Technical challenges are important, but they are not the be all and end all of musical growth. Because technique is fairly easy to quantify, it’s easy to look towards as a measure of progress. However, as recital and concert season approaches, it’s good to remember the importance of playing easy music beautifully!
Is it necessary to be challenged all the time? Challenges are an important part of a student’s growth, but constantly stretching yourself to the limit can be exhausting! Just as it’s important to push yourself to grow and progress, it’s equally important to learn to free your mind and just play!
Playing easy pieces helps us strive for excellence. Sticking with a song after the notes are learned gives students a chance to work on developing advanced tone, musicality, and phrasing. They can discover their own voice, and what they want to say with a certain piece! Opening yourself up and giving a heartfelt performance in front of an audience is a difficult thing to do even while playing an easy song. If a student is always bogged down by technical concerns, they won’t have anything left to put into playing beautifully!
When playing in a group concert, performing easy pieces well becomes even more important. For some of the students on stage, playing Twinkle is a huge accomplishment! For those little ones, hearing the “big kids” tone behind them during a concert is an amazing experience! It gives them a look at what they’ll be able to accomplish in the future, and inspires them and the audience. When we play easy pieces well, everyone enjoys it!
- Shannon Jansma, published in the November 2016 issue of the Ann Arbor Suzuki Institute newsletter