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#945189 - 01/19/08 12:38 AM Re: Interview with a piano teacher
AZNpiano Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 7034
Loc: Orange County, CA
Hmm...I don't know...

My experience with master classes have been wonderful. Although I'm not a cellist, I observed Yo-Yo Ma at a master class once and I learned a thing or two from him that I could apply to piano, or singing.

As a teacher who always strives to find new ways of teaching, I found most of the master classes at our association's convention quite helpful. I don't think one session can help the piano student "take it to the next level," but I think the point of the master class is to teach the audience.
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#945190 - 01/20/08 09:33 PM Re: Interview with a piano teacher
Opus_Maximus Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 1599
Double Post.

#945191 - 01/20/08 09:34 PM Re: Interview with a piano teacher
Opus_Maximus Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 1599
Originally posted by drumour:
Originally posted by Opus_Maximus:
I don't know...having grown up in the musical scene of L.A, from what I know and hear, his reputation is not particularly high. I don't like his playing, and very recently a friend of mine went to play for him and he charged her 350$ for 45 minutes, and refused to make any critique on her playing, good or bad.[/b] I played the 4th Ballade for him a while back in a masterclass at the Colburn School when I was a senior in high school, and to be honest I don't remember much about what he said - I remember not actually understanding a lot of what he was talking about, and, while he was not terribly mean or strict, I do get the impression that he's not very genuine, and is - contrary to what he says in the video - quite frustrated indeed with the way his career turned out.

Then again, this is speculation, I have never actually studied with him for a long period, so I could be wrong. [/b]
Have you any idea what he did do for his money in that 45 mins? Also, did he show any generosity with his time?

John [/b]
Well..She was planning to audition to USC for Masters, and had wanted to study with him, so she wanted to play for him before the audition for coaching (a very common thing to do for what school you want to apply.) According to her, he simply heard her ENTIRE Program (Being an entire audition program it was about 45 min) Afterwards, he smiled, said Thank you very much, and showed her to the door. Presumably she was too shocked/intimidated to ask him for a critique (I didn't ask her why she didn't) .

But the main thing is that this whole business of charging people insane amounts of money is just something that is accepted amongst the elite of the piano world. I'm sure that one could learn just as much or more from many unknown piano teachers at state colleges and universities throughout the country who would charge less than 100 dollars an hour, but it's just the way prestige presents itself. I've heard Kaplinsky at Juilliard charges 450 an hour. Would I really get more from her than I could get from a well trained, experienced teacher at a number of other schools? Probably not. But since she teaches at Juilliard, she can get away with it, and people (or their parents) will be ready and willing to pay that because of the prestige associated with having a lesson with that person, not because of actual musical gain. But it can also boil down to the teacher's personal ego - I know another teacher at Juilliard who is only 150, and another who doesn't even charge. Pollack obviously feels he can get away with 350, so why not?

#945192 - 01/20/08 09:47 PM Re: Interview with a piano teacher
Opus_Maximus Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 1599
The ironic reality is the most famous piano teachers don't produce good students. Good students COME to famous "teachers" to help their careers. A famous teacher may alter the student's attitude a bit, and change the way they think about music, but anyone coming to study with a world class teacher will already be a world class pianist.

#945193 - 01/20/08 10:32 PM Re: Interview with a piano teacher
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 15475
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally posted by Opus_Maximus:
The ironic reality is the most famous piano teachers don't produce good students. Good students COME to famous "teachers" to help their careers. A famous teacher may alter the student's attitude a bit, and change the way they think about music, but anyone coming to study with a world class teacher will already be a world class pianist. [/b]
Yes, that was my point exactly! But really, who are we to blame for such things? It's mostly the people who willingly pay the money that allow people to charge this much. But, it's their money to waste as they see fit. When it comes right down to it, the most important thing a person can learn is how to entertain/communicate with their audience (if they are studying performance), so no matter how much money you spend, if you don't perform well, it won't matter who you studied with or how much they charge per hour.
private piano/voice teacher FT

#945194 - 01/21/08 12:18 AM Re: Interview with a piano teacher
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
i guess that some teachers, famous ones, think the more they charge the more important he/she looks, and thus they put $$$$ above their values rather comparing how much they charge to how much other famous teachers would charge. it's insane, and to me, no matter how respectful or well-known or famous a teacher is, if he/she charges that much, i would respect such a teacher much much much less than my teacher who only charges a fraction of that amount!

