Perfection vs. Evenness - Self-Defined Musician

Perfection vs. Evenness

If a piece has 1000 notes, and 5 of them are out-of-place, it can ruin the whole thing.

You want a piece of music to be perfect. No blemishes. Nothing stands out or seems out-of-place. Everything is perfectly legato, or staccato, or whatever. A perfectly uniform touch.

Most teachers will tell you to work extra hard on those 5 notes. Put them in place.

Sounds reasonable. After all, there are only 5 of them.

But, what is it costing you to make those other 995 seem perfect? Is your goal perfection, or is it evenness?

Instead of trying to perfect every single note, take a step back and look at the thing as a whole. Make it internally consistent.

Don’t compare note #468 to the way you played note #468 yesterday, or the way your teacher told you to play note #468.

Instead, compare it to notes #460-#475. Just make it fit in.

And if it doesn’t, oh well. By the time you realize it, you’re in the 500’s, anyway.

Michael Korman

Michael Korman plays the piano. Over the past few years, he has been working on a different approach to learning music, with a focus on mindfulness and personal values. His current project is developing ways to share this message with the rest of the world.

>