When “real life” interferes with art

Many of my students are very busy people. They have demanding jobs, family responsibilities, or school homework that make time management complicated. I myself have days when there is so much “to do” that practice time is diminished or relegated to very late at night, which seems to be the “only” time I can practice. Sometimes when my avocational singers say “I haven’t had much time to sing this week”, I have said jokingly “Darned real life!”.

I am going to stop saying that.

What is “real life”? We are human beings with needs of all kinds: material, emotional, recreational, physiological, social, and spiritual. If we are moved to be singers, then we need to sing. The singing part of our lives is real! It is important! What is more real than being reminded of our humanity, exercising our ability to make beautiful sounds, expressing things that we might otherwise never express? Like reading books, attending performances, traveling, or being close to loving people, making music takes us to human places that feed us.

Singing in your car, learning that new guitar lick, singing to/with a child, or joining others in a choir, are all “real life”. Performing errands and making money can seem real enough, but are they the most important things in your human experience?

Making yourself or others a little happier with a song is as real as real can be.


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