The pressure to conformity chases us every day. Conformity can overwhelm our own voice.
On the other hand learning the "language of a music" requires a long period of apprenticeship on both the instrument and within a style before one can craft a voice of one's own. In short conformity to the standard practices of your instrument and the restrictive boundaries and culture of a genre.
Finding your voice in Country Music assumes and requires that you can play Country Music. Otherwise you will just make an ass of yourself. For shameless examples attend any open mic night and watch what happens when art is hobbled by lack of skill.
Step one to finding a voice is learning your craft.
Step two getting out there and honing your craft.
Step three being comfortable being uncomfortable as you develop and grow.
Step four? Don't be boring.
Seeking a "voice" Part 3
Victor Wooten in Developing your musicianship video has some interesting thoughts. He echoes the idea from the previous Berklee video about intention. He even discusses some of the same artists.
He downplays skill in the beginning of discovering your voice. Hmmm, I'm not so sure about that. Sophisticated music needs sophisticated skills.
He quotes Chick Corea, a truly expert improvisor with a unique voice, that only 30% of his improvisations are truly improvised, the rest is vocabulary and things previously worked out or prepared. In short, he prepares much of the music ahead of time in the practice studio and then in the moment sees what happens.
Victor thinks musicians practice too much and don't play enough. Wise words, making music with others really brings it all home in real time.
Time to develop my own drum phrases and have them in reserve, I guess.
I'm 62 years old. How do I stay in the game?
I found a mentor half my age. He keeps me humble, focused, and challenged. I figure he'll help stave off old fartum by at least a decade. He points out my blind spots and introduces me to new areas to explore, new points of view, and new ways to execute my musical ideas. It is all very exciting.
What about you?
Who can you reach out to?
Let's play a game. Make a list of 10 musical adventures that would inspire you to get busy, get moving, and stay at it. Then pick one from the list and get going.
My 86 year old father just signed up for cello lessons, the first since high school. They are going well. He can barely speak of anything else. He called up the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and asked for a recommendation. He got one.
My wife, who will be retired when this is published, just completed her first violin exam at the Royal Conservatory of Music. It was a big success. She could barely wait to start the next level. See this link for a full description. My first violin exam - David Story Online Toronto Piano Teacher .
In the reality series "Travels With My Father, "daddy" is 80 and he's game.
So, if you are healthy enough to move, get moving I say.
I'm off to practice,
"Without desire, there is nothing to work with"
So much proverbial ink has been spilled on the topic of motivation and motivating the unmotivated.
"Intrinsic motivation is motivation that is animated by personal enjoyment, interest, or pleasure. As Deci et al. (1999) observe, “intrinsic motivation energizes and sustains activities through the spontaneous satisfactions inherent in effective volitional action."
Author: Emily R Lai
Cited by: 83
Publish Year: 2011
This is an interesting article for all musicians and teachers. Some of the research driven theories covered include the role self-belief or " self-efficacy plays in success. Self-efficacy is the “judgments of how well one can execute courses of action required to deal with prospective situations”.
And, the role of the desire to achieve an end for it's own reasons and the desire to impress, or draw favorable attention to one's self. As stated in the article, "mastery goals" or "performance goals". Intrinsic and extrinsic.
Regardless of the type of or nobility of the the desire, the strength of the desire leads to action or "volition". In other words getting off one's butt and moving forward in the belief it is possible.
Louis Armstrong is reported to have remarked, "musicians don't retire, people just stop calling". Then we move into community groups of various sorts. Rarely do we hang up the horn completely.
Over the last decade, as a both pianist and drummer, I have played in:
In these settings I have met countless career musicians. Long after the roar of the crowd has dimmed, we are still at it: playing, jamming, practicing, and swapping tall tales.
We the musicians.
David Story: Professional pianist, drummer, composer, and educator. Well into his 5th 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.