Tuesday, December 23, 2014


During this celebratory time of holidays, family, warm feelings, vacation or a break from school or employment, it can also be an opening for reflection. Many traditions enjoy an exchanging of gifts between friends, colleagues and family. This is done for certain reasons but hopefully it comes down to expressing value for one another.

For me, this time of year, reflecting and having gratitude are very important. Personally I see this as one of the great gifts of being human. To be able to have the opportunity to be thankful for what we have and continuously are given and to look and see what our return responses are for those things we say we value and are grateful for. 

How about our education? Are we making the most of it? What does it really mean to make the most of it? Let's take a look at this. 

Students and parents pay a huge sum of money to have a good quality education. So it must be important because it is a giant investment of time and money.What is education in the first place? It is to be informed about the territory one is studying, (in terms of schooling.) Not only informed, but to lay out the map of development of what it takes to be able to be active and thrive in ones chosen field. To have enough tools and know-how to get the job done well. How do we get educated in Art? What is the special magic in Art? Can it be taught? Can it be transferred? What kind of person is qualified to open up the realms of someones potential genius? That last bit is at the deep end of education. On-the-job experience is the most potent form of education, (occupationally speaking and life speaking), but you need to have tools and a personal assembly of attainment to get the most out of on-the-job training. Because it is on-the-job training where the big lessons and perceptions can come in. These lessons have to be experienced personally. Then you will see, how these lessons were surrounding you your whole life but maybe you weren't ready to see them. Sometimes a whole career or lifetime can go by without seeing them. That is tragic actually.

MAKE THE MOST OUT OF YOUR TIME. This means playing your part and not blaming teachers or anyone else or anything else. It is vital for you to take responsibility for your time by putting in the efforts and discovering through your own trails and efforts what you need to do and what you need to drop. An interesting acronym for P.A.R.T is Preparation, Attentiveness, Responsibility, Timeliness. 

A good way to approach this acronym to assist in your reflections and trying to improve what ones best is, is to ask questions of self inquiry for each of the words. For example: How prepared am I for my lessons, classes or jobs? How attentive am I in my lessons, classes or jobs? Am I taking responsibility for my education by being prepared and attentive? Am I timely with my assignments for lessons or classes?  Am I timely in my preparations? Here is another great question: How much do I want what I say I want and what is the evidence that would support my answer? One of my classic questions is, "What have I done with the lessons I have been given?"

Sometimes as musicians we think improvement is getting more accurate, playing cleaner, playing with a more stable in tune sound, building our endurance and so forth. Yes of course this is part of it, ONLY PART OF IT. The other part of the journey, and to me in the end, the vital key, is the potency of your desire and your determination to see it through. On top of this, and this is only for those who are interested beyond job stuff, what about the meaning, potential and importance of ART? IT GOES WAY BEYOND A CAREER. But, I understand this topic might not be for everyone because it could interfere with ones plan (in a persons mind), about what it takes to 'win' a 'position.' 

In either case, it is vital that you play your P.A.R.T. For if you are prepared, which goes way beyond just knowing notes, rhythms, key signatures, tone and technique, the ART part will lift you and guide you into the realms you are thirsting for. So education is the field of deep preparation which includes a map of the territory, the needed tools and know how and how to get there with insight based in wisdom. A complete three overlay system.* 

If this is too much to take on during the break, I understand! But you can keep it to refer to every now and then if it catches your interest. Think of it as a gift for the holidays from me! :-)

At this time let me express my value for you all. With your promotions and interest more comes out of me which benefits me as much as I hope it benefits some of you. It is a mutuality of trying to play our parts better. And if you are a person who reads and watches or has personal contact with me, my hope is that we can always be tuned to the Art, which is the essence of the spirit where elevated Art comes from. Not all art is the same.(Huge subject!) But we can I believe, as people being endowed with the gift of choice, look into the magnificence of Art and become instruments of transmission for greater humanity and uplift in the world. 

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to All!

*I have written and done videos on the Overlay System at other times. More will be coming out about it.