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Intricate Plots

Something that's really cool about being a private music teacher is that you get to watch your students grow up.  It's something I started appreciate a few years ago when the cute little four-year-old suddenly walks into my studio and issues a sarcastic retort to my sarcastic statement.

Umm, since when did you become twelve?  I thought you were still four!

It's not that bad, actually.  But it really makes you reexamine your teaching strategy.  And something that seems to come up a lot is a need to readdress listening.  To be clear, I never stop telling students to listen to their pieces.  But many of them reach a point where they think they've outgrown it.  Listening was all well and good when they were in book ONE.  But now they are in book TWO and listening to a piece once should totally be sufficient, right?

Wrong.

If anything, listening should become more important the more advanced a student becomes.  Longer pieces are like reading more complex books.  Consider a beginner book such as Green Eggs and Ham.  There could be some underlying messages but the plot itself is usually very straight forward.  Reading through the book once or twice would allow most people to be able to verbally explain the plot with some accuracy.  The plot is simple and straightforward with a minimal cast of characters.

Now compare this to a book like Pride and Prejudice.  There's just more going on in that book.  The cast of characters is considerably larger and there is a host of subplots.  Not only does it take longer to get from beginning to end but it would also take at least a few read-throughs to sort out all the subplots you may have missed the first time.  Being able to accurately explain the plot to someone would take considerably more effort.

The same is true for music.  More complexity means more effort must go into the details.

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