On Becoming Strengths-Focused, Whole-Hearted Artists

This is a really excellent, informative article by Dr. Noa Kageyama I thought many of you might find interesting.

Here a little taster:

Sure, it’s important to obsess over all the particular technical or musical details which we struggle with. But are we also spending enough time identifying, nurturing, honing, and maximizing the things we naturally do best, that come easily to us?

Visit his blog The Bulletproof Musician, even if you are not a musician/performer – you will find a wealth of interesting, helpful and entertaining posts.

via On Becoming Strengths-Focused, Whole-Hearted Artists.

© Petra Raspel 2014


Finding your inner artist, day 30: About tackling your personal building-sites

I can’t believe how quickly this month of inspirational quotes and related thoughts has went by. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I did.

First of all, here comes the last quote:

You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. ~ Rabindranath Tagore.

Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel prize for li...

Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel prize for literature. It is the first Nobel prize won by Asia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is obviously a quote about being pro-active. And what better way of bringing this series to end than asking you(rself) what you feel your art is lacking at the moment. Is it related to the creative side of things, or do you think you could do with better business skills? Or maybe a mix of both?

Knowing this alone won’t help, but it is a first step – only awareness can lead to actually making changes.

And because I obviously don’t intend to stop blogging as of today, I would like to add a little poll to this post, because I’m interested in what you would like to read next. I obviously cannot write anything specifically related to an art-form I am not familiar with (I am predominantly a musician), but I can write something about artist coaching – both in the personal and business sense. So here comes:

Please also feel free to add any other options you are interested in. I look forward to your replies, and thanks again for stopping by!

Finding your inner artist, day 28: About seeing things through the eyes of a child

Today’s quote:

When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work.  I told her I worked at the college – that my job was to teach people how to draw.  She stared at me, incredulous, and said, “You mean they forget?”  ~ Howard Ikemoto

Of course we all need to learn technique in our chosen field of art. However, it would certainly help sometimes to remember that absolutely everyone can be creative if they allow themselves to be playful and not overly self-conscious (maybe even a bit silly).

When did you last allow yourself to be like that?

© Petra Raspel 2013

Finding your inner artist, day 27: About being wary of those who seem to know it all

Today’s quote:

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it. ~ André Gide

English: André Gide, Nobel laureate in Literat...

English: André Gide, Nobel laureate in Literature 1947 Deutsch: André Gide, Nobelpreisträger für Literatur 1947 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is another post about technique…

There are various schools of thought in vocal pedagogy. Some are open-minded, others not so much. If we are talking about pedagogy, methods and technique, I would imagine this to be the same in every other artistic field.

Today, we have many so-called “scientifically proven methods”, which claim to be valid for everyone. I am glad we have them, because they did us an immense amount of good and removed a lot of guesswork. However, the danger is to become complacent and narrow-minded once something is “proven”. The validity of any study, experiment or trial hugely depends on its set-up. Provided there are no other methodical errors involved, the results of single subject studies are valid for one person (still not that uncommon in the singing world, believe it or not). Others are valid for the majority of people; some maybe even for all in that very moment. This doesn’t mean however that it is, and will stay, universally right. Large studies, including thousands of people, are still rare in singing pedagogy. I won’t even start to talk about bias and scientific misconduct now…

Physics and Chemistry are usually classed as exact sciences, Biology and Medicine already rank somewhere in the middle (this is, for instance, important to consider in my field of work), and Humanities – well…

Where am I going with this? I guess what I am trying to say is that art is definitely not an exact science – this includes its technique and methodology, but I guess most people know that. That’s why it never ceases to amaze me that some still argue as if it was. Some scientific studies related to the more technical aspects of our work are the best we have at the moment, and that’s good and helpful. I am generally wary of those though who try to tell me there is only one proven, or “best”, way of doing things, especially if there is some sort of financial interest involved.

Many roads lead to Rome, and it is important to stay open-minded, to exchange ideas, and to accept that no matter how convinced we are of our own methods, they are usually not the only way to do things…

© Petra Raspel 2013

Finding your inner artist, day 26: About not constantly trying too hard

Today’s quote:

Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy. ~ Guillaume Apollinaire

Guillaume Apollinaire

Guillaume Apollinaire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Self-help manuals, teaching manuals, all sorts of manuals…

It seems we are all constantly trying to better ourselves, or better our art. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that.

Sometimes, it’s a good idea however to stop following prescriptions and just do, because there are a lot of things you cannot learn from books and manuals. And with this, I will leave you…

© Petra Raspel 2013