At 11, I was supposed to go to Julliard music school. Right near the entry time, I bowed out. I could see my future and I didn’t like it. Same time frame, I stopped a “Gifted Class” test when I realized it wasn’t for me. I love going in deep but quickly. I can’t free float. I need to stay tethered so long as I choose the tether.

At 11, I was [read full article]


I was disappointed at first that I was so close to norms, but in a way, that’s a good. It shows that I’m not excessively removed from humanity, that I can understand and relate and explain in ways that can be understood. It also says good things about humanity: That we may be far more creative than we are given credit for, that “that random average guy over there” may secretly have dreams of being a great musician or that puzzling out how to hold their household or business together requires as much creativity as you or I.

I was disappointed at [read full article]


I don’t think it’s anything special of me. It’s just easier for me to “do friends” online than off. Here, I’ll make analogies: Is a Pokemon player limited to Dunbar’s number or can they easily memorize 807 Pokemon * their abilities ^ their interactions with each other? Or: Can a musician know musical phrases from tens of thousands of songs? These big numbers are nothing special.

I don’t think it’s [read full article]


When I was 11, my mom took me to special piano lessons to get ready to apply for Julliard music school. I went to them, just sort of following along, did well, all the while imagining what going to that school and what a life as a professional musician might be like. But the more I thought about it, the more I knew I didn’t want it. Perfect practice makes perfect, getting constantly judged… So, after six months of special lessons I knew she couldn’t afford, nervous I’d disappoint her for wasting her money and time, I said that I didn’t want to go to that music school, bracing myself for anger. But, she said “ok” and that was that. To this day, I _still_ occasionally thank her that she listened to me when it mattered.

When I was 11, [read full article]


I went to a guidance counselor at a NJ college nearby when I was out of work, uncertain of future and stuck in what direction I wanted to go in. My friend and I had plans to do music. He was the production company and I was the first musician (piano). We made a ton of recordings. I was in my early 20s. My dilemma was “move towards computers or continue pursuing music?” I was good at both. For me, music was my cathartic more than passion but i was willing to pursue it as long as I could play my own improvisational music and I had that support to do it. Computers was a skill and a passion. Didn’t matter what the work was as long as there was a computer involved somehow, it was fine and I’d figure out what to do. Her advice: Decide between your vocation and your advocation. In short do both but keep them in proper categories. Took a lot of thought but I went with computers. In a sense it was sort of following my passion as I was more driven with computers than piano composition. It just so happened that in my case, what was practical was *also* my passion. But I’d give that same advice to others.

I went to a [read full article]