Faith in Falling

Recently, I’ve been working with several students on interpreting jazz standards: beyond words and melody into a personal expression of the song.

That kind of personal expression is a voyage in discovery and necessitates a lot of falling. Interpretive ruts, wrong notes improvised, out-of-tune passages, inconsistent swing, inelegant lines…the list of mistakes you must make to hone your art is extensive.

But falling isn’t failing. If you can fall over and over again in private, and take a good look (either through self-analysis or a with a good coach) at the reasons for why you fell, and then get back up, you will find that the falling leads inevitably to success. Failure is when you fall and don’t get back up.

Have faith in falling – it’s an unavoidable part of the path to success. As the Japanese proverb says,

“Fall down seven times, get up eight.”