This is an essential, and frustrating, part of a musician’s life: to never believe that your last performance was quite good enough.

I was talking to students about this yesterday; as we improve, we know we can improve more. Perfection seems to be that unattainable goal. We do something well and think, “It could be better!” It’s frustrating sometimes, and can cause a lot of distress, but if we look at it from a different perspective it can be challenging and even invigorating.

I read the quote here. Of course reading about the oboist that Jon Kimura Parker heard I’m also thinking, “He’s probably testing a reed, and has to see how it will handle the solo!”


  1. I like the thought expressed in the _title_ of the post more than the thought expressed in the quote.

    Knowing that you are always capable of an “even better” performance is quite different from fearing that every past performance was “not quite good enough.” 🙂


  2. He better like that oboe solo, or his mother-in-law Laila Storch will get after him about it!

  3. Dan: Spoken like the optimist that you are. 🙂

    Cooper: Who is “he”? Jon Kimura Parker or the oboist? (Sorry … I really don’t know! Guess I should, eh?)