Klarinet Archive - Posting 000300.txt from 2003/10
From: "Karl Krelove" <karlkrelove@-----.net>
Subj: RE: [kl] Inspiration
Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2003 22:39:34 -0400
Since you told us more of your situation, several people have posted some
good advice about not taking things so seriously and not being so hard on
yourself. It's all true, and from your perspective it's very difficult to
see, understand or accept. You're probably thinking about a great deal more
than your relationship with music; very soon you will have to begin making
choices that may be worrying you. Worse, you're looking at the possibility
that those choices may not be yours to make, that other people who don't
know you or what you're capable of or how hard you work may be making
decisions about you. So as a graduating high school senior there's a lot to
worry about. That alone can make you pull away from things. Normal
performance anxiety can turn into a more generalized fear of failure. One
way to avoid failure at something is not to attempt it in the first place.
While all this may sound like psycho-babble, it's something to consider in
your own mind. You sound in your second post like a very serious and
probably analytical young woman. If any of this is involved in your change
of feeling toward playing and practicing, realizing and understanding it is
a huge step in overcoming it.
That said, sometimes when you need to take a "next step," you begin
listening really critically to your playing, comparing yourself to some
ideal you feel represents success at that next level. You hear things in
your playing that you never noticed, things you want to correct. The first
response can be to get frustrated about the weaknesses you suddenly hear.
Many people respond this way (I know I sometimes do), but the next reaction
must be to figure out what can be done to fix the weaknesses. Once you've
noticed them, some, amazingly enough, turn out to be fairly easy to solve.
Others turn out to be problems that we all struggle to solve throughout our
playing lives. Listen to any professional recording (or live professional
performance). If you listen really super-critically you will hear
imperfections - doesn't matter who the player is or how great or how
international the reputation. If you listen hard enough you will hear flaws.
That's because human players can strive for perfection but will never
completely achieve it. The greatest players achieve what they do *because*
they hear those flaws in their own playing. The only way to fix playing
problems, whether musical or technical, is to be able first to hear them.
That you hear problems and flaws in your playing is an extraordinarily
important ingredient and an indicator of your level of talent and
sophistication. It's the problems you don't know you have that are the most
limiting because you can't even begin to solve them.
Your repertory list is quite impressive for a 17 year old with 5 years'
experience. None of us has heard you play, but your resume as a clarinetist
makes you seem very accomplished. You say you "took clarinet lessons for two
years," but it isn't clear if those are ongoing or if the two years were
earlier and have stopped. If you're studying currently with an experienced
clarinetist, share your concerns, especially technical or musical
frustrations, with your teacher. If you aren't currently studying,
absolutely start looking for a competent clarinet teacher. You need someone
with objective ears to listen to your playing and enough experience to
diagnose the cause of any problems and recommend useful solutions or
Remember one thing above everything else: none of us, even the top
professionals on the list, sprang from the womb playing the Mozart Concerto
and Coq d'Or. Everyone on Klarinet started from the same place, and there is
probably nobody on the list who is a college freshman or older who played as
a seventeen year old high school senior as well as he/she plays today. So
long as you love music and accept that your playing is always going to be a
work-in-progress, you have a reasonable crack at the next level.
Best of luck.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Chantelle Edwards [mailto:music_oft_hath_such_a_charm@-----.com]
> Sent: Thursday, October 09, 2003 12:27 PM
> To: klarinet@-----.org
> Subject: [kl] Inspiration
> Hi everyone,
> >How old are you (a general age bracket - I apologize that I
> don't remember
> >from anything you've posted before this) and what has your
> involvement been
> >with music and clarinet? What kinds of music activity are you
> now involved
> I'm 17, and in my final year of high school. I want to pursue a
> degree in
> music education and eventually teach instrumental music in high schools.
> I'm preparing for auditions, but I'm trying to find a new private
> teacher at
> the moment, which I'm guessing will help a little with the
> motivation. This
> is my fifth year of playing,and I have reached Grade 2 Rudiments with
> RCM(Canadian, sorry I don't know the equivalency), and have taken
> very basic
> piano. I took clarinet lessons for two years, have been in my
> school Wind
> Ensemble(highest group) for three years. I've played the saxophone for 2
> 1/2 years and have played in Sr. Jazz for almost 2 years now. I've
> participated in provincial honor bands, have attended 3 band
> camps, played
> with a local community band for advanced high school students, and
> participated in National Youth Band. I currently play in our local
> university's Jazz Band on tenor sax/clarinet (it's my second year) and in
> the U of Manitoba's Concert Band, (I played in the University
> band as well
> last year). I'm not sure if your question also involved repertoire, but
> I've played the Mozart, (of course!), the Saint-Saens sonata op. 167, the
> Schumann Fantasy-Piece, the Weber Concertino, Weber's 2nd
> concerto, and have
> played Voxman etudes, Rose etudes, Baermann etudes and Jeanjean etudes.
> Sorry for the nearly exhaustive list, everyone!
> >Chantelle, My greatest joy is having the ability to share my music with
> >others. I love playing in ensembles-I'd probably practice until I fell =
> >of the chair if I had a group who would play music with me that long. =
> Christy, I enjoy ensembles as well. Unfortunately there aren't any
> opportunities where I live to play in chamber music ensembles,
> though I am
> interested to learn!
> >I have felt that way from time to time, and you know when it
> >usually is? When I am being to hard on myself. Like as in
> >being too much of a perfectionist. Trying too hard and feeling
> >like I'm never going to be "good" enough. Thank goodness I
> >usually realize it for what it is and I keep on playing anyway.
> Everyone keeps trying to tell me that is what it is, but I really
> don't believe I am good enough. People tell me I deserve to be a good
> player because i'm dedicated and motivated and work hard at music, even
> though I feel like I'm not working nearly hard enough. I'm
> slightly worried
> by the prospect of having to play auditions at the end of this year...I
> don't feel good enough to get into a good school.
> Thanks everyone and I hope that answers some questions,
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