It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start. -Mother Teresa

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Practicing, Culture, and Regrets: What do you think?

I just finished reading this New York Times Interview with Yo-Yo Ma. Several things he said to Joan Anderman really left me thinking. You can read the full interview by clicking here.

I am going to share a few here. I would love to hear your thoughts! 

J.A.: How often to you practice, and for how long?
Y. M.: Mastering music is more than learning technical skills. Practicing is about quality, not quantity. Some days I practice for hours; other days it will be just a few minutes. Practicing is not only playing your instrument, either by yourself or rehearsing with others — it also includes imagining yourself practicing. Your brain forms the same neural connections and muscle memory whether you are imagining the task or actually doing it. 

This blew my mind and really made me reconsider what I expect from daughter. The most famous cello player in the world only practices a few minutes some days????? Pay attention to what he says about practicing without his instrument! What do you think? 

J.A.: What would you like to accomplish that you haven’t yet?
Y.M.: Oh, boy. I’m interested in pushing for the role of culture to have an equal place at the table of politics and economics. Is that an achievable goal? I don’t even know whether you can measure that. I think we would have a much happier, more fruitful and productive society if that were true. 

I am so excited by this! Part of our reason to begin the Classical model of education is to give culture and arts equal (or at least more) time in Nan's education. I love how he knows that his goal isn't necessarily measurable but he still will work towards it. What do you think?

J.A.: Do you regret choices you’ve made?
Y.M.: I remember 20 years of having unbelievable children at home and falling asleep reading stories to them. I remember being impatient with my family members because I was so tired and stressed out. If I were to do it over again I would seriously look at the quality of decisions made during those years. 

Expecting a professional answer, I was pleasantly surprised and, okay, maybe a little startle by his answer. Although it is the same reminder freely handed out by little old ladies at the grocery store, it hits me a anew to have someone I admire say it. It certainly is a reminder to me to pay attention to my own unbelievable children! What do you think?

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