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104 Year Old PianoTeacher #2777493
11/02/18 01:48 PM
11/02/18 01:48 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,334
Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
Piano World Offline OP

6000 Post Club Member
Piano World  Offline OP

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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,334
Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
Love this! 104 year old still teaching piano at Curtis!




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Re: 104 Year Old PianoTeacher [Re: Piano World] #2777505
11/02/18 02:41 PM
11/02/18 02:41 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,585
Canada
keystring Offline
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Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,585
Canada
There is a long interview with Eleanor Sokoloff, done by PW member Hugh Sung, where we get to learn much more about her than that she is still teaching at a mature age. I was interested most of all about her as a teacher. The interview is here - I've only heard the first half while doing some housework:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZH2IlfKIr0

Among the things I gleaned is that when she entered Curtis at 17, other students were ahead of her because she had not gotten the foundations she would have needed and she had to catch up. As a result, she stresses foundations to this day for all of her students. In the interview she states that in 71 years of teaching (at the point of the interview) only one of her students ever had a piano-related injury, and this was a student who ignored her instructions. She seems a delightful person all round, with a sharp mind and even sharper wit,dismissive things such as when one teacher she had as a child had her flap her wings like a bird to "relax" which she laughs off as downright silly. She seems to care deeply about her students.

Another thing that interested me - because I have seen opinions about this expressed, is her stressing that children should not be forced to perform until they are ready to do so. Her own story is that she was asked to perform for someone important (the name is in the interview) after only 6 months of lesson. She was so successful that she was asked to do the performance a second time. The child's dread was great that she immersed both hands in an ant pile, with the venom causing her hands to swell (fire ants? can regular ants do that?) - the pain being preferable to repeating the performance. The important thing (she says) is that students should not perform until they are ready to do so.

Re: 104 Year Old PianoTeacher [Re: Piano World] #2777617
11/02/18 08:25 PM
11/02/18 08:25 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 1,941
In the Ozarks of Missouri
NobleHouse Offline
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NobleHouse  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 1,941
In the Ozarks of Missouri
Thank you for both interviews. People like her always give me hope for the future.


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Re: 104 Year Old PianoTeacher [Re: Piano World] #2777727
11/03/18 08:57 AM
11/03/18 08:57 AM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,210
Virginia, USA
T
TimR Offline
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TimR  Offline
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T

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,210
Virginia, USA
Thanks for finding this, very interesting.

I haven't had time to hear it all yet.

Does she say anything about how her teaching methods and theories evolved over time?


gotta go practice
Re: 104 Year Old PianoTeacher [Re: TimR] #2777877
11/03/18 05:55 PM
11/03/18 05:55 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,585
Canada
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
keystring  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,585
Canada
Originally Posted by TimR
Does she say anything about how her teaching methods and theories evolved over time?

She believes in giving strong foundations, and the reason is because she was caught out and had to scramble and get those foundations. That is the main thing I heard about history causing things to evolve. She sounded very proud of the fact that there has only been one piano-related injury among her students in all those years, stressing that that was a student who ignored her advice.

Re: 104 Year Old PianoTeacher [Re: Piano World] #2801407
01/12/19 10:01 PM
01/12/19 10:01 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 803
Niagara Falls NY
ebonykawai Offline
500 Post Club Member
ebonykawai  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 803
Niagara Falls NY
Very inspiring! 😍😍😍


Lisa

Currently working at RCM grade 5
Kawai UST-9, Yamaha CLP565GP, Kawai KDP110

"Sometimes I can only groan, and suffer, and pour out my despair at the piano!" - Frederic Chopin

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