Welcome to the Innovative Conservatoire

ICON Seminar 5

Dartington, UK


Emotions and Struggles

Päivi Arjas

Last updated August 19, 2013

One of the main things is to share experiences and of course the incredible feeling of connection we all get with each other.

I brought two inspirations with me. The first one was the score of the Schumann Cello Concerto. Actually it should have been a C-cassette with Rostropovich playing it, but I don’t have the original any more. I got this cassette at the age of 12 and it was an incredible experience to hear the piece for the first time. I immediately fell in love with the music and listened to it over and over again. This gave me the first idea of becoming a cellist.

The second inspiration was a film, Limelight by Charlie Chaplin. It appears to me as a testament of one great artist. It reveals in an honest way the whole range of emotions and struggles an artist has to go through during his career. The most striking moment of the film is the end, when Thereza feels, how her legs start losing their power, getting paralyzed, and Calvero immediately understands what the real problem behind this is, throws her onto the stage and watches her dancing a beautiful solo.

I have kept my experience with the Schumann Concerto in my mind also when I worked as a cello teacher. Often adults seem to think that children play simply for fun and don’t realise, how deep the emotion they can get from music can be. Playing is much more than just entertainment. I always wanted to open this magical world of music to my pupils and students and help them to understand the musical message behind the notes.

I saw the Limelight just when I had started to focus on questions about performance coaching. For me it was a very important experience, because it clearly showed that I was on the right way. The themes I had chosen, were not only something for a young uncertain musician, rather they were something common for all performing artists, concerning also the best ones.



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