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There are no good teachers, only good students. (Read 10669 times)

Offline J.S.Bach

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There are no good teachers, only good students.
« on: July 09, 2004, 11:18:50 AM »
All over the world piano teachers are spending a lot of time developing "new" piano techniques, publishing books, contradicting each other, et al. I personally think that all this is only a way to make money and has really nothing to do with the art of the piano.
I can bring numerous examples of the greatest virtuosos and composers who were good not because they had been taught by some teacher, but because they had learned music through diligence and trial and error. The list begins with the self taught Godfather of the classical music, Johann Sebastian Bach and continues through Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt, and to modern times of performers like Sviatoslav Richter and Arthur Rubinstein.
Obviously, some might not agree with my views. For example, one may say that Liszt was taught by Czerny. However, we must remember that Liszt did not become a great pianist because he studied with Czerny or Salieri, but he studied with them BECAUSE he was a good pianist in the first place. This is just one example that can answer all such questions regarding the rest of the artists. And this proves that the best way to learn something is through trial and error (the same way that all the musical instruments, including the piano and the violin, have been created and ameliorated).
To finalize, it can be safely said that all the greatest virtuosos are created by themselves - a virtuoso creates itself - and that no teacher can create a virtuoso. Obviously, teachers still have a function - to teach students to press the right notes at the right times and to make money. Liszt said it well when he told his students that technique does not exist since it is different for every single individual. What really matters is interpretation.
Here is a very small portion of the evidence concerning very general "rules" of technique that supports my views:
  - Can't play with flat fingers (what about Horowitz?)
  - Elbows above the keyboard (Gould?)
  - Feet straight and not under the chair (Rubinstein?)
  - Quiet hands (Gilels)?
  - Good posture with no leaning on the piano and keeping a good distance (Richter who almost seems to rape the piano during Jeux D'eau?)
..................

This list can go on forever as the rules get more specific. It just shows that there are no rules when it comes to art and all those existing restrictions should be eradicated. As such, the main point in teaching piano should not be "you can't cross over your fingers," for there is no reason why one can’t, but rather be directed only towards making music, UNLESS the student does not want to learn anything. In the latter case no art is involved, only money making, and thus the teacher can drill into the students head all the nonsenses about technique.
The average student can learn a lot from a teacher and  almost nothing by himself thus illustrating the importance of the teachers. But then again, my posting has nothing to do with such students.
"QUAM BENE VIVAS REFERT, NON QUAM DIU."

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Offline Saturn

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #1 on: July 09, 2004, 12:23:25 PM »
Quote
All over the world piano teachers are spending a lot of time developing "new" piano techniques, publishing books, contradicting each other, et al. I personally think that all this is only a way to make money and has really nothing to do with the art of the piano.
I can bring numerous examples of the greatest virtuosos and composers who were good not because they had been taught by some teacher, but because they had learned music through diligence and trial and error. The list begins with the self taught Godfather of the classical music, Johann Sebastian Bach and continues through Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt, and to modern times of performers like Sviatoslav Richter and Arthur Rubinstein.
Obviously, some might not agree with my views. For example, one may say that Liszt was taught by Czerny. However, we must remember that Liszt did not become a great pianist because he studied with Czerny or Salieri, but he studied with them BECAUSE he was a good pianist in the first place. This is just one example that can answer all such questions regarding the rest of the artists. And this proves that the best way to learn something is through trial and error (the same way that all the musical instruments, including the piano and the violin, have been created and ameliorated).
To finalize, it can be safely said that all the greatest virtuosos are created by themselves - a virtuoso creates itself - and that no teacher can create a virtuoso.


What you have said here is all common sense.

Obviously no one suddenly BECOMES a musician (or virtuoso) because they study music with a certain teacher.  Similarly, no one becomes intelligent because they study at a university, and no one becomes an athlete by joining a gym.  Ultimately the student must do the work, by diligent practicing, by trial and error, by learning to refine his natural musical gifts.

But teachers do have a function, and it is far more than this:

Quote
Obviously, teachers still have a function - to teach students to press the right notes at the right times and to make money.


If this was all the purpose of teachers, then certainly those who are musically gifted have no reason to take lessons.  After all, most prodigies can figure out which notes to press and when to press them.  But if this were all there is to it, why would Josef Hofmann have bothered to study with Anton Rubinstein?  Or Richter with Heinrich Neuhaus?

The reason is that good teachers have something which even the greatest prodigies lack: experience!  Music is a vast field, and having someone to guide your education makes it more manageable.

- Saturn

Offline Hmoll

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #2 on: July 09, 2004, 06:08:42 PM »

You don't know what you're talking about!


Take two students with equal talent - even two that have the potential to become "virtuosos" (btw, how are you defining that term?).
One of the students is self taught, and the other student learns under the guidance of a good teacher. In 3yrs. - drumroll for the rhetorical question - which student will have advanced further?

Or take those same students, and have one study with a good teacher, and one study with a bad teacher, and check out what happens in 3 yrs.

No offense but you have a simplistic view of what piano teachers do. They do not spend all of their time developing "new" techniques (name some of these "new techniques" that they've developed).
Playing the piano is a complicated art. There is more than one way to do it, and teach it. The contradictory information you see is simply a reflection of that.

The idea that piano teachers are in it to make money is laughable. If that were the case, they sure picked the wrong profession.

It is blindingly obvious that to a certain extent the cream rises to the top. In other words, someone with the talent of Horowitz may  become a great pianist even without a great teacher.  On the other hand, how many great talents are out there who went nowhere because that talent was not nurtured by a good teacher.

Quote
Here is a very small portion of the evidence concerning very general "rules" of technique that supports my views:
  - Can't play with flat fingers (what about Horowitz?)
  - Elbows above the keyboard (Gould?)
  - Feet straight and not under the chair (Rubinstein?)
  - Quiet hands (Gilels)?


Another simplistic assertion that reveals no knowledge about pianists or piano playing. - Hint: there are no rules.
"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

Offline bernhard

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #3 on: July 09, 2004, 11:05:23 PM »
Thanks, Hmoll and Saturn, you saved me a lot of writing!

Now here is something I would like to add:

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All over the world piano teachers are spending a lot of time developing "new" piano techniques, publishing books, contradicting each other, et al. I personally think that all this is only a way to make money and has really nothing to do with the art of the piano.


Er.. I haven’t seen much contradiction actually. They all seem to be saying more or less the same thing although in different ways and perhaps emphasising different aspects. In any case, these are books. Piano playing is a skill, not an academic subject. As such you need a hands on approach, not a book. You may find that two apparently contradictory statements by different authors in a book may turn up to be the same thing if you ever get to see them demonstrating it.

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I can bring numerous examples of the greatest virtuosos and composers who were good not because they had been taught by some teacher, but because they had learned music through diligence and trial and error. The list begins with the self taught Godfather of the classical music, Johann Sebastian Bach and continues through Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt, and to modern times of performers like Sviatoslav Richter and Arthur Rubinstein.


Actually you cannot. You may bring examples of ungrateful b****s who refuse to acknowledge their debt to their teachers. Or virtuosos who like to name-drop and say “I studied with so and so” just because they were famous, while the teacher who actually helped them the most was an unknown. Shall we go through your list, and perhaps add a few of mine? Yeah, good idea!

Johann Sebastian Bach was anything but self-taught. Where did you get this idea from? To start with he came from a family that counted more than 50 musicians contemporary with him. His father, Johann Ambrosius was both a town musician (musical director) and Court trumpeter at Eisenach. Do you think that Bach’s father ignored his son musical education? So here are some news for you: Bach learned to play the violin at a quite young age from his own father (Ambrosius, besides the trumpet was also fully conversant with the violin and the viola). J. S. Was enlisted in the choir as soon as he could sing. In fact choir duty took precedence over school, so that J.S. was frequently absent from school. Do you really think that the choir boys were left on their own to discover their craft by trial and error? J. S. mother died in 1694, and his father 9 months later. J.S. became an orphan at age 9. He went on to live with his eldest brother, Johann Christoph, then 24. He was already a professional musician, as organist at St Michael’s Church in Ohrdruf.  He took over J. S. musical education and added keyboard skills – which he taught him in a systematic and methodical fashion  - a well known fact amongst Bach scholars. Johann Christoph himself had had lessons from no other than Pachelbel. Christoph did not teach J. S. only keyboard skills but also theory, composition, counterpoint, you name it. Thanks to his brother, by the time J. S. was 15 he was already accomplished in the art of thoroughbass. Have you ever tried it? Do you really believe you can learn thoroughbass without a teacher, by trial and error? At 15 J.S. went to study at the Lunenburg Latin School, 200 miles from Ohrdruf. Lunenburg was famous for the importance they gave to music in the curriculum. In particular we know that J. S. befriended the school’s choirmaster, Friedrich Praetorius who gave him access to his collection of more than 1100 scores. Are you telling me that in Lunenburg J.S. did not have the benefit of music teachers? That Praeotrius taught him nothing? That he learned by trial and error? Even after J. S. was a celebrated musician, he thought helpful to learn from more experienced musicians and travelled 200 miles to learn organ techniques from Buxtehude. Why would he have bothered doing that (a trip that ultimately landed him in prison) if he could learn anything by trial and error? Enough of Bach. Let us move on.

Mozart self-taught? Ha ha ha. Have you never heard of Leopold Mozart? A fine musician and pedagogue who took so much pride in the way he taught his son that he went to the trouble to write a method on how he did it. (He also wrote a treatise on how to learn the violin). And Mozart was not an ungrateful b***rd. He fully acknowledges his debt to his father in his numerous letters. Do some research.

Ready for Liszt? Like Bach and Mozart, Liszt was born onto a musical family. His father was a cellist  at Prince Esterhazy’s orchestra, under none other than Haydn. What about that for a musical environment? When Haydn was replaced by Hummel, Liszt’s father (Adam Liszt) developed an interest on the piano and became good enough to be able to play Hummel’s concerts. Liszt showed his first interest in the piano aged six, when listening to his father playing Ries Piano concerto in C# minor. Adam started then teaching his son to play the piano. Not being an ungrateful b****d, Liszt fully acknowledges his father importance. According to him, Adam not only taught him the basics of piano playing as made a point of playing from memory, fluent sight-reading and improvisation. Again, according to Liszt, it was these skills that really got him going as a child prodigy. So, after all he did not learn by trial and error. He was taught by his father. His father then took him to see Czerny, then the most famous pedagogue of the time. Czerny was horrified. He thought Liszt had talent but also too many bad habits. By Liszt’s own admission, Czerny sorted out his technique –he started having lessons with him aged 12 – at the same time he started composition lessons with Salieri, first three itmes a week and then everyday. Neither Czerny nor Salieri ever asked a dime for their troubles (hey! wait a minute! I thought teachers were in it for the money). Liszt went on record to say that he owed his teachers everything.

What about Czerny himself? Didn’t he figure it all out by trial and error? Guess what? He took lessons form his father! Wenzel Czerny was a pianist, organist, oboist and singer. Czerny described his childhood as being "under my parents' constant supervision," and he goes on to say that he was "carefully isolated from other children." Does that sound to you like trial and error? After learning the basics from his father, Czerny went on to become a student of Wenzel Krumpholz, who was such a good teacher that Czerny was concertising at age 10, playing everything by Mozart and Clementi. It was Krumpholz who introduced Czerny to Beethoven – on the occasion the 10 year old Czerny played the1st movement of Mozart’s piano concerto K 503 and Beethoven’s own Pathetique sonata. Czerny then started being instructed by Beethoven. Trial and error? Hardly. Beethoven started with scales and technique followed by an intensive study of  C.P.E. Bach’s “Essay in the true art of playing keyboard instruments”. Throughout Beethoven insisted on legato technique (one of his pet subjects). The lessons did not last long. Beethoven was more interested in composition. But does anyone care about this? Not really. Everyone says: my lineage goes back to Beethoven, since the teacher of the teacher of my teacher was taught by Czerny. What a crock of potatoes! Brendel is not the heir of Beethoven, he is the heir of Krumpholtz! But I guess this is not glamorous enough.

What about Beethoven, then? No , don’t tell me, his first teacher was his father! You bet. When Beethoven was 4, his father – a professional singer - started teaching him the violin and piano. By all accounts he was not a good teacher: he beat Beethoven up and he locked him up if he did not play perfectly (a bit like kulahola perhaps?) So,  the lessons eventually stopped. So by age ten, he was having lessons from Christian Neefe. So trial and error? Not likely. By age 15, Neefe suggested that he go to Vienna to study with Mozart. This did not happen (although they met). Eventually Beethoven did go to Vienna and became a student of Haydn at 22. So, quite a long period as a student, wouldn’t you think?

I love when people like Alfred Brendel say on interviews “ I studied with Edwin Fischer, who studied with Martin Krause, who studied with Liszt , who studied with Czerny, who studied with Beethoven”. No, you did not. Your lineage does not go back to Beethoven, it goes back to Krumpholtz and Christian Neefe, you name dropper!

What Brendel does not like to mention in interviews is that his “studies” with Fischer consisted of one year of a few master classes. He neglects to mention his previous teachers, the ones who actually first introduced him to the piano. He is actually dismissive of them. “I guess if they didn’t teach me anything good, at leas they didn’t teach me anything bad.” However great a pianist Brendel might be, in my book he is an ungrateful b***d and a name dropper. So poor Christian Neefe gets dropped out of the history books because he was a modest unknown teacher and his name cannot open doors as Beethoven’s name can.

Shall I go on? Why not.

Richter – His father was a concert pianist, for crying out loud. Or are you one of these ignoramus who thinks that Richter learnt everything for himself and had his first piano lesson in his 20s with Neuhauss? Just for Neuhauss to say “ I have nothing to teach Richter!”. Nice mythology. Let me enlighten you (or should I say let me teach you). Richter started piano lessons at age 6. His first teacher was his mother, she herself a student of his father. From birth Richter was exposed to a musical environment. His parent’s house was a meeting point for the famous musicians of the day. Self-taught my ass!

