Yesterday I heard an amazing group of musicians perform a recital and teach master classes. The members of the Boston Symphony Low Brass Section (Toby Oft, Steve Lange, James Markey, and Mike Roylance) inspired me with their playing and teaching.
The word 'inspired' comes from the Latin, meaning 'to breathe in'. I have been thinking about times recently that I have been inspired and I find it fitting that it makes me want to breathe in (and practice!). There was such control in their playing, and each brought a slightly different sound to the table that blended in a unique way. It really challenges the stereotypical concept of 'blend' in my opinion. Their stylistic approach was blended masterfully, yet their sounds were unique, which added excitement to my ears!
The World Owes Me Nothing- As an 'older' practicer (meaning I practice as if I was an undergrad but I am significantly older than a typical undergrad player) who has much to still figure out, I can see how some might have jealousy with hearing players (all of whom were about my age) that get to play in a top-level orchestra. While climbing the ladder, I have seen people my age win jobs, etc. and felt resentment for their success- more specifically my perception of their starting point. A well-funded and supportive childhood full of musical enrichment, etc. etc. it is easy to get wrapped up in the advantages that some might have which helps make their journey shorter. After hearing these players discuss their concepts of practicing and playing, and hearing them put it to use, I was blown away with how they left no stone un-turned. They have earned everything they have attained. True masters. Though I am sure they are fortunate in their upbringings, that does not do the practicing for them. It really doesn't matter who your parents are or who you studied with in high school. It doesn't matter how much time you put in and it doesn't matter how bad you want it- you HAVE to be productive and master the instrument. Period. You have to master the repertoire. Period. Whatever it takes- that's how they did it. These gentlemen showed me another great example of the highest level of achievement and were kind enough to break it down a little with their insight. I took much away from this day and I am even more focused on the task at hand. No resentment, only inspiration. There was much personal validation in hearing their philosophies and approaches, and I was reminded of some aspects that I could pay more attention to. I am eager to continue my journey! So inspired!