Monday, January 5, 2009

Music as expression

What is music?  Try to answer that one.  Is it art?  At its best a high art for sure.  In our society its also product even from some of our most beloved artists.  In America virtually all music has some sort of cultural and societal stereotype attached to it.  We identify ourselves with certain types of music and this helps us define who we are as people.  Maybe its always been this way in all societies.  Is this a good thing?  Hard to say.

As a music teacher I often focus on the technical side of playing.  And this is important.  There is a right way to practice and a wrong way.  But why practice?  What are we getting at?  What is the need we have?  The challenge of just executing difficult maneuvers with our hands is not necessarily music.  I think aspiring musicians (myself) would do well to ask what they are really trying to achieve with practice.  What do the notes of the song say to you?  

As musicians we can improve our music by discovering more about the expression.  Can you say more with less?  Perhaps if we always consider what our music expresses we can improve our practice and interpretation of the music.  

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