The Yin/Yang of Inspiration/Discipline

What gets you to sit down at the piano, day after day? Or rather, when you don’t get to it on a particular day, what’s the reason (other than a full schedule, of course)?

When I was a college freshman, I liked to linger after English class and speak with the teacher, Steve Straight. (Hi Steve, if you’re reading this!) Steve was a grad student at the time and I think he used the English class as a pretext for sharing his love of learning with us, regardless of subject.

Once, while discussing music, Steve said something I had never thought of before. He said something like: ” It may be that inspiration and discipline act as a team. When you don’t have inspiration, you need discipline. But when you do have inspiration, you don’t need discipline.”

His point was that you can’t rely on just one of them all the time. But if you know which effort to make at a given time, you’ll sit down at the piano and get to work.

Which will get you to the piano today, inspiration or discipline?
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