Chinese Painting

Level 1, Gold Star Performance Book, Pg. 22-23, Chinese Painting

Beautiful Chinese scroll paintings are quiet and subtle. Music depicting such artwork must be equally refined. After a week or two spent learning the notes, rhythms, and hand-position moves, Philip demonstrates that these are all in place. It’s time to paint with color! An aural model provides what Philip needs. “Flowing smoothly”, the tempo suggestion on the page, is now something concrete, something that Philip can reproduce. A joint performance provides support to let him piggyback on the teacher’s energy and tone. Philip is happy that the piece can go a bit faster. What he doesn’t fully realize, or perhaps only senses innately, is that the slightly increased momentum allows him to think in terms of longer lines. He can hear the form of the piece. It has become an aural shape. A gentle duet provides added color, but not so much that Philip’s own sense of rhythm and phrasing is thrown off-balance. A graceful ritard, something Philip overlooked earlier, now evolves naturally. He has come to appreciate those last, soft shimmering sounds. Those of you who have been viewing these videos regularly can see the gradual refinement of Philip’s exuberance. All this delicate beauty from the “faster, faster” boy!

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