Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Listening Like a Piano Teacher

It suddenly came to me this morning while I was brushing my teeth that the reason people listen so rigidly may have something to do with the way they were listened to as young piano students, i.e., by a teacher who was, whether audibly or not, counting all the time.

No wonder it is so hard for people to believe that there is a difference between a single tone of long duration and four separately articulated instances of the same tone.

Perhaps it's because I know what it feels like to be haunted by someone else's ears that I go to such pains to convince my young students that I am really listening to them, and not to some fictionalized version of them.