Joy – Getting to the Point

Teacher continued to hammer musicality yesterday in our lesson – I’m working this Seitz concerto hard, and it’s time to let the relentless pursuit of mechanics go and just feel the music.  There’s so much tough stuff going on in this piece that it’s hard for me to do that.  I want every note to be correct.  But hitting all the notes is only one dimension of music, and I admit that no matter what I do I’m not going to make that happen anytime soon anyway.

Feeling the musicality of a piece is something I have to learn, just like drawing the bow smoothly, where to place my fingers to make the notes, and how to read music.  After all the technical elements are in place, interpretation and musicality really become the most important factors that add up to talent.

Trying to play expressively is new for me; it can take many forms:  Allowing the buildup of tension in a musical line and then releasing it.  Climbing arduously up to a great height and then gliding down.  Painting a picture with dots of sound.  Playing a little theme, letting it go, and returning to it just in the nick of time.  Teacher called it bluntly yesterday as she showed me a sweeping way to joyfully play the first section of the concerto, “You have to feel the joy, otherwise what’s the point?”

I took that pearl into the rest of my day and shared it with others.  What’s the point of anything if we can’t do it joyously?

Thanks for reading.

Ryan

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