Well. It's been awhile, hasn't it? This bovine got caught up in the particulars of going back to school. Sadly, whilst I spent most of my time writing about music, there was no space left for writing here. But now!
If there's one thing I did bring back from my dip into the educational pool, it was reinforcement of how important it is to keep and/or cultivate a sense of wonder into what we (as musicians, music educators, music critics) do. Music has so much power, particularly to help children develop as thoughtful, creative, expressive adults. But once it has become a bludgeoning stick of "You must listen to this! You must practice that!" - it loses much of that power.
This is not, of course, advocating a lack of discipline, completely free-form noise, or any such nonsense. It's merely that whilst we're practicing, whilst we're rehearsing, whilst we're teaching, whilst we're performing -- we need to remember that music is magic. The prosaic has its place, but step back and just enjoy it!
I shall be attempting to see and review Brook's stripped down version of Magic Flute this coming week. I'm looking forward to seeing what he's done with the piece, particularly as it's an opera so frequently subjected to the depredation of tacky sets, horrible costumes, and schlocky directing...