Friday, October 30, 2009
I don't think I all of a sudden got bad at it, I just think I was looking at it in a non-productive way. Or maybe it's because there are so many changes right now in my life and how I thought my life would be that I'm having a hard time adjusting. Either way, change is something I am learning to embrace and be empowered by.
I recently had the revelation that I can make my own decisions when playing, teaching, or just having conversations. People are always asking my opinions, when I play an audition or concert, teach, or offer advice. Being a student for a good portion of my life I looked a lot to my teachers (who 99% of the time had great and helpful things to say:) and dilligently assumed the student role. I thought of what they said as the 'right' way. I mean, these people had jobs and sucessful careers by doing exactly what they were telling me to do. Who was I to argue or even disagree?
The answer? I am me. Being me gives me the right to decide for myself. An audition or search panel is interviewing me because they want to hear what I think about Tchaik 5 or how to teach someone to play low. Most importantly, I want to hear and express what I think. Being me is unique and one of a kind. My life experiences have allowed and earned me this one of a kind voice. It's about time I started listening to it.
This paradigm shift has really opened my eyes and changed me for the better. I feel more confident and sure of myself. I feel more open to expressing my ideas not as the 'right' ideas but as another voice and opinion. It has allowed me to share my experiences in a way that services and speaks to others. It builds clear and quick connections that bring about meaningful relationships. The change in attitude has helped me see opinions and ideas of others as exactly that, opinions and ideas, and use them at my discretion.
Change can be rewarding and exciting when trust is built and believed. It's about time I gave myself the respect I have been giving to others for so long. I'm looking forward to seeing what's next......
Monday, May 18, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Photo by Kimono Photography, kimonophotography.com
Today was my first rehearsal with the Coronado High School Band, conducted by my amazing friend and sister-in-law, Dani. Greg and I made this trip to Vegas for this event (and to see family:). I have been waiting for a moment like this for a long time!
During our travel day, yesterday, I was so excited about the opportunity to play a solo with an ensemble. It was finally my turn to be the one standing in the spotlight. Kind of like a day of reckoning for me. This has certainly been a year full of ups and downs and this was an up I had been looking forward to for whileJ. I felt in a really good headspace. I was prepared and believed I was capable of performing in a way I could be proud of and happy about.
I have been reading a book called "You’ll See it When You Believe It", by Dr. Wayne Dyer. He is a master of creating simplicity. Dyer’s text really sang to me, especially his words about failure. He says, “…you cannot fail at being you. You can only produce results.” Although I have probably heard this concept a hundred times, this particular setting really made sense to me. It also helped me ‘get it’ again. Being me is enough regardless of what results I produce. For the first time in a while, I felt good about being me. I was ready for a good night’s sleep.
It’s still dark out. What time is it? I roll over and it’s 3am. 6am my normal tim:). My brain is up and running, already deciding how things were going to go at this morning’s rehearsal which was GREAT! I slept very little from 3am-6am when the alarm went off. I was convinced I was going to be great today.
I walk into the 7am rehearsal, with very little warm-up. I have prepared myself for this situation on a weekly basis in case something like this were to happen! YAY! It was a weird walk from the parking lot to the band room. One I have made several times before, in my high school days, but now was out of practice. The rehearsal rooms was bustling with a familiar chaotic energy of getting out instruments, music, setting up the chairs, etc.
I was no longer a student. This sentiment has several strings attached. On one hand I felt relieved. I could do my own thing and decide my own schedule. And, on the other hand, I had to do my own thing and decide my own schedule. I tend to gravitate towards the freedom the first option presents. I’m still growing in this respect.
I got out my horn, which felt brand new and awkward to me. I immediately reminded myself of all of the preparation I have done for the past many years. This moment wasn’t set forth a few months ago when I was booked for this gig, but several years ago when I refound, or was reminded, of my love for making music. I immediately turn on my Fearless Playlist. You can show them some wonderful music! Believe in yourself and see it happening exactly the way you want it to go. Oo, there’s some other faculty here, I wonder what they will…..they want me to play well. I got this.
Dani introduced me as Dr. Thoman. Wait, what? I am still uncomfortable with the potential distance that title creates between human beings, but, I stay in it. I am here to create something beautiful. The students seemed fairly unimpressed. That makes me feel better about the distance. And we’re off.
The band starts on the huge E-flat chord. I take a shaky, big breath, here I go.
Driving home from the rehearsal I think to myself, rehearsals like today are the reason I don’t have a job. What am I doing that makes me feel this way? I had some memory slips and a few cracks. Why did I feel so horrible while actually playing? This is the question I need to find answers to.
It’s always neat finding out how different a piece can feel when played with an ensemble as opposed to a piano. I am quickly reminded that I am now driving a bus, not a sports car. This is where I think I can start finding some answers to my pivotal question. What am I doing that prevents me from getting the results I know I am capable of and so desperately want? I think the question itself presents an answer.
Let go. My capabilities and skill are already in place. My training, especially with Jeff, has been good. He has led me through some dark valleys and I am now in a position to feel the sun on my face again. Let go of the view of the dark valley and replace it with the brightness and awesomeness of the now stellar landscape. Leave expectations at the door and freely create as the moment moves me.
As, Greg was driving me home, I felt angry at myself for ‘not playing well’. ‘Not playing welI’ is so generic and not serving. I need to be more specific with myself in order to do it better the next time. What didn’t I like, and then decide what I need to do to make it right. Greg patiently reminded me that I wouldn’t understand how to do make these changes in the moment if I don’t keep putting myself in the moment. So, get back in there and do it again. The whole ‘getting back in the saddle again’ thing. He also helped me to remember my results do not define me. It is important for me to quickly learn, really learn, from these results in order to produce new results. Use intelligence to evaluate content and be smart when producing results.
Today’s rehearsal was a moment for me not in the way I expected. It was a moment to take stock. What are my priorities, what’s important to me, and how can I best express myself? How can I create simplicity?
The answer, Where is MY Head?