by Susan Hotchkiss

Welcome to March: month of wind and women. I’m not sure where that takes us. Historically, March has always been windy, just as women have struggled to be recognized as serious musicians and composers. I’ve been doing a lot of cooking and practicing and pondering “music as cooking.”  Which has nothing to do with wind or women. Or does it?

It all started with a reading about mindfulness and cooking. According to Rohan Gunatillake of the podcast Meditative Story, first you must learn the ingredients, then practice the steps until you achieve mastery—with no recipe required. It’s the same with music. The ingredients are the raw materials: notes, rhythms, dynamics, phrases. Only when these ingredients are learned and practiced can you achieve mastery by stepping into your intuition and lifting the music off the page into the imagination. The best cooking and the best musicmaking both demand mindfulness.

March signals a turning toward spring, complete with warmer air and gusty winds. Women are taking thoughtful strides toward equality and recognition. With a little mindfulness, we can mix in some great music and a little food and sing our way toward a more just world.

Susan Hotchkiss, Director of Music