Hard to Speak

For those of us who make music, it's very easy to express what is in our hearts as we just allow our instrument to speak for us. At that moment we are vulnerable and at the mercy of our instrument, the elements, our psyche. Though we practice so hard to deliver a passage or a piece in a certain way, at the moment of truth anything can happen. There are so many things that we can plan for, but after all we have no control over so many things in this world.

It's one thing to have that feeling in the concert hall but something entirely different if we live our daily lives that way. In this country we've grown up with the ability to be free because so many brave men and women in the past sacrificed their lives so that we can enjoy freedom. When somebody infringes on the right to be who you are, it's difficult to just go on like everything will be OK.

The tragic events of Orlando forces me to take a long look at what I have seen throughout my life and makes me contemplate on what I can anticipate moving forward. I did not have relatives that were directly injured, nor am I a gay man seeking answers on why the LGBT community suffers another hateful attack. Im simply a skeptic who wonders, "what is happening around us?" Why did a perfectly normal ending to a night out, take a turn for the worst? I mean, I was out listening to music in a club on Friday night, was I lucky to survive? It was just another night out with friends, why would some crazy thought like that cross my mind?

The truth is we can't go through life thinking "Will it happen here?" We need to live our lives with purpose. I'm not going to offer answers on how to stop this. I'm simply a man who goes through life wanting to be treated just as nicely as I treat everyone else, just like "The Golden Rule" taught us. I'm a musician who seeks to help people escape for a moment from what seems to be s pretty unstable world. I'm a teacher who thinks, "will the things I teach my students help them become a better member of society?" While I feel that I'm leading my students in the right direction, I can't provide them with the answers on why people do Such horrible things.

It's an awful feeling when you know that you can't provide answers on a subject after your students have depended on your guidance for all things music. It brings me back to 9/11 and the days that followed. At my lesson that week, my teacher and I simply discussed how we felt about the events that had occurred. While I remember not offering very much to the conversation because I was still in disbelief, my teacher offered a unique point of view. Since he was Russian I got the feeling that he was desensitized to tragedy, to a certain extent. His perspective just made me realize how lucky I was to have a mentor like that in my life but also the importance of simply talking about what is going on.

It's important sometimes to express what is on your mind. It's not a matter of someone agreeing or disagreeing, sometimes it's just a matter of getting something off your chest.