Saturday, March 20, 2010

"Without Hurry, Without Rest"

I have to remind myself of this a lot—for my children, my students, myself. There’s so much to learn, so much growing to do, and the days seem impossibly short. Patience and perseverance are necessary, but these are hard things to come by.

In a section titled, “Without hurry, without rest” in his book Nurtured by Love, Shinichi Suzuki writes:

To make a resolution and act accordingly is to live with hope. Confronted with a high mountain, you cannot reach the summit in one stride, but must climb step by step to approach your goal. There may be difficulties and hardships, but not disappointment or despair if you follow the path steadily. Do not hurry. This is a fundamental rule. If you hurry and collapse or tumble down, nothing is achieved. Do not rest in your efforts; this is another fundamental rule. Without stopping, without haste, carefully taking a step at a time forward will surely get you there.

One of the most important things I learned through violin lessons was how to work. Learning to play violin is more complex than anything else I learned in school, and by the time I finished grad school I had been taking lessons for more than 21 years. I grew up in a musical family, but without the work I would not have learned to play—it simply isn’t something that just “happens” or that a person is born knowing how to do.

I learned how to break something into pieces and put it back together—to work step by step, a little at a time, just like climbing that high mountain Suzuki wrote about. You can’t sprint up a mountain. And the top is often higher than it looks when you start out. But you learn to pace yourself and you don’t quit, because you know the view is going to be amazing.

Does it matter, when a child starts music lessons, if you know whether or not that child will someday be a professional musician? Does it matter, when you decide to climb a mountain, if that will be what you do for the rest of your life? I don’t think a mountain is ever just a mountain. The climb and the summit stay with you.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, good post. I wonder what, if anything, Destry will do with music. But I've seen so much character development in him through music.


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