There’s a fair correlation between musical success and mental eccentricity. Axl Rose, Nick Drake, and Fiona Apple are classic anguished musicians, but there are other examples of persons less tortured who simply seem to see things that the rest of us don’t. Tom Waits, Jack White, Leonard Cohen, the list goes on.
I think all of us would expect that a visit to any musical higher education establishment would reveal a wide assortment of genius and vibrant mental individuality.
This weekend, after extended guitar practice, I had an idea. Perhaps it isn’t necessarily a uniquely wired brain that triggers musical majesty, but instead the study of music that gives rise to mental peculiarities.
Music practice is an odd bird. The thousands upon thousands of hours of excessive repetition, competition, self-criticism, and solidarity associated with a day of practice might tip the scales away from psychological normalcy. Or, at a minimum, generate an odd atmosphere for child development.
I’m not saying this situation is unhealthy, just distinctive. I would love to hear comments from the professional musicians amongst us. Alicia? Sarah T? what do you think?
Do you feel that your music practice changed your personalities? Or perhaps your unique personalities made you successful within the arts?