Lewis’s mis-reading of the notation in “Don’t Bother Me” in favor of a far superior and more spirited rendition, put me in a brief quandary. If I corrected his performance, he might learn something about music-reading, but I’d be pushing a boring, pedantic interpretation.
He was bursting with creative energy and the true spirit of the music, and I couldn’t bring myself to crush this. So I merely pointed out that his rhythm didn’t quite match the notes. He studied the page and agreed.
“But your version is better, so I think you should play it that way,” I told him. “Just as long as you understand that your rhythm differs slightly from the notation.”
So he was happy, and continued to play “Don’t Bother Me” the way he heard it in his head.