How To Music
Start writing a post
Entertainment

How To Music

Why is it so hard? We refuse to let go.

3
How To Music
Imogen Hendricks
Author’s Note: I do not dance or paint or sing and I do not assume that playing an instrument is the only way to create. Creativity is whatever fills your heart with passion – it just so happens that music is what fills mine. Please feel free to substitute any references to music with whatever terms suit you best.

Music, n.: The art or science of combining vocal or instrumental sounds to produce beauty of form, harmony, melody, rhythm, expressive content, etc.; musical composition, performance, analysis, etc., as a subject of study; the occupation or profession of musicians.

Music, v.: trans. To bring or convey by means of music; (also) to train in music. Obs. rare.

Musicians are taught that accuracy is key. We work towards it for hours every day. If we make a wrong note, we fix it, and train ourselves to play what is written. All we want is to be perfect. I've talking about this: seeking perfection is ridiculous. But here’s the thing about musicians that always gets to me: while we acknowledge to each other that no live performance will ever be perfect, we continue, hypocritically, to spend hours in the practice room seeking it. (Constantly balancing these opposing ideas is confusing and exhausting, let me tell you.)

A great performance shouldn’t be about getting to all pitches at the right time and at the right dynamic. A great performance should - must - have feeling.

This is the pressure musicians put on themselves. You must be accurate, you must feel. And not only do you have to feel, but you have to make others feel, too.

Whenever I feel overwhelmed by this concept – that making music is a purely selfless art, that sharing it is what gives it its power, that accuracy is only the starting point and feeling is key – I comfort myself with the idea that I don’t have to create the feeling myself. It has already been done for me – by the composer:

“It’s not about me, it’s about the composer.”

This is the mantra that I repeat every day as I practice. If I am simply a vessel for the music, then the pressure I put on myself lessens. Instead, making music turns into an act of devotion to the original artist. It turns into an act of self-discovery where I find out what images and stories resonate deep within my bones. It turns into an opportunity for me to explore concepts I’ve never encountered before. As cliché as this may seem, I do not shape the music (someone has already done that): the music is shaping me.

Music – all art – is different for everyone. But one thing that I’ve come to realize is that in order to enjoy the music, to move in harmony with it, you have to let go of all of your preconceived notions about it.

Here is how to play music:

Practice first. Then let go.

Breathe.

Play.


Acknowledgments: a huge thank you to my musical mentors, at the College and at home, for teaching me everything I know and helping me grow.

This essay was brought to you while listening to Mahler Symphony 3, mvt. VI.

This article is part of a series on creativity and the creative process.

Definitions of music from the Oxford English Dictionary.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Dear College Students, Are You Undecided?

The Girlfriend's Guide to College

2534
Dear College Students, Are You Undecided?
https://pixabay.com/photos/college-students-diploma-graduate-3990783/

Up until last week, I always had a major. I was an international business major, finance major, psych major on the pre-medicine track… and now (finally) I am exactly where I should have been when I started college: undecided. I think there is too much pressure as a high school student to have a designated path about what you want to study, be when you 'grow up' and essentially spend the rest of your life doing. As an 18-year-old, I really feel like I tried to pin myself down to a major so that I had a set path to follow and something to look towards. This is probably very conventional and I know tons of people at school who have their minds made up about what they want to study.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Life Is Messy

Finding who you are in your 20s

2642
Life Is Messy
https://www.pexels.com/photo/shallow-focus-photography-of-yellow-sunflower-field-under-sunny-sky-1169084/

I am 25 years old and just now learning who I am. When I separated from my husband I was terrified of what would follow. I did not know who I was outside of a relationship, nor did I know how to be on my own. It was scary, and I was so lost. I spent months discovering who I was, and what I wanted to be. I am still searching as I believe we never truly know who we are even when we "grow up". I came to the realization that I had been hiding a part of myself for my entire life. Coming out was not easy, growing up in the church made it scary, and hard. I was told growing up that being anything but straight was such a sin, and that i would spent my life in hell because of it. I came out to my parents when I was 25 years old. I picked up the phone and called my mom, and uttered the words "I'm queer" through tears. I knew my parents would be supportive, but that didn't make it any easier for me to vulnerable and raw. Since then, I have slowly started being more authentic in who I am, and not hide parts of me just because of people's shitty opinions.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

Ask your best friend these basic questions to see just how well they know you.

41268
Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

My best friend has been in my life since we were 3 years old, now that we are adults now, I'd like to ask her these questions to see how well she knows me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Alone At The Met

I survive a day alone in NYC.

10984
Wikimedia Commons

It was six in the evening. I was sitting in the courtyard of a Renaissance-era Italian villa, glancing around at the statues, most notably one of a boy removing a thorn from his foot. Despite the supposedly relaxing setting, I was incredibly anxious. My phone was at less than 5 percent battery, and once it died I would be completely disconnected from my family and peers, alone in one of the largest art museums in the country.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

College 101: How To Ease The Back To School Blues

Getting back into the school groove when you just can't seem to let go of summer.

11905
Beyond The States

With fall classes just beginning, many of us find ourselves struck with summer withdrawals. Especially for those who refrained from taking courses over the summer, it can be quite difficult to get back in the swing of things. Fortunately, there are various ways to help make the transition back to college as smooth as possible.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments