Hi Jinkoid, Fair question. While I didn’t know specifically what kind of emotional reactions Kay was having and to what music, my recommendation to remain analytical was to get her to a calm place mentally so she could do the work required to get the goals of her practice achieved.
So, if Kay is practicing and gets frustrated, maybe crying, maybe feeling like it’s too hard, I want to get her to a non-emotional state so that she can look at the challenge without it upsetting her and work on it like a math equation or putting puzzle pieces together. If Kay is playing a piece perfectly, so beautifully, that she is moved to tears, she must still hold back to maintain control enough to accomplish the tasks of performance.
It’s not until the hands know the notes and bowings that the performer will consider emotional content of the music. But often, as spectators, it is believed that an expressive performance is gifted spontaneously with unplanned intensity or sweetness or irony. In reality, each emotion, every body motion, like bowings and fingers drilled hundreds of times, is calculated to tell the story of the music in a personal way. So when you next see a professional performance that moved you, know that the facial expressions, the flying hair, the bending low is all planned carefully to convey the message interpretted it from the written page. Even though you hear the ‘soul’ of the piece in that moment, and see it expressed physically in the performance, it was born within a calm, analytical planning and pre-thought. And it is in that stage of planning that one injects personality, unique to oneself, into the music. By the time of performance and even during the performance, there is very little left to chance or whim.