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Re: Is classical piano a sport? [Re: The Monkeys] #2869110
07/14/19 12:29 AM
07/14/19 12:29 AM
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Orange County, CA
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Originally Posted by The Monkeys
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Is math a sport? They have these really huge math competitions. You need to exert your brain to participate. Does that turn math into a sport?


Certain forms of math competitions definitely look like sport.
One is called "face off". Questions are read one at a time, players have to buzz to answer the question. The questions are not super difficult, but you have to be really really fast. Kids shouted out the answers usually before I even understood the questions.

I am well aware of math competitions. I did them, way back in the day. I was asking a rather rhetorical question to show the absurdity of the endeavor.


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Re: Is classical piano a sport? [Re: The Monkeys] #2869117
07/14/19 01:02 AM
07/14/19 01:02 AM
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Orange County, CA
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I am in full support of piano exams and piano competitions. I think they are a healthy and necessary tool in piano education. They are not for all students, but many, if not most, piano students can benefit from taking scary exams or getting blown up at competitions.

However, turning these exam and competition results into sports (think: Las Vegas gambling) is stupid. People who assign meaning to exam/competition results and extend them to measure a child's intelligence ARE IDIOTS. They probably know VERY LITTLE about music, and the only way they can have a tangible relationship to something they completely don't understand are medals, trophies, and certificates with a number on it. It's the idiot's guide to classical music.

I work for some idiots like this. They are hopeless.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Is classical piano a sport? [Re: bennevis] #2869118
07/14/19 01:04 AM
07/14/19 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
[quote=John305]
I like the moment when I break a man's ego. - Bobby Fischer


Who doesn't?

I mean: oh no... .that`s so bad!

And classical piano is, of course, nothing but pure joy and blissful end in itself.
(Where is the halo when you need it?) grin

Re: Is classical piano a sport? [Re: AZNpiano] #2869119
07/14/19 01:08 AM
07/14/19 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
[quote=The Monkeys][quote=AZNpiano]s
I am well aware of math competitions. I did them, way back in the day. I was asking a rather rhetorical question to show the absurdity of the endeavor.



And do not forget the spelling bee.
American kids love that ... and I think it's all about the competition, not the spelling itself.
Or do they do that in their free time too? Just for "fun"? confused
How a-n-n-o-y-i-n-g. annoying.


Cute. Apparently there even exists a ""Spelling match song".


Last edited by Pinkiepie; 07/14/19 01:09 AM.
Re: Is classical piano a sport? [Re: The Monkeys] #2869133
07/14/19 03:56 AM
07/14/19 03:56 AM
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Postings on these forums can get quite competitive.


We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Re: Is classical piano a sport? [Re: Groove On] #2869135
07/14/19 04:01 AM
07/14/19 04:01 AM
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Canada
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Originally Posted by Groove On
Postings on these forums can get quite competitive.


Can you explain what you're trying to say?

Re: Is classical piano a sport? [Re: keystring] #2869148
07/14/19 06:08 AM
07/14/19 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by Groove On
Postings on these forums can get quite competitive.
Can you explain what you're trying to say?

Sometimes there can be a bit of one-upmanship in the threads (subtle and not so subtle). Other times some posters seem to be trying to “win” an argument instead of discussing the topic.

It’s all part of the charm of the forums, but it does bring up the question ... is it then a sport?


We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Re: Is classical piano a sport? [Re: Groove On] #2869165
07/14/19 08:51 AM
07/14/19 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Groove On
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by Groove On
Postings on these forums can get quite competitive.
Can you explain what you're trying to say?

Sometimes there can be a bit of one-upmanship in the threads (subtle and not so subtle). Other times some posters seem to be trying to “win” an argument instead of discussing the topic.

It’s all part of the charm of the forums, but it does bring up the question ... is it then a sport?


grin


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Re: Is classical piano a sport? [Re: Groove On] #2869184
07/14/19 10:07 AM
07/14/19 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Groove On
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by Groove On
Postings on these forums can get quite competitive.
Can you explain what you're trying to say?

Sometimes there can be a bit of one-upmanship in the threads (subtle and not so subtle). Other times some posters seem to be trying to “win” an argument instead of discussing the topic.

It’s all part of the charm of the forums, but it does bring up the question ... is it then a sport?


Perhaps a race to the bottom could be considered a sport.


