As Mark Applebaum's
I don't usually like Ted Talks. Most are benign, easy listening versions of good talks. And, honestly, this talk isn't all that different.
But it serves as great reminders to let your creativity be what it wants to be. As a composer, it's easy to get bogged down in some ideas- performability, standard notation, preconceived conventions (usually based on genre), fear (of new things, of not being good enough, of making something people won't like, of making something uninteresting, of breaking the piano, of pissing off the concertmaster)
So take it as a reminder about being an artist- do what your artistic idea has you do. And be entertained by just how "crazy" Mark Applebaum is.
And I will admit it here- I really wanted to go to Stanford. It was my top choice of schools for my doctorate. My life placed me at UMKC for many reasons, and I do not regret being here...But every time I see what's happening at Stanford, I know, deep down, that it's where I probably would have fit in the best. UMKC has been great to me, no question. I've learned a great deal here. It's a case of the "grass is always greener on the other side."
So, lesson 2? Take your time and apply everywhere you're thinking about for grad schools, or else you WILL get that "greener on the other side" shit stuck in your brain.
Enjoy a manic Mark Applebaum