Monday, December 1, 2014

Vitality of Inner Hearing

A friend is one of the top administration at The Lighthouse for the Blind music school here in NYC.  She told me once that when blind young men hit their early 20's they tend to become very discouraged, especially if there are other disabilities.

My blind, autistic, severely developmentally-challenged student for the past 16 years turned 21 this past week.  This morning I was told that he plays the piano every day, that he says over and over again, that going to piano on Saturday is very important.

Sure enough, he played his Bartok again today, beautifully, with mastery.  And HE knew it.  How many years did I play before I felt that I had truly played beautifully, with mastery? 

What makes the difference?  In my case hearing was assumed.  In his case, it was never assumed.  It was central to his training. 

Today this almost completely non-verbal young man asked a question that knocked my socks off.  In the beautiful, moody Bartok there is a note that appears once and only once in the left hand.  He loves that note and wants to keep it sounding.  When I told him he had to let go of it he asked, "Why?"

Great question.