Learning to play an instrument is work. At times it feels as if there is more struggle than musicianship. Bruser makes some helpful remarks on the subject of struggle and freedom.
"We lose touch with this heart when we become overly ambitious. Ambition is healthy, but it becomes destructive when we drive ourselves too hard." (loc: 265)
"A pianist who looks as though he is slaving over a hot keyboard, hunching over and working very hard, creates a sense of claustrophobia. You can’t breathe easily because he’s so worked up. But a performer who walks calmly onto a stage, takes his time sitting down, and welcomes the opportunity to perform with relaxation makes you feel relaxed." (loc: 269)
"Practicing exercises you don’t enjoy is confining and saps your energy, whereas practicing a difficult but beautiful piece of music gives you energy." (loc: 321)
"All of these ways of practicing indicate lack of trust in our ability. We are afraid that if we just relax and let ourselves work naturally and comfortably, we won’t be good enough." (loc: 336)
note: I'm reading this book from through my Kindle app, so quotations are shown by the location in the Kindle document.
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