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We called them spirit duplicators here in Aus, back in the Dark Ages when I was school teaching.


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Thank you for your patience, feedback, and kind words. This is an announcement that the blog is finally up and running!

Please check the link below, and subscribe if you would like to receive updates of new articles!

savvypianist.com

Last edited by katpiano; 08/13/20 08:33 PM.
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Your first blog is outstanding 😺 can’t wait for the next installment!


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Yes, very interesting, thank you! That's a lot of different schools to apply to! I only applied to one. And the first time I had been there was when I showed up for the first semester. ha

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Originally Posted by Carey
The Piston Harmony textbook was a nightmare (I used the 3rd edition as a college freshman). Somehow I managed to grasp the fundamentals in spite of it - but we only were able to cover half of the book in two semesters.

I had the 4th ed., heavily revised after Piston's death. There wasn't a class day that my prof didn't complain about it being a good textbook before "that DeVoto guy ruined it."

On day when we were having trouble understanding, he looked up, squinted, and said, "This book was originally intended for Harvard students. Now, I'm not saying you're not Harvard material, but...." laugh


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Originally Posted by scriabinfanatic
Originally Posted by katpiano
Thank you everyone for the kind words and enthusiastic response. It is is very encouraging. smile Again, please let me know if there are any specific topics you would like me to write about (L'Orfeo's comment is noted. I'll definitely try to write about my goals and aspirations).

Once I get the blog up and running (hopefully in a week or two), I will post a link on this thread.

I'd be interested in the topic of recitals/performing. When I was in college, I attended every level of piano recital -- from undergraduate mass "casting call" type affairs, to graduate recitals, faculty recitals, and touring pro recitals. But for those undergrad recitals, I kind of wondered -- it seemed like undergrads weren't required to perform very often...maybe only once or twice per year. So if that's the case, how do you develop your performing skills? Are there frequent private "practice recitals" among students, or what? If so, are they formal/required, or informal/voluntary (like study groups)?

Also: what about repertoire? For example, at my school it seemed like every undergraduate was required to perform one of those "get under the hood" pieces by Cowell or Crumb. But at the graduate level or higher, nobody ever did those. Did undergrads have to play pieces they didn't like...or wouldn't play if it was their sole decision? Or did they just have year-of-composition modernity requirements with no specified style of composition?

Also: are the recitals a high-stress "do-or-die" situation where substandard performance means you don't graduate?....or don't pass the performance class for that year-level anyway? Or is it just one part of your grade, which can be made up for elsewhere, if it doesn't go so well?

Where I went, there was a weekly "seminar" during which all of a teacher's students gathered and played something for each other in the teacher's studio. That was dominated a bit by the older students who were maintaining more eventual recital material than the younger ones.

You played on shared programs for the whole music school 4-5 times a year. Those were high pressure, but didn't "count" per se. At the same time, it was a fairly warm and supportive audience.

We had juries at the end of every semester for which you played generally three pieces and couldn't repeat repertoire, those always had to be new from semester to semester.

There were junior and senior solo recitals. For the senior one, you had to pass an audition before the faculty to give the public one-hour recital. For the junior one, only the teacher had to be satisfied with the performance.

My teacher and I discussed repertoire, and he was flexible about my preferences, but had the final word with the choices.


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Originally Posted by dogperson
Your first blog is outstanding 😺 can’t wait for the next installment!
Thank you dogperson! smile

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Originally Posted by scriabinfanatic
I enjoyed music theory and got straight-A's...I didn't find the subject to be at all difficult...certainly nowhere near as difficult as the advanced hard sciences and math classes I was required to take for my actual major (thermodynamics, field theory, quantum physics, differential equations, etc.). I'm not familiar with the Piston text, but if he managed to make the subject all that difficult, then he must not have been a very good writer/teacher.

Hey, I had the same experience! I self-studied music theory from online courses while doing the same courses as your were in college. It was a breeze in comparison, quite relaxing really. And I'd only been playing piano for a year. I think for someone who's used to dealing with complicated abstract systems like those you find in higher level pure math or physics courses, formal systems of any kind start to feel much easier to get around. I, for one, don't ever recall struggling with any kind of music theory much.

