Back in my immediate past life, when I was busy being a musician, I had the good fortune to spend a summer in John Paynter’s Northwestern University band. This was in his heyday, the ’70’s. He had enormous authority, but was very easy with it.
People who played in the summer band all had credentials, but past the credentials they could obviously play. There was a little hotdogging going on with members of the group showing off their skill levels.
Paynter’s biography will show the vast influence he had on the band world.
Amazing, the amount of people he influenced through his authority and love
So, one afternoon, we were having a “student” conductor. All of us got to conduct, and all of us had some group or another that we conducted elsewhere. No real “students” here, except that Paynter was the 500 pound canary in the room.
This “student” conductor, to put it mildly, was a li’l arrogant. His attitude toward this band was really condescending, he obviously was one of those as yet undiscovered legends, and we would soon know it. He didn’t actually say anything that wrong, except that some of it was really obvious and aggravating, in that if
he had let the band play, most of those things would have solved themselves.
Paynter was kind of quiet as we all waited for his comments. Then he said, “How did you like driving my Cadillac?” The “student” kind of harrumphed and softened a bit and said that it was a pretty good band.
Paynter told a story of a Midwestern band director who had been a rising star until
one day her whole trumpet section walked out in response to her denigrations and style of demands. The director’s response was to go to the “office” and say, “I thought band was a required course for music majors.” She was fired on the spot.
Paynter’s explicit speaking from that story for the “student”: IF THEY WON’T PLAY FOR YOU, IT IS ALL OVER.
My idea for us about our bodies: DON’T BE PUSHING us AROUND AND MAKING ABSURD DEMANDS AND DOING NEGATIVE TALK TO us. Let the body play. Let the core demands flow through the body.
The “core” is a part of our bodies that needs to be hooked up to the hands and feet and head. The core needs to have flow from top hands to bottom feet, not just targeted situps and leg raises without thought for the hands and feet and head. Let the body play through the core. Allow. Kindly spoken would be a good thing!
Remember, our body got us to the party (whatever our party is) and it needs respect, love, and hope. ….Should you choose to accept this mission……