One of the fascinating things about music is that everyone interprets what they hear in a unique way. My students listening to music of Haydn have had many different reactions. In the January issue of Piano Explorer, the featured composer was Franz Joseph Haydn. My students, especially the younger ones, are fascinated by the way his sense of humor permeated his compositions. During lessons and group class, I have been playing Symphony No. 4, nicknamed “Surprise”, and asking my students what they heard.
The answers are as unique as the students themselves:
-Walking in the park on a spring day
Of course, I tell them this work is called “Surprise” symphony because of the surprising dynamic changes, and we have a good conversation about expression in music.
Part of my role as a piano teacher is helping students of all ages and skill levels learn to listen with a critical ear and be able to analyze the music, identifying tempos, instrument(s), mood, and dynamics, among other things. Being able to recognize the elements of music not only helps them appreciate and enjoy the music they are listening to, but it also develops the important skill of listening to themselves while they are playing.
The surprising thing is the musician who listens to while playing is benefited as much as the audience member.
I am a piano teacher who loves teaching music and discussing personality styles. I also enjoy playing music with others, whether that is chamber music, piano duets, or singing in a choir. My favorite composers are Bach and Haydn.