The following quotes are selected from Madeline Bruser, “The Art of Practicing” –
”One of the greatest challenge of making music is to maintain some cool in the heat of our passion and joy. It is easy to become impatient when it takes us longer to learn a beautiful piece than we would like. We ache to get it in our fingers, our voice, our body, to make physical contact with the music we love. This longing is our greatest asset. It is our communicative energy. It is the raw, throbbing energy of the heart.”
“Passion, confidence, and vulnerability are evidence of musical talent. If music were not in our blood, we wouldn’t have such strong feelings. Countless times students ask, “Do you think I have talent? Do you think I’ll be able to play well?” Each person’s talent is unique, and some are more gifted than others, but an intense desire to play well indicates that music is already inside the person, pressing toward the surface and needing to come out. Know this, and take heart from it as you make your particular journey with music.”
” Once, when the conductor Arthuro Toscanini and the cellist Gregor Piatigorsky were about to go onstage to perform together, one of them said to the other, “How are you feeling?” “Terrible,” he answered, “because I’m no good.” “I’m not any good either,” the first said, “But we’re no worse than the rest of them. Let’s go.” Realizing that great, famous artists have such doubts can help you relax. ”
”If you practice allowing the environment into your mind, it becomes part of your everyday experience. You get used to having a vivid awareness of the environment, and it ceases to be threatening. It becomes a nurturing, fertile situation in which you can relax and then focus on your activity at the same time. As long as you focus primarily on what you’re doing in that space, you can afford to feel the energy around you.
“Openness to the environment allows more communication with an audience. Some performers protect themselves from the fear of performing by pretending the audience isn’t there or by trying to ignore everyone. Instead, you can include them into your performance. They will feel the difference, and the music you make will have more vitality.”