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Lucas Debargue - A Matter of Life or Death
Pianist Lucas Debargue recently recorded the complete piano works of Gabriel Faurť on the Opus 102, a very special grand piano by Stephen Paulello. Eric Schoones from the German/Dutch magazine PIANIST had a conversation with him. Read more >>

Topic: Too bad it had to end this way  (Read 2524 times)

Spatula

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Too bad it had to end this way
on: November 24, 2004, 01:57:47 AM
I have taken piano lessons with one particular teacher for about 4 years, and have been studying piano for about 11 and some years now with other teachers.  However, this one teacher was very strict, and he was very adamant about getting things done right in a musical way.  Now this guy had very high expectations of his students, but they were realistic for those whom sought to become very proficient in piano.  I, on the other hand, had slackened off for quite some time, and I didnít realize that he was being VERY patient and enduring with my insubordination.  This was about 3 years ago, and at this time, I was preparing for a grade 8 RCM exam.  This exam wasnít particularly hard, it was just that making me do piano was particularly hard, ie, lack of motivation. 

I hated doing piano and I swore to God 100 times that I would quit very soon.  And I didnít.  I managed to pull off the exam on that day, I canít remember, oh yes, wait it was August 20, 2002.  I was doing other things (50 hour work week, driving lessons, basement renovation, and this was the first summer I got my brand new PS2), so I was pretty bundled up. 

Since then, I wouldnít think Iíd ever go back to this teacher, but he was very good, extremely good in fact.  So good in fact that he doesnít normally take crappy students but requires referals from other piano students and parents, it just seemed so that heíd felt a wasted effort to boot me out just before doing the exam.  He would even judge from the first lesson if he wanted to take the student or not, but he was usually generous for the first 2 months then do the cut.

As a matter of fact, after I had done the grade 8 exam, I never had another lesson even up to today with him. 

But the fire for piano didnít die out.  I remember sometime early this year, 2004, I started to really enjoy classical piano again.  I didnít understand what pulled me to it, even after a few years of head banging heavy metal, but something attracted me.  Opposites attracted I guess.  I soon realized how foolish I was not only to quit, but to waste the precious time with him.  He wanted to see my excel in piano so much that he would wake up to start 8:00 AM lessons every Friday.  He would then entrust me with his house key to lock up while he would leave before me to go shopping.  I even remembered he gave undivided attention to filling out a reference form for entrance to a university.  I turned down the offer for that university even though they accepted me, and I guess that showed how much I really didnít bother to acknowledge my piano teacherís time and effort.  He has warned me several times before about booting me out, and I donít blame him.

Sorry for spilling out my piano career thus far, but here comes your topic regarding rejection.  I called him several times this year in hopes of starting up lessons again, and I have said that I have rekindled a new desire for piano.   Each time he would either change the topic or say, ďoh call me sometime to arrange a quick run though for some piece youíre doingĒ.  It was obvious he had lost faith in me.  The fourth time I called him, which was just last Sunday, he was happy to hear from me, but thatís it.  Just to hear from me.  Again he gave the same reply when I said I wanted to start regular lessons, but I guess I blew it.  I canít blame him, I understand.  I was already given one shot to prove myself but I joked around thinking his patience was infinite.  I was wrong. 

This type of rejection I can totally see him justify, because the choice of doing well in piano rested solely in my hands (mind the pun).  I can only hope to find another teacher that will have the courage to take me as a student once again and attempt to take on Grade 10 piano.  ThatÖ is my dream. 

Offline bunbuns

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Re: Too bad it had to end this way
Reply #1 on: November 24, 2004, 02:10:59 AM
Awww.. That is so sad =[ He may have been good but he was a meanie pooh =/ He is probably why you lost intrest ! He was so strict ! but  I hope your dream comes true Forgosh darn sakes I can't even play for beans I really want to =[ you have already accompolished a goal I don't think I ever will like if someone  threw me on to the streets with a keyboard or something I wouldn't be able to get dust bunnies to stay and listen =< but I do give you my hope and prayers that your dream will be fufilled IT WILL BE!! You'll be a classical lil spatula! I hope you cheer up  ;D

                                                                                                    -Bun bunz

Offline Tash

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Re: Too bad it had to end this way
Reply #2 on: November 24, 2004, 06:38:01 AM
awww that'skinda sad. don't you hate it how you look back at things and wish you'd had the capacity to appreciate it more? like i wish i'd appreciated my school teachers more- i didn't even bother making some of them a card or anything when i left last year or say thanks for teaching me. i did for some, but i neglected others. i feel like that with mypiano teacher too. like when i don't practice for a week i feel really bad cos it's like i'm letting her down.

but spatula,i'm sure you will find another teacher who'll take you in. i take the thought that teachers like teaching older students when they're more advanced cos the more advanced works are more interesting and not as many peopledo them, compared to the younger grades. so just promise then your dedication to piano and i'm sure they'd be delighted to teach you!
'J'aime presque autant les images que la musique' Debussy

Offline galonia

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Re: Too bad it had to end this way
Reply #3 on: November 24, 2004, 07:23:59 AM
That is a sad story, Spatula.