Rubinstein – Have you ever bothered to read his autobiography?

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Give me a virtuoso and I will give you his/her teachers. 8)

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And this proves that the best way to learn something is through trial and error (the same way that all the musical instruments, including the piano and the violin, have been created and ameliorated).


This proves that you have not done your homework. Go to the library, read a bit on the subject. Who knows, by trial and error you may get there someday. Why not enrol the services of a teacher? It will cost a bit, but it will save you a lot of trials and you will avoid plenty of errors. ;)

Best wishes,
Bernhard.


The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline Hmoll

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #4 on: July 09, 2004, 11:38:28 PM »
Anytime Bernhard.

I thought you were too busy laughing all the way to the bank. ;)
"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

Offline bernhard

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #5 on: July 09, 2004, 11:53:25 PM »
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Anytime Bernhard.

I thought you were too busy laughing all the way to the bank. ;)

;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline J.S.Bach

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #6 on: July 10, 2004, 12:43:45 AM »
Please calm down before writing down any more responses. I obviously did not intend to offend any piano teachers. You have simply misunderstood me. I will give you a resonse soon, but don't write anything else for now because otherwise I will have to work full time to respond to all your comments.
Also please note that I am not surprised by anything that you said. Although I am not a piano teacher, I have learned enough about classical music so that almost nothing that you said is news for me. As for Bach, he is everything to me and there is no one I respect more. I have read his biography by one author and now I am reading Spitta (Bach's ultimate authority). To not know something about Him would be an insult for me.
I do not need to do any research to give you a response, it will just take time to write it all down. To show that you misunderstood me I will just say this: if you really think that in my opinion ALL the teachers are funtionless, then that would also include Ferenc Liszt. This is something that I did not say or even imply. Think about that.
"QUAM BENE VIVAS REFERT, NON QUAM DIU."

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Offline BajoranD

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #7 on: July 10, 2004, 02:43:12 AM »
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And this proves that the best way to learn something is through trial and error (the same way that all the musical instruments, including the piano and the violin, have been created and ameliorated).


Offline ahmedito

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #8 on: July 10, 2004, 03:29:36 AM »
You are obviously not a teacher.


Anyways.... the best way to find out the true importance of a teacher, is moving to a place like Mexico, where there is a HUGE lack of good teachers, and a mafia of older incompetent teachers that continually churn out mediocre students. I have seen a LOT of very talented pianists fail horribly because of a bad teacher. Equally,  the few good teacers in mexico do a great job with god or bad students alike, and at a college level, the good teachers`mediocre students are far superior than the bad teachers`most talented pupils.

You must be a very shortsighted person if you cant aknowledge the need a pianist always has of someone wiser and more experienced, and the mark of an immature person, is the refusal to admit all the good that someone more experienced can do for you... and that is usually associated to a certain rebelious age.... puberty?
For a good laugh, check out my posts in the audition room, and tell me exactly how terrible they are :)

Offline BajoranD

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #9 on: July 10, 2004, 05:51:53 AM »
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And this proves that the best way to learn something is through trial and error (the same way that all the musical instruments, including the piano and the violin, have been created and ameliorated).


Ack! Made a mistake in the above posting. Sorry. And then I had to go do something about dinner before I could fix it. Talk about trial and error . . .

It seems to me that what you're talking about, J.S., is having to reinvent the wheel every gosh darn time every time someone wants to drive somewhere. Do you really think Stradivarius figured out how to build that violin all on his own? Sure, he may have tweaked things here and there, but I seriously doubt he just picked up the tools one day and decided to figure out how to make an intricate, delicate stringed instrument.

And even if a student COULD figure out technique all on his/her own, isn't it much more efficient (and practical) to have a guide show that student important elements and short cuts, and correct things that may cause difficulties down the road? Think of all the time we'd waste on poor habits, and then the additional time we'd waste to fix those habits, if we didn't have a teacher to guide our hand.

Offline J.S.Bach

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #10 on: July 10, 2004, 09:57:39 AM »
That’s enough. You have presented your responses in such a manner as if expecting a political retaliation. I will respond to all of your relevant comments, however with brevity and less personal insults.

1.  Saturn -If what I said was really a common sense, there would be no need to say it in the first place. The reason I made the posting is because not all teachers think like you. As such, it should be obvious that your function goes beyond of telling the students which keys to press and when.
     - You are also correct that GOOD teachers have experience. Unfortunately, that is a very vague term and it would be a good idea to define what is a good teacher. A teacher who is well known for writing an entire book on how to press the keys is not good, but likely the opposite. You should understand what I mean since you agree that there are no rules in technique.


2. B Minor - my view is simplistic only if you analyze it simplistically (if you carry a German screen name, please analyze accordingly). The word virtuoso has no single definition. In simplistic terms it can be said that a virtuoso is simply a very well rounded person, and not only musically. If one could play octaves faster than Horowitz, that would not necessarily qualify him as a virtuoso.
     - Your question is indeed rhetorical, but you still went ahead and asked me about it. First of all, you should define a “good” teacher. Please understand that if the teacher is “good”, then my comments have nothing to do with him. I would say that any teacher who accepts that there are no rules in technique can be qualified as a good teacher. In this forum the only person to admit that has been Saturn.
     - If one student is taught by Czerny and the other is left to study by himself, then it is not hard to assume that the student with Czerny would learn much more. But here are the drawbacks: How many teachers are as experienced as Czerny or Beethoven were? How many teacher have ever won a competition, recorded something wonderfully, or composed a beautiful piece? Would you say that in modern days it would be 1 in a million? As such, how can someone teach you a piece like Balakirev’s Oriental Fantasy Islamey when she can’t play it perfectly herself? After all, what is YOUR repertoire?
     Now lets look at it differently. Let’s say someone like Horowitz has an identical twin. H-1 is taught by Czerny and H-2 is self taught. Czerny would not allow H-1 to play with flat fingers while self-taught H-2 would do whatever he would find suitable. Maybe in 3 years H-1 would know more, but eventually it would be H-2 who would develop transcendental technique due to his flat finger style that suited him best. This is a very simple example.
     - Playing the piano is not a complicated art, but you can make it to one by introducing infinite number of unnecessary rules. Obviously, if you tell the same thing to your students, then they will feel the same way and will change gears from art to robotized mechanics. It is the same thing as if to say that love is complicated. It is only complicated when you complicate it, otherwise real love is a simple but very beautiful feeling, the same feeling that is felt while playing some pieces. Your view makes me feel that you are one of those teachers who would place coins on the students’ hands to teach them the silent hand technique.
     - My apologies if you misunderstood me again. I did not say that YOU became a teacher to make money. I refer to those teachers who write volumes upon volumes on how a piano should be played.
     - In the end you contradict yourself  - if you agree that there are no rules, then what can a teacher teach the student about technique? I think that you strongly believe in rules and that’s why you brought the 3 years example and said that piano playing is complicated.


3. Bernhard - I am glad that there are teachers with your knowledge. My posting has nothing to do with teachers like you. Nevertheless, you still should agree that no matter how good a teacher maybe, if the student is not good enough, he will never become anything more than a note player. From this follows that there are no good teachers, only good students. If the student is not “innately” talented or eager, there is nothing that even the best teacher in the world can do about him. On the other hand, if the student is good enough, he can achieve success even without a teacher. Nevertheless, a good teacher can still make important additions to the student’s experience.
     - I am not an ungrateful bastard (your indirect implication). You are having a difficult time understanding that what I am saying is that the most important ingredient in making a good musician is not the teacher, but the musician herself (same thing I said above).
     - Your confidence comes from the assumption that perhaps I posted my opinions without even knowing the biographies of any of the composers or performers. Instead of a long paragraph of response I’ll tell you this: Yes, I agree about what you said about Bach. However, Bach was not the only child in the large family to have the privilege of musical education. In fact, all the members of the family got more or less the same exact educational package. But then why was it only Bach that emerged as the ultimate virtuoso? Because he was innately capable. Otherwise, all the pupils in St. Thomas or perhaps in the entire Germany would become virtuosos. So, if many pupils got more or less the exact education as Bach did with the same teachers, what made Bach so successful? Self-education and HIS OWN rules. The fact that he perused the library has to be attributed to self-education and to nothing else. No one told him to do so (if anything, his brother tried to prevent it). In Bach’s time teachers still had the belief that the thumb should not be used during keyboard playing. Do you really think that if Bach was purely a teacher’s student he would ever write those complex fugues? I think not. Let’s not continue this anymore, but I will still answer some of your remaining comments.
     - You said:
Quote

             Mozart self-taught? Ha ha ha. Have you never heard of Leopold Mozart? A fine musician and pedagogue who took so much pride in the way he taught his son that he went to the trouble to write a method on how he did it.

     I did not expect such an immature comment. You are implying that Mozart was created by a formula (method on how he did it)? Bernhard, how many Mozarts can you create by following this method? If you can create even one in your lifetime, you will be only after Bach in my list of the most brilliant people who ever lived.
     By the way, Mozart also had a sister who began to study with her father (the same person who taught Wolfgang) even earlier than Mozart did. However, she did not become anything close to a “great” artist. Can you see the connection between Mozart and Bach now or should I go on?
     - You know Liszt’s biography well enough. Nevertheless, you still interpret it in a biased manner that will benefit your point of view. Here is something new to you (it must be new since you did not mention it): Paganini who never taught Liszt anything was probably a far more important teacher for his development than Adam, Carl, and Antonio combined. Why? Because he was the one to inspire Liszt to begin his exhaustively fanatical self-education. Have you ever heard of Liszt’s OWN piano exercises? That’s right, Liszt transcendental technique was not developed by Czerny, and far less by Adam Liszt, a mediocre musician, but rather by Liszt’s perseverance to study by himself, sometimes staying up all night and performing variations on pieces like Mozart’s Dies Irae (which ironically made his neighbors kick him out of the building). Thus, Liszt’s sophistication ultimately resulted from his self-education. I can bring much more examples, but since you yourself are very knowledgeable, I do not think that I need to give you more examples to understand my point (I am by no means sarcastical).
     - The remark about teachers making money was already addressed above. Liszt also later in his life taught the students for free.
     - I won’t go into further details. No matter how big the iceberg, when the temperature rises, it eventually melts without requiring to break every part of it into smaller pieces. It is very interesting, but about a year ago I desperately wanted a piano teacher and even took classes at my college. The interesting part is that I thought in the exact same manner - a teacher will make me study with the short-cuts by avoiding the errors. My idea about piano completely changed after my piano teacher denied to deviate from the playing rules - the beginning of the Bach Toccata in D minor, (BWV 565); I asked why can’t the finger 4 go over 5 during D-Dflat in left hand. She said because it is the rule (yet Bach himself did not think so). I realized that to really learn something I must learn about the masters first. After completing the 3 volume biography of Liszt by Alan Walker and many other biographies, I arrived to my current conclusion. Maybe if you read more complete books instead of relying on bits of information from here and there (especially online), you’ll understand my psychology better by getting the full picture.


4.Ahmedito - I agree that a young pianist can benefit from a mature, more experienced person. But that person, or more precisely a father-figure, does not have to be a piano teacher. Many students become virtuosos after being taught by their parents. This one’s for you Bernhard - since most of the parents do not play the piano good enough themselves, it follows that they are there more for the moral support rather than teaching a technique. They create an environment in which the student can confidently educate himself.
     - You consider a younger person not knowledgeable enough which allows you to talk in a patronizing manner? I am not 13 (puberty), but even if I were, you should be very short sighted yourself to assume that a younger person can’t possibly know anything better than the older one. There is also nothing wrong with being rebellious. Actually I wouldn’t call it rebelliousness, its just that younger people are more open minded and are able to accept new ideas after analyzing the details. I know enough psychology and have enough great older friends (over 30) to say that you are one of those super conservative persons who stick to the rules so tightly that do not even care to analyze new ideas. This means that no matter what I say to you, you will refuse to even think about it and will just go on with your right way of thinking. There is no more point for me to respond to any of your comments. No offense though - every person is different. If you teach art, I respect you for that. If you did not talk in a condescending manner, I would appreciate your comments.


5.BajoranD - Piano playing is nothing like a wheel or an instrument. As such, it is different for every person and thus technique is not Re-invented but rather Discovered. Assuming that a piano teacher is not able to get into the student’s body to feel how that student’s hands feel, and also assuming that she does not know complex anatomy and biology ( e.g., the ratio of the length of the metacarpal bones to the phalanges and the number of fast and slow twitch muscles in the hand, et al), there is no way the teacher will be able to devise the best technique for the student. That’s perhaps why LISZT ALMOST NEVER TAUGHT TECHNIQUE. For your teacher hand guiding comment look at my Horowitz twin example in #1.
     - Another view of your wheel inventions actually supports my cause. If teachers really believe that wheel should not be reinvented, then why one of the rules is to avoid listening to a recorded piece by a great artist? They say that the student has to discover that by himself. I can bring so many contradictory examples to this one that will fill three pages.

I could not use direct quotes because it would become too complicated and would take a lot of time.

Thank you for your comments.

JSBach
"QUAM BENE VIVAS REFERT, NON QUAM DIU."

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Offline BajoranD

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #11 on: July 10, 2004, 11:03:01 AM »
Quote
If teachers really believe that wheel should not be reinvented, then why one of the rules is to avoid listening to a recorded piece by a great artist?


