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Saturday, December 30, 2017

unnecessary weaknesses

Here's an idea. I want to rid my musical life of unnecessary weaknesses, like being intimidated by certain keys, or by my slowness at reading music. These are unnecessary because they aren't due to an inherent lack of ability: if I can read music at all I should be able to read notes that far above the staff. I just need to practice more and systematically learn what I need to learn. If I know a key with five flats, then I should be able to learn one with 4 sharps. If my time is weak because I don't practice enough with the metronome, then the solution seems blindingly obvious. These are self-created obstacles, not inherent defects in my musicality.

Of course, this is not a claim that I have no inherent limitations. It may be that I am not a very good musician in numerous ways, some of them correctable with time, others not so much. Some limitations might be correctable, but I might not get there in the time I have left on earth. For example, my piano technique will continue to improve, but I won't become a virtuoso.

It seems obvious that mechanical details that numerous other non-genius musicians have mastered are also accessible to me.  Also, only those things that are possible to improve are worth working on in the first place. In other words, aptitude or raw potential are, by definition, impossible to improve.  


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