Day 9, The Big Picture

I did zero hours of practice today.  Woke up at 6am to start and finish packing for eight weeks away at Aspen, hit the road around 9:30am and arrived in Cedar City, UT at 5:45pm local time.  The drive was tiring and so was the glass of wine my hosts offered me shortly after my arrival!  Though I would have liked to play for them, I was too tired and it was too beautiful outside.  On this longest day of the year it was wonderful to enjoy the sunlight so late in the evening. I guess this counts as my day off. :) It was more rewarding than my days off have been before I started this project.  I feel like I really earned this one.

Two unrelated thoughts on the bigger picture of music during my drive:

  • One of the podcasts I was listening to was about “How to pick an expert.”  The host of the podcast urged listeners to evaluate not only the success of the expert (whether it be someone in the arts, business, academics, whatever) but to evaluate the success of the expert’s students.  Do people who accept the advice of this expert prosper?  If not, it doesn’t matter how successful the expert herself has been, if those who accept her advise aren’t succeeding, then you may not want to accept her advice either!  Some experts may not know exactly why they were successful or just may not be very good at teaching it to others.  If you’re seeking a teacher, make sure to check out their success rate with students who face/d similar challenges you do.
  • Much like driving itself, if you’ve got your eyes set on where you want to go, you’ll get there.  Look as far down the road as you can see.

The handsome southwest. View from my drive this afternoon, probably somewhere in Arizona.

I just took a look at the last few days of this blog and I’m a little disappointed that so quickly after starting I’m not meeting my daily goal.  There’s a lot of travel going on right now so I have to accept that as something I can’t change until I’m done traveling.  Tomorrow I have another seven hours on the road, beginning shortly after my lovely hosts serve breakfast, which will put me in Aspen around 4:30pm.  Realistically I’m going to aim for two hours tomorrow.  Barring anything huge or unexpected I should be back and ready on Thursday to do four decent hours.


2 thoughts on “Day 9, The Big Picture

  1. Nice thing you wrote about experts! And think about this – even if the expert, let’s say, a music teacher, has five famous and successful students, what about the two hundred who never made it? You have to be able to tell what is the effect of a brilliant teacher and what is the effect of a brilliant student who might make it to the top even on his own if he has talent and determination.

    • Yes, absolutely. There are so many teachers like this. Unfortunately even some teachers who are legitimately talented as teachers get comfortable with a certain type of student and out of either laziness or lack of practice lose the ability to effectively teach students with different strengths and weaknesses. This I believe is to the detriment of the teacher as well as the student, for they have missed an opportunity to grow as a musician. The student is always better off going elsewhere. An artist cannot afford to be close minded or spend significant amounts of time studying with people who are.

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