'Once Upon My Cheek'
'Flight of the Bumblebee'
End of Year Dances
Quotes that keep me going
Compiled over the years by Dr. Sera Smolen
Music exists for the purpose of growing an admirable heart.
–Dr. Shinichi Suzuki
Philosophy is the King; music is the Queen. – Anthony Damiani
The hero is he who is immovably centered. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
The artist’s task consists of making one thing of many, and a
world from the smallest part of a thing. – Rainer Maria Rilke
It naturally elevates the soul to feel this intimate relationship to
it’s primal ground…A man then feels himself truly at home, and
whenever he is lifted up through music he can say to himself:
“Yes, you come from other worlds, and in music you can
experience your native place.”- Rudolf Steiner
Insist on yourself. Never imitate. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
You cannot teach anyone anything. You can only help them
discover it inside themselves. – Galileo
We all have the extraordinary coded within us, waiting to be
released. – Jean Housten
Decide to be your best. In the long run the world is going to
want and have the best, and that might as well be you.
–Booker T Washington
March to the beat of your own drummer. – Henry David Thoreau
The cello, because:
Because I could not stand, I leaned on you
Because when I could not speak, you gave me words
Because when I went blind to the hardest of truths to learn
With your strength you pried the darkness
And from it, drew a song.
-Laura Cape-Gill, Ashville, NC
My idea is that there is music in the air. The world is full of it,
and you simply take as much as you require.
– Sir Edward Elgar
There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a
butterfly. – Buckminster Fuller
Nature never repeats herself, and the possibilities of one human
soul will never be found in another. –Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Music, of all the arts, stands in a special region unlit by any
star but it’s own, and utterly without meaning except it’s own.
The future of music may not lie entirely in music itself, but
rather in the way it encourages and extends, rather than limits
the aspirations and ideals of the people, in the way it makes
itself a part with the finer things that humanity does and
dreams of. – Charles Ives
Music is a labyrinth with no beginning and no end, full of new
paths to discover, where mystery remains eternal.
– Pierre Boulez
If you would know if a people are well governed, and if it’s laws
are good or bad, examine the music it practices. – Confucius
The biggest crime is not developing your potential. When you do
what you do best, you are helping others. – Roger Williams
I dream for a living. – Stephen Spielberg
We need to make the world safe for the creativity and intuition
that will make the world safe for us.
– Edgar Mitchell, Apollo Astronaut
In the difficult are the friendly forces, the hands that work on
us. – Rainer Maria Rilke
Always keep in mind that your own resolution to succeed is
more important than any other thing. – Abraham Lincoln
The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a
time. – Abraham Lincoln
To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also
dream. Not only plan, but also believe. – Anatole France
In all teaching there must be a fusion of authority
as an adult providing a stable framework for the
children in one’s care, and humility as another human being
ready to educate an equal who may turn out to be a superior.
It is difficult to get the news from poems. But men die miserably
every day for the lack of what is found there.
–William Carlos Williams
Art sweeps the everyday dust from your soul. – Pablo Picasso
The wind blowing. Adore the sound. – Pythagoras
Love, love, love: That is the soul of genius. – W. A. Mozart
You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.
To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a
way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
– Nelson Mandela
When you’re in the practice room, you should be doing
something that results in a change. – Peter Wiley
It takes courage for people to listen to their own goodness and
to act on it. – Pablo Casals
An education not founded on Art will never succeed.
– Margaret Mead
To live the creative life, you must lose the fear of being wrong.
–Joseph Chilton Pearce
One’s capacity for metaphor is one’s capacity for a full life.
–Joseph Chilton Pearce
I get my ideas from listening from within. – Thomas Edison
Artists are messengers whose responsibility it is to unite the
world, not to destruction, but to transformation. – Alice Walker
No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed
to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human
spirit. – Helen Keller
When your heart and your mind are engaged, you cannot go
wrong. – Yo Yo Ma
The purpose of Art is the gradual, lifelong construction of a state
of wonder and serenity. – Glenn Gould
If you want to draw, you must close your eyes and sing.
Nobody has ever measured—even poets—how much the heart
can hold. – Zelda Fitzgerald
Most of my ideas belonged to other people who didn’t bother to
develop them. – Thomas Edison
Be the change you want to see in the world. – Mahatma Ghandi
Music is in the space between the notes. – Claude Debussy
Whatever you dream or think you can do, begin it! Boldness
has genius, magic and power in it. – Johann von Goethe
A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings
because it has a song. – Proverb
It is always the best with me when I have the chisel in my
hand. – Michelangelo
Nothing great was ever created without enthusiasm.
– RalphWaldo Emerson
Whatever comes from the heart carries the heat and color of its
birthplace. – Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
The artist must raise the cup of his vision aloft to the gods in the
high hope that they will pour into it the sweet mellow wine of
inspiration. – Paul Brunton
Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other,
because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward
places of the soul. – Plato
Often a single experience will open the young soul to music for a
lifetime. This experience cannot be left to chance. It is the duty
of the school to provide it. - Zoltan Kodaly
In Art, and in the higher reaches of science, there is a feeling of
harmony that underlies all endeavor. - Albert Einstein
Wherever you are is the entry point! – Kabir
It is the use of creativity which heals the creative wound. – Julia
With every born human, a poet-as- artist is born, who dies
young and who is survived by an adult.
– Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve
A frontier is never a place; it is a time and a way of life.
To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you
in your private heart is true for all men—that is genius.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
This is the practice school of writing. Like running, the more
you do it, the better you get at it. – Natalie Goldberg
I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that.
Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.
– Pearl Buck
Just as appetite comes by eating, so work brings inspiration.
Everywhere I go, I find a poet has been there before me.
Great improvisers are like priests. They are always listening to
their god. – Stephan Grapelli
Let the beauty we love be what we do. – Rumi
We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
It is extraordinary how extraordinary the ordinary person is.
–George F. Will
The song still remains which names the land over which it
sings. – Martin Heidegger
When they are in nature, people sense intuitively that the other
kingdoms are living in harmony with universal law. In such an
environment, it’s easier for the heart to open, to become softer
and live in tune with the earth.
– Wabun (Sun Bear’s medicine helper)
It is the child that sees the primordial secret in Nature and it is
the child of ourselves we return to. The child within us is
simple and daring enough to live the Secret. – Lao Tzu
It is the imagination that gives shape to the universe.
– Barry Lopez
Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man
does with what happens to him. – Aldous Huxley
Whenever two people meet, there are really six present: There is
each man as he sees himself, each as the other person sees
him, and each man as he really is. – William James
Our own life is the instrument with which we experiment with
Truth. – Thich Nhat Hanh
The deepest secret in our heart of hearts is that we are writing
because we love the world. – Natalie Goldberg
Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to
aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about.
–W. H. Auden
Learning is movement from moment to moment. – Krishnamurti
Art is not just ornamental, an enhancement of life, but a path in
itself, a way out of the predictable and conventional, a map to
self-discovery. – Gabrielle Roth
Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.
Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same
time. – Thomas Merton
The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over
the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper,
from a passing shape, from a spider’s web. – Pablo Picasso
A creative writer can do his best only with what lies within the
range and character of his deepest sympathies. – Willa Cather
I think, to a poet, the human community is like the community of
birds to a bird, singing to each other. Love is one of the reasons
we are singing to one another, love of language itself, love of
sound, love of singing itself, and love of the other birds.
Learn to see, and then you’ll know that there is no end to the
new worlds for our vision. – Carlos Castaneda
Merely looking at the world around us is immensely different
from seeing it. – Frederick Frank
The local painters were my idols…These artists, too, were
grown-ups, but they were grown-ups who could still see! Their
eye was still in love! Like mine! – Frederick Frank
When the eye wakes up to see again, it suddenly stops taking
anything for granted. – Frederick Frank
It is looking at things for a long time that ripens you and gives
you a deeper understanding. – Vincent van Gogh
One learns by doing a thing; for though you think you know it,
you have no certainty until you try. – Sophocles
An essential portion of any artist’s labor is not creation so much
as invocation. – Lewis Hyde
Listen. Make a way for yourself inside yourself. Stop looking in
the other way of looking. – Rumi
A working artist is a playing artist. – Julia Cameron
The creative mind plays with objects it loves. – Carl Jung
It is not the act of making art that is painful. It is the desire to
make something and not acting on it that causes pain….A day
when I don’t write is less happy. This is not discipline. It is
affection, enthusiasm, adventure—any number of other words
besides discipline. – Julia Cameron
Painting isn’t an aesthetic operation; it’s a form of magic.
Being an artist means: not numbering and counting, but
ripening like a tree, which doesn’t force it’s sap, and stands
confidently in the storms of spring, not afraid that afterward
summer may not come. – Rainer Maria Rilke
I paint the way some people write an autobiography. The paintings, finished or not, are the pages from my diary. –Pablo Picasso
The truth dazzles gradually, or else the world would be blind.
