• Jennifer E. Rose

Judgement, Intangibles, & Cliff Diving


At some point we all have moments, whether extended or brief, that our emotions seem to resemble this mangled and contorted tree. In those times, it is important to find a healthy outlet for expressing those emotions and not simply pushing them away. My outlet is composing. When I compose, I am able to escape into a different realm where I and my choices are free from judgement.


As much as I would love to gain exposure with composing, I am equally satisfied with simply composing the music and not having it performed. Why bother with others' judgement of my emotions? I was told that my music "has so much potential, but it's missing something." Does this mean my emotions have so much potential, but they are missing something? Logically-no, but the sense of that statement as a rejection of validity feels as such.


Ever since I can remember, I have been insecure about...everything. I have been judged by so many people in all areas of my life, just like we all have. Composing and being a band director don't escape that sense of insecurity. They are at the top of the list. Being a musician is not what I do, it is who I am, so when someone doesn't appreciate the musician that I am, I feel like a failure as a person. You see, we musicians can't seem to separate ourselves from our art. We are our art. So when someone doesn't like the art we produce or perform, we take that very personally. And what elevates the frustration is that non-musicians cannot seem to understand that "Great Connection" we have to something so intangible.

Composing is not something I can do, it is something I must do.

At some point I will learn to let go of any negative judgements of the music I write, but until that day, I will continue to write for myself.


Sometimes I feel as if composing is like standing on the edge of a daunting cliff looking over the expansive ocean with waves lapping the sandy shore below. Do I launch my body and soul into the blue depths below and allow my body to be swallowed by the brisk, salty waters where I can be refreshed and exhilarated, or do I allow the extremity of the cliff to intimidate me into a safe retreat down the other side?


Until next time...

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