PA Shorts: Lightbulb time!
What is going on?- I asked myself as 2 sisters had train wrecks in their pieces for the 4th week in a row. These are wonderful, musical, reliable students who were just as frustrated as I. I knew they were practicing and doing what I advised. We had taken the spots apart and put them back together, technically, harmonically, geographically, and every other ‘ally’ I could think of.
The next day at her lesson, the third sister sailed through her Schubert Waltzes and then looked at me and said- This is so hard to do because our piano is so horribly out of tune.
AHA! That explains everything!- I exclaimed loudly. She looked at me like I had lobsters crawling out of my ears. Of course. Duh. One of her sisters was working on the 5th Bach Prelude and the other one on the Grieg Nocturne. It was the most chromatic sections that were mine fields for both of them. They had only experienced the true harmonies during their lessons. No wonder their very good ears freaked out and their memories too.
You never know what is going on at home. The family bought a new grand which came with maintenance for a year but they got busy and never followed up. The parents didn’t realize that listening is totally crucial to successfully playing an instrument. The girls are now practicing at the college until the piano gets tuned properly.
And hopefully, all’s well that ends well.