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Music – Part I

 

This is the first of what will most certainly be many blog posts focused on the topic of Music.

 

Music was part of me even before I was born. When my father and his 4 siblings were growing up, as soon as they turned 5 years old, weekly piano lessons were a mandatory staple in their home. Practicing, and later performing, were also required. In fact there is a great story of when my dad and his twin brother were in middle school. My dad managed to break his arm while playing baseball, and within that week, his twin brother had managed to break his other arm (also playing baseball). They had been scheduled to perform a piano duet for a church function that next week. At first, both boys thought they had lucked out and wouldn’t have to play, but grandmother, never failing in her creativity, found a solution: my dad would play the left hand (with his right arm in a cast & sling), and my uncle would play the right hand (with his left arm in a cast & sling). Sure enough, they performed at the function and the story never was forgotten!

 

When they reached junior high, all five of the children joined the band and picked up an additional instrument. They would continue to practice and perform through college, with several of them winning prestigious state competitions which led to them performing as featured artists with professional symphonies.

 

Music is in my family’s blood! My father (through I’m sure great influence from my grandmother) made sure that was passed on to me.

 

When I was 4 years old, my parents wanted to start me on piano lessons (to follow in the family footsteps). Unfortunately living in a small, rural town in Central Wisconsin didn’t afford a lot of quality options. When my mom contacted the Suzuki center at the UWSP,  she was told that the waiting list for beginning piano students was several years long. She said “That’s ok. Put him on the list.” In an interesting twist of fate, before my mom hung up the phone, the lady on the other end said “But we do have an opening for beginning violin classes. Would that interest you?” My mom tells me that she thought “Sure why not? He can start with violin, learn some basics, and then we can switch back over to piano later.” And so within a few weeks, I had started violin.

 

I took weekly lessons up through my first quarter of college. Although I loved music, I realized I could not practice 8 hours a day. There were other things that I wanted to do with my life, other areas that I wanted to study. So even though I didn’t become a music major, I still kept playing with various groups: orchestras, symphonies, bands, and I had a great time! I’ve competed in many competitions, won many, performed in incredible venues around the world, performed on LIVE television (before even the days of Facebook), and have recorded and been a part of soundtrack releases.

 

But what drives my passion for music are the emotions that music elicits! Music can psych you up to the point where you think you can lift a car by yourself, or it can drive you to fear and torment you so much that you can’t sleep at night.

 

Take this example: Here is what Jurassic Park sounds like without John Williams’ soundtrack:

 

Now watch the same scene with the original score:

 

It is the soundtrack that creates the awe and excitement within us and takes us back to the very first moment we saw this scene. The music, which seems to play such a small role in the production and end product, actually makes us the biggest impact on the audience: it makes us believe our imaginations are in fact reality!

 

So as I close this blog post (more music discussions will follow), here’s the key takeaway:

 

In business, there are components that may easily be taken for granted, overlooked, or even flat out disregarded. Why does this happen? Typically it is because someone calling the shots doesn’t have the full perspective: they only see the cinematography. What distinguishes a good business from a GREAT business is the attention to detail that is examined in a collaborative effort by all members of the team! Build a team that is diverse, that welcomes and respects all feedback regardless of experience or tenure! Keep a fresh perspective alive, and always seek to find the new components that can push your product from being good to being GREAT!

 

Let the music guide your business to success!

 

~R

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