My Twitter feed this morning brought up a Strad article by David Watkins from a few years ago that claimed performers can’t understand the meaning of a piece if they don’t understand the theory behind it. Since most cello teaching focuses on solo, melodic repertoire, Watkins writes, cellists often don’t know or don’t understand how to accompany.
I couldn’t agree more.
Continue reading “What to apply to “applied music””
Most teachers discourage students from playing along with recordings when they’re learning repertoire. Why?
I expect the thinking is that students doing this will copy the dynamics, articulations, phrasings, bowings and so on of a favourite recording, and never become independent interpreters. Or perhaps they won’t learn to cue and respond flexibly to the cues of others? I could imagine that this might be bad if you were a conductor, but I’m actually not sure what the argument against it is for an instrumentalist.
Continue reading “Recordings, structure, and learning”