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Category Archives: Lesson

Lessons learnt

A good lesson to learn during Bachelors program

10/10/2006 : The day our classes officially started for Bachelor of Technology at CU ( Calicut University). Information pours in slowly but definitely, in that time, when mobile internet was slowly penetrating the serenity of Malabar.

We had plenty of time to expend on a rather long vacation after +2 (higher secondary school). That was the best months of vacation, waiting on something unknown, uncertain, and having nothing else to do. The months before the tests/exams of +2 was had a  sense of war-time emergency at personal level for my batch. Hence, the vacation was a special invitation for some, who particularly put up with the stress of studies and prepared rigorously.

October approached, and we were in for some initial foothold in the next steps of study. Everyone wanted to get into engineering. This was understood for the return of investments and the scope of an engineering degree rather than the personal interests as such. This could not be elaborated further because what were some of the career explorations students at that time did? I had no clue. Newspapers, family, and their extensions were the go to source of information. Internet was available, but information? I do not know. With limitations in sources of information, it was a blessing in disguise, helping to eliminate unwanted distractions and stick to guaranteed investments of 3-4 years in college. It is easy to choose when we have the complete picture of valid available sources.  The long wait was closing in and we were in the process of enrolling in the colleges for whatever we have picked. This waiting period taught one valuable lesson to wait to get. Unlike the current times (year 2017) of clicking and getting whatever you want. Waiting to get something was a lesson. And later, as time progressed, for our batch, Calicut University wanted to give us a definite time for first year examinations (2007). Moreover, some students went to CU. Some striking, some to see what a strike is like for the first time, some to see what CU looks like. It was first time outside home and hostel for a solid mission. To be there. Later, as situation was handled excellently by CU administration, it was learned that there were no physical strike, not a single person had the madness to through a stone at the windows of the windows, for fun or seriously, this would have caused chaos. Their combined dignified demeanour saved the day. Period of uncertainty cast a shadow on the academics. What will be the actual dates of examinations? On what basis are the studies to be planned with an uncertain date? What possible distractions could be avoided? There were truckloads of uncertainties and unknowns! When it came to passing backlogs for some that was another avatar of uncertainty. In addition, at the dusk of the program recession hit, thanks to Lehman Bros. The Indian system of campus placements to get job re-assured that it was not worthwhile for companies to visit campuses for placement. In sum, the cumulative uncertainties prepared everyone in our batch to mentally prepare ourselves to face the yet incoming uncertainties of the bigger world, called ‘Life’. That 4 years of preparation toward life was the most valuable course in the program never advertised or assumed in those years.

 

PS:

My batchmates may or may not agree to all these. These are my personal opinion.

 

 

 

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Posted by on August 27, 2017 in Lesson, Uncategorized

 

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The Cockroach Approach

For the Cockroach Theory you should be checking the video below.

Otherwise read on for the Cockroach Approach

cockroach free images എന്നതിനുള്ള ചിത്രം

Cockroach approach is an existing time tested socially relevant, culturally insensitive and popular way to find the best and leave the rest.

In my +2 (Indian System-  that is 12th grade elsewhere- approximately) in all the Kerala state run schools we had this biology experiment as final laboratory examination question. I have see my sister’s great lament in verses on death of a cockroach she killed. She never became a surgeon. I heard from an American friend that they had rats to dissect for exam. That is more cruel than a “lesser” creature such as the cockroach. While some may also go to the extent to idolize and sanctify the creation. Near immortality of cockroach is very well depicted in the movie Wall E (Trailer below)

Cockroach is apparently the only creature that can survive even nuclear disasters, it is said that cockroach can decide when it wishes to die. Just like Bheeshma from Mahabhaaratha.

The question to address is why ? Why we were told to dissect a cockroach ?