Didn't know that was a rule! I've had teachers with different opinions on that, and I've also had teachers that would vary that from piece to piece. And I DO agree that self-discovery is a very important part of the learning process. That's why I think of teaching as guiding. The individual path of each student will vary. And I wasn't talking just about technique, I was talking about the role of the teacher in general. Hasn't there ever been a time when you've been banging your head against some musical wall, and a teacher showed you something, or made a little suggestion, or asked you to try it a cetain way, and the wall came crashing down? If you have, then you must understand that THAT is the true value of a teacher. And if you haven't, then perhaps you haven't had a good teacher, and if that's the case I'm very sorry. A good teacher is more than just the person who shows the student how to put their hands on the piano. A good teacher is part drill seargent, part cheerleader, part mentor, part coach, and part pedagogue. A good teacher helps facilitate the growth of the student. That doesn't mean they grow for them, but they help. I believe that most (maybe not all, but most) of the great performers out there would say, if they were being really honest, that somewhere along the way they had a teacher that brought more out of them then they knew they had inside to begin with. That in no way takes away from the accomplishment of the performer (or student). Have you really never had a teacher that inspired you, and made you want to reach? Because that would be a very sad thing, indeed.

Offline Saturn

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #12 on: July 10, 2004, 02:45:14 PM »
Quote
You should understand what I mean since you agree that there are no rules in technique.


When did I agree that there are no rules in technique?

There are rules in technique.  Because although there's no one way to do something right which applies to all students, there are MANY ways to do something wrong.

Good technique should work efficiently with the body, rather than against it.  I suspect that all these teachers (which you criticize) with their "revolutionary" new techniques and approaches are trying merely to find a way to teach this fact.

Also:
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A teacher who is well known for writing an entire book on how to press the keys is not good, but likely the opposite.


I'm not sure I understand this.  If the majority of pianists don't know how to press the keys without injuring themselves, shouldn't there be books written on this topic?  You're saying that a teacher who writes a book on technique is not a good teacher?  What does one have to do with the other?

I think you have become cynical.  The majority of teachers are not good teachers because they don't exactly understand what their function is.  That doesn't mean that there are no good teachers, or that teachers do not have a function.  I'm sure there must be good teachers out there.  Somewhere.  Maybe they all live in England.

- Saturn

Offline Hmoll

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #13 on: July 10, 2004, 05:00:32 PM »
Quote

2. B Minor - my view is simplistic only if you analyze it simplistically (if you carry a German screen name, please analyze accordingly). The word virtuoso has no single definition. In simplistic terms it can be said that a virtuoso is simply a very well rounded person, and not only musically. If one could play octaves faster than Horowitz, that would not necessarily qualify him as a virtuoso.
     - Your question is indeed rhetorical, but you still went ahead and asked me about it. First of all, you should define a “good” teacher. Please understand that if the teacher is “good”, then my comments have nothing to do with him. I would say that any teacher who accepts that there are no rules in technique can be qualified as a good teacher. In this forum the only person to admit that has been Saturn.
     - If one student is taught by Czerny and the other is left to study by himself, then it is not hard to assume that the student with Czerny would learn much more. But here are the drawbacks: How many teachers are as experienced as Czerny or Beethoven were? How many teacher have ever won a competition, recorded something wonderfully, or composed a beautiful piece? Would you say that in modern days it would be 1 in a million? As such, how can someone teach you a piece like Balakirev’s Oriental Fantasy Islamey when she can’t play it perfectly herself? After all, what is YOUR repertoire?
     Now lets look at it differently. Let’s say someone like Horowitz has an identical twin. H-1 is taught by Czerny and H-2 is self taught. Czerny would not allow H-1 to play with flat fingers while self-taught H-2 would do whatever he would find suitable. Maybe in 3 years H-1 would know more, but eventually it would be H-2 who would develop transcendental technique due to his flat finger style that suited him best. This is a very simple example.
     - Playing the piano is not a complicated art, but you can make it to one by introducing infinite number of unnecessary rules. Obviously, if you tell the same thing to your students, then they will feel the same way and will change gears from art to robotized mechanics. It is the same thing as if to say that love is complicated. It is only complicated when you complicate it, otherwise real love is a simple but very beautiful feeling, the same feeling that is felt while playing some pieces. Your view makes me feel that you are one of those teachers who would place coins on the students’ hands to teach them the silent hand technique.
     - My apologies if you misunderstood me again. I did not say that YOU became a teacher to make money. I refer to those teachers who write volumes upon volumes on how a piano should be played.
     - In the end you contradict yourself  - if you agree that there are no rules, then what can a teacher teach the student about technique? I think that you strongly believe in rules and that’s why you brought the 3 years example and said that piano playing is complicated.



If I misunderstand your argument as simplistic, it's because you are presenting it in a simplistic manner.

I'm not going to respond to your numerous self-contradictions. For example, you talk about Czerny teaching Liszt, but complain about teachers developing new techniques. We'd all still be stuck in 1820 if teaching piano and piano technique did not evolve.

You obviously have an axe to grind with piano teachers, but are not expressing your problem with them very well. You said you read a few books. Try absorbing some of the information about them because what you post does not have much historical acccuracy.

Oh, and don't tell us to stop posting. If you can't take the heat...



"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

Shagdac

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #14 on: July 10, 2004, 07:02:00 PM »
JS--

I feel I have to respond, as I really feel strongly about "teachers". Let me start by saying that I know there are "exceptions" to every rule, and I'm not necessarily talking about the 5 year old prodigy that can play anything after hearing it once! But to say "There are NO good teachers, only students", is ridiculous. Just as there are good and bad students, there are good and bad teachers. Yes, some teachers may do it for extra $$$, and not be good at what they do, but you will find that in ANY profession.

While you can compare legacies of long ago, who studied under great teachersthat you read about in a book that someone else wrote......I'm replying based upon first hand scientific proof! I am not the worlds best pianist, nor do I claim to have the knowledge that many on this forum possess. However I do consider myself driven, intelligent, mature and have played piano for close to 40 years.  What I guess I'm trying to say....is that there is absolutely NO way at all, I could have ever made it without a teacher. No way.

To give an example of this.....even after 16 years of "music teachers", classes, etc......later when I returned to classical music I had different problems I was facing with my playing, technique, etc. With all my knowledge, experience and practicing, one would think I would be able to learn anything on my own....WRONG...I unsuccessfully attempted to learn several pieces on my own. Granted, of course I could play "the right notes at the right time"....but there was something missing. My music didn't "sound" the way it was supposed to....there was something missing. I knew HOW a certain part was supposed to go...and even though I was counting and playing the correct notes...I couldn't figure out WHAT I should do differently to make it sound differently. After Much (and I mean much) trial and error on my part, I got a teacher (2 actually)...3 times a week.

I could not believe the difference the teacher made in how my playing sounded after my first 1 hour with him!!!
It was remarkable! Couldn't believe it.

I agree that if you have an unmotivated student, who does not have a drive to acheive, that no amount of hard work from any teacher will make that student a good pianist.  But assuming that you have a well educated, sincere teacher, (teaching for the right reasons)....how could one not see where a student would benefit greatly from this? No matter how gifted a student, there are questions and concerns that someone with experience is best suited to answer.

Also, I know of very few pianists that can be objective when critiquing themselves. I have to record myself to get a good view. I never hear myself play...the way I actually play. Many times my teacher will pick up on things I don't even notice. And sometimes it's not even a matter of me asking a question and him answering. It might just be matter of discussion. The two of us exchanging bantor over various composers, or what we think certain judges will be looking for, or past experiences that we have learned from. These are ALL valuable contributions to the learning process. Ones that I would not have were I learning alone.

Even when I am working on something that I know I am playing incorrectly, and I already know what I am doing wrong...sometimes I don't know HOW to practice it differently. When this is demonstrated in front of me, it becomes clear. Something I would not have the benefit of seeing if I didn't have a teacher. I realized I could answer most of my own questions, and knew what I needed to know about music....but one still needs someone to show them how to ustulize this knowledge.

You could say after a year or so of piano, most will possess the necessary knowledge to continue from there on their own. But you NEED that guidence, those opinions, those discussions, and the experience that only a teacher can give.

Also, I'd like to add one more thing. Teachers can be different people. It may very well be one's parents, brother, sister, aunt....neighbor down the street, professor at college. It can be anyone who supplies pertinent information that is used to better one's skills and knowledge. I have one teacher who has the experience, education, technique, etc who can guide me, and SHOW me HOW something is to be done. I have another who, while they can play....offers more encouragement, support, and whom I learn more "textbook" type information and have lengthy discussions about different composers. However, if my Mother was listening to me play, and commented on lets say...how I was speeding up in a certain area.. then she would be a teacher.....when people critique anothers playing....this is still a part of the learning process. We learn from everyone who hears us play, whether they clap, critique, judge, etc. Everytime I play it is a learning experience. If one NEVER rec'd any feedback, it would be impossible for us to know how we were doing, other than our own opinion.

When I play something well, I always thank my teacher so much...and he'll say, "You did it, your the one"!, But I wouldn't have known HOW to do it, without him! On the same hand....no matter how much information he gave me, it wouldn't have happened had I not practiced and applied what he gave. It is a SHARED responsibility on BOTH the part of the student and teacher. And yes, you CAN have a student, with no teacher....but will they be good. I don't think so ( and I'm not referring to some prodigy from the 1800's)...just for the regular joe blow...no, we NEED the guidence and experience.
Again, this is just my opinion, and I respect everyone's right to have their own.

S :)

Offline ahmedito

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #15 on: July 10, 2004, 07:56:42 PM »
JS...

Sorry to have been condescending to you or insulting. You must understand that the statement: no good teachers, only students is ridiculous to me, and to other people here... but not only that. Its insulting.

You are completely undermining what most of us do for a living, saying that we are completely unnecesary. Teaching IS necesary even if you ARE Liszt. That point has been throughly and very well argued by Bernhard. Id also like to point out to everyone here that most aspiring to be  profesional pianists will eventually become teachers. ALMOST EVERYONE. Thats what we study for, to make music, and teach others to make music.

Im sorry if I insulted you, but youre comment is enough to make any self respecting teacher here:

1) Laugh out loud and think you don know what you are talking about.
2) Get angry

____

It seems you have changed your argument from all teachers are unnecesary to all but GOOD teachers are unecesary....

For a good laugh, check out my posts in the audition room, and tell me exactly how terrible they are :)

Offline just_dropping_by

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #16 on: July 10, 2004, 09:25:36 PM »
Hi,

I used to post here a bit, but dropped out quite a while ago.  I still read the forum occasionally, and I had to sign in and reply to this topic.

J.S., you're outnumbered here, but I just wanted to say that I'm with you and I agree completely with your points.  A lot of people seem to be misunderstanding you, and that's a shame because what you have said is interesting and valuable.  

If I can make one suggestion to the folks that have so delighted in dressing J.S. down: CHILL!  It's NOT personal - it's a debate about ideas, not about your life or my life in particular.   Just because somebody somewhere is addressing, in the abstract, the value of a teacher doesn't mean we'll all suddenly be deprived of our livelihood.  It's very important to realize this.    

Take it easy...

Offline bernhard

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #17 on: July 10, 2004, 09:39:37 PM »
JSBach wrote:
Quote
there is no way the teacher will be able to devise the best technique for the student. That’s perhaps why LISZT ALMOST NEVER TAUGHT TECHNIQUE.


Both statements are untrue. Teachers will often devise best techniques for students (if they know their stuff, of course), and the reason Liszt never taught technique (“almost never” is an understatement) is simply because it bored him to tears. By the way, Liszt was not really a good teacher. It was common knowledge that what Liszt really enjoyed was to sit down at coffee houses having conversations with the ladies. It was really hard to pry him out of the coffee houses to attend one of his own master classes (he invented the concept). He simply couldn’t be bothered. Now you have the true reason.

Quote
How many teachers are as experienced as Czerny or Beethoven were? How many teacher have ever won a competition, recorded something wonderfully, or composed a beautiful piece? Would you say that in modern days it would be 1 in a million? As such, how can someone teach you a piece like Balakirev’s Oriental Fantasy Islamey when she can’t play it perfectly herself? After all, what is YOUR repertoire?


I call this the coach fallacy. Let us transport it to the world of sports. Do you think Mike Tyson’s coach could beat up Mike’s opponents? Do you think Sebastian Coe’s coach (by the way, it was his father) could outrun Sebastian? Recently the European football cup was going on. Portugal, a mediocre team suddenly was able to get second place (Greece narrowly got first). How did Portugal got so good suddenly? They hired a Brazilian coach! In one year the improvement was ridiculous. Now look at that coach: fat, unfit and old. But by your concept of what a good teacher is, this coach should have been able to outrun all players in the team. He should be a famous footballer himself (he never was).

The fact is, a teacher does not need to be a famous pianist, or even a good one; he does not need to be a good composer, or even a composer at all. He does not need to have won any competitions, or even taken part in them. You are confusing roles. A teacher needs to be good at teaching, nothing else. A teacher is judged not by his accomplishments, but by the accomplishments of his/her students. So you want to find a good teacher? Look around for some good students.

Now here are some news for you: As a rule I do not teach pieces I can already play. Do you know why? Because 1. I get bored and impatient and this is not in the best interests of the student. 2. Because I will have forgotten how difficult the piece was, and therefore I will not really understand what the student is squirming so much about. 3. Because the best way to teach is actually to practise a piece side by side with a student. I am talking about a student who wishes to learn a piece from scratch. Of course, if a student comes to me with a piece already learned and all he wants is polish its musicality, then it is a different matter. So you see, each case is each case. So I will comfortably teach say, Islamey, even if I had never played it before, because a teacher is not master of pieces, he is a master of the art of learning. And as such he can teach anyone how to learn anything. Listen carefully: To teach Islamey, being able to play Islamey is not only unnecessary as may prove counterproductive . (Go and figure). Therefore, your question: “what is your repertory” is completely irrelevant. The only useful (for you) question that you should ask a teacher is: “Can you show me the most efficient to learn this piece?”. Maybe he can, maybe he cannot.

Quote
Nevertheless, you still should agree that no matter how good a teacher maybe, if the student is not good enough, he will never become anything more than a note player.


