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#1472738 - 07/12/10 05:58 AM The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST!  
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hippymusicman Offline
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For the first 10 years, Music felt like a competition.

I would worship other players...
I would compare myself to them...
I would strive to be as good as them...

So when I envied somebody's musicianship, I played a lot, and soon enough, it got to the stage where the tables were turned. They were now experiencing similar feelings of envy towards me. Then they would go and practice practice practice.. and so on... I started to recognize the cycle of pride and envy in a lot of my friends and many other people. Not just in musicianship but also career, car, clothes, house, furniture etc.

I found being envied created a brief external high where I felt smug and well accomplished, but it did not take long for that feeling to subside and soon after I would begin longing for further improvement/satisfaction. It felt like 'pride' was an attempt to satisfy my unsatisfied self. All that work leading up to being 'better', did not satisfy me for more than a few moments. I could easily relive the brief pride experience by 'showing off' or playing with the intent to demonstrate my skill level. Once again, very brief and overall left unsatisfied.

In my search for happiness/satisfaction I came across the following set of beliefs: 'most human beings live in a world of thought unaware of any other world beyond the mind. They are slaves to their own minds and the mind creates pain'. Shocked and intrigued, I read on and explored the idea.. with the book 'the power of now'.

Turns out, I really really like the ideas. And I have always been super skeptical of any beliefs or ideas, especially ones that appear to be 'magical' and all knowing.

I won't go on and on about it... I'll just say I strongly believe the following:

The human mind over thinks.
It often focuses on past and future, and forgets about the only REAL thing which is the present moment or the 'now'.
All pain, conflict, hate etc is created in thoughts.
Observing your own thoughts brings you to understand that-
You are the observer... not your thoughts.
This is liberating to say the least.

After digesting these new ideas over a period of a few weeks, I woke to find the way I viewed the world was very different.

I no longer felt an underlying sense of 'lack'.
I did not live in fear of people.
I did not need music to fulfill me in anyway.
I felt deeply satisfied.
Music lost its competitiveness.
I started to appreciate, not compete with, all other musicians and people.
I became obsessed with the process of creation, while the end result became unimportant.
I love music even more than before.

I am hereby metaphorically putting down my sword that I have attacked and defended with for so long. Now I will unite with everyone who is willing.. to create and share beauty in the form of music..



... such a vital organ
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#1472772 - 07/12/10 07:42 AM Re: The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST! [Re: hippymusicman]  
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Nikolas Offline
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I'm really sorry but I can't be bothered to reply again to your thread, since you are (yet again) talking about yourself and how you became... better. What is it about you being better and wanting to share it with others anyways? It reminds me of those books "Rubens book of self motivation", where you are told that if you wakt up and look in the mirror saying "I love music" you will get to love it eventually! laugh (semi-joke here).

And, by the way
Quote
I no longer felt an underlying sense of 'lack'.
I did not live in fear of people.
I did not need music to fulfill me in anyway.
I felt deeply satisfied.
Music lost its competitiveness.
I started to appreciate, not compete with, all other musicians and people.
I became obsessed with the process of creation, while the end result became unimportant.
I love music even more than before.
These are physhological issues that need looking I think! laugh Fearing people could be an issue that one cannot resolve on their own.

While being obsessed with the process of creation, and AT THE SAME TIME giving the end result the role of 'unimportant' seems really really really really bad for any professional, or anyone who actually depends on that end product!

On the other hand your thread could be summed up by the idea that you "Grew up", or "grew out of the learning phase". One never leaves completely (or they never should), but there comes a point in life when you decide that you are good enough and you start looking at different things instead of continuing to learn anything possible. And learning IS competitive by default I think.

#1472792 - 07/12/10 08:22 AM Re: The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST! [Re: Nikolas]  
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I wasn't competitive in my learning except against myself - I was wanting to improve from where I had been. Of course, I had role models I looked up to, but I wouldn't in a million years describe those feelings and motivations as being based on competition - the fabulous thing in music is that no one has to lose!!

Further, much of my motivation as a child/teenager was about increasing my skills so that I would be competent enough to play with other musicians (specific situations, such as playing in a small ensemble, jamming with jazz musicians) or so that I could better execute the things I could imagine. It was about working to a musical goal. No one else could influence that much, unless to show me even more possibilities.

