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Chopin's op. 25 no 11 - my teacher's comments #2649711
06/02/17 06:24 PM
06/02/17 06:24 PM
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NervousWreck123 Offline OP
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Me: (Plays the descending "allegro con brio" in the beginning of Chopin's op 25 no. 11)

Teacher: "You're playing it way too agressively. It made me think of those soldiers in WW1 fighting in trenches, and how they had to - when they ran out of ammo - bite through the throats of their enemies."

And then I thought to myself - that was definitely one of the reasons he doesn't teach any small children.

Have any of your teachers ever said anything of similar... strangeness? smile

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Re: Chopin's op. 25 no 11 - my teacher's comments [Re: NervousWreck123] #2649756
06/02/17 09:08 PM
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MikeN Offline
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Aww, what a shame. I liked your agressiveness in the Winter Wind. You actually managed to hold my attention all the way through, which usually doesn't happen.

I sure if I kept a log of all the interesting things my teacher has said, I'd be able to write a book. She has a habit of saying things that I think you would have to read her mind to understand.

Two rather silly comments that comes quickest to mind are, "Oops! You laid an egg." referring to playing an unwanted accent in the middle of a phrase and "Stop! Open a small bank account then..." which meant to take some time. Are they suitable for small childern, yes. Are they pretty screwy? YES!

Last edited by MikeN; 06/02/17 09:17 PM.
Re: Chopin's op. 25 no 11 - my teacher's comments [Re: MikeN] #2649852
06/03/17 04:08 AM
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NervousWreck123 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by MikeN
Aww, what a shame. I liked your agressiveness in the Winter Wind. You actually managed to hold my attention all the way through, which usually doesn't happen.

I sure if I kept a log of all the interesting things my teacher has said, I'd be able to write a book. She has a habit of saying things that I think you would have to read her mind to understand.

Two rather silly comments that comes quickest to mind are, "Oops! You laid an egg." referring to playing an unwanted accent in the middle of a phrase and "Stop! Open a small bank account then..." which meant to take some time. Are they suitable for small childern, yes. Are they pretty screwy? YES!


ha ha

Re: Chopin's op. 25 no 11 - my teacher's comments [Re: NervousWreck123] #2649957
06/03/17 12:25 PM
06/03/17 12:25 PM
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After playing, I got once, "A really great Chopin player would do [yada yada yada]."

To which I replied, "So, you're saying I'm not a great Chopin player?"

Teacher's eyes danced, and he just went on with the yada yada. ha

------

An organ teacher told me once, "This should sound like prairie dogs sticking their heads out of holes in the desert, then you whack them with a club!"

(I wish I remembered the piece!)

-------

I knew a Mormon guy whose teacher said, "You need to drink more in smokey bars to play this right!"


WhoDwaldi
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Re: Chopin's op. 25 no 11 - my teacher's comments [Re: NervousWreck123] #2649976
06/03/17 01:19 PM
06/03/17 01:19 PM
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Carey Offline
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Teachers can say things that stick with you the rest of your life. 45 years ago, after I played the first movement of the Waldstein for him, my teacher said "it sounds like Czerny - and bad Czerny at that." He did, however, have a point. ha


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Re: Chopin's op. 25 no 11 - my teacher's comments [Re: NervousWreck123] #2649980
06/03/17 01:26 PM
06/03/17 01:26 PM
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In university my improv teacher once said of my attempt "What chord was that - the 4th perversion of C# minor?"

Re: Chopin's op. 25 no 11 - my teacher's comments [Re: NervousWreck123] #2649997
06/03/17 02:03 PM
06/03/17 02:03 PM
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When I fingered a trill with 2/3, an instructor said to me 'Who do you think you are, Horowitz?'

Re: Chopin's op. 25 no 11 - my teacher's comments [Re: NervousWreck123] #2650079
06/03/17 05:39 PM
06/03/17 05:39 PM
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Before learning my first Scriabin piece "He is like souped up Chopin". This is not really a strange thing to say about an early Scriabin work...just something I remember although this was at least 55 years ago.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 06/03/17 08:03 PM.
Re: Chopin's op. 25 no 11 - my teacher's comments [Re: NervousWreck123] #2650109
06/03/17 07:10 PM
06/03/17 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Svenno

Have any of your teachers ever said anything of similar... strangeness? smile

Maybe not so strange -at least in hindsight- as a teen I complained to my piano teacher that all the Haydn symphonies sounded the same to me. (Oh the perfidy of the young.)

He quietly and patiently replied: that would be a color blind person whining that all the paintings in an art exhibit had similar shades of grey and black. Perhaps not the best analogy, he had to make things simple for me.

But I have never forgotten that. As a more mature musician, I understand. Haydn is so utterly remarkable, every one of those 104 numbered symphonies has something distinctive, whether it be a delicious irony or a veiled tragedy, you never know what he is cooking up.


Jason
Re: Chopin's op. 25 no 11 - my teacher's comments [Re: NervousWreck123] #2650137
06/03/17 08:56 PM
06/03/17 08:56 PM
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One of my very favorites was "Do you feel like you're in handcuffs?"
(I was being asked to play with more, uh, restraint.)


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Re: Chopin's op. 25 no 11 - my teacher's comments [Re: NervousWreck123] #2650179
06/03/17 10:31 PM
06/03/17 10:31 PM
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Once, while I was playing the slow movement of the Ravel concerto, my teacher suddenly shouted "The tops! The tops!".

