Two generations apart, four decades, same message.
One day you just look inside yourself and say, "I've had enough", And then importantly, you take the steps and make the decisions that move you into a new positive re-direction. You work on building the relationships and infrasture that will support you moving forward.
In short, you take responsibility and address what needs to be addressed.
A recent release from Fade/Dissolve our cinematic noise trio
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.
What is a good attitude in the midst of a pandemic?
I. Stay in touch with others. Especially musicians who are still practicing, staying sober, practicing safe practices. This has really helped me: Jamming with social distancing in safe spaces.
2. Stay physically active. Keep the endorphins up. A challenge for sure. I'm drinking way for much coffee.
3. Taking lessons gives us another reason to stay musically fit. I take weekly classes on drums. For piano classes twice a month plus an online teaching course here and there.
4. Explore alternative routes for your career. I'm exploring drum teaching. This is a creative industry, let's get creative, we have no choice. As someone wiser than me said, "you got your war". This is our moment.
An external link:
Perhaps too many of us are. And, maybe we don't give a shit either. But if you feed yourself from music in some way, it might be time to get up to date.
I teach piano. Classical and Jazz piano play lists are stuck and rarely move. Bought a new book of modern piano music. Turns out many of my adult music students are hip to the artists therein.
With Dad and Granddad bands, playlists can be just as stuck. So, I've engaged a drum teacher half my age and asked him to show me his world. Staying as fresh and open as I can.
I learning that it's important to check the sources of our knowledge in the autumn of our careers. So much of what we think we know, just ain't so. If it every was.
"With all the knowledge of the world on the internet how can there be so many stupid people?" Ronny Chieng comedian
I've been working with some colleagues on my piano playing in the Jazz and Classical styles. I may have been saved just in time. Many, but not all, of my assumptions have been tested and found wanting. From the origins of Gregorian chant, rootless voicings, phrasing Mozart, bebop licks, and accents in Baroque keyboard literature. Nothing like fresh perspectives served on a slice of humble pie.
2020 will be an exciting time of woodshedding.
A lot of research has been done on children's motivation and educational outcomes. It seems that allowing increasing choice to students as they age and supporting those choices in positive ways leads to better overall outcomes. Click on the picture above for more information.
At our age we need to understand these four types in order to stay in the game. The psychologists seem to agree the first two types of motivation are the strongest and most important to a positive outcome in any activity. Nagging from others and our own indifference are motivational suppressers.
Intrinsic motivation comes from knowing yourself. Self-determined extrinsic motivation comes from knowing what's good for you. In other words, education.
How to keep demotivation at bay? Here are some possible ideas.
Go younger, much younger. A thirty year old just sees and experiences the world differently. What ever you think you know about life, reconsider. You are likely incorrect.
I'm confident in only a few areas. And, that's mostly in my narrow business silo.
After that I'm ready for some new input.
Some examples that motivate me to seek out new perspectives.
So, how to find your own mentors and teachers? Look around your community and discover some skilled younger musicians, buy them coffee, and hire them to teach you if their ideas challenge you. At this age looking for someone to confirm our prejudices is not the way to go.
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.