On the other hand, I did enter 'competitions', but this was not really in the spirit of 'winning' while other competitors 'lost' - it was a fun time to meet other kids my age interested in the same musical goals - sometimes I won, sometimes someone else won, but it was a chance to choose the music we loved to play to each other (and each other's families) and to be inspired by the repertoire we heard played by others.

I share *my* experience of learning in order to demonstrate that not everyone has the same journey in their musical experience, and not everyone experiences developing into a musician as being analogous to a war.


Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
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#1472794 - 07/12/10 08:26 AM Re: The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST! [Re: Nikolas]  
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I am not really sure what you were trying to convey. If you feel that you can finally love and appreciate music regardless of what people think about you, then it is a good attitude to adapt and definitely one that is necessary if you want to be a complete musician. Indeed, it is very easy to be jealous of others' success. The general human populace is easily satisfied by mediocre music making as long as the artists have nice 'packaging'. Countless more deserving musicians do not get the accolade they deserve from general public, but the discerning audience will always reward these hardworking musicians.

I disagree with you that the end result is unimportant. All of us should aim for the highest artistic value we can achieve in our music. It is what strives us to be improve on ourselves. Does not matter what genre of music you are doing, good music by no means are produced by random chance, it is the result of diligent and calculated approach.


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#1473319 - 07/13/10 04:30 AM Re: The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST! [Re: CWPiano]  
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Originally Posted by CWPiano
I am not really sure what you were trying to convey. If you feel that you can finally love and appreciate music regardless of what people think about you, then it is a good attitude to adapt and definitely one that is necessary if you want to be a complete musician. Indeed, it is very easy to be jealous of others' success. The general human populace is easily satisfied by mediocre music making as long as the artists have nice 'packaging'. Countless more deserving musicians do not get the accolade they deserve from general public, but the discerning audience will always reward these hardworking musicians.

I disagree with you that the end result is unimportant. All of us should aim for the highest artistic value we can achieve in our music. It is what strives us to be improve on ourselves. Does not matter what genre of music you are doing, good music by no means are produced by random chance, it is the result of diligent and calculated approach.


I like everything you wrote.. In some ways, I do enjoy thinking about where music might take me and how far I might find myself in it.. But the need to achieve great things has been diminished.

Also I'm interested in "Countless more deserving musicians do not get the accolade they deserve from general public".

What is it about 'accolade from the general public' that makes us constantly strive towards it? For me, I used to receive a short sense of external ego smugness from public accolade... but it did not last long.. and I was left simply wanting more. So it's an interesting idea that 'musicians deserve public accolade'.

My question is why do we need it?


... such a vital organ
#1473322 - 07/13/10 04:43 AM Re: The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST! [Re: Nikolas]  
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Originally Posted by Nikolas
I'm really sorry but I can't be bothered to reply again to your thread, since you are (yet again) talking about yourself and how you became... better. What is it about you being better and wanting to share it with others anyways? It reminds me of those books "Rubens book of self motivation", where you are told that if you wakt up and look in the mirror saying "I love music" you will get to love it eventually! laugh (semi-joke here).

And, by the way
Quote
I no longer felt an underlying sense of 'lack'.
I did not live in fear of people.
I did not need music to fulfill me in anyway.
I felt deeply satisfied.
Music lost its competitiveness.
I started to appreciate, not compete with, all other musicians and people.
I became obsessed with the process of creation, while the end result became unimportant.
I love music even more than before.
These are physhological issues that need looking I think! laugh Fearing people could be an issue that one cannot resolve on their own.

While being obsessed with the process of creation, and AT THE SAME TIME giving the end result the role of 'unimportant' seems really really really really bad for any professional, or anyone who actually depends on that end product!

On the other hand your thread could be summed up by the idea that you "Grew up", or "grew out of the learning phase". One never leaves completely (or they never should), but there comes a point in life when you decide that you are good enough and you start looking at different things instead of continuing to learn anything possible. And learning IS competitive by default I think.


Firstly, I am not suggesting I am 'better'.
All I am saying is I used to feel one way, now I feel another. There is no right or wrong besides what we label right and wrong. The only reason you should feel upset and not feel like responding, is because you have labeled one of my ideas right and the other one wrong and you feel like I am calling myself right and you wrong. I'm not.

I'm saying first I felt like this... then I felt like this. That is all.

Also I like that you took the time to reply even though you are tired of replying to me.

When you say it's really bad for a professional to think that way, I feel confused...

I do get paid to play the piano... but I don't worry about what happens in the future, because there is no need. I simply do what I can to grow as a musician, and if others find it valuable then that's fine... But not important.

