Crafting and guiding interpretations of great beauty and expressive power

Isn’t that a beautiful aim for every musician? It comes from a column by Thomas Lanners in the recent e-newsletter put out by The 3-D Piano Method. His piece, More Virtues of Letting Go, eloquently expresses the importance of patiently working with students to help them give up control in order to achieve greater musicality. I know first-hand how difficult this can be – both from my own journey down this path under the instruction of a patient teacher, and now with many of my students who come to me full of insecurities and poor skills, manifested in tense, mechanical playing.

I especially love some of Mr. Lanners concluding comments:

“My student’s story suggests that perhaps the most powerful benefit of letting go occurs on a psychological level. Physical rigidity is typically an outward manifestation of a psychological state that may be as uncomplicated as nervousness in performing for others, or as complex as deep-seated feelings of inadequacy or an irrational fear of failure that may have roots in childhood trauma, family dysfunction, adult relationship difficulties, etc. While it’s unwise to play amateur psychologist, we must address the entirety of the unique individuals we teach.”

What a reminder of the incredible privilege we have of working with students one-on-one, sensitively and thoughtfully identifying and addressing their needs at multiple levels to equip them for success!

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