I N S P I R E
Fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.
Affect, animate, arouse, cause, embolden, excite, galvanize, impress
Of extraordinary quality, as if arising from some external creative impulse.
"They had to thank the choir for the inspired singing"
“I just can't listen to any more Wagner, you know...I'm starting to get the urge to conquer Poland.” Woody Allen
Okay, I don’t know if that’s the inspiration we are looking for in our music, but it is inspiration. We often find ourselves in one of two positions, that of needing to inspire or that of needing to be inspired.
Sometimes our effort of inspiring leaves us depleted and feeling that inspiration has left us forever. Rejoice, it hasn’t. Those are the times we need to let our souls, minds, and heart rest and get an infilling of inspiration ourselves.
"Just as appetite comes by eating, so work brings inspiration,
if inspiration is not discernible at the beginning."
“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent”
We as musicians have been given such a tremendous gift. So many people truly need what we have for them. Sometimes we forget that. Even when we might not feel inspired there are people we need to inspire. We look outward for inspiration but we have it in our hands, feet, head, and most of all in our own hearts.
With the tremendous gift we have been given, we have an obligation to inspire others and remember to allow ourselves to be inspired. Sometimes we are amazed at the sounds that emanate from that most magnificent of instruments on which we work, and are taken aback that we helped create that sound that is beyond words.
“Music . . . can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.”
“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.”
How do we inspire – lead with inspired intention? You may find this interesting, and helpful.
Our brain has many important areas. Three of them control the:
1. “What.” Neo Cortex, the rational part, (thinking, rationalizing, learning, consciousness and voluntary movement).
2. “How.” Cerebellum, language and finer coordinating motor skills and the part that builds trust and loyalty.
3. “Why.” Limbic, the part that drives us to action.
The "What" part of our brain is the rational part, the Neo Cortex. The part of the brain we don’t understand when we can’t figure out why, “with all these facts,” people aren’t thinking like we do or taking action the way we know they should.
The "How" part of our brain is in between the "What" and "Why" part and often in a quandary interpreting between the rational and the total emotion.
The "Why" is the deepest part of our brain, the limbic system, it doesn’t have a language but is the driver of action. The action takes place when it understands the "Why."
"Why," without the filter of the "What," is rational thinking. It is the oldest part of our brain and has watched out for us for eons. It drives us into or away from action.
Here’s why "Why" is important for Inspiration.
"People don’t buy (buy into) What you do,
they buy Why you do it."
To be inspired, remember, look back, on "Why" you are doing what you are doing. We have centuries of examples of "Why" individuals whose names are still with us today. People whose whole heart was behind "Why" they did what they did.
We spend so much of our time on the “What,” of what we do: rehearsing, practicing, meetings, filing, planning, etc., these are important and necessary. However, we forget about the most important part of our life and purpose, and that is the "Why."
As organists we can be especially focused on the "What." The type of organ, parts and pieces thereof. The absolutely perfect edition of the music...
All around us are people desperately needing us to remember to spend time reviving, rekindling, the "Why" that gives us inspiration and inspires them. For it is the "Why" of what we are doing that can inspire us, give us the powerful intentional forward momentum. It is also that strong sense of "Why" that will help others be inspired to move with us.
Inspired organizations work from the inside out.
From the "Why" to the "How" to the "What."
Inspired music organizations work from the inside out. What’s the purpose, the "Why" of what you are doing? If there is a group of people who should be inspired by the past, it is us, whose musical heritage is built into centuries of our genetic codes. We have stories of inspiration and a HUGE "WHY" of what we are doing. When you become convinced of how important the "Why" is, you will be surrounded by inspired people. Your music will take on new dimensions and peoples’ hearts will be moved.
“Life, he realized, was much like a song. In the beginning there is mystery, in the end there is confirmation, but it's in the middle where all the emotion resides to
make the whole thing worthwhile.”
Nicholas Sparks, The Last Song
If you as the leader of your music program have a strong sense of "Why," share your feelings, you will find that people will suddenly find the time and effort to join you in your pursuit, which may share as their pursuit. Even if they don’t have a full understanding of the "What" and "How," they will move with you.
"The perfect situation is to be inspired by inspiring others
to transcend themselves."
We all have a strong desire to have a purpose to do something larger than ourselves. You can be the catalyst to draw people into that larger than life purpose.
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."
Ludwig Von Beethoven
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
“Music is about more than connecting notes. It connects people!”
Go, Inspire, and be Inspired.