Hitting The Wall


When I was a kid taking lessons, I remember very significant moments throughout my journey that my teacher and I would refer to as “hitting the wall”.  It became helpful to have this label because at first it didn’t feel like hitting a wall, it felt like running full speed ahead into a mountain that would knock me completely off my feet. This mountain was seemingly so large that I would even consider quitting. It felt like I actually had not made any progress at all and never would again. Everything was difficult, slow, cumbersome, and unrewarding. Thankfully, with a healthy dose of encouragement and patience from my teacher, I would push through and suddenly, I would be on the other side of that mountain.  Without even realizing it, I had conquered it and was now soaring. For the next few months, everything felt easy and my playing was again rewarding and enjoyable. And sure enough, because I was being guided by a good teacher, (thanks Ms. Denise) and because there are endless mountains ahead in our musical journey, I would hit another wall. And this process repeated itself over and over again, and guess what, it still does today!! As musicians, if we continue to push ourselves into unknown territory, (and as musicians we must), we will hopefully continue to hit walls. When this happens, the only choice is to dig in, do the work, ride the wave, and TRUST that on the other side, you will again soar. These walls are here for us to grow. So whether you are currently facing a wall or soaring, keep going – knowing that you are constantly evolving, and that this journey we are on is truly never ending. How exciting it is to be a part of it!

Ciara McAllister