It's not often that I hear from friends still in the throes of musical ambiguity. Most of my musical peers have gone through the deathly hurdles of musical academia or trial by street performance. Actually, most of them are jaded and seasoned veterans, ten years my senior. I've learned much from them and their disinterested yet fiery vigor.
But the other day I heard from a friend who was terrified.
Of what you might ask?
Not of failure in a new assignment. Not of failing to succeed in an ensemble performance. Not even of an upcoming performance. Because they are incredibly talented, and to imply as much would be an insult to their amazing gift.
They were afraid of freedom. Of the time to devote their attention to whatever musical pursuit they deemed fit. Why? Because they had finished the goals set before them. Because there was no one to tell them they had done a poor job, that they needed to do better, that performing a particular piece in a particular way was the ultimate form of success. They were finished with their degree in music, an accomplishment worthy of praise from the institution in question.
They were simply afraid because they were cut loose.
They needed to hear this. So I'll say it to the interwebs, the cavernous void of musical opinion.
You are so much more than the place or person that trained you. You brought your own gift to your instructor, school, or situation, your own unique perspective. Freedom and liberation is the start of something good, not the end of it.
Embrace the jump. It may feel like falling, but according to Toy Story, you're actually flying.
Now give the world your gift. And never stop giving.