Monthly Archives: April 2014

Right Country….

I once had an 8-year-old student — a delightful boy, a real charmer — and at the first

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Who Taught Whom?

I was so pleased to tell Lee Hambro

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Q is for Quiet

Sometimes, in practicing, we play louder and louder, more and more coarsely, and wonder why

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K is for Knowledge

“Before God and as an honest man,” said Haydn to Leopold Mozart, “I tell you that your son is the greatest composer known to me either in person or by name. He has taste and, what is more, the most profound knowledge of composition.” In saying, “what is more,” was he rating knowledge above taste? […]

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T is for Temperamental

“The temperamental artist”: a cliché to make a performer smile.

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R is for the Risk of Rationalism

Understanding, explaining, teaching—these wonderful “verbal-intellectual” activities

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P is for Profligate

To master the great works, we must be

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I is for Intention

Here’s a little pencil-and-paper exercise with profound implications: Draw a staff and write a bar or two of melody. Put a crescendo over a few notes and an accent on one of them, or whatever expression marks you choose. Now try to imagine that a composer could make such marks and not mean the performer to pay attention […]

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G is for Goal-Oriented

The One True Approach to Technique—do all instrumentalists look for it 

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B is for Boredom, a Creative Force

Displeased with my playing of a passage, I turn off the lights. Sitting at the piano in the dark

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