Guitar great Sharon Isbin on ‘inner creativity’

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.

As a multi-Grammy Award winner Sharon Isbin is hailed as “the pre-eminent classical guitarist of our time”. She has appeared as soloist with over 170 orchestras, and has commissioned more concerti than any other guitarist. Her catalogue of over 25 recordings ranges from Baroque to jazz-fusion. In 1995, one of her CDs was even taken into space by U.S. astronauts.

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.”


Popular posts from this blog

Maharishi talks on Soma, mid 1970s

The twelve Jyotirlingas of India ­­– Seats of Silence for the World

Victory according to Guru Dev (Swami Brahmananda Saraswati)