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In this episode, you will learn what inspires musicians to practice, and what inspires you.
Learn Flute Podcast 098
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What inspires a musician to practice their instrument day after day, week in and week out even when progress isn’t seen immediately? I know exactly what it is, and I’d like to share my story with you today. Let’s go!
Welcome to this episode! I’m Rebecca, and I’m thrilled you’re here joining me and the others in what keeps us motivated and happy along our journey called musicianship.
Oh, I clearly remember pinnacle moments in my life when I had an inkling that I would do this for a very long time. Share my love of music with others is what I’m talking about and I didn’t have any earth shattering moments or banners floating out of the sky pointing me in the way I was supposed to go, but I did have some rather quiet moments that touched my inner core… and that folks, is what we’re going to talk about today.
I am a child of the seventies, and during that time there were a few important musical moments that I’ll never forget. The deep clear voice of Karen Carpenter, the head-spinning complexities and harmonies of a Sousa March– my dad had all of these records. I would spend hours taking the big black vinyls out of the cardboard sleeves seeing what I could discover that day.
I honestly don’t think my parents had any idea how much I enjoyed being left alone for a while. This is what I would do while no one was with me.
Of course we moved into 8-tracks after a while and the joyful sound of Roger Whittaker ever so skillfully whistling or worrying me with sorrowful songs about the ships in the harbor and lost love. You know, I’ll never forget the feeling I had when Sesame Street aired “Sing, Sing a Song”.
I remember not being able to even move during that one. Here was a song giving full permission to open up and let your melodies come out of you so anyone else can hear.
Anyway, as I got older and was able to get my hands on even more refined performances, the hauntingly beautiful melodies of Debussy’s Reverie or Syrinx being played on a solo flute. I mean… I couldn’t even believe my ears.. I was paralyzed the first few times.. I’m getting all teary-eyed as I reflect back on these right now.
Oh, by the way I’m putting these into the members area soon, so no worries. You can get really into Debussy this year.
Well, anyway.. I could go on and on about moments I vividly remember a musical moment touching my soul.
These points in time when you’re listening, I mean really listening, to music and something reaches to your inner-being and puts a little spotlight on your emotions.
Perhaps you have gotten goose-bumps all over your arms like I do? Seriously, I am always still surprised when it happens, but it really does. It’s like my outer skin attempting to show what’s going on, on the inside of me.
I actually remember quite a few of these real moments and I think it’s safe to share with you that so many of these goosebump moments have happened when listening, or participating in live music. Not something being played on the radio all sterilized and buffed clean.
It’s when I can hear the breaths, see the sway, and feel the heat and movement of fingers or lips. If I dare use a comparison, it would be something like passion.. or a moment when you have real appreciation for what’s happening and you just ‘know’ you like it. A lot… and you instantly have a desire to do whatever it takes to be able to do it yourself.
I want you to go back to yesteryear and think of moments like these that you may have had yourself. You may have been at a concert, in church, listening by yourself in the perfect setting.
It could be that your new speakers, or really good pair of earbuds brought the sound to life for you.
Now, I know I have had many of these occasions as I’m out on a run or hike along the foothills of the beautiful Wellsville mountains here.
I was telling my husband not too long ago that this is the one thing I’m the most excited for when the world opens up again soon! Live musical performances. Theater and concerts. Sign me up. I’ll be on the front row of everything I can get my hands on. What about you? What are you waiting to attend live?
Getting Lost and Absorbed in an Inspiring Musical Performance
Okay, sorry… Got a little sidetracked there. But here’s what I’ve learned about it: getting lost and absorbed in an inspiring musical performance creates a surge of endorphins which create visions and basically thoughts of grandeur- thoughts that perhaps you yourself could be a part of this same scheme.. Play it yourself and in turn give the same inspiration for others.
In fact, I believe it’s the body’s feel-good hormone (called dopamine) that is released as we listen to music.. It really turns us on and almost instantly lifts our mood. We can use this to even fight fatigue or depression.
Well guess what? It’s true. You can be a part of this wonderful club… and since you’re listening today, we consider you adopted in already.
Since music is an extremely powerful neurological tool that helps us keep or change our mindset and mood, we can literally just listen or play our favorite tunes to have a real effect on our bodies.
The right kind of music can change the way we perceive our surroundings, or the world we live in making our outlook more positive.
Okay, raise your hand if you can use these types of side-effects from time to time!
