A beginning adult piano student has an awakening about musical expression

I have to thank Sam, a Berkeley, California transplant to the UK, for imparting pearly words of wisdom via Skype. He shared an epiphany about music-making that got me thinking.

As he observed a London chamber music Masterclass, Sam mentioned how the teacher planted a convincing thought that musicians are “actors,”—how they must capture mood and emotion in their playing, and produce, when needed, a riveting whisper, (pianissimo).

I recall having nudged my students to “speak” in a hush at the piano without losing a hint of intensity.

Gifted stage actors know this very landscape, delivering pin drop lines with profound emotion.

Tchaikovsky’s Op. 39 came to mind in this discussion. Pieces like “MAMA,” for example, and “The WITCH,” played side-by-side, have market mood contrasts.

When performing them, therefore, a pianist must BECOME a different character in each one. (The music and title being guides for the imagination)


On this note, I can’t resist posting an astoundingly moving performance by musical “actress,” Sarah Chang

Jules Massenet/Méditation from Thaïs


About arioso7: Shirley Kirsten

International piano teacher by Skype, recording artist, composer, piano finder, freelance writer, film maker, story teller: Grad of the NYC HS of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, NYU (Master of Arts) Studies with Lillian Freundlich and Ena Bronstein; Master classes with Murray Perahia and Oxana Yablonskaya. Studios in BERKELEY and EL CERRITO, California; Member, Music Teachers Assoc. of California, MTAC; Distance learning and Skyped instruction with supplementary videos: SKYPE ID, shirleypiano1 Contact me at: shirley_kirsten@yahoo.com OR http://www.youtube.com/arioso7 or at FACEBOOK: Shirley Smith Kirsten, http://facebook.com /shirley.kirsten TWITTER: http://twitter.com/arioso7 Private fund-raising for non-profits as pianist--Public Speaking re: piano teaching and creative approaches
This entry was posted in classissima.com and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s