“Oh, that’s easy to play. My 2 year old brother can play this music. We played this piece last year.”
Have you heard musicians say this or have you said them yourself? Sure a lot of 2nd year players can play “Marry Had a Little Lamb” or “Hunter’s Chorus.” If it sounds like it’s supposed to, musicians believe that is sufficient enough to get by these days.
Wrong! To play a piece of music to merely sound CLOSE to the original isn’t a mindset we should have if we want to get to the next level. We want to perform EXACTLY as the composer/arranger wanted us to play it. The difference between having a violin play out a D, versus a musician making the violin SING the D are what we should be analyzing. These are the little things that make a good musician an awesome musician!
It begins with the musicians posture – how we hold the instrument and our stance. Next is our control of our breath for wind instruments and voice, sensitivity for pianist and percussionist, and bow control for string orchestral musicians. Can you tell when someone is smiling on the other side of a telephone call? We as listeners can all tell whether a piece of music is performed out of tune or if it’s pleasant to our ears. The average listener does not sit at a performance and knit pick at every little detail a performer demonstrates, but we all can decide whether a piece of music sounds good.
CHALLENGE TO ALL MUSIC STUDENTS:
Play all your notes in tune, be attentive to musical articulations, and most of all display emotion in your practice sessions.
Positive Example of Hunter’s Chorus performed by Kevin of Cadenzastringsnc:
If you’d like to post your audio clip or video on our website for critiques, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org