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On That Note: Relearning Music Years Later

J-P Masclet

Cellist Robert Cohen joins us every month to talk about the life of working classical musician for the segment: On That Note with Robert Cohen.

This month, Robert is preparing for a series of concerts and is revisiting a piece of music he hasn’t played in a long time. And as it turns out it's an interesting process.

"I'm playing a piece that I haven't played for at least 25 years...and it's really fascinating coming back to kind of re-learn a piece that I've barely even thought about for all of that time," says Cohen.

He admits that he is "almost bowled over" that after honing his technique that connects his brain, body, and hands to play an instrument, his memory is now trying to revert back to different ways.

"Your brain tells your fingers where to play on the cello - it’s not as though it’s all automatically happening," Cohen notes. "But at the same time, when you come back to a piece like this after so long, you suddenly find that your hands want to do things you’re surprised they remember doing."

Lake Effect contributor Robert Cohen is the cellist for the Milwaukee-based Fine Arts Quartet.

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Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.
For 35 years one of the worlds leading cello soloist, Robert Cohen is an award-winning recording artist, conductor, artistic director and pedagogue who has been broadcast on TV and radio throughout the world. His passionate views on the art of learning, performing and communicating music have been widely published.