Sunday, October 24, 2004

Dr. Edwards at Gordon

On Friday, my piano teacher from Wheaton (Dr. Edwards) and her husband gave a duo recital as guest artists here at Gordon. It was all really fabulous... they played a movement from Ravel's Rapsodie Espagnole that was so exciting and fantastic... and their encore was their own arrangement from Saint-Saens Carnival of the Animals (the finale)... it was really amazing. Everyone loved the concert; it was not only extremely well-played, but it was fun too.

By the way, I was in the lobby when Dr. Edwards first walked in the door to the music building on Thursday night, and she recognized me right away and gave me a hug. I was happy about that... it's nice to be remembered.

Anyway, she and her husband also did a masterclass yesterday morning... it was terrific. Michael, Nathan, and Andrei played. I really enjoy masterclasses; I just love hearing what great musicians and great teachers have to say about music. I like how Dr. Edwards and her husband approach teaching, too.

After the masterclass yesterday, I had some time to sit and talk with Dr. Edwards for a bit while her husband looked at the organ in the recital hall. It was fun to catch up. Ah, I miss Wheaton sometimes. She mentioned that there's a drama in the Conserv lately over music history requirements; certain "progressive" faculty members want there to be more of a world and new music emphasis and less required music history courses in the curriculum for music majors. Like, instead of being spread over two years, all the required music history regarding the history of classical music would be squished into just one year. The conversation came about because I was saying how many of my best memories of Wheaton are tied to Dr. Saylor and what an amazing professor he is. Anyway, I am strongly opposed to the idea of making this kind of change in the curriculum, as is Dr. Edwards and of course, Dr. Saylor. I hope things work out well.

I talked to Dr. Edwards about what it's like to study with my violin teacher here... he's an amazing musician and an amazing teacher, but he's so tough sometimes. She was surprised at some of the things I told her... things he's said and done. She said it's definitely an approach of the old school of teaching music... tear 'em down to nothing and then rebuild them slowly in your own image... something like that. Her husband, a classy, quiet man, said that it can be a good way to learn and accomplish a lot, but that I should be careful it doesn't do more harm to me as a person than it does help to me as a musician. Dr. Edwards said something nice - she said that she remembers me as being such a musical person - and she said not to let that get squelched. Hmm.

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