Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Life Through Piano Lessons

Many of you might already know the blog of Australian pianist, composer, and writer Elissa Milne, who writes about some very worthwhile and penetrating articles on the experience of music education and culture. Elissa's Piano Lessons for Life is one of her most insightful articles yet, and looks at the richness of life experience that can be taught through music. I love this quote:
Much of the time a lesson might be concerned with minutiae of piano performance, finding a way to tuck a thumb comfortably beneath the hand, exploring how finger shape alters tone, mastering a chord progression or understanding a new notation. But each and every piano lesson was also about life. Voicing is not just about creating a beautiful sound, it’s about appreciating how conversations work by paying attention to one voice at a time; form is not just about how a composer has structured the work, it’s about how we can make sense of our experiences; scales are not just tedious exercises to be prepared for examinations, they are palettes of possibility, demonstrating the power that limitations can unleash as well as the tedium that repression can enforce.

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