JJ Rocks Article # 48:
There comes a time in your life where you have to start laying out the plans. It’s a scary time but you don’t want to make that obvious when your friends are around. And of course, they’re going though the same thing so they don’t talk about it either. It’s when you wake up one morning and realize that you’ve been a fool for taking your entire life for granted. But most of all, you start to realize friendship is more important than any material dream that you’ve ever had so you better not loose what you have.
Life shows its limits to each of us at different times during our temporary earthly existence, so age isn’t always a factor. Some people seem to totally change gears at a very young age while others seemed to be locked into one mode all of their lives. But when it comes to the realization that your life is going to end one day, most of us develop a different attitude towards it. So I guess that’s one answer to “Why did it take so long for me to wake up?” Unfortunately, the question comes from a fear that hides deep inside of every sensible human being, and that is the inability to say “I was just too lazy”.
What does this have to do with music? Well first of all, everything has something to do with everything else. It’s that simple. Some musicians seem to age like a fine wine and then wake up to the fact that there is only one bottle to drink. In other words they wait until a time in there lives when they only have one more chance to excel in their craft after looking back at wasted years. But I can only guess on how many musicians miss that last boat to perfection.
Some young musical explorers show more maturity in their decisions than people four times their age. And of course the thought of a 10 year old being more organized than a 40 year old is enough to heat up any regretful adult. And sometimes we just blow off these young go getters as child prodigies just so we can make ourselves feel better. But at the same time we send our children to private music teachers hoping that they become just like the kids that we made excuses for.
So now this subject seems to be naturally boiling down to the “Going with your natural flow” attitude or the “Don’t waste time, just do it” approach. Well, I’m not one of the later but I have managed to “spontaneously” practice my craft and still maintain to get respect and hold my chin up. But of course, I’m not really happy with that situation because I know that if I were to show as much dedication to my musical dreams as some of my young students do, I would be far beyond the musical age boundaries where I wound up self imprisoned, even if they are beyond most of the other players in my neighborhood. But then I woke up and said 'hey! I'm still here and there is still time to reach my dreams". Even though my dreams have nothing to do with selling music, only being happy with expressing myself.
But hey! Join the club! Those of us who have not felt that they have wasted precious musical practice time or not put enough octane in their octaves please raise their hands! As much as we realize the importance of waking up to our almost “over the hill” musical selves, we are constantly thinking up excuses for our lack of musical accomplishments. And we can’t help but wonder why we didn’t work harder when we were young. But it's never too late. If you have something that you think is great then never stop trying to reach your goals! There is always someone out there who will love what you are doing.
I have heard my students say that they would be happy if they just could play like me. On one hand it’s nice to hear. But on the other hand they are showing that they have missed a fundamental building block that’s necessary for determining one’s musical future. And that is to never set boundaries on your dreams. That includes your age.
JJ Rocks - The Spotlight Zone
Musically Speaking: Over the hill?
JJ Rocks Article # 48: