Tag Archives: Music Interpretation

Advice for Musicians: “Forget the Notes, Play the Vision” says Benjamin Zander

In a previous post, we discussed the lesson of passion in music education, one of the 9 common lessons of music education that translate into success. In this video at the TED website, Benjamin Zander demonstrates his love for classical music about as passionately as anyone I’ve ever seen.

Here’s an excerpt from his rousing speech in which he explains the importance of understanding the holistic message conveyed in a musical piece:

“I have to stop thinking about every single note along the way, and start thinking about the long, long line from B to E. We just came back from South Africa. You can’t go to South Africa without thinking about Nelson Mandela in jail for 27 years. What was he thinking about? Lunch? No. He was thinking about the vision for South Africa and for human beings. This is about vision. This is about the long line – Like the bird who flies over the field and doesn’t care about the fences underneath. This is about vision. This is about the long line.”