What is it that plagues musicians, even the healthiest ones, and at all levels?
This dilemma drains our creativity or drive, leaving a void that was once filled with musical genius, readily flowing. The yoke of our creative nourishment- gone!
I can not answer for the rest of you, but when I come down with these symptoms, I too begin to panic. The music comes out droll, forced, and blah! My mind races as I frantically rummage through all my music books to rekindle that creative luster. But even still those once meaningful notes appear to just be random black dots that look more like scattered ink droplets- far from those inherent values that once gave form and depth.
We are musicians, not self sustaining drones that play note-for-note, turned on like the mindless action of flicking a switch. We must, like artists, find the shades in between: the slight threshold of when it starts to change its hues, the texture, and the build up of form from the blushing gradation of its values. This is what draws a viewer to immerse himself or herself in the artist's work. We musicians need to find these shades in the notes we play and saturate those notes with our individual color.
To do this, we may need to look not at the score itself, but at what is around us. Take a glance out your window. Most likely, you will see greens of the grass, leaves and plants. We see this every day, yet we still can find the beauty in the landscape. Music is like this: we can always find the beauty
from its song.
I say take a step back. Look away from the printed notes for now. Go enjoy what others are playing. It does not matter if they are less skilled or more advanced than you. It is a gift that is being performed. Listening to them will spark as of flint grazed. You will start to feel that churning inside. After a few false starts, your drive and creativity will burn once again.
Perhaps we get too wrapped up in perfectionism isolating ourselves
in the process. Listening to others is a great tool, as it will allow us to see the shades in-between.
Music in general speaks to me. It always has. But Classical has a place in my heart that transcends deep within and seems to awaken my senses. My favorite style is the Baroque era.
Baroque music always gets me on the edge of my seat poised to spring into high energy or explode with emotions I am struggling to contain. It inspires me in ways that I never noticed in my daily life and helps ease the burden of stress which seems to plague many of us.
While athletes have their gift of athleticism and endurance, in which I envy making their sport look so easy and fluid. But even so-it does not deter my aspirations in aiming for that level of play. This feeling is mutual when I see gifted and talented musicians.
Yes, I could be just a listener or bystander and be satisfied with that. But no! My insecurity and passions challenges me and I have accepted. So my journey begins as a player joining others who may share the same affinity of this instrument that is so refined and elegant.
I realize that I will never be in the same caliber as the professionals, but that is the challenge, the “Holy Grail” that keeps me going. All my efforts, labor, love, dedication, determination, and all the passion that fuels it-- though daunting still produces rewards that I can be proud of. This gives me a sense of calmness and confidence that I desire.
Classical music gives the best and strongest foundation to musicians in general (in my opinion). I have only seen good things come from students who have this background. Do you need it—no, but why wouldn’t you, since it will only catapult your talents and knowledge that much further. It is always nice to be able to fall back on this foundation since generes come and go. Classical is and always will be steadfast even in the modern times and beyond.
Thank you for letting me express myself.
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