The Quest for String Playing Mastery is not about my life and my personal accomplishments. However, I do wish to share perspectives that I have gained as a direct result of enjoying a world-class education. Even more importantly, I wish to offer perspectives from lessons personally learned from a career in classical music as a performer, teacher, and music advocate. In the Quest, I wish to share helpful know-how.
Simply put, I wish to tell you in my own words what works and to give you pointers from a pro’s perspective, striving to choose the most effective words in order to describe concepts and opinions about many things. Playing a string instrument is a physical, hands-on activity. Descriptions of tactile sensations are tricky. They require you to focus your imagination and apply common sense in order to achieve success.
It is fair to state that building an extensive learning project as this one, demands time and detailed thought. Some may ask why I gave myself so much homework. The reason is that I love what I do. It is a true blessing to be a part of the quest for higher knowledge in the profession that I chose to pursue. This project is never ending, and I continue to enjoy working on the further expansion of theQuest, leading it to the concert-artist level.
Through dedication and hard work, musicians may attain a professional level, but they should remain amateurs in their hearts. Although I have attained the status of a seasoned, professional musician, I see myself as a “professional amateur.” The origin of the word amateur means, “To love” and I use it in this context with that meaning: for the love of it. I wish to instill this love of learning in you, show you what works, and how to make this knowledge yours to explore and enjoy. Be positive and engaged in your learning. You will love it!
Even though I thought that I really knew a topic, the more detailed research I put into it, the more I realized what I did not know and what I could question with a refreshed perspective. I have gained a deeper appreciation of the evolution of thought processes that span multiple centuries and of the effect that worldviews of past days had on ideas, concepts, terms, and their definitions.
Throughout the Quest, concept-characters will be talking to you on my behalf. All of the characters were created to trigger your curiosity about how proficient a musician you wish to become. They will challenge you to practice hard in order to get there! You will get out of the Quest what you put into it! At first, you will make some “creative” sounds that will not be ready for the stage, but everyone will learn how to improve.
Keep in mind that there are erasers on pencils for a reason. Make beautiful mistakes, erase them in your mind and hands, then practice properly in order to make progress. The goal is to enjoy performing music with confidence!
It is always challenging to transfer thoughts and spoken words into clear and precise writing. Individuals use language in different ways. Therefore, it follows that expressing concepts in your own words, helps you to understand them more vividly, making the concepts.