Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The world needs more amateurs

Alan Rusbridger writes in the Guardian about a unique piano camp in England for some very dedicated amateur pianists. Rusbridger writes:

We should pause to deconstruct the word amateur. "A century ago," writes DJ Taylor in his recent book about sporting Corinthians, "'amateur' was a compliment to someone who played a game simply for the love of it. A hundred years later, it is a by-word for cack-handed incompetence."

The same point is made by the late American literary critic Wayne Booth, who wrote a book about his lifelong love of playing the cello. He intended his book to be "a celebration of what it means to do something worth doing for the sheer love of doing it, with no thought of future pay-off - in a world where you can't even survive unless you do some thinking about payoff".

I've always admired the dedication and long-term tenacity of amateurs, or as Rusbridger calls them, "virtual professionals"--we need more. Sometimes I notice that amateurs seem to love the art more than professionals do and may just be the real engine of the classical music industry, buying subscriptions, cds, as well as donating to organizations.


Update 9/19/06

twang twang twang's take on the Rusbridger article

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:44 PM

    I am just starting out with music and with the piano in particular, and I have a long way to go.

    It has been years since I have done anything remotely musical, and if I look in my closet I will see an old acoustic guitar covered in dust.

    I admidt that I am a total "Amature", but I look forward to someday being a "virtual professional" piano player.

    It is a hard climb toards piano competency and others who are just starting out (or restaring out) in learning to play the piano may find this site helpful: Piano Player Site.