This was one main reason why I changed my syllabus to CBSE from Kerala State Board since there is no dissection in CBSE. So much for ahimsa. On enquiry, I get this cockroach approach to education. This applies to all competitive fields in life too. The reasoning is that among all the student who dissect a cockroach there may arise one or two doctors/surgeons who may in future help serve humanity by saving human lives. For this reason, endless number of cockroaches were caught, fed, petted and brought to lab to score marks and get cremated. No activist will mourn over a killed cockroach. Because they are available in plenty. No shortage at all. This is what happens to all the equally educated/skilled students. There are so many of them. Why should anyone care about them. If they wish they can find their means to make sense of their life. The cockroach approach teaches the students these two important lessons. Quality and greatness can be sparked by working out in large numbers, here large number of student perform the same procedure, from where two great sparks may lead to produce two great doctors. This is exactly what I heard about the Chinese badminton team. Since there are so many players, the best among them. If you see the list on the BWF world ranking. You can easily find many Chinese players. It would be very easy for them to win many more matches than a lone wolf from another nation, since they may have faced tough competition in the Chinese national and local matches itself. Similar is the case in many other sports. Quality comes out from large numbers. The famed Edison is said to have discovered umpteen ways not to make an electric bulb before he did make a working one. Numbers play a major role. This is also illustrated in the book Outliers in terms of 10,000 hours rule for mastery. Hence, we can safely assume, that cockroach approach helps humanity to excel. Nevertheless, the cockroaches need to find elevation in being petted before dissection, before salvation by death.

 

Updates:

I found some interesting cockroach approaches which are somewhat different from what is written above.

Analogy of approaching (attacking) a cockroach 

When a real cockroach approached 

How to Invest like  a cockroach

Cockroach portfolio in Investments

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2016 in Lesson, Uncategorized

 

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Great reference for life and sales

How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in SellingHow I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

https://ajeya.wordpress.com/2016/07/1…

View all my reviews

I did not expect to give such a title for reviewing a book that had the ” How to ..” in its title. But the book “How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling” by Frank Bettger truly does justice to the common conversations, which more or less involves selling. Yes, selling is the single most important activity that no one in this world can escape from. Not just as a consumer, but as a salesperson. Everyone in this world has in one way or another sold something. The success of the common person is so much depended on this skill. But the skill is not very common. Proper training is often not given. This involved selling ourselves through resumes and interviews and applications. It also involves selling our idea for a group to agree upon. Selling to give and take respect. Selling to be heard and be given, to be forgiven and to be helped. An unassuming person goes through these activities throughout their life. This is however, not realized in its true sense and sales is often a skill that is looked down upon. Just imagine a world without sales. No. It is beyond imagination. In fact, such a world without sales does not exist.

The things that we sell include idea, material, design, equipment, the self, opinion, religion, customs, belief, medicine and illusions. There may be some categorization of the market such as socialist and capitalist, either way sales happen. Life and sales are so close that they cannot be distinguished from one another. This makes the omnipresence of sales and apparent neglect of which leads to a class of people called salespeople who are looked down upon for no reason of theirs.

Here is the video of a student selling himself at a career fair through rap

This faintly resembles me of the legendary Malayalam movie Daya. Where a slave sells herself to save her Master. If you have attended any salary negotiation workshops, then this becomes more evident.

 

Now! if you still think that selling stinks that is because you have not read this book.  Every single page is a lesson for sales, for life.  One among the many things that the book prompts the reader is to read about Benjamin Franklin. The book sells itself in the beginning by quoting Dale Carnegie and the author’s interaction with this legend.

 

Effective sales happen when

  • You are enthusiastic, act enthusiastic, feel enthusiastic
  • Track your failures and that will lead to success, when you take corrective actions
  • To make a sale you need an order, which needs an interview which does not happen until you make the call
  • Speak before groups , get courage and self confidence
  • Serve the need of the customer.
  • Make appointment, be prepared , focus on a point, ask questions, have a winning attitude.
  • Find the hidden objection, by asking “Why?”, see that these objections vanish from prospect.
  • Know your business
  • Praise competitors
  • Get direct witness or testimony.
  • Remember names, make friends
  • When you are scared admit it
  • Immediately after the pitch write what could be improved
  • Take care of customers and appreciate their property
  • Sell your appointment, sell your interview, then make the sales.

