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#2002223 - 12/20/12 03:19 PM one opinion of an amateur piano judge
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Last week, I had a discussion with a friend of mine who is going to join an amateur piano competition. She wanted to play Chopin Nocturne Op. 48 No.1. By the way, she and I have the same teacher. Originally, our teacher allowed her to play this pieces, however, two weeks later, he said "You should not use this piece for a competition". My friend was kind of not happy, after spending two weeks of her practicing time. Later, my teacher said "Do you want to know what the amateur piano competition judge said?"

This particular judge said "It was painful to listen to these amateur pianists, WE often needed to control ourselves so that we would not laugh during the performances". By the way, this particular judge took lesson from my teacher.

Do you agree with this judge opinion? I personally do not agree, most of the contestants played decently. Most were not outstanding, but very decent and not laughable. The top players were very good. I love to hear opinions of those who had listened to amateur piano competitions.

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#2002233 - 12/20/12 03:35 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Derulux Offline
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I am very harsh and critical of people who say things like this, so I would very much like to hear that judge perform...
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#2002265 - 12/20/12 04:38 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
boo1234 Offline
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Registered: 05/06/09
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someone like this does not need to be judging. Why are they doing it anyway? Just for a power trip?

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#2002282 - 12/20/12 05:19 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Hakki Online   content
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Of course I agree.

Sometimes I watch my 2010 Paris performance just to laugh.
LOL, it is still on my YouTube page.
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#2002302 - 12/20/12 05:51 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
ChopinAddict Offline
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I don't think a judge should say anything like that. How did he play was he when he was their age?
Laughing at one's past performances is probably a different thing.
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#2002327 - 12/20/12 06:40 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
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Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
This particular judge said "It was painful to listen to these amateur pianists, WE often needed to control ourselves so that we would not laugh during the performances". By the way, this particular judge took lesson from my teacher.


Low-quality judge. Low-quality person.
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#2002329 - 12/20/12 06:44 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
pianoloverus Online   content
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I'd assume that someone judging a competition would have some idea of the general level of the participants and know what to expect. Maybe a few people got into the competition who shouldn't have or maybe there were simply no requirements or audition tape. Since the OP says nothing about the competition it's impossible to guess how well or poorly most of the participants played.

I've observed the IKIF master classes at Mannes for more than 10 summers and have seen a wide variety of ability levels(most of these pianists are not amateurs although a few are). I've only heard one performance out of several hundred that I personally might call laughable, and although the teacher was almost laughing at some points during the performance she was, to her credit, very kind and helpful to the pianist afterwards. So maybe more the usual number of these unqualified pianists(or pianists attempting pieces too far above their level) somehow got into the particular competition mentioned by the OP this past year.

Or maybe this particular judge is just rather nasty?

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#2002365 - 12/20/12 08:23 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
....Later, my teacher said "Do you want to know what the amateur piano competition judge said?"....

What judge? Someone from a particular known competition?

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I'd assume that someone judging a competition would have some idea of the general level of the participants and know what to expect....

Yes.

The amateur competitions have a wide range of levels of players, including some people who aren't very good. But to laugh at?? I think that's a very unusual reaction. I think the most common view is that the overall level is surprisingly high, although I think the occasional comments that they/we are "as good as professionals" is overblown except for just a very few of the contestants.

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#2002389 - 12/20/12 09:38 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
musica71 Offline
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If that is this person/judge's opinion he should not be judging Amateur Competitions. Amateurs try their hearts out and are really putting it on the line just to be there. If nerves take over it can be dreadful....but NEVER does one laugh when someone is trying to do their best!
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#2002391 - 12/20/12 09:45 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
musica71 Offline
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One more thought...the screening for these competitions needs to be intelligent and selective. I have witnessed a few people that made it into competitions that were not up to the level they should have been. It seems the Competitions really want/need the money and sometimes just take in every applicant, qualified or not.
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#2002667 - 12/21/12 01:14 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Hakki Online   content
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I think there is a fundamental difference between my understanding of the OP's question and the rest of the replies.

Although OP asked about this judge's opinion, when I said I agreed, I was merely trying to say that these kind of things can happen in amateur competitions.

Quote:
This particular judge said "It was painful to listen to these amateur pianists, WE often needed to control ourselves so that we would not laugh during the performances".


Also, I took this sentence as a fact but not as the opinion of the judge. He was simply saying what has happened actually. There might be times that anybody can have a hard time to control him/herself. It is just spontaneous.

So, I think, comments like, "low person", "low judge" etc. are way too harsh and, irrelevant.

Lets face it. If you are someone who is accustomed to watching professional artistic ice skaters, you might have a hard time controlling yourself while watching amateur ice skaters who are falling here and there unexpectedly during their performances.
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#2002672 - 12/21/12 01:27 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Hakki]
Derulux Offline
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Originally Posted By: Hakki
I think there is a fundamental difference between my understanding of the OP's question and the rest of the replies.

Although OP asked about this judge's opinion, when I said I agreed, I was merely trying to say that these kind of things can happen in amateur competitions.

Quote:
This particular judge said "It was painful to listen to these amateur pianists, WE often needed to control ourselves so that we would not laugh during the performances".


Also, I took this sentence as a fact but not as the opinion of the judge. He was simply saying what has happened actually. There might be times that anybody can have a hard time to control him/herself. It is just spontaneous.

So, I think, comments like, "low person", "low judge" etc. are way too harsh and, irrelevant.

Lets face it. If you are someone who is accustomed to watching professional artistic ice skaters, you might have a hard time controlling yourself while watching amateur ice skaters who are falling here and there unexpectedly during their performances.

I never judged a piano or ice skating competition, but I did spend the last 15 years judging martial arts competitions. I've seen just about everything happen in the ring, but in 15 years, I never got the urge to laugh once. That person is out there trying their best. They deserve better than someone, especially a judge who is supposed to be professional, laughing at them.

That said, I agree with you that I have laughed at myself many times, but then, I have never been particularly kind to myself, either. wink
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#2002690 - 12/21/12 01:55 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Derulux]
Hakki Online   content
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Quote:
That person is out there trying their best. They deserve better than someone, especially a judge who is supposed to be professional, laughing at them.


And this. It is being stated continually. But lets remember that this is not a primary school prom. It is a competition. The competitor has a claim that he/she is better than others. Trying your best is not an excuse. You have to be prepared and compete accordingly. Otherwise do not enter the competition in the first place. Sorry but mercy is not a judge's priority.
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#2002710 - 12/21/12 02:32 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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My friend told my teacher that she is tired of girly pieces (sweet and slow pieces). She wants something bombastic. But my teacher wants to tell my friend that it is better to play pieces that we can handle, rather than playing difficult pieces that she will fall apart.

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#2002802 - 12/21/12 06:29 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
wr Offline
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I think it ill-advised for your teacher to share this comment. People say all sorts of stuff that gets weirdly distorted when taken out of context. Who knows how the comment was meant, or if those were even the actual words said...I am doubtful.

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#2002881 - 12/21/12 11:09 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: wr]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: wr
I think it ill-advised for your teacher to share this comment. People say all sorts of stuff that gets weirdly distorted when taken out of context. Who knows how the comment was meant, or if those were even the actual words said...I am doubtful.

I thought all the same. And I would offer that when things like this get reported 2nd or 3rd hand, they rarely capture what really happened. I don't mean it's usually flat-out false -- just that it doesn't capture what really happened.

But if it does capture what really happened, I agree with the judgments that have been offered about the judge.

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#2002946 - 12/22/12 04:30 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
debrucey Offline
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I don't think there is anything wrong with thinking that, but he probably shouldn't have actually said it.

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#2003017 - 12/22/12 09:45 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Numerian Offline
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Anyone who judges an amateur competition is going to hear some amateur performances, marred by wrong notes, unorthodox interpretations, memory lapses, bouts of nerves, bad pedaling, and so on. Such performers cannot be weeded out of the competition easily because their biography and their application CD can all be wonderful, and either hide these problems, or not show what can happen to the performer if they are having a bad day.

The audience tends to feel very uncomfortable during these performances. Any amateur who has performed publicly can empathize with what the pianist is going through. It is certainly nothing to laugh at, since many performers in that position feel like they humiliated themselves. You can tell them afterward how brave they were to get out there and perform for an audience, but it doesn't help them much.

I think it is fair for the judge to feel uncomfortable for such performers, and in my experience having read quite a lot of the jury comments that are given to performers in this situation, the comments are appreciative of the good things the performer did, they do not harp on the mistakes, and they give helpful advice for the pianist. They encourage the pianist to continue practicing and performing publicly.

It's certainly possible there is a judge who feels no sympathy or empathy for the performers they are judging. They don't belong on a jury for an amateur competition. And I certainly wouldn't want to be taking lessons from them.

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#2003046 - 12/22/12 10:55 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Bashimatsu Offline
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Registered: 12/18/12
Posts: 7
I've never had the chance to listen to an amateur piano competition, but I've participated in a few. I find that I never want to bring an overdone piece to competition. They've heard too much of it. They have an opinion of it. Try taking the lesser beated path when it comes to choosing a piece for competition.

