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Disillusioned (Read 1361 times)

Offline sans

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« on: December 22, 2012, 01:57:33 AM »
I am currently studying piano performance at university, and have just completed the first semester of Year 1 for Bachelor's. I should be happy instead of depressed, since this is what I've dreamed of since I was 11. But there is an emptiness inside that is eating me up.

I'm not sure if this has come about because of the fact that my professor and I share very different views on what constitutes quality performance. He abhors strong, passionate emotion, and will typically stay away from pieces that are 'loud'. I, on the other hand, am a person who experiences emotional extremes. Naturally this creates a huge problem. What I might consider to be expressions of elegance and delicacy sounds harsh to him. The only way I've been able to function during lessons is to shut everything off.

I can't play these days without hearing his disapproval in my head. The sounds that I make don't sound like music because I can't let anything of myself seep through. I haven't been able to play lately.

I thought that studying with this professor would help me to achieve a balance between emotional expression and control. I haven't been able to change either my playing or myself, though. I'm still the same person who identifies with strong emotions, and my playing has become dead.

I've thought of switching professors, although it won't be happening until the end of this school year (in April). Before that, though, I have to do something about this. I have to pull myself together in order to start school again in January.

But I don't know how to do that. Any ideas?

Online lostinidlewonder

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Re: Disillusioned
«Reply #1 on: December 22, 2012, 06:36:16 AM »
If you are very concerned about your playing you should post recordings of your playing so you can get feedback from the general piano music loving public. I would take what your professor puts you though as a challenge, maybe it is not how you personally like to do it but if you can bend and contort to produce what they desire this improves you as a musician.
"The biggest risk in life is to take no risk at all."

Offline eric0773

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Re: Disillusioned
«Reply #2 on: December 23, 2012, 11:40:58 AM »
Indeed, the most convenient would be to post a recording of a piece played in two ways: (1) as you naturally would and (2) as your teacher prefers.

I am nowhere near your level (early intermediate here), but when recording some performances I do notice that the way it sounds *afterwards* sometimes vastly differs from they way it felt when played at the piano - either too little or too much emotions.

Offline soitainly

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Re: Disillusioned
«Reply #3 on: December 23, 2012, 09:12:52 PM »
 That's a tough position to be in Sans, but I would stick it out. You may have different opinions on music from your professor, but you can learn from him. If sticking with this particular teacher for a few months is the only way to reach your overall goals, then it's a small price to pay. We have to assume he has your best interests at heart, maybe he see's a potential in your playing that really does need some refinement or reigning in. It's not like you are bound in servitude to his way of playing for the rest of your life. I would accept his teaching with an open mind, maybe he is right after all, maybe not

 As a musician, you will be surprised as you age how your tastes change over time. What you once thought of passionately as the only way to play will seem silly. It would be unwise to abandon your studies over a dispute like this. If anything you well be a more rounded person for dealing with the adversity. It doesn't get any easier in the real world, it's pretty rare to just be able to do whatever we want whenever we want in any walk of life.