Symphony Field Trip As An Adult

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.

Solo Superstars

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!

Final Thoughts

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.

Stay Inspired!
Buck

18 thoughts on “Symphony Field Trip As An Adult”

  1. This is an inspiring post to wrap-up the week. From what I understand the conductor is absolutely critical. I dated a Violist (hope that term is accurate) in my early twenties and was treated to some amazing concert experiences. If not for that, I would know absolutely nothing about classical music. Whenever the arts community reaches out it’s a a phenomenal opportunity to benefit from a new, enriching experience.

    1. Thanks for your added insight into the world of music. I have to say, the conductors I have seen are just as passionate as the soloists. Hmmm, is there a correlation between the amount of passion you have for something to how critical and successful you are? Glad you enjoyed the post!

  2. When I was CFO, my wife and I were invited to see the Royal Dutch Symphony at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (Los Angeles) by our Dutch bank. About a 100 of the top CFOs of Los Angeles were invited. Before the concert, we had dinner upstairs. At my table was the President of Samsung, Treasurer of Occidental Oil, and CFO of NBC Universal. Having experienced a few classical concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, Jazz concerts and Rock n Roll concerts probably helped prepare me for the evening. Another important skill was communication and making small talk. More skills are needed than just job skills to be successful.

    1. Sounds like you rubbed elbows with some VIPs! Excellent point about soft skills. As I progressed along in my career, I feel the other skills like people, relationship, and management skills are becoming more critical. When I was younger, I just wanted to do my job and not be bothered with irrelevant items like small talk. Boy was I living in a cave!

  3. Hey I do Agree with Buck, really it is so interesting to share experiences with people with we can spare some time it always helps us in building a healthier relationship. Soft skills just may not only help people but also in many field like marketing, Social networking etc. This article reminds me of something a great pleasure to enjoy our week end @ a walt disney to forget the stress of hard work.

  4. Such a masterpiece. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I am listening to it now as I type and it’s so peaceful. :) But you’re right, we need to do what we enjoy in life – that much easier to master it. :)

    1. You’re welcome! It was quite peaceful. Too often people waste time doing things they have to, not want to, or love to. I’m trying to tweak every part that is a have to.

  5. I especially liked this part of your post: “Why do anything if you are just going through the motions?”. That’s a great question to get folks thinking.

  6. I was trying to get the tickets to Salzburg’s symphony orchestra and they said you must book 1 year in advance. It reminded me of your post.

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