In a musician’s life, there are many things than can take you away from your pleasure. Lack of funds, neverending tours, ‘Musician is a not a real job’ criticism, isolation, inability to build long-term love relationships, singer’s or guitarist’s ego drama, doubts and regrets. Whatever. However, the main source of pleasure loss for musicians can be the musicians’ behavior themselves. ‘How’s that ?’you may ask. The answer is simple: when we, as musicians, start to intellectualize music and prefer to talk about it rather than experience it to the core. In such cases, we don’t love music anymore. We love talking about music for we start to live our life through other musicians’ or big stars’. At this point, we don’t really experience music anymore; neither do we feel it since we spend our time talking about the choices this star made or the issues this other one would have been through. Inspired to the most by a kind of self-righteousness, may we start to live our music through great musicians’ quotes or so-called big thoughts. The talks we’ll start to have will then become intellectual, pompeous, arrogant and at the least..totally boring.
Martial artists have to advance in their life with purpose and strong philosophy. Of course they can theorize for hours about the warrior path, the meaning of life, the way of managing the ‘Qi’ inner human energy and so on and so forth. They can think and medidate to understand the world or manage personal issues. However, whatever the toughts, they first have to fully experience their art and merge it with daily life. They have to present their art to the world by experiencing it. For example Kung-Fu means ‘The improvement and the achievement of the individual through the practice of effort’. As for martial arts, music mustn’t be intellectualized and has to be deeply experienced and fully lived. Music happens on stage and in rehearsal studios. Not in bars and restaurants.
After ten years of playing I remember analyzing any piece of music I was listening to. Wether it was on the radio or in my CD player, I was unable to take music as a simple thing that could bring me pleasure. My point is that, at some point, the musicians we are don’t even listen to music anymore. We listen to technique: instrument technique, musical technique or recording technique.
The Holistic Musician
In Asian philosophy, the holistic approach is what we just talked about in the previous pages you just read. The holistic approach is like taking a step back in order to see any matter as a complete entity. ‘You are not just a musician, you are more than that’ or ‘Samurais were not only experts in martial arts, they had to integrate a lot of other disciplines and skills’ we have just mentioned. As a matter of fact, the holistic approach is also a part of coaching psychology sessions I lead since, as a coach, I have to take into account the whole personality of my coachees. My purpose is to help the coachees to get to the big picture of their life, so to help them to achieve the goals they would had formulated. When I help a musician, a manager or a sport champion I have no interest in separating the current issues they are going through from what they are experiencing as a child or as husband,just because everything is connected.