Series (1): Classical Music for Classical Musicians

 

I first started blogging in the summer of 2010. In the beginning, I tried out a few different titles for my blog such as Classical Music Series and Classical Music Articles. These early incarnations began as attempts to share and promote some of the things I’ve learned about the art of classical music performance. After a few months, I changed the name one more time to Tips for Classical Musicians because I thought it summed up exactly what I wanted to blog about. I had an urge to discuss a great number of topics that fascinate me and to understand ways in which we can become better musicians by brainstorming and developing ideas. I wanted to see how people might respond to my thoughts, and I wanted to learn from those responses. I studied human potential and personal growth in order to understand how discipline and perseverance play a role in our lives as instrumentalists. I then combined these topics and created this series of tips to assist musicians with things like advice about their instruments and other subjects pertaining to classical music performance.

In the process of writing 9 blog posts, I selected some of the most important elements around which I believe our success should be based. These elements might be applied to anything we do, especially if we feel stuck and want to move on to the next level. My purpose with this series is to help classical musicians achieve anything they want. Presented are different scenarios, some positive and some not so positive. Your own unique reactions to these scenarios will help you learn in a very intelligent manner. We need to behave like professional musicians to actually become professional musicians. I hope you find the content of this series enjoyable and practical, and that it serves you as an essential inspiration to work at your highest level.

 

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Grow as a Person in Order to Grow as a Musician

 

A person can grow only as much as his horizon allows.

- John Powell

 

Did you know that personal growth is clearly reflected in your playing? It is! You ask how? Well, when you set yourself to work to become a better person, you are applying basic principles of discipline. Discipline is an essential ingredient in the formula for success as a classical musician. Since we are always in need of some sort of motivation to keep practicing and studying, applying the appropriate discipline can tremendously improve our playing. Both the technical and interpretive aspects of your playing will be served by this type of training.

We may be committed to working on our instruments for the rest of our lives, but, at some point, it will probably become tiring, just like anything else you might do for a long period of time. If we were to compare our commitment as instrumentalists with a relationship of any other kind (friendship, marriage or family relationship) we can see how the same principle might be applied. Your approach to your role as a classical musician should be one of respect, compromise and caring. When the time comes, and you figure out that the only way up to the top is by constant and continuous hard work, you will know that implementing the right amount of discipline into your practice will be the key to make it happen. So, why not learn now before you discover this the hard way? You’ll see instant results, plus other people will notice your improvement too.

But just to make sure, let’s get one thing straight here. When I talk about discipline, I’m talking about a strict system of behavior one puts into practice to push closer to an ideal goal. This way of disciplined living with a positive mental attitude will automatically be reflected in every activity you do, including performing music.

As you become gradually more aware of how to apply such proactive measures in your life, taking your first steps to put them into effect can be easy. You can try doing something you’ve never done before like helping your grandmother with cleaning around the house. By becoming a better person around your family and colleagues you will revolutionize your thinking about how things should be done. The main idea here is to follow a path that transforms normal habits into disciplined habits. You’d rather be watching TV, but instead you induce a positive mental attitude and start practicing with the idea in your head of becoming a better musician and performer. This may prove to be more productive than enjoyable, but don’t worry, you are developing this skill, it gets easier with time.

Whether you are helping your grandmother with cleaning or practicing your instrument, you need to focus on what you’re doing in order to do it right. Also, you must find motivation from somewhere to continue the work on it. However, if the idea of doing these things to become a better person doesn’t fill your heart, then you need to try something else. Hopefully, your desires will move something inside you. In the end, you are the one who will benefit from living a productive life and being as successful as you can be.

 

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