Friday, December 3, 2010

Musing: About Mozart's Father

We know that Mozart's father Leopold, passed on some astounding music genes to his little son, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the most gifted composers ever. But let's not forget that Mozart's father, a pianist to the royal court and a music teacher, taught little Mozart to play the piano as soon as he could reach the keyboard. When Wolfgang was only five years old, Leopold explained the structure of music composition to him and taught him to write his own compositions. Leopold taught his sister to play the piano too, and he encouraged the two children to play duets. He surrounded Wolfgang with great music by great composers like Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel.

When Mozart was six, the king invited him to play at the palace. He gave recitals in many of the palaces in Europe. He had amazing talents. He played many musical instruments. He composed in many musical forms, including opera and wrote some of the greatest music in the western world.

Genes are vital, but it was Mozart's father's daily lessons and nurturing gave Mozart the reality, the "world of music," when his genes were buzzing. Bravo Mozart. Bravo Mozart's father.

Some young children have a special gift. They "hear" the music. But without someone like Mozart's father to guide them, they do not discover their gift until much later, maybe never. Special young talents need nurturing as early as possible. The younger the better. Talent can get lost in the drive to learn to read and write. Training should be with Mozart's father types, artists with great talent and passion. We don't believe it, but very young children need to have contact with great artists. Great artists communicate a unique belief in creating art. This is true of all the arts, painting, writing, dancing, acting...

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