Mistakes Don’t Hurt Your Ears

If wrong notes hurt your ears, good.

A student of mine was whining about that once. He was 11 years old, and he had pretty good ears. I was pushing him a little bit out of his comfort zone, and he started complaining that his ears were hurting when he played wrong notes.

I didn’t want to back down, because I could see that we were on the verge of a breakthrough, and I was eager to press forward. But, then he began screaming.

“I can’t stand it!”, he cried, covering his ears.

I was reluctant to take a stand, with him getting so agitated, but somehow I forced myself to do it.

“Put your hands down and listen to the sound coming out of the piano, and tell me that it really hurts you.”

He did as I said.

“No, it doesn’t really hurt…“

So yeah, there may be pain. But it’s not from your ears. When you learn to love those wrong sounds, your ears will feel much better.


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