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Video of very angry piano teacher giving a masterclass? #2333496
10/02/14 07:08 PM
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I remember seeing a video, can't remember where, of an extremely angry male teacher yelling at a student in a masterclass. The teacher was animated and over-the-top that he actually fell over at one point.

I know that's a strange thing to want to find again, but I promise I have a reason. smile Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

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Re: Video of very angry piano teacher giving a masterclass? [Re: CleverName] #2333503
10/02/14 07:36 PM
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It was a video of Dmitry Bashkirov doing a masterclass on a Chopin Nocturne, but it seems to no longer be on YT (that I can find, at least).

Re: Video of very angry piano teacher giving a masterclass? [Re: CleverName] #2333515
10/02/14 08:16 PM
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I've seen him in one masterclass where he wasn't angry at all. So I wouldn't assume this is typical behavior for him.

Re: Video of very angry piano teacher giving a masterclass? [Re: CleverName] #2333523
10/02/14 08:46 PM
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I've watched Ferenc Rados (aka Andras Schiff's teacher) make a 14 year old cry on stage. She was going to play Chopin's complete op. 25. I say was going to because he only let her play 3 etudes. I could actually hear her sobbing... I always say, big masterclasses are not for everyone. You have to be pretty strong emotionally to be able to cope with the exposure.

Re: Video of very angry piano teacher giving a masterclass? [Re: Francisco Scalco] #2333651
10/03/14 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Francisco Scalco
I've watched Ferenc Rados (aka Andras Schiff's teacher) make a 14 year old cry on stage. She was going to play Chopin's complete op. 25. I say was going to because he only let her play 3 etudes. I could actually hear her sobbing... I always say, big masterclasses are not for everyone. You have to be pretty strong emotionally to be able to cope with the exposure.
My thoughts on something like that are giving masterclasses are not for everyone.

Teachers like that should not be allowed to give them no matter how much they know. I'd guess that anything the girl might have learned(if it's possible to learn anything in such an upset state)was overwhelmed by the negative feelings she experienced. Teachers like that should be booed off the stage.

Re: Video of very angry piano teacher giving a masterclass? [Re: pianoloverus] #2333681
10/03/14 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Francisco Scalco
I've watched Ferenc Rados (aka Andras Schiff's teacher) make a 14 year old cry on stage. She was going to play Chopin's complete op. 25. I say was going to because he only let her play 3 etudes. I could actually hear her sobbing... I always say, big masterclasses are not for everyone. You have to be pretty strong emotionally to be able to cope with the exposure.
My thoughts on something like that are giving masterclasses are not for everyone.

Teachers like that should not be allowed to give them no matter how much they know. I'd guess that anything the girl might have learned(if it's possible to learn anything in such an upset state)was overwhelmed by the negative feelings she experienced. Teachers like that should be booed off the stage.


I don't really agree. Of course it was harsh, but there's never only one way of teaching... Hungarian pedagogy is known for something like "deconstruction of the student" or something along those lines. They're always very stern, and that's their way. Plus Rados was 85 I think, already a bit "cranky" (is that the correct word?).
When you are playing in masterclasses for these sort of people, you're already presumed to be in a level where you know who these teachers are, what to expect, etc... I talked with with several other pianists and they all already knew Rados was stern, and so should the girl. So my point is, you're not obligated to play in masterclasses, to each his own.

Re: Video of very angry piano teacher giving a masterclass? [Re: Francisco Scalco] #2333691
10/03/14 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Francisco Scalco
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Francisco Scalco
I've watched Ferenc Rados (aka Andras Schiff's teacher) make a 14 year old cry on stage. She was going to play Chopin's complete op. 25. I say was going to because he only let her play 3 etudes. I could actually hear her sobbing... I always say, big masterclasses are not for everyone. You have to be pretty strong emotionally to be able to cope with the exposure.
My thoughts on something like that are giving masterclasses are not for everyone.

Teachers like that should not be allowed to give them no matter how much they know. I'd guess that anything the girl might have learned(if it's possible to learn anything in such an upset state)was overwhelmed by the negative feelings she experienced. Teachers like that should be booed off the stage.


I don't really agree. Of course it was harsh, but there's never only one way of teaching... Hungarian pedagogy is known for something like "deconstruction of the student" or something along those lines. They're always very stern, and that's their way. Plus Rados was 85 I think, already a bit "cranky" (is that the correct word?).
When you are playing in masterclasses for these sort of people, you're already presumed to be in a level where you know who these teachers are, what to expect, etc... I talked with with several other pianists and they all already knew Rados was stern, and so should the girl. So my point is, you're not obligated to play in masterclasses, to each his own.
Maybe if you were on the receiving end you would feel differently. Just because Hungarian pedagogy is known for this type of behavior doesn't justify it in my opinion. Should something bad be continued just because it happened in the past?

