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Horowitz´s Master Alfred Cortot Speaks … and Plays…

Pianist Murray Perahia presents highlights of live recordings made during Cortot's 1954-60 Master Classes in Paris, featuring the pianist playing many works he never formally recorded. Read more >>

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Author Topic: I`ve a bone to pick with piano teachers  (Read 2199 times)
hardy_practice
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« Reply #50 on: August 24, 2017, 09:21:23 PM »

The idea that you're free to do anything you want to doesn't exist in any society and there's a good reason for it.
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keypeg
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« Reply #51 on: August 24, 2017, 10:27:10 PM »

Can we get back on topic?
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hardy_practice
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« Reply #52 on: August 24, 2017, 11:56:52 PM »

I think we've done the most-teachers-are-crap topic.
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keypeg
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« Reply #53 on: August 25, 2017, 12:42:40 AM »

I think we've done the most-teachers-are-crap topic.
I'm afraid I didn't see the thread on that topic.
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cardeno
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« Reply #54 on: August 25, 2017, 07:21:49 AM »

I've been on this forum since 2004, with the same login, so it would seem logical it is not my age, which is a good 50% greater than that. 

In fact it comes from an instrument model.  A Bach 42B is the type trombone I play most often, though of course I have others depending on what music I'm playing.

keypeg made some good points about people who do NOT want to play for a listener.  However in your case you WERE playing for a lis----, er, no, you had a listener but you played for yourself and drove her away.  You could learn to adjust on the fly in cases like that. 

One thing I agree with these postings is that isolating oneself doesn`t help to improve one`s playing. It leaves the student behind the ones who are placed on the spot and have to overcome nervousness, fear of everything going wrong and have more pressure imposed upon them to improve.
I think timing suffers the most in isolation because once the metronome is switched off it goes haywire. I make semiquavers into quavers at random without realizing it until I switch the metronome on again and the piece sounds slightly different. The teacher or listener would have spotted that straight away.

I`ve always wanted to organize Schubertians Gatherings in my house (or anybody`s) by advertising for amateurs or even retired professional musicians and singers to share experiences and have to force myself to improve playing by for example accompanying a singer with Lieder, mainly Schubert`s which I`m very fond of. I don`t care how good the singer or player is because I know that if we impose on ourselves a task for the next gathering I would apply myself to that task eagerly. A big feat for me to be able to accompany a singer, even if it means wearing ear plugs..........

Out of curiosity as far as your trombone is concerned and as you also mention "The flight of the bamble bee", are you able to play the melody (the buzzing??) with the trombone or can`t the valves respond fast enough?......

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keypeg
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« Reply #55 on: August 25, 2017, 09:15:09 AM »

One thing I agree with these postings is that isolating oneself doesn't help to improve one`s playing. It leaves the student behind the ones who are placed on the spot and have to overcome nervousness, fear of everything going wrong and have more pressure imposed upon them to improve.
I think timing suffers the most in isolation because once the metronome is switched off it goes haywire. I make semiquavers into quavers at random without realizing it until I switch the metronome on again and the piece sounds slightly different. The teacher or listener would have spotted that straight away.
The one thing I agree with is that a good teacher will spot things, and so will a musician who has an ear.  Their honest observation alone will help, and good guidance if it's needed helps even more.  In my experience playing for people, Joe Average gets carried away by the emotion of the music, or sometimes simply because it's their favourite piece and most of them can't hear these things.

I've stressed the "good" part in teacher because if either a) you're not given that kind of feedback, or b) you're not given solutions on how to fix things (in which case you're left with being helpless about what you're doing wrong, knowing you're doing it wrong) that's no good, is it?  When I was taking lessons first time round, I had an offspring several years ahead of me and in an arts school who did the feedback part.  Once early on when I was only a few months in he told me I was not in tune, so I worked on being in tune.  My then-teacher commented on how my tuning had suddenly improved.  It wouldn't have, had it not been for my family member's feedback.

For the problem you've stated - it going haywire once the metronome is switched off - there are specific practice strategies you could be given by a decent teacher (I'm thinking of the ones I was taught), and it also goes back to your description of the poor teaching you got every time you did try for lessons.  I am still a student, and timing is a thing we've worked with and on a lot.  I learned not to play with the metronome on - ever - but was given ways of working on this in other ways.
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keypeg
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« Reply #56 on: August 25, 2017, 10:16:59 AM »

Since the topic of playing for others won't go away - some takes which are in no way meant to be helpful or anything else.

- I know a couple of people who play superbly and have performance degrees who do not like to perform.  They will sometimes play for friends, and since they opted for teaching, they play for their students by way of demonstration.  They do not "need" to perform in order to hone their skills, because those skills are already there in droves.  They experienced it and found it was not their cup of tea, so why do it?

- Some people I know were pushed into performance (recitals etc.) while not properly prepared or guided by insensitive teachers, and were traumatized by the experience.  They do enjoy playing for themselves, and maybe for a family member or friend (some of them).  If they enjoy that, why not?   This suggests the importance of careful handling by teachers of how they set up performance for their students, so that it becomes a positive experience.  Probably both in terms as before and during, as well as afterward (a kind of debriefing maybe? Smiley )

- Personally, I discovered that I like playing in front of others, and I also like playing for myself.  Practising, for me, is discovery and an adventure, and this is a very private affair except when I work with my teacher.  In fact, I enjoy this part the most.  I live in a place with thin walls, and there is a courtyard that has amazing sound-amplifying acoustics if you stand near certain windows.  On occasion I've stood with one of my "mobile" instruments and played there, because the effect is enjoyable.  Some neighbours have told me they come out to listen.  When I have played for myself, because I was stressed, across-wall neighbours told me how it calmed them down.  There is an important lesson: When I play for myself, immersed in the music, the playing affects listeners.  But if you play to impress the listener so that your attention is on them, it affects them less. That is my personal experience.

In regards to doing music with others, the only instrument I was good enough, was voice. I joined several choirs one after the other for the purpose of gaining experience in doing music with others.  The first one seemed to see choir as "social occasions", and this was not enjoyable.  The second one had a new choirmaster who was an instrumentalist but decided to use the choir as guinea pigs for outdated technique (abandoned because of the harm it caused, I found out).  I then joined a choir where you had to audition and be able to read, though the audition checked my ability to imitate the piano, no reading.  I joined late, with the choir in their third week of rehearsal - knew the music inside out, having studied and prepared (practised) - and there we were, "learning" the parts 4-8 beats at a time, copying the accompanist playing the notes over and over and over and over and over.  I am not professionally trained technique-wise to be able to hold my own in a professional group, but these rehearsals made me want to climb walls. I don't fit in anywhere, and that is when I left off with the idea of joining anyone anywhere.  I think that maybe even though singing is my greatest strength, I think like an instrumentalist.