Learner
Re: Is classical piano a sport? [Re: Groove On] #2869200
07/14/19 11:02 AM
07/14/19 11:02 AM
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Canada
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Originally Posted by Groove On
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by Groove On
Postings on these forums can get quite competitive.
Can you explain what you're trying to say?

Sometimes there can be a bit of one-upmanship in the threads (subtle and not so subtle). Other times some posters seem to be trying to “win” an argument instead of discussing the topic.

I'm glad you actually did have a point, because quite a few posts seemed to be trying to just be witty without having much if anything to say about the issue - which is your point after all.

On July 12 I put together everything that I have found out so far about the picture as a whole, and I don't think it's that inaccurate. There was not a single response. That was a bit disappointing. Even if someone had written to disagree with that collection of ideas.

Re: Is classical piano a sport? [Re: AZNpiano] #2869233
07/14/19 12:35 PM
07/14/19 12:35 PM
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Canada
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I am in full support of piano exams and piano competitions. I think they are a healthy and necessary tool in piano education. They are not for all students, but many, if not most, piano students can benefit from taking scary exams or getting blown up at competitions.

However, turning these exam and competition results into sports (think: Las Vegas gambling) is stupid. People who assign meaning to exam/competition results and extend them to measure a child's intelligence ARE IDIOTS. They probably know VERY LITTLE about music, and the only way they can have a tangible relationship to something they completely don't understand are medals, trophies, and certificates with a number on it. It's the idiot's guide to classical music.

I work for some idiots like this. They are hopeless.

Reading this with the right reading, I think I like your post. smile You state that these exams are not for all students. Our view of proportions is probably the opposite. wink The really important point, however, is your next paragraph, regarding the "meaning". I would say that not only does it not say much about a child's intelligence: it doesn't say that much about the child's musicianship, musical ability, or what the child has learned in music. It shows someone playing a piece or number of pieces in public, that got practised and learned in some particular way.

I suspect that some or more of what you write does relate to the overview I tried to write on July 12, but from a totally different angle. I would still like to know what any teacher thinks of that overview.

Re: Is classical piano a sport? [Re: The Monkeys] #2869253
07/14/19 01:31 PM
07/14/19 01:31 PM
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Okaaay, so speaking on topic (instead of just goofing around):


Generally, I'm not a big fan of competitions between (average) students who are still in basic education.

But opinions can be very different here.

For example:
I know a family whose children play cello and violin and participate in such competitions right from the start. They take extra hours to do the extra work necessary to prepare the pieces (and thus have no time for anything else).
But that's not enough for the mother. She takes every opportunity to give the children a stage. At each school festival (in elementary school), the children are presented like little trained monkeys.

Honestly, I think it's ridiculous.

Here it becomes clear that for many people music is anything but an end in itself.
Rather, it is a way to generate attention and admiration. For some (especially parents) it's probably strictly that.
Often these are parents who have not achieved anything in their own life ... or want to live out the unfulfilled dream of having their own music career.


So ... yes, music can be a kind of sport.

But in a world where even "Eating" can be a sport ("Who's going to swallow most hot dogs in no time? *yuk* sick), that shouldn`t be a big surprise.

Last edited by Pinkiepie; 07/14/19 01:36 PM.
Re: Is classical piano a sport? [Re: malkin] #2869299
07/14/19 04:46 PM
07/14/19 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by malkin

Perhaps a race to the bottom could be considered a sport.

It's most definitely a sport, as this annual race in Gloucestershire (England) shows:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=15&v=6fora0TmtnU


"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: Is classical piano a sport? [Re: bennevis] #2869323
07/14/19 06:08 PM
07/14/19 06:08 PM
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Horace!


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Re: Is classical piano a sport? [Re: The Monkeys] #2869325
07/14/19 06:21 PM
07/14/19 06:21 PM
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Posts: 17,206
Canada
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This is what I wrote before. (no comment on "Horace!")

Do TEACHERS have any thoughts about what I wrote? Is any of it correct - wrong - unimportant - totally off - useful - useless?

The question itself, and the fact that it got asked, probably highlights some major problems in the music scenario as a whole, esp. the "classical" world.

Music per se is an expression of something; it's a story, or imagery, or something, that the composer has invented, to be interpreted in a mix of understanding and personal engagement. To do this, the musician needs a host of skills. He must have some understanding of genres, periods, composers, styles. He has to interpret this in details: through timing, rubato as needed or displaced notes, voicing, articulation, phrasing etc., which he can only do with that understand. He also needs the physical skills to pull that off and exquisite ears that hear and pre-hear. And then the audience ---- will they have the ears to hear it? Perhaps on a gut level, as in, "There is something about that performance which grabs me in an inexplicable way."

