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Hearing is Believing

Updated: Oct 6, 2022

Every time I cross 109th St. on my way up or downtown I cast a glance at the apartment building on the corner of 109 and Riverside Drive, the former residence of Hannah Arendt.

Her essays in The New Yorker in 1971 (!) influenced my thinking about teaching and learning so profoundly that I carry their central point in the forefront of my mind.

She confesses that she was never trained to give credence to what she heard, only to what she could see.

So here you are, a piano student, and what you are looking at is clearly identifiable as a major triad in root position. But, as composed by Robert Schumann, it does not sound right, according to that definition. Why? Because he understood that the sound of the piano was a completely new, non-conformist sound. Why? Because it cannot resonate clean, pure overtones.

So he cleverly devised voicing (i.e., where you put each tone of the triad) so that you, whoever you are, would be as intrigued as he was.

Are you? Were you? Or, like me, did you simply turn the page. Schumann Tutorials every week starting this week, open to the public. Give it a try....What's to lose? Everything to gain.

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