student: here’s my cd.
instructor: thanks but maybe you should give it to someone else.
student: won’t you take it?
instructor: you can leave it but no guarantee. why don’t you ask (suggests another teacher) instead I bet they would love it.
student: but i want you to hear it.
instructor: to be honest most things I hear I can’t stand.
student: then why do you teach?
instructor: hearing too many cds and not liking so many doesn’t mean I don’t like teaching.
student: do you like drake?
instructor: drake who?
student: are you serious?
instructor: maybe you shouldn’t give me your cd.
student: what kind of music do you like?
instructor: if it blows me away I like it.
student: melody or lyric?
instructor: either or other things…authenticity gets me.
student: you don’t think drake is original?
instructor: maybe he is, I don’t know, my opinion doesn’t matter.
student: why not?
instructor: it’s subjective. i never liked elton john but someone out there probably played crocodile rock for the first dance at their wedding. but between you and me he’s only about as good as drake.
student: you’re evil.
instructor: evil’s my middle name.
student: (hands him cd) I’d really feel honoured if you listened to this.
instructor: no no no don’t say that.
student: why not?
instructor: chasing outside acknowledgement is not going to help you.
student: but you’ve won awards, i see them on your wall.
instructor: well if someone gives you an award sure you can use it to help continue playing the game but when i say beware of outside acknowledgement I’m talking about being submissive to people judging you. don’t waste your time with that. focus at your work instead of imaginary opinions of imaginary people. do you know any of the people on the panels who vote on awards.
instructor: you might be surprised some of them know less about what they’re judging than the people who actually make it.
student: thanks for the advice I never asked for.
instructor: and if you don’t mind me saying so make sure you avoid the opposite.
student: avoid not winning awards.
instructor: no, avoid feeling humiliated by a bad published review about you or your work. don’t be fooled into getting down about that. it doesn’t mean anything and neither does getting an award that says you’re the best dressed violinist in the month of june. these things are a game.
student: so how do you make music and not care what people think?
instructor: it’s a secret
student: ya so…
instructor: first you make music, second you don’t care what people think about it, third you make more music again. keep that quiet ok?
student: I’ll try.