The Unfortunate Musician

Musicians being mostly vain in nature, are those who would least withstand criticism from peers, however constructive it may be. Frequently creating illogical excuses, in a futile effort of preserving pride. Countless times have I heard excuses from fellow musicians, like “If my family is rich enough to send me to a music school, I would have done better..”or ” I would have played better than he did if I practise half as much as he did.. ” . Its sad to see how many musicians spend time whinning about how unlucky life has been to him/her, instead of focusing on practising and upgrading themselves. Perhaps it is time to remind them how lucky they actually are…..

First check out this video of an autism kid playing and singing to alicia key’s famous tune, “If I aint got you”

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWjoWXhnXC0]

There are so many unlucky people in this world where life is handed to them the hard way. Consider great jazz pianist Michel Petrucciani for a start. One wouldn’t tell from hearing his recording, that this pianist is actually an adult who is only three feet high and 65 pounds in weight. Born with osteogenesis imperfecta, his bones were naturally brittle. Early in his life, a slight fall could even be fatal. A normal kids life with usual sporting activities was clearly out of the question, but instead of whinning in despair, he considered it a blessing of some sort, removing him from distractions in life, and helping him to focus on practising up to seven hours a day. By the time he was a teenager, he was already achieving what many normal healthy musicians wouldn’t dream of doing. Although tiny in size, he played across the full span of the grand piano’s keyboard and, was able to make full use of the instrument’s pedals with the aid of a custom made device. And for any pianist out there who’s trying to learn stride piano, here’s another point you might find interesting, he was able to stretch a tenth in his left hand…..

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ERQvYrB0QM]

Blind pianists are also among those that have managed to turn adversities into triumphs. The notorious Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles are good examples, but perhaps the most underrated blind pianist is one of the greatest jazz pianist of the era, Art Tatum. Having seriously impaired vision (blind in one eye and had only partial sight in the other), he was mosty self taught, learning from piano rolls, phonograph recordings, and radio broadcasts, mostly by ear. By the age of six he was playing songs that were meant to be played as a duet, unaware that there was supposed to be two players. That’s why though being blind, he had piano chops that many normal pianist wouldn’t even dream about doing.

In the mean time. check out this 5 year old blind pianist..

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYYDKU2IvK4]

Most people out there, even those who aren’t musicians, have more or less heard about how the great Beethoven battle against deafness. Deafness, to a musician, would spell the end of his career, but not for Beethoven. Though he considered suicide before, but in the end he still manage to compose music. From wikipedia , Over time, his hearing loss became profound: there is a well-attested story that, at the end of the premiere of his Ninth Symphony, he had to be turned around to see the tumultuous applause of the audience; hearing nothing, he began to weep.

It is inspiring and motivating to see how Beethoven treat his misfortune as a challenge in life, to be overcomed instead of to succumb to. In the words of Beethoven himself,

 Free me of only half this affliction and I shall be a complete,
mature man. You must think of me as being as happy as it is
possible to be on this earth – not unhappy. No! I cannot endure
it. I will seize Fate by the throat. It will not wholly conquer
me! Oh, how beautiful it is to live – and live a thousand times over!

So for those of you musicians out there who are still complaining about how life has been cruel to you, wake up.. you are what you make of yourself…..

Related Post :

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Top Five Funny Questions in Piano Playing

4 Comments

  • KCLau

    Reply Reply June 3, 2007

    really motivating stories .. I’ll go to practice now

  • Mahassine

    Reply Reply July 18, 2014

    This song is great. I’ve been influenced by Vince since I was about 5 wahcting CB specials. Then I learned there was so much more to his music. Tracks like Autumn Leaves, Cast your fate to the wind, Samba De Orpheus and Freeway such great classic Jazz. If you like Skating and the CB stuff check his other songs out, you will come away a fan.

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