Interpretive Choices

The teachers permit students to make interpretive choices in the performance of repertoire, but only among a limited range of options that are circumscribed by the teacher. Students are permitted no choices regarding technique. Teachers offer students opportunities to make limited independent choices concerning interpretive elements of performance, and do not intervene when interpretive choices are within the parameters of accepted musical convention. But when students make choices that are outside the bounds of acceptability, as defined by the teacher, the teachers lead the students to rethink their choices and select more acceptable alternatives. Some of the interpretive choices that students make are only apparent choices, in that the teachers lead the students to adopt interpretations that the teacher clearly has in mind—in these instances there is no real choice. Students are given no options regarding the technical aspects of playing the instrument, and they follow the teachers’ prescriptions to the letter.