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.
“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?
Performing live is over for the foreseeable future. Going to any kind a show prior to either the virus dies out or a vaccine miraculously appears is done like dinner.
Time to reimagine the future.
What's not happening?
What can happen?
We've all heard the stories of one choir member infecting nearly all of her choir mates! I can't imagine any return to normality until there is a vaccine.
Covid-19 WTF! You may have caused a more rapid and catastrophic seismic shift than what talkies did to silent movie ear stars in the 1920’s. Or, synthesizers did to studio musicians in the 1980’s. Or, Napster did to the recording business in the early 2000’s. Those events took a few years to upturn everything. Covid-19 about 2 weeks.
Truly a black swan event.
Good question. Time will tell. In the meantime, time to step up and take care of business.
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.
Darn Tootin' it does. This won't last forever. Reach out everyway you can to stay in the loop. Project positivity, keep moving, keep practicing. Be ready.
Take care of yourself.
Your high school track days are over. Remember that as you consider how to maintain fitness after 60. Recovery is neither quick nor easy. So, rule number 1 is don't get injured. Rule number 2 is seek some professional input before starting to exercise again if you have been inactive. First stop is your doctor. No point dropping dead in the first week.
Here is the recommendation for a seven-day cycle: 6 days of activity, one day of rest from Dr. Stuart McGill is professor emeritus in Spine Biomechanics at the University of Waterloo. He's our age, these are his recommendation. Check out his article on the CBC website. https://www.cbc.ca/life/wellness/how-to-change-your-fitness-routine-to-stay-strong-and-mobile-as-you-age-1.5471940
Day one: strength training
Day two: something else, like biking, walking, something to "get the old ticker going"
Day three: mobility training
Day four: something else
Day five: Strength training
Day six: rest
Day seven: mobility training
Day one: Something else
Day two: strength training
Day three: something else
Day four: mobility training
Day five: rest
Day six: Strength training
Day seven: Something else
and so on
I’m going to try this new routine over the next six weeks and see what happens.
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.