Go outside and play. Great advice for budding musicians and those who want to keep budding.
Note how many times you see the word “play” as you browse this Dulcimer Players News issue. Try to stop and think about what it really means in context. You might be surprised at what you’re missing in this easily overlooked word and concept.
From my own childhood, I remember all to well hearing a somewhat irritated “Go outside,” from my mother, punctuated by “and play.” I don’t remember what I was doing to get tossed out of the house so often, but whatever it was, it wasn’t working for her, and the change of scenery was going to be good for both of us. It still works the same way as I pursue my passion for music. By the way, I still hear the same suggestion from my wife from time to time. Funny how some things never change.
“Going outside,” from a musical stand point usually means exploring the unfamiliar. This an essential part of learning. Any mentally healthy child explores its expanding world. We sometimes need to be reminded to play and explore as adults though. I’ve often witnessed how even the suggestion of playing at what we don’t know can make adults uncomfortable at workshops. So, how do you play at what you don’t know? It’s as simple as another phrase we don’t use much as adults. “Let’s pretend.”
Pretending won’t instantly make you play like a master, but it is absolutely a step in the right direction and an integral part of play. Remember, even those who’ve mastered their instruments are playing and pretending, too. Take the advice they offer in this DPN, but don’t work so hard at being able to play music that you work the play right out of it. - Dan