Today I’m grateful for success! Both mine and that of others.
I went to two talks at uni today. The first was given by a PhD student who is studying at our university, and her research paper was on music in Japanese horror films! Horror is not a genre I generally associate myself with (being generally squeamish and prone to scaring myself for hours after), but her talk was really insightful and well presented. I felt a particular desire to go because when I applied to university I had a certain amount of contact with the admissions department, and this particular PhD student was working there at the same time. She remembered me because we share the same name, and because we were both interested in music. Last year (or maybe even the year before…time flies!) I met her for the first time and she introduced herself as my contact in admissions, and obviously I also remembered her! So it felt good to support her as she had supported me.
The second talk was given by one of my friends and fellow third years, this time on masculine identity, hip-hop and Kanye West. Again, it’s not an area of music I am particularly familiar with but it was all exceptionally interesting and felt good to see a friend succeed in presenting so fluently. When I see someone else succeed it motivates and inspires me. The session was for PhD students to showcase their work in progress, so to be asked at undergrad level was a wonderful opportunity for him. There’s something different about watching someone on the same academic level as you present to people who aren’t classmates.
My work today has been centred on Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 32 in C Minor. It’s a beautiful piece and as large part of one of my projects I need to be able to analyse and discuss it with fluency and authority (or at least the appearance of!) Often I feel that musical analysis is my weakest area and I frequently focus on what I can’t do, or don’t feel able to do, causing me to shy away from it. However, armed with Tovey’s A Companion to Beethoven’s Pianoforte Sonatas (my ‘roadmap’, as my lecturer calls it) I attempted to make sense of it all. The book is very well put together and coherently written, so it’s a simple (!) matter of being able to decode the music and match his analytical points with the score. It was difficult to begin with but I persevered and felt that I was achieving something and being successful in my mission. Hurrah! It’s so good to have days when you feel like progress has been made.
So, success. It’s good to celebrate it. All too often we concentrate on all the little things that we can’t do, or the things we haven’t quite managed to achieve. I fall into that trap all to often! So it’s important to remember to give ourselves praise and look at how far we’ve come, not how far we’ve got to go…
Have great a day tomorrow, people!