Final Harp Class – Climbing Back On The Horse That Threw Me

Last night was the fourth and final session of the spring harp ensemble “boot camp” class. After my oh-so-difficult first and second classes I did not go to the third one, and had no intention of returning at all.  But a friend in the class and my teacher encouraged me to come to class last night, and I am glad I did.

The bargain I made with the part of me that would have rather prepared for a colonoscopy than go to class, was that it would be perfectly ok to sit with my hands in my lap without playing a note for the whole 90 minutes. Through some combination of a slower pace of the exercises and sight-reading, some time spent playing a familiar warm-up tune that I know by heart, and at least a partial restoration of confidence, I enjoyed the class. With no self-induced pressure or judgements allowed, I was able to do what I could and not worry about the rest. Equanimity blessed me with its presence.

I should write something profound about all the lessons this experience provided, that includes wise words about my patterns of self-induced pressure and the resulting panic and loss of heart. For today, though, I’m satisfied that I took the risk to just show up, and allowed a different ending to the spring harp class to manifest.

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13 thoughts on “Final Harp Class – Climbing Back On The Horse That Threw Me

  1. I am great friend of music and I have great respect of musicians. When reading this post this Monday morning warmed my heart. Yesterday we visited in a concert (Russian Army Choir) in our new town to where we moved three months ago. My visit to a concert was the first one in my life of 68 years. Did I enjoy? Yes, deeply. In this concert there were three parts mixed during two hours. The choir (fantastic), personal and team instrumental performance (terrific) and wonderful dancing shows varying to acrobatics presenting individual and team dancing (incredible).

    Those who played their instruments were real artists. They apparently enjoyed their playing and thus passed their passion to the music and instrument to the audience.

    In a concert where You are playing Your instrument, You are not playing only for Yourself, but to the audience and giving a part of You to them and they have an experience which stays long time in their mind. All this means that You are making better world!

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    1. Thank you, Matti, for such a sweet comment. I like to think that I am making the world a bit kinder and better by playing music. Your comment lets me know that I am doing that in my own small way.

      My teacher tells me the same thing that you did – that as musicians our task is to communicate our love for the music and our love for our instrument to the audience. When I can focus on sharing music with the audience, the things that I cannot do don’t matter.

      I am so pleased that the musicians who played for your very first concert communicated their love and passion for the music so wonderfully. I hope you will have more opportunities to enjoy being bathed in beautiful music!

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  2. Hooray! This is such good news. Conquering self doubt and fear sets us free to be unselfconsciously shift into the flow state. Make beautiful music with an open and loving heart.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, TT. That fear business is tricky, and it sneaks in wearing all manner of disguises. I am happy that it did not succeed in keeping me from what I love.

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  3. I am so proud of you! Congratulations! I have learned and I am constantly reminding myself that nothing is ever as bad as we think it will be and gratitude goes a long way.
    I bet the others were happy to see you. Your light shines brightly, you know.

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    1. Thank you, Nancy! When I can keep my head and my heart filled with gratitude, there is no room for fear, or for comparing myself with others. (Which is just another form of fear, right?)

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    1. In that last class, I also regained a grip on gratitude for being part of a community of musicians. If I can keep my focus on gratitude, the other stuff doesn’t matter. I am glad I got that reminder Monday night.

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