Teaching Students to Play with Meaning
Expression and Phrasing Clinic
July 26 - 29 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Young Artists Conservatory of Music
Instructor: Wanda Cook
Expression and Phrasing – Finding the “meaning” amid the notation.
Every communication between people involves the expression of a goal. When I talk to you, I have a certain goal in mind. I have a “meaning” I wish to express. The word “communication” has at its root the idea of “community”, that is, finding unity through something shared.
Musical communication is much the same way. The song we are playing or singing was composed with a certain goal in the mind in of the composer. For him or her the song means something and there is a desire to invite another to share in that meaning.
“A performer aims to elicit responses of sympathetic feeling in the audience, and to excite, calm or otherwise sway the audience's physical and emotional responses.” Without accomplishing any measure of feeling between the performer and the hearer, we can conclude that no understanding of shared meaning has been achieved. To a greater degree, an audience can be lured by a performer to recognize the will of the composer. However, the highest expressive achievement is the mutual appreciation of an audience when experiencing the shared meaning of a composed work through the emotional understanding of performer, that is, through his soul.
At Young Artists Conservatory of Music young people learn the techniques that prepare them to become artists. The challenge of becoming a “young artist” in the life of a child is their ability to understand the concept of musical phrasing. Musical Phrasing is the energy of a song’s story, themes, and meaning. The musical energy breaths like poetry, ebbs and flows like ocean waves, and flickers like flames.
Expression and Phrasing 3-Day workshop will review the five elements of Musical Phrasing for an analytical and intuitive approach to finding inspiration to play the piano with meaning.
Rhythm - Melody - Harmony - Tonality - Form
The Energy of a Musical Phrase
Exposition - Development - Rise - Conclusion
Image Credit: Erlance Walker