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#1526566 - 10/01/10 10:40 PM Re: Recital Problems [Re: AZNpiano]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
We get complaints and questions on this board pretty frequently, from teachers who got a transfer student who can't read, wondering what to do. Those students have been seriously shortchanged by their teachers.

I feel the same way about students who have never performed - that their teachers have seriously shortchanged them, that the essentials have been omitted. That's the best way to describe it.

Edited to add that just as a beginner who isn't ready to read music is not expected to be reading already, I don't expect a beginner who isn't ready to perform yet to have done so.


Edited by david_a (10/01/10 10:42 PM)
Edit Reason: Added paragraph

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#1527519 - 10/03/10 04:42 PM Re: Recital Problems [Re: david_a]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: david_a
My take on this is that music students need experience (and success!) in public performance, just as they need experience and success in counting the beats and learning correct fingering. If former students choose not to continue public performance after they stop studying, that's up to them - in the same way that those who are no longer students sometimes choose to take a little break from scale practice. smile

I don't think a teacher can get around this by substituting other things. I think public performance itself is what counts, not just putting in an additional experience of some kind. Without performance experience, one of the main parts of music education is gone.

I'm in total agreement with you.

It reminds me of a conversation many, many years ago. Parents to little Johnny while visiting friends - "Play something for everyone."

Johnny replies, "Sorry, I can't; I don't have my music." (I'll leave out the repetitions, pleas, anguish, embarrassed comments, etc.)

What it boils down to is: if you cannot play something on command, can you really play the piano (violin, clarinet, etc.)? I suspect most people would conclude you really cannot play.

That is why I have my students maintain repertoire, and it's why we have monthly performance class at the studio, and why students perform publicly 3 or more times a year.

In 30 years, I've lost one student because of this practice, and she was actually a transfer student, and I suspect that there were other issues involved beyond the memory work required.

BTW, yesterday was our monthly performance class, and students averaged performing 4 pieces each. They did well, and I feel they provided each other moral support to boot.
And probably the pizza afterwords added some comfort to the event.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1532724 - 10/11/10 12:34 AM Re: Recital Problems [Re: AZNpiano]
trillingadventurer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 304
Loc: San Diego
I find that my teaching seems "refreshed" after hosting a recital. One year I had to cancel my Winter Recital due to the Southern CA wildfires. My whole teaching year seemed thrown off somehow.

That being said, I have a couple of students who do not perform. I don't push them and they don't seem the worse for wear. For me...the jury is still out on whether it is absolutely necessary or not. And I have argued both sides of this before. This topic must be artistic since I am so torn with it at times....

This December should be interesting...my venue where I usually have my recitals shut down. One of my students offered to host a "backyard" recital which is a kind offer but seems complicated.

I may need to charge a recital fee this year for the first time ever....as the venue I am currently considering charges more than the last place.

On a personal note I have had magical moments of my own playing at performances AND alone.. That's why I try to be overall encouraging more than scary.

I want to make room for the muse...it can happen at any moment.
_________________________
M. Katchur

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#1532763 - 10/11/10 01:52 AM Re: Recital Problems [Re: danshure]
tdow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/13/10
Posts: 203
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: danshure
Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Practicing without performing is like cooking food and never serving it to others.

+10


What's the implied goal of a recital though? To cook up a fancy steak in order to try and please others (be judged)? You may really want to make a burger, and if you stick to that which you love, you could be the world's best burger chef ever. But instead you're making gourmet steaks that no one wants because you're trying to be accepted.

So why do we cook, to please others? Or to please ourselves first, which in turn will please others?

To learn and grow and make meaningful music, it doesn't really matter if you play for others - play for yourself and if others get the chance to listen they will love what you have to say.


In total agreement! What about those students who play the piano purely for personal enjoyment? Is this not deemed valuable? For some, the prospect of performing is horrifying - why should there be anything forced on those who are not destined for a professional career in music? I find it odd that the connection is not often made between pervading difficulties keeping teens interested/problems with retention and the practice of forcing our clients to adhere to strict rules. A little flexibility and empathy goes a long way. Hopefully our main goal as piano teachers is to keep our students playing. Anything done to potentially jeopardize this seems self-defeating. Obviously if your studio is full of students who are gearing up for a career on the concert stage, then yes...performing would be a must. However, the majority of us have studios full of students who will most likely choose a non-musical career. I strongly feel that we have to create relevance for these students too - how are they best served in situations such as these?
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#1532906 - 10/11/10 07:36 AM Re: Recital Problems [Re: tdow]
Happy Birthday Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
Originally Posted By: tdow
In total agreement! What about those students who play the piano purely for personal enjoyment? Is this not deemed valuable? For some, the prospect of performing is horrifying - why should there be anything forced on those who are not destined for a professional career in music? I find it odd that the connection is not often made between pervading difficulties keeping teens interested/problems with retention and the practice of forcing our clients to adhere to strict rules. A little flexibility and empathy goes a long way. [b]Hopefully our main goal as piano teachers is to keep our students playing.[/b] Anything done to potentially jeopardize this seems self-defeating. Obviously if your studio is full of students who are gearing up for a career on the concert stage, then yes...performing would be a must. However, the majority of us have studios full of students who will most likely choose a non-musical career. I strongly feel that we have to create relevance for these students too - how are they best served in situations such as these?


+10
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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