Documentation & Exploration

Documentation & Exploration

I recently had a lesson that really challenged my thinking and in some ways, made me question the choices and paths that I had followed up to this point. My life is blessed with opportunities and achievements, but if I were to take a look at the things I have accomplished, I would have to say that I often valued opportunities and connections over the expression and commitment to finding my artistic voice.

I am committed to becoming the best musician I can be. My desire to improve and challenge myself has me dedicated to the pursuit of excellence, driven me to seek out teachers who have achieved success in a variety of genres and situations, and who are willing to share their experience with those like me who are curious and committed.

Often, my focus has been on the pursuit of technical facility and acquiring the fundamentals that I need in order to have confidence and the skill to perform at a high level. Over the years, I have learned to humble myself and be willing to show the weakness in my playing and thought processes.

I have put in the time and adhered to the wisdom that was presented to me, but if I am honest with myself, the challenges that I still have with my development is that I often find solace in technical achievement.  When I find myself in situations that allow me to embrace my own creative input, I fall in the trap of repetition and rehashing the ideas that belong to others.

My recent lesson challenged me to close the books, and to not be afraid to challenge the material and take the time to explore. Method books are there to inspire and guide your development, but they are someone else’s vision, experience and a testament to their own creative paths.

If we dedicate our time to the pursuit of another’s vision, we do not allow ourselves to explore and embrace the unique voice that we are all blessed with.

Too often, we set out to master everything we are taught, or feel obligated to our studies, embracing and devoting ourselves to obtaining proficiency in different elements of our chosen medium. By narrowing our focus and vision to ensure that we only follow the paths outlined by others, we deny or diminish our chances for self expression.

Do you have an idea of something that you wanted to create, but put it off until you have obtained a certain level of proficiency, or doubt the value of your own vision because of a sense of not yet being capable or worthy of having a creative voice?

In my lesson, I was challenged to cut down the time I have committed to learning and developing the skills and tools I had been presented and  devote more of my time and energy to the exploration of self expression.

You may not always know what the end result is meant to be, but if something captures your attention, no matter how fully realized it is, then you need to take the time to investigate and document it.

I am constantly thinking of ideas that I want to pursue, such as writing or music composition, and the enthusiasm for this inspires me to plan how I would like to see the desired outcome materialize, but most of the time, I coast on the inspiration of these ideas but never take the time to document them.

The process of documenting your ideas is essential for the preservation of your creative manifest and for allowing you the benefit of discovery. Without this step, you will inevitably find your ideas disappear.

I often find myself frustrated with my inability to see my creative visions through to the end, so most of them are not written down or notated. I feel that if I am hit with inspiration, that anything worthwhile will just seamlessly allow itself to be documented without hesitation. If I can’t see it though to the end when the inspiration hits, then do I really want to invest the time or energy into it?

As a creative soul, the skills you have obtained through your studies and explorations should enable you to express yourself as you are.We need to embrace our thoughts and abilities and allow ourselves to freely respond as we feel ourselves called to.

We don’t need to share all of our work, and most things won’t materialize, but it is through the documentation and exploration of your ideas that you will discover your vision, your voice and allow you weed out the ideas that don’t resonate with you. At the same time, you will see the fragments of other thoughts grow and turn into things you never expected.

If I never take the time to pursue  and savour the ideas discovered through the process of exploration, I won’t feel true to myself. We are unique and it’s time to demonstrate to ourselves and the world who we are and value what we have to offer.

Living someone else’s dream will never feel true.

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