Saturday, April 5, 2014

Pamela Stanley: Scientist / Piano Student

Yesterday Dr. Pamela Stanley was awarded a distinguished prize by the faculty of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, of which she is a distinguished member.  Her field, glycobiology (simply put, the study of sugars) exists because she asked simple questions to which she determinedly pursued answers.

The fact that I have enjoyed teaching Pamela for a very long time rather amuses me, as piano teachers are known to declare that after a period of time they have nothing more to teach a student.  I have yet to experience this problem because I take as a given that what the student learns from me is only part of the transaction.  Much more important to the working relationship is what I learn from the student.

Is this fair?

What could be more elusive than the pursuit of answers to the simple questions evoked in the works of the masters?  Does an honest player ever stop asking those questions?