#945195 - 01/21/08 04:28 AM Re: Interview with a piano teacher
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4264
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Must go with rintincop on the high-handed approach of this expensive masterclass goof ... such arrogance must be the result of a deep seated inferiority complex ... perhaps the runt of the litter ... but discovering that his rare genetic aural memory allowed him to get ahead of the pack ... now he can wreak impatient revenge on the unfriendly world who first put him down.

His memory yardstick for masterclass enrolment is a skill held by very few ... aural memories for advanced keyboard are the possession of a scrawny minority ... most of us are delightfully scatterbrain (but artistically the salt of the earth) ... and with loopy memories (can’t shop without ticking the items off a list) ... and have to plod measure by measure with our sight-reading ... memorisation comes hard.

The offhand debunking of playing hands separately (considered a bad habit) deserves a hefty kick in the pants ... it’s the only way some of us know how to build up to the requisite tempo ... by building up muscle memory in one hand and throwing the role over to auto-pilot we are able to focus on the other hand ... doesn’t he just put his foot in it?

This chappie is a monster ... those scheming shrunken eyes are from standing too close to diabolical fires ... he likes playing God with a forked tail ... such postulating arrogance deserves a punch on the nose.

Avoiding this nerd is recommended ... thanks Akira ... feel better now!!

#945196 - 01/21/08 11:02 AM Re: Interview with a piano teacher
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 15475
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Well, I don't say I totally disagree with him on hands separately stuff. I think as an intermediate student, it is essential. For advanced, students, however, I think it is something reserved for difficult passages, and not learning a piece entirely. I think this has to do with being able to sightread hands together. It is a skill that is a little uncomfortable at first to learn, but once you do it, it is much more efficient practice. Then you use the hands separate stuff for those tough passages that need your focused attention. Other than that, I agree with you btb.
private piano/voice teacher FT

#945197 - 02/10/08 02:25 PM Re: Interview with a piano teacher
JBiegel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 855
Originally posted by Kreisler:

I tend to measure pianists like that by using the name-drop ratio. In other words, the number of interesting ideas divided by the number of times they have to drop their teacher's name.

Some people can get away with it. A colleague of Pollack's at USC often mentions Ms. Genhart and Mr. Mannheimer, but it's usually because he's giving them credit for a particularly brilliant idea he doesn't want to usurp. [/b]
Absolutely. Given the circumstance, I mention Adele Marcus' name, for the few who remember her. But it is only when using a specific quote, like 'Don't do anything to the music; let the music do something to you', or, 'Technique is like money: it isn't everything, but without, you can't do anything'; or, 'Listen, don't just hear; look at it, don't just see it', or, 'In order to understand the invisible, one must carefully study the visible', or, 'Don't manufacture; play from the inside out', and 'We don't push sound into the piano, we draw sound from the piano'. (OK, that'll be $500!!) Kidding- I had the pleasure to teach a master class at San Diego State University this past week for nearly 2 hours. The students played very well, which included Chopin 4th Ballade, Mendelssohn Rondo Capriccioso, Rachmaninov Etude-Tableau in e-flat minor, and Beethoven Sonata in E-flat (Fantasia) 1st movement. After suggestions, their playing was transformed--very talented players. I remember (name dropping!) Adele Marcus teaching master classes, and how she was able to get the players to sound like new artists in the half-hour she spent with each. It's all about pulse, line, pedaling and sound. I always stress singing out loud (even if you have a horrible voice like me) and counting out loud. Then, record yourself and try to conduct yourself while listening back. If a teacher creates a supportive and constructive environment for the student, the results can be magical.

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