Friday, July 23, 2010

A paper I recently read brought up the notion that not everyone hears the same way and that it is not necessarily a good idea to assume that everyone should, though music pedagogy goes to a lot of trouble to try to get that to happen.

I find it counterproductive to work toward that goal. The way I hear defines my musical self and that is who I am--it is my identity. It binds me to others who hear the way I hear. How do I know who they are? By listening to their music, whether they are living performers or composers no longer with us. The thought of losing that is intolerable.

The belief that we hear as individuals and are bound to others by the sheer power of that individuality is the basis of my teaching. The children I teach do not organize themselves in any systematic way around what they hear. Each hears as he or she hears and respects the auditory organization of the others. If there is a stronger basis for mindful music learning I cannot imagine it.