I.e. there are reasons why a person might decide to stay solo in what they are doing.
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lostinidlewonder
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« Reply #57 on: August 25, 2017, 11:47:41 AM »

That's a little harsh.  I think playing for others is an enhancement but we have to consider the instrument.

So if we say that solitary piano is not a worthy endeavor, then neither is piano teaching, and I suspect you don't want to go there!  
I am not arguing the huge benefits for playing for yourself that is nothing to debate but to then go ahead and say you will never play for anyone else is I feel just as I described it, a beautiful piece of art thrown into fire so no one can see it, who then appreciates such a work but only the artist themselves and perhaps God if they believe?

To never play for someone else is just a great shame to the art, it is like being secretive, being somewhat ashamed of the art. If you love the art you would want to share it with others in some form I would hope. This of course is not to say everyone does this, there are outcasts who want nothing to do with others but their thinking is just too alien for my thinking.

I believe that to play COMPLETELY for oneself and NEVER for someone else is rather selfish.

Sometimes the act of creating is fulfilling and everyone should be allowed to enjoy their work anyway they want to. It is human to want to share and connect with others, but some of us are born less human;)
Of course it is, however I am arguing taking it to a level where you NEVER share it with anyone else is just a big shame. Imagine creating beautiful art only to destroy it so only you enjoy it, our lifespan is very short, we all soon will be dead and so will everything you create, why not share it for the short time you do have here? It seems selfish to keep it all to yourself even though you can get a lot of satisfaction yourself. Music is healing, it can bring back lovely memories in others, I've played piano for strangers and they have tears since it reminded them of a passed loved one who loved the piece, that kind of stuff is powerful and wonderful to share.
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dogperson
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« Reply #58 on: August 25, 2017, 12:11:17 PM »

LIW
You're right about playing for others in my opinion.   I am an adult amateur, intermediate level, but when I travel for work I take all the musical scores that I can remotely play to play them on  hotel pianos.  It is one of the few opportunities I have to play for others, other than occasionally for church. I have been told more than once how much hearing one of the pieces  meant to the casual listener, because it is something that was played by their mother. 

Music gives others great joy, and in return we receive the  joy of sharing the  music we love. This interaction should not be dismissed nor  taken lightly. 
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vaniii
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« Reply #59 on: August 25, 2017, 12:19:55 PM »

...
I believe that to play COMPLETELY for oneself and NEVER for someone else is rather selfish.
...

To add a qualifier to this, which I also believe.

You never truly play for yourself.

If one is, then one should sit and listen to a preferred performance, then proceed to mime to it in one's head.

The mere fact that one touches an instrument, thus making the sound tangle in reality, means it is external from oneself, and so listened to like another person.

The adage, "don't ever give 'yourself' a bad performance" is so completely and utterly relevant.

Elaborating on this would mean, even if you are playing alone in a room, you are listening, so don't offend your own ears, not even considering another's ears.

If one says, they play for oneself, it immediately speaks volumes on any follies and/or misgivings in regards to that person's music making.

Simply because they are not listening tyo themself.
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outin
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« Reply #60 on: August 25, 2017, 12:22:13 PM »

It seems selfish to keep it all to yourself even though you can get a lot of satisfaction yourself. Music is healing, it can bring back lovely memories in others, I've played piano for strangers and they have tears since it reminded them of a passed loved one who loved the piece, that kind of stuff is powerful and wonderful to share.

Of course it is selfish. And I am fine with being selfish. It is MY thing. I have made a career from helping others and I need something selfish to balance that. I am not practicing music to bring joy to others or to heal them, only myself. For me music is like water, cannot live without it in some form or another...

I do sing for others if they ask, but even that simply because I like to sing and it really is no effort Smiley
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timothy42b
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« Reply #61 on: August 25, 2017, 12:25:20 PM »


Out of curiosity as far as your trombone is concerned and as you also mention "The flight of the bamble bee", are you able to play the melody (the buzzing??) with the trombone or can`t the valves respond fast enough?......



I cannot.  The instrument has some technical limitations - the slide has to move a couple of feet, rather than the half inch that a trumpet player must press valves, and I have some technical limitations, not being a pro.  Even the pros sound less than convincing playing that piece on trombone though.  An exception might be Urbie Green, who actually recorded it for the old Green Hornet TV show (long before your time, starred Bruce Lee as Kato, the chauffeur body guard.)  
Here's Urbie:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfUBnIm-zdo
Even the awesome Urbie has to make some compromises playing at that speed, you can hear he backs way off volume and projection.

For an example of my technical playing, try this:
https://app.box.com/s/0ikjt7m6c7jarf0a4bdzepfy42dp3rm0



That's Rolling Thunder, a standard Fillmore circus march played by many community bands.  You can hear the amateur quality of the band, also of me playing the trombone part.  That's 3 years ago and I'm better now, still making progress in my mid 60s.  
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Tim
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« Reply #62 on: August 25, 2017, 12:54:40 PM »



- I know a couple of people who play superbly and have performance degrees who do not like to perform.  They will sometimes play for friends, and since they opted for teaching, they play for their students by way of demonstration.  They do not "need" to perform in order to hone their skills, because those skills are already there in droves.  They experienced it and found it was not their cup of tea, so why do it?
 

Their solo skills are there.  Ensemble playing requires an additional set.  You can't learn those without doing it.  There are lots of really skilled performance majors on every instrument who never fit in with a section in an orchestra, for example, and will never win one of those jobs.  Those skills are not important to the people you mention and I'm not criticizing them, just adding something.  For that matter, they are training their students to be soloists rather than ensemble players.  For most of us on other instruments, our ensemble skills are emphasized from the beginning. 

Quote
- Some people I know were pushed into performance (recitals etc.) while not properly prepared or guided by insensitive teachers, and were traumatized by the experience. 

Yes.  Horrible.  I doubt I would ever encourage someone to do recitals if they didn't perceive reward from it.  It's such an artificial performance setting, with so much pressure, like an exam designed to find out what you do wrong. 


Quote
In regards to doing music with others, the only instrument I was good enough, was voice.I am not professionally trained technique-wise to be able to hold my own in a professional group, but these rehearsals made me want to climb walls. I don't fit in anywhere, and that is when I left off with the idea of joining anyone anywhere.

