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#1890093 - 05/02/12 06:03 PM Re: Does Anyone Know What John Perry and Daniel Pollock Charge? [Re: Joey Townley]
stevenpn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/11
Posts: 30
Loc: Pasadena, CA
I only took private lessons with him during the summers of my undergrad years ('95-'98), when his official fee was $150. Throughout graduate school, I studied with him only through the school (although lessons were occasionally held in his home studio). I once calculated that it was actually cheaper to take lessons with him through USC than privately, despite the expensive tuition at that school.

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#1890111 - 05/02/12 07:00 PM Re: Does Anyone Know What John Perry and Daniel Pollock Charge? [Re: stevenpn]
Joey Townley Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 247
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: stevenpn
I once calculated that it was actually cheaper to take lessons with him through USC than privately, despite the expensive tuition at that school.


Now that I can believe. He's almost a god in the music world, certainly a legend by virtue of his career and having placed in the 1st Tchaikovsky Competition, even if it was 10th place. If he can get $350/hr I imagine Cliburn could command as much as $500, maybe more considering the "shine" it puts on a rising artist's CV to have name like Cliburn as one of your teachers. Wonder if Cliburn does teach.

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#1890125 - 05/02/12 07:25 PM Re: Does Anyone Know What John Perry and Daniel Pollock Charge? [Re: Joey Townley]
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
I have a student-psychiatrist--and a fine pianist who took lessons and insisted I should charge more as he considered me a good teacher and worthy of a higher charge. So, he arranged to be the last student of the week and would take me to dinner after the lesson unless he was on duty at the hospital. And later, he called me to his house and his piano had been re-furbished and he wanted me to see it. I walked in his house and a new artist bench was placed at the piano and as I rounded the corner, I saw another one! But no piano! He has bought one for me also as a 'payment' for the services since I wouldn't raise my fees.

I charge what I think the general population would think is fair and equitable. High prices do not necessarily indicate good instruction. But some take lessons--if only a few--with well-known artists/teachers to have it included in their CV/Resume and thus impress the knowledgable and others.

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#1890244 - 05/03/12 12:42 AM Re: Does Anyone Know What John Perry and Daniel Pollock Char [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19796
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Well, it's over 3 days...

Yes.

Peter: Where did you get the idea that they were either 'group/master class' or 'back-to-back'?

Originally Posted By: Joey Townley
....If he can get $350/hr I imagine Cliburn could command as much as $500, maybe more considering the "shine" it puts on a rising artist's CV to have name like Cliburn as one of your teachers....

I'm sure he could get more than that, without any extra consideration from that last thing you said. Whether he'd ask for that much is a different story; the main factor would be just if he wants to teach the person. (Provided he teaches, which I don't know that he does.)

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#1890297 - 05/03/12 04:58 AM Re: Does Anyone Know What John Perry and Daniel Pollock Charge? [Re: stevenpn]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: stevenpn
I studied with Daniel Pollack for 10 years at USC where I did my Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate with him. I also studied with him privately in his home studio for a few summers. What do you want to know?



what is he like as a teacher? In his interviews, he sounds a bit grumpy or irritable, though clearly passionate about his field. You must have thought you were benefiting greatly if you did all of your undergrad and grad work with him.? Did he perform much? Could you work with him on contemporary pieces? Did you have to audition for his studio specifically?

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#1890393 - 05/03/12 10:40 AM Re: Does Anyone Know What John Perry and Daniel Pollock Charge? [Re: Joey Townley]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1365
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Mark, I'm always capable of misunderstanding things. But John had mentioned that a dozen teachers may sit in on his individual lesson with Jane Tan, yet each teacher receives his or her own hour lesson with this pedagogue. So I figured that the lessons would be back to back. IOW, I observe your lesson, and then you observe my lesson. That was the way Schnabel taught, for example, as well as some of his prominent successors.

I didn't realize this was a three-day workshop being offered. I thought perhaps Mme Tan retired to Seattle from the East Coast, and that John sees her every week as his regular piano teacher. But looking Jane Tan up on Google, I now see she is presenting these master-teacher gigs here and there around the US, sometimes in partnership with Seymour Bernstein.

Sounds like these events could be very stimulating, although I don't know anything firsthand about her.