Re: Video of very angry piano teacher giving a masterclass? [Re: CleverName] #2333701
10/03/14 11:23 AM
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I can Fransico's point as a kind of free-market, let people make their own decisions outlook, and agree with that. But I can certainly imagine some people not knowing in advance the "master's" reputation, so in the interest of freedom wouldn't it be fair to allow some sort of review platform? Like how I can read people's opinions of a book on Amazon.com to help make a decision... I really can't see performers taking that well though.

"He's been known for exploding at random and making small children cry. Most consider it an awful experience but the audience loves it - but you make your own decision!"

Re: Video of very angry piano teacher giving a masterclass? [Re: CleverName] #2333705
10/03/14 11:43 AM
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Teachers like that sound like the inspiration for the current crop of reality TV shows...the ones where a semi-hostile "expert" berates and browbeats contestants (i.e. chefs, business owners) in a "makeover" scenario.

In fact, someone could just package such masterclasses ready-made and pitch them as a reality show idea.

Re: Video of very angry piano teacher giving a masterclass? [Re: 1RC] #2333725
10/03/14 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by 1RC
I can Fransico's point as a kind of free-market, let people make their own decisions outlook, and agree with that. But I can certainly imagine some people not knowing in advance the "master's" reputation, so in the interest of freedom wouldn't it be fair to allow some sort of review platform? Like how I can read people's opinions of a book on Amazon.com to help make a decision... I really can't see performers taking that well though.

"He's been known for exploding at random and making small children cry. Most consider it an awful experience but the audience loves it - but you make your own decision!"
Audience loves it?? NOT

Plus you fail to realize that some will take a masterclass so they can put it on their resume and some beginning professionals need that kind of thing on their resume. They're not forced to take a NASTER(purposely misspelled) CLASS but it may be close to being forced.

I think the argument "they know what they're getting into" is a poor excuse for what I strongly consider just plain terrible teaching. I've seen plenty of master classes where the teacher made many critical points but knew how to to it in a way that was not embarrassing, destructive, and cruel.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 10/03/14 01:34 PM.
Re: Video of very angry piano teacher giving a masterclass? [Re: CleverName] #2333842
10/03/14 09:37 PM
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People react differently to different kinds of teaching, pianoloverus. What made that pianists cry, may inspire someone else. One other pianists who had a masterclass with him later on the festival, said she was "crushed", "destroyed", but ultimately it was her favorite masterclass. So there you have it, different tastes.

Re: Video of very angry piano teacher giving a masterclass? [Re: Francisco Scalco] #2333843
10/03/14 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Francisco Scalco
People react differently to different kinds of teaching, pianoloverus. What made that pianists cry, may inspire someone else.


That is true, but a teacher should have the ability to understand how to get the best out of his/her students, so the same method doesn't work for everyone.
However, yes, I understand that masterclasses are a different situation because the teacher doesn't usually know the students.



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Re: Video of very angry piano teacher giving a masterclass? [Re: Francisco Scalco] #2333906
10/04/14 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Francisco Scalco
People react differently to different kinds of teaching, pianoloverus. What made that pianists cry, may inspire someone else. One other pianists who had a masterclass with him later on the festival, said she was "crushed", "destroyed", but ultimately it was her favorite masterclass. So there you have it, different tastes.
I don't think the overwhelming majority of people like to be crushed and destroyed, and I don't think the majority of people who felt crushed and destroyed would later say it was their favorite master class.

The whole point is that it's possible to convey the exact same ideas without being arrogant and incredibly nasty. Why would a good teacher(or just a decent human being) even take a chance of making someone feel so bad? A teacher at a high school would probably be fired if he regularly treated his students that way. Abuse doensn't have to be physical.

Re: Video of very angry piano teacher giving a masterclass? [Re: ChopinAddict] #2333908
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Originally Posted by ChopinAddict
Originally Posted by Francisco Scalco
People react differently to different kinds of teaching, pianoloverus. What made that pianists cry, may inspire someone else.


That is true, but a teacher should have the ability to understand how to get the best out of his/her students, so the same method doesn't work for everyone.
However, yes, I understand that masterclasses are a different situation because the teacher doesn't usually know the students.
I think the overwhelming majority of students don't like being "taught" in a nasty and vitriolic way. If the teacher doesn't know the student, then they should not teach them that way because the chances are it will not affect the student in a positive way. How many people can learn much when they're being embarrassed or bullied? I don't think saying that the student might be the 1 in a 100 who reacts positively to nastiness justifies taking that approach.