The book then urges one to know more about the magic method of Benjamin Franklin to improve the self.

 

Frank Bettger’s book is worth multiple re-reads.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2016 in Book Review, Lesson

 

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Lessons from Violin: how to choose one

This is from the Book by W.C Honeyman. A very old book (1893)  borrowed through the inter-library loan had to be handled carefully. It is a small but dense book. Things to learn are written by the expert W.C Honeyman. In addition, the way in which the book is written is also very interesting , including the usages and references (mostly UK based).

First thing the book does is to bust the myth on the affinity for Stradivarius violin and why it happened, the history and the economics of it. It is interesting to find rating of violin makers in the sequence of priority as

Gasparo da Salo > Maggini > Guarnerius > Stradivarius > Amati.

For me , except for Stradivarius all others are new names in the field. This the author says is because of the known scarcity of violins from these and other makers. The comparative abundance of Stradivarius invited multiple copies of the same to be made, not from the legend , but due to the economy of popular demand became the known name for violins.

Lessons for choosing a violin include , among many tips, these >

  • Check for the tone of the violin.
  • Some notes may sound odd, these are called as “wolf-notes” based on the wood and position of the sound post, and full contact of the sound post. This may be a few notes, especially the higher notes which will be never produced right due to the manufacturing of the violin. There are many violin which goes in the market with the wolf- notes undiscovered, the discovery of which leads to decreased value of the violin, though it is named under many of the great manufacturers.

And then, there are some tips for practicing the violin given in the book:-

  • First thing for a violinist to do is to practice scales daily.
  • Secure first and third fingers before second and fourth.
  • A long note, requiring separate bows may be played to sound continuous by taking the pressure away from the bow slightly, before the moment of reversing.
  • Keep violin away from dust. Even dusting can remove varnish, if dusting is done frequently.
  • It is good to keep in mind that it is not the string but the wood that makes the sound.
  • Try to read Corelli’s solos Op.5 Book I
  • Put weight on left foot , if standing.
  • Grab the opportunity to play with others.
  • Best violin is not always expensive
  • Check for tone from pianissimo to forte
  • Equal height for all strings
  • Violin should be held upwards falling towards the player.
  • And some tips to take care of the violin includes using a damp cotton and wire to clean the inside of the violin.
  • This book is worth many re-reads and guides as a good reference.
 
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Posted by on July 10, 2016 in Book Review, Lesson, Review

 

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Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 7: Start slowly grasp quickly

The v.v. age old saying goes an umpteenth time to say ” Slow and Steady wins the race” . This is because it is true. But the beauty of the truth lies in experiencing it in action. As with violin or any musical instrument, the beginning is really very slow. It is expected to be and it will be. Sometimes, it turns frustrating and sometimes it melancholic; because slow music is mostly applicable to monotonous and sad moments in audio-visual industry. Once you hear the melody and the density of musical oscillations that a really slow and patient player would bring to one’s ear the best of devotional and classical , esp. hindustani classical music, which may make one feel that the music is depressing than soporific, sad rather than boring. While the musician knows in its true essence what the music brings with its slowness, a meditative stance , crystallizing the tranquility of the mind and making everything around you at standstill. This is an art that occurs in a peaceful flow of music, just like Messi plays with the football, a movement that is so painless and untiring, for the player , for the musician but may not be for the unaccustomed ear. But it is true that the baby steps that we took as an emerging human being were much much smaller than what a grown up adult does. It goes in the same way for music and in life.

