"The free play of art is the result of mastery. " --Ernst Fischer, The Necessity of Art

"Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them." --Ladybird Johnson

"...a well-trained ear, a well-trained intelligence, a well-trained heart, and a well-trained hand...." --Zoltan Kodaly


In praise of amateurs

Hey J,

We rang the bells at the mall tonight, for Salvation Army.

Rang the bells, for real:  a motley crew of adults and children, playing winter holiday tunes on pitched hand bells.

None of us is a professional bell ringer.

Only one of us is professionally trained in music.

The sound was nowhere near as polished as a concert performance or even as the (dreadful) piped-in music crowding the mall air.

Was it fun?  Oh, yeah.

Did we learn how to work together as an ensemble?  Yep.

Was it satisfying, musically, to hear the tunes emerge from chaos into recognizable form?  Yup.

I think, sometimes, we all worry too much about being perfect at everything.  Worry about having to be the best before giving things a go.   Worry so much we sometimes end up not even trying, at all.

Tonight was a brisk reminder to me:  sometimes, it's just plain fun to be an amateur.

more, later.


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