Monday, June 01, 2009

creative practice: sessions


There often seems to be quite a divergence between classical music players and those who play trad or folk music -- and the listeners who prefer one over the other sometimes get at odds too. Whatever your musical preference, though, there's a lot to be learned from the other side.

I was thinking about this as I read
this report of a master class with top classical violinist Itzhak Perlman. One of the things he does in it is challenge students about different ways of playing a piece of music. To me, coming from music where sessions and jams and song swaps are common, that's how much of what he's teaching is passed along there -- and some the same cautions apply.

There's much to be learned from going deeply into a piece of music one way, and much to be learned with playing and hearing it different ways. It all helps with connection, and understanding.

you may also want to see
Music Road: Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas: In the Moment
Music Road: Hanneke Cassel and Christopher Lewis: Calm the Raging Sea
Music Road: a short film about julie fowlis

Natalie Haas, Hanneke Cassel, and Julie Fowlis are all musicians who are grounded in traditional music, and play it professionally now. Along the way, though, they each chose to follow a university course leading to a degree in classical music.

Violinst, whose editor Laurie Niles wrote the Itzhak Perlman story, is a very fine site most often attuned to the thinking of classical and jazz players.

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posted by Kerry Dexter at

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