The discipline of writing is mostly about trying to capture experiences, images, ideas in a net of language and release them whole into the reader’s own imagination. By committing to the craft of constant practice, the law of probability suggests that occasionally you’ll get it right. Just like a composer stumbles into the perfect melody or harmony to accompany it, so does the writer occasionally discover just the write combination of words that click together and send the thoughts out like a great song.
It’s not “Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments…” or “April is the cruelest month…” or “Whose woods these are I think I know…” but when someone quoted me on Facebook (and I’m not clear from which piece of writing!), I liked it. Short, pithy, to the point and saying exactly what I would want to say speaking to a roomful of the young music teachers about to embark—or already begun their travels—on this marvelous journey. Something to pin up over their desk or have visible on their screensaver.
Here it is:
As I look to you, the next generation of Orff teachers, I would advise you to read voraciously, write reflectively, study ceaselessly, keep pushing the boundaries, stand up against institutional thinking, beware of the cute and contrived, distinguish between glitz and substance, dream big, work the details and let the children be your guides.
It’s working for me, at least.