Thursday, November 14, 2013

Empathetic Listening

The more I think about it -- and I think about it a great deal -- the more I realize that the core of my work, whether playing, teaching, recording, writing, or doing research in various media, is empathy.

I try to listen to music the way I imagine the composer listened to it.  Of course I have to use my imagination, but I go to some trouble to school that imagination so that it is not fettered by fashions, notions, or any other -tions (pun intended, sorry).

If more performers listened with empathy we would play better.  If more parents listened with empathy their children would play better.  If more students listened with empathy they would continually surpass themselves instead of limiting themselves, and each other, by competitive standards.

So that is to be the focus of my upcoming teaching institute: Open to players of all instruments and singers.  Professional, amateur, young, old, teachers, students, parents, you name it.

Do stay tuned.