Hamelin(who I don't see as an overly sensitive crybaby)took one lesson from Adele Marcus and quit seeing her. She basically told him he didn't know how to play. He said he still remembers talking to his wife right after the lesson about how horrible an experience it was.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 10/04/14 08:09 AM.
Re: Video of very angry piano teacher giving a masterclass? [Re: CleverName] #2333927
10/04/14 10:29 AM
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Ok, I think what happened here is a misunderstanding. He didn't abuse her, he didn't yell at her, and he didn't touch her during the masterclass. He wasn't rude, he was ruthless on his critics. He just set the bar very very very high. I think you mistook him for some aggressive person. What I meant with my comments is that he was very critical, making her replay passages to perfection, etc...
I remember another masterclass, this time with Dame Fanny Waterman, in which the pianists spent like 20, 30 minutes on the first three chords (intervals? I don't know the name in english) of the Les Adieux Sonata.
This is what I'm talking about. And curiously, after the masterclass, all the audience was criticising the teacher, except the pianists, who loved it.


Re: Video of very angry piano teacher giving a masterclass? [Re: CleverName] #2333937
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The birth of a child is not such an easy experience, and neither is the birth of an artist. The point of a masterclass is not to give a weekend of Shirley Temple impersonations; it's to get people past their limitations in a short and focused time.

It's not for everyone. Neither is having a baby. Neither is growing up; many people never make it past the stage of infantilism, or adult-long adolescence--- some see this as a structural defect in modern society. For the new self to be born, the old must pass away; all the boo-hooing in the world cannot change this fact, though PL is certainly free to complain about it.

If you think a masterclass is mean, wait till you're a concert artist and read the reviews--- talk about harsh. Better to be prepared by your education, in relative privacy.

Or not.


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Re: Video of very angry piano teacher giving a masterclass? [Re: CleverName] #2334101
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I have to say I'm with pianoloverus on this point. There is absolutely no call for abusive treatment of students in the supposed pursuit of higher pedagogical goals. Would you treat a child abusively in order to better prepare that child for an adult world that can be harsh and cruel? Far better to instill in that child (and that piano student) an unshakeable sense of self built on a history of successfully meeting increasingly-challenging goals.

Psychology tells us that stress increases performance, but only up to a point. Too much stress degrades performance, and too little doesn't stimulate peak performance. If a teacher cannot challenge a student by providing appropriately-scaled stretch goals, then that is a weakness of the teacher.

In the best a master classes I've been in or observed, the teachers made each student noticeably improved during the session, and imparted information helpful to the student and audience alike. They demonstrated extraordinately high artistic standards. They inspired, they illuminated, they gave gave freely of their best qualities. And they accomplished this without acting out their own frustrations, insecurities, or just plain meanness.


Re: Video of very angry piano teacher giving a masterclass? [Re: Jeff Clef] #2334124
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Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
If you think a masterclass is mean, wait till you're a concert artist and read the reviews--- talk about harsh. Better to be prepared by your education, in relative privacy.
As someone once said "Two wrongs don't make a right".

If the first behavior is bad and the second is worse I don't think it justifies the first behavior. Is severe corporal punishment for a child a good idea because it might prepare them for being tortured as a prisoner of war?

Last edited by pianoloverus; 10/04/14 08:59 PM.
Re: Video of very angry piano teacher giving a masterclass? [Re: CleverName] #2334154
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Yes, I saw it. It was very funny. In fact, in his excitement he fell over with the micropohone or whatever it was, and like in a slapstick disappeared off-screen. Once recovered, he kept on hammering his counting 1-2, 1-2 into the the poor pianist's ear. Brilliant. Unfortunately, they removed the clip from Youtube.


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Re: Video of very angry piano teacher giving a masterclass? [Re: pianoloverus] #2334528
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
If you think a masterclass is mean, wait till you're a concert artist and read the reviews--- talk about harsh. Better to be prepared by your education, in relative privacy.
As someone once said "Two wrongs don't make a right".

If the first behavior is bad and the second is worse I don't think it justifies the first behavior. Is severe corporal punishment for a child a good idea because it might prepare them for being tortured as a prisoner of war?


Considering the ridiculous amount of spoiled brats you can find around, maybe some more serious form of corporal punishment without the intervention of social services would be very welcome.
It's a matter of perspectives, when I was in elementary school, corporal punishment was the norm, we just grew up fine, we did learn to respect authority and STFU when was the time. I never felt abused in my music classes or art classes but I have seen some harsh take on somebody... that was the way you do learn to go prepared or don't go at all.
Real life isn't easy, and unless you take a mediocre job in a big corporation where you are expected just to smile and keep your head down while kissing your boss buttocks... better learn harsh reality as soon as possible.



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