Saturday, October 12, 2013

Words Are Too Slow

Spoken words are, indeed, heard.  But they are not music.

They have to go through multiple filterings before they have meaning.  Music goes straight into motor and emotional responses, both at the same time and in equal intensity -- such is the anatomical nature of the auditory nerve as I understand it.

Concepts interfere with this immediacy.  Words, being attached to concepts, interfere also.

Last week I enjoyed a one-on-one with an almost-three-year-old, new to my environment.  I had started out by telling his parents we would not talk, but just engage in sound together, he and I.  Well, that is almost impossible with such a young child without the presence of other children to form an experiential commonality.  No sooner did I open my mouth than one parent followed suit with words, definitions, etc.  Perhaps that person wanted to be part of the experience but could not join us on the floor under the piano.

I am scheduling Improvisations With and For Children for mostly three-year-olds and older (no upward limit, as all children enjoy this).  I play the piano, not kid stuff but real music; they improvise on the assorted percussion instruments I have scattered in the room.  There is no condescension on my part: I do it because it is truly satisfying music-making.   Younger children are welcome to sit on their parent's lap and engage with smaller close-up sounds.  E-mail for information.