15. September 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

I recently read an oboe player’s blog that mentioned a fabulous oboist. To that blogger, hearing this great oboe player seemed to only be discouraging. The blogger believed him/herself incapable of ever reaching the the level of the OboeStar™. Due to that, giving up seemed the best option.

Now of course our initial reaction to magnificent playing can frequently be, “Oh forget it! I’ll never measure up!” So I understand the blogger’s reaction, and I’m sympathetic.

But this blog entry of mine is meant to be an encouragement in two ways. 1) Some of you WILL reach the level of that great musician. Really. It takes a combination of great talent, determination, and practice. It takes some special something that is hard to define. And it takes being in the right place at the right time. People can (and will) get there. But even if you don’t reach that level 2) there can be a place for you.

Being in something other than the “top 5″ or “top 10″ is an okay place to be. Trust me, I know.

I’m in several orchestras that aren’t ranked at the top. We have some musicians that could well be in the top, of course; that’s the nature of the biz … you are going to find top players all over. It’s that “right place/right time” thing. Or the “right place/wrong time”. Or … well … you know how it goes! (And, for some of us, it’s just a pre-ordained thing. But I won’t go into that right now.)

I’m honored to make good music. I’m thrilled (more than anyone will every know, I suppose) to play with my fabulous colleagues. I love making fine music. I love improving. Even at the age of 50 I feel as if I’m learning more all the time. Sometimes I learn from younger musicians. Sometimes from my older colleagues. Sometimes I even learn from myself. (But I don’t listen to myself all that frequently!)

So … ramble ramble … be of good cheer! Hear a fabulous musician? Be happy. Enjoy. Learn. Grow. Choose to see the possibilities. Not the limitations.

It’s just a good way to live.

(Oh dear … this all sounds so Pollyanna-ish. Danger, danger. Gotta stop this, yes?)