Thursday, December 20, 2007

George Shearing - How did He Learn To Play?

In my young years, I was given the privilege and opportunity to sit down with the great pop and jazz pianist from England.During the conversation, I chanced the question "how did you learn to play the piano?"
He smiled(he must have been asked the same question a thousand times before!), and went on to discuss using distance as a device to find each and every note from where he sat.
Distance, to one without sight, is comprehended in pure terms; that is, in ways those of us who can see could not possibly experience.
It must have been a long and tortuous process, but this approach to process made it virtually impossible for Shearing to play a wrong note, as pure distance led him to discover where the exact center of each note was, which cannot be the case all the time for the sighted pianist, no matter how great he or she might be.
If one watches Shearing play on any video available, it will be seen that indeed(more easily seen in slow motion)Shearing finds the exact center of every note struck.
That conversation was indeed one of the most engrossing I have ever experienced, primarily because it gave me added perspective to the word Process, as it pertained to a unique example actuated by one of the unique musicians of our time.

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