The surprise came at the end of a banjo lesson. Cary Fridley, my teacher, began describing the ​work involved in “cutting” her next CD: recruiting musicians, practicing privately, practicing ​together again and again — all in preparation for the final recording session coming up ​the next week. ​“I get increasingly anxious as we approach the recording,” she admitted. ​“Well,” I asked, “what helps you with your anxiety?” ​Her response was profound beyond her knowing.“When I can get to that place within myself and with others where the music is more important than me, then I am not anxious.” — Mahan Siler, quoting his banjo teacher