An age old Sanskrit saying goes like this

||जलबिन्दुनिपातेन क्रमश: पूर्यते घट:

रीतिरेषा हि विद्यानां धनस्य च धर्मस्य च ||

Translation:

“As the pot fills with tiny droplets of water

So does education (vidya) , money and virtues(dharma)”

The slow rate with which these accumulate sometime tests one’s patience. That is yet another learning curve. This acts as a self test and helps to ratify one’s decisions and path of growth. As in music , esp. and instrument like violin, the beginner would be playing the same song again and again, till it becomes a good stepping stone for further playing. And a true newbie would be playing just the open strings till the world’s end for weeks. And this basis is so important that my violin teacher would tell me to practice just open string everyday, even though I am aiming for the Grade 5 of Trinity.  Also for the tone to be perfect the singing practice just focused on sustaining the few notes esp. the open string notes, at the correct note. This was tough. But with practice it grows patience. With patience and longer bowing time, very very slow playing, enable playing two bars of slurred notes at a stretch that together would constitute  a fast folk song’s critical portion. This helps in quick grasping of the key notes. Since the mind is free from the more time consuming – fingering of notes and bowing the right way.

In the end, the slow practice pays off whereby the focus is on maintaining the rhythm or momentum and reducing the fidgeting with fingers on the bow and forget about the trialing notes.Life becomes easy so fast. But it takes time. I have seen this happen when you practice driving bike slowly in city traffic. The traffic around you is on any day capable of making you crazy and angry. The technique of being slow, helps one take swift turns and right decisions at right moments that you see , in fact you are in fact going ahead of the vehicles which were parking their money behind speed than tactics on city roads.

I have also experience this in my academics where the professor would go very slowly over the basic of math, physics even analog IC layout at the very start and later put  a sharp climb on the learning path, whose slope is just enough so that the momentum generated by the slow learning is able to grasp what is coming on and adjust and push us through the end goal of the posed steep learning.

This is one important lesson that I found applicable in widely different areas of study be it music, math, engineering or internet. Therefore this post.

Read more from this series here :-

  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 1 : Do not think ! - After learning some basic notes on the staves I was told to know it by heart. I had to memorize it, and then tell when I see a note. I used to count, say memorizing only the first not in space , the “F” on Treble clef. From there on I would count and then […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 2 : Don’t work hard - The power of doing work is a single most important criteria that distinguishes a human as a social animal compared to others. The collective and individual efforts towards a work makes one understand the minute and the big picture at the same time. All work is not easy. It is also possible that some workaholics […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 3 : Emphasize on Quality of Practice - I read “ Debunking the 10,000 hours rule “  after my previous lesson learned. My previous lesson learned said about not working hard. The working hard part is broken into small steps taken one at a time to overcome the hardness of the work. This works for people who are ready to be steady and […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 4 : Don’t tap your foot out loud. Focus on what you play. - In violin class I have been taught to keep the rhythm of the song by tapping with the foot. The human metronome works parallel to the song being played. Often we  have to shift attention from the song and listen to see if the rhythm and beat is correct per bar. This shift in attention […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 5 : Practice till perfection - Practice, practice, practice. Quantity and Quality all matters. Playing any musical instrument is all about practice. It is all the more true for the violin. As a student I have to practice. I know I can. I know I will. But how much ? Till my hands ache ? Till I feel it is enough […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 6: Health conscious practicing - If there is one thing in life,that is more dearer than the life itself, it is health. Life without good health is a misery. And life is maintained through good health. Longevity of life, if one wishes it, is not very pleasant without an accompanying good health. A good marriage between health and life makes […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 7: Start slowly grasp quickly - The v.v. age old saying goes an umpteenth time to say ” Slow and Steady wins the race” . This is because it is true. But the beauty of the truth lies in experiencing it in action. As with violin or any musical instrument, the beginning is really very slow. It is expected to be […]

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2016 in Lesson, Series

 

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Gist from the Career Perspectives and Networking Conference, Panel Discussion with Young Alumni

This is the concise form of Panel Discussion with Young Alumni in the Second Career Perspectives and Networking Conference, held in University at Buffalo, 04/08/2016.

Things to look out for in your first job >
Believe in yourself.
Estimate what are the skills that you have.
Most places will train you.

