A few in the music world know that I am from El Reno, Oklahoma --the same town ravaged by an F5 tornado last month. As I checked in on the area, memories of El Reno High School surrounded me.
My high school quote (WARNING: I'm dating myself....) was from an Aerosmith song: "Life's a journey not a destination."
How relevant to the career path that chose me.
As musicians, we are taught to strive for the ideal. We spend hours in the practice room deconstructing and re-perfecting the very F-Major scale learned at our first bassoon lesson. This self-critique can be a positive tool in practicing.
It can also create a sense of incessant self-questioning with no honest reflection.
At some point, we as musicians leave the practice room for the stage. The deconstruction, the self-critique, the assessment, must stay behind (but do they?).
The stage is our place to be confident in our work to date.
But are we a finished product? Could we be stronger? Better? Cleaner? Faster?
These are always dangerous questions. No matter how we excel, no matter how we succeed, there will always be room to grow.
Now the challenge: I challenge us all to appreciate our own performances with as much zeal as we listen to our idols ...
to let our performances be a celebration of our growth.
... the practice room (and all that's in it)
will still be there tomorrow.
"Life's a journey, not a destination."