Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Day 31: Music and Ego

In middle school I started to become paranoid about how I sound when playing the horn because if you were in band and didn't play good then you would get yelled at - It was complete negative reinforcement. I realize how this separated the band kids from the non band kids because a lot of people ended up quitting because of how the band director approached the ensemble and would yell and single you out sometimes in front of everyone - It was a very angry type of approach to teaching. Everyone was afraid of the band director. Then my family moved to another school for a year and all of the students heard where I came from so they looked at me like I was some kind of amazing musician, lol. After two years I went back to the area I was at before. When I went back to the other school I had the same band director that I had in the beginning. I always played things well and never had the problem of playing things "wrong" but I saw the effect it had on other students and the separation it caused. He was always in trouble with the school system but the band was always good, won every competition, and was always 1st or 2nd in the state so nothing happened. This teacher had students that were his "pets" and I was one of them so I never really received this type of negative reinforcement (the anger filled cussing and yelling). It happened a few times and was because I was talking - nothing to do with how I play (he said he was using me as an example). But the few times it did happen it affected me. He would lash out out of nowhere and then the next day act like nothing happened. He would act completely different when he was around just me or the pets in the band. I saw how two-faced he was. One day he kicked me out of marching band for being one out of 90 or so people talking before running through the show and I had enough. My parents set up a meeting with the school counseler and principle and he never messed with me or used me as an example again. I know I wasn't being a bratty kid, he had serious anger issues.

 So this fear started to build over years and helped build my ego because we always won competitions and all of the state competitions. I did the all-state band stuff and was considered the 3rd or 4th "best" trumpet player in the state so I got praised from the community, teachers, students, my parents, friends, relatives, etc.... I got to go to Germany with the band. I went to Japan with the orchestra that I played with (different city). I was always seen as one of the band director's pet though. I was constantly being reminded of being this so called "talented" musician by others and it started to go to my head, lol. So I created this image of being this amazing, talented, musician that was based on competition and achievements.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to realize that the way I was taught how to play music in an ensemble when in middle school was of a point of negative reinforcement where I feared making a mistake because of the possibility of being yelled at and singled out and that this fear is still with me today.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to realize that I tend to dislike music teachers today because of the memory of being afraid of getting yelled and cussed at for making a mistake when I was in middle school and high school and that I have a pre-conceived idea that all music teachers are angry people who will yell and cuss at me if I am not perfect. I realize that I look at teachers from the view point of as if they are going to attack me and I realize that this is not true because I have programmed myself to believe this because of the memories of the band director I had while in middle and high school.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to not realize that I was praised by the community, band directors, parents, relatives, community, friends, students, teachers for being a so-called good musician and that this has helped me build my ego and how I want to be seen by others today.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to believe that praise from others while I was in middle and high school means that I am some kind of special person instead of realizing that this praise only went to my head causing me to have the ego that I have today. I realize and accept myself as one and equal to all life as I realize that no one is special because we are all equal and one.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to realize that giving or receiving praise does nothing because it is only an idea in one's mind that can easily influence another's mind if one is not self-directive. I realize that when one is not self-directive that one will easily be influenced by praise.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to let praise go to my head and within this I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to let praise influence me instead of being self-directive. I realize that if I let praise go to my head that I am not being self-directive.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to realize that the praise from others that I received before going to college and while at college has influenced how I approach playing music in an egotistical manner today - wanting to be seen as a talented musician and within this I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to desire/want to be seen as a talented musician.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to want/desire praise from others today because I have receieved praise from others in the past therefore hanging onto an image that I created in the past of being seen as a talented musician.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to believe that I need to be seen as special/talented by other people instead of realizing that this is how I have programmed myself by feeling good by receiving praise by teachers, students, friends, family, parents, the community, etc...

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to feel as if I am not accomplishing anything within music if I don't receive praise from others instead of realizing that I have programmed myself into wanting/desiring to receive praise from others which only limits me from expressing me as me.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to realize that I am equal and one with all life which means that I am not special in anyway if we are all one and equal.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to realize that I think I am special/talented because I was always told so by the community, teachers, students, band directors, family, and friends while growing up because I have won competitions in groups and as an individual.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to connect competition to music.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to realize that expressing oneself in music is about expressing oneself breath by breath and that is the only way real expression is made.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to hold onto images of being seen as talented/special by others while playing music instead of realizing that this image of being seen as talented/special is not real but only a made up image that I have created instead of realizing that no one is special because we are all equal and one. I realize that if I have thoughts about seeing myself as good or bad while playing music that I am not expressing myself but only expressing a program that exists within me.


I commit myself to play music whether in an ensemble or by myself as me as I realize that I won't be yelled or cussed at if I make a mistake.

I commit myself to treat all teachers and musicians as one and equal to myself as I realize we are all one and equal meaning that teachers or those who play music are not better or less better than me as we are all One and Equal.

I commit myself to direct myself and be the self-directive principle of living oneness and equality meaning receiving or giving praise is useless if we are all one and equal.

I commit myself to disregard any form of praise - not accepting or allowing praise to influence me as I realize that praise can stop me from moving by going into the mind which takes me away from being here in the physical.

I commit myself to notice when I let receiving praise go to my head.

I commit myself to notice when and as I give or receive praise.

I commit myself to express me as me in every moment of breath while playing/creating music and within this I commit myself to notice when and as thoughts of superiority or inferiority arise.

I commit myself to stop and breathe when and as I notice images of being seen as talented or not talented in the back of my mind while playing music.

I commit myself to play music as me within each breath of every phrase/line.

I commit myself to not accept or allow myself to play or create anything if thoughts of being special or thoughts of being not special arise within me and within this I commit myself to stop and breathe before I allow myself to continue playing whatever it is that I am playing. 












3 comments:

  1. Damn! Awesome!
    (note: this is no praise, lol!)
    cool humbling yourself to the physical reality

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks for sharing Johnathon, really cool supportive post here

    ReplyDelete