Thursday, November 1, 2018 by William Suit | Uncategorized
It’s starting to rain outside and I can see droplets on a spider web suspended in the pines. Earlier this week I saw a student and her mom out there checking out that web. It’s rebuilt every morning when I open the studio. I had not bothered to see who the grand weaver of the web was until my student checked it out.
I walked out there and looked up. All I could see was the web and the pine needles behind it. I peered closer and squinted. I jumped! There it was the most beautiful, scary little spider I think I’ve ever seen. It was so unique. It looked like a tiny cactus with red spines protruding all over it’s “back.” In all of my years of living here and in the nearby mountains as a child, I’ve never seen one of these orb weaving wonders.
You know I’m used to sharing knowledge with my students, but I must admit I don’t know everything. I learn new things all of the time. This little student started eloquently explaining the species and I stood there dumbfounded. It was a spiny spider. I went home and looked it up. She was right!
Often, we as musicians are entrapped by the idea that we have all of the knowledge and experience anyone could ever want. Our ears and minds are closed to new ideas…or old ideas that we’ve never experienced. Being well-intended and guarded, we close off our ability to grow and expand to the point that we choke the life out of our musicianship. Our ignorance of the unexperienced shrinks us into dried up, bland and predictable performers and teachers. Then we wonder why no one appreciates the gift of song we laboriously share.
Music is a language. A language enables humanity to share in experience. No two experiences are exactly the same. No two cultures share all of the same values. The world is beautifully woven together by a variety of people and experiences, full of discovery and celebration. Get off of your tired and complacent seat of accomplishment. Step outside of your comfort zone and discover some musical things that were right under your nose all along. You’ll be surprised how it will enhance and energize your thirsty musical spirit!
I’ll catch you later. I’m off to check on my new spider friend.