When I was in elementary school, one of the highlights was a field trip to the symphony. I remember lining up with my classmates, boarding a bus, and heading into the concert hall. What’s the brass section? What’s a woodwind? What’s the difference with a violin and a viola? To be honest, I was probably more excited about getting away from the classroom than the symphony itself. Let’s fast forward to the present.
I visited the Walt Disney Concert Hall for an evening of music appreciation. The concert hall itself is a piece of art. The one of a kind structure outside blended perfectly with the exquisite wood craftsmanship inside. Enough with art and architecture, on to the sound of music!
Music Candy Store
I actually forgot how many people are in a symphony orchestra. I did a quick search and it ranges from 70 to 100. The one I attended was somewhere in the middle. There were violins, cellos, clarinets, oboes, French horns, tubas, trombones, drums, a harp, a xylophone, and a triangle. A triangle? Yes, can’t have a symphony orchestra without a triangle, right?
I loved how each section played in unison. Just like watching awesome choreography, every different instrument section was in sync. The interplay between sections was also a sight to see as a section reached its crescendo, another instrument section would come over the top to continue the musical storytelling. Music told me stories of drama, adventure, and romance without uttering a word! During the adventures, each section reminded me of squadrons in an epic battle. The strings were the infantry attacking from below while the brass and the woodwinds attacked from above.
I also was treated to a violin and piano soloist. I initially wondered how one person could stand out and perform center stage, as all of these musicians were talented professionals. I found out in dramatic fashion. Both the violinist and pianist became one with their instrument and music. The other members provided the background. They were doing their jobs. The soloist was so passionate about their pieces; you could see it on their faces and performance. They looked possessed as they wiggled and swayed as the beautiful melodies flowed from them. The pianist in particular looked as if he was in ecstacy!
I had an amazing time and was surprisingly moved by all the performances. I did have to question the conductor and the triangle player. I’m sure they both could run rings around me in the field of music, but were they really necessary? From the naked eye, conducting and playing a triangle looks as if any guy off the street could do. I’m not trying to offend any conductors or triangle players. As a person with little musical background, I was just curious.
Until someone corrects my thinking, whatever you do in life, aim to be as ecstatic about your goal as a soloist. Why do anything if you are just going through the motions? I know it is easy to get caught in your routines. It’s easy clocking in to your nine to five and running in the rat race. Wouldn’t it be better to deal with your job, your relationships, controlling your debt, planning for retirement, and your other interests as passionately as a master musician? Learn more about the goal you are trying to reach. Put in the time to become a master through hard work and practice. Live and breathe it until you love it. I believe it’s a win-win situation. You will be a more fulfilled person as you are doing things you truly love. Secondly, because you are doing something that you love and have mastered, the output you create will be world class and awe inspiring to others. As you absorb the positive energy from your standing ovations, you can gleefully return to center stage and perform again. It’s not a viscous cycle, but a beautiful cycle. ENCORE!
Click here for more information on the Walt Disney Concert Hall.