If, while at the piano, you attempt to form little melodies, that is very well; but if they come into your mind of themselves, when you are not practising, you may be still more pleased; for the internal organ of music is then roused in you. The fingers must do what the head desires; not the contrary.
Everyone is aware of the fact that visual and auditive perspective are identical; the only difference being that they are created and perceived by two physically different organs, the eye and the ear. How often the playing of a great master makes us think of a picture with a deep background and varying planes; the figures in the foreground almost leap out of the frame whereas in the background the mountains and clouds are lost in a blue haze.
I urge pupils when studying a work and in order to master its most important aspic, the rhythmic structure, or the ordering of the time process, to do just what a conductor does with the score: to place music on the desk and to conduct the work from beginning to end as if it were played by someone else, an imaginary pianist with the conductor trying to impress him with his will, his tempo first of all, plus all the details of his performance.
I had never before thought of how awful the relationship must be between the musician and his instrument. He has to fill it, this instrument, with the breath of life, his own. He has to make it do what he wants it to do. And a piano is just a piano. It's made out of so much wood and wires and little hammers and big ones, and ivory. While there's only so much you can do with it, the only way to find this out is to try; to try and make it do everything.