Stepping into a Performer’s Shoes

Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash. 

I encourage students from time to time once they are comfortable playing through a piece of music that they find multiple recordings on YouTube in which they can play along. Sometimes particular recordings with specific performers are recommended. Students find this easy with medium to slow tempo compositions. I ask that the intermediate students pay attention to variances in interpretation from one performer to the next. This will require multiple listenings of each performance prior to attempting to perform with any video. Stepping into the performers shoes so to speak will allow them to focus on tone, dynamics, voicing, phrasing, rubato, etc. I encourage them to write on their music with the interpretive markings to be able to anticipate actions needed while playing along. It is revealing when they discuss their discoveries how much they are actually hearing in the recordings.  Why not try this approach with any of the recordings available on the Nouvelle Music Publishing website or on the company’s SoundCloud page.