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Why cannot teachers separate the wheat from the chaff? #2852010
05/25/19 07:30 AM
05/25/19 07:30 AM
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Murmansk, Russia
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PianoStartsAt33 Offline OP
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I told a couple of teachers I met recently that I need only technique and need no advices on enterpretation etc. I tried to use some metaphores. Like "Imagine, that you have a car and your own race track. And you never gonna drive the steets with another drivers - only on your own race track alone. So, you need no Traffic Laws. You just need some one who will teach you to feel the car properly, for your driving to be safe for your health".
Same is with piano playing. I don't care of habits that can "hurt" anyone's ears. I only care of avoiding injuries, getting ability to play faster and other technical stuff.
Do teachers that teach only technique and never say "Hey, you emphasize wrong notes!" exist?


"No succes of failure matters when it's about true vocation". Nicolás Gómez Dávila
“The goal of music is to help people live”. Francis Bebey

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Re: Why cannot teachers separate the wheat from the chaff? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2852018
05/25/19 08:21 AM
05/25/19 08:21 AM
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You're setting yourself up for failure by telling teachers what you will refuse to do. That tags you as a difficult student and they will be understandably reluctant.

Instead, you could approach from the positive end. Your goal at this time in your life is to safely increase your technical ability - you want virtuoso speed, but correctly and injury free. Then you take their advice on how to achieve it, without arguing every suggestion they make.

You can just pretend to listen attentively if they talk about expression. Don't talk back.


gotta go practice
Re: Why cannot teachers separate the wheat from the chaff? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2852022
05/25/19 08:35 AM
05/25/19 08:35 AM
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Florida
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IMHO
Technique is the skills to get you the sound (‘interpretation’’) you want. Your example, ‘you are emphasizing wrong notes, is both a technical and interpretive issue that should be taught together, if you want to play fast, is it fast and soft, fast and loud, fast with ascending octaves?

The end result is the sound. Technique without interpretation is like reading a string of words without meaning or order. The end result will be a blank chalkboard that no one can read. .... and no one will want to hear the music

Re: Why cannot teachers separate the wheat from the chaff? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2852029
05/25/19 08:49 AM
05/25/19 08:49 AM
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It seems to me there is nothing wrong with the teachers that were approached, but it might be the OP who calls good teaching chafff...


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
Re: Why cannot teachers separate the wheat from the chaff? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2852067
05/25/19 11:17 AM
05/25/19 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
I don't care of habits that can "hurt" anyone's ears. I only care of avoiding injuries, getting ability to play faster and other technical stuff.

If your habits hurt teachers' ears, they have the right to correct you.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Why cannot teachers separate the wheat from the chaff? [Re: bennevis] #2852073
05/25/19 11:42 AM
05/25/19 11:42 AM
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Murmansk, Russia
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
I don't care of habits that can "hurt" anyone's ears. I only care of avoiding injuries, getting ability to play faster and other technical stuff.

If your habits hurt teachers' ears, they have the right to correct you.


I noticed that if teachers see student playing some place in a piece "wrong" they think he just cannot play it another way. And they never even suppose that he intends to play "wrong" because he has his own idea of how it should sound.


"No succes of failure matters when it's about true vocation". Nicolás Gómez Dávila
“The goal of music is to help people live”. Francis Bebey

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Re: Why cannot teachers separate the wheat from the chaff? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2852078
05/25/19 12:08 PM
05/25/19 12:08 PM
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Why cannot teachers separate the wheat from the chaff?

It sounds to me like this is exactly what they are doing.


Learner
Re: Why cannot teachers separate the wheat from the chaff? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2852087
05/25/19 12:52 PM
05/25/19 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
I don't care of habits that can "hurt" anyone's ears. I only care of avoiding injuries, getting ability to play faster and other technical stuff.

If your habits hurt teachers' ears, they have the right to correct you.


I noticed that if teachers see student playing some place in a piece "wrong" they think he just cannot play it another way. And they never even suppose that he intends to play "wrong" because he has his own idea of how it should sound.


The teachers I have do not insist on an interpretation as long as it can be defended from the context of the score. There are many ways to play things ‘right’ but there are just some ways that are really ‘wrong’ as well. We discuss why I made the choice I made. Sometimes I keep it, and sometimes realize it was just folly on my part.

You might ask yourself why you believe what you choose is acceptable: have you recorded yourself and critically listened? Can you defend your choice based on the score? If you can’t be flexible in occasionally changing your opinion of ‘right’, you don’t need a teacher.

