Wednesday, August 15, 2012
I have been thinking a great deal lately about the meaning of the word transcend. I have a colleague that started me thinking about it this summer. He challenged me to find ways to lead young musicians to transcendent performances. How do we, as musicians, achieve a musical experience that is transcendent. And, what does it transcend? It is, in my opinion, much deeper that playing the correct notes and rhythms. But, how do we get there?
Think about it. We have all experienced music that we feel is transcendent. As listeners, we have all been swept up in that wave of emotion on which great music can carry us. As musicians, we know it when we are in the midst of it. We feel it. I sometimes say it is where physics becomes metaphysics. We get chills. We feel like we are part of something much bigger than ourselves. A transcendent performance is always the goal.
I met my new orchestra students at NCSSM for the first time today. I told them that this concept of transcendence is on my mind during this season of a new academic year. Here is something that I do know. I looked into the faces of a group of young musicians that are ready to go wherever I lead them. So, my job is clear. I need to lead them to a transcendent experience. I am thinking that this experience must be musically transcendent, personally, transcendent, academically transcendent, and perhaps emotionally transcendent. The goal is set.
Now we go to work. We begin the journey together. We will get there together. It will take some time. it will take some trust. But, trust me, I know we will get there. I can't wait!