Re: Playing your own music... Just a though

Subject: Re: Playing your own music... Just a though
From: Aki Pasoulas (
Date: Tue Sep 06 2005 - 13:57:36 EDT

--- Louis Dufort <> wrote:

> I've been teaching now here and there for about 5 years,
> lately I do teach
> a bit more steady at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montreal.
> For the
> first time I played one of my piece to demonstrate some of my
> preoccupations......

I did that, last year; I am fairly new to teaching in a class. I
played one of my pieces mainly because it is not that easy to
find material when teaching multi-channel composition. I never
disclose the name of the composer before playing the music,
which makes it easier for me to slip in one or two of my pieces.
I felt the sweat first time when I said that the piece was mine,
but the experience wasn't that bad actually, since we discussed
the piece before that revealing moment. In that way, the
students did not feel restrained and expressed their opinions
and discussed freely.

What I do in a listening session is to play a piece once without
saying anything about it, then discuss structures, the sound
material, processes, spatialisation etc. Then we try to discover
the concept, what the piece is about. With the most successful
compositions, I was amazed to see that my students almost came
up with the title. Then I reveal the title, read the program
notes and we have a second listening session (there's usually
enough time in a 3-hour class to play a 10-min piece twice)
followed by another discussion, where we try to see whether the
composition was successful or not and why – and also we
concentrate a bit more on some technical aspects. I reveal the
composer only at the very end, since I don't think it matters
much in that particular kind of discussion, except for
historical reasons - you connect a name with a certain approach.
Plus, in this way, the students were not afraid to criticise
'big' names in the field. For all they knew, they could have
been listening to a piece by a fellow student.

To return to the original issue, ‘not to reveal that I am the
composer of the piece before discussing it’ was the trick. At
least, I didn’t sweat in the class…




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