the repeated

I don’t have the usual strategies of a piano teacher, no book I’m following, no commitment to a template, no insisting on any particular scales. Just eyes open for no boredom. Sometimes we might only jam or talk about school or we might play music that doesn’t sound pleasant to the parents in the other room. The value of jamming and goofing around vs. the instances of teachers with templates they expected adherence to even if it suffocated whatever was musical inside me, even if it meant I would be disinclined to continue. I grew up playing by ear, often over time I’ve thought back on how that positioned me for the musical identity I subsequently have and use. Enabling the artist being an artist is the thing that interests me but at any given moment the record company might interrupt and be concerned that this isn’t sounding like a hit (why should we care about their idea of a hit?). They might tell us both what we should be doing instead of what we are doing. They’re paying for it right? Where have I seen this movie before? Right… the kid’s parents are the record company, the kid is the artist, I’m the producer.

1 Comment

  1. When a certain band gave me 24 hours to learn 32 tunes, with the instructions: “show up and play in front of 2000 people”, it brought me back to the horror/terror of doing classical recitals and RCM examinations….”learning to navigate terror” was not something explicitly written on the RCM curriculum, but playing Bach/Mozart in front of a trio of brutal adjudicators armed with scores and red pens, all ready to bring you down with each wrong note played, somehow was excellent preparation for life in the music industry…it also fostered a deep love and reverence for improvisation. Sometimes going to one extreme in life opens you up to a deeper understanding of the other side.


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