Hi Jeff. I really understand this. I grew up in a musical house and learned to play several instruments. It was a natural choice to major in music at university. But the formality of that education, and the rigidity that meant if you didn’t interpret the music in the same way as the lecturer then you were wrong, drove away most of the pleasure. It seemed like a huge light was shone on my lack rather than on what abilities I did have. I left university thinking I would never play again. It was so painful.
Thankfully I came across Buddhism after I graduated (and was training to be an accountant — how far removed from music is that!) After a couple of years I played in a Buddhist orchestra and started taking piano lessons again. This helped me to heal a bit.
But the biggest healing came ten years later when I started to write and went through Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way programme. That is when I felt that I was an artist and that my creations were worthy and valid.