somebody tells you, “You can do anything,” they don’t know what to do.
V: And when to other people, you say, “No, no no, you cannot do this. Only do this: 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3.” It’s too restrictive, and they feel very limited.
A: And I guess also because of the personality types, for one person it’s easy to sit down on the organ bench and to practice for a few hours straight, but somebody might get tired after playing for like 15 minutes.
V: Right. Thank you, guys, for listening. For applying our tips to your practice. We know they really work. It’s difficult to apply them, but when you do, it’s really worth it. Please send us more of your questions - we love helping you grow. And remember, when you practice,
A: Miracles happen.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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