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Re: questions for those who studied at a conservatory
piaffe #1837317 02/02/12 03:44 PM
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Regina - yeah, well, schools these days accept a lot of questionable people (probably including myself) because they need money. The more students, the more money.



"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
Re: questions for those who studied at a conservatory
jeffreyjones #1837320 02/02/12 03:48 PM
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jeffreyjones:

This is really helpful. Thanks for taking the time to share. This is the stuff that's really hard to research, unless you lived it.

Re: questions for those who studied at a conservatory
Minaku #1837323 02/02/12 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Minaku

Edit: Oh and piano parties? The only other kinds of parties that came close were the voice parties.


Okay, the piano parties?

Do tell!

Is there a "hierarchy" of performers, at all? Clearly piano students have a different relationship with rooms, because they need one with an instrument.

Where do voice students fit into the mix?

This is fascinating.

(Thanks!)

Re: questions for those who studied at a conservatory
ChibiSF #1837343 02/02/12 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ChibiSF


Oh, yeah, I've never taken any sort of medication for anxiety.


Would you say that it is "known" that some do? Or suspected?

Pot?

...what about piano parties?

Thanks for your help, this is interesting stuff.

Re: questions for those who studied at a conservatory
Pogorelich. #1837344 02/02/12 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Pogorelich.
Regina - yeah, well, schools these days accept a lot of questionable people (probably including myself) because they need money. The more students, the more money.

That's probably true, although, in an ideal world, schools would simply be concerned with choosing people who have the potential for artistry- as opposed to just filling up their rosters with as many students as they can possibly take. At least the Curtis Institute isn't like that, as it's an all-scholarship school, and they only accept a very limited number of applicants.


Recent Repertoire:
Liszt: Concerto #1 in Eb https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dY9Qw8Z7ao
Bach: Partita #2 in c minor
Beethoven: Sonata #23 in f minor, Opus 57 ("Appassionata")
Chopin: Etudes Opus 25 #6,9,10,11,12
Prokofiev: Sonata #3 in a minor
Suggestion diabolique
Re: questions for those who studied at a conservatory
piaffe #1837350 02/02/12 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by piaffe
Originally Posted by Minaku

Edit: Oh and piano parties? The only other kinds of parties that came close were the voice parties.


Okay, the piano parties?

Do tell!

Is there a "hierarchy" of performers, at all? Clearly piano students have a different relationship with rooms, because they need one with an instrument.

Where do voice students fit into the mix?

This is fascinating.

(Thanks!)


re piano parties: we mostly get together and drink a lot, while complaining about practicing difficult passages or repertoire in general, or bitching about how singers never give us music until the last minute, or talking about a recent masterclass, or critiquing a recent concert, or gossiping about teachers or the latest school scandal, who's dating who, etc. Or if you have a party in a practice room, people usually play bits of stuff in a funny way or improvise.. etc etc.




"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
Re: questions for those who studied at a conservatory
piaffe #1837351 02/02/12 04:37 PM
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I'm a grad of the Oberlin Conservatory, located in Ohio. It's been a while now. WE had spiffy practice rooms.. brand new when I attended. An incredible building designed by some Japanese architect who did Lincoln Center. But in all honesty, I was not pleased by practice rooms closely stacked. You could hear everyone practicing your piece of the month.. as well as the same time worn Schmidt exercises. It was for me a factory atmosphere not conducive to piano study, period. I missed the sanctity of my NYC teacher's Riverside Drive townhouse.. and the intimacy of lessons in a living room replete with wondrous musico-historical volumes, etc..

As for the pianos in Oberlin.. they were fairly well maintained by an ace tech.. but that didn't make the ambiance any better. Hope this helps. Feel free to contact me for more info.

Re: questions for those who studied at a conservatory
Pogorelich. #1837370 02/02/12 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Pogorelich.
Originally Posted by piaffe
Originally Posted by Minaku

Edit: Oh and piano parties? The only other kinds of parties that came close were the voice parties.


Okay, the piano parties?

Do tell!

Is there a "hierarchy" of performers, at all? Clearly piano students have a different relationship with rooms, because they need one with an instrument.

Where do voice students fit into the mix?

This is fascinating.

