Nightmares of a Young Musician
Musicians aren’t always the best at appreciating the whole picture. I remember as a kid learning to play the flute, how disappointed I was when I heard recordings of our early concerts. Why, I could barely even HEAR the flutes most of the time!! This wasn’t right! I had worked so hard on my part, and in my head the ever important flutes were always featured. The rest of the band existed to accompany us! This must be pretty typical because I’ve heard many kids (….and adults!) say similar things.
As important as it is for musicians to be skilled at playing their instruments, the truth is it’s the whole song the director is perfecting. The Christian life is no different. We hopefully love our times of solos and features but maturity is wanting the whole song to sound as the composer intended. That includes long rests and sometimes hidden harmonies or complete “tacets” (having no part at all for a song or section).
How boring music would be if everyone constantly played. How our ears would crave simplicity and new textures. I have always appreciated the unique sounds composers come up with blending different instruments. Perhaps a French horn and a flute, or maybe a clarinet and an oboe play together. At times I can’t even figure out how a certain sound was created because it’s so unique! It’s no different with the way God orchestrates our lives, sometimes having us play loudly, other times having us accompany with soft whole notes.
And if we refuse to do what the composer asks? The song doesn’t sound as beautiful as it may have. It’s not only those that refuse to practice that cause trouble. Sometimes the best musicians insist on playing too loudly, believing that will be impressive or cover up what they notice isn’t sounding good. How heartbreaking yet necessary it is to hear a judge say ,”Someone is sticking out or overplaying. You must BLEND.”
So we watch our director and trust the end result will be amazing, regardless of how much or little we are featured.
Humility is just as important as skill for musicians…and all people really! Life isn’t just about me – it’s about
all of creation bringing glory to God.
What I can do, though, is practice. Practice, practice, practice and be ready for whatever music God chooses to play today.