For most people, one of the earliest milestones in music is to play musically instead of mechanically. That achievement requires a lot of practice. When, with much repetition, someone achieves musicality, it’s a huge milestone. The remarkable thing about this milestone is that it recurs throughout a musician’s journey.
As musicians grow, they add subtleties to the pieces they play, and work to make those things musical too. They increase the difficulty of the music — more complex rhythms, more sophisticated melodies and harmonies, more challenging techniques. When those things come together, it’s another milestone.
Initially, beginning musicians labor alone, working on timing, playing or singing notes in tune with good quality of tone, and to eventually become expressive — another milestone. Then, when they must play with or in front of others, a strange thing happens — the timing, intonation, quality of tone, and expressiveness achieved while playing alone all vanish.
With effort, musicians recover their skills, even when playing in front of or with others. It’s another huge milestone. This achievement is the first step toward another: consistency.
When a musician can play musically and expressively every day, in any venue, with or without other musicians, with or without an audience, this consistency is a tremendous milestone. It’s the reward for all of the hours of practice. It’s the culmination of all of the earlier milestones in which a musician gained individual skills that allows him or her to play expressively in any situation. This milestone is truly magical.
Mike & Paula
8521 Allentown Pike
Blandon, Pa 19510