I was given an ukulele by my fiancee one year ago. I was quite inspired in the beginning, but soon after I was working towards this Tuk Tuk Travellers thing and didn’t have time to practice. Here in Thailand I’ve started playing again. We played at christmas and new years when we had some time off, and now because of our delay, I’ve had lot’s of time to practice.
Two weeks ago we were playing with Pyry and I thought to myself, why does my playing sound absolutely horrible? Then Pyry gave me a hint. He said that I should strum in rhythm. Yes, it’s obvious, but I hadn’t thought about it earlier. So then I started practicing.
There has not been anything this year, or last, that has been more difficult to do than to move my right hand up and down in rhythm. I thought getting the chords is the hard part but no.
To help me internalize the rhythm, Pyry said I should start to sing while I strum, and play the chords. Three things at once, and singing…
Those who were there still remember the last time I sang in public. It was in the circus school. In one lesson we had to perform something other than circus, so I decided to sing. I squealed out with my golden voice and after the first verse everybody was laughing so hard that it caught me also. I sang the rest of the song trying to hold my laughter, which in turn made everything even more hilarious. When I finished, it took five minutes for our teacher to stop laughing and end the class. Oh sweet memories.
But the most valuable lesson I learned in circus school was that learning is failing. Failure is the only way to learn something new. We fail as many times as needed until we know what to do.
In circus, one is training skills that most others don’t even think exist. Take juggling, acrobatics or tight wire walking. Nobody can do them first time, so you need to get used to the idea of failing before succeeding. We don’t learn from succeeding, we learn from failing. Failure is essential in learning.
“We shouldn’t be afraid of failing, we should be afraid of not failing”
Before my time in circus school I was embarrassed to train in public. I wanted to show the best I had without failing. Otherwise I would be humiliated. How stupid was I? If I had trained then without shame, I would be a much better acrobat at the moment.
“What a shame, shame indeed”
I’m not ashamed anymore and to prove it, I’ll present you the Sound of Failure. It’s me playing and singing All My Loving, by the Beatles. When you listen to it, think that after we get back to Finland, I will perform the same song again at our homecoming party in full. Then we’ll see if I have learned something during this journey.