The Case Against Traditional Piano Lessons
By Edward Weiss
How would you like to spend 4 years in a University learning how to play other peoples music? If you think this is ridiculous, you’re right! Because that’s what thousands of piano music students do each day.
They sit in front of their piano or keyboard with sheet music of a dead composer in front of them. Then they are told to “play it right.”
Have you ever heard of such nonsense? Imagine a budding writer forced to copy another novelists work? In essence, this is what classical piano students do. They copy.
Although many think this is a creative act, it is not. It is a re-creative one. It’s purpose? To give people who are told how to listen to music a chance to hear what is considered “good” music.
Only in classical music is there such pomposity. And it exists because a very few people wish to hear the classics.
Let me tell you something. I love classical music. But I don’t spend my time trying to recreate what has already been created.
No. Instead, I want to connect with my own source and allow the music that is inside me to come out. I want to be creative too! And my philosophy is that anyone can be “a composer.”
All it takes is the desire to create – to want to hear ones authentic self expressed through music. Difficult? Not at all! It’s as easy as putting fingers to keys and playing. Hard to believe but true.
You see, music students have been cheated from the get go by an academic snobbism that destroys the spirit and the will to create.
The suggestion is that the best music has already been created so why bother. The answer is crucial to our own well being. We bother because it makes us feel good. That is all that is required and that is all that is needed to make music.
Edward Weiss is a pianist/composer and webmaster of Quiescence Music’s online piano lessons.