Do you have an excuse?

When we someone asks us to do something different or to correct something in our interpretation, we don't need to explain why we didn't do it in the first place.

We just need to do it differently.
That's all.


  1. For the most part I agree with you. All of the professional musicians seem to have this attitude. However, aren't there select times when knowing "why" we didn't do something is also helpful to making it happen the right way? I'm really enjoying your thoughts.

  2. Hi Jess,
    I definitely agree with you that sometimes it is important to know, although not all that knowledge doesn't always add anything to the discussion if said out loud!
    I think that the times were it needs to be spoken is when the only way to change something, for example a blocking for a play, or a phrasing in an ensemble piece isn't possible without other people making adjustments as well.
    I think that often times, performers think that by saying why they didn't do something in the first place, they are less "wrong," but usually when somebody asks us to change something they're not saying that we sucked for not thinking about the new option first, they're just asking for something new, that's all.
    People who ask us to change something don't usually think that it's as big a deal as we might take it.
    No need to beat ourselves up!

  3. Agreed. I feel also that those who over explain why they did the first thing are often expressing inner insecurities or defensive attitudes. This happens all the time with my coaching students! The ones who talk the most when asked to change are definitely the ones who are insecure and/or lazy...sorry to say!

  4. I agree that there are times to smile and do what you are told and then there are the other times- like solo interpretation. When I or my students are trying to get a certain sound or musical idea across I think it is crucial that we discuss what we were aiming for so that we can be helped to make it work within the whole piece (or at least if it is a complete pipe dream find out why). Speaking up isn't always defensive.


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