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Playing music is a personal thing. It's something you do to give yourself a sense of peace during a stressful day and a sense of accomplishment every time you learned a new piece. I've been to gatherings where people are in a music group or sang in a choir and people who supposedly passed a few RCM levels but wouldn't play in public.

In my school days I played violin in a strings class and had to do a year-end recital for the parents. I also joined the school band as an extracurricular activity. Students in Suzuki or Yamaha are required to do the same to boost their self-esteem. Anyone who is uncomfortable performing wouldn't be in such a music program. I know a young man who quit after a year in Yamaha. His parents thought his last recital was nothing more than an embarrassment.

Music lessons is supposed to be a stepping stone to being comfortable playing in front of others. In many tribal cultures, music is for sharing with everybody including the audience joining in whether they do hand clapping, dancing or singing. Once I invited a friend over before Christmas and showed him a version of "O Holy Night" I downloaded recently. We tried it as a piano-violin duet. He borrowed the score to play at his church. He is very outgoing and participated in talent shows in his church.

In my younger days when my parents paid for the music lessons, they wouldn't want to see me practice week after week and not get anywhere. Now that I'm paying for myself, I'm even more conscious where I need to be & tracking my progress every week. At the last Christmas party 2 teens played a few pieces for the family. They passed several ABRSM exams and had something to show for it. We let them pick the pieces they were comfortable playing and they did their best. In any case, we all have our comfort zone. If I'm not comfortable playing a Bach piece, I can pick another piece by Mozart, Beethoven or a Pop tune that I'm more comfortable with.

When it comes to teachers, I suppose you can pick one who would go through the exercises & repertoire pieces & never ask you to play in front of others. Kind of defeat the purpose of learning to play an instrument.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
No, that's only how you view it. The OP made it clear he didn't feel that way about it and it's his feelings that matter.
Well, it was my comment, certainly it represents how I view it.
And when you say, "The playing wasn't a "success"", it's how you view it, isn't it?
I don't get the point of your replies to my comment.
No, when I say it wasn't a success it was based on the OP's first post.
No, it's based on how you view his first post.

But anyway, whether Ido thought of it initially as of a success or not, the point of my comment was to suggest to him the perspective that it was really a success - a success of overcoming his stage freight. Wasn't it clear? I wanted Ido to look at the situation from this point of view first of all. And then your strange reply follows which denies this point of view because (in your opinion) it's not the original point of view of the thread's author. ?? The purpose of a discussion is obviously an exchange of view points whether they do match or not. It's ridiculous to deny someone's point of view because it doesn't match another point of view.

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Originally Posted by Sgisela
I think the original post was somewhat ambiguous about this. The direct quote from the OP is: “it was not a total failure.” You are probably much more literal in your use of language. When I say something was “not a total failure,” this usually means it was not a resounding success, but it was more than adequate; it was actually just fine.

I am also going to read between a few lines here. The OP has a YouTube channel where he has posted multiple videos of himself playing. To me, this is an indication that the OP actually has some interest in sharing his playing with a broader public. Many of us here are very private about our playing, have no interest in playing in public, etc. We also don’t post audio or video recordings to public platforms. If the OP’s teacher is sensing an interest in playing for a broader audience than just oneself, this is very important for how I interpret the piano teacher’s decision.

That. Sgisela - you read the situation properly.
Indeed I would like to share music and play for people, I just don't feel ready. I have the same problem every beginner has when playing pieces - muscle memory is very fragile and any change in the settings can throw it off. And in my case there were many changes - mainly an instrument which takes time to get used to, poor lighting, keys are sized slightly different than current standard, etc. And the piece was far from polished, so it was more prone to falling apart. Not a total failure = I played it from start to end without halting, but made many strange errors I never make when playing alone - that's the usual story, isn't it? My knowledge of the piece was not solid enough.


Replies such as Iaroslav's and Sam's I actually find encouraging. I took the situation too seriously. What was in stake here? nothing except my ego, which is a thing I'm trying to get rid of anyway.
I wasn't traumatized, because I expected errors to happen. I once played for someone a piece that I composed. Needless to say, I was familiar with the piece more than anyone else can be, right? So, no excuses. It still fell apart big time! smile So I'm no longer surprised by such things, I just acknowledge them, and that's why I chose not to participate in the recitals.


