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The Danger of An Ipod, A Playlist and A Desk Job.

November 9, 2010 at 3:52 AM

I have a desk job.  It encroaches on my practice time, but does allow me to eat regularly, so I've come to accept that for now, it is a compromise I will just have to live with.  My desk job is actually pretty neat.  I have amazing hours, great benefits, and I work in a crazy but amazing industry of which I cannot speak on the internet.  I am allowed to listen to music at my desk.

 My ipod is amazing.  What an amazing tool!  How many hours of bliss it contains!  From ridiculous indie rock to Perlman and Heifetz, to Simon & Garfunkel, all on one little contraption.  Amazing.  Usually, I just set it to shuffle and go on my merry way, but a few weeks ago, I made a mistake.

  Perlman!  Gil Shaham! Maxim Vengerov!  Ysaye! Pablo de Sarasate! Bartok! Paganini!

And there I sat, attempting to work when so many masters were parading by in all their perfection and beauty.  And there I sat, feeling certain that I had been struck by lightening.  My hands trembled and I swear I felt heat, literal heat, traveling through my fingers.  The intensity and excitement I felt was bordering on spiritual.

And then the phone rang.  Responsibility and practicality was calling my name.

I went home that night and practiced good and hard for a few hours.

The next day, I chose a ridiculous indie rock play list and decided to leave my virtuosi at home.


From Ann Miller
Posted on November 9, 2010 at 4:56 PM

I had to remove an Albinoni CD from my office because I liked it too much.

From Janis Cortese
Posted on November 9, 2010 at 5:38 PM

The only stuff I can listen to and retain ANY focus on what I'm doing is nice, ambient music from a computer game called "Riven," and sometimes George Winston.  Other than that, whatever it is will seize my brain and not let go.  It's frustrating sometimes ...

From Joslyn DeMarco
Posted on November 9, 2010 at 6:13 PM

Hehe, my life as well :)

From Julian Stokes
Posted on November 9, 2010 at 6:40 PM

I *cannot* listen to classical music as ambient. It demands too much attention. I can listen while I drive - mostly that's where I do my listening. I do remember somewhat wistfully the days when we'd put on a gramophone record and sit and listen. To both sides.

From Pierre Holstein
Posted on November 10, 2010 at 8:13 PM

 LOL, it's so cool that you can get wrapped up in great music that way. I'm the same way and can even get that way when I am playing great symphonies or chamber music with great players. I could literally go on forever, or until my arms give in.

I just wanted to say that the ipod is also a GREAT tool for learning next weeks repertoire. Granted we should spend good time practicing as well but what a difference to start a rehearsal when you know the piece inside out. Especially the contemporary repertoire.


From Eloise Garland
Posted on November 10, 2010 at 11:06 PM

 I really dislike the attitude people have in my school about 'classical music being boring'. Because I, like many others here, know that there are so many things to listen for! When I listen to any music, I go on a hunt for different instruments, I think about bowing and fingering if it is a string piece, I listen to patterns in the music, the chords, the time signature changes, the conductor... and the list of things could carry on for ever! 

And then like you that gives me massive urges to play as well... I LOVE it! 

I have had to leave my iPod at home lately... I got caught listening to Hans Zimmer's wonderful creations from the Gladiator film once in a history lesson... oops!

From Katie ryser
Posted on November 11, 2010 at 3:05 AM

What lovely comments!

Pierre, I actually got wrapped up and lost in an etude today.  Weird.

 I have also discovered the wonder of the Ipod as a practice tool.  I tend to download 3 or 4 versions of whatever it is I happen to be working on and listen to it for days and days when I am getting ready to perform.  It really does work wonders. 

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on November 11, 2010 at 3:40 AM

All my life, I've listened to music nearly every waking hour.  I think that I've grown an add-on to my brain that handles active listening while the core of my brain takes care of everything else.

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