Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sometimes I get the feeling that we are not prepared to believe that children are as likely to have something to say in tone as they are in words. Words and other pre-codified objects demand less of the listener than do sounds in their larger, unrestricted domain. But this larger, unrestricted domain clearly exists.

It is to this realm that Szymanowski's music refers--and Janacek's. Also Bartok, Schumann, Chopin...the list goes on.

By overly restricting our notions of what music refers to we have made it harder to receive uncodified messages except, perhaps, through the medium of instrumental virtuosity. By the time most young pianists have leaped through those hoops of pretend-fire all that usually remains is code without access to content, which then has to be pasted on.

I have been moved to notice the depth of the music native to my young students.