As for the judge's verdict, what was he expecting at a amateur piano competition?His comment was uncalled for, and frankly, he isn't cut out for it if all he's got to say is something negative with no constructive criticism or positive remark.

If I was a judge, I'd tell you to give your friend my apologies for such a rude judge she came across.

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#2003174 - 12/22/12 05:02 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Bashimatsu]
Hakki Online   content
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2668


Quote:
This particular judge said "It was painful to listen to these amateur pianists, WE often needed to control ourselves so that we would not laugh during the performances". By the way, this particular judge took lesson from my teacher.


Note that this is not only a single judge. He is talking for the whole panel of judges (OP has deliberately capitalized the word "WE").
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#2003214 - 12/22/12 06:45 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Kreisler]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
This particular judge said "It was painful to listen to these amateur pianists, WE often needed to control ourselves so that we would not laugh during the performances". By the way, this particular judge took lesson from my teacher.


Low-quality judge. Low-quality person.


Remember, this statement in the OP is 3rd degree hearsay. On the other hand, if a judge actually said that, then I would agree.

Hakki is right that these are competitions, not fifth grade recitals. Nonetheless, if a judge actually had to control themselves to avoid laughing at a competitor in almost any sort of event, I would conclude that they were the kind of person that I would avoid in life. I would indeed judge the judge and find them wanting in basic humanity.
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#2003389 - 12/23/12 07:24 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
btb Offline
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Registered: 01/21/04
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I so well remember the piano competition judge ...
his name was Charlie ... with a first name of Ripe.

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#2003489 - 12/23/12 12:16 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Mark_C Online   content
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Summary, IMO:

If he said it quite that way, he's a jerk.

Did he really say it quite that way? I'd guess not.

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#2003573 - 12/23/12 04:42 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Piano*Dad Offline
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You do realize that you have just repeated what I said two posts above, but with less precision. Oh well.
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#2003593 - 12/23/12 05:46 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Piano*Dad]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
You do realize that you have just repeated what I said two posts above, but with less precision. Oh well.

Did you realize you had basically repeated what I'd said before but with even more precision? grin

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#2003756 - 12/24/12 02:32 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Hakki]
Derulux Offline
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Originally Posted By: Hakki
Quote:
That person is out there trying their best. They deserve better than someone, especially a judge who is supposed to be professional, laughing at them.


And this. It is being stated continually. But lets remember that this is not a primary school prom. It is a competition. The competitor has a claim that he/she is better than others. Trying your best is not an excuse. You have to be prepared and compete accordingly. Otherwise do not enter the competition in the first place. Sorry but mercy is not a judge's priority.

I certainly understand it is not a middle school dance. Is it not equally possible that the competitor has made no such claim, and is there to see where they stand? (Especially in an amateur competition, if I remember the OP correctly?) Maybe they haven't quite reached such an arrogant/insistent stage in their career as to outright suggest they are better than everyone else. Maybe they're there to honestly find out? In such a case, a simple score should suffice, and not the rudeness and arrogance of distatesful remarks or behaviors from judges who are supposed to be professionals.

I don't know.. maybe it's because I've judged at the world level in other endeavors, but I would suggest to your comment about judge's priorities that neither is improper and unprofessional behavior. If I were running the competition, I would throw out any judge who laughed at a competitor and ensure they never returned until they could conduct themselves professionally. (And I have competed in, won, judged, and run world-class competitions.)

To me, that kind of immature behavior lessens the quality and professionalism of the competition, if nothing else.

Originally Posted By: debrucey
I don't think there is anything wrong with thinking that, but he probably shouldn't have actually said it.

While I would disagree with the judge's thoughts, I don't think something like this can be avoided, and I would certainly consider it higher class than outright expressing immaturity. So, in that respect, I can agree with this, even though it still irks me that someone would actually think it.
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#2003770 - 12/24/12 04:14 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
debrucey Offline
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Human nature is human nature. My students make mistakes occasionally that I find funny, not because I have no sympathy for their position, but because it's just a natural instinct to find the pratfalls of others funny. Like I said, it's how you actually behave in spite of your thoughts that determines the sort of person that you are.

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#2003849 - 12/24/12 09:41 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Several posters seemed to have overlooked that the judge making the comment and the other judges in question did not laugh at the competitors. The judge did mention that some of the performances were so bad that the judges had to restrain themselves from laughing. In other words any behavior, if bad, was in their thoughts and not their actions.

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#2003879 - 12/24/12 10:23 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: pianoloverus]
Derulux Offline
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Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Several posters seemed to have overlooked that the judge making the comment and the other judges in question did not laugh at the competitors. The judge did mention that some of the performances were so bad that the judges had to restrain themselves from laughing. In other words any behavior, if bad, was in their thoughts and not their actions.

Their actions necessarily included their vocalizing their thoughts. Had they not done such a thing, then their actions would fall in line with debrucey's comment, which I agree with. However, once they started vocalizing their thoughts, they were no longer restraining, but finding an outlet.
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#2003915 - 12/24/12 11:37 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Derulux]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Several posters seemed to have overlooked that the judge making the comment and the other judges in question did not laugh at the competitors. The judge did mention that some of the performances were so bad that the judges had to restrain themselves from laughing. In other words any behavior, if bad, was in their thoughts and not their actions.

Their actions necessarily included their vocalizing their thoughts. Had they not done such a thing, then their actions would fall in line with debrucey's comment, which I agree with. However, once they started vocalizing their thoughts, they were no longer restraining, but finding an outlet.
The point was they didn't laugh at the competitors. What they thought about or expressed afterwards to non competitors seems like a different level completely.

The OP's first post seems somewhat unclear but what seems inappropriate to me was that the OP's teacher passed on some comments from a judge that were not mean to be passed on to students. Why the teacher did this is unclear but it seems like the OP's teacher was the one acting inappropriately.


Edited by pianoloverus (12/24/12 11:42 AM)

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#2003930 - 12/24/12 12:15 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: pianoloverus]
Hakki Online   content
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pianoloverus:

Thank you so much. You just took the word from my mouth and saved me typing all this.

Derulux:

I don't have much to add to pianoloverus's post.
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#2003944 - 12/24/12 12:48 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
musica71 Offline
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I totally agree with Pianoloverus! The comment was inappropriate, most likely made in confidence...but should never have been passed on and most certainly not to one's student!
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#2003952 - 12/24/12 12:58 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: musica71]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: musica71
I totally agree with Pianoloverus! The comment was inappropriate, most likely made in confidence...but should never have been passed on and most certainly not to one's student!

....which IMO is part of the high chance of it not being accurate.

Someone who would do something like this is probably someone who tends not to get such things quite right and/or can't help adding his/her own embellishment or fantasy. smile

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#2004301 - 12/25/12 01:25 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: pianoloverus]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Originally Posted By: pianoloverus

The OP's first post seems somewhat unclear but what seems inappropriate to me was that the OP's teacher passed on some comments from a judge that were not mean to be passed on to students. Why the teacher did this is unclear but it seems like the OP's teacher was the one acting inappropriately.


My teacher passed this info to my friend because he wanted to make a point to my friend who insisted on playing something that is beyond her technical ability. My friend told my teacher that she does want to play some NON GIRLY pieces for the competition that she is going to enter (Note this is her own terms for sweet pieces, she called those pieces girly pieces). My teacher said "You'd better play girly pieces well than play bombastic pieces badly", and then he told her about what this judge said about the amateur piano competition that this judge judged.

The judge did not laugh during the competition. This judge has the right to share to his/her friend what in his/her mind, and it is good to know what judges thought during the competition so that we can plan accordingly. I personally like to know the real opinios rather than sugar coated opinions.

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#2004302 - 12/25/12 01:27 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
My teacher passed this info to my friend because he wanted to make a point to my friend who insisted on playing something that is beyond her technical ability....

More unwise judgment, IMO. Not a good way to try to make the point, and doesn't bolster the chances of its full accuracy.

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#2004306 - 12/25/12 01:39 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Mark_C]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
My teacher passed this info to my friend because he wanted to make a point to my friend who insisted on playing something that is beyond her technical ability....

More unwise judgment, IMO. Not a good way to try to make the point, and doesn't bolster the chances of its full accuracy.


You may think that way. But it is very effective. My friend changed her mind about trying to learn bombastic pieces. If we really pay attention to the older contestants who passed the first round, most of them played sweat and girly pieces, but they played beautifully.

I myself have a lot of temptation to play more difficult pieces, but after hearing this judge opinion, I think I will have bigger chance to pass the first round if I play easy pieces but play them very well. If I did not hear this harsh opinion from this judge, I will still try to play difficult pieces, and go nowhere.

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#2004307 - 12/25/12 01:45 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Mark_C Online   content
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BTW before continuing to criticize the teacher, we shouldn't forget (as I had) that our idea of what the teacher said is second-hand. We all know that what the JUDGE supposedly said was second-hand -- but really it was 3rd hand (as PianoDad said).

