Project Gutenberg just released the following:
The Project Gutenberg eBook of Advice to Young Musicians. Musikalische Haus- und Lebens-Regeln, by Robert Schumann
It’s nominally a book of proverbs about learning how to become a musician, but music is like many other fields in which you might gain expertise, so the advice in general is quite appropriate to other disciplines. Some nice quotes.
When you play, never mind who listens to you.
When you have done your musical day’s work and feel tired, do not exert yourself further. It is better to rest than to work without pleasure and vigour.
As to choice in the study of your pieces, ask the advice of more experienced persons than yourself; by so doing, you will save much time.
Relieve the severity of your musical studies by reading poetry. Take many a walk in the fields and woods!
Highly esteem the Old, but take also a warm interest in the New. Be not prejudiced against names unknown to you.
In judging of compositions, discriminate between works of real art and those merely calculated to amuse amateurs. Cherish those of the former description, and do not get angry with the others.
Without enthusiasm nothing great can be effected in art.
and perhaps most importantly…
There is no end of learning.
One might just as well think he was talking about any of my other interests, like telescope making, mathematics, or amateur radio.