Yes.  You've hit on one of the biggest problems.  The amateur groups that will take me have some flaws that drive me nuts.  If you have high standards you don't want to be part of a poor group, but often that's all there is available. 
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Tim
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« Reply #63 on: August 25, 2017, 02:08:03 PM »

Of course it is selfish. And I am fine with being selfish. It is MY thing. I have made a career from helping others and I need something selfish to balance that. I am not practicing music to bring joy to others or to heal them, only myself. For me music is like water, cannot live without it in some form or another...
I do sing for others if they ask, but even that simply because I like to sing and it really is no effort Smiley

-So you play piano for yourself??? I bet you are even reading books for yourself and not for others you selfish little bastard!  Grin
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cardeno
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« Reply #64 on: August 25, 2017, 02:14:16 PM »

I                  I live in a place with thin walls, and there is a courtyard that has amazing sound-amplifying acoustics if you stand near certain windows.  On occasion I've stood with one of my "mobile" instruments and played there, because the effect is enjoyable.  Some neighbours have told me they come out to listen.

I.e. there are reasons why a person might decide to stay solo in what they are doing.

  As you say not only thin walls but also adjoining lounges which make even normal playing annoying to neighbours if one doesn`t play at reasonable times and not for too long.

When I`m ready to move again, may be next year, it`ll be up North, County Durham or Sunderland where semis and bungalows are very reasonable and I`ll make sure we don`t have side by side lounges but lounge to stairs so that there will be a buffer between the lounges. I want to play loud and more or less any time I feel like.
Besides I`m good at DIY and I`m going to insulate the lounge wall as well, the cost is reasonable if one can do it. 2"x1" battens, insulation wool and plaster board. Pity I`m better at that than playing!!!!

You can have a permanent choir at home if you wish, I have one. It is in the form of a "Yamaha" grand piano DGX-505, which I hate because it`s electronic, I only use my acoustic when I learn a piece properly,  it has 495 different sounds. I bought it years ago to practice quietly and also for the harpsichord, and organ facilities due to the fact I like choral works mainly Bach, Purcell, Vivaldi etc.

The added bonus is that it has choir, air choir, vocal ensemble and vox humana. I also have the "Gold" essential  collection books of transcriptions of JS Bach and Vivaldi, so I can play parts of St. Mathew`s and John`s passions and some cantatas at the organ or just choir, at FULL Volume!!. The choir doesn`t say words only, "aaaaahhhh, AAAAAHHHHH
aaaahhhhhs", but it sounds like a choir in my house to me if the other choice is nothing at all and it is cheaper than inviting 100 people to stay at yours........
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cardeno
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« Reply #65 on: August 25, 2017, 02:22:27 PM »

-So you play piano for yourself??? I bet you are even reading books for yourself and not for others you selfish little bastard!  Grin

Not need to be rude "stevensk", if you think activities should be shared, why don`t we share a game then?. I lift my piano with a block and tackle and drop it on your head and then you do it to me, OK???.......
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lostinidlewonder
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« Reply #66 on: August 25, 2017, 02:22:34 PM »

Of course it is selfish. And I am fine with being selfish. It is MY thing. I have made a career from helping others and I need something selfish to balance that. I am not practicing music to bring joy to others or to heal them, only myself. For me music is like water, cannot live without it in some form or another...

I do sing for others if they ask, but even that simply because I like to sing and it really is no effort Smiley
Thats fine no one is telling you that you can't do that, if you are ok with being selfish then its up to you right? I think its a huge waste.
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« Reply #67 on: August 25, 2017, 02:25:30 PM »

-So you play piano for yourself??? I bet you are even reading books for yourself and not for others you selfish little bastard!  Grin
Yep Wink
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lostinidlewonder
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« Reply #68 on: August 25, 2017, 02:26:01 PM »

I am an adult amateur, intermediate level, but when I travel for work I take all the musical scores that I can remotely play to play them on  hotel pianos.  It is one of the few opportunities I have to play for others, other than occasionally for church. I have been told more than once how much hearing one of the pieces  meant to the casual listener, because it is something that was played by their mother. 

Music gives others great joy, and in return we receive the  joy of sharing the  music we love. This interaction should not be dismissed nor  taken lightly. 
Thats great dogperson that you share music with others. I think some people get so caught up over perfection or what top class concert pianists output that they are too scared to play for others, that is just ridiculousness imho. As a teacher I hear all sorts of quality of piano playing and they all bring me joy, I dont think it would be possible to teach if it didn't, but perfection really isn't that important for me when enjoying someone playing the piano. Of course I go along on the musical journey of development with my students so hearing them improve over time brings me furthermore joy. It is great to see them share the playing experience with others, that is what music is all about. If it is not shared it will die, people will lose interest.
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« Reply #69 on: August 25, 2017, 02:37:07 PM »

@LIW:
When I first started playing in hotel lobbies, I worried that I 'was not good enough' or 'not note-perfect enough'.  But I convinced myself to give it a go: 
- It is free
- It is not a captive audience:  they can keep walking if they want.
- I desperately missed playing!

Therefore, I have no anxiety about playing in this environment-- and realize how much my efforts to share music have meant to others... nevermind that I am not Horowitz.   When a bell staff asks me to play more Chopin, I know we have shared a love of music. 

Too bad I don't have the same lack of anxiety playing for other musicians; but I am working on it!
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« Reply #70 on: August 25, 2017, 02:57:04 PM »

It is in the form of a "Yamaha" grand piano DGX-505, which I hate because it`s electronic, I only use my acoustic when I learn a piece properly,  it has 495 different sounds.

Mine has a button called fantasy.

I think it's broken though, I pressed it and nothing..................................
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Tim
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« Reply #71 on: August 25, 2017, 03:46:47 PM »

If one says, they play for oneself, it immediately speaks volumes on any follies and/or misgivings in regards to that person's music making.

Simply because they are not listening tyo themself.
You are reacting to words.  Words are clumsy symbols that people wield in an attempt to express things which may not be expressible or come across as they intend.  It is possible that at least some who say they play for themselves are actually doing what you describe as desirable.  Smiley
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keypeg
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« Reply #72 on: August 25, 2017, 03:51:48 PM »

Their solo skills are there.  Ensemble playing requires an additional set.  You can't learn those without doing it. 
Actually one of the people I'm thinking of plays a brass instrument, so no, that is absolutely incorrect.
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keypeg
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« Reply #73 on: August 25, 2017, 04:01:50 PM »

@Keypeg, I simply love you and you analytical brain.

My words were in no way meant to be hurtful; but a generalist statement, question, allowing for inclusivity. When addressing someone specifically I will quote them or use '@'.

I try to remain as objective and broad reaching as I can do as not to exclude anyone.

