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Become the powerful artist you are meant to be!

January 31, 2019

A student shared with me yesterday that she’s having trouble rekindling her passion for music and remembering WHY she’s a musician in the first place. Does that ever happen to you? Personally, this is something I’m all too familiar with!

I responded to her question by creating a video on the topic, in which I share my 5 essential keys for re-kindling musical passion. I know quite a lot about this topic based on my own personal experience, since I gave up my original pursuit of a solo violin career at age 19, and suffered a loss of connection to my Muse for a good 25 years.

In the video, I share the 5 Keys I’ve learned from life experience, and how I had a breakthrough about a month ago when I suddenly realized that I’d denied a childhood dream all these years, which acted as a giant boulder blocking my creative path without my even knowing it was there! (The 5 Keys and more about my story are below the video.)

The 5 Keys to Rekindle Your Passion for Music-Making:

  1. Get Quiet – in your mind and body.
    A great way to practice centering and quieting yourself is TheCyCle, a Primal Alexander etude by teacher Mio Morales, which I teach to all of my students. You can learn it here: http://bit.ly/bestwarmupchallenge
  2. Open Asking – without expectation.
    If you want to rekindle your passion, you need to get quiet, and ask for that. Then you need to stay quiet, listen, and wait, without needing an answer right away. Answers always come when you ask, but not always when you want or expect them to.
  3. Reconnect to Your Muse.
    Spend a bit of time remembering what ignited your love for music in the first place. Don’t expect to remember everything right away – this is a process. Just keep wondering and asking, and re-centering yourself, and your Muse is sure to show up again sooner or later!
  4. Notice.
    Practice objective self-observation. What do you notice about yourself – mind, body, soul, emotions, Spirit – right NOW? Keep coming back to your experience of the present moment. This will help you get in touch with what you REALLY WANT.
  5. Patience & Faith in the Flow of Ease.
    You need to have patience to receive the great gift of self-knowledge. And that’s what this is all about. Self-Mastery leads to Artistic Mastery, and the Flow of Ease takes you there in its own good time.

A bit more about my story and how I’m re-connecting with my Muse:

In short, when I was a child (some say I was a prodigy, but I never thought of myself that way because there were too many deficiencies in my technique and I thought it was all supposed to be easy for prodigies!), I just assumed I’d be famous someday. I never even questioned that I would become great like Milstein or Perlman or Gidon Kremer…

And it never even occurred to me that I couldn’t ALSO be a good person…until I was 19. That’s when the idea that I might possibly be indulging in solo performance to satisfy my EGO was planted in my head….where it grew quickly like a weed….which made me worry that my ego was just going to get bigger and bigger if I stayed on the same musical path I’d started on….and that could end up ruining my life!

Suddenly, it felt like I was at a crossroads and I needed to make a clear choice. Either I could continue pursuing my ambitions of being a great, successful, and famous solo violinist with a big ego (I also believed I wouldn’t be able to enjoy solid, meaningful relationships or a family if I was traveling on tour all the time), OR… I could give it all up to pursue a meaningful life as a good person.

I didn’t even wonder about whether I could find a way to be BOTH…so I gave it all up from one day to the next without looking back. It just seemed like the obvious right choice at the time to choose being a good person over my solo career. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize I’d ‘thrown the baby out with the bathwater’ until I’d endured literally decades of suffering the consequences of denying my original vocation.

Well, live and learn! 

Now, at age 48, I suddenly find that I’ve climbed over the boulder blocking my creative joy, and I’m back on my original path – but with a completely different perspective. And this time, I have the missing tools I wish I’d had when I was a kid to actually be able to bring me the Artistic Mastery I desired (namely, the Alexander Technique and contemplative centering practices).

It’s rather terrifying to consider getting back on a horse after you’ve been thrown off, but I’m getting back on, anyway, and I’m not paying attention to fear anymore.

The difference now is that I know HOW to ride. So… let’s see where this horse takes me next! I feel exhilarated thinking about and wondering about where my daily practice is taking me, and the best part is waking up happy and excited every single day!

It’s the PROCESS I love most, and this is what I teach my students. The goal is secondary. This is perhaps the most profound shift in perspective that makes my return to the violin so radically different.

I hope you find this post useful, and that you’ll have time to watch the video. It’s a bit longer than I intended, but the content is very important to me. I hope you’ll agree, is worth taking the time to seek out your purpose and rekindle your passion!

ENJOY!  May you fall in love with your Muse all over again!

With Love & Joy in Music,

p.s. I’d love to get your comments below! Are you in touch with your Muse these days? What’s it like when you are, and when you’re not?

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burnout, enthusiasm, life purpose, love, Muse, passion, vocation

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  1. Oh – thank you so much for this, Jennifer! I have not touched my accordion for nearly five months – and I feel the stirrings of longing – but have not dared to take it out of its box yet. I shall follow your advice!

  2. Thank you so much for this! So helpful and hopeful to hear your story. I didn’t realize how much self criticism I’ve carried inside for not having all the answers around this topic, until listening to this. Will take on your suggestions. (I too was a very shy child! I do remember music, art, acting was a voice for me also…)

  3. Hope you read this an maybe be able to give me some advice.
    I play since i was 11, now 41, I'm a pro musician and have a very successful career.
    This year I feel Like I have lost my passion, I dont want to practice anymore, I try to avoid my instrument all time, and when I get to practice I cant wait for it to be over.
    I Just dont find it fun anymore, it feels Like a job, Like i "have to" practice Just because I have to.
    I was thinking about taking a vacation from music, taking a time out to refocus.
    But I dont know what to do… I'm confused, I do love music, cant imagine my life without it, but it is not fun anymore,
    I have found a hobby to have some "non music time" on my life but it is not enough.
    Any Ideas? And sorry fot the english, it is not my main language.

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