Art does not reproduce the invisible; rather, it makes visible.
When the human being hears music, he has a sense of wellbeing,
because these tones harmonize with what he has
experienced in the world of his spiritual home. – Rudolf Steiner
Work with sound until you are absolutely amazed that you can
produce such a sound and it seems to you that you are just the
instrument to which the divine pied piper blows the whisper of
the incantations of his magic spell. – Vilayat Inayat Khan
In writing songs, I have learned as much from Cezanne as I
have from Woody Guthrie. – Bob Dylan
No man, however civilized, can listen for very long to African
drumming, or Indian chanting, or Welsh hymn singing, and
retain intact his critical and self-conscious personality.
– Aldous Huxley
I want to sing as birds sing. Not worrying who hears or what
they think. – Rumi
Painting is a dramatic action in the course of which reality finds itself split apart.
If someone strikes my heart, it does not break, but it bursts, and
the flame coming out of it becomes a torch on my path.
– Hazrat Inayat Khan
If one is a master of one thing and understands one thing well,
one has at the same time insight into and understanding of
many things. – Vincent van Gogh
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist when he grows up.. – Pablo Picasso
Art is neither a profession nor a hobby. Art is a way of being.
The best way out is always through. – Robert Frost
Perform every act in life as thought it were your last.
– Marcus Aurelius
If the angel deigns to come, it will be because you have
convinced her, not by tears but by your humble resolve to be
always beginning: to be a beginner. – Rainer Maria Rilke
Jump. – Joseph Campbell
Art is never chaste—Pablo Picasso
The world of reality has its limits. The world of imagination is
boundless. – Jean Jaques Rousseau
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new
landscapes, but in having new eyes. – Marcel Proust
If the doors to perception were cleansed, everything would
appear to man as it is, infinite. – William Blake
Yet it is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth
sometimes comes to the top. – Virginia Woolf
The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mystical. It
is the power of all true art and science. – Albert Einstein
Noone can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Talent is like electricity. We don’t understand electricity. We
use it. – Maya Angelou
Make haste slowly. – Augustus Caezar
Without discipline there is no life at all. – Katharine Hepburn
We can do anything we want to if we stick to it long enough.
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a
master. – Ernest Hemingway
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and learn to
love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books
that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not seek the
answer, which cannot be given you because you would not be
able to live them. – Rainer Maria Rilke
Where words fail, music speaks. – Hans Christian Anderson
All music is folk music. I ain’t never heard a horse sing a song.
Painting is not made to decorate walls. It is an instrument of war against brutality and darkness. –Pablo Picasso
When you got to ask what jazz is, you’ll never get to know.
Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Competitions are for horses, not for artists. – Bela Bartok
Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual
life. – Ludwig von Beethoven
Every composer knows the anguish and despair occasioned by
forgetting ideas which one has no time to write down.
Music…can name the unnamable and communicate the
unknowable. – Leonard Bernstein
It is cruel…that music should be so beautiful. It has the beauty
of loneliness and of pain: of strength and freedom--the beauty of
disappointment, and never-satisfied love--the cruel beauty of
nature, and the everlasting beauty of monotony.
– Benjamin Britten
The old idea…of a composer suddenly having a terrific idea and
sitting up all night to write it is nonsense. Nighttime is for
sleeping. – Benjamin Britten
Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit, and
never dies. – Edward George Bulwer-Lytton
There’s music in the sighing of a reed;
There’s music in the gushing of a rill;
There’s music in all things, if men had ears:
Their earth is but an echo of the spheres. – Lord Byron
When we separate music from life, we get art. – John Cage
New music: new listening
Not an attempt to understand something that is being said, for,
if something were being said, the sounds would be given the
shapes of word. Just an attention to the activity of sounds.
Music is a kind of inarticulate, unfathomable speech, which
leads us to the edge of an infinite, and impels us for a moment
to gaze into that. – Thomas Carlyle
See deep enough, and you see musically. – Thomas Carlyle
All deep things are song. It seems somehow the very central
essence of us, song-- as if all the rest were but wrappers and
hulls. – Thomas Carlyle
Music is well said to be the speech of angels; in fact, nothing
among the utterances allowed to man is felt to be so divine. It
brings us near to the infinite. – Thomas Carlyle
For me, Bach is like Shakespeare. He has known all and felt
all. He is everything. –Pablo Casals
Music hath charms to soothe a savage beast, to soften rocks, or
bend a knotted oak. – William Congreve
Music was known and understood before words were spoken.
You are the music while the music lasts. – T. S. Eliot
When I paint, I reel that all the artists of the past are behind me.
It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing. – Duke Ellington
Music comes first from my heart, and then goes upstairs to my
head where I check it out. – Roberta Flack
Composing is like making love to the future. – Lukas Foss
True music must repeat the thought and inspirations of the
people and their time. My people are Americans and my time is
today. – George Gershwin
It sounds simple, of course, but personally I can think of no
more mentally arduous task than making music.
– George Gershwin
A jazz musician is a juggler who uses harmonies instead of
oranges. – Benny Green
The best way to get to know any bunch of people is to go and
listen to their music. – Woody Guthrie
When people come to play music as they do to play bridge,
civilization will have taken the longest stride forward since the
beginning of time. – Jascha Heifetz
Have no fear of perfection. You will never reach it.—Salvadore Dali
If I don’t practice one day, I know it: two days, the critics know
it: three days, the public knows it. – Jascha Heifetz
When words leave off, music begins. – Heinrich Heine
Alas for those that never sing, but die with all their music in
them! – Oliver Wendell Holmes
After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the
inexpressible is music. – Aldous Huxley
Those who do not want to imitate anything, will produce nothing.
The history of a people is found in its songs. – George Jellinek
Music is love in search of a word. – Sidney Lanier
Music is the universal language of mankind.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
People whose sensibility is destroyed by music in trains,
airports, lifts, cannot concentrate on a Beethoven Quartet.
Music—the mosaic of the air. – Andrew Marvell
I can hold a note as long as the Chase National Bank.
– Ethel Merman
To play great music, you must keep your eyes on a distant star.
– Yehudi Menhuhin
Information is not knowledge.
Knowledge is not wisdom.
Wisdom is not truth.
Truth is not beauty.
Beauty is not love.
Love is not music.
Music is the best.
The power of music is so great that in the legends of all nations,
the invention of the art is ascribed to the gods. – Karl Merz
I never use a score when conducting my orchestra…Does a lion
tamer enter a cage with a book on how to tame a lion?
– Dmitiri Mitropoulos
Only life suffered can transform a symphony from a collection of
notes into a message for humanity. – Dmitiri Mitropoulos
Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom.
If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn. They teach
you there’s a boundary line to music. But, man, there’s no
boundary line to art. – Charlie Parker
Music is an invisible dance, as dancing is silent music.
– Jean Paul
Music is the only one of the fine arts in which not only man, but
all other animals have a common property. – Jean Paul
Music is to the mind as air is to the body. – Plato
The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the
pauses between the notes—ah, that is where the art resides!
When you play, do not trouble yourself as to who is listening.
Yet always play as though a master listened to you.
– Robert Schumann
If we were all determined to play the first violin, we should
never have a complete orchestra. Therefore respect every
musician in his proper place. – Robert Schumann
If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, the, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.. – William Shakespeare
Only music has the ability to take you to the edge of reality and allow you to peek in for a moment. –Alexander Pope
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils. – William Shakespeare
The highest reaches of music come thrillingly close to the central
core and essence of life itself. – Leopold Stokowski
To listen is an effort, and just to hear is no merit. A duck hears
also. – Igor Stravinsky
Music is the crystallization of sound. –Henry David Thoreau
The strongest and sweetest songs yet remain to be sung.
Life has been your art. You have set yourself to music. Your
days are your sonnets. – Oscar Wilde
A supreme composer can only come out of a musical nation.
–Ralph Vaughan Williams
There are no small parts. Only small actors. –The “Fantastics”
My own thing is in my head. I hear sounds, and if I don’t get
them together, nobody else will. – Jimi Hendrix
Study as if you were to live forever;live as if you were to die tomorrow.
-Sir Edmund of Abingdon
It takes a lot of devotion and work, or maybe I should say play,
because if you love it, that’s what it amounts to. I haven’t found
any shortcuts, and I’ve been looking for a long time.
The focus of my playing is the groove, and every time I find a
new rhythm, I find I can write a bunch of new songs. Learning
how to dance, or drum, or to swing my body in a new way is
the fundamental way I find a new riff. Because when you learn
to swing your body in a new way, you begin to swing with your
instrument differently. – Stone Gossard, Pearl Jam
The music has generated all the techniques I use. When I sit
down to learn to play something…it is not because I want to
master a technique. It is because I want to hear what an idea
sounds like. – Pat Martino
I don’t think you can ever do your best. Doing your best is a
process of trying to do your best. – Townes van Zandt
Science without religion is lame; Religion without science is blind.