I'd love for you to elaborate on why you believe it is 'really bad' and what it is about the thought process that makes what I'm doing 'bad'. And if you have time... what is 'bad'?



... such a vital organ
#1473324 - 07/13/10 04:48 AM Re: The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST! [Re: Elissa Milne]  
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Originally Posted by Elissa Milne
I did enter 'competitions', but this was not really in the spirit of 'winning'


Your whole post was beautiful, but this was the highlight.


... such a vital organ
#1473332 - 07/13/10 05:18 AM Re: The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST! [Re: hippymusicman]  
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This is hilarious


Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)
#1473375 - 07/13/10 07:35 AM Re: The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST! [Re: hippymusicman]  
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Nikolas Offline
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Originally Posted by hippymusicman
Firstly, I am not suggesting I am 'better'.
Yes you pretty much do.

"At first I was feeling this and that and was worried and blah blah, but now I don't!".

Quote
Also I like that you took the time to reply even though you are tired of replying to me.
Fair enough... I promise to quit replying to you after this! (LOL)

Quote
When you say it's really bad for a professional to think that way, I feel confused...

I do get paid to play the piano... but I don't worry about what happens in the future, because there is no need. I simply do what I can to grow as a musician, and if others find it valuable then that's fine... But not important.

I'd love for you to elaborate on why you believe it is 'really bad' and what it is about the thought process that makes what I'm doing 'bad'. And if you have time. what is 'bad'?
Well think about it. You don't care about the end product, thus you don't really care how you play the piano, or how other people are listening to you. And you think that this is 'good' for a professional who is trying to make a lviing? It appears that you are not making a living, nor you have dependend members of your family hanging from your work. Otherwise you should be concerned about the end product.

That's about it.

#1473460 - 07/13/10 11:15 AM Re: The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST! [Re: Nikolas]  
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This reads too much like those intensely boring PBS fund-raisers where some self-appointed self-help guru gives everyone his "key to success and life-long happiness."

Or, maybe, just too much "Oprah"?


BruceD
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Estonia 190
#1473494 - 07/13/10 12:00 PM Re: The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST! [Re: Nikolas]  
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Originally Posted by Nikolas
Originally Posted by hippymusicman
Firstly, I am not suggesting I am 'better'.
Yes you pretty much do.

"At first I was feeling this and that and was worried and blah blah, but now I don't!".


No. I am not suggesting I am better than anyone, I am definitely suggesting I feel different in myself.. I haven't labeled anything with 'good, bad, better or worse'. All I have said Is once I felt a certain way, and now I feel a different way. You seem to be reading it as if I were speaking in an egoistic voice. I'm speaking calm and peacefully. It is not an attack on people who feel differently to me. There is no right or wrong.

Originally Posted by Nikolas
Fair enough... I promise to quit replying to you after this! (LOL)

I'm sorry to hear that.
I did value your opinions.

Originally Posted by Nikolas

Well think about it. You don't care about the end product, thus you don't really care how you play the piano, or how other people are listening to you. And you think that this is 'good' for a professional who is trying to make a lviing? It appears that you are not making a living, nor you have dependend members of your family hanging from your work. Otherwise you should be concerned about the end product.

That's about it.


I like creating good music, and I like working at achieving great things.. I like taking a long time to craft something beautiful. In that sense I do care about the end product a great deal! But the importance of whether it makes any money for me is not as important.. The goal isn't to get money with music, it's to give music! and then as a bonus, I sometimes receive money for that.


... such a vital organ
#1473521 - 07/13/10 12:37 PM Re: The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST! [Re: hippymusicman]  
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Nikolas Offline
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LOL: Laugh out Loud, meaning that the previous comment is not entirely serious! laugh

Even if you don't get it, and like Bruce said (with whome we seem to get along GREAT! :)) the vibe coming out from your OP is this whole idea of getting different, better, new, etc, etc... This is not only a matter of what you wrote, but what people read into your words! wink

Finally, if you're not a pro (in which case you are forced most of the time to create the end product, not by choice anymore and have people depending on the quality of that end product) you simply do not know what I'm talking about. It's very noble to want to create (play, compose, whatever) music not for money alone, but real life differs. Plus, you were the one who said that you don't care about the end product, not me! wink

#1473522 - 07/13/10 12:38 PM Re: The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST! [Re: hippymusicman]  
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The one thing that I will say is that you take your own experiences and subjective observations, and then you state that the world is that way and people are that way. This is a natural thing that people do. If you could switch that into realizing that these are your perceptions at this point in your life, and that there will be other perceptions at other times, it would be a good thing to do.