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There's also a difference between live performance, and recording. One could want to share music, but not do it with a live audience.

Glen Gould is a famous example of someone who chose the "recording" path. I don't know if the driver was "stage fright", or perfectionism. I heard that he became expert in splicing tape, so the final product had no mistakes.


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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Glen Gould is a famous example of someone who chose the "recording" path. I don't know if the driver was "stage fright", or perfectionism. I heard that he became expert in splicing tape, so the final product had no mistakes.
And Rachmaninoff was an example of the opposite. There was no possibility for tape splicing in his time, and because of his perfectionism he was afraid that imperfections of his playing would remain forever on the recordings.
It's really hard to be a perfectionist. 🤔

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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Glen Gould is a famous example of someone who chose the "recording" path. I don't know if the driver was "stage fright", or perfectionism. I heard that he became expert in splicing tape, so the final product had no mistakes.
And Rachmaninoff was an example of the opposite. There was no possibility for tape splicing in his time, and because of his perfectionism he was afraid that imperfections of his playing would remain forever on the recordings.
It's really hard to be a perfectionist. 🤔

There is no perfection on earth. Every musical performance has mistakes. Even if Gould was note perfect, he still sounded awful.

I dated a classical radio announcer who was an expert at splicing tape but, you know, there is no longer any demand for that skill.

Rach played for piano rolls, which, as an owner of a Disklavier, I find endearing. He was a forward thinker. The story is that he was so shocked that the result sounded like himself that he walked out of the studio and did not return for a few days.

With the amount of fakery and trickery in recordings, it’s a wonder we put any faith in them at all. Recordings are certainly nothing to emulate but that’s what people try to do.

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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Music lessons is supposed to be a stepping stone to being comfortable playing in front of others.
This generalization is simply false. There are people taking lessons who have no desire to play for others.

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I play for my own enjoyment and edification and don't regard my lessons as stepping stones to playing for others. Call me a chicken, but the thought of playing in front of others is scary. I admire those who do play in front of others, with or without performance anxiety issues.

However, it does seem that most people will be playing within someone else's hearing zone, so in that sense they are playing "for others." Exceptions would be playing on a DP with headphones or living alone in a soundproof apartment or home. For myself, I know very well that my spouse hears me practice and play my pieces. At my lesson, I know that anyone in the corridor outside my teacher's studio can hear me play (I know because I can hear the student ahead of my playing when I arrive for my lesson). Occasionally, someone will step into the office while I'm playing. It used to bother me, having all these people around who could hear me play, but now I've pretty much gotten over it. I had to, or quit lessons. I still have no plans to play in a recital and I'm comfortable with that decision.


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There are 2 types of people: introvert & extrovert. In my younger days I wasn’t very outgoing. A friend in the neighborhood asked me to play hymns in Sunday church services and I turned him down. 2 decades later I joined a music group and started to appreciate performing for an audience. 2 years ago I was traveling overseas and played movements from a Handel suite on a public piano. Another man was practicing a Chopin Nocturne. Even with a few wrong notes, we enjoyed each other’s playing. Over the years I learned not to take life too seriously and live for the moment.

In my school days the year-end concert was part of the music program. I was aware of it talking to former students. There are parents who get kids into a music program and they’re happy to attend their year-end recitals & see kids playing with other musicians in a music group / youth orchestra.

I come from a non-musical family. People around think that playing music is a waste of time. Being in a music group is my justification for continuing to play. The next pre-Christmas gathering I’m expected to play some carols. I look forward to it… going to be fun…

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I haven't seen any reaction to my post regarding trust and honesty, the relationship between teacher and student, and possibly the idea of respect. If your student comes in wanting eventually to become a performer, then performance opportunities would be among the shared goals between you. "Tricking" someone - manipulation (which this was) - has consequences beyond that moment. Can I trust that teacher in the future. And so on.

Any thoughts on that part?

