08 Oct 2011

Focus Your Practice

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Welcome to my website… a small place to visit and perhaps share ideas.  Comments are appreciated!  I would also ask that if you want to use any material, please request permission through my contact page.  All content on this website is copyrighted and protected.  Thank you for your respect.  Sincerely, Jody

Below are just a few gathered thoughts that I share with my students and colleagues in lessons and workshops. We must indeed stay aware of the profound impact our musical gifts have in a hurting and confused world.  Every time we play or sing, we are adding something positive and beautiful that resonates beyond physical hearing and into the heart and mind. Our work as artists is never “extra-curricular”.  It is, and should always be regarded as necessary.  You don’t have to convince anyone with your words… just keep teaching, drawing, writing, dancing and playing music.  If you love what you do, then you can only offer it in a loving manner.  If that is your authentic approach, then there is no room for stressful competition and agitation.  You can come to your art as a competitor or a contributor….you decide.


–        I will practice in full awareness that music has been gifted to me…and my ‘play’ at the instrument is my gift back to the world.

–        I will recognize that I must first have a desire to listen, before true listening can happen.

–        A musician ‘doing’ is not a musician ‘being’.

–        I will always seek to honor the score in a genuine way. I will prepare the music with care and commitment, knowing that it is about the music and not about me. I am just a channel for the gift and talent.  Learn to understand the balance of ego and spirit!

–        Nervousness is a normal part of performance….but I have control of my “nerves”…they are the connection to my heartbeat…..and with a healthy understanding, will be transformed into an excited anticipation for a positive, successful performance.

–        I will be creative in my practicing…and be curious about the many ways to know the score so well that I could write parts of it out from memory.

–        I will seek out opportunities to share my music with others…at school, at home, with my colleagues, in retirement centers, etc.  The music I play is always a gift to those who hear it!

–        I will go to the instrument with a feeling of joy, knowing that my gift of music is just that…a gift to be shared with people who are hungry for something beautiful!

–        I will approach practicing and preparing for performance as a treasured opportunity, and not an obligatory chore.

–        It is important for me to be practicing and performing…to delight in the music, and share it with anyone who wants to listen.  It is not useful to judge and doubt the gift!

–        I will remember what it was like as a small child to go to the instrument with excitement, and re-capture the pleasure of being inside the sound!

–        I will clear my mind and focus every time I practice and perform…allowing the music to “play me”…rather than me “playing at the music”!

–        I will utter a small thank you and acknowledge the blessing of being musically gifted every time I go to the instrument.

–        I will let honest mistakes be an opportunity to grow, and I will recognize this as part of the journey to understanding who I am, in relationship to the music that I love, and the people I love who are listening.

–        Transformation and mystery are part of the profound impact of music…I must let go, get out of the music’s ‘way’ and believe that this happens every time.  Every note of music resonates with the harmonic vibrations of the universe, and I have been anointed to offer this most beautiful acoustic art…to allow the music to join the eternal dance of harmony, rhythm and melody…and to know that music cries out to be released as a treasure that transforms the receiving soul!

–        Any time we play music, we are healing a world that is hungry for beauty and peace.  As musicians, we provide the sound-elixir that resonates deeply in the human heart.  Our music transcends language, culture, and the socio-political barriers that seem to separate us at times.  Our music, indeed, brings us to a deeper understanding that we are joined together in harmonic unity…if we can truly hear.


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