Have you ever heard a wonderful piece of music, performed to near perfection, that left you emotional? Perhaps it made you happy or even sad, but sad in such a way that you'd happily go back for seconds if you could.
Such is the wonder of music. It has the ability to move you.
And a good deal of credit goes to those practitioners who have developed their art to allow the listener to experience such emotions.
But let's look under the hood. What will you see?
You will see the dedicated artist. He or she will spend the majority of their available time attempting to master their craft. If they are a performer, they will spend countless hours working on their instrument trying to achieve a mastery and fluency that few achieve. And it's not exciting.
Hours are spent on technical exercises; numbing, and often boring, but necessary nonetheless. More hours are spent on repertoire that can be so complex as to be discouraging, yet the performer carries on.
And like I said, it is BORING.
But that's the thing about music. It's not about instant gratification for the performer. If you want an instant music high, listen to the radio where the work has already been done by someone else. There are no shortcuts. If you wish to be a master of your craft, you have to put in the time.
I have encountered folks who think there is a shortcut. However, in every successful music circumstance there is someone who has "done their time," whether they are out front performing or behind the scenes calling the shots. And music in particular is a harsh master where near perfection has to be the goal or it doesn't fulfill the listener. Think of how many lousy performers are out there.
Music is an endeavor that will seem to be joyless at times, especially in the learning phase. It will frustrate as you try to master the nuances. It may even cause you to pace restlessly as it did Chopin when he was writing some of his finest works.
But with focus, determination, and an openness to criticism, a performer can achieve an ecstasy and present a work of art that cannot be achieved in any other way. And that is what music is all about.