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The Snow Is Dancing -Claude Debussy

As I worked my way through the first page, finally getting a hand of the alternating sixteenth note rhythm, I realized this was not going to be an easy piece to learn. I fumbled through the song, giving it a rough first read, then stood up and walked into the kitchen where my mom was, scanning her face to see if she had been listening. But doing my best to give the impression that I did not care if she had heard or not.

I do this often. I’ll play through a song or come up with an idea, mess around with it for a while, then walk into the kitchen and wait for someone to say something, if they say anything at all. It may sound egotistical but I’m perfectly fine if no one was. I’ll just take feedback when I can get it. Sometimes I can get all the information needed just by someone commenting on it at all. That day my mom said the best thing she could’ve, “That song sounds like snow falling, like blizzard, is that what you’re playing for your recital?” Yes mom, that is what I’m playing for my recital. It’s called, “The Snow is Dancing” so the fact that you just said that is extremely encouraging.

Almost objectively this composition does sound like a flurry of snowflakes gliding towards the ground. It’s not very well known, which is a shame because it is truly beautiful. Showy, yes, but playful and deep at the same time. It was quite the process to learn, and as someone who plays majority jazz, delving into a classical piece is always a nice refresher. This is not to sound insulting, but playing classical just takes less thinking, it can be relaxing in a way. Although working your way through a difficult composition can certainly be frustrating, it’s pleasant to not have to constantly worry about what you’re going to play next, as I find myself doing with improvisation in jazz.


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