Friday, July 19, 2013

Accentuate the Negative - Why Not?

As powerful as the child's response to magic -- another word for beauty -- is the child's response to the unpalatable, the first experience of carrots on the tongue.  Yuck.

I recall the feeling:  How could Mozart do this to me, after giving me such a beautiful sound on one beat to expect me to play the exact opposite just one beat later?

I love to draw children's attention to their negative reactions to specific sounds, which are as important to the musical health of the child as having plots in the books they read.  I wonder what would have happened to my musical life had someone pointed out that the vast disparity between consonance and dissonance was essential to the whole business.

I wonder how many children/teenagers quit because of just such "negative" feelings never acknowledged, never attended to.