Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The recipe is not the cookie!

Today I worked with some AWESOME junior high percussionists. They worked hard, and we had a lot of fun. They also put up with my crazy analogies and stories really well. (Thanks, guys!)

Along the way we discovered another great way to think about sheet music, or what we sometimes call, "the chart." Whatever you call it, it's the paper with ink on it that tells you what to play, be it tabs, standard notation, a lead sheet or head chart.

This comparison is really simple: the written music is the recipe, as if you were making a batch of cookies. The recipe may call for flour, sugar, eggs, chocolate chips, etc, just like the music calls for rhythm, pitch, dynamics, phrasing, etc.

Ultimately, the addition of the ingredients, the mixing, the tweaking and the baking? All up to you. That's why my version of cookies is very different from my mom's, even though we follow the exact same recipe. And that's why your version of a song may be very different from somebody else's.

One more thing: It's been said that you can tell when food is cooked with love, and the same can be said for music. When following the "recipe" for your next performance, cook it up with love and both you and your audience will appreciate it.

And remember, just like the recipe is not the cookie, the sheet of paper with all the ink on it is not the music.

Happy drumming!

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