Re: Why cannot teachers separate the wheat from the chaff? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2852099
05/25/19 01:10 PM
05/25/19 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
I don't care of habits that can "hurt" anyone's ears. I only care of avoiding injuries, getting ability to play faster and other technical stuff.

If your habits hurt teachers' ears, they have the right to correct you.


I noticed that if teachers see student playing some place in a piece "wrong" they think he just cannot play it another way. And they never even suppose that he intends to play "wrong" because he has his own idea of how it should sound.

Disclaimer: Not a piano teacher.

Interpretation is something all professional pianists do. And they can be very different from each other. Yet I expect that most professional pianists learned piano the traditional way, with piano teachers, conservatories, etc.

Perhaps you are being too impatient to be different? Perhaps you should let the process of learning piano proceed?

When you've consolidated your skills, you will have more than enough time to interpret based on your own musical ideas. Or even to compose your own music, which can be totally unique.



across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
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Re: Why cannot teachers separate the wheat from the chaff? [Re: dogperson] #2852104
05/25/19 01:17 PM
05/25/19 01:17 PM
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Murmansk, Russia
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PianoStartsAt33 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
I don't care of habits that can "hurt" anyone's ears. I only care of avoiding injuries, getting ability to play faster and other technical stuff.

If your habits hurt teachers' ears, they have the right to correct you.


I noticed that if teachers see student playing some place in a piece "wrong" they think he just cannot play it another way. And they never even suppose that he intends to play "wrong" because he has his own idea of how it should sound.


The teachers I have do not insist on an interpretation as long as it can be defended from the context of the score. There are many ways to play things ‘right’ but there are just some ways that are really ‘wrong’ as well. We discuss why I made the choice I made. Sometimes I keep it, and sometimes realize it was just folly on my part.

You might ask yourself why you believe what you choose is acceptable: have you recorded yourself and critically listened? Can you defend your choice based on the score? If you can’t be flexible in occasionally changing your opinion of ‘right’, you don’t need a teacher.



I think that the best way (gonna offer it to the next teacher candidate) is to work with teacher only over the stuff that suggests minimal or none of possible interpretations - scales, arpegios etc. and some etudes.

The simple example. I worked over Mozart K 545 1st movement with a teacher. The first four notes in the right hand - C E G B. She told me that I should make an emphasis on B. And it's competent approach. But I like it oposite - playing B soft, as if it fades away. And I don't care that it's musically wrong or it it not what Mozart meant etc. Well, she told me that I should play the way she said or we wil qiut our lessons. Thw result is known, ha-ha smile
It is common for russian school. Everything should be played "right", no matter if you like it or not. They have only one "right" view (the one they were tought by their professors) and the "wrong" ones (all the rest in the world).
Never mind.
I don't wanna argue or proove anything to anyone. I just wanna teacher who is able to concentrate on technical part only.

Last edited by PianoStartsAt33; 05/25/19 01:23 PM.

"No succes of failure matters when it's about true vocation". Nicolás Gómez Dávila
“The goal of music is to help people live”. Francis Bebey

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Re: Why cannot teachers separate the wheat from the chaff? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2852107
05/25/19 01:27 PM
05/25/19 01:27 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
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Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
Well, she told me that I should play the way she said or we wil qiut our lessons. Thw result is known, ha-ha smile
It is common for russian school.

My Russian wife tries this stuff on me sometimes. "You do this or we're going to get divorced." crazy (We've been together 21 years already. LOL)

I still think that you are taking lessons to learn to play the piano. So learn to play the piano and when on your own, you can play however you like, including all the notes in the piece portato, if you want. What's wrong with that? You probably got through school/university/institute that way, didn't you? laugh So do it with piano too!


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Why cannot teachers separate the wheat from the chaff? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2852109
05/25/19 01:32 PM
05/25/19 01:32 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
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Boynton Beach, FL
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I would try it their way, because they are sharing their expertise, and as a student, while I may have my own opinion, it may not be based on experience. You can play it your own way when you're not in lessons, and their way during lessons. You will not find a teacher who will only teach what you want to learn, because there are other things you need to learn. A little humility goes a long way in the learning process.


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Re: Why cannot teachers separate the wheat from the chaff? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2852186
05/25/19 05:55 PM
05/25/19 05:55 PM
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New York City
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I haven't taken lessons for 50 years. A long time ago, when I was interested in playing more virtuosic repertoire I thought like the OP. I figured since I was only playing for myself or people who knew little about classical music it didn't matter if my musical understanding was not so good because neither I nor my audience would know.

