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Re: My First Competition [Re: landorrano] #1313314
11/27/09 01:55 PM
11/27/09 01:55 PM
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CherryCoke Offline
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Originally Posted by landorrano
Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
Originally Posted by landorrano
It is your earlier post which astounded me, and still does.


It seems you are astounded that prizes are offered, that master classes can be earned, and that teachers of good students seek out these opportunities for them. I'm astounded that you think these incentives are odd or immoral.

I have patiently tried to explain how many organizations of music lovers try to spread a little community wealth around in order to help the music education of children in their communities. We're not talking just Juilliard bait kind of students. My son certainly isn't. He has no expectation of winning when he enters. These community groups offer small stipends to decent kids who work hard. Some of these events are sponsored by local universities to advertise their programs to area music students. This isn't such a heinous crime.


Patiently? Really!

As for master classes. At thirteen, or fifteen, to say to two kids, both of whom have worked hard, both of whom want to learn: you can come in, you can't, yes I find that idiotic. Brutal. I suppose that it is the same here, in my Pyrenneen country, but that is equally idiotic. You speak of decent kids who wark hard, but surely many of those excluded are decent and work hard. I am surprised you so energetically support this unfair treatment. I am surprised that you sweep away what xtraheat has to say, even after "burying the hatchet".


Your argument is of the "boo-hoo there are winners and losers" type. That's life, man. If a teenager can't handle being passed over for a prize or a masterclass, that teenager has some serious growing up to do. I'm not just talking piano here, I'm talking about life in general. This article comes to mind: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117702894815776259.html

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Re: My First Competition [Re: CherryCoke] #1313326
11/27/09 02:15 PM
11/27/09 02:15 PM
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Music competitions make sense in exactly the same way as sex competitions. What's actually good and actually important about both music and sex, can't be judged. So the judges (who in each case should be ashamed of themselves for pretending to truly be able to judge) are reduced to cataloging measurable but ultimately secondary things such as attractiveness of the participants, speed, smooth action, and loudness.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
Re: My First Competition [Re: david_a] #1313333
11/27/09 02:20 PM
11/27/09 02:20 PM
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Williamsburg, VA
Piano*Dad Offline
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I guess we will agree to disagree, and I will try to avoid using language like telling people they should be ashamed of themselves ... unless provoked by people who call me an idiot.

Re: My First Competition [Re: david_a] #1313334
11/27/09 02:24 PM
11/27/09 02:24 PM
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Horowitzian Offline
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Originally Posted by david_a
Music competitions make sense in exactly the same way as sex competitions. What's actually good and actually important about both music and sex, can't be judged. So the judges (who in each case should be ashamed of themselves for pretending to truly be able to judge) are reduced to cataloging measurable but ultimately secondary things such as attractiveness of the participants, speed, smooth action, and loudness.


Sex competitions??? To me that says a lot about where you find your entertainment. grin I'll stick with piano competitions when I want to watch competitions, thank you very much!


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
Re: My First Competition [Re: david_a] #1313335
11/27/09 02:25 PM
11/27/09 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by david_a
Music competitions make sense in exactly the same way as sex competitions. What's actually good and actually important about both music and sex, can't be judged. So the judges (who in each case should be ashamed of themselves for pretending to truly be able to judge) are reduced to cataloging measurable but ultimately secondary things such as attractiveness of the participants, speed, smooth action, and loudness.


What exactly is a sex competition? lol!

Re: My First Competition [Re: Horowitzian] #1313336
11/27/09 02:25 PM
11/27/09 02:25 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 294
Hacienda Heights, CA
Philip Lu Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Horowitzian
WHAT AN AWESOME THREAD!!!!!!


< insert comment >


"Nie Dam Sie!"
Re: My First Competition [Re: Philip Lu] #1313344
11/27/09 02:32 PM
11/27/09 02:32 PM
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Horowitzian Offline
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Well you do have to admit this thread sucks....in every sense of the word. grin


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
Re: My First Competition [Re: Horowitzian] #1313345
11/27/09 02:35 PM
11/27/09 02:35 PM
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Hacienda Heights, CA
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Originally Posted by Horowitzian
Well you do have to admit this thread sucks....in every sense of the word. grin


EVERY sense?


"Nie Dam Sie!"
Re: My First Competition [Re: Philip Lu] #1313348
11/27/09 02:35 PM
11/27/09 02:35 PM
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Horowitzian Offline
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Judging by the recent turn of conversation, yes. laugh


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
Re: My First Competition [Re: Horowitzian] #1313380
11/27/09 03:32 PM
11/27/09 03:32 PM
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david_a Offline
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Of course the crazy example of sex competitions is a sick joke and they don't really exist. (At least I sincerely hope not.) But the validity of the judging in those imaginary situations is precisely equal to that actually found in music competitions. Not because the judges are arrogant or bad - on the contrary, they are often some of the best musicians alive, placed in a ridiculous situation and having few alternatives. Only the relatively-inconsequential surface details of a musical performance are quantifiable for a judge. Students are thereby led to miss the point of performing, and persuaded instead to dedicate all their time to perfecting the surface details of their performances.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
Re: My First Competition [Re: david_a] #1313394
11/27/09 04:00 PM
11/27/09 04:00 PM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,163
Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
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Judging from the kind of ecstatic mugging one sees—more suitable for the bedroom than the piano bench—in certain performers, it's become possible to mistake a piano competition for a sex competition.