I’m only 49 years old. I’m still in the middle of this whole thing.
I don’t feel like it’s finished at all. I’m still planning to write
better songs. – Paul McCartney
I don’t think of myself as a symbol of the sixties, but I do think
of myself as a symbol of following through on your beliefs.
Not everyone is going to like what I do, and that’s something I
can accept; if everyone liked what I did, I probably wouldn’t be
playing anything of depth. – Joshua Redman
I try to be prepared for the moment, through understanding, and
being warmed up, knowing all about chords and scales, so I
don’t even have to think and I can get right to what it is I want
to say. –Pat Metheny
You might not feel like playing pretty all the time. Instead, you
might want to play something nasty….you might want to play
something out of context with the tune. It might be a note that
creates so much tension it becomes unpleasant, but you want it
to sound that way. – George Benson
You can tell whether a person plays well or not by the way he
carries the instrument, whether it means something to him or
not. – Miles Davis
Every guitarist has a special quality of sound. The best ones
will use a good ear, much sensitivity and a thorough knowledge
of music to prepare the nuances and colors of sound.
– Andres Segovia
Playing the guitar is like telling the truth. You never have to
worry about repeating the same lie, if you told the truth. You
don’t have to pretend, or cover up. If someone asks you again,
you don’t have to think about it or worry about it…because
there it is. It’s you. – BB King
Go placidly amid the noise and the hast, and remember what peace there may be in silence. –Max Ehrmann
I don’t care who likes it or buys it, because if you use that
criterion, Mozart would never have written Don Giovanni,
Charlie Parker would never have played anything but swing
music. There comes a point at which you have to stand up and
say, this is what I have to do. –Branford Marsalis
The most important thing I look for in a musician is whether he
knows how to listen. – Duke Ellington
Whether you are playing in the bar, the church, the strip joint, or
the Himalayas, the first duty of music is to complement and
enhance life. – Carlos Santana
Music should go right through you, leave some of itself inside
you, and take some of you with it when it leaves.
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what
we give. –Winston Churchill
The slower you practice, the faster you learn.
The faster you practice, the slower you learn. – John Kendall
Beautiful tone, beautiful heart. – Dr. Shinichi Suzuki
You have learned the notes. You have learned the bowings.
Now the lessons can begin. – Dr. Shinichi Suzuki
Genius is 1% inspiration and 95% perspiration. –Thomas Edison
I am always doing things I can’t do. That’s how I get to do
them. – Pablo Picasso
Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on
it you can. – Danny Kaye
Keep me from the wisdom which does not , from
the philosophy which does not laugh, and from the greatness
which does not bow down before children. – Kahil Gibran
Science is for those who learn; poetry is for those who know.
We are capable of much more than we think we are. – Lao Tzu
Deep, unspeakable suffering may well be called a baptism, a regeneration, the initiation into a new state. –George Elliot
Where the world ceases to be the scene of our personal hopes
and wishes, where we face it as free beings, admiring, asking,
and observing, there we enter the realm of Art and Science.
Imagination is the beginning of creation. We imagine what we
desire; we will what we imagine; and at last we create what we
will. – George Bernard Shaw
At least once a day, allow yourself to think and dream for
yourself. – Albert Einstein
Paint as you like, and die happy. – Henry Miller
A god can do it. But will you tell me how a man can penetrate
through the lyre’s strings? – Rainer Maria Rilke
There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.—Graham Greene
Improvisation, it is a mystery. You can write a book about it,
but by the end no one still knows what it is. When I improvise
and I’m in good form, I’m like somebody half sleeping. I even
forget there are people in front of me. Great improvisers are like
priests; they are thinking only of their god. – Stephan Grappelli
The conception, composition, practice, and performance of a piece of music can blossom
in a single moment. – Stephen Nachmanovich
Composing is a slowed-down improvisation; often one cannot
write fast enough to keep up with the stream of ideas.
– Arnold Schoenberg
There is not ultimate breakthrough; what we find in the
development of a creative life is an open-ended series of
provisional breakthroughs. In this journey there is no endpoint,
because it is the journey into the soul. - Stephen Nachmanovich
Looking at the creative process is like looking into a crystal: no
matter which facet we gaze into, we see all the others reflected.
- Stephen Nachmanovich
Give me a child for the first seven years, and you may do what you like with him afterwards. –Jesuit Maxim
Every attempt we make is imperfect; yet each one of those
imperfect attempts is an occasion for a delight unlike anything
else on earth. - Stephen Nachmanovich
Every conversation is a form of Jazz. The activity of
instantaneous creation is as ordinary to us as breathing.
- Stephen Nachmanovich
He who binds to himself a joy
Doth the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in Eternity’s sunrise. – William Blake
As an improvising musician, I am not in the music business, I
am not in the creativity business; I am in the surrender
business. – Stephen Nachmanovich
Surrender means cultivating a comfortable attitude toward not knowing,
being nurtured by the mystery of moments that are
dependably surprising, ever fresh. – Stephen Nachmanovich
We can depend on the world being a perpetual surprise in
perpetual motion, and a perpetual invitation to create.
The unexamined life is not worth living.—Socrates
The fact that improvisation vanishes makes us appreciate that
every moment of life is unique—a kiss, a sunset, a dance, a
joke. None will ever recur in quite the same way. Each
happens only once in the history of the universe.
– Stephen Nachmanovich
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is
translated through you into action, and because there is only
one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you
block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be
lost. – Martha Graham
When we are totally faithful to our own individuality, we are
actually following a very intricate design. This kind of freedom
is the opposite of “just anything”. - – Stephen Nachmanovich
An improviser does not operate from a formless vacuum, but
from three billion years of organic evolution
– Stephen Nachmanovich
A man’s prayer is answered only if he takes his heart into his hand.
If you forget yourself, you become the universe. – Hakuin
If we are transparent, with nothing to hide, the gap between
language and being disappears. Then the Muse can speak.
Here the artist is, as it were, an archaeologist, uncovering
deeper and deeper strata as he works, recovering not an
ancient civilization, but something as yet unborn, unseen,
unheard, except by the inner eye, the inner ear. He is not just
removing apparent surfaces from some external object, he is
removing apparent surface from the Self, revealing his original
nature. - – Stephen Nachmanovich
There is nothing to it. You only have to hit the right notes at the right time, and the instrument plays itself.—J.S. Bach
To be rationally minded, the mental process of the intuitive
appears to work backward. His conclusions are reached before
his premises. This is not because the steps which connect the
two have been omitted, but because those steps are taken by
the unconscious. – Frances Wickes
Mastery means responsibility, ability to respond in real time to
the need of the moment. Intuitive or inspired living means not
just passively hearing the voice, but acting on it.
– Stephen Nachmanovich
Improvisation is intuition in action, a way to discover the muse
and learn to respond to her call. - – Stephen Nachmanovich
Technique itself springs from play, because we can acquire
technique only by the practice of practice, by persistently
experimenting and playing with our tools and testing their limits
and resistances. – Stephen Nachmanovich
The temple bell stops, but sound keeps ringing from the flowers.
--Basho, Japan,,, 17th century
Play cannot be defined, because in play all definitions slither,
dance, combine, break apart, and recombine.
– Stephen Nachmanovich
Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into it’s secrets. For it and knowledge can raise men to the Divine. –Ludwig von Beethoven
This is the evolutionary value of play- play makes us flexible.
By reinterpreting reality and begetting novelty, we keep from
becoming rigid. Play enables us to rearrange our capacities and
our very identity so that they can be used in unforeseen ways.
-– Stephen Nachmanovich
Anthropologists have found “galumphing” to be one of the prime
talents that characterize higher life forms.
– Stephen Miller, American Anthropologist
Play, creativity, art, spontaneity, all these experiences are their
own rewards and are blocked when we perform for reward or
punishment, profit or loss. - – Stephen Nachmanovich
Inspiration may be a form of superconsciousness, or perhaps of
subconsciousness—I wouldn’t know. But I am sure that it is
the antithesis of self-consciousness. - – Aaron Copeland
If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.
This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before. –Leonard Bernstein
If I “try” to play, I fail; if I force the play, I crush it; if I race, I
trip. Any time I stiffen or brace myself against some error or
problem, the very act of bracing would cause the problem to
occur. The only road to strength is vulnerability.
