By Mike Vaccaro
(from Mike's Musings #11, our newsletter)

I have talked about keeping a diary before. If you have not started one yet, please do it now. This is a great way for us to remember powerful quotes that can shape our life, resolve many of our conflicts, and show shortcuts to our path.

It's important to go to a good source and get a journal with a hard cover and firm paper, as these diaries will serve us for the rest of our lives, to be updated and reviewed at regular intervals.

In addition to collecting thoughts from the great thinkers, we can add our own thoughts and daily insights. so we can review our own thinking as time goes by.

These are thoughts, not just about music, but about success in life, which of course makes music easier. These quotes are a just few from my several full diaries.

Find your own quotes and write them down.

Take your time, as you make entries to your diary, and as you review your diary, so you can soak in the true meanings of the writings. Look up any words that are not completely understood.

Some Quotes From My Diary

Artists are people driven by the tension between
the desire to communicate and the desire to hide.
~D.W. Winnicot

Most of us have had an unremarked, remarkable life.

Honor is a person’s gift they give to themselves.
~Tom Clancy

Money is transitory. Honor isn’t.
~Tom Clancy

We make a living by what we get and we make a life by what we give.

There should be a period of time during each practice session when we perform. Invite some friends or family in to your practice room and play a passage or a page of something, or pretend there is a conductor on the other side of the door with a $90K job waiting for you based on your performance…or, simply turn your  tape recorder on, and perform for the microphone. What I am trying to indicate is that each day should contain some amount of performing. You should engage in the deliberate act of story telling each day you practice. Don’t only gather information when you practice, spend time imparting it. This is important!
~Arnold Jacobs
Tuba, Chicago Symphony

Technique does not mean anything if you can’t play a backbeat and lock it in.
~Steve Gadd (jazz drummer)

In the end there are only three things that matter. How much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.

When a student asked Pablo Casals, at the age of 90, why he still practiced, he said "Because I think I am making progress."

Having a child is the biggest risk you can take.

Practice and hope, but never hope more than you practice
~Kal Opperman

Talking music is like dancing architecture.

We are creatures of habit, and we fear that to abandon these habits,
abandons ourselves.

There is nothing to be altered, nothing to regret, for a sensible person.
It is a matter of carrying on and keepings one's head above water.
~Johannes Brahms

People that live only for themselves and not for others are only half alive.
~Christiane Brahms

The question is not whether we should lie or tell the truth.
It is rather, to whom do we owe our honesty.

When you are right, and when the time is right, Providence will provide.
~Bill W.

The only alternative an artist has to being himself is being nobody.
~Roger Sessions

Where there is clarity there is no choice. Where there is choice there is misery.
~Jack Nicholson

We were born to strive and endure.
~Charlotte Bronté

A man with a talent for listening can hear things not yet spoken.
~Gary Gennings

Every war is insane, no matter what it is about.
~Tony Bennett

The adversary of any successful life is self-pity.
~Robert Kennedy Jr.

The biggest communication problem is that we do not listen to understand…we listen to reply.

When we speak of inner discipline, it can, of course, involve many things, many methods. But, generally speaking, one begins by identifying those factors that lead to happiness and those factors that lead to suffering. Having done this, one sets about gradually eliminating the factors that lead to suffering and cultivate
those which lead to happiness. This is the way.
~Dalai Lama


Save your money…learn how to invest it and protect it
...you may be lucky enough to live a long life.
~Mike Vaccaro