“I sometimes think about the way musicians look at the piano and about the relationship we pianists have with our instrument. You open a violinist’s case and you see pictures of family, friends, loved ones. They cherish their instrument, polish it, always handle it with care, never leave it just laying somewhere on a desk. Most people and musicians, even pianists for that matter, see the piano as a tool, nothing more. Rings from coffee cups, stains on keys, dust, it’s actually a piece of furniture most of the time. I can’t say how much it drives me crazy to see a plant or some books on the lid in someone’s living room, once I even saw a huge bird cage, which made playing fun in a way – but you get my point. Yet one of the most common problems we encounter in music schools is actually using these instruments to practice.
I organise masterclasses and the most difficult part of organising a good one is giving the participants the chance to practice on a good instrument, because many of them do not have such an option at home. But even piano teachers think you can ruin a piano simply by playing it, so they keep them locked and they get played a couple of times a year. Ask any piano tuner what will that do to it. I would like to appeal to everyone who owns one of these magnificent instruments. Use them, let them be used, teach everyone to use them for the one purpose they have been created, but, most importantly, teach them to develop a relationship with each one of them. Students! Closing the lid after a practice session, even if you are only playing at home, is a sign of respect towards this marvellous piece of engineering – and the music.” (Rok Palčič)
Rok is a Slovenian concert pianist specialising in chamber music. For the past two years he has organised the summer Masterclass, Art-Halieti, for international musicians to study with Kevin Robert Orr (piano, USA) and Koyrun Asatryan (saxophone, Armenia) at the beautiful, seaside enclave of Koper near the Italian border.
Connect with Rok: firstname.lastname@example.org