Saturday, January 11, 2014

Another One: Bor-ed

Every time I hear the story I recognize the problem: it's just what I described in the Marshall McLuhan post.  Piano teachers laden with finger exercises get in the way of the child's innate musicality.  I just met another such adult, describing that circumstance in exactly those terms, indicating that in no way could he have said to the well-meaning teacher that he quit those many years ago because he was bored.  Then he asked me, "But don't you have to teach the children technique?"

"Not the way I teach," is my reply.  When every aspect of playing is directly related to the ear technique follows as the night the day because the child so wants to play a particular piece and to play it to her own standard, which is inevitably higher than the standard I would have deemed acceptable for her.  I have watched it happen.  It is not a miracle, but the result of a great deal of teacher / parent patience and belief that the only worthwhile goal is long-term.

It is a matter of the heart and soul, not of achievement.