Just as the technical skills, the discipline, the organization and motivation that go into the making of a fine performing artist are paramount in the presence of serious artistic goals, so too are the canon of skills and practices that go into the education of composers and extemporaneous players. Just where and how the inclusion of general keyboard skills for harmony and theme making and counterpoint and their equivalents on the other instruments fell by the wayside sometime about a century ago remains a mystery. In Schumann’s writings on music and life he enumerates the attributes of complete musicianship and pure technical practice is a very small part of it.
Among the skills that may be incorporated into the music class or the private lesson are:
Conventional music teachers tend to assign creativity to a lesser priority in the lesson for a variety of reasons among which are the adherence to institutional syllibi that emphasize technique and standard repertoire over originality as well as sheer scarcity of time when a serious lesson is confined to one hour per week.
We emphasize the advantage of the ensemble experience in playing especially for those lone pianists who have little occasion to interact with other musical minds. Here, some parents can come to the rescue by dusting off those closeted instruments that they grew up with and jumping into the act. There is no reason that fluency in speech and even foreign languages at an early age cannot be analogous to fluency in original musical speech, not merely the repeating of speeches that others have invented.
We encouraged the pursuit of music concurrently with higher education and the music major for those of utmost talent and calling in the field. Keyboard Explorations keyboard studies were put online for the seminar.
This article is provided as a service of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted young people 18 and under. To learn more about the Davidson Institute’s programs, please visit www.DavidsonGifted.org.
The appearance of any information in the Davidson Institute's Database does not imply an endorsement by, or any affiliation with, the Davidson Institute. All information presented is for informational purposes only and is solely the opinion of and the responsibility of the author. Although reasonable effort is made to present accurate information, the Davidson Institute makes no guarantees of any kind, including as to accuracy or completeness. Use of such information is at the sole risk of the reader.