Oboe – It Ain’t Over Until It’s Over (Musicians, Psychology, Pain, Strain, Injuries, Posture, Alexander Technique)

by ethankind on November 28, 2014

This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Oboe Technique, is published on this website in a PDF format. It is very detailed and practical, and it will give you the physical tools you need to take the limits off of your ability to create the accurate oboe technique you want without sacrificing your body.
This ebook is also for sale on all AMAZON websites in a KINDLE format.

I was seeing a psychotherapist, and in exasperation one session after dealing with an emotional problem that had been going on for years I said, “I thought I’d be through with this by now.”

She looked at me and said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Stated in proper English – “It isn’t over until it’s over.”

If you apply this to how well you play, sing, or conduct -“IT AIN’T OVER UNTIL YOU ARE PERFORMING OR CONDUCTING THE WAY YOU KNOW YOU CAN.”

Here’s the problem. So many performers or conductors has been chasing the carrot at the end of stick for years and years and years and have not reached their goal. When I work with these people, I discover many are striving for some level of performance that is ill defined and that they’ve given up on, but haven’t admitted this to themselves.

Let me say this more succinctly. MANY PLAYERS, SINGERS, OR CONDUCTORS ARE STRIVING FOR A LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE, AND AT THE SAME TIME HAVE GIVEN UP ON EVER REACHING IT. This means they are striving for great performing or conducting, and at the same time don’t have faith in reaching it. It seems to me the more humane thing would be to give up on a goal that they don’t believe possible.

I’ve written about this before, but this essay is different, because I’d like to look at what it means to have believed you could perform or conduct at a certain amazing level by 25-years-old, and you’re 60-years-old and you’re not there.

There are three possibilities here. The first isn’t loving. It is to keep striving for perfection semi-consciously and NEVER reach it. The second loving possibility is to give up on the goal and truly be at peace where you are in your playing, singing, or conducting. The third loving possibility is to define your goal and take clear disciplined/structured steps toward the goal. But, the most important piece of this third step is to forgive yourself.

FORGIVE YOURSELF FOR TAKING A WHOLE LOT LONGER THAN YOU THOUGHT YOU WOULD AND DON’T GIVE UP ON YOURSELF! If you aren’t able to forgive yourself and you do what’s necessary to reach the goal, you still may not reach it. Why?

Because you will be suppressing disappointment, anger, and possibly disgust directed toward yourself for all of the years wasted. These feeling may even become exacerbated, if you truly define what great performing or conducting looks like and attempt to take the steps to get there.

This means that if you truly commit to the goal you’ve always wanted in your performing or conducting, which means not deferring it any longer, you may open an emotional can of worms.

SO, THE LONGER IT TAKES TO ACHIEVE A WONDERFUL LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE OR CONDUCTING, THE GREATER YOUR RESISTANCE BUILDS IN ACHIEVING THIS GOAL. YOU PROBABLY AREN’T EVEN AWARE THIS HAS BEEN HAPPENING.

If the above is true about you, then it’s time to confront it. Either be at peace with what you’ve achieved, or be at peace with “It isn’t over until it’s over”, which means giving yourself the extraordinary gift of what you’ve always wanted to achieve on your instrument or in conducting.

I’d like to talk about achieving a performing or conducting goal 35 years later than you expected. How do you deal with allowing this to happen, without regret blocking the goal?

YOU HAVE TO STEP BACK EMOTIONALLY AND ADMIT TO YOURSELF THAT YOU WILL NOT KNOW HOW YOU’RE GOING TO FEEL, WHEN YOU CAN TRULY DO WHAT YOU WANT ON YOUR INSTRUMENT OR IN CONDUCTING! What do I mean?

I mean that if at 60-years-old you finally become the amazing performer or conductor you want to be, you can’t predict how you will feel. I do know that the average ego will tell you that if you become a great performer or conductor at 60, that you’ll experience regret and sorrow for the time lost, rather than experience exultation at the most important goal in your life reached.

You have a choice here. You can suspend anticipating how you’ll feel when you reach your goal. Or you can anticipate full blown regret if you reach your goal of performing or conducting greatness later in life, but this will not allow you to reach your goal to protect you from massive regret.

Here’s the problem with not reaching your goal at 60. If the goal is still running you unconsciously, then you exist in a constant state of regret here and now.

ISN’T IS WORTH TAKING THE CHANCE THAT THE GOAL OF WONDERFUL PLAYING, SINGING, OR CONDUCTING REACHED, NO MATTER HOW LATE IN LIFE, IS INFINITELY BETTER THAN NEVER COMPLETING YOUR JOURNEY?

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