When I was a young student, my conscientious teacher put me on the standard regimen to learn my instrument. We began with scales, moved on to technique and etudes, and ended with solo music. Like many students, I did not enjoy practicing scales or etudes. In my view, they were musician torture and I didn’t understand why they were so important.
Several years ago I played with an orchestra that accompanied an 8-year-old cellist’s performance of Popper’s “Hungarian Rhapsody.” I watched in amazement as her little fingers flew up and down the fingerboard with perfect precision. As she poured herself into the performance I could feel her love and passion for the music.