Here's the chain: smile
Ronald says that his friend said that the teacher said that the judge said.

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#2004358 - 12/25/12 05:46 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Mark_C]
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
BTW before continuing to criticize the teacher, we shouldn't forget (as I had) that our idea of what the teacher said is second-hand. We all know that what the JUDGE supposedly said was second-hand -- but really it was 3rd hand (as PianoDad said).

Here's the chain: smile
Ronald says that his friend said that the teacher said that the judge said.


I will ask my teacher this coming Saturday what the judge really said. I will let you know what the judge really said. I do not think it can be inaccurate, it was just a simple message. But let's wait.

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#2004419 - 12/25/12 10:58 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
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Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
I will ask my teacher this coming Saturday what the judge really said....

Cool -- then it'll only be 2nd hand! grin

Ronald, realize that something still could be getting lost in the transmission. But it might be interesting to see if something changes in the once-less-removed rendition.

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#2004427 - 12/25/12 11:19 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: pianoloverus]
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Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Several posters seemed to have overlooked that the judge making the comment and the other judges in question did not laugh at the competitors. The judge did mention that some of the performances were so bad that the judges had to restrain themselves from laughing. In other words any behavior, if bad, was in their thoughts and not their actions.

Their actions necessarily included their vocalizing their thoughts. Had they not done such a thing, then their actions would fall in line with debrucey's comment, which I agree with. However, once they started vocalizing their thoughts, they were no longer restraining, but finding an outlet.
The point was they didn't laugh at the competitors. What they thought about or expressed afterwards to non competitors seems like a different level completely.

The OP's first post seems somewhat unclear but what seems inappropriate to me was that the OP's teacher passed on some comments from a judge that were not mean to be passed on to students. Why the teacher did this is unclear but it seems like the OP's teacher was the one acting inappropriately.

Heresay aside, I have never been tolerant of unprofessionalism.. whether that unprofessionalism takes place in front of the student’s face or not. I still think it is highly immature of the judge, whether it’s laughing in the student’s face, or boasting later about wanting to laugh in a student’s face. I don’t see how that can be considered anything other than immature and unprofessional.

I do think the teacher needs to know their student, and what type of comments the student can handle. However, as a teacher, if I felt the student could handle it, I would certainly express the judge’s sentiments to the student, and then let the student know that that kind of attitude is completely unacceptable. The judge was wrong, and I wouldn’t want my student or anyone else adopting or modeling that behavior in any environment.

As a teacher, I would also bring up the judge’s sentiments to the people who organize and run the competition. I am certain they would not want their competition represented in such a way, whether that representation is “in confidence/private” or not.
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#2004436 - 12/25/12 11:42 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
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Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
[...]I will ask my teacher this coming Saturday what the judge really said. I will let you know what the judge really said. I do not think it can be inaccurate, it was just a simple message. But let's wait.


While this whole discussion may have some point (?) in the abstract, I think, at this juncture, what was reported to have been said - or wasn't said - in this particular case is not our business to know. It may not even be appropriate for RS to share in such a public forum what someone said that someone said.

Regards,
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#2004570 - 12/26/12 12:15 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
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Ok, after all this discussion about who said what to whom, I think it is time to discuss what the OP has asked?

Well, he asked it in a political and polite way, but, in the end the bottom line is a question something like this:

"Amateur pianists who attempt to play difficult pieces above their level of skill are laughed at by professional pianists, do you agree?"
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#2004576 - 12/26/12 12:29 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Hakki]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Hakki
...."Amateur pianists who attempt to play difficult pieces above their level of skill are laughed at by professional pianists, do you agree?"

I don't think that was the thrust of the 1st post. But taking it as you ask it: To tell the truth, sometimes they're laughed at for that by their fellow amateurs, so I don't see why they might not sometimes be laughed at by professionals. I'm sure I've been laughed at, and I've sometimes laughed at myself.

Are any of us often or usually laughed at like that, by anyone? I doubt it. And I think most professionals who have heard people in the amateur competitions have been suitably impressed and have admired what we do. Or what we're trying to do. smile
(And I'd guess you think the same.)

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#2004587 - 12/26/12 12:55 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: BruceD]
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Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
[...]I will ask my teacher this coming Saturday what the judge really said. I will let you know what the judge really said. I do not think it can be inaccurate, it was just a simple message. But let's wait.


While this whole discussion may have some point (?) in the abstract, I think, at this juncture, what was reported to have been said - or wasn't said - in this particular case is not our business to know. It may not even be appropriate for RS to share in such a public forum what someone said that someone said.

Regards,


I made sure nobody knows which amateur competition, and whether the judge is a female or male. My question was just a general question without pointing out certain individual. What we know is only that it was an amateur competition.


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#2004608 - 12/26/12 01:27 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Hakki]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Originally Posted By: Hakki
Ok, after all this discussion about who said what to whom, I think it is time to discuss what the OP has asked?

Well, he asked it in a political and polite way, but, in the end the bottom line is a question something like this:

"Amateur pianists who attempt to play difficult pieces above their level of skill are laughed at by professional pianists, do you agree?"


Thanks Hakki, it was basically my question.

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#2004644 - 12/26/12 02:43 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Hakki]
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Originally Posted By: Hakki
Ok, after all this discussion about who said what to whom, I think it is time to discuss what the OP has asked?

Well, he asked it in a political and polite way, but, in the end the bottom line is a question something like this:

"Amateur pianists who attempt to play difficult pieces above their level of skill are laughed at by professional pianists, do you agree?"

There is a major difference between learning a profession and acting professionally. In the quantitative sense of the word, where "professional" means anyone whose primary source of income is the piano, I would suspect the answer is yes. However, in the qualitative sense of a pianist whose primary source of income is the piano and who acts and behaves in a professional manner, I would suspect the answer is no.

I would think any truly talented pianist who is concerned about their art and medium (and not just their own ego), would probably consider the lackluster performance an indication that that pianist needed a little better guidance, or that they simply were not yet ready to perform that piece (which also indicates the former), but not that the performance was funny or should be laughed at.
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#2004920 - 12/27/12 12:15 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
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The way I understand this is; a judge at an amateur competition made a comment to a teacher about some performances being laughable. I can certainly understand those who take offense at anyone laughing at an amateur competition, the fact that a judge felt the need to express disdain for some of the performances to a teacher borders on unprofessional to me. However, I'm not taking particular offense because those comments may have presumed some sense of privacy. Then the teacher in an attempt to make a point to a student regurgitates the story. The fact is the whole thing may have been made up for the benefit of said student.

Some might say why not just relate the fact that a moderate difficulty piece well performed will score higher than a difficult piece badly performed (Oh where is that link to the Miss Texas Pageant when you need it?). As a sales professional I know the power of stories, stories make facts real. Stories tend to appeal to our lower selves and also tend get elaborated on over time. In this case the threat of moderate humiliation proved powerful. In my work I only tell first person stories about how what I do has helped others. I don't need to embellish or elaborate on the facts, but I know it happens with others.

My point is I understand why a teacher would tell such a story in order to get a "head strong" student to consider alternatives. I can understand a judge expressing frustration at the quality of performances in a competition to a teacher (especially if that teacher was a close acquaintance), but perhaps having an expectation of privacy. We're getting a story 3rd hand and frankly all of this is much ado about not much (typical for PW). The good news is apparently the story had the desired effect.

If anyone had an agenda in this it was the piano teacher who was apparently seeking to inspire his/her students to score higher by playing less difficult pieces well. Did the ends justify the means? Was this a white lie? There are too many possibilities about what really happened for me to get worked up. Now if somebody said they saw judges laughing at performances at a competition that would be different, but that's not what happened here. Frankly if I was a judge at that aforementioned Miss Texas Pageant I don't know if I could have kept from laughing. We've certainly had laughs about it here.


Edited by Steve Chandler (12/27/12 12:19 PM)
Edit Reason: add Miss Texas Pageant comments

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#2004956 - 12/27/12 01:32 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Steve Chandler]
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^^^^^^^^^^ Ditto.
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#2005006 - 12/27/12 03:14 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Steve Chandler]
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Let's forget the laugh part of what the judge has said and concentrate on the other part of what he has said.

Quote:
It was painful to listen to these amateur pianists


The gestures might vary; raising your eyebrow, looking to the floor/ceiling/right/left, lowering your eyes down, putting your palm to your cheek, curling your lips... you name.

The question is, isn't it painful to listen to someone who is apparently struggling with his/her piece ?
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#2005209 - 12/27/12 10:09 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Hakki]
Derulux Offline
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Originally Posted By: Hakki
Let's forget the laugh part of what the judge has said and concentrate on the other part of what he has said.

Quote:
It was painful to listen to these amateur pianists


The gestures might vary; raising your eyebrow, looking to the floor/ceiling/right/left, lowering your eyes down, putting your palm to your cheek, curling your lips... you name.

The question is, isn't it painful to listen to someone who is apparently struggling with his/her piece ?

