31. August 2009 · Comments Off on YouTube · Categories: Ramble

I have recently seen a few YouTube videos that are resulting in this little blog post. They aren’t videos I’ll post, as I found them bothersome. But perhaps talking about what made them so will be helpful to some readers:

Movement
I realize that some musicians move more than others. I’ve been told that in some countries lack of movement means lack of musicality. This isn’t necessarily true, although people that sit like statues seem to tend to sound less musical to me. (Could it merely be because they look so uninvolved? I wonder.)

I move, but I don’t move around nearly as much as I did when I was younger, but I do move a bit. I strongly believe that if one does move those movements must make sense! I saw a video where a player was moving like crazy, but it had nothing to do with the line of the work. Some people move to the pulse, pointing out every single strong beat, and I find that distracting, but to move with no sense to it at all is especially distracting. (We don’t stress every other syllable as we speak, I don’t believe we should stress every strong beat as we play.)

Intonation
In another video an oboist was probably at least a eighth of a tone sharp. Maybe even a quarter tone sharp. It was amazing. I saw no look of concern on the player’s face, so I’m assuming that it wasn’t something the player notice, which brings me to this: listen! My students know that I will, on occasion, ask them to critique what they just did. Sometimes they have nothing to say and I’ll ask, “Where you listening?” and they’ll admit they weren’t. We get so busy with the notes and our pesky reeds we do actually forget to listen sometimes. Seems crazy, I know, but there you go.

Appearances matter
Don’t give away a wrong note. Don’t shake your head, roll your eyes, or do anything to give it away. Those who heard it don’t need to be told you made a mistake, and those who didn’t don’t need to be told. (And don’t react to someone else’s mistake either. Trust me, it’s a bad idea!)

Okay … enough for now. This is probably stuff everyone already knows, but there may be some younger musicians out there who can use this. Who knows?

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