How We Relate to Professionals

There’s no denying that we tend to treat professional musicians differently from non-professionals, and exceptionally good amateurs differently from those who skills are average. It seems natural to be deferential to those whom we deem special in some way, to be perhaps overly polite, and even to be timid around them. Maybe we should takeContinue reading “How We Relate to Professionals”

What Is That Tune? (part 1)

Have you ever wondered what tune someone was playing, only to recognize it quite far into the piece when it should have been apparent much sooner? Let’s assume that rather than being arranged in a purposely obscure way, the player intends it to be recognizable, in which case the problem is not with the listenerContinue reading “What Is That Tune? (part 1)”

What is Talent, Really?

How nice it would be if we could automatically be good musicians, with little or no effort involved; just sit down and play brilliantly! Many people assume that’s what musicians do! I think what is largely responsible for that assumption is our culture’s misuse of the word talent. When someone picks up a new instrument,Continue reading “What is Talent, Really?”

Music is a Language

Some research indicates that when we actively (rather than passively) listen to music  –  in other words, when we focus and pay attention to the music we hear  –  it is processed in the same area of the brain as language. The same is true when we learn music by ear. In all respects, musicContinue reading “Music is a Language”

Styles – part 2

Making Your Music Your Own, Within the Style You Play  There are purists whose aim is to preserve every piece of traditional music in the exact form they find it. This preserves musical styles, but the folk process (the natural tendency of aurally-learned music to undergo change) is an essential part of our heritage, too.Continue reading “Styles – part 2”