Thursday, January 1, 2015

"Do Nothing"

These simple words were among the most important instructions I have ever received.  Hans Neumann, my piano teacher, indicated that this was what the true artist did after having done all there was to do with a piece or a passage.

Ironically I teach all my students to do nothing, all the time.  They must learn to respect articulations and dynamics on a par with the notes themselves, but their ear is the only arbiter of sense in the sounds they produce.  Because they listen intently everyone who hears them play listens also at that level.

Sounds make their own sense.  A good composition makes its own sense.  We have only to learn to listen to it.  The time that it takes to achieve this is well worth spending.