It’s not what you play, it’s how you play it…

I was teaching my new refugee transfer student (TM Allen Lieb via Ed Sprunger) and helping her with some basics. It is so difficult to be a transfer student; surroundings and semantics are all different, approval need is high but connections with non-verbal cues are skewed and everything is skeewompus. It’s a wonder we were able to have a lesson at all!

But the lesson was fabulous! She’s learning to use her independent fingers (a crucial skill for a Book Two student, I like them to have it by Book One Lightly Row). She was playing Book One pieces with independent fingers in her second lesson!

Today, we spent the whole lesson on Book One pieces. Mostly we just worked on tone. I helped her with Panda. She liked being able to produce so much more sound with such little effort. She could do it quite well. At the end of her lesson, I mentioned that “It’s not what you play, it’s how you play it”. While she was packing up, I answered the phone and it was my Book Ten student (affectionately known as Freckles). I immediately asked Freckles if it wasn’t true:

“It’s not what you play, it’s how you play it.”

She agreed whole heartedly. “YES!” she said. You see, I remember when Freckles was playing Book One pieces, so I see the whole connection here. My refugee transfer student just thought it was crazy that I would ask Freckles this question on the phone. I sensed that she still felt a bit silly to have spent the whole lesson on Book One pieces…

I know she’ll get it one day.



Filed under Suzuki Method, Teaching

6 responses to “It’s not what you play, it’s how you play it…

  1. It is absolutely true!

  2. It is the whole point. Thanks Jeff…

  3. debussie

    Having recently learned to play an instrument I agree fully. If you look bored,tired, or any other negative emotion it will surely reflect in the piece that you are playing.

  4. So true! What instrument have you learned?

  5. debussie

    I’ve dabbled in the drum kit and guitar but I’m into the trombone at the moment, have been for a little while now.

  6. debussie – cool! Keep it up!