Also, please remember many peruse these forums retroactively, to help them we must post in away that will impart knowledge to them years after the fact.
Vanii, I just saw your post now.  Thanks.
Btw, I know that I come across as analytical, but I am actually quite emotional and passionate about music.
When you talk about posterity reading these threads, I am very aware of this and try to craft my posts to that end as well.  We should first talk about words.  In a written conversation we are responding to words somebody wrote, and what we think that person meant, and we then write our response in more words, which then also gets understood wrong.

I asked in my response before, might it be that you were thinking mostly of "emoting"?
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« Reply #74 on: August 25, 2017, 07:01:01 PM »

Actually one of the people I'm thinking of plays a brass instrument, so no, that is absolutely incorrect.
I've taught more or less all of the orchestral instruments.  There's not one that comes with it's own ensemble skills!
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« Reply #75 on: August 25, 2017, 07:18:08 PM »

Mine has a button called fantasy.

I think it's broken though, I pressed it and nothing..................................

What do you mean by that Timothy, don`t you believe my Yamaha 505 electronic piano has 595 different sounds?, well it has, even engine ignition, door creaking, helicopter. submarine, machine gun etc.,sounds I`M NOT kidding you!!!

I played 1st movement of The Moon Light sonata with the "explosion" sounds and even Beethoven would have heard it, every note is an explosion at different pitch, very difficult to play "p" "pp" or "ppp" though. I played a bit of Beethoven`s "Les Adieux" sonata with the train sound and it is very suitable as it gives it a sense of farewell with the different pitches of the train on the track. Chopin`s Funeral March sounds creepy with the "screams" sounds, like of people dying in pain, every note is a scream, at different pitch.

From the Water music I played it first with the Fireworks sound and then with the submarine sound, YES submarine,  IT IS NOT A LIE, there is a submarine sound although without sonar, I suppose it had not been invented in those days

From Bach`s cantata 208 I played "Sheep may safely graze", with the machine gun sound, a bit monotonous and at the end all the sheep were dead....sorry.......from cantata 140 I played "Sleepers, Wake!!. with the telephone ringing sound, and I fell sleep!!!!. From ST. Matthew`s Passion I played "In Tears of Grief" with the Engine ignition sound to remind me when my car doesn`t start.,

And still about 480 to go.....ask me for the number of any sound and I`ll tell you about it if you don`t believe me.........For "Non Believers" there is the sound of punches on the head too.............

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keypeg
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« Reply #76 on: August 25, 2017, 07:45:47 PM »

I've taught more or less all of the orchestral instruments.  There's not one that comes with it's own ensemble skills!
I thought I had made it clear that I was talking about full musicians, and not students.  You can assume experience as well as skills in group playing, whether that includes ensemble, orchestra, band - some or all of these.  Actually you could pretty well assume that, instead of assuming the opposite, if the ability to play in a group is there (which was the idea raised by Tim that I was responding to).
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keypeg
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« Reply #77 on: August 25, 2017, 07:48:28 PM »

Cardeno - I'm lost.  You started this thread about quality of teachers and experience with teachers, and now you're talking about the sound effects of your dp?  It's not that it's improbable.  I had an instrument once that did "traffic sounds" and since there was a short circuit it would switch modes in the middle of a piece.  But how does that relate to the topic?  I thought you were serious about it.  Or was this just a vent, and now the venting is over?
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cardeno
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« Reply #78 on: August 25, 2017, 08:32:25 PM »

  I thought you were serious about it.  Or was this just a vent, and now the venting is over?

Sorry keypeg, it wasn`t a vent, just explaining the sounds of my dp  to Timothy, I think he said it was "fantasy".

Of course I`m serious about it and I now have a good idea of how a good teacher should be. He/she should be a better teacher than a good pianist. Rather than teaching how to PLAY the piano, he/she should teach  how TO STUDY the piano.

I`m still stuck in big skips, left hand of Chopin and Schubert, and have been for years because I don`t know how to do it and have never read about it. Do you know of any book that explains it?. Please don`t ask me to go to a "good teacher", I`ll scrrreeeaammmmm.......I only found bits and pieces about the nuts and bolts of playing in the first pages of a few books of scores. Same about quick runs, cadenzas, etc., although I found how to do these latter ones it in a recent book of Scarlatti sonatas

 I trained myself to never ever look at the keyboard and I don`t but I think that because I`m mature....ishhhh, more "ishhhh than less" I don`t think I`ll ever develop the muscle memory or whatever it is that those young people have, Oh, how I envy them!!!, if I had their technique I could make Chopin cry!!!!.
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hardy_practice
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« Reply #79 on: August 25, 2017, 08:59:00 PM »

The attached simple diagram is how it is not and is done.  In A the hand/wrist goes up on the bass note, moves sideways, and goes down on the chord.  In B the wrist goes up (hand hanging from it) simultaniously with the arm moving to the chord - two actions at once, then drops.


* wrist.jpg (8.73 KB, 552x267 - viewed 7 times.)
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« Reply #80 on: August 25, 2017, 09:45:55 PM »

I'll hire you to be my teacher, Hardy. 
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« Reply #81 on: August 25, 2017, 10:12:39 PM »

I'm (semi) retired.
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« Reply #82 on: August 25, 2017, 11:01:32 PM »

I asked in my response before, might it be that you were thinking mostly of "emoting"?

Most definitely.

A person sitting in a room reading a book, cannot help laughing when they read a humorous passage.  They cannot help covering there eyes at the scary part of a film, through fear.  They also cannot help frission or tears when a particular sound being played moves them.

These are all emotions, but the person experiencing them is not the same person who is perhaps creating them for another.

If we might be a tad philosophical for a moment.

The person performing, and the person experiencing the performance are always separate entities, even if they are the same person.

It is dependent on perspective.  A performer who is not concentrating on the performance they are making, will always give a sub par performance.  A listener who is not listening will almost certainly miss everything they should be listening to.

Even if you are playing for yourself in an empty room, you need to be performing for yourself; if only because you are listening.

Hense what I say "You should be playing for whoever is listening ..." including yourself.  To say you are only playing for yourself is self-indulgent, ergo selfish.  As children are literally persons who have not learned to be selfless, and responsible, please see my earlier comment about tantrums.
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timothy42b
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« Reply #83 on: August 26, 2017, 02:01:23 AM »

Sorry keypeg, it wasn`t a vent, just explaining the sounds of my dp  to Timothy, I think he said it was "fantasy".


Sigh.

I guess I should know better than to attempt humor here.

Yes, I know DPs have lots of voices.  Even my older one does.

