From the Reading Journal, #27

“I’ve just shown you that your fingers can do more than what you physically feel them doing.” He made a little arc in the air with his hand. “The other side of the wall.”
Claude thought about it. “Yes, but how? How do you do it?”
Fredericks got up from the desk and stood directly in front of the boy. “You must imagine the music in your head. Imagine it shaped and balanced the way you want it. Get it in your head and then believe in it. Concentrate, believe, and your fingers will do it.”
“My God,” Claude whispered.
“Anything you can imagine clearly, you can play. That’s the great secret.”
“So, it goes beyond the body,” Claude said.
“Exactly.”

– from Frank Conroy’s novel Body and Soul. Claude is the piano student of Fredericks. “So, it goes beyond the body” is something to remember when just being at the piano.

1 Comment

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  1. That is beautifully stated.
    When I’m working with young instrumentalists, I often tell them to practice singing or conducting their music so they know what they want it to sound like without the barrier of their instrument. I have no idea how many actually follow my advice when they practice on their own, but I like to think it helps!

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