As we are spending more and more time indoors, we're sharing a series of articles about creativity in isolation to demonstrate how important the arts are to maintaining good mental wellbeing. We spoke to Brass teacher John Samuel Wood about the services that he is contunuing to offer during these strange times.
I’m a brass instrumental teacher offering online lessons for all brass instruments, ages and abilities - lessons are delivered via Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.
With schools currently closed, I feel it’s important to support students and parents as they try to maintain some sense of normality and routine. It also feel it’s important to continue to deliver lessons and support people on their musical journeys as music can bring lots of joy!
Like many other self-employed people, I’ve had to quickly adapt my business model to ensure personal survival. Moving from offline to online teaching has been an great experience and I want to say a big thank you to all my students who have continued their lessons online – I’m very grateful.
The arts always play a fundamental role in enriching people’s lives, especially at times like these. I’ve found it fascinating to watch the explosion of creativity that has occurred as a result of people having to stay at home and slow down. It’s also great to see lots of people discovering and appreciating what is important to them in life; another very positive thing that has come out of all this.
I practice something called Ascension meditation. Ascension is a simple but powerful technique that is taught by the Ishaya Monks of The Bright Path. Since learning to Ascend, I’ve experienced more peace, creativity and clarity in my life - something else that I’m very grateful for, especially at a time like this!
Just do it! In my experience, the main thing that gets in the way of people engaging with creative activities is thinking. Studies have shown that as adults we experience approximately 90,000-120,000 thoughts a day, but when we are lost in a creative act, the mind stills, it’s pleasurable, we forget our worries and have fun!
This experince of being ‘lost’ in what we are doing is something all creatives will recognise, and it can only happen when we are present. Look at very young children (the masters of creative play!); they’re present and not thinking about tomorrow or yesterday. They’re not even analysing if their creations are good or bad!
So my advice would be to not think about it and just do it. Show up, pick up your instrument and play! (And if you do want to think about it, then do that afterwards!)