Most jobs try to know how is your thinking and approach for a problem.
Once you are in a job , or offered a job, Identify where you are in. Is it truly where you want to be.
Always assess the potential ability to learn or earn money. Take a step back and try to understand.
Grab the opportunity that you really want. Then there is no stress attached to it and you will enjoy your career path.
There is no way to know everything you have to do. Do not be afraid to fail. Take your experience as learning steps. Make sure you learn continuously, learn from your job.
Do not be afraid to learn on superiors. There may be questions about priority. Feel free to say no. When you are in doubt don’t be afraid to get the authority with higher vision to set priority for you.
Having too many deadlines and projects with low completion rate is not the kind of reputation that you want to carry with you. Make sure you get the right people to contribute to your work.
Make sure you add education and skills to your profile from every professional experience you get.

What happens when you are searching for a job >
If you have the talent that company is looking for then you have the ball in your court, don’t be afraid to leverage on that.
Evolve yourself into something social.
Communicate.
Communicate.
Communicate.
Differentiate yourself.

Resume gets you to door. Conversation keeps you in the room.
Thinks that you talk about in interview >
Networking is huge. Network as much as you can. Every person you meet puts you in a larger web where you can reach out to anyone in it.
What you bring to the table is crucial. Pitching your part is important. Practice your 30 seconds pitch.
Demonstrate aptitude and passion in interviews.
Companies look for not young but young minded people.

Take control and ownership of assigned task. Find time and drive it forward. If there is a bad employee in your team, good employees will be sick of that one bad employee. Learn to work with all kinds of people. And come up with solutions that your business needs. Interpersonal skills are often big in working.

Tell a story about your passion based on your resume. Resume is your roadmap. Expand on your resume.
Communication skills need to be demonstrated in the interview conversation. It cannot really come out of your resume. How do you communicate about your passion about something you have done? May be you talk loud, or express it. Whatever it is. if you are truly passionate about it then you love what you are going to talk about.
Just show it. Be that guy!
Put hobbies that are really interesting.
Research about your company. You cannot send the same resume to 30 different company. Make connections through resume and then try to show your passion by building on the story from resume.
On Cover Letter
Cover Letter should be very focused to the company. Not the things that you would like to put as hobbies.

Most of the panelists did not have cover letter but the resume had a hook to sell the self.

Salary negotiation

You are trying to put a price on your labour. Check out some websites. If it is your first job, then you probably do not want to negotiate too much. If you are bringing lot of skills that they need then you can leverage on that, because you have room for expansion. Education is things that you retain, bring to your job and develop yourself. So, have an honest conversation with the HR.
Salary negotiation is very difficult. Larger companies usually offer less.
Too many companies rely on salary.com and glassdoor.com. But there is a difference. So it is a tough negotiation. If you truly like the job, then may be you can ask for the number you have in head.
Negotiate on graduate school reimbursement, vacation, phone bill reimbursement. All these ancillary things could be negotiated.
Have a number in head.
Give them that.
Be able to back up your number. By telling them here is what I make, here is the cost of living adjustment. They know that you are being honest, when you can justify and give your number.
“I don’t want to be looking for a job for a long time” is a tactical way to negotiate on salary.
It is difficult to know your value. But you should know what you are worth.
In today’s world health insurance is huge. So, see if the company offers good health insurance coverage which could be as beneficial compared to another offer with lower insurance coverage but higher salary.

Best Wishes

Ajeya

PS: Thanks to Amit Narayanan for inspiration

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2016 in Lesson

 

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The gist of marketing : Lessons from root

Any business needs to project itself, get noticed, get work, do work, get appreciated, and create a foundation for future work. The foundation so created improves the posture of the business. Any new business has to face competition from established business giants in the field. Bigger businesses can only be beaten by unique selling proposition (USP). This objective in a startup helps to keep the focus in niche creation. For this a fair understanding of the market, the competitors and their USP is absolute necessity. Business startups come with something unique to the market, this may be an innovation, novel idea, cheaper solution or a better solution. If something is cheaper or better than existing solutions then finding the USP is not a big deal. This focus of the startup paves way for the reference model implementation. This may be one or more of the first few clients who trust the startup and does business with it. These reference models are the stepping stones for future business. This work is going to be the talking point, selling point and reference for most of the next few works. Hence it becomes extraordinarily important to put efficient work in action in these projects. The idea is that after this humble beginnings of perfections, it will become a habit, a character that the business may be trusted upon. Primarily a business exists for its ideology, vision and appropriate solutions provided.

