Guitar great Sharon Isbin on ‘inner creativity’
December 2, 2014
When she was a child, Sharon Isbin wanted to become a rocket scientist like her father. Instead, she has reached stratospheric heights as one of the world’s greatest classical guitarists.
She credits her years of Transcendental Meditation practice – she started at the age of 17, and has been going ever since – with maintaining her teaching, recording and touring work and keeping her life balanced.
Sharon Isbin on
benefits of meditation
In her amazingly productive career, Isbin has performed at the White House and Carnegie Hall and played with rock guitarists such as Steve Vai, Steve Morse and Nancy Wilson. She also founded the guitar department at the Juilliard School of Music. At age 58, Isbin sometimes plays as many as 20 concerts a month.
However, she says that she still gets nervous before each one.
To prepare for a show, she meditates and then practices only lightly, so that onstage she can “flip the switch and pretend it’s the first time ever.”
Meditation also helps once she is in front of the audience. “TM really helps me access my inner creativity,” Isbin says. “Meditation is something that facilitates deep immersion when I’m on stage.”
“I feel like if I’m there in a trancelike state, the audience comes with me, and they’re in that journey with me. Music takes people out of this world and into another for a period of time where hopefully they can experience the emotions of joy and sadness and nostalgia, but in a really artistically empowering way.”
SOURCES and MORE INFO:
Interview by Joey DiGuglielmo, The classics and beyond
“Sharon Isbin: Notes From a Classical Guitarist”
by Alexandra Wolfe,
“Sharon Isbin: Seeking Out Serenity”
by Liz Robbins,
“Sharon Isbin: Troubadour” (2014),
American Public Television