LIVE in THE SPOTLIGHT
- How to practice: exploring strategies and tactics in an aging body through book reviews, interviews, personal anecdotes, with the goal of staying happy, healthy and focused.
- Attitude: what it is a good attitude, how does helps us to learn and persevere, which daily tactics help us to acquire or keep a good one, what to do if yours needs a tune up?
- Metacognition: what it is, what it can teach us about learning, resources for study, conferences, and in practice.
- Intrinsic motivation: what it is, how it helps us to learn and persevere as we age, how to help those we mentor with theirs.
Gary Marcus' short video introduction to learning something new. He explodes the idea of 10,000 hours. But, he reiterates the importance of correct practice habits, commitment, and bias for action.
Another good example, that you can participate in, is the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Workshop in Louisville Kentucky this summer. Each year hundreds of adults from around the world gather to play jazz together. Some are beginners, some are pros. They are all obsessed with learning to play jazz. Starting at 8 AM and going to 11 PM, they chase the jazz rabbit. A truly thrilling and inspiring bunch.
Deliberate Practice focused attention on the right things for a long time. A good working definition. As aging musicians, we might consider the following areas for focus:
"In one way, I think of myself as a tenacious loser. I mean, the Met was my 28th audition." Jason Haaheim, Principle timpanist of the Met Orchestra NYC. An inspirational story of commitment, dedication, and focus. A great read to start the day. http://jasonhaaheim.com/how-did-scientist-become-timpanist-met-orchestra/ He makes the important point to focus on the process not the outcome. Outcomes are the result of successfully working through the process.
"No fool like an old fool"
We could go on.
I think it is really important to compartmentalize our musical lives with the rests of our lives. Planning regular practice times and sticking to them helps. Learning how to practice effectively and healthily is imperative. Being easy on ourselves while effectively dealing with our goals is important or unpleasant consequences are sure to follow.
Ask yourself the following
Social isolation as a musician is musical death, or at least a lonely purgatory. As we age the musical colleagues and scenes we were part change, die, or mostly likely, just fizzle out. Not a good situation. If you are a jazz or rock musicians who remembers the glory days of gigs, gigs, gigs, fun, fun, fun, $, $, $, you know what I mean. Most jazz fans are either dead, in the home, or too old too tired to go out.
Here are some thoughts.
Musician Hand Stretches and Warm Up
David Story: Professional pianist, drummer, composer, and educator. Well into his 4th enthusiastic musical decade, David works with adults pursuing musical dreams in the autumn of life, while he maintains an active presence in the Toronto arts scene.