Organized Clutter

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing

A concept connecting how we learn

and our how our brains process information

with the study of music,

developed for over thirty years

To touch lives with a calm and gentle spirit…

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing is a  back door method of teaching just about anything

(I am using music and music theory as an example)

We can avoid short circuits and mental roadblocks by working with the unique wiring and learning styles of each individual.

Igniting sleeping brains.


waterfall 2

When we begin to plan

change in our lives,

no matter what kind of change,

we have unwittingly

drawn a line in the sand

with our brain on one side,



and our desires on the other.

It’s just the way we are designed.

Motivations? Habits? Desires? Don’t they all play a role in whether we move toward an accomplishment or we stay in the dream state?  Actually, no.  I know I talk a lot about the four kinds of motivation, but when we really simplify to the core, it all comes down to  the way we are designed.

If we want to change, the brain lights up and says ‘but that will make us less stable, uncomfortable, and confused – let’s put a stop to this immediately”.  The brain sets out to stop us even if only with a ‘pause’.  Not a bad thing if we haven’t considered all the options.

But what if we had?

How can we force change


without the brain going into a tantrum


& stopping us before we start?

Whether it is learning to play an instrument, getting a better job, making our home into a sanctuary, or establishing boundaries in our lives, — there is a way


Organized Clutter

Thanksgiving at our little carriage house is a big thing.  I prepare for months ahead making everything special down to the tiniest detail.  The minimalist mentality of today is interesting in that it encourages you to have things you love around you and rid yourself of unwanted baggage.

Fine.  I get it.

And as long as there is no definition of what or how much I love and no judgement call, I will go along with it.  But what might disqualify me as a ‘minimalist’ is that I love seeing something I don’t use everyday surprise me when I look on a shelf or in an antique cupboard prompting a memory of someone or some event.  I wrote a poem during my ‘poem writing’ stage of life that validates my house.


‘Organized Clutter’

by Carol Anderson

Oh, how I love the organized clutter of a room full of treasures from a loved one’s past.

Some little trinket, tossed aside, never again meant to hold value. 

But to me it is priceless.

Held by one never again to hold. 

Touched by one never again to touch. 

Loved by one never again to love,

but one who’s memory will live on in the organized clutter of my ‘living’ room.

So, I’m a rebel or maybe just a part of the resistance, not blindly following what is in style today.  The pendulum always makes its swing. You might want to hang onto some of grandma’s antiques.  But I will say that being a rebel also means ending up being responsible for what it requires to maintain your uniqueness.  In my case; cleaning it.  No one else wants the responsibility or the effort, and that’s OK, unless I am busy.  So how do I motivate myself to keep order in what could easily fall into chaos when I am distracted by the daily ‘fires’, planned events and slow days when I’d rather be in the garden?




It isn’t that much different than becoming proficient in a musical instrument.

You made a commitment to yourself and to a teacher if you have one, and it could easily begin to snowball in a mush of ideas and hopes and unfulfilled wishes.   When you ponder a ‘change’ or a ‘wish’ or a ‘dream’, there is a nanosecond for you to take control.  Your ‘heart’ needs to win the race to the control center of your mind before your brain gets there.



Here are my thoughts on what it takes to


make a dream


develop into a vision,


and then a reality


becoming the driving force for the


‘control center’ of the brain





It actually all starts with you.


When you activate it.


Wait!!!  Before you activate it,

we want to have some steps in place to get you in the drivers’ seat

of the control center.


Here’s how in three basic steps


************Step One:************

Lean into your new idea.

Don’t jump in.


the possibilities of your dream

in your mind

Don’t give up what is stable now to be swimming without a life raft tomorrow.  Take it in steps. 

Your brain might agree with you there and you could avoid the battle of the heart and the brain.

Try to see the end results of your goal

Keep that thought with you by planting it in your mind.



Your eye can’t see



It’s true

Your eye only

lets in the light








Try this

(This is the green giraffe for the letter G and the G String on the stringed instruments)


Look at this picture









Again: See the end results of your goal in your mind

and take it with you by planting it in your brain.

