PRACTICE (Concept & Application)

“The other day, I heard a call from the other way…” – Andre 3000

I had the great honor of attending a jazz Artist Diploma rehearsal at Juilliard School of Music in Midtown NYC. I was invited by Dr Aaron Flagg, who gracious showed me around the wonderful facilities a midst his busy schedule at the school. I happen to see and hear so many wonderful things while at the prestigious institute. Among the many wonderful things I heard that day, what was said by the great bassist and academic, Ben Wolf, touched me the most. It was in reference to rehearsal he was coaching, which I might add was with some pretty phenomenal artist diploma students/ musicians. He said this in concerns to the term practice, “Practice, is nothing but training your instincts.” -Ben Wolfe. I was pretty shook to the core of my being, because I had never thought of rehearsing, practicing or study as the period in which we are gaining control over our instincts. He further elaborated on the concept of ensemble interplay and the importance of team work, in order to say something meaningful, together. I was and still am very happy that I got to meet him and hear those thought provoking words on that day.

I often find myself at a cross road when it comes to school, practice and study. I often feel like I am working to replicate and reproduce what others may deem significant or important, but I feel, really does not reflect my own thoughts or patterns of thinking. His words, Ben Wolfe, touch my mind and I will never forget those aforementioned words about practice. Practice is now the vehicle I will take in order to arrive at the present, NOW. I need to be in the moment in order to effectually be a member of a performing ensemble. I have to listen to the other members of the group, as  a music educator I should listen to and take into consideration my student’s; thoughts, opinions, learning styles, etc. I am planning, practicing, and studying so that I can hone my instincts to respond and not react to stimuli that I encounter.

Encounters with Aesthetic experience help make you aware by grabbing you by the collar and disrupting you, throwing you off balance on occasion. Practice allows you the chance to hone your ability to respond to these experiences, hopefully, in a more meaningful way. Thanks Ben Wolfe and Dr Aaron Flagg for shedding light on my path.