Most of them also have a voice called "fantasy."  It is kind of an ethereal newagey sound. 

What I was riffing on was the expectation that when I pressed that button, some kind of fantasy might be fulfilled. 
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« Reply #84 on: August 26, 2017, 02:32:12 AM »

post went weird in formatting.  will try later.
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outin
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« Reply #85 on: August 26, 2017, 03:12:40 AM »

To be honest, I doubt altruism is what drives most performers...But keep on philosophing, folks Wink
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« Reply #86 on: August 26, 2017, 04:40:42 AM »

To be honest, I doubt altruism is what drives most performers...But keep on philosophing, folks Wink


I would not describe it is as altruistic, because I think that implies selflessness.  My perception  is more of symbiosis: as a performer, you share and therefore  the listener as well as the performer gain.
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keypeg
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« Reply #87 on: August 26, 2017, 06:24:12 AM »

Vanii, thanks for replying.  You know, our conversation can quickly go off-kilter because this side topic started with something that Cardeno said, and it all depends on what he meant by it.  In only went back now to look at the original comment and it was here:
Quote from: C Forget about colleges and Universities I only play for myself, have no interest at all in playing for others.....[/quote
It was in the context of going to a rather high level place.  I do not see "play for myself" to have the literal meaning that I think you are ascribing to it.  When it's in the context of universities, many of us see that as being for people planning to make it a profession and so must reach a high level.  A person might say casually that they play "for themselves" even if they play for friends or family - i.e. not professionally.

I disagreed with the college/university idea for the reasons I already outlined.  If you have a background where it is likely that many foundational things are missing or wrong (and that seems likely - I'm overcoming exactly that myself) then a university professor who polishes trained students is not the person to see.

Meanwhile your explanation confirms that you are talking about something different than someone who is not aiming to become a professional performer.

Quote
Even if you are playing for yourself in an empty room, you need to be performing for yourself; if only because you are listening.
With this I am moving into another subject area, and leaving behind wherever Cardeno may be.  This now goes into my own attitudes.

If am playing BY myself in an empty room - which I do most of the time - most of the time I am practising and learning.  I don't do that much "playing".  Listening is automatically part of that.

Quote
please see my earlier comment about tantrums.
This part still bothers me, and I did write about it before.  A tantrum can have one of two natures: a) a person in a weak, dependent position tries to force someone who has the means he lacks to do what he wants by deliberately making an unpleasant scene, b) a person is overwhelmed by negative emotions which he cannot handle.  I don't like the analogy at all.

In regards to small children especially: they are excellent models for learners.  A small child perseveres with his goals, growing his skills inch by inch in small bytes many times during the day, every day, and with absolute focus.  THIS is something for us to emulate - and certainly not to look down on.
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« Reply #88 on: August 26, 2017, 09:34:48 AM »

The attached simple diagram is how it is not and is done.  In A the hand/wrist goes up on the bass note, moves sideways, and goes down on the chord.  In B the wrist goes up (hand hanging from it) simultaniously with the arm moving to the chord - two actions at once, then drops.

Thank you very much "hardy-practice". I`ve never heard or was told about that diagram, an indictment of teachers. I had to device my own way by striking the bass note with the little finger, my thumb then falls on the note an octave higher and from there I guess the notes to be struck, which  are at least an octave nearer than before. However this action limits speed. I just can`t look at the keyboard at all or I lose the reading., and forget about memorizing, what`s memory?.........by the way.........

The obvious question is, "Why is this guy learning the piano?, why doesn`t he take up tambourine playing?", question which I ask myself every time I sit at the piano..............
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« Reply #89 on: August 26, 2017, 10:30:44 AM »

Vanii, thanks for replying.  You know, our conversation can quickly go off-kilter because this side topic started with something that Cardeno said, and it all depends on what he meant by it. .

If am playing BY myself in an empty room - which I do most of the time - most of the time I am practising and learning.  I don't do that much "playing".  Listening is automatically part of that.
This part still bothers me, and I did write about it before.  A tantrum can have one of two natures: a) a person in a weak, dependent position tries to force someone who has the means he lacks to do what he wants by deliberately making an unpleasant scene, b) a person is overwhelmed by negative emotions which he cannot handle.  I don't like the analogy at all.

In regards to small children especially: they are excellent models for learners.  A small child perseveres with his goals, growing his skills inch by inch in small bytes many times during the day, every day, and with absolute focus.  THIS is something for us to emulate - and certainly not to look down on.

So now it is my fault then because you don`t understand what I say???.........just ask....
"A dictionary, a dictionary, my piano for a dictionary!!!!". I need one to read, what is going on here, "Frisson, symbioses, ethereal newagey, ....... just read this in the last posts, can`t understand a word. What happened to proper English?, the English of Alf Gardnett?Huh...........

I identify myself with you "keypeg", I also play by myself in an empty room (except for the two cats who love walking on the keyboard for a love up), why does it bother you?.......if you enjoy it go along with it. As far as the tantrums is concerned are you applying them to yourself?, what is the connection between them and piano playing, now I don`t understand you, although I suspect you might be going through a bad patch at the moment......looking after 100 children throwing tantrums at the same time!!...

I agree about the children learning with absolute focus, but they do it automatically. I you read "The Brain" or "Incognito", or watched the 6 part series, "The Brain" by David Eagleman (a neuro scientist), you`ll find that humans are born with very little hard wiring (unlike animals) and a lot of blank brain to absorb influences from the environment, that is why we can live in any part of the world whereas animals are nearly fully hardwired to the environment they need to survive, and they are lost and die outside that environment. A lion in the Antartic won`t survive, a polar bear does.

Just the process of seeing take years for a baby to learn, seeing has to be learned otherwise you can`t interpret the visual sensation via the eyes. When they are in the play pen just managing to throw a ball out, they are learning what happens when that blob of light they see moves downward. To them it is not a ball yet, they see a ball but don`t know what it is, that has to be learned by experimentation.

Now back to practice skips with my new diagram that "hardy-practice" kindly sent me.............although it is a long weekend......I`ll just walk to Tesco for a bottle of wine...........for medicinal purpose............of course...........

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« Reply #90 on: August 26, 2017, 12:07:15 PM »

I think a couple of different concepts might get mingled together in this discussion that, while it's gone a long way from the original question, like wkmt discussions is interesting in its own right.

I think it is true that piano is taught and practiced largely as a solitary self improvement activity, and this is in contrast to many instruments which could be done way, but usually are not. 

At the same time the measurement for whether you're executing the expression that should be there is whether it could be heard by another person, who is never expected to exist.  So that's a little bit of a contradiction from the start.