Who is to say who is good enough and who is not? And aren’t you forgetting that many people who want to learn to play the piano have no interest in becoming professional performers? “good enough” can only be determined in relation to the student’s ambition. If all a student wants is to learn how to play Happy Birthday to you at his wife’s birthday as a surprise, this is plenty of “good enough”, and I assure you a teacher will help him. If a student wants to be a concert pianist, then again, this is what “good enough” means. No one knows the true potential of a human being until s/he fulfils it. And to my knowledge no human being has ever succeeded in completely fulfilling their potential. Being a “good student” as any teacher will tell you has nothing to do with talent. The capacity to follow instructions to the letter is far more important. Any teacher will rather have an average obedient student, then a talented insufferable one. Again listen carefully: It is the disciplined ones who make it. The world is full of highly talented undisciplined losers.

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From this follows that there are no good teachers, only good students.


It does not follow at all. There is no logic here, just because you string words together.

I will take some time to explain this. In order for learning to take place three conditions must be in place. You must have a student willing to learn (no, not talented. All that is requested is the wish to learn). You must have a teacher willing to teach (the only requirement from a teacher is that he knows how to learn and can guide the student’s steps). Finally and frequently overlooked is a correct environment. You can have the best teacher in the world. You can have the best student in the world. But if you are both locked up in an Iraquian prison being “interrogated” everyday, guess what, no one is going to learn or teach any piano.

So you must have good teachers, you must have good students, and you must have good environment. Neglect any of these conditions and no teaching/learning will ever take place. And if you already know that, if that is obvious to you, why say that “it follows that only good students matter”? You are ignoring not just one but two of the necessary conditions.

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If the student is not “innately” talented or eager, there is nothing that even the best teacher in the world can do about him. On the other hand, if the student is good enough, he can achieve success even without a teacher.


Again, not true. Alfred Brendel is on record to say that he was not a prodigy, in his youth he was not particularly eager, his parents were not musical, and he confesses he was the one most surprised that he ended up as a professional performer (in his own words: I was not a prodigy, I was not Eastern European, as far as I know I was not a Jew, and I come from a non musical family”). Meanwhile, please give me a single example of any person who achieved success in classical piano without a teacher (but make sure you do your homework),

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Bach was not the only child in the large family to have the privilege of musical education. In fact, all the members of the family got more or less the same exact educational package. But then why was it only Bach that emerged as the ultimate virtuoso? Because he was innately capable. Otherwise, all the pupils in St. Thomas or perhaps in the entire Germany would become virtuosos. So, if many pupils got more or less the exact education as Bach did with the same teachers, what made Bach so successful? Self-education and HIS OWN rules. The fact that he perused the library has to be attributed to self-education and to nothing else. No one told him to do so (if anything, his brother tried to prevent it). In Bach’s time teachers still had the belief that the thumb should not be used during keyboard playing. Do you really think that if Bach was purely a teacher’s student he would ever write those complex fugues? I think not.


Bach was a very unsuccessful musician. He only got the post of Kantor in Leipzig because the authorities could not get Telemann. In fact in the town records he is described as “mediocre”. He was constantly striving to make ends meet. His wife Anna Magdalena became a beggar after his death. Again you are commiting the fame fallacy. Bach is famous now, not in his own time. In fact a lot of musicians that today we hardly know were far more famous than him. The same is true of several artists (in music, think Scarlatti, and even Mozart, in painting think vanGogh). Success both material and artistic eluded him while he was alive. Has it ever occurred to you why he spent two years writing over two hundred cantatas, and suddenly he never wrote one again? I will tell you: No one cared for his cantatas. They were considered bad musically. Only a handful of people in his own time realised his genius. So in fact, his fellow students at Lunenburg (not St Thomas) were probably far more famous than Bach. And no one said he was a teacher’s student. By the way, nothing pleases more a teacher than to see his students surpass their teaching. And you mention Spitta as the major authority on Bach. Sorry, Spitta was very good, but modern scholarship in the past 50 years has surpassed Spitta. Get an upgrade. Start with these three:

Klaus Eidam – The true life of J. S. Bach (Basic Books)
Malcolm Boyd (ed.) - J. S. Bach (Oxford Composers Companion – Oxford University Press)
Christoph Wolff – J. S. Bach, the Learned Musician (Norton)

Quote
You are implying that Mozart was created by a formula (method on how he did it)?


No, I am simply stating that contrary to what you said (“Mozart had no teacher, he got it all from trial and error”), he actually had one of the best teachers available (that happened to be his father), and that we know how Mozart was taught because Leopold bothered to write a book about it. I forgot that you believe that teachers write books only to make money.

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By the way, Mozart also had a sister who began to study with her father (the same person who taught Wolfgang) even earlier than Mozart did. However, she did not become anything close to a “great” artist. Can you see the connection between Mozart and Bach now or should I go on?


Nannerl was as talented as Mozart. In other words a good student. She had the same teacher. So what went wrong you ask. You assume that since they had the same teacher, she must have been somehow inferior to Mozart as a student. You are forgetting that you need a good environment. In Mozart’s environment women were not supposed to become composers or even performers. They were supposed to marry and become good housewives, which she dutifully did. So you see, as I said before, you need the three conditions, and here the one lacking was environment. Feminists in the forum, please explain it all to J.S.

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- You know Liszt’s biography well enough. Nevertheless, you still interpret it in a biased manner that will benefit your point of view.


Talk about projection…

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Here is something new to you (it must be new since you did not mention it): Paganini who never taught Liszt anything was probably a far more important teacher for his development than Adam, Carl, and Antonio combined. Why? Because he was the one to inspire Liszt to begin his exhaustively fanatical self-education. Have you ever heard of Liszt’s OWN piano exercises? That’s right, Liszt transcendental technique was not developed by Czerny, and far less by Adam Liszt, a mediocre musician, but rather by Liszt’s perseverance to study by himself, sometimes staying up all night and performing variations on pieces like Mozart’s Dies Irae (which ironically made his neighbors kick him out of the building). Thus, Liszt’s sophistication ultimately resulted from his self-education. I can bring much more examples, but since you yourself are very knowledgeable, I do not think that I need to give you more examples to understand my point (I am by no means sarcastical).


Yes…. And how exactly does this further your argument? It seems to me that you just agreed that without teachers (like Paganini) Liszt would never been spurned on to greater things…

Quote
Many students become virtuosos after being taught by their parents. This one’s for you Bernhard - since most of the parents do not play the piano good enough themselves, it follows that they are there more for the moral support rather than teaching a technique.


Sorry, you are not getting your facts correct again. Future virtuosos who are taught by their parents happen to have parents that are teachers. Daniel Baremboin’s parents were piano teachers. Mozart’s father, Beethoven’s father,  Liszt’s father, were all accomplished musicians and teachers. Yes, parents can provide a good environment – and they must – since this is one of the three conditions (remember them?) without which no learning (not only piano) ever takes place. And if the parent happens not to be a musician/music teacher, /she will hire the services of a teacher (e.g., Nelson Freire, Claudio Arrau, Brendel)

Best wishes,
Bernhard.




The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline bernhard

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #18 on: July 10, 2004, 11:07:22 PM »
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline J.S.Bach

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #19 on: July 11, 2004, 02:35:26 AM »
1. just_dropping_by - it is nice to hear at least some warm words. Many teachers in here unfortunately do take my comments personally. Usually that happens only when they know that what I say is not nonsense, but yet truth is not always sweet. Although outnumbered by “opposition”, I am confident in everything that I say and thus it does not matter how many actually don’t like what I say.

I really can’t go on like this writing responses to every single one of you. I expected that by now you would be more open minded. However, you still either attack my personal flesh forgetting to bring any decisive blows to my topic or you choose to not understand what I say and continue to beat around the bush repeating the same ideas over and over again. Not all is lost since you are but a very small portion of teachers and are mainly located in England. Perhaps, this topic would be debated more properly if the representative samples of teachers also came from countries like Russia and Germany. These two countries alone are responsible for perhaps more than 90 percent of all great virtuosos and composers ever created (to avoid any contradictions, I will add that artists like Mozart and Handel were both purely German even though they did not live in Germany).

2. Saturn - your thoughts are breaking apart. Many are irrelevant.
In the very beginning I already said that I am talking about talented students. A student who reads ANY book on how to play a piano is not going to become a virtuoso (I am not talking about musical theory, but physical mechanics). So why do you bring such a student into a debate?
     - You also said:
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  I think you have become cynical. The majority of teachers are not good teachers because they don't exactly understand what their function is.

     If a teacher does not understand what is his function, then let us admit that there is another disadvantage to study with such a person. Your comment only supports what I say and it does not require any further embellishments. I’ll just add that I did not say that good teachers have no function at all and if anything, I am very confident that not all the good teachers are concentrated in England. If you said Germany, at least your comment would be artistically literate.


3. B Minor - your responses are the most personal. As if you are trying to fight me instead of my ideas. You write: “If I misunderstand your argument as simplistic, it's because you are presenting it in a simplistic manner.” Is that supposed to be a response? Here is another simplistic argument: atoms contain protons and electrons. Now, if you think simplistically, there is not much to this argument, but if your analytical skills are powerful enough and your knowledge sufficient, this simple statement can imply how entire galaxies can form from unorganized dust and also why you and I exist. The opposite is true also: someone way write one complex paragraph after another and create a whole book; and yet the idea may be so simplistic that it won’t even be worthy of a single sentence. Try to grasp what I said.
     - I don’t have any self-contradictions, but you have problems of addressing ideas that were not expressed by me. I did not say that Czerny taught Liszt any new techniques. Liszt came up with those techniques by himself.
     - Everything I write has a historical accuracy. If you want to debate my precision, bring on your sources. If you succeed, I will bring you my references down to the page number and the paragraph. You say that I have trouble absorbing books when you yourself find it arduous to grasp my simplistic arguments.
     - Your last comment is uncalled for. I did not ask you to stop debating me, but rather to first understand what I am saying and only then debate. Since you did not care to do so, your arguments do not bring any heat on me, but only create entropy. All the impoliteness on my part is only a response to yours. It think it is an ultimate waste of time and only makes people feel bad. That’s why I won’t answer to any of your personal comments to avoid any unnecessary insults.

4. Shagdac - thank you for your feedback.

5. Ahemdito - I realize that many teachers are just ordinary people who still have to work to pay their bills. My views were not directed against those people, but against the general ideas of the teachers. To assure you of that, I will add that my mother has been a piano teacher for over 20 years. I never studied with her, but since my comments also apply to her, I obviously do not mean to be offensive. I also know and have argued successfully with three piano professors in my college. When I see a good counter-argument, I don’t beat around the bush and openly admit my mistake. Such occurrences don’t lower a persons prestige, but heighten it for that person is much better than he was earlier. It is better to be a fool for a moment than a fool for life.

Bernhard - I still admire your knowledge, but your flaw is that you don’t know where it ends and where your assumptions take over. It is ironic that you are trying to teach me things of which you are not well informed yourself. That is another problem with teachers in general.
     - The way you talk makes me feel that you know Liszt better than his biographers. That can only mean that you knew him personally (however, he lived 1811-1886). Liszt DID teach technique once in a while. I do not have any under- or overstatements. It was also not very rare for him to make allusions to technique in his correspondence with his students. In one of the letters he stated that glissando should be played with the fingernail of the index finger and that the flesh should not touch the keys at all.
     - Another mistake on your part: contrary to popular uneducated beliefs, Liszt was not a Don Juan, but more like a priest (he eventually became one as you should know). He was mainly attached to only two countesses in his entire 75 years of life - Marie D’Agoult and Princess von Wittengstein. Like every other man, he was dumped and haunted by women. Both were really possessive of him and he was on a very short leash even when he was over 60. Now your honor is telling about his flirtings in a coffee shop. If you told that either to D or W, he would be in a very deep trouble. His only controversial relationship with a woman was during his transitional period from D’Agoult to Wittengstein. That does not make him anything close to a Don, but more like a solemn priest. Upgrade you sources.
     - You are also completely wrong about him not liking his masterclasses and hence his students. He was always surrounded by his students and really enjoyed his classes which were more like a fun gathering of numerous artists and disciples.
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By the way, Liszt was not really a good teacher.

Bernhard, enlighten me! Who do you think you are? If Liszt was not a good teacher, then you are not a teacher at all, but a charlatan. Excuse my rudeness, but your statement stinks with foul vanity. Hans von Bulow and Carl Tausig were just few of his great students. Of course, they became virtuosos because they were innately good themselves - thus in here you unconsciously support my argument that there are no good teachers (it shows that you are pointlessly trying to resist all my views - ask Sigmund Freud about that [Psychoanalysis of Everyday Life]). However, if anything, Liszt was the best piano teacher since he was one of the fewest to really know what he was teaching! How thankless can you be to state that there are teachers that can teach better than Liszt, the inventor of modern piano playing? Your credibility is going more and more down the drain because your assumptions are too opulently surpassing your knowledge. I really don’t have to say anything more to you, but I will go all the way, once and for all.
     - Bernhard are you comparing piano playing with boxing and soccer? Art with sports? Your examples are very childish, as if you are trying to hold on to the very last twig to stay afloat. Here is my response: a soccer player and a boxer have a very devised strategy to respond to the opponents attack. The pianist has no opponent. If a pianist considers a grand piano to be an opponent, then allow me to say that he has problems (or the teacher for that matter). There is also no one particular strategy involved in piano playing. When Horowitz returned after 12 years of retirement, he did not hire a teacher to coach him so that he could pump up and go onto the stage to knock the hell out of the piano. In fact, he arrived only a few minutes before the concert was to begin, and still left the audience astonished. I’ll leave the rest up to you.
     One more thing. A coach for boxing or soccer can watch the games on TV and devise strategies on where each player should be located during a given attack. Can a piano teacher do the same? Are you going to watch Gilels produce those superhuman sounds on the piano and then teach that to your lucky students? Excuse my Francais, but hell no. To teach Gilels, you have to play like one. Enough of this nonsense.
     - And here you go again:
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     Listen carefully: To teach Islamey, being able to play Islamey is not only unnecessary as may prove counterproductive . (Go and figure). Therefore, your question: “what is your repertory” is completely irrelevant. The only useful (for you) question that you should ask a teacher is: “Can you show me the most efficient to learn this piece?”. Maybe he can, maybe he cannot.

