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One-Buttock Playing

Benjamin Zander on the transformative power of classical music.

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Benjamin Zander speaks about engaging passionately and intimately - in the context of classical music.
He proposes that you live your life... on "one butt cheek."

Zander has an incredible ability to connect us with classical in way most have never experienced - by making it deeply personal. Classical music has a reputation of being only for the cultured, the sophisticated, and those already well versed in the language. There seems to be this barrier, if you cannot speak on the structure of a prelude or the integrity of a bridge, you do not deserve to be speaking of, or perhaps even listening to, classical music at all.
Zander instead claims that if half-way through the piece you have moved on to thinking about lunch tomorrow, it is not your fault, but the player's. In some way, perhaps, music is in the ear of the beholder. It should awaken something visceral, perhaps trigger something specific, that is within each of us. It is not and should not be the same in all people - for those emotions have played out differently in each of our lives.
Zander gives the audience a gift - a realization that they are as much entitled to understand the music as any professionally schooled musician or educated concert-goer.
He speaks of "playing with one butt cheek," the effect of when emotion and inspiration take hold of you and you of them physically.
Maybe it is best as a lesson in teaching. How to give kids, and anyone, confidence that they are utterly and completely capable. 


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