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.
Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.
Think for a moment of your musical heroes, mentors, and villains. Did they exhibit these qualities? Did they express and live these qualities prior to obtaining success?
They never chased a sound; they created a sound. As my mentor Bill King said in response to listening to one more mainstream jazz recording presented to him by eager hopeful shiny faces, “haven’t we made the record already?”
Have a great day.
Cognitive overload: Too much information, not enough context, too little time to process and reflect= stress, from the resulting inefficiencies in holding information in our memory for later retrieval.
A good example for musicians in memorizing music. Apparently as we age, we lose abilities with working memory. Memorizing becomes increasingly difficult.
How do we improve our working memory? It's complicated, but decluttering the mind might be of help.
Ten things to help lower this stress to free up our processing power, so to speak.
A recent release from Fade/Dissolve our cinematic noise trio
I am sitting in North Bay Ontario looking at the lake through a hotel window. Damn it is beautiful. I'd forgotten how beautiful Northern Ontario is. Inspired by the Netflix series, “Cardinal”, I’m revisiting my old haunts in “Algonquin Bay”.
Yesterday I had a coffee with a former co-worker from Music City, where I was employed over 40 years ago.
What a great time reminiscing on old times, forgotten bands, dead musicians, our youth with all its ribald triumphs, failures and near misses. I am feeling reenergized and full of beans going home today. It was a good idea to reach out. Thank you, Bob and Mike!
This morning on my way out of town I will be having coffee with an old blues player, whom I jammed with around 1976-77. We’ll talk blues and music. I don’t know the guy, but I do know his work. And, I remember fondly his playing.
Time is short, if there is someone from the past you want to play with, get on the phone and reach out. Time has passed, they will likely say yes. If you need to patch up some things from decades ago, it’s time.
With my new updated 2020 playlists loaded with tracks of creative musicians half my age and who have none of my presuppositions, musical hang-ups, or history I'm going for a walk. A long walk, in a safe place, deeply listening to the tracks.
Ten things you might consider:
Being internally driven when sitting at home takes some extra effort. Idleness, loneliness, cramped spaces, financial stress; it adds up.
I've made a short list for musicians of positive qualities that may help us focus our efforts, deal with reality, be creative, and get on with it.
The short hokey video below is a good reminder that fitness, appearance, and conduct go a long way to preparing us what is to come. Combine this with professional pride and imaginative thinking will, I believe, move us forward.
For more on this subject I suggest checking out this peer reviewed article: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-intrinsic-motivation-2795385
“Flexibility, improvisation, practicality, and the ability to recognize and respond to changing environments”
This is a good time to revisit these thoughts from my old alma mater. We all understand the disruption of the pandemic. Now what lies ahead for musicians? Public performances are out until an effective vaccine appears. And, is widely adopted by the population. In this “age of the crazy” that may be wishful thinking.
For established performers it may be time to consider alternative career paths. This is the path I took 20 years ago in response to the SARS pandemic. As the songs says, “you gotta know when to hold them, know when to fold them”.
For younger musicians though it is a whole new opportunity to reinvent the arts. The established crowd is hoping for a miracle, the younger crowd got one. The status quo is not likely to return. And, anyhow the young will not wait. They are filling the void with viable alternatives. The leviathan of public arts support will need to be reimagined and reallocated post Covid-19
I hope I live long enough to be a witness; it is going to be good.
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.
Three months of reflection during isolation has yielded valuable insights.
I am sure you have gone through a similar experience.
So, I am still practicing. I also have sought out younger musicians to learn from as well. I am working out safe jamming practices/spaces for piano and guitar trios to meet.
The cinematic noise trio Fade/Dissolve will continue to produce work and post it online. Our newest work drops soon.
I will be taking a live online class in adult education next month. I am reading, creating, dreaming, and scheming.
It is going to be ok, but it is going to be different.
What's the coolest thing that could happen to your musical life in the next five years? I've answered this question, have you?
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.