First, Steve, great post. smile

I think, for me, I don't think of it so much as painful for me as I feel bad for the pianist. However, I would never let it show. If I were judging, I would absolutely hold a poker face and listen objectively through the entire piece no matter how poorly I thought it was being performed. As a judge, I must be objective. As a listener, I can afford to be more subjective, even though I try not to be.

I don't watch American Idol, X Factor, The Voice, or any of those other shows. Really, I don't have time for them. But when I do catch part of a show, I can't stand the cynical remarks and facial reactions of the judges during the performances. I understand most of it is for "show" and for "ratings". But it drives me nuts.
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#2005215 - 12/27/12 10:17 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Derulux]
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....


Edited by Mark_C (12/28/12 11:18 AM)

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#2005226 - 12/27/12 10:30 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Steve Chandler]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
The way I understand this is; a judge at an amateur competition made a comment to a teacher about some performances being laughable. I can certainly understand those who take offense at anyone laughing at an amateur competition, the fact that a judge felt the need to express disdain for some of the performances to a teacher borders on unprofessional to me. However, I'm not taking particular offense because those comments may have presumed some sense of privacy. Then the teacher in an attempt to make a point to a student regurgitates the story. The fact is the whole thing may have been made up for the benefit of said student.

Some might say why not just relate the fact that a moderate difficulty piece well performed will score higher than a difficult piece badly performed (Oh where is that link to the Miss Texas Pageant when you need it?). As a sales professional I know the power of stories, stories make facts real. Stories tend to appeal to our lower selves and also tend get elaborated on over time. In this case the threat of moderate humiliation proved powerful. In my work I only tell first person stories about how what I do has helped others. I don't need to embellish or elaborate on the facts, but I know it happens with others.

My point is I understand why a teacher would tell such a story in order to get a "head strong" student to consider alternatives. I can understand a judge expressing frustration at the quality of performances in a competition to a teacher (especially if that teacher was a close acquaintance), but perhaps having an expectation of privacy. We're getting a story 3rd hand and frankly all of this is much ado about not much (typical for PW). The good news is apparently the story had the desired effect.

If anyone had an agenda in this it was the piano teacher who was apparently seeking to inspire his/her students to score higher by playing less difficult pieces well. Did the ends justify the means? Was this a white lie? There are too many possibilities about what really happened for me to get worked up. Now if somebody said they saw judges laughing at performances at a competition that would be different, but that's not what happened here. Frankly if I was a judge at that aforementioned Miss Texas Pageant I don't know if I could have kept from laughing. We've certainly had laughs about it here.


Excellent inference.....You were able to reconstruct the thoughts etc.

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#2005227 - 12/27/12 10:32 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
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I hope you realize that much of what he said went against much of what you seemed to be indicating.

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#2005375 - 12/28/12 08:58 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Mark_C]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
I hope you realize that much of what he said went against much of what you seemed to be indicating.


I think whatever he said is the correct interpretation of what really happened. He did not really say an opinion or something. He just reconstructed what might have happened, and he is accurate.

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#2005453 - 12/28/12 11:16 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
I think whatever he said is the correct interpretation of what really happened. He did not really say an opinion or something. He just reconstructed what might have happened, and he is accurate.

thumb

I thought you were assuming that what the teacher supposedly said was exactly what the judge said and meant.

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#2005491 - 12/28/12 11:57 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Mark_C]
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
....

Didn't catch that. laugh wink
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#2005494 - 12/28/12 11:59 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Derulux]
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Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
....

Didn't catch that. laugh wink

ha

You didn't miss anything. I deleted the post because it didn't say anything. (Please nobody say........) grin

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#2005515 - 12/28/12 12:23 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Derulux]
Hakki Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Derulux
[

I think, for me, I don't think of it so much as painful for me as I feel bad for the pianist. However, I would never let it show. If I were judging, I would absolutely hold a poker face and listen objectively through the entire piece no matter how poorly I thought it was being performed.


Well, it was PAINFUL for the judge to hold a poker face. Though the judge managed to hold a poker face despite the pain.

Now, assuming that it was PAINFUL what would you do?

If you were the JUDGE:
Keep it as a secret till the end of your life?
Reject being a judge second time without giving a reason?
Talk about it with your mentor/teacher?

If you were the TEACHER:
Keep it as a secret till the end of your life?
Talk about it with your student?

If you were RONALDSTEINWAY:
Keep it as a secret till the end of your life?
Talk about it on PW forum?
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#2005534 - 12/28/12 12:58 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
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Well, we know Ronald's choice. The teacher's choice is hearsay, and ... grin
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#2005558 - 12/28/12 01:23 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Piano*Dad]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Well, we know Ronald's choice. The teacher's choice is hearsay, and ... grin


We know what teacher's choice too. He talked to the student.

We also know the judge's choice, talked to the teacher. So everything is clear! eek

It is unending circle!!!

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#2005570 - 12/28/12 01:32 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
ando Offline
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Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway

It is unending circle!!!


Only if one of us talks to the judge... wink

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#2005620 - 12/28/12 02:55 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: ando]
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Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway

It is unending circle!!!


Only if one of us talks to the judge... wink


Next time when I meet the judge, I will tease the judge about this (to complete the circle)...hahahahahaha.

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#2005858 - 12/29/12 01:45 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Hakki]
Derulux Offline
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Originally Posted By: Hakki
Originally Posted By: Derulux
[

I think, for me, I don't think of it so much as painful for me as I feel bad for the pianist. However, I would never let it show. If I were judging, I would absolutely hold a poker face and listen objectively through the entire piece no matter how poorly I thought it was being performed.


Well, it was PAINFUL for the judge to hold a poker face. Though the judge managed to hold a poker face despite the pain.

Now, assuming that it was PAINFUL what would you do?

If you were the JUDGE:
Keep it as a secret till the end of your life?
Reject being a judge second time without giving a reason?
Talk about it with your mentor/teacher?

If you were the TEACHER:
Keep it as a secret till the end of your life?
Talk about it with your student?

If you were RONALDSTEINWAY:
Keep it as a secret till the end of your life?
Talk about it on PW forum?

Hmm.. good questions. It's extremely difficult to say, because it would require a significant change in my thinking/character. I can speculate, and say that I would hold it in forever, but I am not 100% sure with the change in thinking/character that such a statement would hold true. I'd like to think I still could, but who knows..

I do like Ronald's suggestion about teasing the judge (in a facetious way). Made me laugh. laugh
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#2005883 - 12/29/12 04:53 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Derulux]
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In the Paris competition the judges don't suffer pain from hearing such competitors. They simply ring a bell and stop the poorly performing competitor.

Other competitions are beginning to employ live video streaming, in a way to make the competitors play more carefully.
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#2005960 - 12/29/12 10:27 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Hakki]
Derulux Offline
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Originally Posted By: Hakki
In the Paris competition the judges don't suffer pain from hearing such competitors. They simply ring a bell and stop the poorly performing competitor.

Other competitions are beginning to employ live video streaming, in a way to make the competitors play more carefully.



While I don't agree with it, I suppose if you know they're going to do it ahead of time, then you know what you're getting into. To me, that shifts the competition from a focus on the competitors to a focus on the judges, and it is very amateurish. Makes me wonder if it is supposed to be a renowned piano competition, or an updated version of the Gong Show?

Is that a professional or amateur competition?
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#2005982 - 12/29/12 11:26 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Hakki]
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Originally Posted By: Hakki
In the Paris competition the judges don't suffer pain from hearing such competitors. They simply ring a bell and stop the poorly performing competitor.
Do they ring a bell only when the performance is poor or also because there is only a certain amount of time to hear each competitor and they want to hear some of the other selections the competitor has prepared? Do they give each competitor the same amount of time or do they actually have some pianists stop before their allotted time is up?

I am only familiar with the IKIF competition at Mannes. I don't know if this would be considered a professional competition but it probably would be since most of the pianists are conservatory students or at least performance majors. In all but the final round, the judges often hear only parts of compositions before they ask the competitor to play something else. They signal their desire for the pianist to stop by tapping a pencil.

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#2006007 - 12/29/12 12:13 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Hakki]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Hakki
In the Paris competition the judges don't suffer pain from hearing such competitors. They simply ring a bell and stop the poorly performing competitor.

Dunno if you meant that seriously grin but....while that's sometimes said and even assumed about "the bell," from what I observed about it (having been there a few times), that's not at all how they use it. In fact, if anything it seems that they tend to allow people who are playing relatively poorly to play their whole thing in that round -- because that's all they're going to play. It has appeared to me that they use it mainly when:

-- the rest of the piece is mostly repetition, or
-- they either know already that they will advance the person or at least that they're seriously considering it, and they want to get an idea of how he/she is with some of the other repertoire -- either to help them determine whether to advance the person, or, if they already know they will, to start helping them 'decide' what the person should play in the finals.

edit: I see that Plover anticipated this:

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Do they ring a bell only when the performance is poor or also because there is only a certain amount of time to hear each competitor and they want to hear some of the other selections the competitor has prepared?....


Originally Posted By: Hakki
Other competitions are beginning to employ live video streaming, in a way to make the competitors play more carefully.

