Saturday, January 4, 2014

Marshall McLuhan and Me

After playing last night to an audience of significant ears -- i.e., ideally engaged listeners -- I found myself referring to McLuhan's observation that all new media should go straight into the hands of children.

This morning I awoke realizing that that is exactly what happened between the piano and me: I enjoyed a period of immersion in the instrument before ever seeing anyone play the piano or having any idea of what the piano was supposed to be, in other words, no model, no preconception, no instruction.

The sense of wonderment at its fascinating sound has never left me.  It may account for the various twists and turns of my musical and personal quest for mastery of this extraordinary phenomenon.

Trouble is that because the Industrial Revolution came after the invention of the piano, it did not go into ordinary households until its splendid fantasy-rich sound had been tamed by piano teachers armed with finger studies.

Think about it.  Then move your piano into your child's room, where it belongs.