What is it to be?

We do not become truly human until we acknowledge the divine (undying) aspect of our personalities.


Finding your point of balance

Yesterday I had a solo harpsichord concert in London, and been practising for 3 hours a day during the final month. To do so is so ridiculously uneconomic in relation to the fee that even the phrase ‘pay to play’ pales into irrelevance.

What then is the reward? I think it is the gain/s in focus & self-awareness (during the learning process) & in self-confidence (from successful performance) – which are like the payoff a sports person gets from reaching peak condition & then pushing themselves even further to achieve a personal best.

The important life lesson for kids in music is even more valuable than sport & it’s this: a personal best does not involve you winning or losing in relation to other people (thus it is without an emotional downside, given adequate preparation) – what it does do is to put you in touch with the bedrock of your own psyche & help you to decipher your personal hand-eye-brain coordinates & the illusions /cultural mythology of how we all see, hear & respond which form the delusions or programming which govern most people's perception.

Where music is unique among the arts is that, once you’ve mastered your craft sufficiently to be able to hear yourself objectively, the sound you make offers instant feedback to keep you centred in the experience itself, and because, when you succeed, it is auditorily gratifying. Thereby a virtuous circle is created which validates your ego, and so reinforces your self-worth. One of my arguments against exams is that this ‘affirmation of human uniqueness’ is such an important discovery for each and every person to make by some means in their life, and one whose importance so far transcends ‘piano’, that creating conditions where a particular type of human (to wit those with an aptitude for music) can begin this long slow self-circling is the most valuable thing a music teacher can offer pupils. It’s an infinitely subtle & on-going evolutionary process and to mislead students into believing that the purpose of acquiring musical skill is defined by what can be measured in exams, or even as a shortcut to applause, is completely to misinform them about the re-creational possibilities music offers for refreshing their inner world in adulthood.

If you know yourself only in terms of other people’s valuation, then your well-being remains dependent on the opinion of others: but if by engaging with the confluence between intention & execution (which making music demands) you come to discover where /how your personal physical and psychological truths interact, you are thus led towards your human uniqueness – and from this all that is best human achievement springs, for this gives the individual a fulcrum to move the mass.