I have a strong background in a variety of physical and mental disciplines. I began as a competitive gymnast at the age of 7. I only quit because of an injury to my lower back later on. In the time I trained I had risen to compete as a level 9 gymnast set to start next season as the youngest junior elite [level 10] at my gym which remains one of the best gyms in Colorado: Extreme Altitude Gymnastics. After receiving my injury I completed my final season by getting 3rd place overall in my regional competition thus getting a spot on the regional team which trains at the Olympic training center in colorado. I then went on to get 7th at nationals on the floor exercise. I then dropped out at the age of 13.
After quitting a sport that required more than 4 hours of practice a day, I dove into other pursuits. My schooling was important but I also wanted physical challenges. I went into piano and dance. Each of which I have devoted well over 1000 hours to. I worked music theory of piano in order to pursue my interest in improvisation and song-writing. I went into dance for romantic reasons and found that my musical skill translated well into it.
Finally, I began coaching gymnastics when I was just 15. I soon began to study anatomy and physiology for the sake of interest and for my job. I have worked with clients big and small, young and old for several years now.
I believe that each of these pursuits enhances the quality of the others. Having a variety of knowledge to draw from is crucial when teaching anything. If one has only the specific knowledge of his specific field then he cuts himself off from the integrative aspects of learning and development.
Patrick was a delight to have around. My kid (age 8 at the time) wasn't all too excited about piano at first but once he saw what Patrick could do and was shown how he could get there, he really got into it. Every time he finds a new pop song, he goes to the piano and figures out how to play it. I love it.
I really enjoyed Patrick's teaching approach. He really took the time to understand my goals and work with me. I came into piano thinking I knew what I wanted but when I learned all the different things I could do, we quickly discovered my passion was for improv.
Step one is to figure out what your goals are. For instance, if you wanted to learn piano for a significant other: did you want to learn how to play a specific song? or did you want to go from the ground up and really learn piano starting from basics? In the former, your road is not a very long one and we can expedite it to get it sounding good rather quickly. With the latter you'd be looking at a long term commitment with consistent practice.
Likewise, with gymnastics or dance. Did you just want to figure out how to do a backflip or dance with a partner to a specific song? Or did you want to work ground up?
I was a competitive gymnast for 6 years and coached gymnastics for 5.
I have 10 years of piano experience plus the 13 or so years I worked in choirs and musicals working on theory and accompaniment.
I have been swing dancing for roughly 5 years. Let me tell you that all it takes to learn is a patient partner, consistent instruction, and practice.
I began teaching when I was 15, working mostly with children from 5 - 16.
Yes, teaching a 16-year-old girl [or at one point a group of them] while 15 is perhaps one of the most challenging things I have done in my life.
Anywhere from mommy-and-me classes with little 3-year-olds, to young adults wanting to feel out what they are good at, to older adults wanting to pick up a cool skill or two for themselves or a loved one.
A lot of teachers and teaching organizations will hype up their field which can make it look daunting. Performers on the extreme end will do something which can look impossible yet easy for them. It is clear to me, however, that most people (regardless of talent) are capable of reaching into the advanced realm of any subject or art. If you aren't looking to be a professional, you can do it. There is no doubt about it.
Goals, Goals, Goals. If you do not know where you want to go even in the short term, you will not know what you want to do. If you think of it like you're a person wanting to be "stronger" what should your first step be? Ask yourself what areas do you think are your weakest and what areas are already strong. If all you have is a vague notion of what you want, you'll never get anywhere. You will wander the gym doing odd exercises and feel like you're getting nowhere.
My goal as a teen was to be strong enough to perform dancing lifts with my girlfriend. That focused me and drove me at the same time and made my training infinitely more effective and consistent. Find a goal that narrows your focus.