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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000286.txt from 2004/10

From: "Christy Erickson" <perickso@-----.net>
Subj: RE: [kl] Differing skill levels
Date: Sat, 9 Oct 2004 13:18:58 -0400

Adam, Thanks for the note. I understand where you are coming from on =
this
but don't you think that when a composer writes a piece of music, he or =
she
has a certain performance standard/sound in mind? Aren't we doing a bit =
of
an injustice to the music if we schlop through it "just for fun?" I'd =
be
interested to hear from some of the composers here as to what their =
opinion
is on this one.
People do come to the park during the summer to hear the Civic Band =
play
concerts and those concerts are free. I seriously doubt many would pay =
to
hear that group play. The bulk of our audience consists of senior =
citizens,
our own families and friends, as well as families with young children =
who
like to march in the "kiddie" parade we have at each concert. I say =
this
half-jokingly but I often wonder how much the senior citizens can really
hear and the kids are truly there to watch and march in the parade to =
have a
chance at winning fast food coupons. Even if our audience is there =
"just
for fun" it seems to me we owe it to the composer to do some justice to =
the
music they have bothered to write for us to play. =20
When you play tennis on your own time with a friend, its just my =
guess
that no one comes to watch the performance. Certainly, no one would =
want to
watch me play tennis with my 13 year old daughter, who plays tennis far
better than me. I have fun, but I'm sure she doesn't appreciate hitting
serve after serve over the net and having the ball not return to her =
very
often. I'm good for helping her practice her serve, but that's about it =
and
I would know better than to pretend I could play as well as a =
professional
tennis player and insist on playing tennis with someone who had that =
skill
level. However, I'll have to say that I haven't spent much time playing
tennis at all in my lifetime so I could never expect to have great =
tennis
skills without the investment and I don't want to. It's not a keen =
interest
of mine. That's why I encourage my daughter to take tennis lessons and =
play
on the tennis team.
I don't mean to sound arrogant here or as though I'm the best =
clarinet
player that ever came along. Believe me when I say my goal is always to
improve my own playing skills and that would be the point of providing =
my
own playing opportunities with others who have the same goals in mind. =
I
can honestly say I have never met a true musician who didn't have the =
goal
of improving their playing skills in mind at all times. Has anyone here
EVER met a musician who didn't want to improve their playing skills? I
suppose that's why I have such difficulty imagining that anyone would =
not
have the same goal. Blowing some air into an instrument and moving my
fingers in time to the music (and sometimes not in time or even with =
correct
notes) without worrying about the sound that comes out of that =
instrument is
not my idea of fun at all. =20
I have worked very hard and have invested a lot to get to the skill =
level
I am at with my music and the process continues. I certainly don't =
think it
is necessary at all for someone to "start all over again," as you put =
it, to
improve their skill level in any activity they do, whether it is done as =
a
hobby or professionally. With a sport, as with music, there are various
components of the skills needed that one can focus on, without having to
start all over. I'm not sure that it would even be possible to truly =
"start
all over," unless you could shrink yourself back to kid size and pick up =
a
tennis racket again for the very first time. =20
It sounds to me as though you are probably far better at tennis than =
you
think you are, simply because you spend lots of time working on your =
skills.
You play tennis for fun, but it also is probably great exercise and you
receive that also, even if you really don't play very well. I guess you
could say that some of these people playing instruments as a hobby are
getting "exercise" also and they are enjoying the camaraderie experience =
of
belonging to a group but there are many, many different ways to fulfill
those types of goals, without murdering a piece of music. =20

Christy

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