Friday, August 29, 2008

Be a man, dammit!

There's something peculiar about playing a big beautiful chunk of highly expressive music like the Brahms concerto. When you do it, you have to do a lot of self-inspection. You have to get in contact with your feelings. You have to analyze yourself and the reasons behind everything you do. You have to suddenly become sensitive and in touch with your emotions and when you play you wear your heart on your sleeve.

I am happy being a big insensitive caveman 99% of the time. Every time something like this comes up, I become a big blubbering mess, blathering on about how things make me feel. I start using words that never come up in my vocabulary; words like "self-esteem", "support", "insecure".

Normally you can count on what I am going to be like at any time of the day. Quiet, impatient, indifferent to most of the world around me, always with a very direct and a bit of a rough way of saying things. People tend to be scared, or impressed by me. They think I am an ogre; maybe they are right. All of a sudden, I am extremely worried about what other people think of how I play. I question the motives behind every compliment, or lack of. I become super-sensitive to all criticism.

Playing these monumental works of art does that to a person. I just want it to pass so I can get back to being myself again.

Bloody hormones.


  1. If I didn't know you, I´d say that you´re a 15 year old EMO...

  2. Yeah. That's what playing this kind of music in public does to people.

    See... you wouldn't know since you're nowhere near there yet. BURN!

    (that's my little brother, so I have a right to be mean)

  3. LOL, I'm 16 ... just a nobody passing by. I don't know you personally but from reading your post I would guess that you are an older adult ... because your other posts suggests what teaching is all about.

    ... You seemed to have developed a philosophy through experience so I am am assuming you are a teacher who has (obviously) been taught by another.

    In saying that (sorry I am doing a psycho - analysis here) ... you seem to be insensitive and unfeeling ... this is not indicative of a teacher-like personaility .. I am not exactly stating that this is the exspectation but often the case is that teachers deal with people. Those people are students, students and teachers form a relationship. Because you have to deal with students often the best teachers sympathise and empathise easily ... (more easily other people of different professions) ... well enough of my thinking ... I'll get back to my life!

  4. Dear Rebekah,

    I am 26. I am a teacher who has had all kinds of teachers. I feel just fine, its impossible to be any kind of good musician if you are not sensitive.
    There are all kinds of teachers. In my case, I am not my students' best friend, I am not their mother and I am not their therapist. I show them how to be musicians and that is it.
    After a while I will develop a personal relationship with some of my students, but as with all people, there are some people I like and some I don´t. Regardless, I teach them all and keep the mushy stuff at home for my family and my friends.

    Hope you will continue reading.

  5. That's great to hear. The first impression I had when reading that section of your blog was "wow, someone feels really down and inhumane (thats a bit harsh I know)" ... (don't blame you I was feeling the same for a week).

    I am enjoying your blogs. Thanks for hosting a great resourceful and insightful site!