Teaching Students About Rubato
Rubato is a musical term that many students may have heard of but few understand. It is a technique in music that allows the performer to manipulate the speed of the music, creating a sense of expression and emotion in the performance. Rubato is a free-flowing concept that can be difficult to teach, but it is a skill that can be developed with practice.
The first step in teaching rubato is to provide students with a clear definition and explantion of the concept. The term rubato comes from the Italian word “robato,” which means “stolen.” In music, rubato refers to speeding up or slowing down the tempo of a piece of music, without changing the overall length of the notes. This technique allows performers to add expression and feeling to their performance, with subtle variations in tempo and rhythm.
To teach rubato, teachers can start with simple examples in familiar pieces of music. Students can focus on playing the melody, while the teacher demonstrates rubato in the accompaniment. One approach is to slow down the tempo slightly at the beginning of a phrase, then gradually speed up the tempo as the phrase progresses, before returning to the original tempo at the end of the phrase.
Another technique is to introduce rubato in a piece of music that has a clear melody and accompaniment. The teacher can work with the student to create variations in tempo and rhythm in the accompaniment while keeping the melody steady. The student can then practice adding rubato to the melody while keeping the accompaniment steady.
It is also important to teach students the importance of balance and control when using rubato. Too much rubato can disrupt the flow of the music and cause confusion for the listener. Teachers can help students to develop a sense of balance by demonstrating the appropriate amount of rubato in different examples of music.
In addition to using rubato in performance, students can also learn about rubato in composition. Encouraging students to write their own pieces of music and experiment with rubato can help them to develop their creativity and demonstrate their understanding of the concept.
Overall, teaching rubato is an important skill for musicians of all levels. By providing clear explanations, examples, and opportunities for practice, teachers can help students to develop the ability to use rubato to add expression and feeling to their performances. With practice and guidance, students can learn to use rubato in a way that enhances the beauty and artistry of the music they play.