Trying To Play Without Mistakes Is A Mistake

You Can’t Play This To Not Make A Mistake


Mistakes In Music
Should You Avoid Mistakes?

The words above, “You Can’t Play This To Not Make A Mistake” were spoken by a director at a recent music festival to a group of high school band and orchestra students. I’m honestly not sure the students really understood, but as a conscious observer, pianist, piano teacher and piano student, I did.

Mistakes In Music

Mistakes In Music happen. If you simply try not to make a mistake you’re not trying to express what the composer of the music had in mind. When you play a song or piece of music, you’re being asked to send a message that’s far more important then playing mistake free.



Relating The Message To Auditions

My daughter, age 16 at the time of this article is an aspiring musician and often has to audition be it for local or all-sate festivals, musical groups, and or scholarship opportunities. It’s clear that sometimes in the pursuit of the best audition possible, an effort to focus on getting a section of music correct overcomes expressing the idea in that section of music. It’s unfortunate and natural all at the same time but forgetting the effort to not “mess up” may award you with the performance you’ve been waiting for. Don’t worry about the mistakes in music, worry about expressing it.



It’s About The Music, Not You!

mistakes in music
Express Yourself

In our school of music, especially around recital time we always stress the performing is about the music not the performer. If a student can buy into what their private music lesson teacher is saying, the performance always goes well because the focus is in the correct place.



It’s A Universal Truth

Looking outside of a musical concept, I feel the theme of avoiding making mistakes is universal and not only applies to music lessons but applies to life. We have to take a chance to make the most out of something and mistake free isn’t the same thing. We want our performers to “go for it” and what happens next…… Well, that’s music.

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