Also, we force "recitals" because people should have "performance opportunity."  But we don't prepare people for a less stressful and more rewarding performance venue (nor do I know how we would do that on piano.) 

vanii (I think) suggested we are both player and listener, and it is hard to do either role fully while doing the other.  If that's what he meant, I agree.  There seems to be a protective brain mechanism that makes it hard to hear our mistakes, but also gets in the way of the feedback loop that helps us improve.  One of my theories is that the prodigies learn to hear themselves faster, and that drives all their improvement. 
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« Reply #91 on: August 26, 2017, 01:49:37 PM »

A forgotten experience popped into my head this morning on waking.  Food for thought:

Time: Early into my first ever lessons, and a few years before I asked to be taught any of the skills attached to music including theory.  Whatever I did was on the instinctive lesson.

So one day I was feeling sad about past struggles in life and things not reached, and was at the little keyboard I'd been given.  Some arpeggiated thing of broken chords emerged and there was probably a whisp of a melody in the top notes and probably a hidden progression.  I memorized it because it expressed what I felt.  Now comes the "playing for others" and also the "listening" part:

- First I played it for a non-musician friend.  I didn't tell her what thoughts or feelings I had had.  This friend got a lump in her throat and said she was close to crying.  Well, it seemed that the feelings that had elicited the playing had come across.
- Then I played it for another non-musician friend.  She told me what it "was about".  There was a man listlessly kicking an empty can down an empty street with the rain drizzling down.  This is what she heard.
- Then I played it for a family member who was a more advanced music student.  He said "That's quite nice.  Where's the melody?"
- I played the recording for my violin teacher.  He got out his violin and said "Rewind and play it again."  He instantly played a beautiful haunting melody overtop my little "composition, which totally reflected the sad feelings that had prompted the music's invention in the first place.  I probably had a sensible chord progression to make it possible for him to do so.

There is a host of directions we can go with this.  The reaction of the first two people let me know that I was able to transmit my feelings and thoughts musically for an audience of at least lay listeners.  I had secretly dubbed it "disappointment" and the woman who saw someone aimlessly kicking a can down a street in the rain caught it 100%.  But the last two taught me something.  I had not known that I had created an accompaniment that can have a melody, and to the question "where's the melody" my violin teacher had provided that melody.  This immediately opened the door to a room that I had not known existed.  At this time I also know that I might have drawn key notes out of the existing broken chords by stressing those notes dynamically, stretching them etc.

What I found the most exciting at that time was the reaction of the last two people.  It told me there was a world I knew nothing about.  That puts you in the exciting world of the infant who sees the older people walking and talking and starts delving into what's behind it, so they can do it too.

Added Timothy, I only read your post above mine now.  This part actually fits into my story:
At the same time the measurement for whether you're executing the expression that should be there is whether it could be heard by another person, who is never expected to exist.  So that's a little bit of a contradiction from the start.
In my story, there is also the question of what the listener hears.  I am much more developed as a musician now than I was then.  When I listen to recordings where I played an instrument, there are weak and bumpy spots and uncontrolled things that stick out from a mile away, but I could not hear them and neither could my amateur listeners!  When you do get those skills and can apply them, then your listener will also be affected, the playing is even stronger (unless you fall into a mechanical perfectionism which has the opposite effect), but the listener won't be able to tell.  However, the trained ear of a musician will hear.
What the listener hears depends on what the listener CAN hear.

I have some thoughts on this whole process which I'll write separately.
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« Reply #92 on: August 26, 2017, 02:36:30 PM »

I want to address the "listening" part that has been raised, and I also want to bring this back into a teaching and learning context.

In the act of listening to ourselves play, there are elements such as knowing what to listen for, knowing how to listen, knowing what we are hearing, and knowing what to do about it.  We all come in as a mix of pre-existing raw abilities according to our makeup, potential in the raw, well a mix of stuff.

Hearing, as a student of music and for a musician, means being able to hear specific things, and also being able to produce them.  This is where my growth has been as a student over the last years.   For example, while I could count metronomically accurate, I had no sense of underlying pulse, that bigger thing, and I also could not hear it to correct it.  My teacher worked with me in various ways.  Sometimes when we listened to bits of a performance as part of the exercise, I literally could not hear what he was point out - he'd have to count along, tap along, and I'd work and work until it started to filter into my system.  Now I CAN hear this element.  I can listen for it in my own playing, and thus correct it.  I can aim for it.  I can hear "Something is off - what is it - ah yes, pulse - I know how to fix this."

There are many things like this.  Pitch, if you play that kind of instrument.  When I was a beginner, it was a family member who told me that my pitch on violin was approximate, so I started to check with external things - I didn't hear it before.  Even when I "listened", I was listening according to what I knew.  Another: when I returned to piano on my own, I recorded a lyrical and pretty passage, where at least one on-line teacher gushed at how musical it sounded.  "Do you know that quite a few of your notes are cutting out?" someone who knew something said.  There were serious technical issues to be overcome - but also I had not heard it.  No matter how intently or how often I listened, I had not learned to listen for this.

The musician's hearing and listening is specific.  As students we need to learn what to listen for; how to hear it; be able to judge what we are aiming for in the framework of these specific things; learn to hear these specifics in the playing of the masters, as well as judge what is going on rather than blind imitation.   We also have to learn how to produce those sounds we are aiming for, physically.  To just tell someone who is untrained , semi-trained, or wrongly "trained" that they must listen, and then perhaps cause embarrassment by likening their playing to the actions of a distraught desperate person (tantrum) is the wrong way to go.  Some people who play for themselves try and try and try - "listen" and "listen" - but have never learned any hows.  It goes in circles.

In this --- in the sense of the title of this thread --- we also get the "teachers" who say "Make it sound like I'm playing it." and then play something wondrous and magical.  But they have not given the tools - what to do specifically; what to aim for; how to produce it.  All it does is to create despair at the huge chasm between the student's and teacher's playing, with the student trying his heart out, thinking he "doesn't have what it takes", when he simply has not been given the tools.
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« Reply #93 on: August 26, 2017, 04:32:06 PM »


Very interesting indeed.

How I see it: There is a lot of difference between a professional musician who is still working for a living and an amateur one. The skill of the professional is to be able to convey the message of the music by being very good at using his instrument even if he doesn`t apply his emotions, feelings, etc. to it. He has to be good at it or else will lose his job or be demoted. Hence the hours and hours of practice or study to achieve his best. He has to be able to play a cheerful "Toreador" in Carmen even if he is grieving for the loss of a loved one at that time. That is his skill. Besides after playing the same piece hundreds of times it becomes routine, it loses emotion and feeling.

