For the first time in a very long time, I have been unable to practice every day, even for a few minutes, due to day-job project deadlines. The few days I've managed to do so in the past few weeks have been severely limited. It got to the point where I ended up sending an email to my teacher apologizing for my lack of preparation in advance of lessons. My teacher offered to let me take a break from lessons until the project was completed. I refused the offer on the grounds that it is my tenuous link to sanity at the moment and that currently I'm viewing it as "music therapy".
A few days later after this conversation with my teacher, I received news that my main local point of contact with my client on the project I'm running passed away. He recently had some health issues, but no one expected this outcome.
The gentleman I've worked closely with for over a year was a guitarist. Every week for nearly a year, before our weekly status meetings, he and I would talk about music. Though our instruments and music genre were different, we connected in our shared joy of music, sharing that passion with others, and lamenting over trying to achieve a good balance of sound in a group setting (he dreaded playing with a 12-string guitar). A few weeks before he passed away, he was able to fulfill a life-long dream by performing with his group in a venue he dreamed of playing in for a long time.
I just turned a year older a few days ago. The reality of how short my life really is hit me hard given recent events. It forced me to ask myself honestly if putting my life on the back-burner is worth it, even short-term. I'm struggling with the answer to that question.
What I have been able to answer is that taking time, no matter how short in duration, to pursue my musical passion matters. The 5 minutes or so it takes to play a scale does wonders for my state of mind. Having a care-free hour to play Bach with abandon lifts my spirits. Having to focus on releasing physical and mental tension keeps me going. And at the end of the day, when all is said and done, it boils down to a question of what I've done with my life, if it was fulfilling, satisfying and if I able to bring joy and comfort to someone else.
So, I guess I answered my own question. It matters.
Previous entries: September 2014
Galamian's Principles of the Violin
Long one of the standards for violin teachers and students, Ivan Galamian's Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching offers both principles and practice exercises to help develop violinists of all ages and abilities. This new edition includes a foreword by Sally Thomas.
Mendy Smith is from League City, Texas. Biography
Please consider supporting Violinist.com by becoming a sponsor, and reaching our dedicated community of violin professionals, students and fans!