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Teaching Mozart? #1719261 07/23/11 11:03 AM
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TonalHarmony Offline OP
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I have a question for piano teachers:
Did any of you ever teach this piece? My teacher hates teaching Mozart, and I think it is because he is hard to teach. If you taught it how hard was it? If you didn't, how hard do you think it would be?

Here is a link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14hl3qSkStI

Regards,

Joy


Currently playing:

Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata
Mozart Sonate
Mozart's 21st Concerto Mov.3
Maple Leaf Rag
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Re: Teaching Mozart? [Re: TonalHarmony] #1719285 07/23/11 11:35 AM
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Nannerl Mozart Offline
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The reason why quite a few teachers say that Mozart is hard is because a of a few reasons:

1. Mozart's piano was different to ours, it was just being developed, it was small, depressing the keys felt very different and the sound was smaller. A number of people disregard that today and a lot of the time it is overplayed.

2. Textually, Mozart's music is quite thin. It's easier to stuff up and sound obvious. Every note and nuance has to be played with precision because you can't 'cover it up,' in a way it's very exposed.

3. Mozart is described to be 'perfection' he very cleverly transports from learned style to galant to strum and drang to emfindsamer stil very seamlessly.

4. From time to time you hear this: Mozart was of course THE child prodigy. And so only an 8 year old or 80 year old can interpret him well. Thing is, there are a number of myths on Mozart, so I don't really like this statement.

Having said that I don't think dodging the hard stuff is the right approach. I think any good teacher would know what to listen for in terms of interpretation and technique so that s/he can guide the student accordingly. Just not playing the hard stuff because it's hard is just silly.

Re: Teaching Mozart? [Re: TonalHarmony] #1719287 07/23/11 11:39 AM
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Gerard12 Offline
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Just because we can perform something, it doesn't mean we can also teach it.

Okay, maybe we can teach......um....let's say, the notes of this piece...or we can dwell on different facets of it. But how these facets blend to create an expressive end? That's what stumps me when teaching Mozart.

I know 12 of his piano sonatas very well, and wouldn't hesitate to put any one of them on a live program. But I will only teach 3 of them. I know 4 concertos well. I only feel comfortable teaching one, and maybe 2 movements from another.

If a student displays exceptional sensitivity, or already has a sense of conviction concerning these pieces, I sometimes will make an exception - and just be a guide. Otherwise, I will recommend another teacher for those pieces.

Last edited by Gerard12; 07/23/11 12:28 PM.

Piano instruction and performance
Re: Teaching Mozart? [Re: TonalHarmony] #1719346 07/23/11 01:53 PM
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Gyro Offline
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Lehvinne was one of the greatest pianists ever. If you're having trouble sounding like her, it's because she's playing rubato, that is, nothing is played in strict time. All those notes are played slightly out of time, even at the breakneck tempo, which is what give it it's marvelous effect--you don't hear this kind of playing today. You can't sound like this if you play everything in strict time.

Re: Teaching Mozart? [Re: Nannerl Mozart] #1719362 07/23/11 02:20 PM
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TonalHarmony Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Nannerl Mozart
The reason why quite a few teachers say that Mozart is hard is because a of a few reasons:

1. Mozart's piano was different to ours, it was just being developed, it was small, depressing the keys felt very different and the sound was smaller. A number of people disregard that today and a lot of the time it is overplayed.

2. Textually, Mozart's music is quite thin. It's easier to stuff up and sound obvious. Every note and nuance has to be played with precision because you can't 'cover it up,' in a way it's very exposed.

3. Mozart is described to be 'perfection' he very cleverly transports from learned style to galant to strum and drang to emfindsamer stil very seamlessly.

4. From time to time you hear this: Mozart was of course THE child prodigy. And so only an 8 year old or 80 year old can interpret him well. Thing is, there are a number of myths on Mozart, so I don't really like this statement.

Having said that I don't think dodging the hard stuff is the right approach. I think any good teacher would know what to listen for in terms of interpretation and technique so that s/he can guide the student accordingly. Just not playing the hard stuff because it's hard is just silly.


It's not that she won't teach it; it's just she doesn't like to. So I was just wondering how hard it actually would be for her to teach me.


