Meet our mentors

Konrad Skolarski

Holistic approach

In his own words:

“Nowadays even in the most prestigious academies both the requirements and the educational processes have been reduced to the purely „instrumental” qualities – we shall call it “craftsmanship”, which is agility, perfection and reliability. If one thinks about it longer, one realizes that these are characteristics of a machines. And these characteristics result in an overemphasis of the means at the costs of goals, but what it should be is, that the goals determine the means. WHAT defines HOW. But observing even the most prestigious universities I can see, that the vast majority of pedagogues and their pupils are focused on „HOW” (to play) without knowing WHAT (despite the fact that in music one always should express what the piece is about). Artistic creation seems to be equivalent with mere mechanic execution. And this is wrong. One should realize that a „conventional formula” of lessons results in „conventional art”- if something like that exists (and it shouldn’t).
Music is a symbolic narration, and not a matter of fast fingers. One should compare pianists’ fingers to paint brushes. A painter should know what he wants to paint. Then he chooses an appropriate brush to do so. Communication, dealing with beauty, all kinds of human emotions and feelings demands a constant development of personality, sensitivity, intelligence, independence, association, awakening of creativity, abstract thought and spiritual growth. All these qualities arise from cultural competence.
We can call an artist someone, who reveals the meaning of existence to the audience. If this meaning is not a priority, it shows that we deal with an instrumentalist only, and not an artist.
I feel a strong affinity with the view of the German philosopher Martin Heidegger. Talking about technique he believes, we cannot separate the words “Techne” from words like poiesis and thesis. Thus technique means revealing, evoking, bringing out of concealment into unconcealment. Heidegger once said that “art is the becoming and happening of truth”. So, technique is about revealing, evoking, about poetic manifestation. But poetic manifestation of WHAT? In fact, this is the crucial factor of my teaching. I believe, that a good teacher should equip a pupil with „cultural” tools, which cause holistic development. One of the pillars of this development is to work on imagination (both intellectual and sound imagination), association / translation of human existence, experience (emotions / feelings) into the musical language, emotional / spiritual analyses of music. Only thus we can talk about music making and – and what is more important – about complex musical education.”

Photo credits: Anita Wąsik, Bruno Fidrych


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