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Sunday
Aug122012

You Play With Your Will

The Olympics came to a close this evening and I have again had some revelations about sports and music at their best.

When I was a student, I have the opportunity to play for Gyorgy Sebök the consummate piano pedagogue, for his chamber music class in Ernen, Switzerland. I was preparing for the cello-piano duo competition in Munich. I had worked like a dog. I was disciplined, focused and determined.

After playing the Beethoven A major sonata for him, Sebök sat back and quietly said " You play with your will." There was a stunned silence from everyone attending the class, including me. Although it was evident to me that it was not a compliment, I had no clue as to what he meant! It took many months to figure out that he felt I was not allowing the music to flow freely. In my attempt to play flawlessly and impeccably, I had restrained and corralled my music-making with my ambition  "to succeed no matter what." 

Today as I relfect on the astonishing, inspiring accomplishments of the athletes these last days, I am reminded that one has to take great risks in order to realize the rewards. That is true in music too. The fear of errors, the holding back even just a little bit, diminishes the performance and the audience can feel it.

The Olympics have given us another look at the potential of working hard, and following our dreams. 

But after all the months and years of work and practice, when we arrive to perform there is nothing to do but to take a leap of faith with supreme confidence, let go of our will and do it!

 

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