Yesterday a young student played Bach’s invention in F for me. It went well, he had spent enough time practicing. But it lacked a certain “joie de vivre”. With few words from me, we had a listen to Andras Schiff’s performance on YouTube. Viola, his performance took on a completely new sense of maturity, fun, and liveliness. We all noticed the transformation, including his proud parents.
Next up was his new assignment for the week a review of Chopin Waltz in A minor. We had a listen to 2 contrasting performances on YouTube for guidance. He preferred a different performance than me. That’s ok, we have different sensibilities.
With our access to world class performances at our fingertips, this is often an untapped resource. Centuries ago CPE Bach himself said and I paraphrase, “listen to great musicians”.
You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.
I'm a professional pianist and music educator in West Toronto Ontario. I'm also a devoted percussionist and drum teacher.