Performances, Practicing

Accuracy vs. Musicality

There are many performers who I consider to have amazing accuracy of notes, but minimal musicality….others who hit many wrong notes, but have AMAZING musicality.  The greatest performers, I think, are those who manage to do both successfully.  But if I had to choose between one extreme or another, I would choose the musicality over the note accuracy, hands down.  

I tend to fall in the latter category.  I wish I could play more accurately more consistently…but to tell you the truth, I’m far more concerned with playing musically.  

When I’m teaching my own students, I try to focus on the musicality, because again, I think it’s far more important.  But, on the other hand, with younger students, it’s very important they play accurately.  Their reading skills are still in the early stages, and needing to be developed.  So, do you focus on letting the students “get the notes” first, and then show them how they could be playing their piece more musically?  Or do you teach them both concepts at once?  Ideally, I’d like them to be doing both at once, because that’s eventually what needs to be done as a mature performer, but I find it difficult to teach both at once until the student’s music reading skills have reached a certain level.  

What do you think?  Any techniques or advice for how to teach musicality to young students?

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