Monday, September 21, 2009

I teach piano conceptually: it's as simple as that. This means I assume that all hands are different, that people grow and learn in different ways, that there is no method that works. Everyone has to be dealt with as an entire human being. I assume the power of music to organize physically, mentally and emotionally.

There is a place in my studio for the conservatory graduate whose deep instinctual musicality was nearly, but not completely, stifled by years of technique, technique and more technique; as well as for the developmentally challenged young man who learns in his own idiosyncratic fashion.

I listen to each one. Each is free to work at their own pace, to allow the profound synthesis that is music to penetrate their entire being, motivating work that exudes mastery, whether or not one practices hours and hours.

The mastery comes from awareness of detail, not as a matter of polish after "nailing" the notes, but as integral to the piece's power at every stage.