Friday, July 8, 2011

A Wondering Minstrel, I

Well. It's been awhile, hasn't it? This bovine got caught up in the particulars of going back to school. Sadly, whilst I spent most of my time writing about music, there was no space left for writing here. But now!

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If there's one thing I did bring back from my dip into the educational pool, it was reinforcement of how important it is to keep and/or cultivate a sense of wonder into what we (as musicians, music educators, music critics) do. Music has so much power, particularly to help children develop as thoughtful, creative, expressive adults. But once it has become a bludgeoning stick of "You must listen to this! You must practice that!" - it loses much of that power.

This is not, of course, advocating a lack of discipline, completely free-form noise, or any such nonsense. It's merely that whilst we're practicing, whilst we're rehearsing, whilst we're teaching, whilst we're performing -- we need to remember that music is magic. The prosaic has its place, but step back and just enjoy it!

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I shall be attempting to see and review Brook's stripped down version of Magic Flute this coming week. I'm looking forward to seeing what he's done with the piece, particularly as it's an opera so frequently subjected to the depredation of tacky sets, horrible costumes, and schlocky directing...

4 comments:

definitelytheopera said...

So glad you're back, TDMM! Speaking of music education, can you recommend a good introductory handbook to piano playing for an adult? I'm house-sitting a place with a piano, and I should seize the opportunity. I intend to go through Barbara Wharram's Introduction to Theory (which I could never tackle without a keyboard). Any other similar exercises thingamajig that you might recommend?

La Cowntessa said...

Actually, you know what I would recommend is not specifically for adults, but I used it to teach myself piano back in the day, and I still go back to the most advanced books occasionally, myself.

It's the John Thompson Piano Method. Old old old school - meant for kids, but before things for kids were being watered down. But it is self-explanatory, helpful and nicely progressive, quickly giving you interesting things to play.

Hope that helps!

La Cowntessa said...

PS, sorry for the late reply. For some reason, I don't get notifications when people respond!

definitelytheopera said...

Great, I'll look for it. I'm still on time.