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Although this is our fourth week talking about technique, I feel that we have barely scratched the surface of the conversations we could have about its importance. We have talked about practice, magic, and exposure.  And we have discovered that music is never simply a mechanical or functional process.

Excellent music is possible because of the internalization of technical skill. Practice becomes embodied, so that technique looks easy. Technique is necessary but should not be noticeable.

What we as listeners and observers should notice is beauty.

While we may marvel at skill and precision, and find ourselves in awe of the apparent magic of fingers on instruments, beauty is the intangible thing that touches our soul and inspires our joy.

Beauty makes us stop and take notice. Beauty calls to us from unexpected places. It surprises us and shatters our expectations.

When I watched the video of Golshifteh Farahani play the Hang Drum this week, it took my breath away. Beautiful. Unexpected. Effortless.

Are you on the lookout for Beauty? It’s the X-factor . . . not just in music, but in all of life.


Golshifteh Farahani

Iranian Actress and Musician


Anoushka Shankar

Sitar player and composer


Rain Tree by Toru Takemitsu

featuring percussionists from the ensemble NEXUS