June 8, 2011

“It’s like a painting except it’s here…and then it’s gone” Harry Connick, Jr.

Harry Connick, Jr made that comment in a program about the process of building concert pianos. In full disclosure, as much as I love playing the harp, I also love playing the piano. It was my first instrument and it provided the foundation for my musical life. I was fortunate to have an incredible teacher who taught me the importance of being a whole musician – the importance of practice, reading, interpretation, performing, and enjoying all of it. It is a strong underpinning that I continue to build on now, even though I don’t take the time to play my piano as much (note that I didn't say I don't have time...because truthfully, I don't make time). And although I never got the concert grand I always wanted…but I got the mental equivalent and I’m grateful for that.

But Harry had a good point – music is ephemeral – fleeting. It can be like a breeze in summer…worth waiting for and so enjoyable when it comes. And best of all, as musicians, we can create our own breeze!

In the height of summer, when you get a cooling breeze, you don’t think, “well, that wasn’t right” or “I didn’t like that, I am a terrible breeze appreciator” or “that breeze was a chore to experience” or “that breeze was terrible, I’m going to repeat it over and over and over until I get it perfect”.

No, you just think, “oh, wasn’t that nice”.

Take that same appreciative approach to your music – enjoy the process and the activity, and the cool breeze it brings you. Enjoy the brief respite from the heat of the rest of the day. Revel in making music. Don’t focus on the details but delight in the sensation.

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