Steven

Re: My First Competition [Re: david_a] #1313396
11/27/09 04:05 PM
11/27/09 04:05 PM
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CherryCoke Offline
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Ok, let's run with this analogy of sex competitions: Are some people not better at sex than others? Sure, one partner might be of particular appeal to one "judge" more than another, but in the end, there are undoubtedly some people who will be better at it than others. Sure, it doesn't really "matter" to most of us, since most of us aren't trying to make a career out of sex; the same way competition is unnecessary for a pianist who only wishes to play for family and friends in the comfort of their own home.

I'm being silly, but I really have a point: it's not an "imaginary situation" as you describe it, for those of us who aspire to be professional musicians. If someday you want a career, it's important to be able to play, under pressure, in front of a critical audience. And you WILL be compared to others in your field, like it or not, officially or unofficially. This is not unique to the music industry, either. This plumber's work will be compared to that plumber's work, and if Plumber A doesn't measure up to Plumber B, Plumber A will not get the work. Who makes the best burger in town? Which neuro-surgeon is at the top of his her or her field? Competition is not a bad thing, my friends.

Re: My First Competition [Re: CherryCoke] #1313403
11/27/09 04:32 PM
11/27/09 04:32 PM
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Williamsburg, VA
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And lets also realize something else. We're not all talking about Van Cliburn level competitions here in which everybody is a spectacular talent. Most reasonable judges can tell the difference between a teen who has followed the score of his or her Beethoven sonata with good attention to nuance and detail and someone who has not, or between someone who has significant memory slips and someone who has it down well.

Re: My First Competition [Re: david_a] #1313407
11/27/09 04:39 PM
11/27/09 04:39 PM
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Posts: 24,756
New York City
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Originally Posted by david_a
Of course the crazy example of sex competitions is a sick joke and they don't really exist. (At least I sincerely hope not.) But the validity of the judging in those imaginary situations is precisely equal to that actually found in music competitions. Not because the judges are arrogant or bad - on the contrary, they are often some of the best musicians alive, placed in a ridiculous situation and having few alternatives. Only the relatively-inconsequential surface details of a musical performance are quantifiable for a judge. Students are thereby led to miss the point of performing, and persuaded instead to dedicate all their time to perfecting the surface details of their performances.


I wouldn't agree with most of the above. Since piano playing is an art, the judges don't always agree. For similar reasons most things about playing piano aren't precisely "quantifiable" like the 100 meter dash.

But I don't think many people would have difficulty deciding who was better between me and Yundi Li. I think judging a piano competition is similar except the differnces between the contestants is more subtle and less than me and Yundi.

Hopefully the judges have great musical experience ability, taste, and knowledge. (If they don't or are are motivated by non musical motives that's a different problem.)

To summarize, I think judging a piano performance is both subjective and objective.




Re: My First Competition [Re: CherryCoke] #1313504
11/27/09 08:02 PM
11/27/09 08:02 PM
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Posts: 2,572
France
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landorrano Offline
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France
Originally Posted by CherryCoke


Your argument is of the "boo-hoo there are winners and losers" type. That's life, man. If a teenager can't handle being passed over for a prize or a masterclass, that teenager has some serious growing up to do. I'm not just talking piano here, I'm talking about life in general. This article comes to mind: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117702894815776259.html


It isn't a question of whether a youngster can handle it or not. Your "boo-hoo" thing misses the point, man.

Re: My First Competition [Re: landorrano] #1313507
11/27/09 08:06 PM
11/27/09 08:06 PM
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Horowitzian Offline
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Then what is the question?


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
Re: My First Competition [Re: david_a] #1313508
11/27/09 08:06 PM
11/27/09 08:06 PM
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France
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landorrano Offline
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France
Originally Posted by david_a
Music competitions make sense in exactly the same way as sex competitions.


And the top 3 get to participate in a master class and get 3 to 5 k for their, ahem, education. (Of couse, some youngsters will sagely put this money in the bank.)

Re: My First Competition [Re: landorrano] #1313516
11/27/09 08:41 PM
11/27/09 08:41 PM
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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117702894815776259.html

Well, that is an interesting link. Perhaps someone needs to create the "you are special red piano" to match the "you are special red dinner plate" they mention in the article.
It would be fun to have someone throw confetti when I finally get some of my pieces right. Hope it doesn't affect the piano action.

Last edited by pianogal37; 11/27/09 08:43 PM.

Bach French Suites No. 6, Allemande and Gigue, Beethoven's Pathetique, Chopin Nocturne 72/1, Fantaisie-Impromptu, Debussy's First Arabesque, Takacs Toccata Op 54, Rachmaninoff Etude-Tableau 33/8.
Re: My First Competition [Re: pianogal37] #1313528
11/27/09 09:30 PM
11/27/09 09:30 PM
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Williamsburg, VA
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This discussion gives new meaning to the term sextet.

I guess something has to lighten things up ....

Re: My First Competition [Re: landorrano] #1313529
11/27/09 09:31 PM
11/27/09 09:31 PM
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SF bayarea
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landorrano,

There are always cuts, where winners get prizes and others get nothing in the real world. Either competitions, auditions, entrance exams..ect. Wait, actually losers get something precious, too IF you have positive attitudes.

Kids are more resilient than parents think. They should be, right? Do you realize that no one wins all the time? I recommend you watch Jon Nakamatsu's "welcome to losers club" speech on Youtube. It's such a great lecture for everyone.


David a,

It seems that you made a wise choice that you don't judge competitions since you don't know what to look for! In competitions, aren't judges supposed to check basics like tempo, phrasing, dynamic, balance between two hands, note accuracy, pedaling etc (besides artistic parts)?

What do you do if your students want to do competitions? Do you send them to another teacher? What if your child wants to do it? Do you discourage them just because YOU don't like it?

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