Huh?

I usually understood his more gnomic utterances pretty well, but this time I had no idea what he meant. And because I didn't want to seem hopelessly stupid, I didn't ask. For some odd reason, in my confusion I got fixated on the idea that he might be making some abstruse technical point about how to hit the key tops. It took me years to finally figure out that he had wanted me to put more emphasis on the peaks in the melodic line.

Looking back, it seems perfectly obvious, and I should have understood it at the time. I think what may have happened was that the amount of energy he was putting into the words kind of short-circuited my poor little brain, triggering something like a sort of low level panic attack. It was strange.

Re: Chopin's op. 25 no 11 - my teacher's comments [Re: NervousWreck123] #2651230
06/06/17 04:00 PM
06/06/17 04:00 PM
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I'm usually fairly reserved and clean in speech, however I was particularly frustrated one day when I had been playing a passage perfectly at home and just couldn't get my fingers working during my lesson and I let a "sh*t" pop out.

My teacher's response was perfect: "You're a real pianist now!"


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Re: Chopin's op. 25 no 11 - my teacher's comments [Re: Chrispy] #2651261
06/06/17 05:14 PM
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NervousWreck123 Offline OP
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Re: Chopin's op. 25 no 11 - my teacher's comments [Re: NervousWreck123] #2655591
06/22/17 01:04 PM
06/22/17 01:04 PM
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This past semester my teacher assigned me a Ginastera prelude because she told me I need to become bombastically violent at the keyboard. My comfort zone is the warm, lyrical writing of Chopin, Mendelssohn and the like, and she wouldn't have that. The technique in that is getting that brash, violent sound Ginastera wanted while remaining completely tension free and relaxed, as if you were holding a baby bunny in your hands the entire time.

Re: Chopin's op. 25 no 11 - my teacher's comments [Re: itsfreakingmeout] #2655594
06/22/17 01:15 PM
06/22/17 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by itsfreakingmeout
This past semester my teacher assigned me a Ginastera prelude because she told me I need to become bombastically violent at the keyboard. My comfort zone is the warm, lyrical writing of Chopin, Mendelssohn and the like, and she wouldn't have that. The technique in that is getting that brash, violent sound Ginastera wanted while remaining completely tension free and relaxed, as if you were holding a baby bunny in your hands the entire time.


That kind of comment (and assignment) would work for me only if I really wanted to play the particular piece in question. There is only so far that I could push my own nature beyond my comfort zone. "Bombastically violent" would never be within the realm of possibility let alone be reasonably beyond my comfort zone.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Chopin's op. 25 no 11 - my teacher's comments [Re: BruceD] #2655652
06/22/17 05:13 PM
06/22/17 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by itsfreakingmeout
This past semester my teacher assigned me a Ginastera prelude because she told me I need to become bombastically violent at the keyboard. My comfort zone is the warm, lyrical writing of Chopin, Mendelssohn and the like, and she wouldn't have that. The technique in that is getting that brash, violent sound Ginastera wanted while remaining completely tension free and relaxed, as if you were holding a baby bunny in your hands the entire time.


That kind of comment (and assignment) would work for me only if I really wanted to play the particular piece in question. There is only so far that I could push my own nature beyond my comfort zone. "Bombastically violent" would never be within the realm of possibility let alone be reasonably beyond my comfort zone.

Regards,
Me neither, nor am I fond of Ginastera despite enduring playing through 2 or 3 of the preludes.


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Re: Chopin's op. 25 no 11 - my teacher's comments [Re: NervousWreck123] #2655664
06/22/17 06:02 PM
06/22/17 06:02 PM
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We were singing a piece in choir about the crucifixion of Jesus and the symbolism of the cross. The ending has high A's that are pianissimo in the soprano 1 section. Our sopranos weren't sounding so hot on it, and our conductor got frustrated with them. One of them said, "this is really hard," and he replied, "Jesus had to hang on the cross longer than you have to hang on that high A!" Woo boy.

Re: Chopin's op. 25 no 11 - my teacher's comments [Re: itsfreakingmeout] #2655672
06/22/17 06:37 PM
06/22/17 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by itsfreakingmeout
This past semester my teacher assigned me a Ginastera prelude because she told me I need to become bombastically violent at the keyboard. My comfort zone is the warm, lyrical writing of Chopin, Mendelssohn and the like, and she wouldn't have that. The technique in that is getting that brash, violent sound Ginastera wanted while remaining completely tension free and relaxed, as if you were holding a baby bunny in your hands the entire time.
Reminds me of what happened to the baby bunny in Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men." frown


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Re: Chopin's op. 25 no 11 - my teacher's comments [Re: Carey] #2655673
06/22/17 06:40 PM
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Oh no! There's a book I've pushed into a far corner of my subconscious. So sad...

Re: Chopin's op. 25 no 11 - my teacher's comments [Re: Orange Soda King] #2655674
06/22/17 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
We were singing a piece in choir about the crucifixion of Jesus and the symbolism of the cross. The ending has high A's that are pianissimo in the soprano 1 section. Our sopranos weren't sounding so hot on it, and our conductor got frustrated with them. One of them said, "this is really hard," and he replied, "Jesus had to hang on the cross longer than you have to hang on that high A!" Woo boy.
Ouch! So much for a "teaching moment" LOL


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