"There's nothing to it. All you have to do is hit the right notes at the right time." -J.S. Bach
When I was younger, we had this quotation framed, and sitting on my piano. It's just a funny little thing, but oh so true. I thought of it yesterday when I had a little "aha" moment with a student.
The previous week, she had been working on a piece that was a song with verses. In each verse, the basic notes are the same, but since the words change, so does the rhythm (more 8th notes to fit in more syllables, etc.). She had an impossible time with it and I tried everything with her (well, everything I could think of) to figure out these rhythms. She's had trouble with rhythms before - sometimes she just gets them right off, and sometimes to take a while. Sometimes she never figures them out and we just move on (terrible, I know).
Anyway, yesterday she played the piece for me with perfect rhythm. I said "that was wonderful! How did you get the rhythm so much better?" Her response was that she just played the notes at the right time.
Oh! Why didn't I think of that?!