SOPP381: I have just started a new job and I find it extremely challenging to focus on anything else
Just a quick reminder that there is still time to submit your entries to our Secrets of Organ Playing Contest Week 5. Ausra and I are looking forward to listening to your organ playing. Here are the details.
Vidas: Hi guys, this is Vidas!
Ausra: And Ausra!
V: Let’s start episode 381 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. This question was sent by Ariane, who is our Total Organist student, and she writes:
I have just started a new job and I find it extremely challenging to focus on anything else.
And Erika jumped into the conversation on Basecamp too:
I struggle with the same thing and there are times when I don’t get any practice in for a while. But I find that if I force myself to practice for 5 minutes a day, then I will be more likely to practice 10-15 minutes the next day and pretty soon my love for practicing returns. Until the next crisis ?
Keep it up- I’m cheering for you ☺️☺️
Thanks a lot for your words. I think I will start straight away with what you suggested. I am glad I am not alone out there!!!
V: What’s your first impression, Ausra?
A: Well, that it’s very nice that we have this Basecamp platform where people can share their experience and support each other! I think it’s very important.
V: Exactly. If you are alone on this organ-playing journey, then it takes a very high motivation to persevere in lows and difficult times, but when you have other people struggling in the same way or similar way as you are struggling on the same journey, basically, then you really feel not alone, like Ariane said, and, you keep pushing through the bad times and hope for the best.
A: Yes, because you always will have some bad times, like having a new job, or being sick, for example, now I haven’t touch any keyboard for eleven days already, I believe, because I have a sinus infection, and I have a fever, so, what good would practice do for me? Nothing, probably. So, I just have to go through all this stuff and then resume my practice. And, it’s okay. Things happen.
V: Yeah. We try to take our minds and bodies seriously, and take care of them, so that they would take care of us! We don’t recommend overexerting ourselves, especially when people have illnesses.
A: But also, the one thing that I understood about being sick, and it’s not the first time that I understood it, but as time goes by, I used to forget about it. And it’s not a good thing, because as Ariane wrote, that her job takes everything out of her, and she cannot practice, I think that none of us would need to focus on our job so hard, because a job is a job, but it will not make you feel better, and sometimes I thought that in my work I’m irreplaceable at school, but it’s so not true!
V: You think that you are irreplaceable, right? Or replaceable?
A: I thought that I was irreplaceable, but now I don’t think so!
V: Because somebody else is working for you while you are sick.
A: Sure. And plus, we had such a case in our school, actually, that one colleague of ours died just recently, and nobody at school knew about it. And, we have a sort of an institution which pays….
V: Social care….
A: Yes, social, like social care institution, and they called to school to inquire why they are still paying this person, because she’s dead already!
V: But the school did not know.
A: And that’s how the school found out about it! So that’s what your job does for you, that you might pass away and nobody will even notice that you disappeared. I think this is horrible.
V: It is a little bit disturbing, how little…
A: I think it is very disturbing, and it teaches us to take better care of ourselves, and don’t be so much tied to any job.
V: You are not your job title. You’re much more. You are free to be whatever you want to be.
A: I’m not saying that jobs are not important, and you don’t have to do it. Of course! It pays the bills! But even if it does that, you need to have some time for yourself and for your hobbies, and for your friends and your family.
V: Exactly. And even if we are not talking about death, but what happens if you are no longer needed at the job, and they try to replace you with somebody else, somebody more personally appealing, perhaps, then you get kicked out, and what you do then if you spend decades immersing in this job and fully giving yourself to this position and work, then there is a sort of emptiness, and you don’t know what to do next.
A: True. They have such an old saying in Lithuanian, that what people do with old horses that are not suited for work is they just shoot them. That’s not a nice saying, but it’s so true.
V: Yeah, or make them into sausages. That’s even worse!
A: That’s gross! Vidas, you shouldn’t talk like this.
V: Alright, so, advice for Ariane and Erika, who are focusing extremely on their jobs and struggle with playing the organ at the same time: If organ is important to you, important enough that you will want to practice it from time to time regularly, then as Erika says, just do it for 10-15 minutes a day at first. Try not to skip any day. Even if you don’t have an access to the instrument itself, just take out the music in front of you, put it on the table, and play it in your head while moving your fingers on the table and your feet on the floor, pretending that you’re on the organ bench. Would that be considered as organ practice, Ausra?
A: Sure. It could be considered. In general, I think that practicing organ is to give you some sort of satisfaction, pleasure. You need to find pleasure in your practice. Maybe it’s not very easy every time, when you are drilling, for example, hard spots, but I think if you find joy in practicing, you will find time for doing it.
V: Exactly. Ausra, do you miss your practice now when you’re sick?
A: Sure, but I didn’t miss it at the beginning, because I was really feeling very bad at the beginning of this infection. But now that I am getting better, yes, I feel the need for practicing.
V: Okay, if you continue to recover, when do you think you presume to get on the organ bench again?
A: In a few days, probably.
V: Later this week?
A: Yes. When we're reading this it's Monday, so probably on Saturday.
V: Nice. Thank you guys, we hope this was useful to you. Please keep sending us your wonderful 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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