Thursday, March 30, 2006

Of music festival and bird reports

Just back from the music festival (deep sigh of relief here). On the drive back, Mom saw a bluebird. We saw a crow too, and a goose standing on the ice covering a small slough, with neck stretched high as if to say "I own this pond." Mom thought he was saying, "Funny - it was here last year..." She saw a duck the other day, too.

The kids did well with their solos, although James was so displeased at getting a lower mark than his sister, he wants to pick out next year's solo TODAY. I told him that sounds good - it might give me enough time to learn to play the accompaniment.

I was musing a while ago about my deadline-treadmill life, and wondering how to change it. It occurred to me that I could approach things like music differently. Instead of the pattern I learned in school, where you enter a music festival class and then prepare the piece to play, I could play music I like, practise it until I like the sound of it, and then find a place to play it. If that place happens to be a music festival, or the church, so much the better. Instead of the commitment spurring the practise, the practise would lead to the commitment.

Now if I could just work my way out from under some of my existing commitments, I could begin to practise something new.


Madcap said...

I could play music I like, practise it until I like the sound of it, and then find a place to play it.

Well, that sounds about right to me! Do you enjoy music festivals? I did conservatory as a kid, and I always loathed them. Like I needed that much more anxiety in my teen life!

Deb said...

I have found lately that the times I get the most out of practicing music are the times I just start with nothing in particular, just playing whatever comes to mind and jamming from there. It starts with something as nonspecific as "Play something in D minor on mandolin." I don't even play tunes I know, I just get into this groove.

I'm also writing songs in my dreams, songs with lots of words. Unfortunately I don't remember any of them when I wake up. But that's probably a whole new post for my blog.

arcolaura said...

As a kid, I liked music festivals, and conservatory exams, and anything else that involved a trip somewhere, with meals out. I still remember the gas station diner at Wawota where I always got a burger and an orange float.

I think I also enjoyed being the centre of attention, in spite of the stress. That and seeing other kids like me who took music lessons and strove for good marks. It made my family seem a little less weird.

Deb - groove is one of the hardest things for me when writing songs. I have a very limited range of rhythmic styles, so a lot of my songs sound very much the same.

I hope some of those dream songs emerge into the daylight!