      You are saying that you are “bored” to teach your students about pieces that you have mastered yourself. Is this how a good teacher is supposed to be? Or is your technique so flawless? Do you realize that you have insulted all the virtuosos who can play almost everything but at the same time they pass on their knowledge (Arrau to Heifetz)? That is indeed news for me that a teacher should teach only pieces that he can’t play himself otherwise it is all counterproductive. I realize many of you oppose to my views, BUT ARE YOU ALL TEACHERS DEAF to what this guy is saying? Do all of you agree with this nonsense? I am truly surprised. A teacher can show the most efficient way of playing a piece without ever having played a note of it herself. The waters are getting dirtier than I ever thought. The reality seems is even worse.
     - Another irrelevant paragraph. Bernhard, my posting has nothing to do with "talented" students who play Christmas tree or Going Home. Please don’t do that again. I am going to skip several of your comments because of irrelevance, too many repeats, and also because they have already been addressed properly before.
     - No offence, but Brendel is very low on my list of piano virtuosos. Maybe you like him because of his nationality, but when the stars like Gilels, Richter, Gould et al shine, Brendel becomes nothing but a mere shadow.
     - Bernhard, why are you being so pedantic? Why are you telling me what I already know? This is not a show off forum, but a debate. It is very painful for me to hear insults from someone like you against Bach. “Nobody cared for his cantantas.” Tell me something, don’t you love Bach? If not, you are in the wrong profession. You might say that you are simply telling the history; that’s not the problem. The problem is that you talk about Bach as if you are disgusted by him. I will return you the favor:
     I don’t deny that Telemann was known better then Bach, however, Bach himself was not a “mediocre” musician. Yes, when he was young, he was not well respected or known, but as years passed, the respect for him increased a lot. His income was higher than most of the musicians’ and it was not a surprise that he quickly worked his way to the top to Kapellmeister. The reason that Bach came across so many hardships in his life was due to people like you who cared about nothing more than to adhere to the rules. His hardships were spiritual, not monetary ( you really talk a lot about fame). Also note that this “mediocre” musician was the best keyboard player of his time. The organ was advanced because the organ builders asked for his feedback. There is also a story about a “virtuoso” keyboardist visiting Germany to compete with Bach. He quietly fled in the very early morning. It is said that he had heard Bach practice. Thus, before you trash someone as magnificent as Bach, learn a thing or two about him. I wish there were some Germans in here, they would tell you a thing or two about pride.
     Also, everyone now knows that Bach is a singular genius. So what does it matter that in the 17th century people were not as bright to realize that? Your derogatory comments were uncalled for.
     Your illiterate remark about Spitta especially infuriated me. Bernhard, did you know that I have read Malcolm Boyd’s “Bach” (there is no J.S.)? If you knew I am sure you would be more careful in showing off your knowledge. And here is something new for you: Spitta’s work IS still the most complete work ever carried out on Bach. May be there have been new findings (I found Boyd’s book the most boring biography ever written), but ALL your new authors rely on Spitta. You show me a real biographer of Bach who doesn’t use Spitta and I’ll show you a buffalo with wings. Once again, you are in way over your head.
     - Yet another wrong remark. I know that during Mozart’s time women could not easily become musicians. But your comment is again irrelevant. Mozart surpassed her sister right after he began studying keyboard. As they were still children, your feminine comment is ultimately irrelevant.
     - One more mistake by you. Can’t you grasp that Paganini example was supposed to show you that teachers value is not that great in creating a virtuoso? Don’t you know that Paganini never taught Liszt anything? It seems I have to explain to you that I meant that Paganini was like a trigger for Liszt to begin his rigorous self-education which proved to be more productive than what he had gained from all his teachers combined.
     - Do you consider Baremboin a virtuoso too? Have you ever heard him play Chopin as if he has no power in his left hand and just barely enough in his right?

Anyway, your comments were very immature. I can’t write any more lengthy responses because I don’t like to talk about the piano as much as I love to actually play it. I am not boxing you, but expressing important ideas. If you choose to block, there is nothing I can do but waste time.

Thank you. Please do not be offended by anything I say. If I seem rude, it is only in response. Being rude towards an idea is ok, towards a person is uncivilized.

J.S.Bach
"QUAM BENE VIVAS REFERT, NON QUAM DIU."

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Offline willcowskitz

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #20 on: July 11, 2004, 03:29:49 AM »
Omg monster posts! *gets popcorn while waiting for Bernhard's reply*

Anyway, J.S.Bach:

I.  Do you really think there are no good teachers at all, because I didn't find anything in your text that would totally exclude the possibility that teacher can be valuable? I think its way off to make such a claim, though I know what you mean by that there are good students who are so one with the physical side of playing that they have good chances to develop technique without guidance.

II.  I disagree about teacher having to know and be able to perform certain piece before being able to aid another person in learning it. This is because pieces are not unique as technical performances, but rather that they consist of numerous different smaller performances that can be chopped down in smaller bits until you get to the point where one can only ask "Ok, so where do I put my finger now?"  Therefore it is not necessary to know and master the piece, but maybe it's parts, even separately. Giving guidance to the whole is another thing, though in here the score and it's markings and background of the piece play an important role, experience not being absolutely necessary although highly recommended.

Offline bernhard

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #21 on: July 11, 2004, 05:36:10 AM »
It seems to me that you are the one taking comments personally and getting offended. Actually I saw no offence to you in any of the posts, although they did point out obvious facts (that you chose to take as offensive). Like pointing out that you expressed yourself in a simplistic manner. You did. Instead of taking it on board you complained that people were offensive and that they should have the ability to extract the (no doubt) complexities of your thoughts from your simplistic assertions. You may consider this paragraph offensive. I consider it descriptive.

Here is another description: You are ignorant (in the sense of the word: that you ignore things – not in an insulting way), and you do not read carefully.

Just a few examples.

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Not all is lost since you are but a very small portion of teachers and are mainly located in England. Perhaps, this topic would be debated more properly if the representative samples of teachers also came from countries like Russia and Germany. These two countries alone are responsible for perhaps more than 90 percent of all great virtuosos and composers ever created (to avoid any contradictions, I will add that artists like Mozart and Handel were both purely German even though they did not live in Germany).


Example of ignorance. Italy and France are at least as important (both in terms of virtuosos and composers) as Germany and Russia. And as far as contemporary music goes, the USA is probably the most important contributor (composers).

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When I see a good counter-argument, I don’t beat around the bush and openly admit my mistake. Such occurrences don’t lower a persons prestige, but heighten it for that person is much better than he was earlier. It is better to be a fool for a moment than a fool for life.


Let us see you put your money where your mouth is.

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- The way you talk makes me feel that you know Liszt better than his biographers. That can only mean that you knew him personally (however, he lived 1811-1886).


Maybe I did know Liszt personally. You don’t know my age…

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- Another mistake on your part: contrary to popular uneducated beliefs, Liszt was not a Don Juan, but more like a priest (he eventually became one as you should know). He was mainly attached to only two countesses in his entire 75 years of life - Marie D’Agoult and Princess von Wittengstein. Like every other man, he was dumped and haunted by women. Both were really possessive of him and he was on a very short leash even when he was over 60.


Yeah, right. Liszt the celibate…

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Now your honor is telling about his flirtings in a coffee shop. If you told that either to D or W, he would be in a very deep trouble. His only controversial relationship with a woman was during his transitional period from D’Agoult to Wittengstein. That does not make him anything close to a Don, but more like a solemn priest. Upgrade you sources.


Who said anything about flirting? Go back and read my post. Who said anything about Don Juan? Go back and read my post. You see, you do not read. And if you do you do not take it in. No wonder you are ignorant. (Please do not regard this as offensive. It is simply an impartial statement of fact)
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Bernhard, enlighten me! Who do you think you are? If Liszt was not a good teacher, then you are not a teacher at all, but a charlatan. Excuse my rudeness, but your statement stinks with foul vanity. Hans von Bulow and Carl Tausig were just few of his great students.


Does it matter who I think I am? What can possibly be the relevance of it? And anyway, so in your opinion there was a good teacher after all…


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Of course, they became virtuosos because they were innately good themselves - thus in here you unconsciously support my argument that there are no good teachers (it shows that you are pointlessly trying to resist all my views - ask Sigmund Freud about that [Psychoanalysis of Everyday Life]).


Er… How does that follow? Maybe you should get yourself a logic teacher. Clearly your self-education in this area is not working… (Please this is not an offense, just some friendly advice)

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However, if anything, Liszt was the best piano teacher since he was one of the fewest to really know what he was teaching! How thankless can you be to state that there are teachers that can teach better than Liszt, the inventor of modern piano playing? Your credibility is going more and more down the drain because your assumptions are too opulently surpassing your knowledge.


Er… None of your descriptions make Liszt a good piano teacher. They make him a good piano player, a good innovator but not necessarily a good piano teacher.

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I really don’t have to say anything more to you, but I will go all the way, once and for all.


If you must…

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- Bernhard are you comparing piano playing with boxing and soccer? Art with sports? Your examples are very childish, as if you are trying to hold on to the very last twig to stay afloat. Here is my response: a soccer player and a boxer have a very devised strategy to respond to the opponents attack. The pianist has no opponent. If a pianist considers a grand piano to be an opponent, then allow me to say that he has problems (or the teacher for that matter). There is also no one particular strategy involved in piano playing. When Horowitz returned after 12 years of retirement, he did not hire a teacher to coach him so that he could pump up and go onto the stage to knock the hell out of the piano. In fact, he arrived only a few minutes before the concert was to begin, and still left the audience astonished. I’ll leave the rest up to you.
One more thing. A coach for boxing or soccer can watch the games on TV and devise strategies on where each player should be located during a given attack. Can a piano teacher do the same? Are you going to watch Gilels produce those superhuman sounds on the piano and then teach that to your lucky students? Excuse my Francais, but hell no. To teach Gilels, you have to play like one. Enough of this nonsense.
- And here you go again:

 You are saying that you are “bored” to teach your students about pieces that you have mastered yourself. Is this how a good teacher is supposed to be? Or is your technique so flawless? Do you realize that you have insulted all the virtuosos who can play almost everything but at the same time they pass on their knowledge (Arrau to Heifetz)? That is indeed news for me that a teacher should teach only pieces that he can’t play himself otherwise it is all counterproductive. I realize many of you oppose to my views, BUT ARE YOU ALL TEACHERS DEAF to what this guy is saying? Do all of you agree with this nonsense? I am truly surprised. A teacher can show the most efficient way of playing a piece without ever having played a note of it herself. The waters are getting dirtier than I ever thought. The reality seems is even worse.


What do you care? You are for self-education and trial and error anyway.

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- Another irrelevant paragraph. Bernhard, my posting has nothing to do with "talented" students who play Christmas tree or Going Home. Please don’t do that again.


I promise! I will never ever do that again. Cross my heart!

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- No offence, but Brendel is very low on my list of piano virtuosos. Maybe you like him because of his nationality, but when the stars like Gilels, Richter, Gould et al shine, Brendel becomes nothing but a mere shadow.


Yes… And…?


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- Bernhard, why are you being so pedantic? Why are you telling me what I already know? This is not a show off forum, but a debate. It is very painful for me to hear insults from someone like you against Bach. “Nobody cared for his cantantas.” Tell me something, don’t you love Bach? If not, you are in the wrong profession. You might say that you are simply telling the history; that’s not the problem. The problem is that you talk about Bach as if you are disgusted by him.


What is your problem? Didn’t you know that Bach was considered a mediocre musician by the Leipzig authorities? It is written in the city records. Go and check. What does this have to do with my personal opinion about Bach? Since you are so much into self-education, read through my posts and figure out what I think of Bach. So if I tell you that Van Gogh never sold a painting during his life time, and his contemporaries thought his paintings were crap does that mean I don’t like Van Gogh? And are you going to be disgusted with the person that tells you that this was the state of affairs during his lifetime? Are you stupid as well as ignorant? (Please, this is simply a question, not an offence)

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I don’t deny that Telemann was known better then Bach, however, Bach himself was not a “mediocre” musician. Yes, when he was young, he was not well respected or known, but as years passed, the respect for him increased a lot.


No one said that Bach was a mediocre musician. Can’t you read? I said that Bach was considered a mediocre musician in his lifetime – except for a few connoisseurs. And as he got old, the situation was even worse, for then he was considered old-fashioned and stuffy as well. Why do you think no one played his works publicly for 80 years after his death? Go and read what Zelter advised Mendelssohn when he suggested that it was high time for a public performance of the St Matthew Passion.

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Your illiterate remark about Spitta especially infuriated me. Bernhard, did you know that I have read Malcolm Boyd’s “Bach” (there is no J.S.)? If you knew I am sure you would be more careful in showing off your knowledge.


Ignorant fool (Please don’t regard this as an offensive remark, it is simply a statement of fact). Malcolm Boyd did write a biography of Bach. But HE ALSO EDITED “J.S. BACH” (yes, with the J.S.) for Oxford University Press. Can’t you read?

Go, get yourself a teacher if you cannot educate yourself. (Please, this is friendly advice, not an offensive remark)

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And here is something new for you: Spitta’s work IS still the most complete work ever carried out on Bach. May be there have been new findings (I found Boyd’s book the most boring biography ever written), but ALL your new authors rely on Spitta. You show me a real biographer of Bach who doesn’t use Spitta and I’ll show you a buffalo with wings. Once again, you are in way over your head.


