Saturday, November 29, 2014

Is Music Interpersonal?

I have not the slightest doubt about this issue.  It is, of course.  I know that this is true, but I seem to have trouble conveying to others that this aspect of music is the critical one, the one that counts, the one that lasts.

Do I honestly believe that Mozart was talking to me when I was 12?  Of course I do.  I did then, which is the critical answer to that question; and I did become aware fairly soon that my music education was not in the least concerned with that aspect of music.  It was presented as if objective, external to the experience of it.

Every time a student of mine responds to something she hears it is a sign of interpersonal connection.  My students do not learn music theory precisely for that reason.  Theory often blocks the actual nature of the sound by presupposing something about its function or at least its identity. 

What if its only valid identity is the one you perceive as you encounter it for the first time?