Falling between the beats

Today’s lunchtime Guitar Group rehearsal featured a short, slow introduction followed by a longer and much more upbeat section. Pupils had been encouraged to relax in the holidays and to refrain from practice in the hope of returning refreshed. So I wasn’t too disappointed to hear that the intro was a little rough round the edges (and in the middle to be honest). However, when the more rhythmic section kicked in, it sounded as though the group had tripled in size, confidence and joie de vivre. Put simply, teenagers appear not to be fond of slow music. The gaps make them uneasy and the reduced tempo, rather than relaxing them, can put them on edge. What to do? Should one, through increased hands-on exposure to slower tempi, cultivate their ability to rely on an internal, as opposed to audible, beat? Or, realising that they are giving up half of their lunch break*, choose items to which they will respond more readily – thereby increasing the chances of a spirited, successful concert item? Answers on a First Class postcard……

* for multi-instrumentalists, not the only time this will happen in the course of a week

2 thoughts on “Falling between the beats”

  1. Interesting observation. My teenage son said to me today “Why is classical music much more quiet than normal music?”
    This is a boy whose favourite classical piece is the Saint Saens Organ Symphony, closely followed by Mars, from Holst’s Planet Suite.
    So I think it’s not just faster tempi but also louder dynamics that appeal to the younger psyche.
    We know that loud does not always go with fast, nor slow with quiet, but youngsters often make that link.
    Having said that, he has a really good feel for the romantic stuff on his cello.
    Maybe it’s extremes they are programmed to respond to. The other stuff just passes them by.

  2. I must be a teenager at heart too 🙂 I respond more to either serenity or bedlam than to anything in the middle.

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