State University of New York Institute of Technology
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The Ethics of Solitude

This article explains how musicians (and other creative types) strive on solitude.  Fore they know that only through hours of practice time in a small practice room can they accomplish their goal.  Having been a music student and a musician in the past I can attest to this 100%.  People that have not undergone this type of not understand what its like.  So how does someone who does their best work concentrating quietly and alone survive in a work society that is now thriving on group work and breaking down the separating walls between cubicles.  From a personal perspective I will tell you that it is very hard.  Although I've gotten a lot better at blocking out sounds around me so that I can concentrate at work there is still nothing better for work productivity than coming into the office early or staying late after everyone has left.  The best solution of course is to come in on the weekend, but with a family at home this is not desirable.  We (musicians) do not neccessarily have a goal of being a recluse or to withdraw from society...its just that we understand the things that can be accomplished by solitary, concentrated and undisturbed concentration.  

This brings up one last thought.  With this new emphasis always working in groups, I've noticed that some people are loosing the ability to work alone.  Can anyone say shortened attention span?  I know very smart people who can't sit and concentrate on a problem for a whole day, they might only be able to go for an hour or so.  So there needs to be a balance, not every task or problem is group project.  Some time needs to be spent in independent study and once that knowledge has been gained then individuals can meet as a group and share those accomplishments and hopefully find solutions to problems.

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