– Stephen Nachmanovich
If we split practice from the real thing, neither one of them will
be very real. - – Stephen Nachmanovich
Brahms once remarked that the mark of an artist is how much
he throws away. Nature, the great creator, is always throwing
things away. A frog lays several million eggs at a sitting. Only
a few dozen of these become tadpoles, and only a few of those
become frogs. We can let imagination and practice be as
profligate as nature. – Stephen Nachmanovich
New organs of perception come into being as a result of
necessity. Therefore, O man, increase your necessity, so that
you may increase your perception. – Jallaludin Rumi
Artwork is not thought up in consciousness and then, as a
separate phase, executed by the hand. The hand surprises us,
creates and solves problems on its own. Often, enigmas that
baffle our brains are dealt with easily, unconsciously, by the
hand. – Stephen Nachmanovich
He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands, his head and his heart is an artist.
--St. Francis of Assisi
Creative living, or the life of a creator, seems like a leap into the
unknown only because “normal life” is rigid and traumatized. –
Practice is an ever-fresh, challenging flow of work and play in
which we continually test and demolish our own delusions;
therefore, it is sometimes painful. – Stephen Nachmanovich
I no longer sought skill, flexibility, strength, endurance, muscle
tone, and quick responsiveness as means of imposing my will
on the instrument, but rather of keeping an open and
unrestricted pathway for the creative impulse to play its music
straight from the preconscious depths beneath and beyond me.
– Stephen Nachmanovich
All roads are long which lead to one’s heart’s desire.
If we operate with a belief in long sweeps of time, we build
cathedrals; if we operate from fiscal quarter to fiscal quarter, we
build ugly shopping malls. – Stephen Nachmanovich
We learn to swim in winter, and skate in summer.
– William James
To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.
Writing, playing, composing, painting, reading, listening,
looking—all require that we submit to being swept away by
Eros, to a transformation of self of the kind that happens when
we fall in love. – Stephen Nachmanovich
Noise ain’t nothin’ but a lonely note waitin’ for somethin’ to sing.
With too little judgement, we get trash. With too much
judgement, we get blockage. – Stephen Nachmanovich
Paradoxically, the more you are yourself, the more universal
your message. As you develop and individuate more deeply,
you break through into deeper layers of the collective
consciousness and the collective unconsciousness.
– Stephen Nachmanovich
Where there is total absence of yourself, beauty is.
The clouds preceded us.
There was a muddy centre before we breathed.
There was a myth before the myth began,
Venerable, and articulate and complete.
If I could say it, I would not have to dance it. – Isadora Duncan
When the good student chooses the honest path, free of
perfectionism and faking, music study becomes something
refreshingly new: a calm oasis of self-acceptance for those who
are so used to driving themselves and trying to please others.
Learning itself is a fulfilling adventure at all points in the
process. In fact, psychologists have listed learning as one of the
basic, universal joys of human experience. –William Westney
Music study presents a natural, here-and-now route to selfknowledge
and self-integration. – William Westney
Music, the most abstract and uncanny art, is an eternal river of
sound moving through time. We can free ourselves from
whatever may be holding us back, and join that flowing river.
Creativity is not just for artists. It’s for businesspeople looking
for a new way to close a sale; it’s for engineers trying to solve a
problem; it’s for parents who want their children to see the
world in more than one way. – Twyla Tharpe
In order to be creative, you have to know how to prepare to be
creative…..A lot of habitually creative people have preparation
rituals linked to the setting in which they choose to start their
day. By putting themselves into that environment, they begin
their creative day. – Twyla Tharpe
If art is the bridge between what you see in your mind and
what the world sees, then skill is how you build that bridge.
Everything is raw material. Everything is relevant. Everything
is usable. Everything feeds into my creativity. – Twyla Tharpe
Every day you don’t practice, you’re one day further from being
good. – Ben Holgen, golfer
Our ability to grow is directly proportional to an ability to
entertain the uncomfortable. – Twyla Tharpe
There are as many forms of memory as there are ways of
perceiving, and every one of them is worth mining for
inspiration. - Twyla Tharpe
Every dance I make is a dive into this well of ancient memory.
You don’t have a really good idea until you combine two little
ideas. - Twyla Tharpe
When inspiration does not come, I go halfway to meet it.
That’s what improvising is like for me. There’s no tollbooth
between my impulse and my action. - Twyla Tharpe
Reading, conversation, environment, culture, heros, mentors,
nature—all are lottery tickets for creativity. Scratch away at
them and you’ll find out how big a prize you’ve won.
- Twyla Tharpe
Habitually creative people are prepared to be lucky.
The more I practice, the luckier I get. – Gary Player
80 % of success in show business is showing up. – Woody Allen
Where Love is deep, much can be accomplished.
– Shinichi Suzuki
To embrace luck, you have to enhance your tolerance for
ambiguity. - Twyla Tharpe
Regarding Louis Armstrong’s giant influence on Jazz, Dizzie
Gillespie said: “No him, No me.”
Skill is how you close the gap between what you can see in
your mind’s eye and what you can produce; the more skill you
have, the more sophisticated and accomplished your ideas can
be. With absolute skill comes absolute confidence.
- Twyla Tharpe
Pablo Picasso said, while admiring an exhibition of children’s
art: “When I was their age, I could draw like Raphael, but it has
taken me a whole lifetime to learn to draw like them.”
You’re only kidding yourself if you put creativity before craft.
The one thing that creative souls around the world have in
common is that they all have to practice to maintain their skills.
Art is a vast democracy of habit. - Twyla Tharpe
Because one has written other books does not mean the next
becomes any easier.- John Gregory Dunne
You double your intensity with skill.- Twyla Tharpe
The most important thing is not what the author or artist had in
mind to begin with, but at what point he decided to stop.
– D. W. Harding
Each day, we wake slightly altered, and the person we were
yesterday is dead. – John Updike
The more you fail in private, the less you will fail in public.
Failing, and learning from it, is necessary. Unil you’ve done it,
you’re missing an important piece of your creative arsenal.
Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing is a field. I’ll
meet you there. – Rumi
If you paint for product, you have to follow the rules that keep
you on the track of your expectation. You have to calculate,
organize, plan every move. When you paint for process, you
listen to the magic of inner voices, you follow the basic human
urge to experiment with the new, the unknown, the mysterious,
the hidden. Process is adventure; product happens only within
the parameters designed. – Michell Cassou & Stewart Cubley
If you listen inside, the brush will want to run toward a color.
What you really need and want is very close, and the brush
goes to it quickly if you don’t think.
- Michell Cassou & Stewart Cubley
Painting for process is the visual equivalent of journal writing,
done not for the sake of being seen or published, but purely for
the telling itself.- Michell Cassou & Stewart Cubley
It is extraordinary to see how the discovery of one single free
stroke of paint can fill you with such joy and amazement.
-Michell Cassou & Stewart Cubley
To discover that you can paint without special talent is a great
revelation. An endless stream runs through you, enough to
paint for lifetimes. Talent is universal. You can dip into that
source to your heart’s content. Everyone is good at what comes
to them spontaneously. If nothing is put in your way, talent will
meet you there. - Michell Cassou & Stewart Cubley
I put in my pictures everything I like. So much the worse for
things—they have to get along with one another.
– Pablo Picasso
To play is to listen to the imperative inner force that wants to
take form and be acted out without reason.
- Michell Cassou &Stewart Cubley
The great majority of artists are throwing themselves in with life
preservers around their necks, and more often than not, it is the
life preserver which sinks them. – Henry Miller
When we begin to lift the veils of censorship and repression in
painting, a great deal of energy is unleashed.
- Michell Cassou & Stewart Cubley
Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation.
We have within us enormous reserves of trapped potential. Our
natural urges have been so constrained by the accommodations
of living that we each have a smoldering volcano just below the
surface. To enable this force to erupt in a healthy, open, and
positive manner is a momentous act.
- Michell Cassou & Stewart Cubley
When you set aside the mantle of control in the painting
process, images arise from ancient layers of the psyche.
-Michell Cassou & Stewart Cubley
Mysteries are not to be solved:
The eye goes blind
When it only wants to see why.
Look upon paintings with eyes of mystery rather than
judgement. Support the need to enter into the sacred space
beyond evaluation. - Michell Cassou & Stewart Cubley
You do not use art as a means to an end, but as a way to
inhabit and explore the present. Right and wrong fade away;
you recover your sense of what is authentic in you.
- Michell Cassou & Stewart Cubley
Your art is part of the big painting of your life. You are on your
own, standing by yourself in the middle of creation. In the
beauty of that aloneness, and in how you respond to it, you will
find your passion. - Michell Cassou & Stewart Cubley
Music can shoot through the musician like lightening through
the sky if that music is unobstructed by thoughts.
