Paul Cheneour has walked a rich and broad musical path throughout his 44-year career, embracing European Classical, Jazz, Arab, Indian, Celtic and other musical styles, culminating in his own ‘World Fusion’ style.
As a teacher, Paul encourages his students to begin the music making process from the creative perspective, being open and willing to explore new ideas. The learning space is always safe, secure and relaxed and everyone is encouraged to express themselves comfortably and freely.
Excerpt from: Music from Within – Masterclass book/cd
Beginning with ‘Listening and Hearing’ Paul explores the many aspects of playing: Just Making a Sound, Trust, Direct Deed, Skills for Flute Playing, Flute Breathing including Circular Breathing, Embouchure, Sound Production-Sonority, Vibrato, Sound Projection, Articulation, Dexterity – Playing Fast and slowly, The Scales an Outline, Time and Time Signatures, Rhythm, Dynamics, Phrasing, Posture, Stamina, Sight Reading, Aural Training, Memory, Meditation, Styles, Repertoire, General Behaviour (Do’s and Don’ts), Finding a Flute, Ethnic Flutes, Finding A Teacher, Teaching. Intent, Composing and Improvising, Composing and Interpreting, Why Do You Play? Fear Of Failure- Fear Of Success? Performing In Public, Recording Live and In Studios, Starting a Career. Finding an Agent or Management, The Word “Musica”, The Sama Veda, Recording ‘The Time Has Come’ CD, Meditations for Solo Flute, Writing Word Pictures, Paul’s life changing car accident, Background, Biography, Discography, Films, TV Documentaries and Videos, Observations, Recommended further listening and reading.
“Listen for the sound within the silence and the silence within the sound”
“Everything in the universe is in motion. The fundamental vibration at the root of all life is music. Sound and music can lead us to resonate directly in tune with our environment, unifying us once more. As Rumi says: “Listen!… be still enough so you can enter the longed for other world and fall into the place where there is only music”.
“Tapping into the source of creativity takes great courage and even greater competence in acquired skills. Paul Cheneour, a leading UK jazz, classical and ethnic flautist/composer suffered a near fatal car crash in ’91. He recovered with the conviction that he needed to use his talent, life and near death experience to explore a new form of creative expression. This amounts to an opening out to the influences available in the moment. All the world’s great musical and artistic traditions remain as resources, and are no longer seen as restrictive boundaries”.
(Interview extract by Michael Greevis for Colour Therapy Magazine UK. 1995)
My aim, when teaching one to one or ensembles or workshops, is to encourage each student from a creative perspective, to become, if they have the desire and ability, a professional flautist, no matter their starting point.
I suggest that ‘disciplined learning’ comes from the freedom to explore rather than rigid empty rote learning. When learning a skill or craft, imagination, exploration, reflection, absorption and consideration are given precedence over purely ‘information and interpretation’.
Regardless of whether the student is a complete beginner or an experienced professional I listen, feel, look, and evaluate, only then do I consider offering any suggestions.
My guiding principal is that the student needs to experience the whole learning process for themselves, which can involve unlearning, that in itself is a difficult process, however, I would say it is the most beneficial way of understanding musical information. Physical muscle memory and musicality combine to enable a living, lyrical and poetic language to emerge.
Be under no illusion, this process is tough, very tough and it involves a huge amount of trial and error.
Here are some teaching principals worth considering:
- A thorough knowledge of your instrument and preferred musical styles.
- Fostering a desire to communicate.
- Understanding what the student is really asking.
- Humour and fun.
- Humility – not indulging in any competition with the student.
- Punctuality and steadfastness.
- Develop the ability to express the same point in a hundred different ways.
Pace the lessons according to the developmental needs of the student.
- Inspire and encourage an aspiration to excellence.
- Imbue confidence without arrogance.
- Discourage dependence on the teacher.
- Encourage discovery.
- Support performances.
- Ensure the foundations are solid and only be constructively critical.
- Give unconditional support, warmth and compassion.
- Introduce new, interesting and innovative repertoire.
- Avoid being boring!
I’m truly grateful to all the students who have accepted me as their teacher; who have taught me more than they will ever know and shared in their artistic and developmental paths. See Redgold for the book Music from Within.