(Thanks!)


re piano parties: we mostly get together and drink a lot, while complaining about practicing difficult passages or repertoire in general, or bitching about how singers never give us music until the last minute, or talking about a recent masterclass, or critiquing a recent concert, or gossiping about teachers or the latest school scandal, who's dating who, etc. Or if you have a party in a practice room, people usually play bits of stuff in a funny way or improvise.. etc etc.



It was a university's music dept., not a conservatory, but we had the most amazing parties at my teacher's house. He regularly hosted an evening piano class where his students would get together and play for him and each other, and he would do some critiquing, sort of like a master class. Then, once that was done, we'd party like mad into the wee hours. There would often be a few extra guests who were not students of his, too, to liven the mix. Many times, reading through 4-hand and two-piano stuff was part of the evening.


Re: questions for those who studied at a conservatory
piaffe #1837378 02/02/12 05:24 PM
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Oh boy smile

I'll post my thoughts at length about this later on, but for now, let me link to something that was posted years and years ago here - which I read even before I set foot in a conservatory - which was so incredibly hilarious and fairly accurate.

It is Brendan's post:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/525028/1.html

Re: questions for those who studied at a conservatory
RonaldSteinway #1837393 02/02/12 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by RonaldSteinway
Therefore, we can deduct that if most of Juilliard piano students are not concert pianist material, Oberlin's must be even less likely to be concert pianist material.


Hahaha! Really? Oberlin, is a better school, if you ask me.


I think it is not really the school that defines the result. Regardless how great the faculties in a certain school, if they receive students with my ability in playing piano, they will collapse. Generally, I believe, if a person get accepted at both Juilliard and Oberlin, they will choose Juilliard first. It is very unlikely people choose Oberlin over Juilliard. Remember, the prestige of the name is very important in any industry. MBA from Harvard is much more marketable than MBA from NYU.


Those in the "industry" as you say, know that Oberlin stacks up against most any school.



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

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Re: questions for those who studied at a conservatory
LaReginadellaNotte #1837399 02/02/12 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by LaReginadellaNotte
It seems a little strange that the majority of students from Juilliard (or any other major conservatory) would be deemed "not concert pianist material." If you are accepted into a conservatory, isn't it for the purpose of preparing you for a concert career? If you aren't concert-level material, then that raises the question of why you were accepted into a conservatory in the first place.

While it's true that the vast majority of Juilliard students will not have major careers, it seems a little strange to say that the majority of them cannot have careers at all. After all, the phrase "concert pianist" can be used quite loosely, and you don't have to play at major venues in order to qualify as such. There are many pianists who have played in a professional capacity (even if not on a full-time basis) with minor orchestras and at minor venues. I don't think that it would be too difficult for conservatory graduates to obtain those kinds of professional engagements, especially since- if you have sufficient money- you can always rent a hall and give a recital.


Pogo, is spot on when she says that schools fill their "rosters". It's about the money when it comes down to the bottom line. I've served on a few boards and those who have a say-so haven't a clue and they're the ones who ultimately decide where the money goes and how it is spent. Conservatories/universities (whatever you want to call them) are not in the business of turning out a new class of concert pianists every year, nor are they in the business of training one for a concert career. They ARE in the business of providing one an education, the fullness of which, once again, will be determined by those who have a say-so and how they decide to spend available monies. Not every musician entering any school's doors has the same chance of succeeding equally. Those who will mount the concert stage and make a career out of doing so belong to a very unique, very small class. The odds that one will make his living this way are not very good at all. Grabbing engagements like those you speak of, Regina, are not as easy as you believe. Sure, anyone can rent a hall, but even minor orchestras and venues go after names that can and will sell tickets. Joe Juilliard grad isn't going to play at the Fox simply because he's a Juilliard grad.



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $

Re: questions for those who studied at a conservatory
piaffe #1837451 02/02/12 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by RonaldSteinway

HAHAHAHAHAHA....A group of sensitive people, I guess.
The teacher must really enjoy the scene.


Generally I make it a point to ignore you considering how boorishly you behave yourself. However, do not make light of the situation. A teacher can get fabulous results from students without insulting them or talking about their shortcomings with the department head in front of the student].

