Why I do what I do ...

"Interdisciplinary education can do wonders. Understanding and flexibility can do wonders. Yes, even money can do wonders. But the energy, the energy to put all these wonders into action – where does it come from? It will come from where it has always come from: it will come from the love of music, the sheer aesthetic delight in this most mysterious and rewarding of all the arts; from the sporting sense, the instinct for continuity, and the joyful and total dedication of ourselves to the art we have sworn to serve."

This is such a great reminder of why we do what we do as musicians. Two things drew me to this quote today.

First, the mystery. The rewards of music are so hard to describe. You just know the effect of music when you feel it, and to me it is an honor to be able to share that effect with others. In my ensemble, it is no exaggeration to say that music makes the singers whole.

Second, it is always good to be reminded that we serve the art. We ask ourselves perhaps what the song needs, not what we need to do with the song.

-Leonard Bernstein, The Future of the Symphony Orchestra (1980)


Charles BealeComment