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Friday, June 10, 2011


"There is no place for arrogance in our lives.  There is no place for conceit.  There is no place for egotism"
~Gordon B. Hinkley

Today, while I was sitting in class waiting to begin our dictation exercises for the day, I over heard a conversation.  What a conversation it was.  It reminds me how strong a hold arrogance has on people today.  Some might even call it pride.  Now, lets remember, I am in a a field even, where some arrogance is expected.  I mean, part of being a hugely successful music career is thinking that you deserve a hugely successful music career.  That being said, it astonishes me what people will let come out of their mouths in such a conversation.

As a music major ab BYU we study theory, dictation and sight singing.  These are all essential skills to have as a musician.  Indeed, being able to hear with your eyes (sight singing) and see with you ears (dictation) is incredibly valuable.  And what is great, is they all work together, the more you can sight sing, the better you hear.  The more you practice dictation, and listening to harmonic/melodic progressions, the easier sight singing will become. Learning theory, well...its really like a history class.  You learn common practice music up until modern music practices.  All very interesting and important

Well, I got to hear these students just complaining about how they'll never use these skills in their careers.  One, a composition major, only likes modern music and will never use the common practice rules.  But, I ask you: can one really be successful in their craft, or have a firm grasp of their craft without understanding how we got to that point?  What happened previously that drove us to where we are?  I submit that we cannot.  Likewise, one was a vocal performance major and saw sight singing as a pointless class.  I'll just never understand that one...actually.  To hear these folks talk about how they knew more about the industry than seasoned professionals absolutely floored me.  To hear students claim to know what skill sets are more important in their crafts than  their professors do is distressing to me.

Friends, there is a thought process that as nonintellectuals and academics, we need not fear arrogance.  We are authorities in our areas, and have given out lives to understanding our craft and therefore we can rejoice in our superior intellect.  I submit to you that this ought not be the case, and is a flawed thought process.  The more we learn, the more we should recognize how little we actually know.  The more experience/knowledge we gain, the more we should realize how much more there is out there.  Let us all take care to not rejoice in our own knowledge or achievements.  Rather, let us rejoice in the One who knows and created all.  In this life we will never know what He knows, or be able to create what He created.  Arrogance keeps us from that truth.

"Arrogance is a week that grows mostly on a dunghill."
~Arabic proverb

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