28. June 2008 · 3 comments · Categories: Ramble

Maybe I’ll comment later … I have to teach soon so I can’t now. Or maybe I’ll just leave it here (more likely).


“If you have a deceptive cadence be sure to raise your eyebrows. Then everybody will know.”


  1. what a terrific talk! It made me a little teary-eyed– and made me think, too!

  2. The first experience I ever had at NEC was playing Mahler 6 with Benjamin Zander. He was just as inspiring, and I will never forget him telling about Mahler’s personal struggles as he was writing the work, and the explanation of the 3 strikes of fate. He couldn’t get enough sound out of anything for those three strikes, so he took Timpani crates and the 2×4 that was used to bolt it shut. He was standing on his podium jumping up and down while shouting “Hit the bloody thing harder!” It was very entertaining.

  3. Thanks for this post, Patty. I was so intrigued with Benjamin Zander’s video that I checked out his book (which is co-authored by his wife, Roz) called “The Art of Possibility” from the library. Roz is a family therapist. The book has really opened up my thinking. I want to share a quote from his book I thought you’d enjoy. It’s in a chapter called “Giving an A” where Benjamin and Roz ponder the question, what if we approached everyone (including ourselves) as if they/we were the very best? “Not every conductor is capable of moving beyond his own agenda and his own prejudices to see how he supports or undermines the players’ performance. Just before the oboist puts her reed to her lips for her big solo, she looks up at the conductor, and along with information about tempo, phrasing, shape, rhythm, color, and the character of the music, comes a message that includes a grade- and that, as much as anything else, will determine how she plays.”