It's clear to me that you've never been in a high-stress environment such as one that can be found in a music conservatory, nor have you any compassion for students who have mean teachers.

Originally Posted by piaffe

...what about piano parties?

Thanks for your help, this is interesting stuff.


Our piano parties usually involved heavy drinking with the main piano faculty. We didn't play piano in the least, as our parties were right after juries and no one wanted to look at the instrument for a while. There was plenty of humor along with serious talk.

The voice parties at my school involved going to one faculty member's house, heavy drinking, then raiding her closet to try on all the different costumes she had from her operatic parts.


Pianist and teacher with a 5'8" Baldwin R and Clavi CLP-230 at home.

New website up: http://www.studioplumpiano.com. Also on Twitter @QQitsMina
Re: questions for those who studied at a conservatory
piaffe #1837471 02/02/12 09:11 PM
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I am a music major at a university right now (at a very advanced age)and I had to smile reading some of these posts. They are so true. I commute, so I am not there at all hours but here are some things I can add, embellish on, etc. (In no particular order.)

We are an all-Steinway school. Only the piano majors can use the grands. We have keys to these rooms. People are always misplacing keys. So someone is always asking someone else, "Do you have a "D" key or "C" key? (Different rooms have different locks, it can be confusing.) I wear a lanyard with my keys, all the time. We have practice schedules on doors THAT NO ONE FOLLOWS.

Yes, I am guilty of "camping out in a room." Leave your music on the stand, your coat on a chair and defy someone to go in there, when you are not in the room.

Some rooms are a mess, coffee cups, homework papers, concert clothes, scores that are long overdue from the library. One student has made one of the rooms her own. She brought in lamps, a heater (Yes, many of the rooms are freezing in winter), hung pictures on the walls.

The grands are in pretty good shape, but there's always a key that seems to stick or doesn't play and you can always bitch because so-and-so is always "banging the crap out of it."

There is definitely a hierarchy. There is the top tier of pianists, who win all the competitions. Everyone is in awe of them. They can play anything. We have two at our school. They have their own room and no one but them practices in it.

Those who are good sight readers, wield a lot of power and make a lot of money when it's jury time and everyone needs an accompanist.

4 to 8 hours practice time. And the best pianist do practice the most.

We have great players and not so great players but everyone is supportive in our studio. Some play in weekly studio class all the time, some never do.

Security kicks people out and people are always hiding or scamming to get a little extra time. People know how to break into the music building to practice when they are not supposed to.

Percussionists are the craziest of the musicians and tend to stick together.

Some people use beta-blockers, most don't. Everyone seems to drink a lot of coffee.

There is usually one person who never practices and seems to go from practice room to practice room to gossip and chat and it drives everyone crazy. There is one person at our school who will keep talking even when you are ignoring him and just playing.

Oh and here is something interesting...and funny. And I bet everyone experiences it. If you mention to anyone that you are on your way to your lesson, they ALWAYS say "Good luck."

I'll probably think of more later.


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Re: questions for those who studied at a conservatory
piaffe #1837477 02/02/12 09:28 PM
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I went through 3 years of it. Basically in a school which had 25 practice rooms (out of it 8 had grands- priority for teachers/ student lessons). Those rooms were shared between all the instrumentalists... We had this booking chart too which allowed us to book up to 2 hours per day, all of us would rush to, sometimes wait for it cause we knew that was the only way we could secure a practice room during peak hours. I would go early just to practice on the grand pianos, sometimes camp outside a grand piano room as well... Once I got in sometimes I would just stay in there up to 3-4 hours at once even for a session then after a break go to another room. The upright rooms were teeny and stuffy and so close together we could always hear what our next door neighbor was practicing. Fortunately within my 1st year I got a grand piano of my own so I could ensure that almost all of my practice was done on one.

Despite all of that it worked well for me practicing and being in tha competitive environment.

Yes, thats how much we all practiced..most days I got 5-6 hours in min. Especially when I had big pieces to learn. Well I had 2 teachers teaching me every week so it was expected of me. Even before I went to music school I was already practicing for hours everyday...

Last edited by pianist.ame; 02/02/12 09:32 PM.

