Sunday, June 8, 2014

Is There a Cure for Bad Piano Lessons?

This condition afflicts many people, some of whom think it is hereditary: in other words, they insist on passing it on to their children.

As with all chronic conditions there are nuances in the diagnosis:  Some of these bad lessons were the fault of the teacher as evidenced in lack of concern for the child's good feeling about the enterprise and/or about music.

A prominent jazz pianist told me of his childhood teacher insisting that he correct his hand position.  After having achieved some prominence in the alternative music world he realized that Horowitz's hand position looked awfully familiar to him.

In my case it wasn't the lessons so much as the assigned method books.  If that was music I wanted no part of it, so I never practiced.  Fooling around saved my musical soul.

It is like every other poison we ingest as infants:  with maturity comes the option to recover.  It can be done but it must be desired.