I don't think that's either the purpose or an effect of the streaming. People were already playing as 'carefully' as they could! But I think the prospect of people playing not-so-well is a reason that more competitions haven't done streaming.


Edited by Mark_C (12/29/12 12:19 PM)

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#2006032 - 12/29/12 01:28 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: pianoloverus]
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I have been to Paris amateur competition in 2010. I have witnessed the bell being used either way. They used it to stop poor performances and also to listen to other pieces from a competitor.
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#2006047 - 12/29/12 02:06 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Hakki]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Hakki
I have been to Paris amateur competition in 2010. I have witnessed the bell being used either way. They used it to stop poor performances and also to listen to other pieces from a competitor.

Are you sure the "poor performances" thing was other than when the rest of the piece was mostly repetition?

BTW, off the subj smile but....since we're talking about the amateur competitions, I wanted to say again how much I enjoyed meeting you in Warsaw and how much I appreciate the videos from you and your wife. thumb
They are a great, great gift.

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#2006059 - 12/29/12 02:32 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Mark_C]
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Hakki
I have been to Paris amateur competition in 2010. I have witnessed the bell being used either way. They used it to stop poor performances and also to listen to other pieces from a competitor.

Are you sure the "poor performances" thing was other than when the rest of the piece was mostly repetition?

BTW, off the subj smile but....since we're talking about the amateur competitions, I wanted to say again how much I enjoyed meeting you in Warsaw and how much I appreciate the videos from you and your wife. thumb
They are a great, great gift.


I think one competitor was stopped because of too many memory lapses, and another was stopped because of poor playing. If I remember correctly Daniel Chow (who won 3rd place) was interrupted by the jury to hear more of his pieces.

BTW, you are welcome, it was my pleasure to meet you in person in Warsaw.


Edited by Hakki (12/29/12 02:32 PM)
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#2006309 - 12/30/12 12:53 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Aldous Offline
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Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Last week, I had a discussion with a friend of mine who is going to join an amateur piano competition. She wanted to play Chopin Nocturne Op. 48 No.1. By the way, she and I have the same teacher. Originally, our teacher allowed her to play this pieces, however, two weeks later, he said "You should not use this piece for a competition".


This post is so insulting on so many levels, the overall implication being, I suppose, that no "amateur" could possibly penetrate the profundities of Chopin's Opus 48, No. 1. Are you KIDDING me?

Or is this simply a subversive attack on the poster's friend who chose to play this Nocturne but was later betrayed and undermined by her teacher?

I mean what the heck is this post ABOUT? Other than, of course, making all amateur pianists feel they are fools and dupes at the hand of judges and teachers associated with these amateur competitions.

Whose snobbery is on display here? The "friend" of the humiliated amateur pianist who actually thinks judges with superior sensibilities are being put upon by inferior amateur performances? Or the ridiculous teacher who arbitrates repertoire as a "god" would?

Really. This is extraordinarily stupid. And cruel.
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#2006333 - 12/30/12 02:05 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Derulux Offline
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I love Chopin Op48 No1. One of the pieces that's still in my current "repertoire" (if I would even call it that). I think there could be a number of interpretations why this piece "should not" be played at a competition. Probably the least offending is that it is overplayed, and expected to be played to exact perfection. That is a tall order, and darn near impossible to surmount. So, if I were a teacher, I might coach the student that a different piece might be more appropriate, and give the student a better chance of "winning".

That said, there may be a better way to say it than was indicated, but I think there is at least room for interpretation there. smile
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#2006341 - 12/30/12 03:42 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
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I haven't read every post in this thread but to some extent I blame the teacher for not defending the competitors.

"Have you always had poor self-control?",would have been a good start and given the judge a bit of reason to pause for thought.

Of course we don't know all the details or the conversation verbatim, but for the teacher to capitulate just like that is pretty poor, if that is what did happen. (I wish to make it clear I would not leave the teacher for this, but I would have asked if he/she did defend competitors, it might make the teacher think a bit too)

Too often people in power abuse their position and are so arrogant and insensitive they can't even see they are doing it.

I would possibly insist that I play the Chopin as I derive pleasure from seeing other people enjoy themselves.

In life I think it is REALLY IMPORTANT to confront any situation where somebody else is trying to control me through fear, no matter who they are, I won't have it, end of story.

We are often subliminally bullied or controlled in the interests of other organisations and we don't even know it is happening.

If you are living your life and you are not harming others it is not the business of anybody else whatsoever, in this situation you are paying a person to advise you but that doesn't mean you have to listen to them....

But I understand that we all do different things different ways.

Damn the judge and play the Chopin, let him laugh all he wants, that's my attitude.

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#2006344 - 12/30/12 04:06 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: slipperykeys]
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Originally Posted By: slipperykeys
Damn the judge and play the Chopin, let him laugh all he wants, that's my attitude.



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#2006348 - 12/30/12 04:38 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: slipperykeys]
wr Offline
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Originally Posted By: slipperykeys
I haven't read every post in this thread but to some extent I blame the teacher for not defending the competitors.

"Have you always had poor self-control?",would have been a good start and given the judge a bit of reason to pause for thought.



What do you mean - "poor self-control"? They did have self-control - they didn't actually laugh.

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#2006492 - 12/30/12 10:52 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: slipperykeys]
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Originally Posted By: slipperykeys
"Have you always had poor self-control?",would have been a good start and given the judge a bit of reason to pause for thought.
But the judge didn't laugh so apparently he had self control.

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#2006507 - 12/30/12 11:53 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Derulux Offline
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True, the judge had self-control to refrain from laughing, but apparently not enough to resist commenting about wanting to laugh.
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#2006866 - 12/31/12 03:48 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Hakki]
slipperykeys Offline
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Originally Posted By: Hakki
Originally Posted By: slipperykeys
Damn the judge and play the Chopin, let him laugh all he wants, that's my attitude.





I haven't even watched it, what has figure skating got to do with it?

Who says its the "WORST" crash anyway?

Who cares?

Do you laugh at others misfortune?

What goes round comes round.

I'll say it again, Damn the judge and play the Chopin!

DO NOT LIVE IN FEAR.

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#2006879 - 12/31/12 05:12 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: pianoloverus]
slipperykeys Offline
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Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: slipperykeys
"Have you always had poor self-control?",would have been a good start and given the judge a bit of reason to pause for thought.
But the judge didn't laugh so apparently he had self control.


I didn't say he didn't have self-control, I simply said it was poor.
I note he also takes it upon himself to speak for all his collegues too, very dangerous ground.

From OP

"This particular judge said "It was painful to listen to these amatuer pianists, WE often needed to control ourselves so that we would not laugh during the performances". By the way, this particular judge took lesson from my teacher. "


"Painful",.....

To my mind this judge is simply not fit for purpose and should give up, I notice he/she took lessons from the teacher he/she was speaking to, that is outrageous!

Something wrong there, there is more to this than meets the eye, the teacher should have challenged the statement and it would bother me that it appears he didn't.

Any challenge, would have given the so-called judge reason to think.

As it is he/she appears to have got away with it.

A shame. I am not surprised the student was a mite upset, so she should be.

Perhaps she could meet this judge and put them straight although wait until after the judging.....

At least if she ever becomes a judge she has the perfect example of how not to behave, as we have too, now.

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#2007022 - 12/31/12 11:34 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: slipperykeys]
Hakki Online   content
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Originally Posted By: slipperykeys

I haven't even watched it, what has figure skating got to do with it?



Just watch it considering the following sentence:

"The coach/teacher, who has foreseen the crash, had warned the ice-skater/student not to perform the high jump/the Chopin Nocturne"
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#2007034 - 12/31/12 11:55 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Hakki]
slipperykeys Offline
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Originally Posted By: Hakki
Originally Posted By: slipperykeys

I haven't even watched it, what has figure skating got to do with it?



Just watch it considering the following sentence:

"The coach/teacher, who has foreseen the crash, had warned the ice-skater/student not to perform the high jump/the Chopin Nocturne"


OK, fair's fair, I will watch it.

I understand your argument to an extent, about not making a fool of yourself in public, I think, although I may have that wrong too.

But my contention is that you fail by not trying, not by not succeeding, if you see what I mean.

As I said earlier, there is much we are not aware of in this situation and, IMO, the the best reaction will hopefully be the one the student concerned chooses to take.

Anyway, I will now watch the poor (but brave) ice-skater...

Right, I have seen it...

"The coach/teacher, who has foreseen the crash, had warned the ice-skater/student not to perform the high jump/the Chopin Nocturne"

I think that the situation in the OP is slightly different, the student had started studying the piece but after a conversation with a third party the teacher vetoed it.

But the ice-skater's trainer would have seen that jump performed possibly many times before by the dancer.

The piano teacher should at least, at the very least, have discussed any reasons or alternatives first. (again, IMO)

I do feel the teacher has been bullied and instead of presenting a just cause has capitulated and responded by bullying the student.

However, (Disclaimer arriving...)

I do not know all the details, but I would be disappointed if I was the victim of these events.



