Monday, January 16, 2012


(from, via Thomas Deneuville)

This is profoundly intelligent.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how being a musician prepared me for Real Life. And I've been feeling pretty good because I realized a couple of weeks ago, when practicing my fourth horn part for the Brooklyn Wind Symphony, that I still remember how to learn. I think that may be the #1 thing that I learned from my years of musical training: how to learn. Slow it down as much as necessary in order to play it successfully, break it into pieces and master each fragment, combine one fragment you've mastered with the next and master that grouping, continue to add until you have the whole phrase. Subdivide and synthesize. It is better to do it accurately than to do it quickly. The process felt so good as I plodded away in the basement with metronome tocking.

Another thing I'd posit is that learning a musical instrument builds up a tolerance for inadequacy and failure and a faith in subsequent success. Meaning: the visceral and lifelong embodiment of the knowledge that inability + practice = success. Perhaps it even lowers the frustration boiling point in an individual.

Can you tolerate frustration? Can you tolerate not being able to do something long enough to master it and find fulfillment? Does anybody else out there feel like musical training helps with this?

No comments:

Post a Comment