ain't baroque! :||
Don't Fix It

Playing with playing

Play (verb)
1. To occupy oneself in amusement, sport, or other recreation.
8. Music: To perform on an instrument.

Remember in the Suzuki method how every book has somewhere in the area of 32 – 57 pieces by Vivaldi? I remember sometime in late middle school I was practicing one of the violin concertos and still had, oh, fifteen minutes of practice time left.

Of course the smartest thing to do in such a situation would be to spend that fifteen minutes practicing, right? Honing the craft and whatnot. Well, as I pointed out last week, I HATE honing the craft, so I went a different route: I decided to try swinging Vivaldi.

I wasn’t very scientific or intelligent about it; I wasn’t concerned with the nuance of my crossover. I just wanted to amuse myself for a bit. So I played through the whole concerto messing with rhythms, stretching and contracting, syncopating to my heart’s content.

And what did that accomplish? Not a damn thing as far as I can see. But the memory did make me think – how many people ever take a few minutes to just mess around with their instrument? Can any good come of it? I’m sure my readership is composed primarily of very serious and dedicated musicians who are all hyperfocused on technical improvement and virtuosity, but how often do you play?

About Jenn

Despite being the former digital marketing intern at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Jenn German does not like Mozart. Beethoven could've totally beaten him up. Also she has an arts management graduate degree from American University, but this changes nothing.


One thought on “Playing with playing

  1. It’s all I ever did, actually–I kind of wish i could have been more serious about becoming a really good pianist, but I hated practicing, and we didn’t have a home during these years where it was just me and the parents, I had too many siblings that wanted TV time. But experimenting (which is what I prefer to call it rather than screwing around) was something I naturally gravitated towards and I couldn’t help myself. I always wanted to play songs by The Beatles and The Kinks and not play John Thompson’s adaptations of Beethoven and Haydn.

    Posted by Chris McGovern | September 25, 2012, 8:57 am

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