Uniqueness and classical music, is it a possible pairing? Each individual, each student, each musician is a human being with his own convictions, his own personality. Tradition in classical music requires a certain degree of compliance of elements like aesthetic, sonority and rhetoric. For students, balance between self-expression and musical tradition is difficult to achieve. They are confronted to conformity and uniqueness.
One of the tasks of piano teacher is to guide students in this quest of balance between conformity and uniqueness where self-expression is at the service of musical aesthetic. My goal as a professor is to teach not only musical elements for an asethetic purpose but also to reinforce characteristics of student's personality that allows the enrichment of musical performances. Therefore, it is possible to combine uniqueness and classical music, provided that this individuality serves the aesthetic and musical tradition.
I had the opportunity to work with Compagnie de danse Marie Chouinard in a choreography based on Chopin's 24 Preludes. I discovered that music and dance have a significant affinity: exression and communication is conveyed by the body. Of course, whereas dance focusses on the visual general effect, the core material of music is sound. The musician becomes the interpreter of a sound architecture built by the composer. In order for the public to feel emotions, the performer needs to use a gesture that allows the revival of this sound architecture. I could talk about technique, but for me, this thoughtful gesture has a meaning that goes way beyond simple virtuosity. This gesture serves expression and communication, in other words, music.
The learning process of classical music performance at a professional level is challenging and demands a constant effort from students. They are confronted to musical and personal choices. One of the tasks of the teacher is to guide and help students to reach their career goals. Teaching becomes adaptable not only in relation with the personality but also in relation with the aspirations of the young musician.
One of the challenges for music students is practicing with efficient strategies. Students will spend more time practicing than being in a piano lesson. This is why teachers have a great responsibility to teach dynamic strategies to help students remembering concepts learned in their lesson. In this case, to develop students' autonomy, not only declarative knowledge but also procedural and conditional knowledge have to be taught. The teacher needs to use teaching strategies that help to develop students' self-regulating but also to bring them toward the development of the metacognition where they can build new strategies on their own.