– Kenny Werner
In many cases, the decision to study music has robbed them of
the ability to play music. They have lost respect for music that
comes from within because they have been programmed to feel
“unworthy”. – Kenny Werner
Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the
painter do good things. – Edgar Degas
It is the individual voice, present to itself, that needs to be
heard. We need to hear the process of the musician working on
himself. We don’t need to hear who is more clever with
synthesizers. Our cleverness has created the world we live in,
which in many ways, we’re sorry about. – Keith Jarrett
Fear closes all doors to the true self, that brilliant center where
the ecstasy lies. – Kenny Werner
Just before I play, I like to feel that no-one has ever played the
piano before, that I’m in complete virgin territory, and that every
note I play is the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard.
– Kenny Werner
Patience is the absence of expectation. – Shinichi Suzuki
In fear, we expect; with love, we accept. – Kenny Werner
You must be nothing but an ear that hears what the universe of
the world is constantly saying within you.
– Rabbi Dov Baer of Mezrich
Things are not all so comprehensible and expressible as one
would mostly have us believe; most events are inexpressible,
taking place in a realm which no word has ever entered, and
more inexpressible than all else are works of art, mysterious
exisistences, the life of which, while ours passes away,
endures. - Rainer Maria Rilke
There is only one single way. Go into yourself. Search for the
reason that bids you write; find out whether it is spreading out
its roots in the deepest places of your heart, acknowledge to
yourself whether you would have to die if it were denied you to
write….Build your life according to this necessity; your life even
into its most indifferent and slightest hour must be a sign of
this urge and a testimony to it. . - Rainer Maria Rilke
Draw near to Nature. Then try like some first human being to
say what you see and experience and love and lose.
- Rainer Maria Rilke
Describe your sorrows and desires, passing thoughts and the
belief in some sort of beauty—describe all these with loving,
quiet, humble sincerity, and use, to express yourself, the things
in your environment, the images from your dreams, and the
objects of your memory. . - Rainer Maria Rilke
Perhaps it will turn out that you are called to be an artist. Then
take that destiny upon yourself and bear it, it’s burden and it’s
greatness, without ever asking what recompense might come
from outside. - Rainer Maria Rilke
There is nothing that does not seem to have been understood,
grasped, experienced and recognized in the tremulous after-ring
of memory; no experience has been to slight, and the least
incident unfolds like a destiny, and fate itself is like a
wonderful, wide web in which each thread is guided by an
infinitely tender hand and laid alongside another and held and
borne up by a hundred others. . - Rainer Maria Rilke
Works of art are of an infinite loneliness and with nothing so
little to be reached as with criticism. Only love can grasp and
hold and be just toward them. - Rainer Maria Rilke
Everything is gestation and then bringing forth. To let each
impression and each germ of a feeling come to completion
wholly in itself, in the dark of the inexpressible, the
unconscious, beyond the reach of one’s own intelligence…. and
wait with deep humility and patience for the birth-hour of a new
clarity: that alone is living the artist’s life: in understanding as
in creating. - Rainer Maria Rilke
There is here no measuring with time, no year matters, and ten
years are nothing. Being an artist means not reckoning and
counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force it’s sap
and stands confident in the storms of spring without the fear
that after them may come no summer. It does come. But it
comes only to the patient, who are there as though eternity lay
before them, so unconcernedly still and wide. I learn it daily,
learn it with pain to which I am grateful: patience is everything.
- Rainer Maria Rilke
If you will cling to Nature, to the simple in Nature, to the little
things that hardly anyone sees, and that can so unexpectedly
become big and beyond measuring; if you have this love of
inconsiderable things and seek quite simply, as one who
serves, to win the confidence of what seems poor: then
everything will become easier, more coherent and somehow
more conciliatory for you, not in your intellect, perhaps, which
lags marveling behind, but in your inmost consciousness….
-Rainer Maria Rilke
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to
love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books
that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the
answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be
able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the
questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without
noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
- Rainer Maria Rilke
In one creative thought a thousand forgotten nights of love
revive, filling it with sublimity and exaltation.
- Rainer Maria Rilke
Do not be bewildered by surfaces; in the depths all becomes
law. - Rainer Maria Rilke
Only the individual who is solitary is like a thing placed under
profound laws, and when he goes out into the morning that is
just beginning, or looks out into the evening that is full of
happening, and if he feels what is going on there, then all
status drops from him as from a dead man, though he stands
in the midst of sheer life. - Rainer Maria Rilke
But learning-time is always a long, secluded time, and so
loving, for a long while ahead and far on into life, is—solitude,
intensified and deepened loneness for him who loves.
- RainerMaria Rilke
Were it possible for us to see further than our knowledge
reaches, and yet a little way beyond the outworks of our
divining perhaps we would endure our sadnesses with greater
confidence than our joys. For they are the moments when
something new has entered into us, something unknown; our
feelings grow mute in shy perplexity, everything in us
withdraws, a stillness comes, and the new, which no one
knows, stands in the midst of it and is silent.
- Rainer Maria Rilke
We have no reason to mistrust our world, for it is not against us.
Has its terrors, they are our terrors ;it has its abysses, those
abysses belong to us; are dangers at hand, we must try to love
them. And if only we arrange our life according to that principle
which counsels us that we must always hold to the difficult,
then that which now still seems to us the most alien will become
what we most trust and find most faithful. - Rainer Maria Rilke
How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at
the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at
the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of
our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once
beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in it’s
deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.
-Rainer Maria Rilke
I never call myself modern or traditional, in our out, new or
used, because I prefer not to be hemmed in by rigid definitions.
– Kenny Werner
Intellect has to surrender to instinct when it is time to play.
Mastery is playing whatever you’re capable of playing—every
time—WITHOUT THINKING. – Kenny Werner
If one’s life depends on doing something right, as in the case of
the tightrope walker, one will practice on a much deeper level.
It is good to view things as familiar or unfamiliar, rather than as
difficult or easy. – Kenny Werner
Bill Evans described his tunes as vehicles; they are vehicles for
self-expression, or expression of the self. – Kenny Werner
As the brush is doing what it’s doing, it will stumble on what one
couldn’t do by oneself. – Robert Motherwell
The music for this opera (Madame Butterfly) was dictated to me
by God; I was merely instrumental in putting it on paper and
communicating it to the public. – Giacomo Puccini
Straightaway the ideas flow in upon me, directly from God. –
Every blade of grass has it’s angel that bends over it and
whispers, “Grow, grow.” –The Talmud
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters,
compared to what lies within us. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
It always comes back to the same necessity: go deep enough
and there is a bedrock of truth, however hard. – May Sarton
At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a
kaleidoscope of new possibilities.
– Jean Houston
The creation of something new is not accomplished by the
intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity.
The creative mind plays with the objects it loves. – Carl G. Jung
During these periods of relaxation after concentrated intellectual
activity, the intuitive mind seems to take over and can produce
the sudden clarifying insights which give so much joy and
delight. – Fritjof Capra, Physicist
Nobody sees a flower—really—it is so smalland it takes time. We
haven’t time—and so to see takes time, like to have a friend
takes time. – Georgia O’Keefe
So you see, imagination needs moodling—long, inefficient,
happy idling, dawdling and puttering. – Brenda Ueland
The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible. –
The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two
chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are
transformed. – Carl G. Jung
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve
imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe
will be simpler. – Henry David Thoreau
To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to
what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept
your soul alive. – Robert Louis Stevenson
The painting has a life of it’s own. I try to let it come through.
I shut my eyes in order to see. – Paul Gaugin
A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.
– Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
Did you ever observe to whom the accidents happen? Chance
favors only the prepared mind. – Louis Pasteur
Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in
the pool where you least expect it, there will be fish. – Ovid
Stop thinking and talking about it, and there will be nothing you
will not be able to know. – Zen paradigm
In a dark time, the eye begins to see. – Theodore Roethke
When the soul wishes to experience something she throws an
image of the experience out before her and enters into her won
image. – Meister Eckhart
Look and you will find it—what is unsought will go undetected.
It is in my power either to serve God or not to serve him.
Serving him, I add to my own good and the good of the whole
world. Not serving him, I forfeit my own good and deprive the
world of that good, which was in my power to create.
You build up a head of steam. If you’re four days out of the
studio, on the fifth day you really crash in there. You will kill
anybody who disturbs you on that fifth day, when you
desperately need it. – Susan Rothenberg
True life is lived when tiny changes occur. – Leo Tolstoy
Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or
how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The
artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but
we take leap after leap in the dark. – Agnes de Mille
There is no must in art because art is free.
– Wassily Kandinsky
When you start a painting, it is somewhat outside you. At the
conclusion, you seem to move inside the painting.
– Fernando Botero
When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears
outside as fate. – Carl G. Jung
Taking a new step, uttering a new word is what people fear
most. – Fyodor Dostoyevski
Imagination is more important than knowledge. - Albert Einstein
There is a logic of colors, and it is with this alone, and not with
the logic of the brain, that the painter should conform.
– Paul Cezanne
No trumpets sound when the important decisions of our life are
made. Destiny is made known silently. – Agnes de Mille
Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not
exist. – Rene-Francois-Ghislain Magritte
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.
– Anaiis Nin
Learning is movement from moment to moment.
– J. Krishnamurti
If we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives
are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that
determines the kind of men we are. – Cesar Chavez
Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment. – Jalal ud-Din Rumi
The unconscious wants truth. It ceases to speak to those who
want something else more than truth. – Adrienne Rich
Real learning comes about when the competitive spirit has
ceased. – J. Krishnamurti
The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.
– Francis Bacon
Art happens—no hovel is safe from it, no prince can depend on
it, the vastest intelligence cannot bring it about.
– James Abbot McNeill Whistler
You are lost the instant you know what the result will be.
No longer conscious of my movement, I discovered a new unity
with nature. I had found a new source of power and beauty, a
source I never dreamt existed.
– Roger Bannister, on breaking the four minute mile
Adventures never begins until you get into the forest. That first
step is an act of faith. – Micky Hart, Grateful Dead drummer
Do not fear mistakes-there are none. – Miles Davis
What shakes the eye, but the invisible? – Theodore Roethke
Play is the exultation of the possible.- Martin Buber
Until we accept the fact that life itself is founded in mystery, we
shall learn nothing. – Henry Miller
It is impossible to be self-conscious and totally involved in the
music at the same time. Consciousness of the self is a barrier
between the player and the instrument. As I forget my own
presence, I attain a state of oneness with the activity and
become absorbed in a way that defies the passage of time. –
Mildred Chase (from Just being at the Piano)
…Their minstrels play music from within; and whole oceans of
passion foam on the crest of the waves. –Rumi Jallaludin
If you forget yourself, you become the universe.
The harp gives forth murmurous music; and the dance goes on
without hands and feet. It is played without fingers, it is heard
without ears; for He is the ear; and He is the listener. – Kabir
To play the piano is to consort with nature. Every mollusk,
galaxy, vapor or viper as well the sweet incense of love’s
distraction, is within the hands and grasp of the pianist.
To know the piano is to know the universe. To master the piano
is to master the universe. The spectrum of piano sound acts as
a prism through which all musical and non-musical sounds may
be filtered. The grunts of sheep, the braying of mules, the
popping of champagne corks, the sighs of unrequited love, not
to mention the full lexicon of sounds available to all other
instruments—including whistles, scrapes, bleatings, caresses,
thuds, hoots, plus sweet and sour pluckings—fall within the
sovereignty of this most bare and dissembling chameleon.
The breath, prayers, and libido of the fingertip must somehow
be transferred to the neutral indifference of the key.
– Russell Sherman
Brilliant students have brilliant parents, of the kind that shine
forth in their devotion. Something different from vague hopes or
strident ambition is involved. It is, rather, devotion to a kind of
aesthetic and spiritual ideal which may be nameless, inchoate,
even beyond the family experience or articulation. But it is
passionately felt and communicated. More than a dream of
glory, it comes closer to some conception of a paradise in which
beauty and justice are permanently bound and enshrined. For
these parents the leap of faith is rooted and pervasive. Heaven
exists, is enchanted, and will be known through the diligence
and sounds of their children. – Russell Sherman
A nation will prosper to the degree that it honors it’s teachers.
Practice in tranquility. – Artur Schnabel
Surely common sense as well as anthropological evidence
documents the universal need to pray, to hope, and to lament or
carouse through song. – Russell Sherman
The context for music is varied and profound. If their fantasy is
to be awakened—so that their sounds may be incisive or
ravishing—then the menagerie of saints and dragons must be
faithfully recalled. – Russell Sherman
My artistic mission is to send light into the depths of the human
heart. – Robert Schumann
The work of art, though bound by its genetic markings and
indelible fingerprints, is boundless in the infinite elaborations of
its destiny, and therefore in the range of its interpretations. –
As Bartok put it so succinctly: ”Competitions are for horses.”
Nothing could be more barbaric that the practice or ranking
artists as though they were divers or figure skaters….What one
suspects is that the appetite for dividing the world into winners
and losers, anointed and anonymous, is so compulsive that it
feeds with special, vindictive hunger on the most elusive and
ephemeral of subjects. For if music can be reduced to games of
power and success, then innocence—love without profit—can be
dealt a crushing blow. – Russell Sherman
The music of the supreme architect, Bach, is filled with pages of
discursive argument and rumination, glorifying the nameless
whole by a rich embroidery of passages which lead everywhere
and nowhere. The ideas are presented, stood on their head,
dissolved into fragments, until the ultimate message becomes
the connections of all things great and small, a chain of being
which cannot be secured until the last note is in place.
– Russell Sherman
There are two indices of genuine art: it is inimitable and it is
ineffable. – Pierre Auguste Renoir
As artists, are we quasi psychiatrists who mend the soul? Do
we provide the consolations, escapes, and reassurances which
enable us to survive? Or are we reporters of the truth,
assembling the multiple shards of reality into intricate portraits
which seek out the connections between misery and blessing,
violence and wisdom? Do we protect or investigate the heart?
Without silence there is no music. Not simply because the
faculty of hearing deteriorates from constant exposure to noise,
but because silence is both the majestic frame and the stable
solution for musical (and poetic) ideas. Silence is the soda
water, the bracing ether, the bridge and mode of respect for
receiving instructions from the angel. – Russell Sherman
When we play music we describe the echo the tableau of
natural forms, their shapes and arrangements, as uncovered by
the composer’s imagination, which yet must be filtered through
our own. There is no other way. And in acknowledging this
tableau, this revelation, we must “hesitate”, we must doubt, as
the composer doubted, for no valid creation can issue unscarred
by doubt, by that vast flux of wonder which precedes the
construction of being. – Russell Sherman
Art is a process of concentration. It is both the distilled essence
and the commentary upon otherwise mundane activities and
reflections. Musical notes must be charged, must gather more
than one and the surface meaning, must reveal audible and
“inaudible” connections to other notes, patterns, and meaning,
either by way of affinity or contrast. – Russell Sherman
A work of art expresses itself as a balance sheet pitting the
spoken against the unspoken. – Russell Sherman
All musical phrases have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Of
course some of them seem oddly undomesticated, apparently
beginning in the middle, and ending where they should begin.
That is, they may begin with an unbridled energy or finish in
way more searching than placid. The variables that determine
the destiny of the phrase—be they functions of line, rhythm,
harmony, counterpoint—do not always behave as anticipated.
They do not always conform to the design of the cherished
Roman arch, bereft of swerving, branching, or unwanted ivy.
Phrases contain seeds of growth development, and destruction;
their tendency to soaring parabolas is sometimes affected by
poignant contingencies and detours. – Russell Sherman
The contradictory, consuming, contested relationship between
detail and whole, event an eventuality, breathes fire and
wisdom in every great work of art. – Russell Sherman
Through music time is tamed, although music never forgets to
remind us of time’s faceless mission. – Russell Sherman
For time not only moves inexorable forward, as the underlying
grid to our personal chronicle, but is manipulated by our psychic
needs and natures into various images of timelessness and
timeliness. Transient moments suddenly expand, visions of
infinity intervene, notes and phrases become outlets of fantasy,
escape, recollection, or omen. The music travels on two planes,
chronological time and psychological time. Both planes are
essential and must be abundantly represented.
– Russell Sherman
The sounds proceeding from the instruments of symphonic
music seem to be the very organs of the mysteries of creation;
for they reveal, as it were, the primal stirrings of creation which
brought order out of chaos long before the human heart was
there to behold them. – Richard Wagner
The language of notes, or musical sounds belongs equally to all
mankind, and melody is the absolute language in which the
musician speaks to every heart. –Richard Wagner
Rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of
the soul, imparting grace and beauty to the soul. –Plato
In very ancient times of human evolution upon earth,
humanity’s revelation in word and sound was not differentiated
in song and speech, but they were one. –Rudolf Steiner
When the human being sings, he lends expression to the great
wise ways in which the world was made. –Rudolf Steiner
These revelations expressed through Art work upon the soul
with a force carrying its own conviction and permeate our
sentient life with a sense of truth which logic and mere reason
are powerless to combat. – Richard Wagner
The man who hath music in his soul will be most in love with
the loveliest. –Plato
Sounds arise in the heart. – Old Chinese Proverb
Music is the real universal speech of mankind. – C. F. Weber
Music is a kind of inarticulate unfathomable speech, which
leads us to the edge of the infinite, and lets us for a moment
gaze into that. – Carlyle
Music is there, in eternal and inaudible beauty, and we speak
of this inaudible beauty as the harmony of the spheres.
Sometimes, in the moment of waking out of a sleep we can feel
ourselves streaming earthwards in a river of light and of great
organ tones- a magnificent and indescribable harmony come
with us, “trailing clouds of glory”. Then suddenly we are
awake, and it is silent. – Elanor Merry, “The Flaming Door”
A therapy which has as a goal the freeing and development of
the individual within the universal worlds of human principles
is more effective and realistic than one that aims to normalize.