The basics of reaching out to potential market can be listed into three steps:-

  • Creating Interest

Just like any marketing campaigns the objective of this step is to get the attention of the prospect. This requires communication with appropriate professionals in the business, getting their background information and their interests. To create interest, to stand out from the crowd the business need to prove that it is unique from the rest. This is the base USP. Once the prospect feels the uniqueness of the business proposition, then the idea need to be established. Here, previous works act as a good reference to prove the USP.

  • Showing Competence

An active needs to show that it has stuff up its sleeves to meet the requirements of the prospects. This proof of competence is an integral part of startups. Competence is the most visible aspect of business that a client sees.

  • Building trust

To build trust in business it is imperative to have good standing with previous clients. Most often it is the word of mouth marketing and reference from previous clients that get the business moving rather than other modes of marketing. Therefore, it is of special importance that whatever happens, in business truth always triumphs. Given a chance, always tell the truth. Truth should be told so that the statements made to client do not change when asked again.

Courtesy: Based on marketing strategy of environmental engineering in The Solutions Centre, Kochi. On 20th anniversary of the business.

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2015 in Lesson

 

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Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 5 : Practice till perfection

Practice, practice, practice. Quantity and Quality all matters. Playing any musical instrument is all about practice. It is all the more true for the violin. As a student I have to practice. I know I can. I know I will. But how much ? Till my hands ache ? Till I feel it is enough ? Till some digression comes in the form of a phone call ? What actually is enough ? Who judges perfection ? There are some songs that need hours of practice and still sounds like hollow, with lot of space to improve and refine. Without a proper judge there cannot be improvement. One reason why people search and find a good guru, especially in music, is because of this. The value of a critic who can differentiate and tell what is wrong, where exactly and how to overcome the seemingly insurmountable. An examiner can give words of advice, suggestions and possibilities and his judgement, that remains on paper, making itself a glyph to be decoded later. A good guru (teacher ?!) solves the issues of analysis, training, comprehending, making things easy to understand, easy to play, treat the disease of wrongly placed notes and improve the overall music throughput from the violin, otherwise a collection of pieces of wood and strings.

In life at one point or other we have this feeling of emptiness, where there is no further progress from the current state. One has to go in search of a critic or mentor to find out places to improve. This guru could be one’s self, an imaginary tutor or an inspiration for great men. More than spiritual or divine intervention it is much about the way a human mind works. One tends to look at with jealousy at some valiant connoisseur. Sometimes we envy. Sometimes and most often with intimidation. The stages of thoughts tend to tempt the mind towards mediocrity. And it needs to be reminded that there is no limit to excel.

Whatever our work in life or profession we start with curiosity, interest, need and then slowly put effort to practice with quantity and then quality and then both. Then we reach a state of betterment. There is no stopping here, we move further. Get tempted to perfection. Practice more. Practice until perfection.

