Maestro Maazel on the Music of Parenting

will abstractI was driving home from work the other day, listening to NPR, when a piece about the retiring conductor of the NY Philharmonic came on.  He is now turning to nurturing young conductors at his ranch, and in his remarks about this he referenced parenting as a metaphor for the proper attitude of a conductor.  He’s a good influence on us parents and I recommend listening to the piece:

A couple of key excerpts are as follows:  

“I’m very firm about what it is that I feel I want for myself and from the orchestra and I’m quite stubborn, I keep at it,” he says. “But if you respect the people you’re working with, you don’t start shaking your fist at them. It’s also true at home. No child, and I’ve had seven of them, has ever felt my hand. An intelligent parent learns very quickly about the importance of the alternative. Rather than saying, ‘Don’t do that,’ why not say ‘Do this.’ “

Maazel says it’s important for conductors to lead.

“You don’t talk; you do. And [you] do by having a hand which has been trained to express everything that it should express at any given moment, such as offering a point of reference for ensemble, for players staying together…  You could express all of this in one motion, if you can, if you’re a proper conductor. If you have to stop and look around and say, ‘It’s not together,’ just walk off the podium and go home. Because that’s your job, to get it together. If it’s not together, it’s your problem, not theirs.”

Good things to consider as parents.  Being our best Selves as parents is about using skillful means and sincere hearts to bring our children and our selves together in a harmony that expresses something great and true about our inter-being.  Art and music were originally all about talking to God (or the gods), communing with the very things that gave birth to us and to which we will inevitably return.  Parenting must be a process, like music; and if we want others in our lives to step up, we need to be a little bit the Trickster, like Tom Sawyer who gets everyone to paint the fence by making it look so damned fun.  But in the end, was Tom a con-artist or a Zen Master?  Chop wood, carry water, paint fences… and parent children.

Namaste, Bruce



One Response to “Maestro Maazel on the Music of Parenting”

  1. krk Says:

    I have had a blissful morning getting caught up on the numerous blogs I have missed due to my summer schedule. Thank you for the positive “lessons” and assistance. I feel compelled to respond to the following: The Michael Jackson eulogy was profound and compassionate. 6/27. Bravo for disagreeing with publishers. Compassion grows through knowledge.7/3. Thanks for sharing video a reminder of belief in the circle. In this case, songwriter to teacher to student to you (teacher) and to us.7/5. Obama video “smallest moment can have biggest impact” was a reminder to me of people who did,or said,something that made me feel good about myself(as a child). I have never forgotten them. however, I am doubtful that they were aware of the impact. This is a prompt for all of us. Reach out and love.7/8.
    The dedications you included at the end of some blogs are very useful.
    Lastly, the illustrations of the trees are lovely and a perfect representation of the growth,shelter and beauty I receive from your blogs.
    I Promise not to be so long-winded next time.
    Peace and love to all, KRK

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