Edited by slipperykeys (12/31/12 11:56 AM)

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#2007058 - 12/31/12 01:24 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Aldous]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Originally Posted By: Aldous
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Last week, I had a discussion with a friend of mine who is going to join an amateur piano competition. She wanted to play Chopin Nocturne Op. 48 No.1. By the way, she and I have the same teacher. Originally, our teacher allowed her to play this pieces, however, two weeks later, he said "You should not use this piece for a competition".


This post is so insulting on so many levels, the overall implication being, I suppose, that no "amateur" could possibly penetrate the profundities of Chopin's Opus 48, No. 1. Are you KIDDING me?



There are many levels of amateurs, from real amateurs to ex-professionals. In amateur competitions, you will see all kinds of people, those who entered piano competition for the first time, and those who had participated in real professional piano competitions such as Van Cliburn or Tschaikovsky. For the upper tier contestants, Op. 48 No. 1 is nothing, but for majority of the contestants to play Op. 48 No. 1 at professional level is not easy. Even though, we are talking about amateur competitions, but the requirements to advance to the next level is not amateur at all. That is why most people who advanced to the semi or final stage were, usually, people who have strong piano background.

For most amateur piano competition participants, Op. 48 No.1 is doable to play, but to play well is different story. I think it was what my teacher was trying to tell my friend. He just does not see that my friend will be able to play that piece well.

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#2007093 - 12/31/12 02:43 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
musica71 Offline
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I would not say that for ANY person this Chopin Nocturne is NOTHING?? Very complex as far as technique and interpretation In my estimate. This piece would be a disaster at the hands of an intermediate nervous Amateur. Also...regarding the "Live Streaming". I think the Competitions have started doing it to draw more attention to their Competition. It certainly is great for friends and family...but terrifying at first to one who has never experienced it. You feel like if you screw up the whole world is watching. I don't think we try any harder to play well and when one starts playing hopefully can concentrate on the music.
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#2007124 - 12/31/12 04:24 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: musica71]
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Originally Posted By: musica71
....You feel like if you screw up the whole world is watching....

I felt that equally at competitions when I was playing just for the judges, the audience, and maybe most of all my fellow competitors. grin
For me, the video cameras are almost a welcome distraction from that!

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#2007182 - 12/31/12 07:11 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Mark_C]
Derulux Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: musica71
....You feel like if you screw up the whole world is watching....

I felt that equally at competitions when I was playing just for the judges, the audience, and maybe most of all my fellow competitors. grin
For me, the video cameras are almost a welcome distraction from that!

Yeah, give me millions of half-listening people anytime. It's when only one very acute listener is paying their utmost attention that I do not want to let them down...
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#2007211 - 12/31/12 08:31 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
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The OP's first post was discussing a specific person's ability to play Op. 48. Whether this piece is appropriate for some random or average competitor in an amateur competition does not seem relevant to me. I don't think the teacher said that no amateur should play this but that the specific pianist mentioned shouldn't attempt it.

I think we all hear numerous comments every day we think range from rude to very nice. I also think that each person hears these comments in a different way from other people. I don't see much relevance in discussing ad infinitum how each person reacts to a comment.

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#2007236 - 12/31/12 09:16 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
carey Offline
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Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Last week, I had a discussion with a friend of mine who is going to join an amateur piano competition. She wanted to play Chopin Nocturne Op. 48 No.1. By the way, she and I have the same teacher. Originally, our teacher allowed her to play this pieces, however, two weeks later, he said "You should not use this piece for a competition". My friend was kind of not happy, after spending two weeks of her practicing time.

Your friend spent two weeks of practice time working on this. So what? The teacher was perfectly justified in suggesting that she NOT perform the piece if it wasn't up to snuff.

Quote:
Later, my teacher said "Do you want to know what the amateur piano competition judge said?" This particular judge said "It was painful to listen to these amateur pianists, WE often needed to control ourselves so that we would not laugh during the performances". By the way, this particular judge took lesson from my teacher.

It was inappropriate for your teacher to share the judge's comment after the competition. It should have been kept as a confidence between the teacher and the judge. Nothing constructive results from sharing this type of comment with the teacher's other students.

Quote:
Do you agree with this judge opinion? I personally do not agree, most of the contestants played decently. Most were not outstanding, but very decent and not laughable. The top players were very good. I love to hear opinions of those who had listened to amateur piano competitions.

This is where we get into trouble - and is probably why this particular thread has gone on "ad infinitum." You were there - the judge was there - and we weren't. Nevertheless, if this is the judge's attitude about amateur competitions in general, then perhaps he shouldn't put himself in the position of judging them.

FINIS
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#2007297 - 01/01/13 01:21 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
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I am bothered about why the teacher told it. He's manipulating the student into not playing through fear of being laughed at. But there is something worse, because it could undermine the student's confidence at such events from then on. There is the idea that the judges that you are playing in front of find you and every other amateur laughable and inferior. How do you play in front of people who you think may hold that attitude under their bland demeanour? I've only played at exams, not competitions, but I trusted that the person judging me knew I was a student who was still learning, but took me seriously. If my teacher had told me beforehand that judges laugh at students I don't know how that would have affected my confidence. I don't like manipulation, period.

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#2007316 - 01/01/13 02:36 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: keystring]
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Originally Posted By: keystring
? I've only played at exams, not competitions, but I trusted that the person judging me knew I was a student who was still learning, but took me seriously.


Did you ever play a piece at an exam that your teacher had strictly prohibited you from playing?
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#2007318 - 01/01/13 02:56 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Hakki]
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Originally Posted By: Hakki
Originally Posted By: keystring
? I've only played at exams, not competitions, but I trusted that the person judging me knew I was a student who was still learning, but took me seriously.


Did you ever play a piece at an exam that your teacher had strictly prohibited you from playing?

I was an adult violin student. I used "exams" generically, sorry blush - I did one exam after I had done 7 or 8 pieces, and my teacher asked me which two I'd like to do for the exam. He helped me choose the ones that would sound best for the judge. I was once forbidden to perform in a recital, because the piece was not up to snuff. A preteen had played it at the previous recital with some poor timing, but he said that he expected more from me. This strengthened my confidence more than if he had let me go ahead with lower expectations. (Just thinking of that.) I was very disappointed at the time, though.

Actually I don't think that you can play something at an exam against the teacher's wishes, because the choices are submitted ahead of time and the teacher is part of that.

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#2007320 - 01/01/13 03:14 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: keystring]
carey Offline
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Originally Posted By: keystring
I am bothered about why the teacher told it. He's manipulating the student into not playing through fear of being laughed at. But there is something worse, because it could undermine the student's confidence at such events from then on. There is the idea that the judges that you are playing in front of find you and every other amateur laughable and inferior. How do you play in front of people who you think may hold that attitude under their bland demeanour? I've only played at exams, not competitions, but I trusted that the person judging me knew I was a student who was still learning, but took me seriously. If my teacher had told me beforehand that judges laugh at students I don't know how that would have affected my confidence. I don't like manipulation, period.


It is unclear (based on the way the original post is written) as to exactly WHEN the teacher made the comment....before or after the competition. In either instance it would have been inappropriate to share the comment.

In an ideal world one would hope that the judges in a competition or exam were taking you seriously. But you can't really know (or worry about) what they or anyone else in the audience are thinking. Just focus on playing your pieces to the best of your ability.
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#2007323 - 01/01/13 03:43 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: keystring]
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Originally Posted By: keystring
Actually I don't think that you can play something at an exam against the teacher's wishes, because the choices are submitted ahead of time and the teacher is part of that.


So what make you think that a student can play something at a competition against the teacher's wishes?

Besides, in this case it was not just a wish, the teacher told her that she screwed/would screw (probably Ronald should make this clear) the nocturne.
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#2007324 - 01/01/13 03:44 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: carey]
keystring Online   content
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Originally Posted By: carey

It is unclear (based on the way the original post is written) as to exactly WHEN the teacher made the comment....before or after the competition. In either instance it would have been inappropriate to share the comment.

The way the OP was writing, it would seem before, because he says that "it worked" and the student chose another piece. I agree with what you are saying, however.

Quote:

In an ideal world one would hope that the judges in a competition or exam were taking you seriously. But you can't really know (or worry about) what they or anyone else in the audience are thinking. Just focus on playing your pieces to the best of your ability.

True. But you are also trying to build confidence in your student, and planting that kind of image in a student's head does not seem to be good.

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#2007329 - 01/01/13 03:59 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
slipperykeys Offline
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There is so much here to consider. As I have made several comments already I am now in a different situation to the reaction I would have given at the time.

I am actually less annoyed at the judge, I don't think much of him, but that is his failing, and more offended by the teacher. I think I would have to go back to this at some time if it was me as I do not know if I could let it rest. Why did the teacher need an off-hand (presumably) comment to make a definite decision?

Why didn't the teacher (presumably) challenge the judge making such a remark?

Does anybody remember the series "The Wonder Years"?

Kevin takes piano lessons in one episode and plays a piece at a recital for other students. He plays poorly but is very upset when another child plays the same piece well and the teacher explains why she allowed that to happen.

Typically, and most usefully.... I have forgotten the explanation!
Well, it was a long time ago but, as was often the case in The Wonder Years, it was a beautiful study of humanity, challenge and life-lessons.

Not least, as Valentina Lisitsa said when asked who was the best, Vladimir Horowitz, Glenn Gould or Lang Lang, "Who knows? There is no one truth".



Edited by slipperykeys (01/01/13 04:02 AM)

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#2007341 - 01/01/13 05:55 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Hakki]
keystring Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Hakki

So what make you think that a student can play something at a competition against the teacher's wishes?

Carey asked me if I had ever played a piece at an exam against my teacher's wishes, and I said that I didn't think it would be possible because our pieces are registered along with the teacher's approval ahead of time. The passage you quoted says the word exam. I never expressed such a thought.

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#2007408 - 01/01/13 10:17 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: keystring]
carey Offline
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Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: Hakki

So what make you think that a student can play something at a competition against the teacher's wishes?

Carey asked me if I had ever played a piece at an exam against my teacher's wishes, and I said that I didn't think it would be possible because our pieces are registered along with the teacher's approval ahead of time. The passage you quoted says the word exam. I never expressed such a thought.


and it was Hakki (not me) who asked the exam question. smile
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#2007474 - 01/01/13 01:24 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: slipperykeys]
cefinow Offline
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Originally Posted By: slipperykeys


Does anybody remember the series "The Wonder Years"?

Kevin takes piano lessons in one episode and plays a piece at a recital for other students. He plays poorly but is very upset when another child plays the same piece well and the teacher explains why she allowed that to happen.

Typically, and most usefully.... I have forgotten the explanation!
Well, it was a long time ago but, as was often the case in The Wonder Years, it was a beautiful study of humanity, challenge and life-lessons.



[Digression alert.] This piqued my interest, so I looked up the episode in question and found a transcript. To sum up the missing explanation... At a dress rehearsal a week before the recital, Kevin finds out that his teacher's star piano pupil is playing the same piece he is! He is dismayed. Star pupil plays a flawless rendition. Teacher announces that she wants to show how two performers have a different interpretation of the same piece. Kevin then plays, and bombs. Despite encouragement, he withdraws from the recital. ... then regrets it. Here's the closing sequence, while Kevin is watching the star pupil play "his" piece at the recital.

[Shot of KEVIN stopped on his bike, looking toward the house in the background.]
NARRATOR: I never did forget that night. I remember the light glowing from Mrs. Carples' window. And I remember the darkness falling as I sat out there on the street looking in.
And now... More than twenty years later... I still remember every note of the music that wandered out into the still night air. The only thing is... I can't remember how to play it anymore. [He rides his bike off down the street.]

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#2007524 - 01/01/13 03:38 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: carey]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Originally Posted By: carey


It is unclear (based on the way the original post is written) as to exactly WHEN the teacher made the comment....before or after the competition. In either instance it would have been inappropriate to share the comment.


This judge did not comment on this particular student, but commenting on general participants. They often wanted to laugh when they listened to the participants way of playing. By the way, I had a lesson with my teacher last Saturday. I confirmed with him what the judge said. He did confirmed what I stated earlier.

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#2007528 - 01/01/13 03:40 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Mark_C Online   content
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You misread his post. Take another look.

And BTW, this is an example of how easy it is to misunderstand something, or to get it at least a little wrong in a way that changes the meaning a lot, even something pretty simple like in the above post. And it's why there's reason to have doubt about what was conveyed 3rd hand in the OP (which was something much less simple) and even IMO 2nd hand, as in the above post.

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#2007559 - 01/01/13 04:25 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Mark_C]
carey Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
You misread his post. Take another look.

And BTW, this is an example of how easy it is to misunderstand something, or to get it at least a little wrong in a way that changes the meaning a lot, even something pretty simple like in the above post. And it's why there's reason to have doubt about what was conveyed 3rd hand in the OP (which was something much less simple) and even IMO 2nd hand, as in the above post.

Which, I believe, has been part of the problem with this entire thread !!!! grin
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#2007565 - 01/01/13 04:38 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
carey Offline
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Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: carey


It is unclear (based on the way the original post is written) as to exactly WHEN the teacher made the comment....before or after the competition. In either instance it would have been inappropriate to share the comment.


This judge did not comment on this particular student, but commenting on general participants. They often wanted to laugh when they listened to the participants way of playing. By the way, I had a lesson with my teacher last Saturday. I confirmed with him what the judge said. He did confirmed what I stated earlier.


So it would appear the judge made the comment to your teacher AFTER the competition - and that the comment had nothing to do with the teacher's decision to not have his student perform the Nocturne.

My point is that your teacher should not have shared this comment with you or any of his other students. smile
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#2007608 - 01/01/13 06:20 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: carey]
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Originally Posted By: carey

My point is that your teacher should not have shared this comment with you or any of his other students. smile

I agree. And the reason is that picturing your audience or a judge with a particular attitude which is humiliating or denigrating to the performer can affect the performer, especially if he is still a student getting used to it. It is not an image to share, and there is no reason for doing so.

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#2007609 - 01/01/13 06:21 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: carey]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: carey


It is unclear (based on the way the original post is written) as to exactly WHEN the teacher made the comment....before or after the competition. In either instance it would have been inappropriate to share the comment.


This judge did not comment on this particular student, but commenting on general participants. They often wanted to laugh when they listened to the participants way of playing. By the way, I had a lesson with my teacher last Saturday. I confirmed with him what the judge said. He did confirmed what I stated earlier.


So it would appear the judge made the comment to your teacher AFTER the competition - and that the comment had nothing to do with the teacher's decision to not have his student perform the Nocturne.

My point is that your teacher should not have shared this comment with you or any of his other students. smile



Yes, the judge made the comment after the competition.
I do not know what ignited the conversation.

My thought is that it is painful to hear what the judges really think, but I'd rather know the real standard so that I know how to plan my next competition that I will enter.

Before this incident, I had heard people saying that if we play difficult pieces but we cannot execute well, the judges consider that we cannot play that piece. But what this judge said to my teacher and the teacher told my friend who is planning to enter adult piano competitions really affirms what I had heard. Not pleasant, but I think useful if we view in certain way.

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#2007611 - 01/01/13 06:24 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: keystring]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: carey

My point is that your teacher should not have shared this comment with you or any of his other students. smile

I agree. And the reason is that picturing your audience or a judge with a particular attitude which is humiliating or denigrating to the performer can affect the performer, especially if he is still a student getting used to it. It is not an image to share, and there is no reason for doing so.


To me the live streaming thing is much scarier than people in the audiences.

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#2007623 - 01/01/13 06:57 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
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Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Before this incident, I had heard people saying that if we play difficult pieces but we cannot execute well, the judges consider that we cannot play that piece.
I think that virtually goes without saying.

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#2007644 - 01/01/13 07:55 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: pianoloverus]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Before this incident, I had heard people saying that if we play difficult pieces but we cannot execute well, the judges consider that we cannot play that piece.
I think that virtually goes without saying.


It depends on the individual's standard. Playing well is relative. My friend who often entered amateur competitions has such a high standard so that he is rarely impressed by most of the amateur people. Yet, some other people can be impressed by adults who play pieces often by professionals. Now I know that judges in this amateur level expect people to play at professional level too. That is why unprofessional playing really annoys them.

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#2007690 - 01/01/13 09:26 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
musica71 Offline
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Ronald...Surely judges do not expect "professional level" playing at an Amateur Competition (though some competitors reach that level). What they expect is a well prepared program at the level of the competitor. That level depends totally upon what the Amateur is capable of under pressure.


Edited by musica71 (01/01/13 09:27 PM)
Edit Reason: Wrong spelling.
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#2007705 - 01/01/13 10:12 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: musica71]
carey Offline
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Originally Posted By: musica71
Ronald...Surely judges do not expect "professional level" playing at an Amateur Competition (though some competitors reach that level). What they expect is a well prepared program at the level of the competitor. That level depends totally upon what the Amateur is capable of under pressure.

Well said !!!! thumb
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#2007774 - 01/02/13 01:19 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: musica71]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: musica71
Ronald...Surely judges do not expect "professional level" playing at an Amateur Competition (though some competitors reach that level). What they expect is a well prepared program at the level of the competitor. That level depends totally upon what the Amateur is capable of under pressure.

Well said is dam right!! thumb

Quote:
Edit Reason: Wrong spelling

We don't expect correct spelling. grin

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#2007775 - 01/02/13 01:22 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Derulux Offline
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Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Before this incident, I had heard people saying that if we play difficult pieces but we cannot execute well, the judges consider that we cannot play that piece.
I think that virtually goes without saying.


It depends on the individual's standard. Playing well is relative. My friend who often entered amateur competitions has such a high standard so that he is rarely impressed by most of the amateur people. Yet, some other people can be impressed by adults who play pieces often by professionals. Now I know that judges in this amateur level expect people to play at professional level too. That is why unprofessional playing really annoys them.

