The Summerglen Files

Music, Creativity, and Everyday Life at Summerglen Music in Raleigh, NC

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The Best Professionals are Still Students

December 5th, 2009 · No Comments

As I was packing up my scores after a Wiley Band rehearsal earlier this week, a parent asked me why I was taking my music home. “To study,” I said. The parent replied with surprise, “But why do YOU need to study? You’re a professional!”

Without even knowing it, this lady had answered her own question! The best professionals in any field–be it music, finance, or science–make it a point to continually expand their knowledge and understanding. We don’t rest on the degrees, certificates, or experience we gained several years back; rather, we continue to grow as much as we can, for as long as we can.

This brief conversation with the band parent made me think about why I continue to study and practice. Here are some of the reasons I came up with:

1. I respect my students. – My students come to me to learn how to grow as musicians. It’s much easier to help someone grow when you are growing yourself.

2. I respect the music. – I don’t want to be one of those unprepared musicians who makes Beethoven roll over in his grave. I’d rather give a performance (or coach a student toward giving a performance) that would make the composer proud.

3. Practice makes easier. – When I take the time to thoroughly study my scores before band class, my ability to help my students grows, and our rehearsals become more enjoyable and efficient. Likewise, when I practice technique, playing trombone becomes easier and more fun. And who doesn’t like fun?

4. I love music! I honestly can’t get enough information about musical styles, composers, trends, innovation, history, etc. I study because I love what I do!

How about you? What makes you continue studying and practicing music, even if you’re already pretty good at it? What are your favorite musical topics to study?

Tags: a day in the life · music education

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