\"\"
Piano Forum logo

Bernhard's posts on teaching (Read 1997 times)

Offline lotal

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 18
Bernhard's posts on teaching
« on: January 08, 2016, 11:00:55 AM »
Here I listed links to the Bernhardís posts (128), which one way or another relate to his thoughts about teaching, why teachers needed and how to select among them.

Offline ted

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3842
Re: Bernhard's posts on teaching
«Reply #1 on: January 08, 2016, 10:59:03 PM »
Thank you for your effort in preparing this valuable forum resource. Bernhard was not only an outstanding teacher but also remarkably broadminded, eclectic and flexible in his musicianship, qualities which are increasingly rare on piano forums. His years of unselfish posting here will have helped many more people than he ever realised.
"We're all bums when the wagon comes." - Waller

Offline chopinawesome

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 226
Re: Bernhard's posts on teaching
«Reply #2 on: February 02, 2016, 04:48:18 AM »
Where is Bernhard anyways?
Beethoven Op 2/2
Chopin Op 20, maybe op 47/38
Debussy Etude 7
Grieg Op 16
Want to do:
Chopin Concerti 1 and 2
Beethoven Waldstein
Ravel Miroirs

Offline immortalbeloved

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 101
Re: Bernhard's posts on teaching
«Reply #3 on: February 02, 2016, 05:16:04 AM »
Wonderful and very beautiful. I clicked the link and read number one. I would love your opinion on this one, especially for a student in grade 4 (and who is 23):

3.   Only play what you love, pieces that you would like to have in your repertory. These pieces will open all doors, if you donít look at them as some key pressing activity, but regard them in their totality (movements, theory, musical history etc.). Never waste time on stuff you have no interest in, but which you think may have some benefit. Whatever is of benefit to you will naturally grow from the things you like.

What if the teacher pushes against this? I currently am learning five new songs, love all except one. To ask or not to ask for it to be removed!

Offline raytia

  • PS Gold Member
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 4
Re: Bernhard's posts on teaching
«Reply #4 on: February 11, 2016, 11:24:59 PM »
Quote
What if the teacher pushes against this? I currently am learning five new songs, love all except one. To ask or not to ask for it to be removed!

Just ask your teacher if there's a reason she chose this piece for you. Could be that she has a specific bit of technique in mind for you to learn/practice. Then you can decide whether or not you want to continue. I wholeheartedly agree with Bernhard's sentiment that you should learn what you love. There's SO much repertoire out there, you cannot possibly learn it all, so better stick to what you actually enjoy ;)

Offline keypeg

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3567
Re: Bernhard's posts on teaching
«Reply #5 on: February 12, 2016, 04:10:36 PM »
Wonderful and very beautiful. I clicked the link and read number one. I would love your opinion on this one, especially for a student in grade 4 (and who is 23):

3.   Only play what you love, pieces that you would like to have in your repertory. These pieces will open all doors, if you donít look at them as some key pressing activity, but regard them in their totality (movements, theory, musical history etc.). Never waste time on stuff you have no interest in, but which you think may have some benefit. Whatever is of benefit to you will naturally grow from the things you like.

What if the teacher pushes against this? I currently am learning five new songs, love all except one. To ask or not to ask for it to be removed!
That is exactly where the problem lies - namely taking these things as gospel.  You have a context here.  Namely that your teacher has his mode of teaching, which in its turn is probably a complete unit of parts that work together.  The pieces that he has assigned probably fulfill a purpose toward your growth.  Bernhard has his methodology, and your teacher has his.  Your teacher cannot become Bernhard, and vice versa.  Now if your teacher is a poor quality teacher, that is if you are following his instructions as he intended and you are not getting anywhere, then it might make sense to question what he is doing.

Personally I would balk at Bernhard's advice, because of my own experiences.  I had lessons in another instrument first, and I discovered that my teacher had avoided what he thought I would not like to do and did what he think I would like.  I ended up advancing fast through grades, and then crashing because the skills were not there - they had been given short shrift or not given, period. 
were I to start on a new instrument with a new teacher now, the first thing I would do would be to insist that this teacher choose pieces that he thinks would help my growth, as he saw fit, and not worry about what music "attracts" me.  My focus is on skills, because skills give you wings.

The operative part in Bernhard's post is here:
Quote
....if you donít look at them as some key pressing activity, but regard them in their totality (movements, theory, musical history etc.). 
i.e. if you work on music that you don't love, then you might do little with them, so that they become a "key pressing activity" - something you try to get over with as fast as possible.  The other important part of this involves learning as much from the beloved piece as possible.  Learning good movement, delving into it, studying music theory through the piece, studying music history through the piece.  I can see that too.  Definitely on a personal note I would not want to rush through pieces without doing that delving.  In that respect, I would not want to be working on 5 different pieces at the same time, because I would feel I can't get deeply enough into any of them.

But then, why is your teacher having you work on 5 pieces at the same time?  What is his purpose?  If it is to get you immersed in different kinds of music, for the sake of your growth, or expand your reading skills, then there is a purpose.  If it is because "students get bored unless you give them variety", then he may be attributing attitudes to you that you don't have.  It's not black and white.