Since May, I’ve been posting a new video just about every day. What’s in the videos? A short piano piece, played as well as I can quickly learn it. “Short” means, based on a sample size of 72 videos, two and a half minutes on average. (You’ll probably agree, coming from the Agile in 3 Minutes guy, that tracks.) Don’t like what you’re hearing? No problem, the next piece is short too. Here’s the full YouTube playlist, totaling over 3 hours of music so far.

Half a lifetime ago, I was already a musician and a technologist. I’d have believed the future existence of a video-hosting platform such as YouTube. Everything else, nope, no way that’s future-me.

1997 CWRU recital program

I’d given this recital hoping for a tuition grant. Having heard me play, the university accepted me as a music major. Problem is, I hadn’t wanted that. I wanted CS classes more than anything and my advisor from the music department couldn’t get me into those.

I frazzled out at that university, and almost certainly would have regardless of which courses I took.

8 years later I tried again at another university. At that point music was what I wanted to study. I graduated at 30 with a bachelor’s in it.

I also graduated with a changed belief.

My belief at the time of the pictured 1997 recital, and at the beginning of the fall 2005 semester: reading music is an aptitude, I lack it, and I compensate well enough by memorizing quickly.

My belief a few years later: sight-reading is a skill. By practicing it, I’ve gotten much better.

Obvious to me now, and surely obvious to you well before now. But young-musician-me had been resigned to playing only pieces that others could show me and help me with. I would never have believed a different experience were possible.

Lots of lessons in this: for me personally, for how I raise (and praise) my kids, for how I work in and with teams. Most of all: by changing a key belief, I changed how I relate to music. You can see and hear the fruits of that.

How did I get that belief to change? Well, that’s the magic, isn’t it. Lots of things had to change a little bit.

What else changed when I gave myself a more direct relationship to music-making? Another thing I never would have guessed: making more direct relationships with you. In conclusion, behavior, conditions, beliefs, mindset, behavior, and so on, forever. But mainly, thanks for listening. And I don’t mean about the music.