Mine is similar, but ends happily - I also stopped in 2002, at the end of October, but I'd been dragging my feet for a year already, refusing to perform, despite that being my teacher's specialty - preparing her students for performance.

But my teacher understood my reasons, and actually told me not to learn for at least a year with any teacher.  The year became two, then this year I realised I can't live without piano, and I'm not happy with my own playing.

So a few weeks ago, I called her, and my teacher was very happy to hear from me, and she has agreed to reserve a spot for me, and I will resume lessons with her in January.

Hope you will have a happy end to your story soon.

Offline allchopin

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Re: Too bad it had to end this way
Reply #4 on: November 24, 2004, 03:24:55 PM
Alright, I have to say it - aww, that's really sad, Spatula.
Maybe your only chance of redemption is playing the OC in front of him  ;)... clearly your words and thoughts aren't going to get you very far.  Take a week or two to really concentrate on a piece and call him up for one last audition.  If you are able to do that, then I think you still have potential in you for serious improvement with the piano.
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Spatula

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Re: Too bad it had to end this way
Reply #5 on: November 24, 2004, 07:26:50 PM
Yeah I'm thinking of kick starting beethoven sonata Op 10 Nr 1, since almost every recital I've done for him and his class was something by beethoven.  But I'm actually looking now for another teacher, perhaps to start back up in January.  I'm also thinking of going to my former harmony teacher because I think we can benefit mutually.  I find my old piano teacher is already at the stage where he said he wants to retire, so maybe he wants to load off from the teaching overload.

Also, this former harmony teacher, lets call her D, came with me to see Naida Cole, and I've done pretty well with her in basic theory class and ok or so-so in Harmony. She's young in her teaching and wants to expand on more advanced repertoire in the grade 10 level, and I think I would fit the bill.

I'm looking for a fresh new teacher, and she's looking for a more advanced student .  She also teaches my lil sister grade 2 stuff, and I've seen my sister progress pretty quickly. 

"D" also has a genuine interest in music and isn't just in for the money, and her rates are very reasonable.  Maybe it doesn't have to end a tragedy.

*Group hug!*  :)

Offline bunbuns

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Re: Too bad it had to end this way
Reply #6 on: November 24, 2004, 08:25:34 PM
YAYAYA IM IN!! *HUGGLES* *SNUGGLES*

Offline Ludwig Van Rachabji

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Re: Too bad it had to end this way
Reply #7 on: November 24, 2004, 09:25:26 PM
Good luck, Spatula!  :)

- Ludwig Van Rachabji
Music... can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable. Leonard Bernstein

Spatula

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Re: Too bad it had to end this way
Reply #8 on: November 25, 2004, 12:35:34 AM
YAYAYA IM IN!! *HUGGLES* *SNUGGLES*

uh huh, um...

Thank you for your support Mr Bunbuns.  I appreciate it very much.   :)

Offline julie391

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Re: Too bad it had to end this way
Reply #9 on: November 25, 2004, 02:00:46 AM
Good luck, Spatula!† :)

- Ludwig Van Rachabji

 ;)

Offline kaff

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Re: Too bad it had to end this way
Reply #10 on: November 25, 2004, 07:13:10 PM
† ThatÖ is my dream.†


"A dream that will need all the love you can give, every day of your life, for as long as you live"

to quote Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music (why am I admitting to this?) Okay, so it rhymes and scans, but is it actually right? Point I am making Spatula, is that this is nowhere near the end unless you decide it is.   You've got, what, fifty - sixty years left of piano playing?  A couple of years of less-than-utterly-devoted attitude won't make that much difference in the end - everyone has them, for one reason or another.  I hope it goes well with your new teacher - good luck.

Kathryn
Kaff

Offline Tash

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Re: Too bad it had to end this way
Reply #11 on: November 26, 2004, 12:32:33 AM
oh coolness go spatula! al the best, i hope it works out:)
'J'aime presque autant les images que la musique' Debussy
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