What could it hurt? There is a lot of information there about music in general and woodwinds in particular. Take your time and give it a good look. Video, music, articles. What more could you ask for?
We all came to music in a unique way. It could have been years of playing around with it and not being serious, and then one day realizing what an important part of life music is for us. Or it could have been a Zuethian Thunderbolt that struck us down with the realization that our lives had just changed...... for better or worse. And of course, there are many variations to those two samples or even something completely different. At any rate, our future was changed. So how do we keep the inspiration to keep on practicing, and improve on a regular basis? We live in a musical Renaissance like the world has never known. There are so many ways to experience music and learn new things.
We have recordings, videos, radio, television, live concerts, clinics and seminars, the computer with its myriad of informational sites, which allows us to record ourselves, or even play along with accompaniment from a web site, Bla bla bla. I am sure that is just some of the opportunities we can access.
So how do we turn all these opportunities into inspirational moments?
Just like when we practice and sound leaves us, we should look for opportunities to search out sources that inspire us and brings music or great thoughts to us.
My most recent inspiration is Hillary Hahn on the Linked In website. This 3 time Grammy award winner is doing a series of 100 days of video of her practicing. What a great opportunity and inspiration to hear such a mature musician practicing just like we do. Start slow and work on the music until it's in the fingers, and then move the tempo up until the music is playable up to speed.
What an inspiration to hear that brave woman not sounding her best, showing us her frailties to let us all see how practicing is done.
I have always believed that music teachers should take a piece of music they can't play and take a whole lesson from time to time to show and remind the students of the world how practicing is done. Practice for your student. It is time-consuming. That's what students seem to not understand. It is time-consuming for every musician in some way. There is no shortcut to learning. Playing fast and hoping is not the answer. Playing the piece through, identifying the difficult phrases, practicing slowly and gradually increasing the speed with a commitment to learning the hardest parts of a piece of music until we own it, is the answer I know. When we finally own it completely we can relax a bit and not criticize ourselves so much. We can turn off the internal dialogue and just play. But that takes time and a regular commitment to practicing. I am not talking about the musicians that have perfect recall and perfect pitch who may approach practicing differently. I have a feeling there is a routine they must go through that is time-consuming in some manner too. Only a few geniuses every few generations get a free ticket as they seem to be born having practiced in the ether.
For me, music is some type of religion, so I am always looking for inspiration. Just as a true believer practices their religion on a regular basis so must a musician. And as with practicing which is time-consuming, so is chasing inspiration. So I say don't wait for your inspiration, rather seek it out. It is easy to find and yes it is time-consuming. That is the blessing of it all.
A Closing Thought
PERFORMING ARTS REVIEW: My friend Dan Kepl has a website located at https://www.performingartsreview.net/about where he reviews mostly independent CDs. I think in a couple of days he will have my new CD "Almost Alone" review up on the site. This is one of several I have done that has been reviewed by Dan.
The site is set up so you can search around to find me and in the meantime come across some great musical artists which will give you a little time to peruse the state-of-the-art performances that are available and discussed by artist and interviewer and of course you get to pick what you are interested in. It is always an interesting presentation. I know as we go more and more to the digital presentation of music this valuable website will continue to examine all the great music available to us these days.
Until next time:
Always be happy with where you are at, while you are trying to get to where you want to be.