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LIKE A CHILD

Yo-Yo Ma, one of the most famous cellists in our day, once said, "When people ask me how they should approach performance, I always tell them that the professional musician should aspire to the state of the beginner. In order to become a professional," he says, "you need to go through years of training. You get criticized by all your teachers, and you worry about all the critics. You are constantly being judged. But if you get onstage and all you think about is what the critics are going to say, if all you are doing is worrying, then you will play terribly. You will be tight, and it will be a bad concert. Instead," Ma says, "one needs to constantly remind oneself to play with the abandon of the child who is just learning the cello."

(Jonah Lehrer, Imagine, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012, pp. 110-111. From a sermon by C. Philip Green, Take a Risk, 5/25/2012)

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