Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Balancing your left and right brain

Today I got an email from CWRU that my college chemistry professor had died suddenly, apparently of a heart attack. I used to still see his car around when we lived in Cleveland, instantly recognized by its liscense plate: "DOC OC".
He made an effort every year to meet everyone in his large class, and he knew us all by name. I didn't even know us all by name after four years.
Anyhow, when I was still a music performance major we had to play juries where we got judged on our playing by the music faculty. I was having a hard time finding an accompianist, but Doc Oc turned out to be a classically trained pianist, with several degrees in piano performance. Crazy. And he was my accompianist for all of my juries. I'm always impressed (and slightly jealous) when people can effectively manage both the science and the artistic sides of their personalities. I cannot. Or rather, I have not. It was difficult in college (and why I eventually dropped my music major) because I had a hard enough time keeping up with my math and science classes, not to mention ear-training and harmony. It was difficult to compete with the CIM students who didn't have the same courseload. And now in grad school its much the same.

Not to fear though, mom and dad. The many years of driving me to lessons and practices (not to mention the money spent on said lessons and instruments and ten thousand broken reeds) have paid off, even though I do not play much anymore. Fear of failure must be overcome to be a beginning oboist, as you pretty much sound like a tortured duck for many years. Also, getting up in front of crowds is not as huge a problem for me as I imagine it would have been without all the solo performances. I certainly developed an appreciation for music, although my mom often disagreed when she was subjected to my CD choices in the car.

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