Read more from this series here :-

  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 1 : Do not think ! - After learning some basic notes on the staves I was told to know it by heart. I had to memorize it, and then tell when I see a note. I used to count, say memorizing only the first not in space , the “F” on Treble clef. From there on I would count and then […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 2 : Don’t work hard - The power of doing work is a single most important criteria that distinguishes a human as a social animal compared to others. The collective and individual efforts towards a work makes one understand the minute and the big picture at the same time. All work is not easy. It is also possible that some workaholics […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 3 : Emphasize on Quality of Practice - I read “ Debunking the 10,000 hours rule “  after my previous lesson learned. My previous lesson learned said about not working hard. The working hard part is broken into small steps taken one at a time to overcome the hardness of the work. This works for people who are ready to be steady and […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 4 : Don’t tap your foot out loud. Focus on what you play. - In violin class I have been taught to keep the rhythm of the song by tapping with the foot. The human metronome works parallel to the song being played. Often we  have to shift attention from the song and listen to see if the rhythm and beat is correct per bar. This shift in attention […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 5 : Practice till perfection - Practice, practice, practice. Quantity and Quality all matters. Playing any musical instrument is all about practice. It is all the more true for the violin. As a student I have to practice. I know I can. I know I will. But how much ? Till my hands ache ? Till I feel it is enough […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 6: Health conscious practicing - If there is one thing in life,that is more dearer than the life itself, it is health. Life without good health is a misery. And life is maintained through good health. Longevity of life, if one wishes it, is not very pleasant without an accompanying good health. A good marriage between health and life makes […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 7: Start slowly grasp quickly - The v.v. age old saying goes an umpteenth time to say ” Slow and Steady wins the race” . This is because it is true. But the beauty of the truth lies in experiencing it in action. As with violin or any musical instrument, the beginning is really very slow. It is expected to be […]

 

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2015 in Lesson, Series

 

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Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 4 : Don’t tap your foot out loud. Focus on what you play.

In violin class I have been taught to keep the rhythm of the song by tapping with the foot. The human metronome works parallel to the song being played. Often we  have to shift attention from the song and listen to see if the rhythm and beat is correct per bar. This shift in attention gives much too importance to the helping metronome to become a distraction. Beat is the basis for any music. Once the beat is acquired and plays by itself in the mind without tapping, then we are all set to play the piece of song peacefully. The idea is to get  the beat in the initial stages of reading the song and later do away with physically tapping since the moods, variations, rhythm and beat all will be blended by practice,automatically.

This is more or less what happens in life too. We need a set of rhythm for various tasks. When the task is new we tend to get helpers in the form of alarm, schedulers, timers, reminders and so on. Once the habit is formed then the rhythm goes in the background. The observer can see only the smooth blend of work with the mind set in action at hand. A lack of complete attention is show cased which goes a long way to make a lasting impression on people whom we deal with. Just like a perfectly played song on violin we enjoy the whole rather than scrutinise the details. The mind of the observer is also then devoid of unnecessary digressions.

Read more from this series here :-

  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 1 : Do not think ! - After learning some basic notes on the staves I was told to know it by heart. I had to memorize it, and then tell when I see a note. I used to count, say memorizing only the first not in space , the “F” on Treble clef. From there on I would count and then […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 2 : Don’t work hard - The power of doing work is a single most important criteria that distinguishes a human as a social animal compared to others. The collective and individual efforts towards a work makes one understand the minute and the big picture at the same time. All work is not easy. It is also possible that some workaholics […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 3 : Emphasize on Quality of Practice - I read “ Debunking the 10,000 hours rule “  after my previous lesson learned. My previous lesson learned said about not working hard. The working hard part is broken into small steps taken one at a time to overcome the hardness of the work. This works for people who are ready to be steady and […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 4 : Don’t tap your foot out loud. Focus on what you play. - In violin class I have been taught to keep the rhythm of the song by tapping with the foot. The human metronome works parallel to the song being played. Often we  have to shift attention from the song and listen to see if the rhythm and beat is correct per bar. This shift in attention […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 5 : Practice till perfection - Practice, practice, practice. Quantity and Quality all matters. Playing any musical instrument is all about practice. It is all the more true for the violin. As a student I have to practice. I know I can. I know I will. But how much ? Till my hands ache ? Till I feel it is enough […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 6: Health conscious practicing - If there is one thing in life,that is more dearer than the life itself, it is health. Life without good health is a misery. And life is maintained through good health. Longevity of life, if one wishes it, is not very pleasant without an accompanying good health. A good marriage between health and life makes […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 7: Start slowly grasp quickly - The v.v. age old saying goes an umpteenth time to say ” Slow and Steady wins the race” . This is because it is true. But the beauty of the truth lies in experiencing it in action. As with violin or any musical instrument, the beginning is really very slow. It is expected to be […]
 