Yes… And…? So Spitta, written over 100 years ago is still the most complete book. If we were talking about physics, you would be sticking to Newton and ignoring Einstein, after all Einstein had to rely on Newton… Way to go!

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- Yet another wrong remark. I know that during Mozart’s time women could not easily become musicians. But your comment is again irrelevant. Mozart surpassed her sister right after he began studying keyboard. As they were still children, your feminine comment is ultimately irrelevant.


Wrong again. We will never know of Nannerl potential. Leopold simply concentrated on Wolfgang because there was no point (according to the society mores of the day) in investing on her. What if he had lavish on her the same attention he devoted to Wolfgang? Oh, I am so sorry, I forgot that you have already decided that a teacher is irrelevant, and therefore Leopold’s efforts did not amount to anything in the end. Wolfgang would be the superior one anyway because… well, because he was the superior one! (Great logic! Do you mind changing your forum name? You see, I happen to like J. S. Bach a lot, and it is bothering me to get you two associated – I hope this does not offend you, it is not my intention).

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- One more mistake by you. Can’t you grasp that Paganini example was supposed to show you that teachers value is not that great in creating a virtuoso? Don’t you know that Paganini never taught Liszt anything? It seems I have to explain to you that I meant that Paganini was like a trigger for Liszt to begin his rigorous self-education which proved to be more productive than what he had gained from all his teachers combined.


And what do you think a teacher is, nincompoop (just a friendly description, not an offensive remark), but a trigger?

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- Do you consider Baremboin a virtuoso too? Have you ever heard him play Chopin as if he has no power in his left hand and just barely enough in his right?


Yes… And…?  

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Anyway, your comments were very immature. I can’t write any more lengthy responses because I don’t like to talk about the piano as much as I love to actually play it. I am not boxing you, but expressing important ideas. If you choose to block, there is nothing I can do but waste time.


I know, I am just a precocious 12 year old (as lefebvre found out) so what did you expect?

And what important ideas were those that you were expressing? I have been looking for them but I couldn’t find them. Can you perhaps sum them up in three or four lines?


Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Shagdac

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #22 on: July 11, 2004, 06:55:39 AM »
Judging by the title of this post, it's clear that JCBach did not mean to offend, he simply had Kulahona as a teacher!!!!!
( not meant to ridicule, only making a joke)!!! ;D



S :-X

Offline mark1

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #23 on: July 11, 2004, 07:35:51 AM »
:o  Wow...  you go  Bernhard!! (I"ll go back to the students page now) ;D
"...just when you think you're right, you're wrong."

Offline Saturn

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #24 on: July 11, 2004, 07:38:28 AM »
J.S., I don't understand why you think that everyone is taking your comments personally.  As far as I understand, there hasn't been a single personal insult that has been flung so far.  No one's trying to prove that you're stupid or any such thing, just that you may be mistaken.

It's all lively discussion, and nothing more.

Now, as for your comments, they confuse me.  You seem to be continually contradicting yourself.

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I expected that by now you would be more open minded.


You would like people to be open minded... like you?  The statement "There are no good teachers" is quite open-minded indeed.

Also, Here is a review of what was said regarding technique.
You said:  There are no rules regarding technique.
I said:  Yes there are.  Technique should not work against the body and cause it injury.
You said:
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In the very beginning I already said that I am talking about talented students. A student who reads ANY book on how to play a piano is not going to become a virtuoso (I am not talking about musical theory, but physical mechanics). So why do you bring such a student into a debate?


You are saying that those who have injurious technique (and therefore could make good use of a book on physical mechanics) will never become virtuosos?  This is simply not correct.  There are a number of virtuosos who could've made good use of a book on technique.  But such books were not available during their time.  Resources were limited, so every pianist (virtuosos and "talented students" included) ran the risk of injury due to improper technique.

Also, we're only talking about talented students?  Why is that?  There are many people who wish to play the piano who don't intend to become virtuosos.  Also, what is talent anyway?  Are you talking about technical talent?

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I’ll just add that I did not say that good teachers have no function at all and if anything


True, you didn't say that good teachers have no function.  But you said that there are no good teachers.  Aren't you contradicting yourself here?

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I am very confident that not all the good teachers are concentrated in England. If you said Germany, at least your comment would be artistically literate.


Oh no, my comment wasn't artistically literate!  Boo hoo!  Hint: the England comment was a joke.

All right, this thread isn't going anywhere.  You have made a number of long posts here, yet I'm still clueless on what it is you're trying to prove.

- Saturn

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #25 on: July 11, 2004, 01:45:37 PM »
I have nothing relevent to add to this thread.  But if I go on and write a long enough post, someone will think I'm a genius.  They will become intoxicated with my grammar structure, my semantics, my implacable spelling, the perfect way each letter is written, the fancy way I am able to integrate these "smileys" which helps add to the subtleness of my intentiton,  :-*, careful use of long and fancy words that only a handful of people know what they mean (which leaves the rest either to look in a dictionary or just think up of a meaning according to the context in which it was used), the explicit use of innuedos of the sexual kind, the way I am able to use words that are automatically censored or altered (like *** or ***), the way I just go on and on and repeat myself.

However, contrary to this point, if I go on and write a long enough post, someone will think I'm a genius.  They will become intoxicated with my grammar structure, my semantics, my implacable spelling, the perfect way each letter is written, the fancy way I am able to integrate these "smileys" which helps add to the subtleness of my intentiton,  :-*, careful use of long and fancy words that only a handful of people know what they mean (which leaves the rest either to look in a dictionary or just think up of a meaning according to the context in which it was used), the explicit use of innuedos of the sexual kind, the way I am able to use words that are automatically censored or altered (like *** or ***), the way I just go on and on and repeat myself.

So do you see how it works? If I go on and write a long enough post, someone will think I'm a genius.  They will become intoxicated with my grammar structure, my semantics, my implacable spelling, the perfect way each letter is written, the fancy way I am able to integrate these "smileys" which helps add to the subtleness of my intentiton,  :-*, careful use of long and fancy words that only a handful of people know what they mean (which leaves the rest either to look in a dictionary or just think up of a meaning according to the context in which it was used), the explicit use of innuedos of the sexual kind, the way I am able to use words that are automatically censored or altered (like *** or ***), the way I just go on and on and repeat myself.

In summary, If I go on and write a long enough post, someone will think I'm a genius.  They will become intoxicated with my grammar structure, my semantics, my implacable spelling, the perfect way each letter is written, the fancy way I am able to integrate these "smileys" which helps add to the subtleness of my intentiton,  :-*, careful use of long and fancy words that only a handful of people know what they mean (which leaves the rest either to look in a dictionary or just think up of a meaning according to the context in which it was used), the explicit use of innuedos of the sexual kind, the way I am able to use words that are automatically censored or altered (like *** or ***), the way I just go on and on and repeat myself.

Tautologically yours,
faulty le Damper. ;D

Offline J.S.Bach

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #26 on: July 11, 2004, 01:58:18 PM »
Bernhard
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Here is another description: You are ignorant (in the sense of the word: that you ignore things – not in an insulting way),
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Are you stupid as well as ignorant? (Please, this is simply a question, not an offence).

The answer to all your questions is yes. Are you satisfied? Your problem is that you have never been punished for your ignorant remarks for a long time and now it is very insulting for you to accept such remarks from a “newbie” like me, especially since you have attained so much “fame” in this forum. It is not my fault that you keep blabbing away even about topics that you don’t know much about. Those who are ignorant, will still hail you as a king. Others more informed, will have a better idea of who you really are and what you really know. You might be helpful by giving advice to those who need it and I respect that myself. But you are absolutely helpless, powerless, and downright rude when you have to admit that with all your knowledge, there are still many things that you don’t know. As such, much of what you know is misplaced, modified, or simply incomplete. Unfortunately, some of your advices will also be affected by this. I am not saying that you do that on purpose, but rather that you consider yourself so knowledgeable that you don’t have to learn anything more.
This time you were more careful and avoided to address those of my comments about which you really couldn’t say much. Out of your entire page long response, there were only two or three sentences worth addressing merely to show your blind followers that even your desperately retaliative arguments are incorrect:
     - France, and especially Italy, have not produced even half as much keyboard virtuosos as Germany and Russia. Your comment is simply a joke. You also bring in USA? Keyboard and USA do not blend in. If you will point out Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky, they were not Americans, but Russian jews. Copland and Bernstein were jews also. Get your records straight.
     - All you can say about Liszt is “Yeah, right.” I am glad that there is one less thing I will have to address.
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Who said anything about flirting? Go back and read my post. Who said anything about Don Juan? Go back and read my post. You see, you do not read. And if you do you do not take it in. No wonder you are ignorant. (Please do not regard this as offensive. It is simply an impartial statement of fact)

     - You are right, you never said that Liszt flirted. I agree, he was simply “talking” to various girls. Do you also simply “talk” to girls? And often? Please don’t get angry and repeat yourself several times. I was mistaken. And Don Juan? Who you? Why? Well never. Forgive me.
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Does it matter who I think I am?

     - Not for me. But I am sure your students and the people in this forum would love to find out. Please enlighten them too.
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What do you care?
     - I do very much care to know if you are a crappy teacher. Of course, you have never told your students what you have told me about what you really think about teaching them. I am sure they will be delighted to find out. Despite all this, you consider your honor to be a better teacher than Herr Liszt himself.
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Ignorant fool (Please don’t regard this as an offensive remark, it is simply a statement of fact).
Malcolm Boyd did write a biography of Bach. But HE ALSO EDITED “J.S. BACH” (yes, with the J.S.) for Oxford University Press. Can’t you read?

     - I am placing “my money in mouth” as you asked for it. You really had a rapture to find out that there will be at least one area where you would be able to present a reasonable argument against me after all. I admit that you are absolutely correct about Boyd’s book. I really have read his other book - "Bach", and given that most of your comments were incorrect in many areas, I assumed that you have perhaps made another routine mistake talking about Boyd’s book. Thus you won.
     However, there are still some bad news for you: although I was wrong about the existence of your alleged book, my argument about Spitta as the ultimate Bach authority still stands. You sure are good at copying and pasting many names of various books, but the bad news is that they are nothing more than show off pieces for you. And if just in case you have actually read even one of them, since you made such an ignorant remark about Spitta, I would be curious to find out about your reading methods (every other page?).
     Although physics is not my major, it is my hobby (self-education again). In this one you are again way in over your head. Newsflash - Einstein’s relativity is very specific. Newton’s discoveries are very broad and include the invention of the calculus among many others. As such, many scientists still use ONLY Newton’s laws because relativity (whether special or general), is not always needed since Newton’s gravitational laws work perfectly well (the ones you should have learned about in your General Education). There are very few physicists in the world who understand relativity enough to use it in examples. Here are some of them - Richard Feynman, Stephan Hawkings, Kip Thorne, and Bernhard.
     - Mozart: if you had any arguments, I would comment. I have nothing to say.
     - Paganini: you just admitted that Paganini who never taught Liszt anything was a far much better influence on him than all his real teachers combined. Thank you for your compliment.
     
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And what important ideas were those that you were expressing? I have been looking for them but I couldn’t find them. Can you perhaps sum them up in three or four lines?

     - Keep looking. Maybe if you really are not as old as you say you are, you still might have time to find what you are looking for. It would also help to engage one's central nervous system as much as one engages the peripheral one (if you don’t understand what I mean, you can always look up in an online source. Then you can hurry back and impress the poor students like mark1 in this forum).

Overall, your fighting strategy is becoming more and more defensive. Nixon’s desperate “I am not a crook” speech comes to my mind when I see your arguments.

Bye-bye Bernie. If you still feel like a king, it is only because you are in a nutshell. Remember: there are many intelligent people out there who will devour your vanity and your knowledge in one bite as soon as you leave your nest. You don’t have to enlist me among them because after all, I acquired my knowledge through self-education which you don’t think is good enough. Just imagine what a person with a doctors degree whose major is actually in music would do to you. Run and hide a......, run and hide.

With all due respect, your humble servant,

J.S.Bach
"QUAM BENE VIVAS REFERT, NON QUAM DIU."

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Offline Saturn

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #27 on: July 11, 2004, 02:41:26 PM »
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Bernhard
Your problem is that you have never been punished for your ignorant remarks for a long time


What are you talking about?  Bernhard gets punished all the time.  I'm constantly kicking his ass to keep him in line.

- Saturn

Offline willcowskitz

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #28 on: July 11, 2004, 03:51:06 PM »
"As such, many scientists still use ONLY Newton’s laws because relativity (whether special or general), is not always needed since Newton’s gravitational laws work perfectly well (the ones you should have learned about in your General Education)."

I thought I'd have this to add: Newton's physics (mechanics) work on lower speed levels, but when you start handling higher levels the matter will start acting more like the theory  of relativity describes more in-depth.


Another thing is that why did you make such a personal thing out of this? This isn't about you or me or him or her, this is about whether there are good teachers and about how big a part they can play in creating virtuosos. So let's keep it at the level of representing arguments, cause the thread has really gotten out of hands on informational level.

Offline Hmoll

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #29 on: July 11, 2004, 04:28:52 PM »
Add to list of things I've learned from Bernhard: tag all offensive remarks and insults with " (Please don’t regard this as an offensive remark, it is simply a statement of fact)" to soften the blow.

Who's the idiot a few posts back who said they agreed with JSB, and that we should lighten up?

Sorry, when you post drivel, you're going to get called for it.

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You also bring in USA? Keyboard and USA do not blend in. If you will point out Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky, they were not Americans, but Russian jews. Copland and Bernstein were jews also. Get your records straight.


