Con as Bubble-Squared

Written: Monday, February 3, 2014

We’ve all heard about the Lawrence Bubble–it’s one of those terms that gets thrown around casually at Lawrence, like Lawrence Difference (e.g. #lawrencedifference). It describes a condition experienced by Lawrentians who, while spending several days without sleep to write a paper or prepare for a recital, become impervious to any news of the outside world: What? The Super Bowl was yesterday? Oh, how did the Packers do?


I’ve been thinking lately about how the Conservatory is sometimes a bubble-within-a-bubble. Bubble-Squared. Twice sheltered by the practice room and by the Lawrence campus, student musicians practice away with little-to-no idea about how their efforts will contribute to their communities and the world beyond their usual lessons, recitals, and competitions.

Think about it. The music that you work so hard to create is beautiful, valuable, and worth listening to. But have you thought about who’s listening? We have the benefit (more like a protective bubble, a la Bubble Boy) of required events, free recital programs, and studio mates who have to attend your recital–or else face a lower grade.

Fellow Lawrence musicians–once you graduate and leave the Lawrence Bubble, no one will be required to go to your recital. People would probably much prefer watching TV or chewing bubble gum to sitting through an hour of your music after a full-day’s work.

But don’t despair. Your music is valuable and worth listening to, and maybe even worth paying for. So make sure you convey that value to potential audience members. And make sure you do it well.

For starters, check out this post from The Bulletproof Musician:



Written: Sunday, January 26, 2014

I am a passionate pianist. For me, there is no other way to make music. The hundreds of hours spent in a practice room–working out the musical details, phrasing and choreography of a piece of music–culminate not in the hour of a recital, but in the moment of performance, in the phenomenon of translating one’s self into vibrations in the air made by an instrument to reach the ears, minds, hearts of an audience. That’s music.

I seek to understand music and society, and how their interaction builds community, enhances life, reveals truths and creates meaning.