My colleague wrote a great piece about majoring in music, couched in the very specific boundaries of her own family. The part that you maybe can’t tell, not having met these folks, is that the two kids of which she speaks aren’t just talented musicians, but they’re also fantastic human beings. Having other professions doesn’t diminish their musicianship.
I’ve talked a lot about the music machine, about the ways in which we suffer when we realize that we don’t need/want the artistic goals we think we should. But there is a lovely word – amateur – the describes the pursuit of an artistic discipline out of love. While it’s a word that’s been poo-poohed, I want to see it gain more traction. Because beautiful artistic moments are borne from love – of the art form, the emotion, the story, the tune. Let’s take that word back, and strip away the negative connotation.
I, for one, am happy to be a reformed performer…a musical amateur….mostly, in love with all of those wonderful notes.