In this week’s New Yorker, Jeremy Denk writes about his piano teachers, as he also talks about in the video above. He talks about his teachers changing his life, enabling him to hold on to paradoxical advice. One teacher tells him to follow his intuition, whereas another tells him to pay attention to detail. Holding on to these notions is the challenge of creating great music, he says. So, working with the emotional interior requires working with the same contradiction. One must learn to be free to fantasize, while at the same time, maintain the responsibility and regimentation of a civilized society. What struck me most about this article was how his mentors shaped him,but also humiliated him, in ways which he struggles to describe, in a parallel fashion to psychotherapists who try to understand their patients, while at the same time, not shame them. Once again the relationship, the attachment, the respect, creates personal and professional growth. Although these connections often cause great inner turmoil, they also create a lasting impression of loving advice and guidance. Music is the window into the soul, so it makes sense that learning music and going to psychotherapy are strikingly similar activities.