A phrase coined by Dr. Bob Pritchard which I often heard while taking MUSC 119 has become a general life motto for me lately. It’s a rule that I sort of forgot, and when I would get a tough-looking orchestra part or a new piece for Contemporary Players, I would panic and stress myself way beyond necessary, and that, you know, is a bit of a downer. And then by the next week or a few days later I’d realize that actually it isn’t a huge deal and it will be fine, it’s always fine, but I just can’t seem to learn that.
So I was at Laptop Orchestra (another class taught by Dr. Bob) when we received our next project, in which I will be learning four pieces in about four weeks. And then he said: “Rule Number One? Don’t Panic.”
Oh yeah, I though. That’s right. I forgot about that. So I didn’t panic. I was fine. I didn’t start stressing. It’s going to be totally fine, I told myself. And it will be. And then I went home and rewarded myself with leftover pumpkin pie for being so cool and collected. Go me!
It was pretty astounding how out of hand I was letting my panic get. And it’s pretty amazing what a difference it can make if you can just remember Rule Number One.
(Also if you are reading this, Dr. Bob, hello!)