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.
Think you are too old to learn new tricks?
I've many students past the age of superannuation. What have they been up to?
Let's get going. Otherwise it is just Netflix, lethargy and death.
When I was young, I was told: ‘You’ll see, when you’re fifty.’ I am fifty and I haven’t seen a thing.
Maybe Eric should have been paying a little more attention.
Assuming you can find the motivation to practice when the world is falling apart, I'd ramp up practice time slowly to avoid injury. Every year at jazz camp I meet so many "hobby" musicians who after 2 or 3 days are in trouble. Bleeding fingers on bass players, blown embouchures on brass players, tendentious flaring up in pianists and drummers. There are tears.
So, I suggest ramping up practice about 10% a week. Warming up the muscles before you thrash the hell out of your instrument is helpful too. I'm working out in my home gym this morning and then heading to the practice studio.
For helpful advice I suggest all eager musicians read "The Musicians Way". I read it like many people read holy books.
My generation finally got its war. The casualties will likely be similar too.
How do soldiers prepare? I imagine the following:
After several days organizing work, I'm back practicing. First drums, today I will add piano. I miss jamming. Musicians are social creatures, music making/creation is a team sport. This is not going to be easy.
The outcome going forward is far from clear. But if we follow the orders of the health department and government officials most of us will get through this.
For inspiring words on being an eminently qualified human being. I invite you to check out Jocko on what is an eminently qualified Marine.
Jocko Podcast 174: Set Standards. Aspire to Achieve Them. Become an Eminently Qualified Human
"Suppose you catch the virus. You will give it to 3 other people, and they will each give it to three others, and so forth. Here is how the math works, where you, the “index case,” are the first line:
So, in just 15 steps of transmission, the virus has gone from just one index case to 14.3 million other people." Dr. Alex Filipski
Let's do our bit to help minimise the pain. Stay home, practice, get some sleep, exercise and ration the toilet paper. Be part of the solution.
More thoughts on avoidance behaviour. Tough thoughts. No easy answers. If the answers were easy we'd all be fit and rich.
Mark is an inspiring mentor/teacher and a fabulous jazz pianist. My buddy bassist Rory Slater and I took a class with Mark this past week. I was drumming. My dignity is intact, though I'm sitting home in a bit of a daze.
First: what fun it is to play with a professional.
He showed me 3 significant things on the drums:
This old dog has learned a few new tricks.
Apparently age 50 is the golden year to join or form a "dad band". This explains a lot. The proliferation of collectable instruments as a start. Pros are not buying the expensive boutique guitars, pre-amps, snare drums. They are mostly broke. Fifty-year-old lawyers with dad bods and rekindled musical passion are. Online video lessons reach out to the same demographic. As do jazz camps, rock fantasy camps et al. I know, I've been. The "campers" are predominantly male and skew heavily to ages below 25 and over 50. The before and after children crowd. All have exquisite instruments.
Why do fifty-year-old women not do the same? They know better. Someone said they run marathons. But I digress.
For a hilarious take on "Dad Bands" and inspiration for this blog post check out this link to "The Debaters Podcast"
I realise that lately I've been drumming in a lot of "Dad Bands" and "Grandpa bands". Oh boy. People I haven't seen in 30 and 40 years are in these bands. "Hey Dave, where have you been?" My response is always, "super, whom am I talking too?" I remember young men.
I'm reconsidering my next move. My 85-year-old mother tells me I'm not ready for this, I'm still making a living as a professional musician. I should wait until the time is right, she says. Good advice.
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.