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Music Concentration At Its Best


In any type of education — music, arts, athletics — focus and concentration are essential elements for success. Just as a baseball batter needs to ignore distractions and focus on the ball, a musician must be able to focus on the notes.

We recently learned of a young musician who took her concentration skills to a new level and we were impressed!

Flutist Yukie Ota was performing at an international competition in Denmark when a butterfly landed on her forehead. To make matters worse, the butterfly did not flutter away. It remained on her forehead for at least a minute and, according to NPR, was most likely looking for a salty drink to satiate itself.  Aside from one, perhaps two, glances up at her forehead she did not succumb to the distraction. Ota continued playing and, at an appropriate break, swatted the butterfly away.  At all times she appeared composed and professional.

Ota told Michigan Live: “He [the butterfly] just came and landed on my head. I didn’t see it coming. All of a sudden it landed, ‘What is happening? It was kind of surprising, at the same time, I had to concentrate on my performance. If I stop, I will fail.”

We were happy to learn that Ota advanced to the next round, despite her butterfly distraction, and eventually placed second in the competition. She considered the butterfly incident an unexpected benefit that helped her place high in the competition.

“It left a good impression on the judges because they saw I had good concentration on the music,” Ota told Michigan Live.

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