Currently playing:

Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata
Mozart Sonate
Mozart's 21st Concerto Mov.3
Maple Leaf Rag
Re: Teaching Mozart? [Re: Gerard12] #1719365 07/23/11 02:22 PM
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TonalHarmony Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Gerard12
Just because we can perform something, it doesn't mean we can also teach it.

Okay, maybe we can teach......um....let's say, the notes of this piece...or we can dwell on different facets of it. But how these facets blend to create an expressive end? That's what stumps me when teaching Mozart.

I know 12 of his piano sonatas very well, and wouldn't hesitate to put any one of them on a live program. But I will only teach 3 of them. I know 4 concertos well. I only feel comfortable teaching one, and maybe 2 movements from another.

If a student displays exceptional sensitivity, or already has a sense of conviction concerning these pieces, I sometimes will make an exception - and just be a guide. Otherwise, I will recommend another teacher for those pieces.


Thanks for that bit of information, Gerard12. It was helpful.


Currently playing:

Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata
Mozart Sonate
Mozart's 21st Concerto Mov.3
Maple Leaf Rag
Re: Teaching Mozart? [Re: TonalHarmony] #1719387 07/23/11 02:42 PM
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Gary D. Offline
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I also hate teaching Mozart unless working with someone VERY advanced who loves his music and understands what is involved.

Problems:

1) When played well, Mozart sounds really easy.

2) It does not sound difficult, so when it is really well-played, most people are not impressed.

A good example is the recording linked to in this thread.

Lhevinne, to me, is simply amazing in this recording, and the fact that she was 80 at the time shows how little aging spoils a sound technique when a performer remains healthy.

So if someone, already playing well, said, "I love this concerto. Can we work on it?"

My immediate answer would be: "Yes! Let's go!!!"

But I would not recommend it to someone does not seem to me fully ready for it, both technically and temperamentally.

Last edited by Gary D.; 07/23/11 02:44 PM.
Re: Teaching Mozart? [Re: Gary D.] #1719442 07/23/11 04:42 PM
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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+1 Even the "simple sonata", K545, isn't as easy as students think. Which is why it is so poorly performed 99% of the time.

OTOH, the 2nd movement of several sonatas make great worship music, and are definitely worth the student's time and effort to master.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
Re: Teaching Mozart? [Re: Gary D.] #1719475 07/23/11 05:27 PM
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TonalHarmony Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
I also hate teaching Mozart unless working with someone VERY advanced who loves his music and understands what is involved.

Problems:

1) When played well, Mozart sounds really easy.

2) It does not sound difficult, so when it is really well-played, most people are not impressed.

A good example is the recording linked to in this thread.

Lhevinne, to me, is simply amazing in this recording, and the fact that she was 80 at the time shows how little aging spoils a sound technique when a performer remains healthy.

So if someone, already playing well, said, "I love this concerto. Can we work on it?"

My immediate answer would be: "Yes! Let's go!!!"

But I would not recommend it to someone does not seem to me fully ready for it, both technically and temperamentally.


My teacher says I'm definitely ready for it. I'm ready for it both technically and temperamentally. You are right. Mozart does sound simple even though it is hard. It takes really knowing Mozart to know the amount of effort that was put into the piece.



Currently playing:

Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata
Mozart Sonate
Mozart's 21st Concerto Mov.3
Maple Leaf Rag
Re: Teaching Mozart? [Re: John v.d.Brook] #1719708 07/23/11 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
OTOH, the 2nd movement of several sonatas make great worship music, and are definitely worth the student's time and effort to master.

I love several 2nd movements. The problem is selling the 2nd movements to students! With all the speed demons I teach, they all want to learn the 1st movement or 3rd movement. I've only taught two 2nd movements of Mozart sonatas.

However, I do teach Mozart pretty frequently.


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Re: Teaching Mozart? [Re: AZNpiano] #1720150 07/24/11 05:58 PM
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TonalHarmony Offline OP
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
OTOH, the 2nd movement of several sonatas make great worship music, and are definitely worth the student's time and effort to master.

I love several 2nd movements. The problem is selling the 2nd movements to students! With all the speed demons I teach, they all want to learn the 1st movement or 3rd movement. I've only taught two 2nd movements of Mozart sonatas.