Get a hold of Pierce's "Crack in the Cosmic Egg". It blew my mind away at age 17 a few decades ago. Pierce describes reality or what is out there as a sort of everything - maybe even chaotic or formless - and that we select and give form and interpretation to it. Our interpretation of this reality is the "cosmic egg", and the "crack" in it is where we see there is something beyond - that there is an egg. In this way, medicine in the Orient looks at energy flows, while the West looks at material structure, and each is dealing with a different reality. We cannot go to some kind of pure reality or we would be lost in formless chaos, unable to function. I also don't think that it is truly without structure. We see symmetry, balance everywhere.

If you can realize that there are many ways of organizing and seeing the reality of what we encounter, this gives you flexibilitiy and freedom. The idea of music as seen by the jazz musician, the Raga player, the traditional high school teacher, yourself, will all be within those cosmic eggs - frameworks - all of them true or part of the truth. As long as you work to understand them sufficiently, all kinds of doors can open to you, and you can be more open toward others.

Currently as you describe what you see in others, that description is also within the framework of your experience. We cannot help it. However, we can be aware.

Last edited by keystring; 07/13/10 12:41 PM. Reason: typos
#1473758 - 07/13/10 07:13 PM Re: The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST! [Re: keystring]  
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HIPPO MAN, this time you've gone off the deep end.... Forget the philosophy and start playin' dawg!

#1473761 - 07/13/10 07:17 PM Re: The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST! [Re: Wizard of Oz]  
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HIPPO, stop writing all this crap and just play the music. Do you think people think like this about music? No, people pay big bucks to Lady Gaga or Elton John to be entertained for a short period of time.

I need to ask, do you take illicit drugs man?!

#1473768 - 07/13/10 07:33 PM Re: The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST! [Re: Wizard of Oz]  
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Folks, all he's talking about is process over product. I know many of you don't like this idea ... the idea of enjoying the process of playing and letting go of the need to control. But that ain't bad. In fact, it's a good thing!

He's not saying don't work towards something. He's saying enjoy first. Then, the fruit of that can be enjoyed by everyone else.

To illustrate ... Tibetan monks will spend many months creating a sand mandala, patiently and lovingly producing a great work of art. Then, they destroy it. Why? Because they understand that the value lay in the process of creating it - not the end product. smile



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#1473782 - 07/13/10 08:10 PM Re: The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST! [Re: eweiss]  
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Originally Posted by eweiss
To illustrate ... Tibetan monks will spend many months creating a sand mandala, patiently and lovingly producing a great work of art. Then, they destroy it. Why? Because they understand that the value lay in the process of creating it - not the end product. smile

that is so beautifully put Ed. What a lot of joy, discovery and satisfaction there is in learning a challenging piece over many months. And at the end of it, what do we do but launch into another musical journey on a new piece. Performing (if we do it at all) is a small part of these rewards. Same applies for creating a new piece I should add!


[Linked Image]
Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.
#1473784 - 07/13/10 08:20 PM Re: The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST! [Re: eweiss]  
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Hippymusicman can speak for himself, and clearly does. My perception of this thread is that hippymusicman was for the first ten years of his musical life motivated by a desire to impress and be judged by others as (to quote another thread) a musical genius. But now he is motivated from within, and he has found this change liberating.

meantime, hippymusican: the way you talk to others still has an implicit approval/disapproval thing going on. For instance, you approved of my post earlier in the thread. Fine, and I'm glad that my post was a beautiful thing for you, but it will almost certainly be helpful for you to appreciate that most of us are more interested in engaging with the ideas themselves than we are in whether other people approve of our ideas. I think this is mostly an issue of language/semantics - you are expressing your feelings about reading a post, and it comes across as saying "I think you are right/I think you are wrong" (whether that is your intention or not). If you are interested in observing what it is about your posts that provokes this reaction from people take a look at other people's posts (for instance keystring's above) and look at the ways they are talking about ideas as compared to their personal response. It's a personal preference thing as regards communication style, but I get the feeling from your responses that you're not sure why people see you as being judgmental.....


Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com
#1473786 - 07/13/10 08:23 PM Re: The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST! [Re: eweiss]  
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Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted by eweiss
Folks, all he's talking about is process over product. I know many of you don't like this idea ... the idea of enjoying the process of playing and letting go of the need to control. But that ain't bad. In fact, it's a good thing!

He's not saying don't work towards something. He's saying enjoy first. Then, the fruit of that can be enjoyed by everyone else.

To illustrate ... Tibetan monks will spend many months creating a sand mandala, patiently and lovingly producing a great work of art. Then, they destroy it. Why? Because they understand that the value lay in the process of creating it - not the end product. smile



Very well put and a great point about enjoying the process of "getting there", but there really isn't ever an "end product", since one's ideas change over time and hopefully one's musical intellect continues to grow as well, thus making the "creation" process an ongoing, never ending one.



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $

#1473816 - 07/13/10 09:10 PM Re: The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST! [Re: stores]  
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In a heap of trouble
smokin

Just sayin' what everyone's already thinking.


Repertoire
John Cage: 4'33"
#1473964 - 07/14/10 03:40 AM Re: The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST! [Re: Nikolas]  
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Originally Posted by Nikolas
Even if you don't get it, and like Bruce said (with whome we seem to get along GREAT! :)) the vibe coming out from your OP is this whole idea of getting different, better, new, etc, etc... This is not only a matter of what you wrote, but what people read into your words! wink


My opinion/belief is that innocent actions/beliefs/gestures can definitely be portrayed differently by different people. Some people accept, some people are repulsed. e.g. somebody speeding down the road in their car, can make others think "what an [censored], mindlessly speeding around like that".

Most people love to say... 'I am right... and they are wrong'. And because of this, people tend to search for other people claiming to be right and wrong. Even if it's not delivered that way. I'm not suggesting I'm right or wrong.

Without creating a right and wrong... there are just things that occur. "There is a car going fast". It might be because there is an angry man inside going fast, It might also be because their brakes have failed.

The action isn't right or wrong.

My idea is that things get received how they want to be received. Therefor I don't think it necessary for the belief sharer to 'tread carefully' when sharing beliefs.. but the receiver definitely should receive without 'right', 'wrong', 'better' & 'worse'. Then the perceived problem dissolves, Or it is realised that there was no real problem in the first place.

Originally Posted by Nikolas
Finally, if you're not a pro (in which case you are forced most of the time to create the end product, not by choice anymore and have people depending on the quality of that end product) you simply do not know what I'm talking about. It's very noble to want to create (play, compose, whatever) music not for money alone, but real life differs. Plus, you were the one who said that you don't care about the end product, not me! wink


I said the end product was not important. I do very much care about the product, But I'm not putting any pressure on the product to bring me things in return, like money.

The end product does bring me things like money, so in that sense, I am a professional. But I don't expect money from the music in the first place, Nor is it important to me. If it were not bringing me enough money to survive, I would work more.


... such a vital organ
#1473969 - 07/14/10 03:43 AM Re: The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST! [Re: hippymusicman]  
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Wizard of Oz Offline
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hippy, if you could give us Reader's Digest versions of what you are saying, like maximum 3-4 sentences per post.

I find I couldn't even be bothered to read your crap anymore.

You seem to ramble aimlessly and repeat stuff.

#1473979 - 07/14/10 04:27 AM Re: The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST! [Re: Wizard of Oz]  
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“A great teacher is one who realizes that he himself is also a student and whose goal is not to dictate the answers, but to stimulate his students creativity enough so that they go out and find the answers themselves.”

Herbie Hancock

#1473984 - 07/14/10 04:49 AM Re: The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST! [Re: Wizard of Oz]  
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hippymusicman  Offline
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Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz
hippy, if you could give us Reader's Digest versions of what you are saying, like maximum 3-4 sentences per post.

I find I couldn't even be bothered to read your crap anymore.

You seem to ramble aimlessly and repeat stuff.


Different people receive things differently.
e.g. you receive my posts completely differently to others. But I'm not suggesting you are receiving them right or wrongly. Just differently.


... such a vital organ
#1473999 - 07/14/10 06:10 AM Re: The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST! [Re: hippymusicman]  
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Dude I think the battle's in your own mind.

#1474429 - 07/14/10 07:20 PM Re: The Battle of Musicians.. WON AT LAST! [Re: Wizard of Oz]  
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hippymusicman  Offline
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Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz
Dude I think the battle's in your own mind.


I agree.

But more specifically, the battle was in my own mind.


... such a vital organ

Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

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