Playing on One Buttock

I am not a musician. I have, however, had the privilege of knowing several gifted musicians throughout my life.  Those gifted musicians I know have many differences (different instruments & styles of music), but one thing I notice they have in common is that they all play with emotion.

I read recently that Benjamin Zander, long time conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, encourages his musicians to become “One Buttock Players.” He doesn’t believe that you can truly convey music by simply playing it musically correct, you have to play it with emotion as well.  And when musicians play with emotion quite often you will see them rocking back and forth from one buttock to the other…thus becoming one buttock musicians.

To be a great musician takes emotion. In fact, no matter what your field is, it will take emotion to be great. If all your doing is going to work, punching the clock, sitting around waiting for it to be time to leave, how successful do you think you will be?  But, if you bring emotion, intensity, eagerness and determination to your job what can be accomplished then?

The same principle applies to your family, to your relationship with God, and to your personal life.  If you want to be successful in those areas you have to go after them with emotion as well.  If you want to see your marriage improve, you can’t be content to sit in front of the TV every night.  If you want your relationship with God to improve you can’t be okay with simply sitting on a pew each Sunday.

What do you think would happen in your job, your family, your relationship with God, if you went from being a two buttock to one buttock player? What do you think would happen if you gave it everything you got and held nothing back?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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