Wednesday, July 1, 2009

In the same way that boiling a chicken takes longer than boiling an egg, rhythm and tone may be "cooked" separately. I go to a lot of inventive trouble to accomplish this out of conviction that the synthesis is best left up to the individual child. It is, after all, no less than the stuff of mastery.

Rhythm is commonly thought of as beats. Actually it is as much duration and release as the onset of a pulse. Attention to its inner parts, so to speak, provides a reliable basis for good ensemble musicianship.

Tone is commonly equated with something as discrete as a piano key, though even that single key gives off a mix of overtones too complex to be electronically synthesized. Awareness of this complexity arouses endless fascination.

These things are as true for five-year-olds as for adults--maybe even truer.