Piano and Rubik's cube

Things I learned playing piano and solving Rubik’s cube in my late 30s

So last year, I decided to pick up two new hobbies: piano and tackling Rubik’s cubes. I had a 3×3 cube lying around that I never really solved, usually just getting one or two sides right before giving up. I went through several YouTube tutorials on Rubik’s cubes and they helped me greatly to understand the concept of how it’s structured and the algorithms to solve it.

Piano and Rubik's cube
Piano and Rubik’s cube

Within a few days, I went from taking few minutes to solve it to cracking it in under a minute. I leveled up by grabbing a bunch of different cubes, from a 2×2 to a 5×5. I even got a Pyraminx cube, which surprisingly turned out to be easier than the 3×3. I even created a YouTube tutorial on how to solve Rubik’s cube as beginner level with step by step walkthrough.

Here what I learned after playing with both Rubik’s cube and teaching myself how to play piano for for several months,

  1. Learning new things is easier than you think even at my age. I was worried I’d mess up the algorithm to solve the cube or get scared by the Pyraminx, but practice really does make perfect. No matter what you’re trying to learn, you’ll eventually get the hang of it if you just keep at it.
  2. Muscle memory is real. Those sequences of moves for the 4×4 Rubik’s cube (like, 18 steps) seemed impossible at first, but my fingers just sort of… learned them on their own. Same thing with piano – your left and right hand learn to work together at different paces without you even thinking about it.
  3. The feeling of accomplishment is the best kind of dopamine. When you finally achieved something that seemed tough, it gives you a happy boost and makes you want to keep learning and pushing yourself. That’s why I keep tackling harder piano pieces and collecting more complex Rubik’s cubes.

These are the biggest takeaways from my learning adventure last year. So, have you been learning anything new lately? Ever messed around with a Rubik’s cube or play the wrong keys? Let me know what you’ve been up to and what you think.