Archives for 15 Mar,2013

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It is festival season for many of us, and the stress levels are rising in the studios and (I suspect) at the homes of our students.

My friend and the mother of three of my students sat with me last week as we discussed how to help her children finish the polishing on their festival pieces. She said, “Frankly, I don’t really care if they play for this, so I’ve had a hard time making them do the extra work.”

I gave her my normal spiel: Truly working toward a goal of a clean, polished, musical, communicative performance is the type of work many children don’t do in many other ways. It’s important to work towards excellence, to reach a higher level than we achieve in our normal day-to-day existence. I also love the feeling of accomplishments my students have had in years past when they have met a goal that previously felt unattainable. I love the power of communication and emotion in well played music. [···]

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