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Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Originally Posted by scriabinfanatic
Originally Posted by katpiano
Thank you everyone for the kind words and enthusiastic response. It is is very encouraging. smile Again, please let me know if there are any specific topics you would like me to write about (L'Orfeo's comment is noted. I'll definitely try to write about my goals and aspirations).

Once I get the blog up and running (hopefully in a week or two), I will post a link on this thread.

I'd be interested in the topic of recitals/performing. When I was in college, I attended every level of piano recital -- from undergraduate mass "casting call" type affairs, to graduate recitals, faculty recitals, and touring pro recitals. But for those undergrad recitals, I kind of wondered -- it seemed like undergrads weren't required to perform very often...maybe only once or twice per year. So if that's the case, how do you develop your performing skills? Are there frequent private "practice recitals" among students, or what? If so, are they formal/required, or informal/voluntary (like study groups)?

Also: what about repertoire? For example, at my school it seemed like every undergraduate was required to perform one of those "get under the hood" pieces by Cowell or Crumb. But at the graduate level or higher, nobody ever did those. Did undergrads have to play pieces they didn't like...or wouldn't play if it was their sole decision? Or did they just have year-of-composition modernity requirements with no specified style of composition?

Also: are the recitals a high-stress "do-or-die" situation where substandard performance means you don't graduate?....or don't pass the performance class for that year-level anyway? Or is it just one part of your grade, which can be made up for elsewhere, if it doesn't go so well?

Where I went, there was a weekly "seminar" during which all of a teacher's students gathered and played something for each other in the teacher's studio. That was dominated a bit by the older students who were maintaining more eventual recital material than the younger ones.

You played on shared programs for the whole music school 4-5 times a year. Those were high pressure, but didn't "count" per se. At the same time, it was a fairly warm and supportive audience.

We had juries at the end of every semester for which you played generally three pieces and couldn't repeat repertoire, those always had to be new from semester to semester.

There were junior and senior solo recitals. For the senior one, you had to pass an audition before the faculty to give the public one-hour recital. For the junior one, only the teacher had to be satisfied with the performance.

My teacher and I discussed repertoire, and he was flexible about my preferences, but had the final word with the choices.

My school pretty much conducts it in a similar manner. I'm most probably going to write a blog post on this topic.

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Thanks WhoDwaldi, katpiano...that makes sense, and may well have been the same sort of thing that they did at the school I went to, but of course being a non-music major, I wasn't in a position to see most of what was going on.

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Thanks! I will read your blog. Maybe I will also start one...

But what I wanted to say... You don't have to be a prodigy... and you don't have to become one.
You don't have to "make" it? What does it even mean "to make it"?
Does it mean that you become a copy of some concert pianist? What does it even mean?
It's a weird statement.
I think - to make it means to become happy with what you are doing. To make it - is to find happiness in your everyday life.
It's not to play in some x concert hall.
It never will be. I don't think that's what music has been created for...

"To make it" means to reveal your talents and share them with the rest of the world. It doesn't mean to become some star.
Thanks.


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KatPiano, I am interested in your blog related to career progression. I work for a major medical center and am the coordinator for employee scholarships, so I advise people on career tracks. Following my PhD at the age of 54, I decided to take up piano again, played as a child. I am now 60. I had two teachers so far. I take at a local music studio. The first one was a graduate of Oberlin (Music major) and the New England Conservatory of Music. He had also played for a symphony and taught at a university. He is now a programmer for NordicTrack, he no longer teachers piano.

My second teacher has his masters in music from a state university. He is still teaching (he is in his upper 20s) and also working on a masters in accounting. I asked him why the change, he told me gigging teaching is good for a second job, but he wants something where he can advance and with more security. His is goal is to become a CPA.

Just wanted to share that each of my maters prepared piano teachers have looked at different career paths.


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Originally Posted by Kvar
Thanks! I will read your blog. Maybe I will also start one...

But what I wanted to say... You don't have to be a prodigy... and you don't have to become one.
You don't have to "make" it? What does it even mean "to make it"?
Does it mean that you become a copy of some concert pianist? What does it even mean?
It's a weird statement.
I think - to make it means to become happy with what you are doing. To make it - is to find happiness in your everyday life.
It's not to play in some x concert hall.
It never will be. I don't think that's what music has been created for...

"To make it" means to reveal your talents and share them with the rest of the world. It doesn't mean to become some star.
Thanks.

Hi Kvar! Thanks for your comment. I do agree with what you said.

