Thursday, October 4, 2012

It Takes Too Long

After listening to the less naturally gifted sibling play a Bartok piece from For Children, Vol. II, I am struck by the utter finesse of touch, the profound connection with the affect of every sound, the total genuineness of the playing.  Facile?  No.  Energetic?  Definitely, but with an inner energy that would not pass muster in a setting in which everyone plays more or less uniformly. 

Why must everyone sound like everyone else?

Whose ear are we trying to please?

Teaching piano conventionally feels like putting words into people's mouths.  Granted it takes a long time to process meaning in terms of sound and to trust oneself to play in such a way as not to obstruct that meaning.

When I asked the student to describe what the playing was like, the reply was, "It's breaking through."  What an accurate assessment of a difficult and rewarding process.

I could have dashed off the piece without a second thought at the same age, undoubtedly finding the piece too simple, but I could never have been so confident and so candid.