Here are my late night texts to my husband on how to critique piano music.
- Can you hear Caroline playing?
- Listen for clean articulation of each note, even tho it’s fast
- A musician must be heard and given feedback. It’s stunted when she doesn’t get anything. But wait till she breaks for precise input
- Without the listener, the music is lost … the pianist needs the feedback loop for improvement
- First the notes. The correct ones, so listen
- Second the rhythm, you can tell if that is consistent as a trumpeter
- Last the dynamics
- Her hard part is the middle
- Break it into small sections
- Listen, replay, repeat until she hears it
- N u hear it
- Again and again until muscle memory
- And beauty and truth and
- Goodness pour forth
- From her soul
- Into the air
- Floating to u
- The receiver
- Never the same twice
- But always Caroline
- Her soul
- In music
- You’ll know when it’s right
- And it’s her
- Just like a perfect swing and the sound the bat makes
- And the kill [on the volleyball court]
- But nothing is like music
- Because it’s a gift
I texted these notes tonight sitting on the stool of my Steinway Model B piano, taking a break to see the photo of my daughter practicing on a Yamaha P105 Keyboard rental in a hotel room.
Here’s a clip of a song I played and sent to Caroline and my husband, Gershwin’s Blue Lullaby.
I like this performance of my daughter’s song by Norwegian pianist Erik Jensen. The composer of Rustle of Spring is Christian Sinding.
My husband bought a set of headphones for Caroline to use with the keyboard. I asked her not to use them; she could adjust the volume, BUT he should listen.
Music is better when it’s heard.