Now:  Back up a bit and consider

how you will get to the end result.


************ Step Two: ************

Without a plan


the dream remains a dream.


You stay busy putting out the ‘fires of life’

never giving ‘life’ to the dream.


Draw a line.

It’s not a ‘to do’ list.  It is a time line.  On one side of the line write……

Without – (and write the end result).

On the other end of the line write your end result.

Now, divide your line into…..maybe five segments.  Write what you have to do to get to the goal, one item on each line.

Now, take the first item you wrote on your divided segments and put that at the end of another line dividing your new line into segments.  What steps have to be taken to complete that step?  If you need to, again divide into another line, and so on.

Now you have a path and a plan


You will definitely

change the goal as you improve,

so be sure to write down even the



When we study music, the ‘impossible’ dream might be to play a piece up to speed with excellence.

Almost like magic, we can conquer the challenge if we take it in small

baby steps.

On one of the segments of the line you might have, ‘play it slowly’.

The next might be, repeat areas where you have made even one mistake – ten times.

Next segment could be, play with play-along music.

Speed it up…. one tiny ‘bit’ at a time.

If it is too fast, we pull back and work on the short circuits.

Suddenly, the impossible is actually accomplished


************ Step Three ************


This is the most important step


Ask yourself




Why do you want to achieve these goals?

No matter how old you are,


If you don’t have a big enough

‘why’ you will never

commit for long


Find the ‘why’ by activating your dream. 

You aren’t always aware at first what your ‘why’ is, then suddenly you experience it or see someone else doing it and you say, ‘that’s what I want to spend my time doing and here is why’.

If your dream is to become a soloist, see if that is actually what you want.  Even after you have learned just one song, give it away.





even if only to your mom







Be sure to have a

well-defined goal

make it

Crystal Clear!!



Write a segmented path  ….

on paper and in your mind.


More than anything,

be sure to have a





Now..with a clear idea of your dream, how you will accomplish it and why you want to do it, start to think about activating it.  It has actually already become a part of who you are because you spent time planning it but now that you have pushed the ‘let’s make this thing happen button’ what can you do to beat the brain to the control center?

If you start to feel any distraction or hesitation just say over and over…..

“what’s the plan and why?”


and your thinking will shift back to the process you have just gone through, giving more clarity each time you ponder it.

You now own your dream.

Go and make it happen.


Claiming that the Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing method works like magic might be a stretch but have you ever seen a small child sight-read Book three Suzuki music?

Two-year old tiny people leave my sun room where I teach after one or two lessons reading rhythms and understanding where they are played on their instruments.   I have seen it happen multiple times!

musette three phrases preview (2)

Using color-coded notes, which I like to refer to as ‘Gum Drop Notes‘, may seem like the quality and mystic of music theory is being made into child’s play.  And you are right,  it is.

Whether an adult of 80 years old or child of two, when playing music with the color-coded notes, magic is happening behind the scenes.  The carefully constructed walls to protect you from the horror of ‘music theory’ or a painful new learning curve seem to melt away and you understand complex music theory concepts.

Join the free workshops and receive weekly play-along music and free sheet music Enjoy!

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing is a  back door method of working with the unique wiring and learning styles of each individual with the goal of igniting sleeping brains.

It has taken many years of studying learning styles,  how the brain works and music theory to come out on the other side with the “Ten Minute Music theory games” and “The Gum Drop Note Sheet Music and play-alongs”.


Free Workshops

Begin to sight-read music

while having a yummy time 🙂


Or start taking a class that includes play-along music, digital books, preview spots and some composer bios.  Check out what you get in the schools here.


Begin to sight-read music

while having a yummy time 🙂

Read my books on kindle or hard copy

Free Workshops

Piano Sheet Music – Paperbacks

Violin Sheet Music – Paperbacks

Pretwinkle books


Book One

Big Book of Gum Drop Notes


Violin  Book two

Big Book of Gum Drop Notes


Violin  Book three

Big Book of Gum Drop Notes


Violin Great Extra


Big Book of Gum Drop Notes



Ten Minute Music Theory

Card Games Series


Card Games Series

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