The casualty of this hard work is that he doesn`t enjoy that music like an amateur who doesn`t want to slog for hours and hours to play perfectly well for himself because he doesn`t care at all about the others who normally are not interested or can`t appreciate the music., so why to bother?. It is one`s hobby, not somebody else`s, no obligation at all to play for others unless one wants to.  Bach said it very well writing very few notations on his music, saying that any professional or amateurs WITH TASTE  should be able to play it for their delectation.

An amateur is free to learn average but enjoys it much more.  Every piece learned is an enormous achievement for being able to produce those sounds giving HIS/HER feelings to it, not somebody else`s feeling which are different to the player`s. Besides if you have a large audience no way you can satisfy the emotions of everyone, that is why the professional is and has to be able to bring out emotion and feeling out of his instrument according to the conductor`s instructions and that`s is not easy but if he can`t he`ll be out of a job. An amateur only has to satisfy one person, a professional everyone, that`s why they call us solitary souls, selfish.

I like to hear Baremboin with Beethoven`s sonatas but I heard him playing Bach in U-Tube recently and I didn`t like his romantic touches on it, same as if one hears Pavarotti or Placido Domingo singing Bach`s cantatas, terrible voices then, all that unnecessary vibrato, GO BACK to Italian opera you two!!!.

All this is rubbish, of course, but what the hell, it  is a long weekend, my cats have been fed, my bottle of wine is still half full, I till got time to get another one to remember Beethoven`s father to whom I have a very strong bond and I don`t know why, may be is our love for Brahms and Liszt..................HuhHuh,  miaow............
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cardeno
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« Reply #94 on: August 26, 2017, 04:35:46 PM »


Very interesting indeed.

How I see it: There is a lot of difference between a professional musician who is still working for a living and an amateur one. The skill of the professional is to be able to convey the message of the music by being very good at using his instrument even if he doesn`t apply his emotions, feelings, etc. to it. He has to be good at it or else will lose his job or be demoted. Hence the hours and hours of practice or study to achieve his best. He has to be able to play a cheerful "Toreador" in Carmen even if he is grieving for the loss of a loved one at that time. That is his skill. Besides after playing the same piece hundreds of times it becomes routine, it loses emotion and feeling.

The casualty of this hard work is that he doesn`t enjoy that music like an amateur who doesn`t want to slog for hours and hours to play perfectly well for himself because he doesn`t care at all about the others who normally are not interested or can`t appreciate the music., so why to bother?. It is one`s hobby, not somebody else`s, no obligation at all to play for others unless one wants to.  Bach said it very well writing very few notations on his music, saying that any professional or amateurs WITH TASTE  should be able to play it for their delectation.

An amateur is free to learn average but enjoys it much more.  Every piece learned is an enormous achievement for being able to produce those sounds giving HIS/HER feelings to it, not somebody else`s feeling which are different to the player`s. Besides if you have a large audience no way you can satisfy the emotions of everyone, that is why the professional is and has to be able to bring out emotion and feeling out of his instrument according to the conductor`s instructions and that`s is not easy but if he can`t he`ll be out of a job. An amateur only has to satisfy one person, a professional everyone, that`s why they call us solitary souls, selfish.

I like to hear Baremboin with Beethoven`s sonatas but I heard him playing Bach in U-Tube recently and I didn`t like his romantic touches on it, same as if one hears Pavarotti or Placido Domingo singing Bach`s cantatas, terrible voices then, all that unnecessary vibrato, GO BACK to Italian opera you two!!!.

All this is rubbish, of course, but what the hell, it  is a long weekend, my cats have been fed, my bottle of wine is still half full, I till got time to get another one to remember Beethoven`s father to whom I have a very strong bond and I don`t know why, may be is our love for Brahms and Liszt..................HuhHuh,  miaow............

How on earth was I able to quote my own message I don`t know, Beethoven`s father`s fault!!!

Help!!!, does the "quote" word have to be above or below the quotation??,  how do you answer a message without quotations???, it`s easier sending letters!!!
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« Reply #95 on: August 26, 2017, 05:54:40 PM »

Haha, you just got turned into a Smurf.  You'll see some deleted message of mine about a page up when I also turned blue.  Don't worry - what you wrote is still readable.
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« Reply #96 on: August 27, 2017, 11:51:12 AM »

@Cardeno - answering your "blue" post. Wink

The bulk of your post is about professional musicians and non-professional.  You point out a certain loss of freedom for the professional, because he has to satisfy to varying degrees the expectations placed on him including "standard interpretations", barring which he may start being excluded from performances. As a separate thing you cite the high standards of skill that this musician must display and maintain at all times.  Neither of these things are your cup of tea.  For these reasons you would not aim to become a professional musician, or train with that kind of aim.  I get that completely.

I don't know if the above has anything to do with music studies, lessons with teachers or learning through other sources - or if you were just explaining why you would never aspire to becoming a professional musician.

In my own case, I am using various resources including my main teacher because of the growth I want to have, and this has nothing to do with standard interpretations that might be expected of a professional musician, or the like.   I want to gain a deeper understanding of music and what makes up music, which in turn helps me gain a greater insight into anything I am playing.  Delving into the heart of music has motivated since before I knew the concept consciously.  This in turn leads to expressing that music, which is a very personal act.   It is not a thing imposed from outside.  But TO do so, I am very limited if I don't have some kind of guidance.  I can only hear what I am capable of hearing at this time, and do what I am capable of doing --- having been an autodidact for decades, that saturation point was reached long ago.  As soon as I get new fodder for the grist mill; as soon as that capacity is stretched, then suddenly I'm off and running.  The music itself becomes richer and fuller, since I can perceive much more in it, and get much more out of it.

What I have described might very well put me on a growth path that is similar in some ways to some professional (future) musicians --- but it is not for the kinds of goals you have put forth.

One thing I am not sure about is the purpose of your thread.  Was there a purpose at all, or was it just for the sake of venting?
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« Reply #97 on: August 27, 2017, 02:21:05 PM »

@Cardeno - answering your "blue" post. Wink



 - or if you were just explaining why you would never aspire to becoming a professional musician.

In my own case, I am using various resources including my main teacher because of the growth I want to have, and this has nothing to do with standard interpretations that might be expected of a professional musician, or the like.   I want to gain a deeper understanding of music and what makes up music, which in turn helps me gain a greater insight into anything I am playing.  Delving into the heart of music has motivated since before I knew the concept consciously.  This in turn leads to expressing that music, which is a very personal act.   It is not a thing imposed from outside.  But TO do so, I am very limited if I don't have some kind of guidance.  I can only hear what I am capable of hearing at this time, and do what I am capable of doing --- having been an autodidact for decades, that saturation point was reached long ago.  As soon as I get new fodder for the grist mill; as soon as that capacity is stretched, then suddenly I'm off and running.  The music itself becomes richer and fuller, since I can perceive much more in it, and get much more out of it.

