"Human Expression vs. Human Perfection"
I think this just might be THE MOST IMPORTANT THING to consider in our musical endeavors!
...not like I have to worry about being a perfectionist -
I'll only edit this 20 times. (lol)
It's important for me to take advantage of the wisdom and tips offered up by what I consider the most impressive string players. Yo-Yo Ma may be a cellist, but what he has to offer is something we can ALL benefit from.
Yo-Yo Ma talks about an epiphany he had during a flawless performance - it changed his life and a program he now offers!
• Finding Connection and Common Purpose
• Developing Creativity
• Expressing Ourselves to Make an Impact
• Making Your Head, Heart, and Hands Work Together
• Adding Depth to Collaboration
• Bridging Arts and Sciences
You can Sample a class here:
I was skimming through this heading & listening, again, to what Yo-Yo Ma said in the video made me think about why we decide to learn to play the violin (and viola or cello).
I think, for me, it's because I always feel the need to have a closer relationship/connection, to things I love... and I've ALWAYS loved listening to music!
To have more of a connection to music, more than just listening or singing, the violin always seemed to have endless possibilities for expressing emotion - more than a guitar, which always seemed more for chords. AND, since I'm not fond of blowing up balloons all day, I had absolutely NO desire to play a sax, any other woodwind, or horn! I never really knew anything about the Viola, and Cello was just too big to lug around.
I'm sorry I let a piano & violin teacher ruin my attitude toward learning an instrument when I was a child, but 'twenty-twenty hindsight' may at least benefit my Grandchildren, which is great.
I am at least grateful for NOW, what few years I have left with my instruments, my new relationship with ALL the great folks who play bowed string instruments, and the special connection I now have listening to music - because all I have to do to be a real part of any of it, is just pick up my "Mortimer" or "Edgar" and join in! 🤗
WHY ARE YOU REALLY PLAYING VIOLIN, VIOLA or CELLO?
I started to learn violin as a challenge, quite simple. I have been a guitar teacher for thirty years.
For me the ultimate connection to music is singing, violin itself first became popular because it emulated the human voice, which has always been venerated as the greatest instrument and possibly the first along with some kind of drum, you can perform anywhere without an instrument if you can sing well and also make people feel good. Singing comes from the soul, inside you, its a release of energy.
Its no coincidence that the most respected musicians who drop in a session in Ireland are first singers and secondly pipers. And you have to be good.
I am a singer more than anything else and many times have earned my living by this, never busked, never needed to.
Guitar in my view isnt just for chords, if you listen to someone like jose feliciano , that becomes apparent, or listen to someone like mississipi John Hurt, one of the finest musicians who ever lived, his picking was sublime, no doubt about it.
So... how important does our "attitude" and "perception" of worth, in regards to playing our Violin, Viola or Cello become?
❣ Is it a tool, or a partner?
❣ Must it be forced into submission, or gently coaxed?
❣ Is playing it a good experience, or always a chore & just plain hard work?
❣ Do you feel your instrument helps you play well, or do you feel it's hindering your progress?
❣ Rigid schedule with progress expectations, or is it an adventure with surprises and new discoveries?
Just food for thought:
The "perceptions" we have of our instruments (and how we treat learning to play them) might be something VERY important.
Do you see a glass of water as being 'half empty', or 'half full'? That's a negative & positive "attitude".
Everyone has bad things in their lives, especially now with this covid 🤬 - so, a positive attitude can be helpful & great for learning.
Now, what if I mess with "perception"?
For example, "someone took half of my glass of water", or "I gave half of my glass of water to my daughter", or "my friend gave me half of her full glass of water".
How we see things effects how we feel and learn - I think it's important to remember we are capable of changing and adjusting our perceptions and attitude to help make our life less stressful - AND MAYBE HELP MAKE LEARNING TO PLAY OUR INSTRUMENTS MORE ENJOYABLE!
...and I really need to remind myself of this, lately. 🙄
I started playing violin because I wanted to play as a child & didn’t have the opportunity. I’m nearing 9 years in now (the first two years were kind of haphazard—did not have a practice routine, schedule, etc.,).
I enjoy breaking down parts, figuring them out, & putting them back together. Lots of that with the violin.
And I like the immediacy of playing; after learning & practicing a piece, playing it (if I’ve got it) there is a sense of “being in the moment” – not to be over-philosophical. I suppose it’s what Yo-Yo Ma means by a “living thing”
Perception is important. And mine has changed. It’s good to look at how the pro’s do it, and learn something from their technique. But I shouldn’t measure myself up against what they do—my journey is my own.
If I’m comparing what I’m doing to what they do so that I can adjust a technical thing like correcting a bow movement, or a position, etc., then that’s learning. But if I’m doing it to measure the value of my goals up against their accomplishments, then that’s self-defeating.
Got to run my own race. I make comparisons of myself to myself—where I was 3 months, 6 months, 1 year ago, etc.,. I see my accomplishments there.
Trust me—this is coming from someone who nearly broke my violin several times out of frustration. My violins are safe now that I stopped measuring my progress to what others do.
Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.
@SharonC , @ABitRusty , @stringy -
THANK YOU ALL for your views & opinions on this!
Realize it's a very personal subject.
I think Yo-Yo Ma has some great insight.
💖 💖 💖 💖 💖
...geez, think I'm going to have to find time to make some decent Violin... and Viola GIFs - pretty slim pickin's for music!