Thursday, December 23, 2021

Learning to be a Musician, Health Matters

My thumb calluses are getting so tough that I would be concerned about stroking someone. Fortunately, it isn't happening and as we enter a bleak winter with more lockdowns looming, and my calluses will only get worse.

No one said is would be easy, the music challenge. But that is what we do.

I have also been doing double-stop scales in an attempt to harden up my right thumb. It may be rather like torture. I thought I already had a perfectly good callus that could work its way around the fingerboard but you won't know pain until you start double-stop scales in thumb position!

Is it worth it?

Yes, but this is my journey. Everyone should set themselves little goals. or big ones.
Music goals are so productive because it feels like you are not getting anywhere but suddenly you can play something well. What an accomplishment! If you can play one note, you can play two.

My music school focuses on whatever desire my listeners and learners have. This is key. This is the democratic approach for acquiring musical skills and knowledge. Whatever makes you happy, will make you a great musician.

For some, that means joining me for a bit of a jam. For others, it means working through the Popper Etudes together. For others still, it means composing something to celebrate the life or loves that have touched their hearts. We all need inspiration.

We all learn music for various reasons and as adults, one hopes, we are able to pick and choose our journeys. For victims of abuse or tragedy, music can offer respite from chaos or even give us a sense of control over our own path.

Personally, it is this control that gives me peace. I am also able to feel accomplished after each little success where previous battlegrounds have left me in tatters with a sense that I kept messing up. This is where spirals begin, defeat leads to resignation and ultimately, despair.

My new program of musicianship is a free podcast channel. It is accessible, private and filled with caring ideologies for a better life.

Daily pod classes offer musical tips and guidance, as well as tools and resources to aid your journey to becoming a musician or to overcoming depression through the application of music.

And if you are a novice, dip your toe in to see what happens and leave whenever you like.

More details on the site.

I am serializing this audiobook this week which is a must-read for musicians and performers. Understanding the fundamentals will up your game immensely.
If you click on the Listen Notes button you will be able to search any chapters. I put three up so far and more are coming tomorrow and through the week.

The Alexander Technique is for you if you are ready to feel more comfortable in your own body and the space you occupy.

The Alexander Technique is invaluable if:
  • You suffer or are concerned about repetitive strain injury or carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • You have backache, stiff neck and or pain and stiffness in your neck and shoulders.
  • You become uncomfortable when sitting at your computer for long or short periods of time.
  • You are a singer, musician, actor, dancer, performer or athlete and feel you are not operating at your full potential.

I have counseling every week for past traumas and always feel invigorated artistically afterward.
The process of clearing the mind of its angst makes space for the visionaries to communicate through painting, a poem, maybe a composition.
The clarity for me is the first step to making good art. Without it, I am flailing around in a quagmire of self-doubt or confusing motives. That is not to say the confused mind cannot make great art, just that for my working process, the clear mind and clear motive make a great launchpad for something with power.

We can't all have counseling, unfortunately. I do believe we should all have a few sessions each year. Mental health is a potent source of inspiration but also can destroy creativity.

I will be writing about how mental health affects art practice in this blog from time to time and will share stories and artworks of artists afflicted with difficult emotions. As an activist I want to normalize 'us', the sufferers, the batty fruitcakes, the ones who understand what it takes to have this courage we call art.

I found this on google....

Some painters who displayed possibly the most tragic manifestation of the suffering artist — the suffering of the tortured mind.

  1. Vincent Van Gogh.
  2. Edvard Munch. ...
  3. Fransisco Goya. ...
  4. Georgia O'Keefe. ...
  5. Paul Gaugin. ...
  6. Mark Rothko. ...
  7. Michelangelo. ...
  8. Richard Dadd. ...
Wait, where are the women? Oh, of course, no such thing as a female artist. silly me.

I confess to feeling indignant that there are no women on the list but I do hope they were burnt as witches at the very least.

Now I am off to make some batty art.

Peace x

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