This week I am in Las Vegas at the Rio Hotel. I am sharing a room with Kathryn, a wonderfully progressive piano teacher from Hollywood, CA and a regular member of this event for 50 years.
When musicians get together at an even like this, we remember that our lives are more then student after student, required repertoire and hurried or late dinners. We remember that we started this profession with hope and excitement, wanting to teach the next generation of great musicians. Some of us started teaching because we were born to. And others out of a need to find themselves.
In any case, we gather here this week to find something that will ignite, renew or keep our lives going. The Vegas lights and bling will not be the most captivating feature. I am looking for the inner heart that will be found and renewed in so many of us.
Why do we perform? Why do we put ourselves on the spot, sweat, combat a dry throat and risk forgetting foreign words? Because in some secret way, we are adrenaline junkies. And we live for the thrill of the performance. I tell students, the only way we can get over the fear….AND learn to love the rush of the moment, is to put themselves in the light.
That place we go when we perform is a special place. A zone. A tunnel. A field of wheat on the hillside. Whatever it is for you, it must be a place you go to find the magic of who you are as a performer. Wait, did I just call it “magic?” Yes. I use this word because that is what it is. And if I jump right to words like “life changing” or “freaking amazing zone of constant euphoria” – it might be a bit much. But really, that is what it is.
What lies behind the Musicians Only door is both glamorous and not glamorous at the same time. There are some days I enter the door with a heavy sigh and some days I am light on my feet. But every time I enter that door, I enter with every passionate musician in my heart. And I step onto the stage to connect with anyone who comes to hear me sing. That is why….