After cheaply throwing about musical and philosophical mandates via my all too convenient internet blog, I eventually ran into a wall of questions considering my writings. Why do I write? What am I trying to prove? Who am I writing for? The answers centralized in expressing and refining a worldview that could stay meaningful through time and serve others in their journey towards becoming better musicians, or at least enlighten and amuse them along the way. Concerning the blog, I eventually ran out of one-stop shopping list ideas to coherently discourse about save the occasional interesting trip recounted in a literary fashion. I began to reflect on what was important to me and decided that my interest in music needed to be disseminated, not based out of some intellectual glut of superiority but out of practicality, a carefully considered perspective for guiding someone else who might dare to try something along the same lines as I do. I found myself surrounded by teachers who encouraged in the details of knowing the score at hand without addressing in broad brushstrokes the challenges of a modern career. It is precisely that issue which I craved to grasp: a twenty-first century blueprint, a thoughtful proposal for the path of an artist. For all of my one-cent concerts and thousand-dollar recitals, diploma-laced essays, independent investigations, and continent hopping travels, I still had not launched out my ideas and taken off my pants to world criticism for all to see.
Ready, Set, Go: Why Intelligence Trumps Intellect In the Arts is not about nasal lectures and cerebral discourse nor does it consist of magical formulas and ninety minute fix-it programs. It is made for people who want to do something musically meaningful in their life, but might not have any idea how that could develop. Like the main title, this book has three parts to it. In Ready, I aim to cultivate a mentality and worldview that is worthy of the career to which the reader feels compelled to pursue. In a world featuring many shades of gray, the artist must take a black and white stance towards their pursuits. Indifference and indecision remain one of the most damaging positions one can take in the world of music; this attitude of not knowing what is good and what is not suspends decision-making and leads to aborted musical encounters. The artist must prepare themself in advance. Set will set the table of experience to place the reader in a position to succeed. At this point, the chapters will concern taking surrounding elements such as friends, resources, and the community to the highest level of efficiency. This is not about using people, it concerns engaging others in order to build and improve on abilities. Any success obtained comes in no small degree from the help of others, and this reality drives to the core of this discussion. It is the people around us that make us the individuals capable of completing the work required to achieve our goals. Go does not concern instant success, but it will discourse a way for forward progress. In this section, I begin by discussing how to know when the time is right to leave behind the apprentice mentality, the value of location in building successful projects, and model notable examples of other artists gone before.
Ultimately, this book is written with one goal in mind: to empower the musician to find their own solutions. Successful performing in the arts does not require a fine arts degree or the right teacher; it requires an evolving work ethic and a keen ear. Ready, Set, Go will make provision for those important details along the way.