Sunday, June 21, 2009

how music helped inspire a speaker

Music, and learning the guitar for the first time, have been on my mind a lot these days. So I was delighted to learn that public speaking--or overcoming the fear of speaking--is among the inspirations for a new lifelong learning website about music, just launched by my friend and former colleague Leah Garnett. Music After 50 is about "learning and playing music in your 50s, 60s and beyond." Leah's a talented writer who learned music at an early age, inspired by her father, an adult learner of guitar. So where's the link to public speaking? I'll let Leah tell you, from the website:
The first time I learned a three-chord song on the guitar, at age 11, my world expanded. To the outside world, I was a quiet, reserved, little girl, still grieving the death of her father. But when I played music, I felt ageless, passionate, confident, and happy....As an adult, music has enabled me to conquer lifelong fears, including a fear of public speaking and paralyzing stage fright. When I focus on expression, rather than on judging my own performance, my fear of failure diminishes.
I'm excited about Leah's site, which launched this week at the perfect time for my own adventures with guitar. And I agree with her: Learning and mastering new skills (including speaking skills) can give you the confidence to tackle other new experiences. (Perhaps it's my long practice in public speaking that gives me the confidence to tackle the guitar without prior experience.) Have you found that learning another skill has inspired you to conquer public speaking issues? What helped you get started in public speaking? Share your experiences in the comments.

Related posts: Am I too old to learn public speaking?