Friday, April 9, 2010

My work is primarily with listening. No intellectual knowledge is required to have reactions to music. None. In fact, the less conscious interference the better.

That is why children are so important. They react involuntarily. It is up to teachers and parents to spot and interpret their reactions. Sometimes a child does not practice because their piano is out of tune. (I have seen that more than once.) Sometimes it is because a particular interval in a piece growls at them every time they play it. (I have seen that, too: one child cried at the offending sound; another simply took her hands off the keyboard and refused to go on.)

Individual sounds are more real to children than to adults who are used to hearing in context. I asked one child if it sounded as bad when I played it, to which she replied, "No, because you know what is coming next."

Yet I have seen many adults deny that their gut reactions to sound have anything to do with meaning.