Robert Helps,
Learning by loitering

The delightful and offhand concept of musical “loitering” was gleaned in conversation with the maestro. Instead of applying some painful anatomic or organic metaphor like “maturation,” Helps’ idea of learning — the process of ”getting to know“ a piece of music — seemed to prone a more territorial and delinquent concept.

Profoundly against the bourgeois system of musical ”authority“ as propagated in Conservatories, Helps encouraged his students to approach masterworks with a certain audacity, as if loitering without aim around a public building at an undue hour.