Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 258 of Practice: Music and Passion

Good morning. Lots of video today, and also yesterday (see yesterday's entry for that!)

A few weeks ago, I wrote about quality vs. quantity in repertoire. To illustrate my point, I posted a video titled "Communist Calisthenics," which showed a group of young Chinese women doing their morning calisthenics in office attire. Of course, what I meant by this is: when you learn and play tunes, make sure you're not just "going through the motions"--getting all the right notes in order, playing at the right time... but neglecting the beautiful music and phrasing that happens underneath. It's one thing to know a lot of tunes; it's another thing entirely to be able to make music with them.

Someone shared this video with me yesterday. Benjamin Zander discussing classical music, and in it, he addresses the critical role of the performer in empassioning one's audience. He's funny, engaging, and also incredibly insightful. It's a 20-minute video; it's worth every second, even if you are not a musician. For the nonmusician audience, he addresses how to listen to music to get the most enjoyment out of it, and he also places the responsibility on the musician: to think of the music for its message, and to deliver it so. (If this link doesn't work or comes out too small for your screen, visit www.ted.com and search for Ben Zander.)

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