What I have described might very well put me on a growth path that is similar in some ways to some professional (future) musicians --- but it is not for the kinds of goals you have put forth.

One thing I am not sure about is the purpose of your thread.  Was there a purpose at all, or was it just for the sake of venting?

Keypeg you asked me twice if I was venting. I don`t need to. I sorted myself out in all aspects of life long ago and I`m quite stable in what life throws at me and cope with it very well, I know how to by experience.

I`ve never aspired to become a professional musician because my background is not in music. I don`t think many children tell their parents one day "dad I want to become a trombone player". I regret my sister was the one chosen to have piano lessons, but she wasn`t interested at all, she was chosen because she was a girl. We had a piano at home and I couldn`t get enough of it, but only a handful of lessons. Besides I lacked talent, not to feel deeply when I heard some music, classic or baroque, but to play as a professional. I wasn`t interested either because I think the more you play the same piece the more it loses its appeal. I just play because I enjoy it.

I don`t know why you have to learn to appreciate music, it should be a natural thing, same as when you eat something, either you like or not, or in between. I can spot a bit of music I like hearing it 1st time. Usually slower movements. I don`t waste time with many movements of sonatas, partitas, suites, etc. I pick the ones I feel they are enthralling and attract me. If I was a professional it would be very monotonous  learning all the others. Very often composers knew their limitations for the unsaciable appetite people have for catching tunes and so they had to fill the movements with less attractive tunes which shows the skills of the player, same as opera, a few pretty arias (the filling) and the rest (the bread).

I don`t want to get into the realm of the snobs, had enough of them, the ones who can talk for hours about the beauty of a piece, usually modern, which to me sounds like a racket. Sometimes even Syd Vicious sounded better. Just listen to a modern highly appreciated racket by the "elite" and compare it with the depth of some arias of Bach`s Passions or cantatas, do you notice any difference without studying music at all?, if you don`t you miss a lot in life.

You say "the music becomes richer and fuller since you can perceive more ot it...." the music hasn`t changed at all it is you that feels different from the time before and feel the music more or less intensively.

I have to go now because I`ve been all night in that Smurfy blue post of mine above and I was very squashed in it, need to stretch my legs,I shouted at the management for help but being Sunday only the security guard was in the site and he got me out of the blue posting. I had a look around and it seems to me I was in Sweden and not in the UK judging by the Ikea furniture and half eaten herrings and pickles. The photos of some of the women!!!!, wow!!!!! those gorgeous blondes........very tempting......... a blond or Bach?Huh? AAAAAHHHHH, can`t choose, stop torturing meeeeeeeeee!!!!!!
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keypeg
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« Reply #98 on: August 27, 2017, 07:22:47 PM »

Cardeno, when I asked you whether you were venting, I was asking you what your purpose was, in other words, what we are aiming for here as we write.  As you probably got from my first posts, I get it about the experiences you had, and that receiving good teaching isn't at all a given - and you probably caught that I had my own experiences.  I also found that iffiness in teaching leaves us with the results of that, and later I found some solutions.  I didn't know whether you were interested in any of those, in insights in that respect - i.e. that is an aim one can put toward this kind of topic.  In any case, I did offer my views i.e. what I learned, in case it was of interest.

At some point it did not seem you were interested in such things so I was checking whether you had any purpose, or simply wanted to state to teachers that you have experienced poor teaching.

I hope that clarifies this part.  We (some of us) respond according to what an OP's purpose is.

The second topic was about learning itself, when it is not for the purpose of having a career in music.  This comes up because the topic of learning (i.e. teaching and teachers) was on the table, as well as the topic of not aiming for a career in music.  It also came about because of the suggestion of college or university.  I disagreed, because with a kind of background where one can end up with holes in fundamentals, that gives the wrong teacher.  You had not responded to that suggestion with "No, I don't want to have any teacher of any kind ever." but simply, "No, I'm not seeking a career in music."  Therefore one might surmise that you might be open to the idea of a teacher, if a proper and suitable one might be out there, and I explored what that might look for.  The bottom line, however, is that the purpose of the thread itself is unclear.  You may not be looking for anything, or want to know about the existence of alternatives to your experiences at all.  In which case I've sort of been wasting my time. Wink

Quote
I don`t know why you have to learn to appreciate music, ....
I wouldn't know why anyone would have to learn to appreciate music either.  In fact, I've never quite understood the word "appreciate" in the name "music appreciation courses" - I figure the name is shorthand for "Stay away from such courses."  You seem to be writing about how one feels about music.  Such things don't interest me at all.
Quote
You say "the music becomes richer and fuller since you can perceive more ot it...." the music hasn`t changed at all it is you that feels different from the time before and feel the music more or less intensively..
Of course the music has not changed!  Why would it have.  And again, this has nothing to do with "feeling".  My father taught himself furniture making and became quite a craftsman.  I have a few things he made in my home.   When he walked into a room he might get a special pleasure out of a seemingly simple piece of furniture simply because he saw how it was made, and delighted in how that was done.  At the same time, if he saw something like that, it might also give him ideas for the next thing he wanted to make, using some of the ideas he had just seen.   That kind of thing. 

You keep talking about snobbery, and then you talk about things like fashionable turns (ornaments) in music.  It seems you got exposed to some rather ignorant attitudes, and that would turn me off too.  Actually the reason I ended up not knowing the names of composers, pieces etc. was as a reaction to that kind of thing in the household (took my decades to suss that out, when my ignorance on the matter of names came out).  We're in very different places.  My craftsman analogy is much closer to it.  There were a lot of things I figured out about music on my own and a lot I could do.  Unlike you, I didn't even get a single lesson until I was almost 50, and these to a great degree went in the wrong direction.  When it did go in the right direction, it was of a kind that allowed me to do more with what ** I ** perceived in the music, because I was missing skills.  I'm talking about something that is very simple.  Nothing with snobs, or standards, or ornaments, or tastes, or the elite.  This is where I'm at.

And with that I'm sure we're caught up.  I'm getting a feel for what you got exposed to, and this would be a real turn-off for me as well.
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keypeg
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« Reply #99 on: August 27, 2017, 07:26:20 PM »

@Vanii - I think I now understand what you've been trying to say.
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