All that talk… Where’s the action?

With so much emphasis on community engagement, speaking with the audience is part of the deal. But don’t talk just to hear the sound of your own voice. Just talking for the sake of talking can get in the way and be counter productive. The aim is to affect the audience’s listening experience.

A piece of music doesn’t necessarily reveal itself automatically; it must be ‘achieved’. We, as teachers, can lead the audience into avenues of attending. 

A single underlying idea will create a coherent unified presentation. Here are some things you can think about. What about the music speaks to you, the performer? How do you live inside a particular piece – attend to it cognitively and emotionally? What is the process by which you release yourself into the work?

When it come time to create your presentation, the avenue you choose might be one of the above, or something completely different. It might be linking the work to the listeners own life (see Make It Personal, Part II). 

I like to  combine this personalizing with elucidating musical structure. Musical form is easy to hear if you know what to look for. Once you get it, you automatically recognize it the next time. (This is good! See my earlier post).

For example, most aspects of our lives are cyclical. Any recurring event, whether daily or yearly, can be related to a rondo theme. The episodes between the rondo themes can be linked to what occurs between times. Those between times will change the way one feels about the recurring event. A child has a first day at school every year. But their feeling on entering 5th grade will be different than those on the first day as a senoir.

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