I have long given up the idea of playing virtuoso rep because I realized there are very great works that do not require super technique. If I ever decided to take lessons again I would definitely not want the teacher to focus only on technique.

Re: Why cannot teachers separate the wheat from the chaff? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2852281
05/26/19 05:34 AM
05/26/19 05:34 AM
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Auckland, New Zealand
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I haven't had a teacher for fifty years either, and the one I had taught me no technique at all, only music. He sold me his Virgil Practice Clavier and just left me to develop my own technique. Either he thought I didn't need technical advice or he thought I played so badly it didn't matter anyway. Haven't quite decided which.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: Why cannot teachers separate the wheat from the chaff? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2852284
05/26/19 05:51 AM
05/26/19 05:51 AM
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I'm another who hasn't had a teacher for over 50 years and, looking back, I cannot remember him teaching me anything about technique. Not sure whether that was because my technique was good enough or not.

As for playing scales, arpeggios, etc., without interpretation - is that really possible? Can you really separate technique and interpretation?


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Re: Why cannot teachers separate the wheat from the chaff? [Re: Colin Miles] #2852286
05/26/19 06:03 AM
05/26/19 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Colin Miles
I'm another who hasn't had a teacher for over 50 years and, looking back, I cannot remember him teaching me anything about technique. Not sure whether that was because my technique was good enough or not.

As for playing scales, arpeggios, etc., without interpretation - is that really possible? Can you really separate technique and interpretation?


I suppose I do to a certain extent when using the silent Virgil Practice Clavier, but then again, as I invent my own exercises on it which are likely to provide musically interesting vocabulary for improvisation, perhaps not. The ultimate end of musical interest is always kept in mind, put it that way.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: Why cannot teachers separate the wheat from the chaff? [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2852311
05/26/19 08:11 AM
05/26/19 08:11 AM
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I think some teachers forget that they are civil servants, they often think that they are above that "servant" part. We are to teach for the best interests of our students and to help them with their desires. Too often you have teachers who simply want to shape a student in the image that they think is best not what the student wants. Those who get upset hearing this are too often unable to see things on terms of their students level and then help that student change over time, they have no capability to make the student want to change for themselves instead they want the students to change because of what the teacher wants and there lies a big difference.


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Re: Why cannot teachers separate the wheat from the chaff? [Re: Lostinidlewonder] #2852325
05/26/19 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
I think some teachers forget that they are civil servants, they often think that they are above that "servant" part. We are to teach for the best interests of our students and to help them with their desires. Too often you have teachers who simply want to shape a student in the image that they think is best not what the student wants. Those who get upset hearing this are too often unable to see things on terms of their students level and then help that student change over time, they have no capability to make the student want to change for themselves instead they want the students to change because of what the teacher wants and there lies a big difference.


And on the flip side, not every teacher is a good fit for every student. A teacher, like any other self-employed individual, gets to decide what kind of business they feel best running. As result, you have a wide variety of teachers to choose from - it just may take some time and trying out teachers before finding the right one for you.


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Re: Why cannot teachers separate the wheat from the chaff? [Re: Morodiene] #2852335
05/26/19 10:04 AM
05/26/19 10:04 AM
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West Australia
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
I think some teachers forget that they are civil servants, they often think that they are above that "servant" part. We are to teach for the best interests of our students and to help them with their desires. Too often you have teachers who simply want to shape a student in the image that they think is best not what the student wants. Those who get upset hearing this are too often unable to see things on terms of their students level and then help that student change over time, they have no capability to make the student want to change for themselves instead they want the students to change because of what the teacher wants and there lies a big difference.


And on the flip side, not every teacher is a good fit for every student. A teacher, like any other self-employed individual, gets to decide what kind of business they feel best running. As result, you have a wide variety of teachers to choose from - it just may take some time and trying out teachers before finding the right one for you.

I don't see how this is a flip side of what I was saying since I didn't mention that not every student is a good fit for a teacher, though what you are saying makes sense as a separate point. Most students a teacher will come across will be willing to submit to whatever the teacher offers though you will get the occasional ones who have specific needs, if a teacher can't deal with that then there is always time to learn to allow negotation in ones lessons.

Last edited by Lostinidlewonder; 05/26/19 10:05 AM.

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Re: Why cannot teachers separate the wheat from the chaff? [Re: Lostinidlewonder] #2852336
05/26/19 10:08 AM
05/26/19 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
I think some teachers forget that they are civil servants...


Most music teachers providing private lessons in the US are privately employed; civil servants are public employees. Is that not the case in West Australia?


Learner
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