Friday, November 23, 2012

Conformity at the Beginning

Conformity is an issue for some of us the moment we are born when it turns out that we do not meet our parent's expectations of the facts of our existence. 

As a young child, aware of the extent of my non-conformity, I was overjoyed to discover hints of a kindred spirit who had lived 200 years previously, Mozart.  It was literally a hands-on discovery, as some of the sounds in his music completely engulfed me as I played them.  These sounds were in no way independent of me,but were as if intrinsic to my being.  I knew that I was not alone.

This is not to presume kinship with Mozart, not at all, but to assert the power of specific sounds to evoke human recognition beyond the everyday.

I play music of the Classical period because its freshness never ceases to amaze me.  But I wonder sometimes what the neighbors make of it.  They have young children; do they assume that my involvement with music should be a model for everyone?  Do they think that because I play this repertoire I require of my students that they do the same?

In fact, for most children, arriving at fascination with the 18th century comes naturally as they ease into self-confidence at the instrument.  The music is truly great and will speak for itself if not forced upon the child.