In advanced conducting, we have begun exercises and stuff so that our hands can multi-task. The right hand must keep the pattern, and the left hand must do everything else—it is the expressiveness. The left hand is responsible for cuing, urging, letting the ensemble be aware of sustained notes, amongst a plethora of other things. In class yesterday, our prof said if you were a lefty, keep conducting right-handed, but your left hand was at an advantage. Both hands are important but conducting the patterns must be second nature.
Today in lessons, I began studying the drum set. The goal out of this venture is limb independence and interdependence. In the 40-ish minutes that we were actually working in front of the set, I learned how it would work: create independence so that the ostinato and the right hand on the ride cymbal was a constant, that the left hand could have a conversation of sorts with other parts on the set or even other players.
A note about my left hand: it is weak, and unfortunately, getting slightly weaker. That was one of the reasons Dr. Pittock wanted an MRI, to make sure that was the only thing going on. I can’t feel my fingers and have been noticing it on the clarinet, when my fingers don’t always cover the finger-holes as they should (this causes no sound to come from the instrument..). It’s like this semester’s mission is to get my left hand back. “Nuh-uh, lefty, you don’t get to sit back and do nothing anymore. You think you’re not important? I’m a PERCUSSIONIST and a MUSIC ED MAJOR. Of course you are!”
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
So, I was just thinking about this passage in 1 Corinthians 12. I feel like the discussion between my limbs has been like the whole “I don’t need you!” bit. Feelings were hurt, and the left side has stopped functioning properly. I, too, have simply given up when discouraged, or stop giving my best. Slacking, if you will. We’re ALL important! And if the body divides because of differences of beliefs or political party or denomination, it is hindering to the body as this MS hinders me. Just so all of you are clear: NOT COOL. We are ONE body, and, as I am learning with the drum set this semester, we are interdependent. We need each other to sound awesome in a song. We need all of the body parts to function properly!
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b] 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
We are not all the same, but we are one just the same. Think about a band: how would it sound if there were just clarinets, drums, and tubas? Bad analogy, because any ensemble can find something to make them sound good. But still. Or writing? What would it look like if there were no vowels? mgt lk lk txtng nly wrs. [Translated: mIght lOOk lIkE tExtIng Only wOrsE.]
Okay. Enough with the analogies, you get it. I think I needed to hear this as much as write it, because I have been struggling with comparing and not feeling good enough. AHH! That’s not very helpful, either (the struggles part). I got a “that’s cool!” reaction today to the fact that I can’t feel my fingers. People continue to surprise me. =)
I’d love your feedback, as always!
Smiling, Anna =)^2