Timothy's Blog

Timothy's blog on dulcimers, music, nature and life!

Crossing thresholds

Crossing thresholds

Often when musicians are practicing a new technique or working toward mastering a passage, we find ourselves coming up against the proverbial brick wall:  It sure looks like we’re working in vain!  Yet a few more earnest runs through the series of movements of our hands, and we still seem to be making no progress….

Maybe it’s time to give up…. We’ll never get this one to the way it’s supposed to be….

Or maybe it’s time to take a break and just do what we know we’re good at for a while, for the sake of personal encouragement….

Or maybe, just maybe, this is that special moment when we keep persevering and suddenly… we burst into the room and find we’ve crossed the threshold!  For the rest of our lives we will be living past that temporary barrier, and we can do that skill or that difficult phrase from now on.

Have you experienced that threshold-crossing moment?  I have, especially when working on developing my hands into a duet at the hammered dulcimer, playing the melody and accompaniment like a pair of instruments, and also when going over a flute passage a hundred times (literally) till it suddenly works. 

Oh, what joy we find past the threshold!  Don’t be afraid to persevere!

Playing to the audience --- or in your own private...
Playing without a plan can be great

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