On one occasion, Schoenberg asked a girl
in his class to go to the piano and play
the first movement of a Beethoven sonata,
which was afterwards to be analyzed.
She said, “It is too difficult.
I can’t play it.” Schoenberg
said, “You’re a pianist, aren’t you?”
She said, “Yes.” He said,
“Then go to the piano.” She did.
She had no sooner begun playing
than he stopped her to say that she was not
playing at the proper tempo. She
said that if she played at the proper
tempo, she would make mistakes.
He said, “Play at the proper
tempo and do not make mistakes.” She began
again, and he stopped her immediately
to say that she was making mistakes.
She then burst into tears and
between sobs explained that she had gone
to the dentist earlier that day and that
she’d had a tooth pulled out. He
said, “Do you have to have a tooth
pulled out in order to make mistakes?”