Wednesday, January 04, 2012

I hope burnout isn't contagious.

I doubt anyone reads this blog anymore; in fact, in a roundabout way, I think I hope that no one reads it. This is just me, spitting my thoughts out into space - sort of a journal, but it's out there on the web in the improbable scenario that someone else wants to know what I think or accidentally stumbles across this page because they share some of my issues and/or pursuits.

Now that that is said and out of the way, here's what's on my mind now.

I hate music. I have one semester left to go before I completely my bachelor's degree, and the thought of spending 16 more weeks killing myself to pass my lessons is unbearable. I've been living and breathing music for... well, probably the last five or six years, and the pace has always intensified rather than relaxed. At this point, I'm sick of looking at a keyboard; I can't stand my music; I don't want to hear another note to analyze; I don't care who influenced what how, nor do I care why I should know about them. It's beyond tiredness (though I'm definitely tired, too) - it's that my mental capacity for music has been sated, and then some.

In sum: I'm burned out.

At least I recognize this, and I can deal with it. I know that I need a break (a complete break) from music, for at least several months. After I finish my degree, that's exactly what I'll do. Hiking, biking, writing, reading, and as little practice as possible for... oh, maybe about six months. I know I'm still going to go to grad school, and I know I'm still going to continue my studies in music - but in order to do that, I have to give myself a little room to breathe and get out of this slump. Didn't Einstein work as a clerk in a patent office after he graduated with a degree in physics? I'm no Einstein, but I think I know roughly how he felt.

One more semester. 16 weeks. It isn't really that long a time span, objectively speaking. I'll get through it. I'm looking forward to getting it over with, and I'm sure there will be a few spots in the semester that are absolutely wonderful, but I know quite well it may also be rather hellish (pardon my language, if it offends you). I will have five recitals. Five. Three for which I'll accompany, my own solo recital, and a composition recital. As I think about the sheer amount of music that I will have to know inside-outside-backwards-forwards for these recitals, my initial reaction is 1) loathing, and 2) panic. I know I will learn the music, and all will be well. I also know I will detest the process of learning this music and will likely collapse (and/or have a nervous breakdown) when I finish.

One more semester. One. More. Semester.

I may hate this at the moment, but music is still what I love. Not going to give in just because I'm burned out right now. I can do this, and I will do this.

It's time to go practice. Bach makes a wonderful main course, with a side of Bourgeois. Reger to add flavor, with a touch of Hindemith for zest. Carpal tunnel, here I come.