Things That Music Taught Me

With my friends Simone Magliozzi, Miraldo Vidale, and others, busking outside the Colosseum in Rome.

I’m in a philosophical and grateful mood. I’m grateful for all the amazing experiences, friendships, adventures I’ve had through music, and I hope for more to come. I’m especially for all that music has taught me!

Music can be a great teacher, if you let it (her?) be one for you. The discipline of practice, the social interactions, the progress and frustrations – I believe that these things can have a positive effect on people.

Anyway : here are some of the things that I hope music taught me.

  1. If you want to look good – focus on making other people look good.
  2. Music is not a democracy, it’s a meritocracy. Everyone gets a say – but those who show more wisdom and taste get a longer one. You have to earn that!
  3. The way to learn hard things is to try to make a tiny progress each day. There will be good days and bad days – don’t worry, carry on!
  4. Don’t compare yourself. There are always people better and worse, no matter where you are at.
  5. You can’t stand still – always try to be exploring and learning new things.
  6. Invest effort in things because you believe in them, because they speak to you and have value for you – not because someone else tells you it’s cool, or that you should.
  7. BUT : listen to those who’ve been around much longer and who have shown that they know what they’re at – even if what they say doesn’t make sense to you – just give it a chance.
  8. In any creative endeavor that is worth doing, there will be moments when it feels hopeless and you feel sure you should quit. Often this comes when the end is in sight. Don’t. This feeling is part of the deal. Summon your last reserves and “keep on keeping on”.
  9. Change stuff around every now and then.
  10. It’s OK to take a break.
  11. Take care of yourself – your health, your mental and emotional state, your dignity and self-respect. Love yourself as you would love your own child.

And here’s a bonus one : if you stay cool and stay in the game long enough – most things fix or heal by themselves in the end. Including ourselves.

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