Excuse me, how do I get to Carnegie Hall…?

I had an interesting conversation after choir a few weeks ago about practice. The next day I came across this great quote from Rob Lear on Twitter:

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit. (Aristotle)

One of my fellow choir members, Stephen, who sings tenor II with me, was encouraging me about going for my grade eight this year: he, like me, did the other grades while at school and then had a hiatus for “life etc.”. We talked about the piano as a rather technical problem. It is unlike most other instruments in that it is less physically connected to the player. It’s not like a violin or a clarinet or a trombone which require a lot more effort to even produce a pleasant tone, let alone play the correct notes. With the piano it’s just a matter of pressing the key and the machine does the work.

I love the idea that when a really good piano player plays a piece by, let’s say Beethoven, then they become Beethoven for those moments. They inhabit the physical movements prescribed by the composer in the score. Like an actor stepping into a role, becoming a character.

Whistler's 'At The Piano' - click for larger image

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