However, I do teach Mozart pretty frequently.


That's funny because I've learned the first movement, skipped the second one and am gearing up for the third.


Currently playing:

Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata
Mozart Sonate
Mozart's 21st Concerto Mov.3
Maple Leaf Rag
Re: Teaching Mozart? [Re: TonalHarmony] #1720156 07/24/11 06:05 PM
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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Originally Posted by TonalHarmony
That's funny because I've learned the first movement, skipped the second one and am gearing up for the third.

Your loss.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
Re: Teaching Mozart? [Re: John v.d.Brook] #1720193 07/24/11 07:34 PM
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TonalHarmony Offline OP
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Not saying I won't, I just don't like the sound of it as much as the others.

Last edited by TonalHarmony; 07/24/11 07:34 PM.

Currently playing:

Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata
Mozart Sonate
Mozart's 21st Concerto Mov.3
Maple Leaf Rag
Re: Teaching Mozart? [Re: TonalHarmony] #1721776 07/27/11 11:44 AM
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TonalHarmony Offline OP
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My teacher agreed to teach me the piece. Even though she doesn't like Mozart or teaching it, she LOVED the piece when she listened to it.

Thanks all for helping me with my question!

Tonal Harmony


Currently playing:

Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata
Mozart Sonate
Mozart's 21st Concerto Mov.3
Maple Leaf Rag
Re: Teaching Mozart? [Re: TonalHarmony] #1721867 07/27/11 02:36 PM
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Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted by TonalHarmony
My teacher agreed to teach me the piece. Even though she doesn't like Mozart or teaching it, she LOVED the piece when she listened to it.

Thanks all for helping me with my question!

Tonal Harmony

She didn't know this concerto? <shock!!!>

Re: Teaching Mozart? [Re: Gary D.] #1721890 07/27/11 02:56 PM
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Ha ha, no she didn't. But ever since she listened to it she's been bouncing-off-the-walls excited to teach me the piece.

Last edited by TonalHarmony; 07/27/11 02:59 PM.

Currently playing:

Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata
Mozart Sonate
Mozart's 21st Concerto Mov.3
Maple Leaf Rag
Re: Teaching Mozart? [Re: TonalHarmony] #1721902 07/27/11 03:07 PM
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apple* Offline
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I am not a huge fan of Mozart.. I like some of his music.. the fantasy in D minor particularly.

anyway, my nephew about age 16 has really taken off as a piano student.. doing well in competitions, etc., and improving exponentially every time I hear him play (every 6 months or so). Anyway, he played Mozart's 1st sonata for me.. the whole thing.

He played with such aplomb and masculinity (not how Mozart is usually played at all).. with great finesse. I absolutely loved it. I loved hearing Mozart this way and went home and got out his book of sonatas.. I've been on a Mozart kick for a couple weeks now.

just commenting.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
Re: Teaching Mozart? [Re: apple*] #1721907 07/27/11 03:24 PM
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TonalHarmony Offline OP
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I've always loved Mozart. It's just so beautiful. Right now I'm resurrecting the first movement of the same concerto. I played it about a year ago at my 5th recital, and it was one of the most beautiful pieces I've played. It took two pianos with my teacher playing the orchestra part.

Last edited by TonalHarmony; 07/27/11 03:25 PM.

Currently playing:

Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata
Mozart Sonate
Mozart's 21st Concerto Mov.3
Maple Leaf Rag
Re: Teaching Mozart? [Re: apple*] #1721927 07/27/11 03:57 PM
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Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted by apple*

He played with such aplomb and masculinity (not how Mozart is usually played at all).. with great finesse.

"UN-neutered" Mozart. wink
But I would stay away from the words "masculine" and "feminine". Because if playing with power, passion, excitement, huge contrasts is "masculine", then Argerich would be a man.

I don't think stereotypes work well for musicians or music.

Re: Teaching Mozart? [Re: Gary D.] #1721930 07/27/11 04:00 PM
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TonalHarmony Offline OP
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ha ha


Currently playing:

Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata
Mozart Sonate
Mozart's 21st Concerto Mov.3
Maple Leaf Rag
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