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Posted by on February 3, 2015 in Lesson, Series

 

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Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 3 : Emphasize on Quality of Practice

I read “ Debunking the 10,000 hours rule “  after my previous lesson learned. My previous lesson learned said about not working hard. The working hard part is broken into small steps taken one at a time to overcome the hardness of the work. This works for people who are ready to be steady and commit themslelves to the small steps. The variety, in nature, of the behaviour of humans has also examples of those  who come up with greatness once in  a while. People who find shortcuts, whatever the height of task. The principle of least effort by Deepak Chopra also says something similar. The way a student learns to play the violin, to achieve some level of proficiency, is completely depended on his responsibility, openness to learn, patience and practice. In this lesson of practice there could be continuous effort put to overcome a difficult piece of score. There is another way too. Which is upheld as superior by my master. He says Quality practice is better than general practice. The emphasize on quality would decrease the time needed for regular practice, this gives better results and more time for other activities.

Rote learning is one thing, Mechanical learning is another. There is no coercion on mechanical learning. It is like a cycle knows the best way to tackle the hurdles of potholes and bumps on the road even before the conscious mind takes over the analysis of data processing. This is mechanical learning which repetitive practice tries to achieve. This is a state where the focus is no other things than the work at hand, viz. playing the violin. Short duration practice on quality does not assure the proficiency of mechanical learning. This automated form is avoided for fine tuning the sophisticated patterns of notes. This also demands the complete presence of mind duration presentation of a piece of music. The benefits includes keeping mind easy on the toughest portions of the music. This allows for enjoying the performance without tensions on quality being presented. Finally, good music comes from both quality of practice and quantity of practice. There are sections which need either one or both. A good player, knows which  way to go.

Read more from this series here :-

  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 1 : Do not think ! - After learning some basic notes on the staves I was told to know it by heart. I had to memorize it, and then tell when I see a note. I used to count, say memorizing only the first not in space , the “F” on Treble clef. From there on I would count and then […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 2 : Don’t work hard - The power of doing work is a single most important criteria that distinguishes a human as a social animal compared to others. The collective and individual efforts towards a work makes one understand the minute and the big picture at the same time. All work is not easy. It is also possible that some workaholics […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 3 : Emphasize on Quality of Practice - I read “ Debunking the 10,000 hours rule “  after my previous lesson learned. My previous lesson learned said about not working hard. The working hard part is broken into small steps taken one at a time to overcome the hardness of the work. This works for people who are ready to be steady and […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 4 : Don’t tap your foot out loud. Focus on what you play. - In violin class I have been taught to keep the rhythm of the song by tapping with the foot. The human metronome works parallel to the song being played. Often we  have to shift attention from the song and listen to see if the rhythm and beat is correct per bar. This shift in attention […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 5 : Practice till perfection - Practice, practice, practice. Quantity and Quality all matters. Playing any musical instrument is all about practice. It is all the more true for the violin. As a student I have to practice. I know I can. I know I will. But how much ? Till my hands ache ? Till I feel it is enough […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 6: Health conscious practicing - If there is one thing in life,that is more dearer than the life itself, it is health. Life without good health is a misery. And life is maintained through good health. Longevity of life, if one wishes it, is not very pleasant without an accompanying good health. A good marriage between health and life makes […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 7: Start slowly grasp quickly - The v.v. age old saying goes an umpteenth time to say ” Slow and Steady wins the race” . This is because it is true. But the beauty of the truth lies in experiencing it in action. As with violin or any musical instrument, the beginning is really very slow. It is expected to be […]
 
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Posted by on February 1, 2015 in Lesson, Series

 

Tags: , , , ,

 
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