Thursday, June 10, 2010

You might gather that I consider listening more important than playing. In order to listen--really listen--you must be still. You must unclutter your brain of its own activity and be receptive to what the other is saying or singing.

I could cite many examples of how difficult this is, but none is more moving to me than growing into awareness of the bond that listening has made between myself and my two musical adult children. We are into three completely different aspects of music making yet each of us is completely open to the experience of the other two.

As I grew up in a family in which people did not speak their minds it was natural to assume that listening was irrelevant to everyday life. For me it was reserved for the special occasion that turned out to be a life of music. It still seems like a miracle that this most private pleasure is now the affirmation of my family. If music is the language we speak it has its roots in listening.