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Originally Posted by keystring
I haven't seen any reaction to my post regarding trust and honesty, the relationship between teacher and student, and possibly the idea of respect. If your student comes in wanting eventually to become a performer, then performance opportunities would be among the shared goals between you. "Tricking" someone - manipulation (which this was) - has consequences beyond that moment. Can I trust that teacher in the future. And so on.

Any thoughts on that part?

Group lessons, students playing for each other, student recitals, and so forth, are a standard part of piano pedagogy. The teacher probably thought she was doing the best thing for her students and what was expected of her. She was being a good teacher, challenging the students and giving them the opportunity to learn from each other - about playing and listening. If the student wants to decline, fine. Frankly, if I found out the other students were being given these opportunities, and I wasn't simply because I was an adult, I would be asking why not.

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Originally Posted by keystring
I haven't seen any reaction to my post regarding trust and honesty, the relationship between teacher and student, and possibly the idea of respect. If your student comes in wanting eventually to become a performer, then performance opportunities would be among the shared goals between you. "Tricking" someone - manipulation (which this was) - has consequences beyond that moment. Can I trust that teacher in the future. And so on.

Any thoughts on that part?

‘Tricking’ is a loaded term. Based on the OP’s last post, I don’t think this was how I would describe the event. I think the teacher was responding to a complicated dynamic with the student — the student both wants to play for others but also has a lot of insecurities and performance anxiety. The teacher felt the student was capable and took the opportunity to push the student a bit out of his comfort zone. It was (expectedly) uncomfortable for the student, but it was also a first step toward a goal of his. I don’t think this was overly manipulative or a reason to lose trust in the teacher. I think this was the teacher responding to something the student wants to do — but whose insecurities and anxiety are inhibiting the student from being proactive in working toward this particular goal.

Personally, from different mentorship experiences I’ve had, the most valuable thing a mentor or teacher can do is to help you work through your weaknesses and insecurities. This undoubtedly involves pushing you beyond your comfort zone. But it is through these experiences that we grow and are better able to reach our goals and potential.

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We could consider the possibility that the OP "tricked" the teacher into thinking that OP would want to perform informally, since as this thread has shown, can often be an expected part of piano study.

Going forward, it seems like OP and teacher need to communicate about expectations and practices.


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Originally Posted by Sgisela
Originally Posted by keystring
I haven't seen any reaction to my post regarding trust and honesty, the relationship between teacher and student, and possibly the idea of respect. If your student comes in wanting eventually to become a performer, then performance opportunities would be among the shared goals between you. "Tricking" someone - manipulation (which this was) - has consequences beyond that moment. Can I trust that teacher in the future. And so on.

Any thoughts on that part?

‘Tricking’ is a loaded term. Based on the OP’s last post, I don’t think this was how I would describe the event. I think the teacher was responding to a complicated dynamic with the student — the student both wants to play for others but also has a lot of insecurities and performance anxiety.
Tricking may be a loaded term but it was chosen by the OP. I haven't seen anything the OP's posts to indicate he wants to play live for others.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Sgisela
Originally Posted by keystring
I haven't seen any reaction to my post regarding trust and honesty, the relationship between teacher and student, and possibly the idea of respect. If your student comes in wanting eventually to become a performer, then performance opportunities would be among the shared goals between you. "Tricking" someone - manipulation (which this was) - has consequences beyond that moment. Can I trust that teacher in the future. And so on.

Any thoughts on that part?

‘Tricking’ is a loaded term. Based on the OP’s last post, I don’t think this was how I would describe the event. I think the teacher was responding to a complicated dynamic with the student — the student both wants to play for others but also has a lot of insecurities and performance anxiety.
Tricking may be a loaded term but it was chosen by the OP. I haven't seen anything the OP's posts to indicate he wants to play live for others.

Didn’t he say he wanted to play for others in this post? He already has a YouTube channel, so there doesn’t seem to be an issue with sharing recordings

http://forum.pianoworld.com//ubbthr...er-pulled-a-trick-on-me.html#Post3176420


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Originally Posted by Sam S
Group lessons, students playing for each other, student recitals, and so forth, are a standard part of piano pedagogy. The teacher probably thought she was doing the best thing for her students and what was expected of her.
The activities you mention are common for students but are not universal. I suspect that there are quite a lot of adult students who don't play for others or at least dread doing so. As far as I can glean from the OP's posts, it was clear to the teacher that playing for others was a not something the OP enjoyed or wanted to do. Since the OP is an adult and had made his feeling know to the teacher, I don't see why one would think she was doing what "was expected of her".

