Magazine article Strings

Become a Well-Rounded Musician-And Better Person

Magazine article Strings

Become a Well-Rounded Musician-And Better Person

Article excerpt

Successful college and conservatory students nurture their intellectual curiosity

When I am thinking of several generations of former students and asking myself who among them became most successful later in life, the answer is quite clear:

1 They are the ones I remember as having the greatest thirst for practicing.

To the point of obsession, they were all willing to use every small chunk of available free time between classes with their instruments in hand. They are the ones who looked forward to their spring breaks as an opportunity to use some more uninterrupted quality time with their instruments rather than to enjoy Florida's beaches.

Ever setting for themselves new goals, learning new repertoire, and striving for higher standards, they were able to nurture their dreams of excellence with hard work. I should add that all shared an enthusiasm for intensive practice of chamber music, quartets in particular.

I highly recommend reading The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. According to him, the road to success depends much less-if at all-on innate talent, more on being in the right place at the right time, and heavily on what he wonderfully calls "the 10,000 hours of practice."

2 They are the ones I remember as avid music listeners and frequent concertgoers.

I find a clear correlation between the frequency in which students were observed attending performances by other students and the measure of success they enjoyed later in life.

Listening to others, regardless of their level of playing, is a great learning tool. …

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