Sunday, December 5, 2010

A long talk with a retired art teacher drew out the observation that competitiveness is built into music study from the earliest levels while it is missing from art study.

She remarked that depth is apparent in children's artwork even at an early age. Very often parents do not discern it and opt to train the child's facility. The counterpart to me in piano study is the absence of ear-awareness/touch that goes with competitive piano playing. Don't the parents hear the hostility? It is the first thing I notice. I always wonder how long will that child's musical life will last.

I once had a young student who played like that after a bad day at school. I would change places with her and do some playing myself. A few minutes later she got the point: Music is a two-way street on which the listener is to be respected as much as the player.