Yo-Yo Ma

Great interview.

For me as a musician, I try to be aware of where I am. As a performer, my job is to make the listener the most important person in the room. The only way to avoid burnout is to care about where you are. My good friend Manny Ax12 would always say to me that it doesn’t matter what you did yesterday; if you’re here today, that’s what counts. Being present. Caring. You’re working with living material. That goes back to memory. The living material is only living if it is memorable. Not only that it’s memorable but that you pass it on. That is what I’m thinking about with every single interaction. Whether it’s a kid, someone on the street, in a concert hall or with you, David. It’s the same thing: How to be present. Because if you’re not?

Re-written:

For me as a teacher, I try to be aware of where I am. As a teacher, my job is to make the students the most important people in the room. The only way to avoid burnout is to care about where you are. My good friend Manny Ax12 would always say to me that it doesn’t matter what you did yesterday; if you’re here today, that’s what counts. Being present. Caring. You’re working with living material. That goes back to memory. The living material is only living if it is memorable. Not only that it’s memorable but that you pass it on. That is what I’m thinking about with every single interaction. Whether it’s a student, someone on the street, in a school or with you, David. It’s the same thing: How to be present. Because if you’re not?

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