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Piano Teacher "lineage" - does it matter? (Read 1668 times)

Offline keyquest

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Piano Teacher "lineage" - does it matter?
« on: July 29, 2016, 12:33:34 PM »
Piano teacher "lineage" is an interesting topic, but often spoken about in a somewhat hazy way... 

Here's some ideas about what it might mean, and whether it matters:
https://pianodao.com/2016/07/28/piano-lineage/
What do you think?


Offline rubinsteinmad

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Re: Piano Teacher "lineage" - does it matter?
«Reply #1 on: July 30, 2016, 03:29:48 AM »
It can be impressive, but tbh it doesn't matter. I've studied with someone who claims to have studied with Adele Markus and Eleanor Sokoloff and that was the worst teacher of my life.
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Offline ajlongspiano

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Re: Piano Teacher "lineage" - does it matter?
«Reply #2 on: July 30, 2016, 03:53:36 AM »
Josh Wright to Sergei Babayan. I'm proud of mine. ;)

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Offline ahinton

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Re: Piano Teacher "lineage" - does it matter?
«Reply #3 on: July 30, 2016, 08:46:24 AM »
My piano teacher studied with the English pianist Cyril Smith who had been taught by a pupil of Busoni; the extent to which that lineage appears to have helped me should be evident from the fact that I am not a pianist...

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Offline chopinlover01

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Re: Piano Teacher "lineage" - does it matter?
«Reply #4 on: July 30, 2016, 07:08:14 PM »
Honestly, how YOUR teacher plays and teaches is far more important than how their teachers and their teacher's teacher (and so forth) played/taught.
It's kind of a cool thing to be able to say, but the most important thing is that your teacher is competent.
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Offline Bob

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Re: Piano Teacher "lineage" - does it matter?
«Reply #5 on: July 31, 2016, 01:38:50 AM »
Just for the name and for continuing a certain philosophy.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline keypeg

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Re: Piano Teacher "lineage" - does it matter?
«Reply #6 on: July 31, 2016, 07:05:00 PM »
Honestly, how YOUR teacher plays and teaches is far more important than how their teachers and their teacher's teacher (and so forth) played/taught.
It's kind of a cool thing to be able to say, but the most important thing is that your teacher is competent.
Totally agree.

And the one thing I'd want to avoid is "You do it this way, because my teacher said to do it this way, because her teacher said to do it this way ..... because Mr. Famous down the lineage tree once said so (we think).  Lots of students seem to have problems, but it's because of their attitude (or other excuse) because doing it this way has to be right for everyone, because Mr. Famous said so (we think)."

Give me a teacher who understands playing, his own playing, how to teach it, and who can see and hear what his student actually is doing, and why.  Who, if something in his teaching isn't working, changes it until it does work.

Offline ahinton

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Re: Piano Teacher "lineage" - does it matter?
«Reply #7 on: August 01, 2016, 11:35:18 AM »
Totally agree.

And the one thing I'd want to avoid is "You do it this way, because my teacher said to do it this way, because her teacher said to do it this way ..... because Mr. Famous down the lineage tree once said so (we think).  Lots of students seem to have problems, but it's because of their attitude (or other excuse) because doing it this way has to be right for everyone, because Mr. Famous said so (we think)."

Give me a teacher who understands playing, his own playing, how to teach it, and who can see and hear what his student actually is doing, and why.  Who, if something in his teaching isn't working, changes it until it does work.
The expression "a pupil of Liszt" used to be bandied about so widely that almost every pianist who'd ever set eyes on Liszt sought to claim to have been one but, on the basis of the hand-me-downs of keyboard tutelage, what to do if studying, for example, Alkan's Concerto (from Op. 39)? Would your Liszt great-grandpupil be able to offer insights into how Liszt himself might have played it? (as if he ever did!)...

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Offline visitor

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Re: Piano Teacher "lineage" - does it matter?
«Reply #8 on: August 01, 2016, 12:34:14 PM »
it matters more if the lineage is only 1 degree of separation (like for ajlongspiano) for how long they studied w/ said person. so for me, knowing my current teacher-performing artist plays incredibly! teaches so well (and reviews/remarks by current and former students validated this in search-instructor selection process)- regularly concertizes, records/releases CD's (that receive very good acclaim) and participates in int'l festivals, than the fact they studied with a certain someone for over many years (and that this someone was their most recent instructor), I get the benefit of my teacher's style, talent, experience first, but my teacher can also draw on instilled philosophy, tricks/techniques, direct  experience, etc  from their study with a certain (very famous'-and for good reason) someone for so many years. Also, that I like my teacher's style (delivery, methods, personality etc). that is important to. You should feel like at the end of a lesson like it flew by, not 'drag on', if you find yourself asking what time is it/when is this over? during lesson, things my no be optimal.
I for one feel very fortunate and a sense of responsibility to apply/learn as well as possible given my opportunity that so many others (many way way more talented than me) would love to have. It pushes me to work harder during the lesson and do my best to bring an appreciable amount of application and progress on assigned tasks to next encounter.


so like most things it depends.

However someone that was a student that was a student that was a student of d'Albert, or did a semester with a student of Reinecke 30 years ago late int their training, etc., that probably has less impact due to degrees of separation, total exposure (and how formative was the experience for them), and how long ago said study likely occurred? , that wouldn't matter much to me in the least.


Offline Bob

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Re: Piano Teacher "lineage" - does it matter?
«Reply #9 on: August 02, 2016, 03:03:13 AM »
I thought of another one -- If they're all great performers.  Then you have Performer X, who was a student of Performer Y, who was a student of Performer Z.

It kind of implies that the ancestor teacher/performer was actually a decent teacher or that the student was able to get something out of that teacher than they or no one else could provide.  And it could imply that some special knowledge or philosphy is being passed down.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline quantum

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Re: Piano Teacher "lineage" - does it matter?
«Reply #10 on: August 05, 2016, 04:52:07 AM »
I find it helpful tracing the lineage of ideas and philosophies.  Where things get interesting is when a pupil had multiple teachers of differing schools of thought, or studied multiple instruments. 
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Offline j_tour

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Re: Piano Teacher "lineage" - does it matter?
«Reply #11 on: August 27, 2016, 03:41:23 AM »
Just for the name and for continuing a certain philosophy.

Right.

I'd argue, having studied with a few "names" (in piano, probably nobody you'd have heard of; in philosophy and literature, people who would say "hi" to me on the street, and know me, maybe have me in for coffee), that it's a better idea to think about it as confidence for the student, prestige for the teacher, and, ultimately, contributions by the student.

Sounds kind of cold and unfeeling, but for all the warm feelings one has for teacher, and for student, search yourself and you'll find it to be true.
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