Wise Words From Jascha Heifetz

I went down a rabbit hole of Jascha Heifetz. He was a remarkable violinist. One of the all-time greats from what I have read.

I came across a quote by Heifetz that struck me:

“Use your technique to show the music, do not use the music to show your technique.” (I saw this quote in a Youtube comment and have been unable to verify it. But the words run true regardless.)

These are wise words for musicians and artists alike. Use your painting technique to show the subject, do not use the subject to show your technique.

Here are some more of his quotes that also apply to artists:

“Guide a youngster’s fingers over a piano keyboard, and let him pick out Yankee Doodle. From that moment onward, he will have a heightened appreciation of music.”

“Can you appreciate music without playing it? Of course you can, in the same way that people who are not athletes get enjoyment from attending a game to enjoy the crowd, the excitement, and the experience.”

“Instinctively we recognize good music, and somehow or other, we know the real thing. When I have played in country schools where the children had never heard a flesh-and-blood musician in their lives, they listened attentively when I played first-rate pieces. When I played second-rate pieces – as an experiment only – they wriggled and stared out the window.”

“There’s not a living human being who doesn’t need luck. You need luck every time you give a concert. You worry about weather and transportation. Trains and planes are sometimes late; taxis have been known to break down. Then, at the hall, you worry that a string might snap or the lights fail, or that a page-turner might flip over two pages at once.”

“We continue learning every day of our life. But for some of us, too much formal education can result in getting nowhere by degrees.”

“The discipline of practice every day is essential. When I skip a day, I notice a difference in my playing. After two days, the critics notice, and after three days, so does the audience.”

Happy painting!

Dan Scott