The first time I ever participated in a conducting workshop, the clinician tried to get me to conduct the shape of a multi-bar phrase, rather than every single beat and note along the way. The teacher was outstanding, but I just couldn't get it — either I wasn't yet ready as a musician and conductor, or the concept wasn't explained in a way that resonated.
The next summer, I observed a colleague conduct the same piece at a different workshop. A different clinician demonstrated the same concept, and I instantly realized what the other person had been teaching me the previous year.
Through those two experiences, I first understood the dual value of different approaches to addressing the same issue and the passage of time — because we all learn in our own way, and we are never the same student (or teacher) when we step on the podium again.
This article originally appeared in the 2017 V2 issue of Yamaha SupportED. To see more back issues, find out about Yamaha resources for music educators, or sign up to be notified when the next issue is available, click here.