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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000677.txt from 1999/01

From: Neil Leupold <nleupold@-----.edu>
Subj: Re: [kl] Non-professionals
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 19:35:15 -0500

On Fri, 15 Jan 1999, Christian Budde wrote:

<snip other material>

> Only playing, practising without ever showing the work to the public
> (even if this is only your family) will take the fun out of music.

I disagree with this statement. Before my life was turned upside
down by an extended illness in my family, I was a very serious
music student, and I practiced no less than 5 hours a day --
usually closer to 6 or 7. I discovered, over the course of my
musical growth, that the process of practicing and witnessing my
own technical and musical development was a unique and isolated
form of personal fulfillment all by itself. That process was not
directly connected to performing in ensembles or playing for my
clarinet professor. It became an irresistable compulsion to yearn
for the practice room whenever I was doing something else. I
couldn't wait to flex my developing musical muscles again and
see what new skill or nuance I would discover the next time I
picked up my horn.

Ten years later, I find myself managing operations for an elec-
tronics engineering company. I'm about to return to school for
an MBA, even though my first degree was a B.M. in Clarinet Per-
formance. I still make the pilgimage to the university after
work each night to practice and try to regain all of the skills
that evaporated over time. I would do this whether or not I
happened to have a regular orchestra gig. The process of di-
recting my mental and emotional energy at every tiny detail of
my technique and musicanship is a special and uniquely satisfying
pursuit. I spend much more time in the practice room than I
do on stage with my orchestra colleagues, and that practice time
is as much a part of my love for music as the performances with
the orchestra.

Showing my "work" to the public is far from the reason that I
work so hard in the first place.

Neil

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