Monday, May 25, 2009

As I walked to the subway this morning I was singing to myself a familiar passage from a piano sonata that I have played many, many times. Suddenly I heard it in a new way: instead of four notes repeating I heard six notes with the final two preparing the next idea.

The need to vary experience, not to repeat myself or to parrot back someone else's version of whatever it is--all these things I recall vividly from my earliest memories of learning. Repetition became entrapment within helpless boredom.

All children--even those with severe developmental challenges--respond to variation in music. We work together at keeping the elements in motion; the alternative makes minds and bodies go numb.

Walking down the subway stairs I almost said aloud: "This means so much to me!"