To teach at, or toward that level, requires a teacher who has all those skills, as well as the ability to teach. Furthermore, it requires students willing to work that way. By comparison, it is much easier to teach "fast, faster, fastest" with some bombast thrown in. You can hide other weaknesses in a flurry of notes, and the unsophisticated listener will ooh and ah at how fast it is.

Meanwhile it is also a business and an industry. It is easier to get students, to get the attention of parents and students, if you throw in competitions; if you make it about grade levels which people understand from the world of schools and the artificial meritocracy of the workplace.

Thus it is not about what music "is", but how it gets presented, and why. Students and parents coming into the system will get impressions through the environment they find themselves in, which seems to be what this thing is.

Re: Is classical piano a sport? [Re: The Monkeys] #2869347
07/14/19 08:18 PM
07/14/19 08:18 PM
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Classical piano playing by itself is not a sport. Competitive piano playing on the other hand, is a sport, just as synchronized swimming, ice dancing, artistic gymnastics, and competitive ballroom dancing. They all have rules and at the highest levels they all require extraordinary physical skill, physical endurance, interpretive ability, aesthetic choices, and the ability to move an audience.


"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP
Re: Is classical piano a sport? [Re: keystring] #2869363
07/14/19 09:49 PM
07/14/19 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
This is what I wrote before. (no comment on "Horace!")

Do TEACHERS have any thoughts about what I wrote? Is any of it correct - wrong - unimportant - totally off - useful - useless?

The question itself, and the fact that it got asked, probably highlights some major problems in the music scenario as a whole, esp. the "classical" world.

Music per se is an expression of something; it's a story, or imagery, or something, that the composer has invented, to be interpreted in a mix of understanding and personal engagement. To do this, the musician needs a host of skills. He must have some understanding of genres, periods, composers, styles. He has to interpret this in details: through timing, rubato as needed or displaced notes, voicing, articulation, phrasing etc., which he can only do with that understand. He also needs the physical skills to pull that off and exquisite ears that hear and pre-hear. And then the audience ---- will they have the ears to hear it? Perhaps on a gut level, as in, "There is something about that performance which grabs me in an inexplicable way."

To teach at, or toward that level, requires a teacher who has all those skills, as well as the ability to teach. Furthermore, it requires students willing to work that way. By comparison, it is much easier to teach "fast, faster, fastest" with some bombast thrown in. You can hide other weaknesses in a flurry of notes, and the unsophisticated listener will ooh and ah at how fast it is.

Meanwhile it is also a business and an industry. It is easier to get students, to get the attention of parents and students, if you throw in competitions; if you make it about grade levels which people understand from the world of schools and the artificial meritocracy of the workplace.

Thus it is not about what music "is", but how it gets presented, and why. Students and parents coming into the system will get impressions through the environment they find themselves in, which seems to be what this thing is.


I know you know I'm a teacher. smile

I've been following this thread but don't really know what to add, as I see validity in a lot of the points being made. IOW, I don't know if the answer to the OP's thread title is a yes or a no.

That said, I'll respond to some of your July 12 post:

Quote
The question itself, and the fact that it got asked, probably highlights some major problems in the music scenario as a whole, esp. the "classical" world.


I'm not sure if you're saying that the competition aspect of part of the classical world is a problem, but my own view of musical competitions is that they're not a problem, in and of themselves. They can be a fantastic and enriching learning experience, or could be destructive, or anywhere in between, depending on many factors too numerous to mention.

Quote
Music per se is an expression of something; it's a story, or imagery, or something, that the composer has invented, to be interpreted in a mix of understanding and personal engagement. To do this, the musician needs a host of skills. He must have some understanding of genres, periods, composers, styles. He has to interpret this in details: through timing, rubato as needed or displaced notes, voicing, articulation, phrasing etc., which he can only do with that understand. He also needs the physical skills to pull that off and exquisite ears that hear and pre-hear. And then the audience ---- will they have the ears to hear it? Perhaps on a gut level, as in, "There is something about that performance which grabs me in an inexplicable way."


Agree with all of that.