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As the OP wrote yesterday (10 December):

"Indeed I would like to share music and play for people..." so those saying he definitively didn't want to do so must have missed this comment. That he wasn't ready at the particular moment is another issue, I think.

Whether it was a "trick" employed by the teacher or a pedagogical moment might also be debated.

There are times when one says that one is not "ready" for a certain challenge and when a gentle push might help.

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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Sgisela
Originally Posted by keystring
I haven't seen any reaction to my post regarding trust and honesty, the relationship between teacher and student, and possibly the idea of respect. If your student comes in wanting eventually to become a performer, then performance opportunities would be among the shared goals between you. "Tricking" someone - manipulation (which this was) - has consequences beyond that moment. Can I trust that teacher in the future. And so on.

Any thoughts on that part?

‘Tricking’ is a loaded term. Based on the OP’s last post, I don’t think this was how I would describe the event. I think the teacher was responding to a complicated dynamic with the student — the student both wants to play for others but also has a lot of insecurities and performance anxiety.
Tricking may be a loaded term but it was chosen by the OP. I haven't seen anything the OP's posts to indicate he wants to play live for others.

Didn’t he say he wanted to play for others in this post? He already has a YouTube channel, so there doesn’t seem to be an issue with sharing recordings

http://forum.pianoworld.com//ubbthr...er-pulled-a-trick-on-me.html#Post3176420
The OP said he'd like to play for others but doesn't feel ready(the crucial part you left out). Doing so clearly makes him uncomfortable. He also stated that, for him, posting YT recordings(they are incredibly good) is very different(not anxiety provoking) from performing live in front of someone.

If the teacher was trying to nudge the OP into playing for others, I think the least he could have done was make it easier for him to decline. Even when the student is an adult, the teacher-student relationship is often not one of equals.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 12/11/21 05:48 PM.
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Sgisela
Originally Posted by keystring
I haven't seen any reaction to my post regarding trust and honesty, the relationship between teacher and student, and possibly the idea of respect. If your student comes in wanting eventually to become a performer, then performance opportunities would be among the shared goals between you. "Tricking" someone - manipulation (which this was) - has consequences beyond that moment. Can I trust that teacher in the future. And so on.

Any thoughts on that part?

‘Tricking’ is a loaded term. Based on the OP’s last post, I don’t think this was how I would describe the event. I think the teacher was responding to a complicated dynamic with the student — the student both wants to play for others but also has a lot of insecurities and performance anxiety.
Tricking may be a loaded term but it was chosen by the OP. I haven't seen anything the OP's posts to indicate he wants to play live for others.
Rereading the OP's posts I see he did indicate he'd like to play for others but also said he didn't feel ready. If the OP never plays live for others, it will not cause him any harm. He is not a wannabe professional. So why not wait until he feels more comfortable(if that ever happens)?

I know a father who took his young child for swimming lessons. The child was terrified and the father did I think the right thing. He just discontinued the lessons.

One only has to read the many PW posts where adults talk about the dread of playing in teacher recitals or the contortions they go through trying to memorize their piece to see this is not a good idea for everyone.

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Originally Posted by keystring
I haven't seen any reaction to my post regarding trust and honesty, the relationship between teacher and student, and possibly the idea of respect. If your student comes in wanting eventually to become a performer, then performance opportunities would be among the shared goals between you. "Tricking" someone - manipulation (which this was) - has consequences beyond that moment. Can I trust that teacher in the future. And so on.

Any thoughts on that part?
I believe it was a somewhat risky step on the teacher's part, because some other student on Ido's place could be overwhelmed by the situation, develop anxiety of visiting further lessons, fearing a repetition of this situation, and eventually break up with the teacher. A teacher needs to be quite sure in a good outcome to play such a trick. But if a teacher does take risk for the benefit of his students, it's a good thing in my mind.

This situation reminded me of Wodehouse's novels.

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