Today was one of those days. Everybody has one of those days now and again. Today I had mine. It really wasn’t that bad and I’ll spare you the details but suffice it to say that today was highly emotional. This an asset, right? Artists need to be highly emotional. When it came to practicing I had two ways to approach it:
- Push aside all of the personal emotions going on for the sake of focusing on music that isn’t necessarily sympathetic to my mood.
- Embrace all the personal emotions going on and use them for the music.
There’s a lot to be said for both but by embracing strong emotions, even negative ones…anger, sadness, whatever…and putting them into the music, it’s a kind of catharsis that brings me back to joyous music much quicker than just ignoring the feelings and pretending I’m in the mood to play the 1st movement of Mozart when what I really need is Jean-Jean 18 studies #1. Some of my best music-making is out of absolute honesty.
I didn’t get to four hours today but I felt like the truth to some of the things I played was never better. I’m glad I didn’t just blow off practicing or try to ignore what I was feeling. That’s the great thing about expression- you can be successful at it no matter what you’re trying to say.