Throughout my many years of playing and teaching drums professionally, I have been fortunate to experience a variety of diverse scenarios. There were moments when I was hired to play in an orchestra pit for an Off-Broadway show, or taught from a prescribed curriculum that an institution had already set as their offering. These are examples of performing and teaching via script.
On the other hand, people have requested that I show up and perform the music, live or in the studio, in that moment without much preparation. This has also occurred when I observed a teachable moment…when I noticed another music student struggling to master a musical phrase. No one handed me a syllabus to coach that learner! I always thrive and create from the latter of these experiences. That is what a true artist does…to express yourself honestly.
Having knowledge is merely having information in front of you. We all have access to all of the information in the world at our fingertips! There are many institutions and bureaucracies that desperately attempt to formalize and package systems of thought and belief. However, wisdom requires flexibility, refinement, and the application of creativity. It requires us to go beyond our own self-awareness and improvise. Otherwise, we will become slaves to pattern once we are fixed and too rigid. Moral skill is withered away once there are too many rules and parameters. Established schema deprive us of the opportunity to foster character.
One of my mentors told me, “The person you become is the artist that you will be.” This statement served me well when I was in the stage of realizing and accepting who I was in that moment. It only served as a snapshot in time. I am becoming every day!
Wisdom is a life-long process that challenges us to constantly question, create, observe, evolve, and make exceptions to the rules. Thus, we are always becoming each day so that we can be. Realize that there is a higher vibration within yourself and the world around you each day. It goes beyond systems and methods. Wise people are molded…not born.