That has to be one of the most precious bits posted yet on this forum.  Excuse me, I have to make the rounds to all the synagogues, and give them the bad news - they're not really Americans. Then I'll start with the mosques. JSB, do tell, what other religions are precluded from citizenship in my country. Copland was born in NY City, Leonard Bernstein was born in Lawrence, MA. Last time I checked, they both had US passports when they were alive.

Sorry, that's the only one - of many - bits of nonsense I have time to respond to now.

Bernhard, you have more patience than me.
"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

Offline J.S.Bach

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #30 on: July 11, 2004, 09:35:24 PM »
Saturn
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What are you talking about? Bernhard gets punished all the time. I'm constantly kicking his ass to keep him in line.

I’m glad to know that Saturn. But he is not in line, at least not now. If Bernie is really from England, that would mean that all the nonsense he said about his teaching methods would represent the entire England. You don’t have to agree with everything I say, but when someone makes such a general remark about teachers, it would be nice for some of you to step up and make YOUR thoughts be heard about that also.


Willcowskitz
You are right about Newton. However, the vast majority of physicists never do calculations that require so much precision as Einstein offers them. That’s why all the planetary movements can be explained by Newton and only Mercury requires relativity. Bernhard’s statement is still very incorrect illustrating that he talks about areas that he doesn’t know much about.
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Another thing is that why did you make such a personal thing out of this? This isn't about you or me or him or her, this is about whether there are good teachers and about how big a part they can play in creating virtuosos. So let's keep it at the level of representing arguments, cause the thread has really gotten out of hands on informational level.


I absolutely agree. But if you look at Bernhard’s last posting you’ll see that he changed the debate towards personally cynical comments. That happens only due to the weakness of the debater. Despite what he said to me, I still don’t tell him that he is “an ignorant fool.”

B-Minor
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Then I'll start with the mosques. JSB, do tell, what other religions are precluded from citizenship in my country. Copland was born in NY City, Leonard Bernstein was born in Lawrence, MA. Last time I checked, they both had US passports when they were alive.

Why are you always acting that way? I know they are “Americans.” But maybe you haven’t heard an expression “Once a Jew, always a Jew.” That is not a disrespect to the Jews, but rather a respect because Bernstein identified much more with Israel than he did with USA. Just read about his numerous visits to Israel and his concerts right in the war frontiers. Almost everything Bernstein composed contains Jewish themes. His most beloved composer was Mahler. A Viennese? No. Jewish. Still, Copland and Bernstein were not keyboard virtuosos. I don’t know why Bernhard even mentioned America and Italy when we are talking about keyboard virtuosos.
The patience is mine, not Bernie’s. His response is an evidence.

Thank you all, especially those who did not attack me mercilessly,

J.S.Bach
"QUAM BENE VIVAS REFERT, NON QUAM DIU."

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Offline Hmoll

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #31 on: July 11, 2004, 11:17:48 PM »
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I don’t know why Bernhard even mentioned America and Italy when we are talking about keyboard virtuosos.


Because, you idiot - and I mean no offense by that, I'm simply stating the obvious truth - there are more than a handful of "keyboard virtuosos" from both of those countries.

As far as your nonsense about  Bernstein identifying more with Israel than the US, could you please explain why he chose to live in one country and not the other??

You have not had your facts straight since you started posting here. When people challenge your preconceived ideas, you say they are attacking you personally.
"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

Offline jeff

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #32 on: July 12, 2004, 05:49:11 AM »
i'd like to ask J.S. -

was your original contention basically this:
That some students have a higher degree of 'talent' which gives them greater potential for success than less 'talented' students.
and
That their self-directed study is the key to their success.



assuming that this was your basic contention (correct me if i'm wrong), at this point i think we should consider the question 'what is talent?'
i see 'talent' as being synonymous with interest. and those students with more talent/interest are motivated to search for and learn information - through thought and trial and error - about details which the 'untalented' student would not have thought about or (therefore) looked for information about because they weren't really interested in those details.
this untalented student can still be made aware of and gain an appreciation of those details - through the guidance of a good teacher, books, or simply observing others.

we should now remember that people are not simply either "talented" or "untalented" - there are infinate degrees of talent (interest) in people. therefore, we can assume that even the most accomplished virtuosos have things which they could learn - things which they may not have discovered through trial and error.


Shagdac

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #33 on: July 12, 2004, 06:45:46 AM »
Good point, Jeff! I agree. Also, the interest/talant a student has, also is contingent upon the teacher they have...as well of course as whether they have a teacher or not. What I mean is, I used to hate Latin in high school when I had to take it. It just didn't click with me, and I considered myself a fairly bright student....this went on for my freshman year. The next year however I had a different teacher and it made ALL the difference in the world. I was excited, motivated and interested again in learning Latin. I did better, and my interest of the subject multiplied. Did my "talent" in that area change. Well, the initial talent (or ability to understand) was the same, but how I performed with my talent was different! Could I have advanced to the same degree on my own. Never, I would not have been exposed to it in the same positive manner that got me enthused as I was in the 2nd year. I could have done some on my own, but probably wouldn't have gotten as far, due to frustration at not being able to ask questions, and not rec'ving validation that I indeed was "doing it right"!

S :)

Offline J.S.Bach

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #34 on: July 12, 2004, 11:08:56 AM »
b minor
Not only you continue to talk rudely, but you make it worse?(for Christ’s sake [even if you’re agnostic] don’t answer this one, it is a rhetorical question).
If you are desperate to find out which one of us is an idiot, take a paper and a pencil (it can also be a pen) and list all the keyboard virtuosos from Baroque (that’s 17th century) to modern times (we are in 2004). After you are done, please place your lists side by side and measure each one of them by a ruler (the ruler can be either in metric [cm, m] or the British systems [in, ft]). To help you out to begin, I will give you some American and Italian names: Muzio Clementi, Van Cliburn, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli et al. I will not give you any Russian or German names because I don’t want to help my cause. Now, we can also add a variable of the quality of each “virtuoso,” but I am sure you would ask me to define “quality.” As such, to make things easier for you, you can leave that one out. I will just add that Mozart (a German) thought that Clementi (an Italian) was an inferior pianist and lacked strength in his left hand. Now if you don’t agree with Mozart,  make sure to write that one down so that you can remember that (because that is very important). Mozart also stole several of Clementi’s compositions and made them more ostentatious (look up in Webster).
     After you are done with your lists, take the ruler and measure each of them (separately). The one that is longer should win (it will not be illegal for you to cross out several Russians and Germans while nobody’s looking, but that won’t help you much).
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As far as your nonsense about Bernstein identifying more with Israel than the US, could you please explain why he chose to live in one country and not the other??

Are you trying to say that because your screen name is in German you are actually a German? Well, here I absolutely agree with you for you really do have a point (just let me add that Rachmaninoff was an American, Vivaldi was an Austrian, and of course, Handel was a mix between British and Italian. However, he probably was more British than Italian since he lived in England longer). Also, Liszt was a mix between purebred French and German (I wonder why he always insisted that he was a Hungarian. Do you wonder too?)
As to why did these people choose to live in different countries, I can’t answer for them. But during a Rachmaninoff concert, you perhaps might ask him yourself (please, I am not implying that you don’t know that Rachmaninoff has passed away). But if you insist that Rachmaninoff is dead, then you should find out other ways to find out what you are trying to find out and when you find out please let me know that you found out.
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You have not had your facts straight since you started posting here. When people challenge your preconceived ideas, you say they are attacking you personally.

I agree. My facts are crooked (or maybe they crook your “facts”). As for challenging, why do you speak for other people (please, I don’t mean that you never were able to challenge me)? And who said that you ever insulted me? What a nonsense. Forgive me minor for my major rudeness because I was not informed about that.

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Add to list of things I've learned from Bernhard: tag all offensive remarks and insults with " (Please don’t regard this as an offensive remark, it is simply a statement of fact)" to soften the blow.


Wow. What would you do without Bernhard? Since you are a good learner, I have also supplied you with my own way of insults above. Having said that I should say that they are not really insults, but I just gave you them as an example so that you could “learn” them too (I am not super-conservative and I believe that “learners” should have a variety of learning material. Scientists say that using different brands of gasoline in your car actually helps clean the accumulated dirt from your engine). I should also add that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, thus although perhaps I did not intend to insult you, you might choose to understand them as an insult (this is a free country). Personally, it doesn’t matter for me that when your head hurts and you see a lying rock whether you think it was used as a weapon against you or as a jewelry around your neck.
It wouldn’t hurt that besides offensive tags, you also learned from Bernhard at least some of his better qualities. Even if many of his comments are not well informed, he still knows a lot of things. If you at least learned part of them, you would experience a renaissance from the ice age ([“Please don’t regard this as an offensive remark, it is simply a statement of fact”]).
Also, Bernhard is far from being the only person from whom you could learn many things. There are many other people in this forum, have you noticed? (Now that I have told you that, you can add more teachers to your list and hence more useful skills).

As you can see, the debate with you is over. What I have written to your response is not my idea of a productive debate. You can still go ahead and post anything you desire. If in the future anyone in this room should think that what you say is intelligent enough for them to mention you (just as you have mentioned Bernhard and have actually taken the liberty of answering to one of my comments that was intended for him and not for you), then I will address that personally (please note that I don’t mean that your cranium is a decompression vacuum chamber since there might be at least some people who might point out your ideas to me after all).
I am also glad that you have chosen the minor key as your screen name. It suits you well (this is not an insult since I happen to love the minor key). Also, please change your screen name from German to your native language. You see, most Germans are very intelligent and complex people and if you want to be a German, you must first raise your cognitive skills (though I am not sure if your country would be proud to call you its own either. Maybe that’s why your screen name is in German). If you wonder, I know many Germans. I showed some of them your articles, and they had a blast (one of them was over 30). Don’t feel bad because your articles were not the only amusing ones. My response is Germany approved and thus is authentic (now this one is an insult, but not by me).
It does not matter who are you calling an idiot, whether a young person or an elderly. What matters, is that it wouldn’t hurt if you thought before expressing even such a simple opinion as “you are an idiot.” If you are a teacher, try that on your peers during your next conference. See what will happen.


Jeff
Your comments are very legitimate. I would say that they are one of the most cultured and contain the most amount of information per sentence I have seen so far. Unfortunately, as you can see, life would be much easier if some people in this room did not talk at all since they can write whole paragraphs of thought which ends up being worthless, much like fast food. Although I have addressed what you have said, it is possible that I wasn’t clear enough since many seemed to disagree with me so intensely that they did not care to ask what I mean by talent. I just used talent to simplify my views. My idea about talent is not different from yours. I would also hope that it is not different for anybody else’s in this room.
     I will clarify my ideas tomorrow for I still have a lot of other things to take care of now which have nothing to do with this forum. I decided that I will break down all that I have to say into steps. I am not too sure, but I believe that it shall provide sufficient clarification.


J.S.Bach
"QUAM BENE VIVAS REFERT, NON QUAM DIU."

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Offline pskim

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #35 on: July 12, 2004, 11:46:51 AM »
Let me be the first one to say this to J.S.Bach:

SHUT UP!!!  I had enough with your arrogance and your arrogant attitude towards your fellow musicians.  You have no respect for your fellow musicians (if you call yourself a musician) and to the fellow piano teachers here, including myself.  If you think you are so right, that is fine.  Just keep them to yourself.  As you can probably tell, almost no one agrees with you.  Can't you see that?  Why keep posting when you know you'll get flamed even more?  At this point no one from this forum prabably cares whether you learn with a teacher or not.  You've made more enemies than friends here, from what I've read here so far.

I just don't know what you are trying to prove here.  I'm just glad that I don't have any students like you.

But I must say, this post has been an interesting topic and I did have some interesting history lessons.  Thanks Bernhard and the rest.

Offline Swan

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #36 on: July 12, 2004, 12:48:45 PM »
Should we really go around telling people to shut up?  It is a forum afterall... and if you are getting 'sick' of something, the easiest sollution is to stop reading.  There's heaps of other things to read.

Having said that, I DO understand your frustration.  

J.S. Bach, you've mentioned a number of times you didn't want this 'debate' to get personal.  I'm wondering exactly what type of response you were after, posting in a teacher's forum, "THERE ARE NO GOOD TEACHERS."  To me, that's like waving a red flag in front of a bull.  When the bull charges, you can't say, "well just calm down now..."  You've waved the flag, surely you had some idea of the response you would get.  

If we teachers agreed with you - "THERE ARE NO GOOD TEACHERS",  we'd all be a burden to the tax payers while we look for a different job!

I think you'd get a more 'open minded' response from the STUDENT'S forum.  

We teachers think we are important ... otherwise, we wouldn't be teachers.  It's a hard way to make a living, and most of us are driven by a desire to pass on a love, not to get 'rich'.

I'm not going to tell a potential student when they ring to have lessons, "Well, you know if you're talented, then coming to me really is a waste of time, because you'd be better off learning by yourself."  And it's not because I'm after their money - it's because I really do believe I can help them progress much quicker than on their own.

I do understand (I think!) where you're coming from.  Because I also believe that every teacher is also self taught.  Each day, we teach ourselves, "well that didn't work, let's try something different," and each day we are faced with new challenges (including repertoire) that we need to find the solution to ourselves. Some of us do that by enrolling in courses, others do it by reading a lot of books.  So teachers are self taught in many ways.  And I believe a 'good' teacher is one who conitnues to 'self-teach' him/herself for the rest of their lives.




Offline Swan

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #37 on: July 12, 2004, 12:54:30 PM »
As for trial and error that may work for some, but evidently not for me...  How do you quote somebody, then make a comment, and then quote from someobody else, make a comment etc.  I've been trialling with a LOT of error, and can't do it.

Can someone please tell me how?