Quote
To teach at, or toward that level, requires a teacher who has all those skills, as well as the ability to teach. Furthermore, it requires students willing to work that way. By comparison, it is much easier to teach "fast, faster, fastest" with some bombast thrown in. You can hide other weaknesses in a flurry of notes, and the unsophisticated listener will ooh and ah at how fast it is.


The "fast, faster, fastest" part does get to be a problem when the goal is to quickly rise to a level the untrained ear will hear as glitzy playing. It also is a problem when students are taught to parrot a teacher and play competition pieces that are far beyond their reading level. An adjudicator won't know how a student learned the repertoire, and any comments to that student about observing things in the printed score will be of limited or no value to the one who isn't learning much of anything by reading.

Quote
Meanwhile it is also a business and an industry. It is easier to get students, to get the attention of parents and students, if you throw in competitions; if you make it about grade levels which people understand from the world of schools and the artificial meritocracy of the workplace.


Yes, it's a business and an industry. However, as far as your second sentence, I haven't found the fact that I offer a competition-track option for piano lessons to be a big draw with most families new to my studio. The majority of them (with beginner students, anyway) choose the no-competition track.

Quote
Thus it is not about what music "is", but how it gets presented, and why. Students and parents coming into the system will get impressions through the environment they find themselves in, which seems to be what this thing is.


How music gets presented is definitely important. I see the educational aspect of taking piano lessons as the first consideration. Is the student gaining valuable information and building a foundation of skills that will serve him well?

But there's also the aesthetic aspect of musicianship--bringing out the beauty of the art form. I believe students can learn to be expressive in their playing quite early in their musical development, and for some, entering auditions and competitions encourages them in their expressive efforts. I've heard this beauty come alive in many students during their competition preparation months, some at much younger ages than I was expression-minded as a student.

It's a joyous thing to witness.

Re: Is classical piano a sport? [Re: The Monkeys] #2869422
07/15/19 07:36 AM
07/15/19 07:36 AM
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As someone who play with a music group in church, there is a strong leaning towards religious music. Church music is mainly for a worship service and not for a competition.

Playing music for adults like myself and older folks is a brain exercise to keep the mind sharp. Race car driving is considered a sport but the running is done by a machine. No physical endurance involved.

If music is a sport, does a musician need to be physically fit or strong to be able to play an instrument? No...

Re: Is classical piano a sport? [Re: Andamento] #2869428
07/15/19 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Andamento
The "fast, faster, fastest" part does get to be a problem when the goal is to quickly rise to a level the untrained ear will hear as glitzy playing. It also is a problem when students are taught to parrot a teacher and play competition pieces that are far beyond their reading level. An adjudicator won't know how a student learned the repertoire, and any comments to that student about observing things in the printed score will be of limited or no value to the one who isn't learning much of anything by reading.


Exactly. These are the main reasons why I see no profit in competitions between students/beginners.

I don`t know how it works in the US. I suspect there are many different regional competitions where students can prove their skills?

In our case, there is a competition for all, first on federal, later on state level. And the winners are basically the same every year, whether piano, cello, violin, horn, harp, flute ....highly skilled children who are out of competition. One of them, an 11-year-old pianist from my town, is already studying at a well-known university (he is a child prodigy).
For these children, it may make sense to attend such events.
But for the average, or slightly more gifted pupil, this is at most a laborious task.


Before the holidays, my daughter's teacher talked to me about it. She told me that she no longer participates in these competitions, because most students lose the joy of playing when they have to work around the same piece for months, just so it's good enough not to be ashamed (in comparison).
Not even her very talented student, who already plays Chopin etudes (after three years of learning).



Last edited by Pinkiepie; 07/15/19 08:09 AM.
Re: Is classical piano a sport? [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2869436
07/15/19 08:32 AM
07/15/19 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
As someone who play with a music group in church, there is a strong leaning towards religious music. Church music is mainly for a worship service and not for a competition.

...


We say that, but church musicians are as competitive, critical, and sometimes vicious as any other group.

A story from church that does not illustrate this: I sing with an amateur church choir. I play with an amateur trombone choir which has a mix of abilities, some quite accomplished. At a recent trombone performance, one of the area's top professionals sat next to me to double my part. I found that quite intimidating. I know what I'm doing but I'm not capable of performing at his level. I mentioned this in my church setting, and the person next to me said, "yeah, that's how I feel every week." Hee, hee.


gotta go practice
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