When I was on the earlier journey of musical life as a student, I used to go to A LOT OF concerts on a regular basis. Sometimes maybe even every day in a row.
I also listened to an insane amount of recordings whether I’m home or on a car.
It didn’t matter at all to me if they were good or bad.
I just kept listening away whatever that came into my hands like a fickle woman browsing through one camisole to the next at the street corner.
And worst of all, most of them were upon SOMEONE ELSE’S recommendation, instead of my own.
Your Environment Is “Everything”
You see, what most people have yet to realize is that “the environment” is the #1 factor that determines your habits and personal growth as you take on your journey.
Things and/or people, whether virtually or in-person, we’re subconsciously under the influence all the damn time.
If you had friends at school who don’t show up in most tutorial classes, would it be easier or more difficult for you to attend classes regularly? (- in person)
If most of your collegues walked and talked in a bad posture, would it be easier or more difficult for you to walk and talk in a bad posture? (- in person)
If you were constantly watching a particular singer on YouTube videos, would it be easier or more difficult for you to sing like anybody else? (- online)
You see, I was affected significantly by people surrounding me because I didn’t have the strong self that I have now.
I was blind. I had no control.
No control on what to choose and what not to choose.
That all changed when Shlomo Mintz, the single-most admired artist and mentor of mine, entered my life – which was over 10 years ago.
He showed me the world that truly amazing people lived, the world of excellent vision, the world of magnificent sound, the world of enlightment and wisdom, the world of growth and challenge.
Not by talking about it, but by DEMONSTRATING IT.
Even a day spent with him was worth the price of 20 years of education or possibly even more. Putting everything else to shame 🙂 #SholomoMintzbeatsschools
That’s the power of what “environment” can do to you.
Ever since, I probably say “No” to 80% of the things out there while I say “Yes” to the remaining 20% of the things, because that’s how you should establish the groundwork of your learning and development.
Of course, it’s important to be open-minded.
Of course, it’s important to allow new knowledge flow through your veins but it needs to have a puporse attached to it.
And it needs to come from the right source.
You can’t just listen to someone’s advice to you for the sake of listening and trying something new.
You need to listen to people who KNOW and have been exactly where you want to be, because experience is the foundation that builds up the course of your action.
But is that what most people tell you to do?
They will wrongfully tell you to be open to everyone and everything.
“Open” or “Closed”?
Did you know that the Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer grew up NOT listening to any classical musicians at all?
He was the first generation who started playing solo with the orchestra while conducting them at the same time.
And he created the ensemble called “Kremerata Baltica” and became its director himself.
I had the opportunity to hear them in a concert when I visited Lithuania a few years ago. The orchestra is thoroughly disciplined and refined with the highest standard of musical crafting even at the absence of directorship, which none could have possibly been more responsible for than Kremer.
When it comes to Schumann and Schubert pieces, Kremer excells far and beyond any others.
While he had the outstandingly remarkable taste in classical music, he apparently wasn’t a fan of any classical musicians.
He didn’t bother spending time listening to them.
What was he listening to, then?
Yes. Rock ‘n Roll.
Still young as he was, he knew exactly what he was doing and exactly how he wanted music to be. He didn’t like the idea of outside “virus” (translation: negative influence) seeping into his world.
I don’t know if you’re in favour of Kremer or against him, but he had the right teacher and the right inspiration FORHIM and he certainly wasn’t an idiot.
Be selectively open
What happens if you choose to be “closed” ?
You don’t listen to anybody at all because you think you’re too good and smart for all of that.
So you won’t step up or challenge, you won’t add any value to the world.
And then you slowly fade into the distance.
The moral of the story?
Live the life with a selectively open mind.
This is where you take full accountability for yourself on your action and the consequence you gain.
You simply learn from the best.
You learn from people who’re ACTUALLY DOING IT.
You continue to grow and invest in yourself.
And then you’re well on your way to receive the best the world has to offer.