In our era where everyone gets a trophy for not doing anything amazing, I still find it refreshing that that attitude hasn't trickled down into the bagpipe world. In teaching people I find myself saying to them: "Your attitude will determine your altitude in this project." I think that I borrowed that from my favorite motivator, Zig Ziglar.
Presently I am teaching a few young men who I think have a great deal of potential. My problem is that I'm not sure that they've decided to "do it" yet. Again, I don't why anyone would take a 2 to 5 year project and make it a 20 year project when the option to do it faster is indeed a possibility.
If you want to play the bagpipes, the piano, the clarinet or climb Mount Everest, you need to make a decision to do it! You also need go in with the attitude that you are going to win. Everything in life, whether we like it or not, is about winning and losing. If it wasn't, then why do people spend their money buying tickets to sporting events or tie up a Sunday watching the Super Bowl? Why do we have talent contests and art contests? The problem is that we have people telling us that "competition isn't everything". Tell that to your friend who didn't get the job, or the part they wanted.
Going into practice wanting to win the task will certainly get you there sooner than being indifferent or defeated. If you are feeling indifferent or defeated, you need to ask yourself why you wanted to do this. Can you restore those feelings that made you call your instructor on the phone to book your first lesson? You might need to dig deep. What else are you doing to maintain your attitude between lessons? Do you watch bagpipe You Tube videos? Do you read blogs? Do you listen to bagpipe music in the car? Doing these things will get you past "the struggle" which, by the way, comes after the "honeymoon". If you can get yourself past the struggle, than you will win. Completing the task is about winning.
In real life, not everyone gets a trophy. However, it's there if you want it badly enough!
Gary Guth is a professional bagpiper with over 45 years of playing experience and has been teaching bagpipes full time for the last 20 years. He has written "Bagpipes For Beginners", "the Bagpipe Hymnal", and " A Piper's Christmas".