The Tao of Music
During the next few months, I will be presenting a series of articles exploring the application of ancient Taoism to the process of becoming a musician.
This article is concerned with one principle of the Tao:
The Tao of Music---Chapter One: Take Pleasure in the Mystery.
In other words, enjoy the process! Becoming a musician is all about the PROCESS, and not the END RESULT. If it were possible for someone to open the top of your head and pour in all of the musical knowledge and technical ability that has ever existed since the beginning of time, that would NOT make you a great musician.
Why? Because you would be missing the PROCESS! The filtering of this knowledge and skill through the unique perspectives and talents which are YOU is INDISPENSABLE to the creation of a musician. Why else would there be so many UNIQUE manifestations of musicianship from a mere TWELVE notes?
Allow your playing to progress and unfold without always trying to "figure it all out"--without constantly pushing toward that imagined "correct result". If you remain open to the process, you will find that you are naturally led to that thing which you need to do next and even better, you will be given the means by which you can do it!
Think back to the beginning of your desire to be a musician. Did you fret and strain and try ever so hard to figure out just what it was that you wanted to do? No, your passion for music likely just seemed to appear naturally, right?
The process of becoming a musician will unfold in the same natural effortless manner if you will just ALLOW it!
Does this mean that you just sit back, do nothing, and magically become a music God? Of course not! Becoming accomplished at ANYTHING requires dedication and practice. The point IS that if you approach each step as it is revealed to you with an attitude of pleasure and wonder, you will naturally make amazing progress.
Say, for example, that you have realized that practicing scales is a MUST. First of all, be thankful that you have been given this realization. Then keep your mind and your eyes open for hints about how to practice scales. Be faithful in carrying out the methods of practice that have been given to you but do not get attached to the result.
Don't keep "checking" to see if you are a great player yet. Trying to figure out if you are "where you should be" is not only a waste of valuable time, it is also very harmful to your progress.
Get out of your own way and take pleasure in every accomplishment. Enjoy each step in your development --each little step has limitless value of its own. You have in you everything you need to become a musician. All you have to do is relax, take pleasure in the process, and let the music happen through you!
The next chapter of The-Tao-of-Music will be "Learn Creatively". Best wishes for your journey--you are indeed fortunate to have been chosen by Music!
(Check back often--many more chapters to follow!)