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Using Adjectives to Capture the Imagination

One of the ideas I’ve been exploring extensively throughout the research I’m doing for my paper for college (the one about improvisation) is making music musical.  This seems so obvious, but really, what would music be without musicality?  Check out this video, of a robot playing the violin.

Speaking of which, have you ever had students who played like robots?  ***raises hand timidly***  Yep, I have too.  This is what music would be like without musicality.

What started me thinking of robots, and music, and robotic students, you may ask?  Well, I came across a lovely resource over at The Piano Pedagogy Page — a handy list of adjectives.

It may seem that a list of adjectives may be more fitting for use in an English class.  Maybe.  But it may also be helpful in the piano lesson, in helping those certain robotic-like students get “beyond the notes.”  Shoot, it might even be good reminder for me from time to time!  It’s easy to fall into the trap of being overly concerning with the technique, and fail to think about what I consider to be the ultimate goal of music: to communicate expression.  Music is meant to  reach out and speak to people, at one level or another.

It’s so important to be teaching students musicality at an early age.  It makes lessons so much more exciting, anyway.  We are not trying to create little robots who can push the right buttons (i.e., the keys on the piano) at the right time, but creating little music makers.

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