The Joy of Learning

In another life, I was a classically trained pianist.  I loved the challenge of performing Bach or Scarlatti or nearly any other Baroque composers.

So yesterday when I was searching for something new to listen to – my playing days are now well behind me – I discovered a version of Couperin’s Les Barricades mysterieuses. The precision, the beauty of the melodic lines, the mathematics of the composition fascinated me, particularly because the version I was listening to was not on a harpsichord, but on a classical guitar.

Benjamin Verdery talks in the clip below of discovering the joy of performing such pieces on guitar, of the slow, methodical process needed to coax his fingers produce the notes and how he practiced and practiced and practiced until one day, he could perform the piece as you hear it. The satisfaction of that effort, as is often the case when presented with a learning challenge, stayed with him.

For me, the message is not found simply in the music. The message is that anything worth doing well takes perseverance. And that, my friends is the joy of learning.

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