Mastering:Chopin Etudes op.10 nos.8&12 and op.25 no.1, Chopin Scherzo no.4 in E major op.54, Mozart Sonata in B flat major K.333& Khachaturian Toccata
Re: questions for those who studied at a conservatory
DameMyra #1837535 02/02/12 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by DameMyra
Oh and here is something interesting...and funny. And I bet everyone experiences it. If you mention to anyone that you are on your way to your lesson, they ALWAYS say "Good luck."



Ha, that's true. And after, we always discuss our lessons.

Also agree about the coffee thing. We have a great coffee shop in our school, which is convenient. Coffee, and everyone smokes. Mostly pianists, though, and string players. Although there's a few singers at our school that smoke too.

I like the sound of your school. I think I know which one you're talking about, but I may be wrong, haha!



"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
Re: questions for those who studied at a conservatory
Pogorelich. #1837558 02/02/12 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Pogorelich.

I like the sound of your school. I think I know which one you're talking about, but I may be wrong, haha!


I'm not so sure, the music department is really small and not well known outside of the state. But many, many people know my teacher.


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Re: questions for those who studied at a conservatory
Pogorelich. #1837578 02/03/12 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Pogorelich.
Originally Posted by DameMyra
Oh and here is something interesting...and funny. And I bet everyone experiences it. If you mention to anyone that you are on your way to your lesson, they ALWAYS say "Good luck."



Ha, that's true. And after, we always discuss our lessons.

Also agree about the coffee thing. We have a great coffee shop in our school, which is convenient. Coffee, and everyone smokes. Mostly pianists, though, and string players. Although there's a few singers at our school that smoke too.

I like the sound of your school. I think I know which one you're talking about, but I may be wrong, haha!


How do us pianists survive without coffee? Or cigarettes? I discovered at one of the aforementioned piano parties that it takes a certain quantity of hard liquor to get me to light up with all the cool people outside, one of the professors included.

Edit: One of the hilarious and awesome things about my undergraduate conservatory-like school was the fact that we offered the only bagpipe major in the US. Kiltie band always practiced outside at 9 pm on Mondays and we'd all shut the windows (to no avail).

Last edited by Minaku; 02/03/12 12:04 AM.

Pianist and teacher with a 5'8" Baldwin R and Clavi CLP-230 at home.

New website up: http://www.studioplumpiano.com. Also on Twitter @QQitsMina
Re: questions for those who studied at a conservatory
piaffe #1837595 02/03/12 12:29 AM
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Hahahahahahha bagpipe major?? Holy [censored]!



"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
Re: questions for those who studied at a conservatory
piaffe #1837606 02/03/12 12:37 AM
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Let us know when you've finished your "piece of fiction"!


"I was obliged to be industrious. Whoever is equally industrious will succeed equally well."

J.S. Bach
Re: questions for those who studied at a conservatory
stores #1837626 02/03/12 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by stores
Those who will mount the concert stage and make a career out of doing so belong to a very unique, very small class. The odds that one will make his living this way are not very good at all. Grabbing engagements like those you speak of, Regina, are not as easy as you believe. Sure, anyone can rent a hall, but even minor orchestras and venues go after names that can and will sell tickets. Joe Juilliard grad isn't going to play at the Fox simply because he's a Juilliard grad.

When I said that it isn't too difficult to have a minor career, I was referring to the fact that there are many musicians who teach at a university and do some performing on the side. Those people are not stellar artists, but they are able to do some concertizing on a professional basis. For example, I know of many obscure pianists (the type who are full-time professors and part-time performers) whose playing has been broadcast on WQXR at some point. There is an obscure pianist who teaches at a lowly state university who performed with the National Orchestra of El Salvador.

It's my understanding that having a major international career is something that only very few individuals can ever achieve. However, being a university professor with a mediocre performing career seems like something that is much more within the grasp of most performance majors.


Recent Repertoire:
Liszt: Concerto #1 in Eb https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dY9Qw8Z7ao
Bach: Partita #2 in c minor
Beethoven: Sonata #23 in f minor, Opus 57 ("Appassionata")
Chopin: Etudes Opus 25 #6,9,10,11,12
Prokofiev: Sonata #3 in a minor
Suggestion diabolique
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