I agree that one doesn't have to be a prodigy, but a lot of articles and forums do say that quite often, plus prodigies are glorified a lot. Nothing against them though, they are really good! I was just trying to show/explain that there are musicians out there that play well and are not prodigies, and that's ok. They work hard at it and get better and improve. I just felt that many non-musicians think that prodigy= can become professional musician, while non-prodigy= not worth a shot.

I guess I wasn't very specific by what I meant with "make it." When I said make it, I was referring to, "Do you have the skills/talented enough/work ethic to become a professional musician. " In part though, many people do think that the line "make it" means become a famous concert pianist. While I still do think that it is a great career and I like how it sounds, I also know and see that there are many kinds of success. A concert pianist is just one of them.

It's so easy to say, "I want to be like this concert pianist, or that concert pianist." I say that sometimes too, because a lot of musicians, especially students, are inspired by and look up to these people. However, at the end of the day, I believe it's better to forge your own path and be unique in your own way, utilizing whatever gifts and talents you have to the best of abilities to help shape and define your career... instead of having a career exactly like whoever it is you admire.

Hope that clarifies things. wink

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Originally Posted by DFSRN
KatPiano, I am interested in your blog related to career progression. I work for a major medical center and am the coordinator for employee scholarships, so I advise people on career tracks. Following my PhD at the age of 54, I decided to take up piano again, played as a child. I am now 60. I had two teachers so far. I take at a local music studio. The first one was a graduate of Oberlin (Music major) and the New England Conservatory of Music. He had also played for a symphony and taught at a university. He is now a programmer for NordicTrack, he no longer teachers piano.

My second teacher has his masters in music from a state university. He is still teaching (he is in his upper 20s) and also working on a masters in accounting. I asked him why the change, he told me gigging teaching is good for a second job, but he wants something where he can advance and with more security. His is goal is to become a CPA.

Just wanted to share that each of my maters prepared piano teachers have looked at different career paths.

Hi DFSRN!

Right now, I'm just taking music as far I can go. Haha, I guess I'll have to see 10 years from now if it will be my main source of income, or if I would have shifted careers by then. grin

I do know people who have done career changes, sometimes because they need to, and sometimes because they want to. And that's ok. People are so multi-dimensional, of course there are so many other interests/skills/talents one would want to explore and try out.

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Sorry, I didn't mean to "attack" you in any way.
I just wanted to say that it's so wrong to try to squeeze everybody into one standard cliche - "a pianist playing in a Wigmore Hall".
It's just so... narrow-minded to my mind.

I don't think all the pianists who study music should have this goal in mind. There are other and more higher goals in life - becoming a teacher, sharing your art, that's what's matter and that's what lasts. The goal of music is not being played at the Wigmore Hall.
That's what I think.

But perhaps it's my view, I am not from America, and I know that Americans' mindset is very much that based on American dream, sparkling success, a millionaire within one day, a "self-made man", but I just think it's so much better to be an artist instead of limping after the classical music industry.


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Originally Posted by Kvar
Sorry, I didn't mean to "attack" you in any way.
I just wanted to say that it's so wrong to try to squeeze everybody into one standard cliche - "a pianist playing in a Wigmore Hall".
It's just so... narrow-minded to my mind.

I don't think all the pianists who study music should have this goal in mind. There are other and more higher goals in life - becoming a teacher, sharing your art, that's what's matter and that's what lasts. The goal of music is not being played at the Wigmore Hall.
That's what I think.

But perhaps it's my view, I am not from America, and I know that Americans' mindset is very much that based on American dream, sparkling success, a millionaire within one day, a "self-made man", but I just think it's so much better to be an artist instead of limping after the classical music industry.


Playing at Carnegie Hall is not the dream of all music students in the US. Maybe just the goal of performing SOMEWHERE in order to share music.... or teaching or something else. You are making generalizations that don’t exist and assuming that Americans do not want to be artists. Do not generalize about the American mindset.

We also have Americans who attend medical school in order to treat migrant workers or work on a reservation. Not sparkly, high paid jobs.

My piano teacher graduated with a master’s in piano performance from a US conservatory, but knew she wanted to concentrate on teaching with occasional performances within the area.

Last edited by dogperson; 08/23/20 11:49 AM.
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Ok, sorry!


Lover of Bach, romantics and a lot of other music.
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