Ishani O'Connor

London Uk, United Kingdom

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Ishani O'Connor
Posted about 1 year ago
As a society why are we so disparaging of amateurs? Amateur musicians, artists, cooks etc.
That's a very good point, well made. There are plenty of pop musicians out there posing as professional even though their delivery is not as good as most amateurs but are given a lot of 'help' technically in the studio etc. and then the musicians who support them are very good because they have to be the true professionals and this has become convention, it seems so unfair! And yet there are plenty of people who we probably all personally know who are brilliant at what they do but because of fashion, media, marketability never see the light of day. I am waiting for the true internet revolution when those who wait in the shadows get their chance.
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Ishani O'Connor
Posted about 1 year ago
As a society why are we so disparaging of amateurs? Amateur musicians, artists, cooks etc.
I just found the following quote in an academic paper from 1989: "The amateur arts are a 'recreational' activity that serves to recreate the ability of a worker to do his or her job, or a 'leisure' activity that serves to 'self-actualize' a citizen's creative potential, thereby permitting a fuller appreciation of life. The dominant organizational form of production is the unpaid individual and the voluntary association." I suppose I was trying to understand why we make this distinction? A lot of artists would not call themselves artists i.e. musicians, actors, writers, painters necessarily labelling themselves and in my estimation, once you do, you no longer have the freedom to practice your imagination. I think amateur is only a label and if we derive pleasure and eventually a living of some kind from our art then surely the distinction is no longer helpful? I certainly don't believe however that artists cannot be professional in the same way scientists are as we are all striving to be the best at what we do (and do it safely!!).
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Ishani O'Connor
Posted about 1 year ago
As a society why are we so disparaging of amateurs? Amateur musicians, artists, cooks etc.
This may also open the discussion out to something else. Is there such a thing as 'pure talent'? Are those who are naturally gifted more admirable because of their lack of tutoring as if this is the ultimate in human endeavour therefore almost invalidating those professionals or experienced practitioners? If someone is born with the ability to beat the rest, run faster, play better, sing with an angelic tone does this 'purity' make them more valuable?
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Ishani O'Connor
Posted about 1 year ago
As a society why are we so disparaging of amateurs? Amateur musicians, artists, cooks etc.
The reason I ask this question is that I have personal experience of this, from my own childhood and a project I have been working with for a few years. I know there could be a tension created between professional teachers and unqualified assistants as teachers may feel they are being 'replaced' by amateurs because of budget cuts in schools. I also see that children quite often want to play perfectly straight away and don't realise the commitment and hard work it takes to be as good as someone they see performing professionally. In my experience, I have found that adult volunteers who are amateur musicians helping children who are beginners can be a rewarding time for ALL participants. As I have children who are learning piano, I have been to see them perform and they are lucky to be at a school where this is encouraged (without expecting perfection) so that they can feel what it is like to play in front of an audience and likewise my children come to see the amateur orchestra I perform with. When I was growing up and learning to play piano and violin, my parents who could read music as singers but not play an instrument, instilled a deep love of music of all kinds in me, even though they had to rely on teachers to help me to improve (apart from making sure I practiced of course!) Many people learn an instrument as a child/young adult but give it up when 'real life' takes over (or they lack the confidence to make music their profession) but want to get back into it at some point in their lives - these are the enthusiasts I think could help those (children or adults) who are just starting out on the journey.