Friday, November 29, 2013

Insightful Listening IS for Beginners

The first thing that happens to most piano students is that they are encouraged to not listen.  If they did listen (which, despite the teacher's best efforts, they do) they would notice that no two pianos sound the same and this would, it seems obvious, get them all loused up when they go to play an altogether new instrument in a recital.

Not teaching beginners that listening matters rather guarantees that all-too-familar louse-up.

With a confident ear the student can enjoy playing at whatever level of competence he or she needs to attain in order to explore their chosen repertoire.

With no practicing, just occasional immersion in bits of a Beethoven Sonata (Op. 10, #3), my young adult student relishes every nuance as if he is making it up himself which, in a way, he is, since everything happens in response to his uninhibited ear rather than by means of a visual or verbal command.

I learn a great deal about Beethoven from listening to him listen.