Universal values transcend the limited values of any one
nationality or culture. Universal values can live in music. This is
why music is so important in the lives of handicapped children.
– Clive Robbins
Sound seems to be nothing but broken movement in the sense
that colour is broken light. – Novalis
There is no truer truth obtainable by man than comes from
music. – Robert Browning
I have increasingly become conversant with Pythagoras’ and
Goethe’s idea of a primordial music, not perceptible to the
sensuous ear, but sounding and soaring throughout the cosmos.
Tracing it to such exalted origins, I begin to understand more
deeply the essence of our art and its elemental power over the
human soul. Man, being a creature of Nature and subject to the
cosmic influences that inform all earthly beings, must needs
have been under the sway of that music from his earliest days;
his organism reverberated with its vibrations and received it’s
rhythmic impulses. – Bruno Walter
Is not musical education of paramount importance for those
reasons, because rhythm and harmony enter most powerfully
into the innermost part of the soul and lay forcible hands upon
it, bearing grace with them, so making graceful him who is
rightly trained, and him who is not, the reverse? – Plato
The child is telling us in a hundred different ways that he longs
for art, Music and Rhythm, and if we fail him he will fill in the
gap as well as he can for himself, for to him it means the life or
death of the soul. –John Benians
We create the possibility for a better human form in our next life
if during our jamaloca existence after death, when we still have
an astral body, we can have memories connected with music. –
Emotions of any kind are produced by melody and rhythm;
therefore by music a man becomes accustomed to feeling the
right emotions; music has thus the power to form character, and
the various kinds of music based on various modes may be
distinguished by their effects on character. – Aristotle
Music is so elevated that it is beyond the reach of intellect and
there flows from it an influence which is all-potent, and which
noone can explain. – Goethe
Beauty is a manifestation of secret natural laws which would
have lain concealed forever had she not appeared. – Goethe
Ask not what your teammates can do for you, ask what you can
do for your teammates. – Magic Johnson
Man’s mind, stretched to a new idea, never goes back to it’s
original dimensions. – Oliver Wendell Holmes
Selfishness is the only real atheism; aspiration, unselfishness,
the only real religion. – Isreael Zangwill
The moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs
us and the light goes out. – James Baldwin
If he works for you, you work for him. – Japanese proverb
Life only demands from you the strength that you possess.
Only one feat is possible: not to have run away.
– Dag Hammarskjold
Success in life comes not from holding a good hand, but in
playing a poor hand well. – Denis Waitley and Rem L. Witt
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their
dreams. – Eleanor Roosevelt
The softest things in the world overcome the hardest things in
the world. – Lao Tzu
If at first you don’t succeed, you’re running about average. –
Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.
– Samuel Johnson
The only place where success comes before work is in the
dictionary. – Vidal Sassoon
Each success only buys an admission ticket to a more difficult
problem. – Henry Kissinger
I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the more I work, the more
I have of it. – Thomas Jefferson
A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.
– Fancis Bacon
The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
– Joseph Campbell
Character is destiny. – Heraclitus
You’ve got to sing like you don’t need the money
You’ve got to love like you’ll never get hurt
You’ve got to dance like there’s nobody watching
You’ve got to come from the heart if you want it to work.
Being on the tightrope is living. Everything else is waiting.
You become a winner only if you are willing to walk over the
edge. - Damon Runyon
Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require
a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative
change in our lives. – Martin Luther King Jr.
Teaching English is an intrinsically radical act. Is it possible to
teach English so that people stop killing each other?
– Mary Rose O’Reilley
Keep thy heart in all diligence, forout of it are the issues of life. –
All good writers speak in honest voices and tell the truth.
– Eudora Welty
Unless you feel it , you will never achieve it.
If it doesn’t flow from your soul
With natural, easy power,
Your listeners will not believe it.
Resist doing things that have no meaning for life. – Pablo Casals
But finding a voice-let’s be clear-is a political act. It defines a
moment of presence, of being awake; and it involves not only
self-understanding, but the ability to transmit that selfunderstanding
to others…To experience yourself as “voiceless”
is a definition of depression, subjugation, and being counted
out. . – Mary Rose O’Reilley
A language that takes our emotions seriously and gives them
real weight in our lives encourages us to think and be and act
differently. – Dorothee Soelle
Finding voice is a socially responsible political act. We don’t
just do it for ourselves. And helping someone to find voice
demands a spiritual partnership with that seeker. It’s an
exercise of compassion. – Mary Rose O’ Reilley
We must continue in the face of tremendous opposition. No one
is encouraging us to open, and still we must peel away the
layers of the heart. – Chogyam Trungpa
Compassion constitutes a radical form of criticism, for it
announces that the hurt is to be taken seriously, that the hurt is
not to be accepted as normal and natural but is an
abnormaland unacceptable condition for humanness.
– Walter Brueggemann
Personal voice- prophesy- disrupts the state of communal
numbness in which most of us exist. – Walter Brueggemann
If you have a big splash of ecstasy in your life every day you
are going to teach students something finer than “buy low/sell
high”. Maybe you’ll teach them, not by what you say but by
who you are, to live their lives as a standing affront to the
ravaging mercantile mentality. – Mary Rose O’ Reilley
What do you do for ecstasy? – Mary Rose O’ Reilley
The economy of gift, of art, is fundamentally opposed to the
economy of war. – Mary Rose O’ Reilley
What if we were to take seriously the possibility that our
students have a rich and authoritative inner life and tried to
nourish it rather than negate it? – Mary Rose O’ Reilley
Stands for all things
Even for those things that don’t flower,
For everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
Thought sometimes it is necessary
To reteach a thing it’s loveliness
Great artists are people who find the way to be themselves in
their art. Any sort of pretension induces mediocrity in art and
life alike. – Margot Fonteyn
We create ourselves by our choices. – Kierkegaard
In a lethal world, poetry is necessary for survival.
– M. C. Richards
There must be a mirror to show the soul to itself before the soul
can begin to gather its courage. – Mary Rose O’ Reilley
In painting, you can suddenly come upon something so huge
that no-one can deal with it. – Balzac
It is not society which is to guide and save the creative hero, but
precisely the reverse. – Joseph Campbell
The modern hero-deed must be that of questing to bring to light
again the lost Atlantis of the co-ordinated Soul.
– Joseph Campbell
The mighty hero of extraordinary powers, able to lift Mount
Govardhan on a finger, and to fill himself with the terrible glory
of the universe, is each of us: not the physical self visible in the
mirror, but the King within. – Joseph Campbell
Freedom to pass back and forth across the world division, from
the perspective of the apparitions of time to that of the causal
deep and back--not contaminating the principles of the one with
those of the other, yet permitting the mind to know the one by
virtue of the other--is the talent of the master.
– Joseph Campbell
The hero, whether god or goddess, man or woman, the figure in
a myth or the dreamer of a dream discovers and assimilates his
opposite (his own unsuspected self) either by swallowing it or
by being swallowed. – Joseph Campbell
The passage of the mythological hero may be over ground,
incidentally; fundamentally it is inward---into depths where
obscure resistances are overcome, and long lost, forgotten
powers are revivified, to be made available for the
transfiguration of the world. – Joseph Campbell
Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for
the heros of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is
thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the
hero-path. And where we had thought to find an abomination,
we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we
shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward,
we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had
thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.
– Joseph Campbell
We sing with the entire body. The sounds that we make
emanate not just from the head, but from the whole heart and
soul, and, most important, the gut. – Renee Fleming
While it’s a fact that a voice begins with natural talent, any
talent must be nurtured, cajoled, wrestled with pampered,
challenged, and, at every turn, examined. – Renee Fleming
Music was language in our house. It was air…..I feel certain
that if I absorbed any lessons at all in the first months and
years of my life, they must have been about the work that went
into making a beautiful sound. – Renee Fleming
Fostering creativity in children is as important as any other part
of the school curriculum because it feeds the soul. A daily dose
of creativity helps children imagine a better world and then
create it. – Renee Fleming
It was when I started writing music rather than just performing
it that I first began to develop a sense of who I was as a
person. – Renee Fleming
I have a noble history of being rejected by a lot of places, only to
discover that the one that finally lets me in is in fact the perfect
fit. – Renee Fleming
In my current rehearsal days, murder, rape, sobs, and
vengeance often follow a coffee break. One has to swallow and
simply take the plunge, embracing the dramatic, emotional
language of opera. – Renee Fleming
Someone once said that there are probably seven naturally
good singing days in a year—and those are days you won’t be
booked. What we must learn is how to sing through all the
other days. – Renee Fleming
Singers can also get away with a lot based on youth, strength
and enthusiasm, only to find ten years later that what was
once just a niggling problem has brought their careers to an
end. – Renee Fleming
Among the important realizations I had in my own days in the
practice room was that if any one route to any one phrase didn’t
work after days of trying, then the exact opposite route should
at least be explored, as well as every alternative in between, as
counterintuitive as that often seemed. – Renee Fleming
The student’s job is to stay open-minded, to quell the knee-jerk
defensiveness we all possess in the face of suggestions for
improvement, and to maintain patience when faced with a
process that is often slow, confusing, and frustrating.
– Renee Fleming
You finally have to learn to pull all the different kinds of
teaching and training and coaching together on you own, so
that your voice and body and technique for a sound that is
consistent and solid. – Renee Fleming
So much can be gained from watching other singers, seeing
what they do and what they don’t do, seeing how they look
when they breathe, how wide they open their mouths for a high
note. – Renee Fleming
An interpretation exists because of what we find between the
notes. – Renee Fleming
It is our responsibility to learn how to speak to an audience that
is less informed about music, to give it a reason to want to come
and see us instead of going to the movies. – Renee Fleming
If I have to hold a note for a long time, I imagine it as moving
and spinning, for the note has to have life. In a way, a singer
actually refreshes a note with every beat that it’s held.
– Renee Fleming
In a sense, it’s less about seeing how high up I can vault than
about seeing how deeply I can explore my potential...Ambition
for me is about the willingness to work, the ability to mine my
own soul fearlessly. – Renee Fleming
It’s the constant re-working of technique every day that fosters
longevity. – Renee Fleming
The reason that some singers go on to become great artists has
very little to do with their voices, but rather with the fact that
they have used their instruments as tools for detailed
communication. – Renee Fleming
Perfection often creates such a flawless surface that there’s no
place for the audience to enter into a piece, while the
idiosyncrasies of individual style are like windows into the
singer’s heart. – Renee Fleming
Part of why we watch these performers with such passionate
intensity is the same reason we can’t tear our eyes away from
the girl on the high wire or the man with his head in the lion’s
mouth: the thrill that comes from witnessing someone taking
chances. – Renee Fleming
The more you put into it, the more you and the audience will get
out of it. – Renee Fleming
Nothing but the expressive gamut will do. – William Christie
In a way, being an opera singer is like being a very romantic
sixteen-year-old who falls in love with great passion and
conviction every month. – Renee Fleming
Conducting is like making love to a hundred people at the same
time. -Leonard Bernstein
Music enabled me as a fragile young person to give voice to
emotions I could barely name, and how it enables me to give my
voice the unique and mysterious power to speak to others.
We are unique, each human voice, not because we are
completely self-generated, but because of who we choose to
assemble the countless factors that made us. – Renee Fleming
I would have to talk for a year to repeat a single on of my works
with words. – August Rodin
He who understands one thing understands everything, for the
same laws are in all. – Rainer Maria Rilke
Speaking of August Rodin: He raised his world above us in an
immense arc, and made it a part of nature. – Rainer Maria Rilke
The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions which have been
hidden by the answers. –James Baldwin
Physics is a form of insight and as such it’s a form of art.
– David Bohm
There are two kinds of artists—revolutionaries and plagaiarists.
– Paul Gauguin
Admixing the inner space of dream, trance, and myth with the
events of everyday existence characterized every belief system
worldwide before the Greeks…..time meandered back and forth
between reality and myth. – Leonard Schlain
In questions of science the authority of a thousand is not work
the humble reasoning of a single individual. – Galileo
Art is the Queen of all sciences communicating knowledge of all
the generations of the world. – Leonardo da Vinci
Using both brush and pen, Leonardo changed the way we see
the workld and this subtle shift in mind-set prepared people to
be receptive when Newton introduced a new way to think about
the world. – Leonard Schlain
Art degraded, Imagination denied. – William Blake
Every man who is not an artist is a traitor to his own nature.
Great art can communicate before it is understood. – T. S. Eliot
The artist is always engaged in writing a detailed history of the
future because he is the only person aware of the nature of the
present. – Wyndham Lewis
A minute in the world’s life passes! To paint it in its reality, and
forget everything for that! To become that minute, to be the
sensitive plate… five the image of what we see, forgetting
everything that has appeared before our time…..- Paul Cezanne
If we do not expect the unexpected, we will never find it.
Nature wants children to be children before men…Childhood
has its own seeing , thinking and feeling.
– Jean Jacques Rousseau
There are children playing in the street who could solve some of
my top problems in physics, because they have modes of
sensory perception that I lost long ago. – J. Robert Oppenheimer
I am the primitive of the way I have discovered. – Paul Cezanne
A new painting is a unique event, a birth, which enriches the
universe as it is grasped by the human mind, by brining a new
form into it. – Henri Matisse
Nature is more depth than surface, the colours are the
expressions on the surface of this depth; they rise up from the
roots of the world. – Paul Cezanne
The real subject of every painting is light. – Claude Monet
For the rest of my life I want to reflect on what light is.
– Albert Einstein
Noone has ever been able to define or synthesize that
precarious, splendid, and perhaps untidy instant when the
creative process begins. This is what the uniqueness of the
artist is all about. The transcendent right of the artist is the
right to create even though he may not always know what he is
doing. – Norman Cousins
Each thing we see hides something else we want to see.
– Rene Magritte
(James) Levine and I have talked about the difference between
a performance upon which interpretive elements are placed and
a performance in which these elements are relayed to the
audience in a way that feels natural and organic. He said the
goal was for the personality to be completely present but not
self-conscious. – Renee Fleming
Surrealism is based on the belief in the omnipotence of dreams,
in the undirected play of thought. –Andre Breton
While we are asleep in this world, we are awake in another
one; in this way, every man is two men. – Jorge Luis Borges
Our western mind lacking all culture in this respect, has never
yet devised a concept, not even a name for “the union of
opposites through the middle path”, that most fundamental item
of inward experience which could respectably be set against the
Chinese concept of Tao. – Carl Jung
I’m in favor of an art that does something other than just sit on
its ass in a museum. – Claes Oldenberg
There is nothing in the world except empty curved space,
Matter, charge, electromagnetism and other fields are only
manifestations of the bending of space. Physics is geometry.
–John Archibald Wheeler
Both science and art form in the course of the centuries a
humanlanguage by which we can speak about the more remote
parts of reality, and the coherent sets of concepts as well as the
different styles of art are different words or groups of words in
this language. – Werner Heisenberg
After this, we will all have to live a little differently.
– Rainer Maria Rilke (upon seeing Canstantin Brancusi’s 1919 sculpture
“Bird in Space”)
More primordial than any idea, beauty will be manifest as the
herald and generator or ideas. – Teilhard de Chardin
The artist is the man in any field, scientific or humanistic, who
grasps the implications of his actions and of new knowledge in
his own time. He is the man of integral awareness.
– Marshall McLuhan
Revolutionary art anticipates visionary physics. When the
vision of the revolutionary artist, rooted in the Dionysian right
hemisphere, combines with precognition, art will prophesy the
future conception of reality. – Leonard Schlain, Art and Physics
In the future, people will be able, and must be able to enter so
deeply into physical sound with their own inner musicality that
their immanent musical nature once more communes with the
Music of the Spheres. –Heiner Ruland
Intellectualist education stifle fantasy and breeds people who
later in life become lonely and are continually confronted with
their inability to make real contact with other people.
I have a dream! – Dr. Martin Luther King
And what does every child believe every adult capable of doing?
Of actually being able to bend the world to an inner desire,
exactly what the child is busily practicing in his passionate
play. – Joseph Chilton Pearce
When hearing gives way to listening, one’s awareness
increases. The will is aroused and all aspects of the being are
involved at the same time. – Alfred Tomatis
The modern closed circle of twelve tones, which has become the
usual temperament since the time of J. S. Bach is more than
merely an artifice of the piano tuners, It is the result of an inner
musical reality that reflects the constitution and consciousness
of modern humanity. – Heiner Ruland
Whenever the human spirit creates culture, nature is tempered,
musically. – Michael Deeson Barrow
The music of children should have as much life as the art of
children. – Michael Deeson Barrow
Unpremeditated music is the true gauge which measures the
current of our thoughts; the very undertow of our life’s stream. –
Henry David Thoreau
Yearning for truth and beauty is at the root of genius as well as
being one of the secrets in the development of humankind.
Zen is practice! – Suzuki Roshi
Our job is to listen to and hear the music of children, for here is
the music of our future. – Michael Deeson Barrow
The artist is the antennae of the race. – Ezra Pound
Without music, life would be a mistake.- Friedrich Neitzche
Music’s exclusive function is to structure the flow of time and
keep order in it. – Igor Stravinsky
Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. –Oscar Wilde