your mission, should you choose to accept it

I was very bold yesterday. I recorded numerous videos of excerpts and uploaded them on YouTube.

Crazily comforted by the fact the world didn't come crashing down around me, today I widened my circle of discomfort by putting some more very raw clips of the process of working at improving my concerto performance.

I am strengthening my courage muscle, and it sort of fun. Almost exhilarating and yet painful at the same time.

I will give you the links soon, but first I was wondering if you would do me a favour? 

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to try to watch me in all my imperfect glory with compassion and kindness, and mindful attention to judgemental thoughts that may arise? 

Most classical musicians have been rigorously trained to listen attentively in order to improve the way we play. The downside of that is we are rigorously trained to be harsh and judgemental on ourselves, and our culture encourages to make judgement of others.

The critic in my mind is constantly saying about these recordings today - 'but these videos are full of out of tune notes, bad phrasing, split notes. And I am old and wrinkly. And. And. And.' Do I need to go on? I'm sure you know how this goes.

When I listen to my own recording I used to cringe also, but now I am used to it. I can still be caught off guard. I can listen for ways to improve, but I try to take the personal, harsh and unkind down a level. Noticing that I am doing it is a the beginning of this process.

So here goes - this one was the first after I warmed up, this one I try to be more mindful, improving my concentration and this one I really like because I really leaned in to the question 'What sort of horn player do you really want to be?'.

I hope the proof is in the pudding. Or at least the video. 

Deborah HartComment