Interview with Hedda Szamosi

Freedom is not arbitrariness, randomness, lack of discipline. Without a certain order, a certain form, you can’t be truly free. They are so closely connected, form, order, freedom…   Form is given through the music, on the one hand, and through the natural functioning of the body on the other… The freer you are, the better you are able to work with your body as an instrument, the more you can risk.  Of course, you can’t start there – people always do too much at first. It takes a long time before you understand what it is to be free within limits.

Form should not be confused with something rigid. Give up everything rigid! What is rigid is not alive. Either you are rigid or you are alive. You can’t be both at the same time!

The things about my father that I believe most influenced me were (not in order of importance, but as they occur to me): his standards, his search for the truth, his faith in humanity, his efforts on behalf of young people, his almost unerring sense for what was genuine and authentic, his pedagogic ideas and attitude, the intelligence of his methods, his capacity for enthusiasm, his uncompromising attitude and dedication, and, not least, his musical ideals. He had an extraordinarily broad perspective, and he continued learning until the day he died. He never became complacent, but tried constantly to improve his teaching, to make it more effective.

First duty of a teacher: Calm.

Teachers must have the feeling from the beginning, that they trust the students to succeed – each within the scope of the possibilities given to them by nature. It’s not only a trust in oneself, and in the work, but also trust in the student. This gives the student the courage to venture out into the unknown.

Control should never apply to what I should do, but always to what I should not do. That is essential. I should as far as possible do nothing that hinders my automatic functioning. I have to observe myself, I have to be able to perceive myself, but not interfere in the process.