Wednesday, May 31, 2023

I’ve been thinking alot about failure of late.

Nothing disastrous here, just an emphasis in my mind lately about the learning opportunities offered when we don’t meet or exceed expectations. I am thinking about elements of my career (first as a player, then as composer, conductor, teacher, administrator), elements of my personal life (husband, father, son, sibling, friend), and pursuits outside of my career (handyman, carpenter, scuba diving).

In so many ways I have not seen aspirations achieved, and in each of those cases I have learned so very much. And those lessons have offered me an opportunity to broaden and/or strengthen my understanding of both what things I want and how I want to do them.

Perhaps this comes from being, at base level, a teacher. Music has been the activity I am driven to pursue, but teaching has been the natural strength since I was little. Music has been what I wanted my natural strength to be, but it was really something that took/takes a ton of work to get better at and, as a result, finds me a pretty idiosyncratic composer. Teaching, though, is rooted in a perspective of trying to understand how someone else sees things, and I am unendingly curious about that in a way that is much stronger than the value of my own idiosyncratic way of musical thinking…