September 12, 2012

Never miss the opportunity...

Performing can be such a terrifying word.  We're never ready, the time's not right, the venue is too small to bother, the venue is too large to be comfortable, we always have excuses.

I know.  I hear the excuses too.  And for those of us who have other things competing for our time, like the work of our day jobs, it is all too easy - seductive even - to believe our excuses.  We think the lack of singular focus gives us an out. 

But when you do step up, when you give yourself permission to take the chance, when you take the opportunity, inevitably you get reminded of one of the most attractive things about performing with your instrument - people do listen - and you do touch them!

Michael Tilson Thomas said, "The most important thing about music is what happens when it stops, what remains with the listener, what they take away. A melody, rhythm, some understanding of another person or another culture. The way those experiences add up, in the soul of a person over the years....You want to shake people even when they're not listening to the music."   And he's right!

So, when you have the opportunity to share, and especially if you are offered the opportunity to play with someone else - do it!  Don't let your fear get in your way. 

And by the way, it's not about you.  Don't focus on how you're not good enough, or you haven't practiced enough, or you're not ready.  It's about them - focus on the person that you will touch, that person that you don't even know.  the person who, after hearing you will be brave enough to come up to you later and tell you how much they enjoyed it...and the person who loved it but didn't work up the courage to come tell you so.
Revel in knowing that that little piece of the music has gotten to in to the soul of the person - and that you've shaken that person even when they are not listen to your music.  And be glad that you haven't missed a fantastic opportunity.

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