And by the way, this isn't a dig, I'm serious.  I don't know how to do it, and I want to! :-[

Shagdac

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #38 on: July 12, 2004, 01:04:26 PM »
JSBach,

Forgive me for my ignorance, and I certainly do not want you to get upset with me for asking, but I truly am confused. I don't understand what you meant by:

Quote
just let me add that Rachmaninoff was an American,


Was he not born in Onega, Norvogorod? I'm reading in book right now, where he is referred to as "without a doubt, the greatest living Russian composer". (This was  written/printed when he was still living).  I've also been taught this by countless professors. I really want to understand what you mean. Are they all wrong? And the book as well?

Thank you,
S :)

Shagdac

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #39 on: July 12, 2004, 01:10:28 PM »
Swan,

Not a problem, took me awhile myself. When you are in the reply pop-up, click on the 2nd from the right bottom icon box (the little paper with the blue arrow pointing ro the right, located directly under the Black "A", with up and down arrow next to it). When you click on that icon(it is the quote icon), you will notice in your reply that it says the word quote 2 times in parenthesis boxes.

All you have to do is scroll down to where the remark is made you want to quote, copy (by highlighting and doing Control, C), go back to your reply box, align your curser between the quotes, and past (by doing Control V). After you submit your post you will not see the quotes on either side.

Hope this helps.

S :)

Offline pskim

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #40 on: July 12, 2004, 01:42:24 PM »
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Should we really go around telling people to shut up?  It is a forum afterall... and if you are getting 'sick' of something, the easiest sollution is to stop reading.  There's heaps of other things to read.


Yeah, you may be right.  Maybe I shouldn't have said "shut up" but it was at the heat of the moment.  And I did try not to read this thread anymore but it's somewhat addictive.

Offline Hmoll

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #41 on: July 12, 2004, 02:10:19 PM »
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Yeah, you may be right.  Maybe I shouldn't have said "shut up" but it was at the heat of the moment.  And I did try not to read this thread anymore but it's somewhat addictive.

Don't back off pksim. There's a time and a place for everything. "Shut up" was not out of line at all.

As far as this being a forum that's true, but if someone is continually spewing inacurate misinformation in such a pompous manner, s/he deserves to be called on it.

"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

Offline Saturn

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #42 on: July 12, 2004, 02:35:20 PM »
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Don't back off pksim. There's a time and a place for everything. "Shut up" was not out of line at all.


I wouldn't say the "shut up" was out of line, but it wasn't really necessary.  I don't think there's anything that this J.S. Bach (more of an insult to the composer than an homage) has said that anyone here would take seriously.  And if you do take this guy seriously, evaluate everything he has said here, and see if he makes any sense.

- Saturn

Offline Hmoll

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #43 on: July 12, 2004, 07:12:10 PM »
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b minor
Not only you continue to talk rudely, but you make it worse?(for Christ’s sake [even if you’re agnostic] don’t answer this one, it is a rhetorical question).
If you are desperate to find out which one of us is an idiot, take a paper and a pencil (it can also be a pen) and list all the keyboard virtuosos from Baroque (that’s 17th century) to modern times (we are in 2004). After you are done, please place your lists side by side and measure each one of them by a ruler (the ruler can be either in metric [cm, m] or the British systems [in, ft]). To help you out to begin, I will give you some American and Italian names: Muzio Clementi, Van Cliburn, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli et al. I will not give you any Russian or German names because I don’t want to help my cause. Now, we can also add a variable of the quality of each “virtuoso,” but I am sure you would ask me to define “quality.” As such, to make things easier for you, you can leave that one out. I will just add that Mozart (a German) thought that Clementi (an Italian) was an inferior pianist and lacked strength in his left hand. Now if you don’t agree with Mozart,  make sure to write that one down so that you can remember that (because that is very important). Mozart also stole several of Clementi’s compositions and made them more ostentatious (look up in Webster).
     After you are done with your lists, take the ruler and measure each of them (separately). The one that is longer should win (it will not be illegal for you to cross out several Russians and Germans while nobody’s looking, but that won’t help you much).
As far as your nonsense about Bernstein identifying more with Israel than the US, could you please explain why he chose to live in one country and not the other??

Are you trying to say that because your screen name is in German you are actually a German? Well, here I absolutely agree with you for you really do have a point (just let me add that Rachmaninoff was an American, Vivaldi was an Austrian, and of course, Handel was a mix between British and Italian. However, he probably was more British than Italian since he lived in England longer). Also, Liszt was a mix between purebred French and German (I wonder why he always insisted that he was a Hungarian. Do you wonder too?)
As to why did these people choose to live in different countries, I can’t answer for them. But during a Rachmaninoff concert, you perhaps might ask him yourself (please, I am not implying that you don’t know that Rachmaninoff has passed away). But if you insist that Rachmaninoff is dead, then you should find out other ways to find out what you are trying to find out and when you find out please let me know that you found out.
You have not had your facts straight since you started posting here. When people challenge your preconceived ideas, you say they are attacking you personally.

I agree. My facts are crooked (or maybe they crook your “facts”). As for challenging, why do you speak for other people (please, I don’t mean that you never were able to challenge me)? And who said that you ever insulted me? What a nonsense. Forgive me minor for my major rudeness because I was not informed about that.

Add to list of things I've learned from Bernhard: tag all offensive remarks and insults with " (Please don’t regard this as an offensive remark, it is simply a statement of fact)" to soften the blow.


Wow. What would you do without Bernhard? Since you are a good learner, I have also supplied you with my own way of insults above. Having said that I should say that they are not really insults, but I just gave you them as an example so that you could “learn” them too (I am not super-conservative and I believe that “learners” should have a variety of learning material. Scientists say that using different brands of gasoline in your car actually helps clean the accumulated dirt from your engine). I should also add that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, thus although perhaps I did not intend to insult you, you might choose to understand them as an insult (this is a free country). Personally, it doesn’t matter for me that when your head hurts and you see a lying rock whether you think it was used as a weapon against you or as a jewelry around your neck.
It wouldn’t hurt that besides offensive tags, you also learned from Bernhard at least some of his better qualities. Even if many of his comments are not well informed, he still knows a lot of things. If you at least learned part of them, you would experience a renaissance from the ice age ([“Please don’t regard this as an offensive remark, it is simply a statement of fact”]).
Also, Bernhard is far from being the only person from whom you could learn many things. There are many other people in this forum, have you noticed? (Now that I have told you that, you can add more teachers to your list and hence more useful skills).

As you can see, the debate with you is over. What I have written to your response is not my idea of a productive debate. You can still go ahead and post anything you desire. If in the future anyone in this room should think that what you say is intelligent enough for them to mention you (just as you have mentioned Bernhard and have actually taken the liberty of answering to one of my comments that was intended for him and not for you), then I will address that personally (please note that I don’t mean that your cranium is a decompression vacuum chamber since there might be at least some people who might point out your ideas to me after all).
I am also glad that you have chosen the minor key as your screen name. It suits you well (this is not an insult since I happen to love the minor key). Also, please change your screen name from German to your native language. You see, most Germans are very intelligent and complex people and if you want to be a German, you must first raise your cognitive skills (though I am not sure if your country would be proud to call you its own either. Maybe that’s why your screen name is in German). If you wonder, I know many Germans. I showed some of them your articles, and they had a blast (one of them was over 30). Don’t feel bad because your articles were not the only amusing ones. My response is Germany approved and thus is authentic (now this one is an insult, but not by me).
It does not matter who are you calling an idiot, whether a young person or an elderly. What matters, is that it wouldn’t hurt if you thought before expressing even such a simple opinion as “you are an idiot.” If you are a teacher, try that on your peers during your next conference. See what will happen.




Hope you enjoyed your temper tantrum. You're still an idiot.

I am not a professional teacher - you seem to have that idea. I'm an amateur piano player, and my knowledge of piano, music in general, and piano teaching methods are heads and tails above yours.

The fact that you post your misinformation in a teachers forum without bothering to read the prior posts of others who post here speaks to your arrogance as much as your posting style does.

You can talk as much as you want about the wheeze you and your German friends are having at my posts, but you might want to mention to them the laughs we're having here at your expense.

My knowledge based on what I post speaks for itself. I did not learn everything from Bernhard or any other posters here. I agree with a lot of what he says because he probably has a musical background and outlook similar to mine. I don't agree with everything he says, and let him know when I do.
In those instances, he does not simper, or whine about personal attacks the way you do.

I still have to say, in all the pages you've posted I have yet to agree with anything because, between all the historical inaccuracies,  you make no sense.



"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

Offline willcowskitz

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #44 on: July 12, 2004, 09:34:41 PM »
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JSBach,

Forgive me for my ignorance, and I certainly do not want you to get upset with me for asking, but I truly am confused. I don't understand what you meant by: ...


Hmoll asked why did <some pianist or composer> choose to live in America if he was Jewish.

J.S.Bach said that this doesn't make him American, and we don't know the reasons why he chose so, but he was at heart Jewish, just like Rachmaninoff was Russian although he lived in America.


Offline Hmoll

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #45 on: July 12, 2004, 10:01:06 PM »
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Hmoll asked why did <some pianist or composer> choose to live in America if he was Jewish.

J.S.Bach said that this doesn't make him American, and we don't know the reasons why he chose so, but he was at heart Jewish, just like Rachmaninoff was Russian although he lived in America.




The rhetorical question I asked was why  Leonard Bernstein lived his entire life in the United States, if - as JSB asserted - he had more of an affiliation to Israel.
Bernstein was a cosmopolitan fellow. He could have lived anywhere he wanted. He was born in the US, and lived his whole life here.

JSB, with his statements about Bernstein being a Jew rather than an American, is confusing ones religion with ones nationality.  He might as well use  "Vingt Regards " to prove Messiaen was not French, he was Catholic.

One of many things he fails to understand.

Rachmaninov's story is very different. He lived in the US, was born and educated in another country, and his music has more influence from the other country.

"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

f0bul0us

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #46 on: July 12, 2004, 10:01:37 PM »
I just gave this thread's link to my piano teacher last night. I called her this morning and she said "I haven't laughed this hard since the time I heard about Monica Lewinsky and cigars ;D".

Offline BajoranD

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #47 on: July 12, 2004, 10:51:42 PM »
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Are you trying to say that because your screen name is in German you are actually a German? Well, here I absolutely agree with you for you really do have a point (just let me add that Rachmaninoff was an American, Vivaldi was an Austrian, and of course, Handel was a mix between British and Italian. However, he probably was more British than Italian since he lived in England longer). Also, Liszt was a mix between purebred French and German (I wonder why he always insisted that he was a Hungarian. Do you wonder too?)


I know I should probably ignore this, but it's bothering me so much, I have to briefly address this (even though it has NOTHING to do with good teachers/bad teachers or any of it, so I'm sorry to the rest of you, and you can just skip this post if you want to). Let me tell you something about being American, JSB. You can be Japanese AND American. You can be German AND American. You can be Zimbabwean (don't know the proper form for that) AND American. Shocking as it may be (sarcasm alert, in case anyone is getting ready to be offended), YOU CAN BE JEWISH AND AMERICAN!!!!! If I were to move to Norway tomorrow, I could become a Norwegian citizen, I could live there the rest of my life, I could identify that country as my home, but I would NEVER BE NORWEGIAN. And neither would my children. It just doesn't work that way. My husband works with a gentleman who moved here (here being America) with his family from Ukraine about 15 years ago. His Ukranian accent is still thick. His English is not always accurate. It doesn't matter; he's an American! The idea that Bernstein was not American because he also identified himself with Israel is beyond ludicrous! Beyond! You have presented yourself as being so narrow-visioned that I don't believe you will understand this concept, but one of the things that makes this country unique is that you can be BOTH [insert nationality of choice] AND American! And I'm not talking about citizenship, I'm talking true, personal identity!

*deep breaths*

Calmer, now. That's good. Blood pressure coming back to normal.

I don't want this to be a nationalistic pissing match. Because last I checked, people are people, regardless of their geographic location or ethnic background. But if you want to completely dismiss the musical heritage and contributions of America, then bring it on. Just make sure your list of great American pianists includes Duke Ellington. Thelonius Monk. Bill Evans. Then again, you probably think jazz is just an insignificant blip on the ol' cultural radar.

You don't want this to be personal? Then DON'T make it personal. I won't be so childish as to say "you started it" (although you did), but I will say that from what I've read on this forum, reasonable discourse will be met with reasonable discourse, logic will be met with logic, open-mindedness will be met with open-mindedness, and ignorant, abusive temper-tantrums will be shot down.

One final thing (cause I'm mad!): before you try to instruct the rest of us in vocabulary, you may want to brush up your own use of the English language. "Put my money in my mouth"? Perhaps you slept through the class on English figures of speech? Or are your numerous misuses of form the result of your own self-study? If so, consider this a trial, and an error. I am as forgiving as the day is long (figure of speech, by the way) of language mistakes, because I'm sure that many elements of my Spanish, Norwegian, and Russian are laughable to native speakers. I do not claim to be an expert (far from it!!) in any of those languages. But if you set yourself up as a superior (superior to the rest of us, that is) speaker of English, then you lose any benefit of compassion or understanding you would have otherwise received from me.

f0bul0us

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #48 on: July 13, 2004, 12:33:10 AM »
Well...I know where this is going, in the same direction as pixie123's "Can I play Rach 3 with 2 year experience?" post. There's some pretty harsh shit here and we all know (except for the newbies, who should stop talking) how much Nils enjoys deleting threads. It would REALLY do justice to the amount of good information here if everyone would just shut the fuck up (flame-wise) and focus on contributing ideas that will help J.S.Bach better understand the flaws in his post, instead of turning this into personal bullshit.  >:(

Offline Hmoll

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Re: There are no good teachers, only good students
«Reply #49 on: July 13, 2004, 12:59:45 AM »
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  do justice to the amount of good information here if everyone would just shut the fuck up (flame-wise) and focus on contributing ideas that will help J.S.Bach better understand the flaws in his post, instead of turning this into personal bullshit.  >:(


As one of the worst offenders, I'll follow your advice.
Don't think it's going to work, though.
"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger