Written by Simon Cheong

Monday, 02 October 2006 22:16

This article written by me was published in the Classical Guitar Society Malaysia‘s website and is reproduced here.

The composer Arnold Schoenberg had triskaidekaphobia – he was afraid of the number 13. It turns out he was right to be too – he died aged 76 (7 + 6 = 13) on Friday 13 July 1951 at 13 minutes to midnight!
Taken from Robinson Children’s Books ‘Hairy Humans’ – my son Christopher was reading this and when he showed it to me, I thought I would like to share it with my visitors to this website. In fact, it might be a great idea to have such a column for snippets and humour… maybe some great quotations as well.
Here’s a great quote from Geothe – ‘The important thing in life is to have a great aim and to possess the aptitude and perseverance to attain it.’
Most people are less than equal to their tasks, especially in the study of music. The most common hazards are depending too heavily upon innate gifts, underestimating the need for intensive study and work, and neglecting to develop one’s mind and personality, both on and off the platform. There is no more important talent than the gift for using talent.
I copied this onto a piece of paper many years ago probably from a book somewhere. The paper has turned brown. I thought it will be nice to share this as the meaningfulness of this passage has not diminished. Here’s something I always tell my students –

The only way to learn performing is – to perform!
Being nervous in a performance is great. It tells you that you are alive!
Forward to Stravinsky’s Autobiography:- ‘As I call my recollections to mind, I shall necessarily be obliged to speak of my opinions, my tastes, my preferences and my abhorrence’s. I am but too well aware of how much the feelings vary in the course of time. This is why I shall take great care not to confuse my present reactions with those experiences at other stages of my life.’

by admin