Music as Profession


Petronel

Music has opened doors for me…

I’ve learned that the outcome is seldom a satisfactory aspect in music. It is in the process where we have our best moments and most rewarding experiences.

I’ve learned that music has opened doors for me and lead me down roads I would never have had the privilege to explore, had I not pursued music.

I’ve learned that no matter what, the show must go on. I’ve played during tornado watches, earthquake after shocks, leaking ceilings, with pneumonia, broken shoes, squeaky chairs, unresponsive instruments and noisy audiences. I have also played on some of the world’s most amazing instruments and in the most amazing concert halls: Those are the events I remember, the events I hope to repeat. I know every day that my love for music is the reason I am there and will hopefully continue to be there.

I’ve learned that all the external factors in music, not limited to, but including business politics, jet lag, annoying event planners and bad instruments, are par for the course. We know that at the end of the day, it is the love of music that keeps us all going.

I’ve learned that when I practice piano, I can work for hours without seeing any real, tangible results. On some days, I bake a cake, simply for the instant satisfaction baking brings to my life. Yet, in spite of the frustration and time, I’m not giving up yet. I know the effort will eventually be rewarded.

Music has been my biggest joy and the biggest frustration in my life. I can’t imagine life without it, yet, at times, on a bad day, I might even wish for something to replace that. In spite of this ambiguity, I still wake up every day and go practice.

I’m often reminded that solitary confinement is used as punishment for prisoners, yet I do it to myself, voluntarily, every day. The tremendous joy, satisfaction and reward that comes from my own solitary confinement, I can’t express in words.

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Edwin and Frances

We’ve been teaching music for over 60 years…

Because we believe that “all God’s critters get a place in the choir”, our desires have been to include in our music studios’ schedule any person who seeks instruction. This philosophy has allowed us to help very handicapped students (mentally and physically) as well as everyday students and unusually gifted students to be excited with their discipline and ultimate success. Music connects people spiritually, emotionally, intellectually; music can be therapeutic, inspiring; music can encourage civility and can bring inner peace. It is truly an international language that can soothe our souls. – Frances

What a joy and privilege to help someone to learn the piano and organ. – Edwin

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Dennis

Music is chicken soup for the soul…

Composing music for students at all levels has allowed me to “discover myself” in ways I would never have imagined before.  It is true that, as a performer, we often “bare our souls” to an audience through our interpretation of the music.  But when one is actually writing the music, the level of transparency is even more clearly defined.  So often, my whole range of emotions is expressed through the music that pours out of me——sometimes effortlessly, and sometimes with great effort and careful thought.

I’ve always felt fortunate that I could play the piano—–it is truly a most marvelous way to connect with one’s innermost thoughts and emotions.  When I lost my 23-yr. old son in 1998, music always provided unending comfort when words often failed.   Playing a Chopin “Nocturne” or Brahms “Intermezzo” was indeed medicine for the soul.  A few months later, I felt compelled to begin composing again and decided to write a collection of music in his memory.  I had often read about the concept of “divine inspiration”, but had never really experienced it personally until then.  All of a sudden, music was pouring out of me almost as if a “higher power” was dictating what to write.  It was both startling and exhilarating.

After this collection (entitled With These Hands) was completed, I felt so grateful that I had been blessed with wonderful teachers and supportive parents who always encouraged me to study music.  For someone who is both a performer and composer, music has indeed been “chicken soup for the soul” and I feel that the quality of my life has been greatly enriched through the music I’m able to compose. In addition, knowing that so many students are motivated and inspired by what I have written is the ultimate “high”. Composing and performing music has indeed provided a foundation that supports and enhances so many facets of my life.

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