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The Physicality of Music Part 2

I was never a big organized sport person while growing up.  I did kung fu and I would shoot hoops outside but the coordination of a team effort somewhat eluded me.  I liked doing "my thing" rather than going to practice and doing drills for a "team thing."

I played in youth symphonies.  While you are playing as a group with the symphony it still felt like I was doing "my thing" rather than a "team thing."  If you don't know how to play a section of music, it's up to you to go home and figure it out.

The long story short is that I never placed myself in a position where I had to really examine my own mechanical proficiency.  Kung fu taught me endurance but I relied on a teacher to tell me if I was ready for the next belt or not.  Same for private music lessons and progressing through pieces.  Orchestra gave me that team experience but I only ever had to push myself hard enough at home so as to avoid messing up too much in rehearsal.  I never had to go beyond that.

I would like to make clear that I had an excellent musical education growing up.  The problem was not my teachers or the environment it was just me being me.  I'm not the type of person that feels the need to exert myself beyond a certain point if I don't have to.  I'm incurably efficient.  Even at a young age I would see that I could practice five hours a day and it would lead me to maybe moving up a few stands in orchestra.  But moving up a few stands would in no way affect my orchestra experience so why bother practicing that much?  I was happy with what my actual level of effort got me.

So fast forward a few years to when I became a Suzuki teacher.  Teaching and learning how to teach certainly changed my point of view on a lot of things.  But an unexpected and powerful lesson came from taking up disc golf.  It was the first time I ever cared about training myself.


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