Balancing Act: Learning to Work and to Practice Music Performance

Ghenady Meirson
Submitted: Mon, December 17, 2012 - 9:34am EST
Pianist Mieczyslaw Horszowski (1892 – 1993) taught at the Curtis Institute of Music
Both the work and music performance practice are inseparable. It is about striking the right balance.

"Do you work at home or do you perform?" This pointed question stuck with me for years since my Curtis piano teacher, Mieczyslaw Horszowski, posed it to me. It goes to the heart of the problem -- performing at home instead of working, which yields little progress.

There is an inherent challenge with beautiful music. Our desire to play a new piece right away surpasses our abilities at an early learning stage.

As a piano student I fell into this trap. Even now, as an experienced musician, the discipline of balancing the work on a piece of music and practicing to perform it, is a continued work in progress.

It is true, we work more efficiently when we have a specific goal. Performers always have some future date for concerts, shows or recording sessions. It is a classic project management process, and some do it better than others.

Learning to crawl before you can walk is a proverb worth keeping top of mind. Ultimately, both the work and music performance practice are inseparable. It is about striking the right balance.

Music Genres: