I do not believe in so-called ‘piano technic,’ which must be practised laboriously outside of pieces. I do not believe in spending a lot of time in such practise, for I feel it is time wasted and leads nowhere. I do not believe, for instance, in the struggle to play a perfectly even scale. A scale should never be ‘even,’ for it must be full of variety and life. A perfectly even scale is on a dead level; it has no life; it is machine-made. The only sense in which the word ‘even’ may be applied to a scale is for its rhythmic quality; but even in this sense a beautiful scale has slight variations, so that it is never absolutely regular, either in tone or rhythm.

Then I do not believe in taking up a new composition and working at the technical side of it first. I study it in the first place from the musical side. I see what may be the meaning of the music, what ideas it seeks to convey, what was in the composer’s mind when he wrote it. In other words, I get a good general idea of the composition as a whole; when I have this I can begin to work out the details.