One of the joys of teaching is all the lessons we learn from the students observations and questions. During a recent guest lecture that I gave on “An Introduction to Carnatic Music” at Northeastern University a student posed a simple question, ‘How does one identify pitch?’ Another asked the question ‘Why is Adi talam (4/4 time signature in Western music, also known as Common Time) counted using specific fingers of the hand [rather than clapping?]
As someone who began learning music as a child, I’d always assumed that these were obvious and I’d never given it the thought it required. I found myself resolving to be more conscious of my own assumptions. My search for some interesting videos to share with students, led me to Benjamin Zander, the director of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and his TED talk about the transformative power of classical music.