A physics professor arrived at his lesson one day carrying a large cylindrical glass bowl and three cloth bags. This immediately aroused the curiosity of the students.
The professor then announced to the class:
“Today we will be examining space and time.”
He put the cylindrical bowl on his desk, and proceeded to fill it with large rocks from one of the cloth bags. When it was filled to the brim, he turned to the class and asked:
“Is the bowl totally full?”
The class agreed that the bowl had been filled to the brim.
The professor then reached for the second cloth back and emptied its contents on the rock-full bowl. It was gravel, which slipped through the spaces in between the rocks and filled it all.
“Is the bowl full now?” He again enquired from the class. Most agreed it was, although a few were not so sure anymore, after all there was still a cloth bag the professor had not used. And right they were, for the professor reached for the third cloth bag, which was full of sand and emptied into the bowl. And again, the dry sand easily slipped in between the rocks and gravel to fill every available space.
“What about now?”
This time – and considering that there were no more bags left, the whole class unanimously agreed the bowl must be full.
The professor then, reached for his briefcase and produced six bottles of beer, which (to some of the students horror) he proceeded to empty on the glass bowl. And of course the beer easily accommodated itself in the spaces amongst the rocks, the gravel, and the sand.
The professor then turned to the class and concluded:
“As you can see, no matter how full your life might be, there is always space for some beer.”
“Ah! Yes, one more thing. Our time in this life is limited, as is the space in this bowl. So make sure you put the rocks first.”
I have four big rocks in my life, and music is one of them. Finally consider this thought:
By taking piano lessons for the first time we are registering within ourselves a desire to make progress. We must always take responsibility for that progress, for that which we seek lies not in the music school. Nor can it be found in Vienna or Julliard. Your teachers do not own it, nor can they give it to you. You cannot buy it or take it from someone else. What we are searching for when we sit at the piano in the heat of the summer or the frost of the winter is within us all the time. What is missing for most is the ability to appreciate it