Lezioni di piano (by cosciansky)
|FW:||What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?|
|Daniel Tong:||If you don’t love music unconditionally then it’s not the job for you.|
|There’s always more to learn.|
|Be an avid student and have respect for the musicians of the past as well as the present.|
|Forget your instrument – it’s just a means to an end.|
|Every note means something.|
|Always be open.|
|Nothing kills music more quickly than dogma.|
|Music doesn’t speak for itself. It speaks through us, the performers.|
I’ve seen lots of people ask for advice at various stages of their lives as musicians… and generally speaking, most of the advice given is the same…
Practice every day.
Find a good teacher.
Don’t get discouraged.
Maybe that last one is just me…
But here’s some unconventional advice for musicians.
I don’t mean super crazy Cirque-du-Soleil in a sauna yoga. I just mean a gentle yoga practice. Because honestly… it really does wonders for your mental discipline, your breathing, and your personal awareness your body.
For one thing, I did not have the “breath support revelation” because of voice lessons. I had it because of yoga. It’s so much easier to access those muscles and learn that control when you’re being still and concentrating on just that, and not pitch and dynamics and articulation and pronunciation and vibrato and and and and… you’re just concentrating on your breath for its own sake.
But far more subtle than that is yoga’s underlying principle of connectivity. It’s sort of easy to agree with the idea of everything being connected, but to see and feel the implications of that is a whole new ballgame. I’ve learned a lot of cool tricks for releasing tension and bettering my posture, and they’re all about awareness of how one thing in your body connects to another.
And another thing… understanding how smaller gestures, movements, and ideas can fit into larger ones. Again… it’s sort of a tough thing to be able to think about when you’re trying to keep a billion other kittens in the basket. In yoga, you’re able to be still and really focus… it’s pretty powerful.
So yeah… find a gentle and positive yoga practice. Not only will you be in better shape, you might find answers to some of your nagging habits or holdups like shoulder tension, flagging breath support, or anxiety.
Couldn’t agree more. I’ve had the same experience!
Claude Debussy - Arabesque
Perfection. This performance really breathes.
"Fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout discusses the fortepiano, its evolution, and how the sound of the instrument influenced the music written for it.
He performs as part of Carnegie Hall’s Vienna: City of Dreams festival on Thursday, February 27, 2014 in Zankel Hall. “
Kristian Bezuidenhout on the Fortepiano (by Carnegie Hall)
On the other hand, there are musicians who are more interested in what the world needs. I see all sorts of things that need doing, and I wish young, talented musicians would serve that purpose. A lot of old conservatories are coming to terms with how to help students in the world we’re heading into, one without so many middlemen. It used to be that one would get a manager, one who would sell you to the world, but this really isn’t happening very much anymore. There might be five people who get this kind of treatment (laughs). Seeing the kids who win the top competitions, you find that they need to be just as resourceful as everybody else. I don’t expect that Daniil Trifonov will pursue the same kind of career that Van Cliburn had."
— Bruce Brubaker speaking in an interview with The Examiner.
Claudio Abbado (1933-2014)
This movement is so gorgeous.
Heard this on a concert program this afternoon — inspiring!
A very distinguished colleague who taught high-level conservatory students would only ever hear a piece once or twice. Even first year students had to bring something new each week, and while the pressure was often quite intense every single one of them developed the skills to assimilate music very quickly. They had to! Apart from playing extremely well, the best of them became excellent sight readers capable of working out complex scores within a few days. They were flexible and marketable pianists with a large repertoire, just what you want from a conservatory education."
Insightful piece from Graham Fitch. I really love his compromise idea of “quick studies”. Read the post!