No, not this blog. The “this” I’m referring to is the general direction my musical activities have taken over the years. How I’ve managed to maintain the active performing and teaching schedule I have despite life’s occasionally getting in the way (mom’s leukemia ’08-’09; brother’s death last year) without “streamlining” is beyond me. I’m sure I’ve faltered along the way on many accounts but manage to get back up and keep plowing ahead.
But that’s the problem–the “keep plowing ahead” even when all the data tells me something might be a dead end, and in some ways wasn’t as rewarding as it could be (or used to be).
Sure, part of the problem is I still also have my “hobbies” outside of music (I have time for hobbies?) and even for my musical projects, I spend an inordinate amount of time doing tons of “non-musical” stuff (maintaining multiple websites and doing booking for many of my bands; running around Louisville/Southern Indiana to find sheet music for students; trying to develop very specific projects/presentations which is especially difficult when you get next to no input from other involved parties) that I slowly find myself less and less able to focus on the music (or teaching, as the case may be).
Granted–having dozens of hours of music (in too many genres and styles to list) that I need to keep under my fingers (and voice); on top of being part of some classical music groups which always requires me to learn new music for every show; as well as needing to be on top of music I need to teach (it can be tricky to teach something you don’t know, after all) it’s no wonder why I don’t listen to music anymore!
What I guess I must do is to start pruning the non-essentials (hence the streamlining reference in the first paragraph); get rid of the chaff; focus on the things that need to be focused on (including my students), including people who are actively collaborating/interacting with me or the projects I’m involved in; but most importantly create more time for me to do things rather than wasting so much time going down blind alleys. I just don’t have time for that anymore.