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#1890507 - 05/03/12 01:34 PM Re: Does Anyone Know What John Perry and Daniel Pollock Char [Re: Mark_C]
Joey Townley Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 247
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Well, it's over 3 days...

Yes.

Peter: Where did you get the idea that they were either 'group/master class' or 'back-to-back'?

Originally Posted By: Joey Townley
....If he can get $350/hr I imagine Cliburn could command as much as $500, maybe more considering the "shine" it puts on a rising artist's CV to have name like Cliburn as one of your teachers....

I'm sure he could get more than that, without any extra consideration from that last thing you said. Whether he'd ask for that much is a different story; the main factor would be just if he wants to teach the person. (Provided he teaches, which I don't know that he does.)


I don't think he does. I read an interview he gave recently. He holds informal music soirees frequently and probably gives advice here and there. He's well-set financially from what I gathered so money is not an issue. He's real night-owl, often practicing till 4 or 5 in the morning and then sleeping until 2 or 3. Maybe that's what did his career in---not being able to keep a concert schedule in sync with an-out-of-sync sleep cycle.

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#1894655 - 05/10/12 09:01 AM Re: Does Anyone Know What John Perry and Daniel Pollock Charge? [Re: Andromaque]
stevenpn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/11
Posts: 30
Loc: Pasadena, CA
I did think I benefited from him a great deal, although students generally stayed with their teacher throughout their studies. Some would shift around from studio to studio, but that wasn't taken very well by the teachers vacated. Pollack seemed disappointed when students would leave for someone else--though that was relatively rare--and I heard the same of other teachers. It was sort of frowned upon by all parties to change teachers, so I never seriously considered it. Had the prospect of changing teachers been more welcome, I might have moved to Stewart Gordon at some point, as he is very reasonable, scientific, extremely knowledgeable, but I was never too keen on anyone else there as my major teacher--certainly not Perry, for reasons I can't post here. I studied with others in piano ensemble, accompanying, Baroque interpretation, etc., however, which gave me some experience with the other studios.

Pollack could be as cantankerous as he seems on the Youtube videos, but that's mostly an act--his outer persona, which involves a very dry, sardonic wit. His teaching was a mixture of musicality and body mechanics. There was always a great deal of emphasis on how to move the hands and arms, finger position (when curved and when flatter), hand position, etc. This was huge for him, as it was for his teacher Rosina Lhevinne. Speaking of her, he would quote her during every lesson multiple times. Sometimes I felt like I was taking from her. I find myself quoting him constantly in my own teaching, a habit I must have picked up from him. Besides body mechanics, he had clear musical values that we would all come to understand after a few semesters or more. Legato was life and death, as was playing melody louder than everything else, and voicing to the top. Seems like basic stuff and it is, but so few people do it. Many folks even with advanced degrees are totally uninterested in voicing, playing all notes of a given chord at about the same volume. For Pollack, that was inexcusable--far more egregious than something like playing wrong notes. I would say that despite the heavy emphasis on technique building that was the ostensible hallmark of his teaching, it was in the area of musicality (such as the sort of aspects mentioned above) that his teaching was most impactful and transformative to me.

His specialty was romantic music, but he loved teaching all types of music. I was always especially interested in contemporary music, which he happily worked on with me. He could always spot little hidden points in the score that I often overlooked.

I never auditioned for him specifically, but he was at my audition for the school itself and must have approved me for his studio. It was magical being his student, and I fully knew that at the time. He had a larger than life personality, and everything he said somehow seemed immensely fascinating. Still, I have to conclude that there are far more economical ways of getting a quality piano education, even of learning exactly what he teaches. You might go to a community college where his former students teach. Then, when you're ready to give a recital and have all your pieces pretty polished already, spring for a private lesson to get his take on the finishing touches.

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#1895608 - 05/12/12 03:51 AM Re: Does Anyone Know What John Perry and Daniel Pollock Charge? [Re: stevenpn]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
Steven,
Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply.

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#1895617 - 05/12/12 04:48 AM Re: Does Anyone Know What John Perry and Daniel Pollock Charge? [Re: Joey Townley]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1365
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
That's a wonderful glimpse of study with this distinguished teacher. Many thanks.

Any time you wanted to tease us a little more about the studio life of John Perry, we're waiting.

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