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Musicians and Music Teachers (Read 2585 times)

Offline ludwig

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Musicians and Music Teachers
« on: October 28, 2002, 08:44:34 AM »

 I was just wondering if the most professional pianists still learn and work through pieces with teachers' guidance. When do you think is appropriate to stop learning from a teacher, is it when someone could play and intepret and research the style of a piece of music to be able to have their own interpretation and style of it, as well as keeping the composer's intentions and desired elements? I'm not sure about this, or do pianists never depart from some sort of a teacher figure? What are your views on it?
"Classical music snobs are some of the snobbiest snobs of all. Often their snobbery masquerades as helpfulnes... unaware that they are making you feel small in order to make themselves feel big..."ÜÜÜ

Offline emywu

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Re: Musicians and Music Teachers
«Reply #1 on: November 23, 2002, 10:42:48 PM »
I think learning is a lifetime process. It's not necessarily a teacher-student relationship, but because we have obtained certain level of knowledge that allows us to have our own interpretation, we often engage in exchanging ideas and discussions. I think that's what master classes, and this website is all about. We share, learn and improve.

Offline Diabolos

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Re: Musicians and Music Teachers
«Reply #2 on: December 01, 2002, 07:15:03 PM »
I think emywu is right, learning's definitely a lifetime process.

But besides that, I suppose that as a professional pianist you never stop learning from a teacher; I know very few pianists who have completely stopped seeing a professor, since there's always one way of interpretation or one thing about technique one doesn't know, and that's when these old professors can help you.
And, in addition, there are some person's who are students of really great pianists, such as Fleischer, who you try to meet just to get to know another 'school' of piano.

But I guess that, after reaching a certain age, seeing a teacher might not be appropriate anymore; and if you play like a Barenboim then you certainly don't need to.

;) Regards,

Offline Mandy

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Re: Musicians and Music Teachers
«Reply #3 on: December 10, 2002, 07:53:16 AM »
I think that it never hurts to have someone listen to you and talk about your interpretation of the pieces you might be playing.  It's always good to get different feeback from other musicians you respect-even if you are a very skilled and talented professional.  Sometimes people let that get to their heads and don't think they need to hear from anyone else!

Offline stokes

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Re: Musicians and Music Teachers
«Reply #4 on: February 14, 2003, 08:45:58 PM »
As a teacher you should always have as a goal to eventually make your students independent and able to be their own teachers. But music teaching is pretty much about good ideas and wide (smart)  thinking. A lifetime process as mentioned, and as long as you have a teacher who are more experienced than you, you are albe to develop your own pianoplaying and transfer your greater knowledge to your students. I don't know if this is on topic, but anyways.....

Offline tosca1

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Re: Musicians and Music Teachers
«Reply #5 on: February 15, 2003, 08:05:39 PM »
Perfection in any art is the utopian ideal that we all strive towards and certainly piano-playing is no exception. It is the very elusiveness of the attainment of artistic perfection which inspires and challenges us all. It is also what lifts this art into the highest areas of human endeavour.

Whether we work alone or with a teacher the infinite subtleties of beautiful piano playing can be a life long quest. Certainly some can reach amazing levels of musical insight when very young, but even spectacular talents can fade if the dedication to discover freshness and creativity in interpretation falters.  

I believe we must all be eternal learners in music.

Offline rachfan

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Re: Musicians and Music Teachers
«Reply #6 on: February 15, 2003, 10:39:54 PM »
Certainly the ultimate aim of teaching is to develop the student to the point where he/she can work at the piano independently.  Nevertheless, I believe that we can all learn new approaches and gain valuable insights from a new teacher, even if "lessons" are infrequent.  

In my own case (I'm an amateur who can only play the piano as an avocation), I've studied formally for 17 years.  The first 10 years were with an excellent teacher who helped me with the fundamentals, technique, musicianship, a progressive and balanced repertoire,  performance, etc.   Working with her, I achieved the Paderewski Gold Medal and a diploma from the National Guild of Piano Teachers, a solo recital, and a finalist slot in a Boston competion.  Then I went off to college, graduated, went to work, completed grad school, and continued in my life and career.  

In mid-life I decided to study piano again, so carefully selected an artist-teacher.   This was an altogether different experience.   I chose all of the repertoire.  At first my second teacher helped me to perfect certain techical abilities to enhance the level of my playing.  But as time went on during those seven years, he became less of a teacher and more of a piano coach, focusing mostly on intellectual and subtle points of interpretation.  In fact, we had some spirited debates over matters of interpretation at times.  I found that to be stimulating and of tremendous and lasting value to me.  

So if I were to study again formally (and who knows, I might), I would probably seek out a highly respected piano coach, work out some mutual goals and expectations, and collaborate in achieving them while continuing to expand my repertoire.  No doubt I would gain some altogether new concepts and perspectives from a different coach.    
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.