I know I can.
So I feel blessed and full of gratitude that I can unashamedly admit that I use music and the sharing of it with others to enhance my own life.
What Musical Art Inspires You?
Okay, so did you come up with a work of musical art that touched you yet? Think back. Way back to the earliest musical memory you have. This is your assignment this week. I want you to actually keep a list as you remember them. My list is getting longer and longer, as I’ve been doing this the past few days.
Also, realize that this is your list. Not mine, but it’s yours. There’s no right or wrong here, only that you do it.
So, I know what some of you are thinking right now.. You’re thinking, yes I have been inspired by music and I do have the desire to learn to play it myself, but …. And there it is.. That dreaded ‘but’ word…
“But what if I never learn to play good enough?”
Well, my answer to that is pish-posh, complete nonsense. Of course you can.
Not only will I help you, but also realize that music of every level is able to reach the soul.
From not too far in the modules here at Learn Flute Online I introduce you to some beautiful melodies that include only just a handful of notes and stay within a very playable range. It’s up to you to continue working on the skills so that one day in the not-so-distant future, you’ll be able to perform these pieces either just for yourself or in front of someone else who will be extremely impressed.
You know the flute is an instrument that is very unlike others.. We use our very breath, our lips and many other parts of our bodies to shape and create every single sound we make. Most other instruments create sound by reaching out and touching a key, plucking a string, or putting it right inside our mouth. The flute is free-blowing which means it’s our actual air stream that creates the tone, texture, and emotion of the sound. It’s very exciting, actually.
From the day you learn to play Suo Gan yourself – by using only three special pitches I show you, you’ll find that you can create beauty all by yourself. .. and it’ll be addicting.
Which brings me to my original point of today which was the question of what inspires a musician to practice so much?
Well, everything I’ve talked about today should about nail it on the head. The soul-touching melodies, the inspiring performances, and the idea that we can continue learning and it just keeps getting better and better.
Whoo- it’s awesome.
Of course, some days feel kind of like a complete chore with dismal moments, and yet on other days I’m sure you’ve looked at the clock after practice and wondered how so much time got away from you.Well, it happens. Time flies when you’re having fun!
The musical quest is quite invigorating with it’s drama.. Like a good soap-opera -haha we like it, we hate it for a time, and then we’re back to loving it so much we can’t live without it. It’s kind of funny. Have you noticed these ups and downs in your musical life? No matter how long or short it has been I’m guessing you have.
So put it out of your mind right now that there’s some sort of magical level of achievement that you have to reach before you can enjoy music thoroughly like we’ve described today. You can bet that some of your favorite melodies have changed the world with only six or so notes.. Ever head the song “Amazing Grace”? Count the different pitches sometime, there aren’t many. The powerful lyrics and memorable theme do it for just about anyone.
Whats Coming at LFO
It’s “how” you play. And I”m excited that here in the members area at Learn Flute Online, we’re spending the year diving into some special skills that enhance tone, ear, and musicality. How we place and treat each note is very special.
If you haven’t yet joined us yet in either the Gold Level or the Intermediate/Advanced members areas, what are you waiting for? (unless you’re on the waiting list.. I’m sorry I hope the timing works out for you really soon to come on in to our magical flute-land here).
THIS is what it’s all about. We have an amazing community and thousands of detailed lessons set in the perfect learning sequence to help you on your journey.
You’ll learn skills here that will move you along your path. It’s my style of teaching, and I know you’ll enjoy it.
In fact, this month is performance month here at Learn Flute Online and you can bet that we are buzzing with excitement over the Spring Fling week. Like last year, it’ll be an entire week of inspiration, appreciation, and soul-soothing recitals.
I can’t wait!
Music is a universal language that literally everyone speaks. It awakens creativity and the artist in each of us. It evokes powerful emotions and transcends us to new exciting experiences.
Support the arts my friends. Expression is one of the wonderful dynamics we enjoy on this earth. Take the opportunity to explore it to the fullest.
Well, thanks again for being here. You are some of my favorite people. I love gathering and chatting about what interests us. I am so glad that we can be together from all of our own little corners of this globe also.
Here at Learn Flute Online, I strive to give you the best education and most comprehensive time as possible. Now before I play you out, I encourage you to follow your dreams and remember that You. Are. Awesome.
See you next time
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I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about what what inspires a musician to practice.