If these judges are well-versed in said competitions, they should know what to expect, and should not be annoyed. If they are brand new, they should be coached on etiquette while being a judge, and on what to expect for the duration of their amateur judging careers.

If they find they cannot deal with the caliber of pianist with which they are being presented, perhaps they should upgrade themselves to professional competitions only. Once they get there, they still should be coached on etiquette while being a judge.
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#2007842 - 01/02/13 08:21 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: musica71]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Originally Posted By: musica71
Ronald...Surely judges do not expect "professional level" playing at an Amateur Competition (though some competitors reach that level). What they expect is a well prepared program at the level of the competitor. That level depends totally upon what the Amateur is capable of under pressure.


Yes, they do not expect, but their standard is still at professional level. They are delighted by those who can play at the professional qualities. That is why most of finalists in big competitions have strong piano background. Either they went to prestigious conservatories, or they were prodigies. People who cannot play at professional quality seldom advance to final.

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#2007867 - 01/02/13 09:21 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: musica71]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: musica71
Ronald...Surely judges do not expect "professional level" playing at an Amateur Competition (though some competitors reach that level). What they expect is a well prepared program at the level of the competitor. That level depends totally upon what the Amateur is capable of under pressure.
This is exactly the point.

All the teacher was trying to tell his student was not to attempt a piece beyond his abilities (which apparently the Chopin Nocturne was). This is exactly what the teacher should be doing, and it was very silly for the student to be upset that he had been already working on it for two weeks. He can always play it for his own pleasure or some place other than the competition.

I have watched some of the bigger amateur competitions that have been posted on YouTube or broadcast live. I think a fair number of the competitors attempt works demanding the highest level of professional virtuosity and end up obviously struggling(and sometimes failing) to pull the piece off without many wrong notes, slowing down during the most difficult passages, etc. If they'd just play something at an advanced but somewhat less difficult level they'd have more of a chance of showing their musical abilities which sometimes get completely lost in their obvious struggle to just play the notes.


Edited by pianoloverus (01/02/13 05:42 PM)

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#2007870 - 01/02/13 09:29 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
carey Offline
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Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: musica71
Ronald...Surely judges do not expect "professional level" playing at an Amateur Competition (though some competitors reach that level). What they expect is a well prepared program at the level of the competitor. That level depends totally upon what the Amateur is capable of under pressure.


Yes, they do not expect, but their standard is still at professional level. They are delighted by those who can play at the professional qualities. That is why most of finalists in big competitions have strong piano background. Either they went to prestigious conservatories, or they were prodigies. People who cannot play at professional quality seldom advance to final.


Well, that's the way the world works.

And besides, playing the piano is not about "winning" - IMHO its about the sheer joy, satisfaction and pleasure that comes from being able to play beautiful music to the best of one's ability - whatever that might be.
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#2008077 - 01/02/13 04:30 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: carey]
currawong Offline
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Originally Posted By: carey
And besides, playing the piano is not about "winning" - IMHO its about the sheer joy, satisfaction and pleasure that comes from being able to play beautiful music to the best of one's ability - whatever that might be.
Worth repeating. thumb
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#2008112 - 01/02/13 05:29 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: currawong]
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Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: carey
And besides, playing the piano is not about "winning" - IMHO its about the sheer joy, satisfaction and pleasure that comes from being able to play beautiful music to the best of one's ability - whatever that might be.
Worth repeating. thumb


Again. grin
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#2008178 - 01/02/13 07:43 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Cinnamonbear]
ChopinAddict Offline
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Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: carey
And besides, playing the piano is not about "winning" - IMHO its about the sheer joy, satisfaction and pleasure that comes from being able to play beautiful music to the best of one's ability - whatever that might be.
Worth repeating. thumb


Again. grin


And again. smile
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#2008201 - 01/02/13 08:38 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: ChopinAddict]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: carey
And besides, playing the piano is not about "winning" - IMHO its about the sheer joy, satisfaction and pleasure that comes from being able to play beautiful music to the best of one's ability - whatever that might be.
Worth repeating. thumb


Again. grin


And again. smile
I don't think think it's that simple. That's part of it, but many people have big egos, and certainly at the professional level there are major monetary considerations involved in the result of a competition.

If winning is of no importance, why not just let each competitor perform and give no prizes? Why have there been lengthy discussions at PW by amateur competitors about every tiny detail involved in participating in a competition?

Even in a recital a professional must win the approval of the audience and/or critics to be successful. And amateurs also want to win the approval of their audience.

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#2008211 - 01/02/13 09:08 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: pianoloverus]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: carey
...its about the sheer joy, satisfaction and pleasure that comes from being able to play beautiful music to the best of one's ability...
Worth repeating.thumb
Again. grin
And again. smile

+1

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I don't think think it's that simple.

+1 grin

As is often the case, everybody is 100% right, including the opposite views. smile

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#2008215 - 01/02/13 09:17 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Mark_C]
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A favorite quotation from John Stuart Mill: "In all intellectual debates, both sides tend to be correct in what they affirm, and wrong in what they deny."

(not sure this is exactly an "intellectual debate," but still... smile )
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#2008224 - 01/02/13 09:34 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: pianoloverus]
currawong Offline
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Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
[I don't think think it's that simple. That's part of it, but many people have big egos, and certainly at the professional level there are major monetary considerations involved in the result of a competition.
carey said playing the piano is not about winning. He was speaking about more than competitions. Of course big things sometimes hang on the results of competitions. But I would still say "playing the piano is not about winning".
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#2008239 - 01/02/13 10:03 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: currawong]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
[I don't think think it's that simple. That's part of it, but many people have big egos, and certainly at the professional level there are major monetary considerations involved in the result of a competition.
carey said playing the piano is not about winning. He was speaking about more than competitions. Of course big things sometimes hang on the results of competitions. But I would still say "playing the piano is not about winning".


Everybody who joins adult piano competitions has different objectives.
Most of the participants are so so pianists (not bad, but not good), including me. For people like me, our challenge is to be able to perform well in front of people. If we can accomplish this, we are happy and if we can get into semifinal, we consider that we have won. However, the better pianists who have the ability to perform well have different objectives. They want the next level which is to win!

The most important point is that people who join adult piano competitions are different type of people. Most adults do not like to play in front of people. They feel that it is a torture, but the people who join the adult piano competitions love the thrill and the challenge. If these people only want to play beautiful music, they can just join piano club, and play for each other.

If people say that they play just is not just to win, why many of these people got so upset when the did not advance to semifinal. Some even cried (in the hotel room, of course), or I saw somebody throwing a tantrum. However, most people do know their ability and limitation so they accept the reality and just enjoy the thrill.



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#2008243 - 01/02/13 10:14 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
....Many even cried....

Come on! grin

If the rest of your reporting is as accurate as that....well, sorry but this might give us even more doubt about what you've been saying in this thread.

I very much doubt that "many" have "cried" at any of the amateur competitions. (Unless somebody happened to have a sack of onions on them during the announcements.) ha

Taking together all 10,000 of the amateur competitions I've been to (give of take) grin ....I've seen 1 person cry, and one other be perhaps visibly on the verge of tears over the announced results.

Edit: I see that you edited "many" down to "some."
Good job. smile

But that still probably overstates it. I'd guess that maybe you saw one.


Edited by Mark_C (01/02/13 10:15 PM)

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#2008244 - 01/02/13 10:18 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Mark_C]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
....Many even cried....

Come on! grin

If the rest of your reporting is as accurate as that....well, sorry but this might give us even more doubt about what you've been saying in this thread.

I very much doubt that "many" have "cried" at any of the amateur competitions. (Unless somebody happened to have a sack of onions on them during the announcements.) ha

Taking together all 10,000 of the amateur competitions I've been to (give of take) grin ....I've seen 1 person cry, and one other be perhaps visibly on the verge of tears over the announced results.

Edit: I see that you edited "many" down to "some."
Good job. smile

But that still probably overstates it. I'd guess that maybe you saw one.


They cried after they go back to their room. They do not show it in public! Not to mention those who got upset why this person advance etc.... Public face is different from what they really feel inside.

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#2008247 - 01/02/13 10:21 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Mark_C Online   content
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How many people's rooms did you go back to at that competition? grin

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#2008333 - 01/03/13 03:20 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Mark_C]
Derulux Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
How many people's rooms did you go back to at that competition? grin

I'm thinking of a Four Seasons song right now... three guesses which one? laugh
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#2008344 - 01/03/13 04:13 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Derulux]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
How many people's rooms did you go back to at that competition? grin

I'm thinking of a Four Seasons song right now... three guesses which one? laugh

Y'know, I don't know -- and I should.

The Four Seasons are (is?) my favorite-ever non-classical group or performer, by many miles. I was never particularly into popular music and didn't seek it out, but back in the day, I would hear stuff on the radio a lot because somebody always had it on -- and whenever there was a song that really grabbed me, it was almost always the Four Seasons. And I've since gone to hear Frankie Valli a few times, and still check regularly to see where he'll be.

Nevertheless, I have no idea. ha
All I can think of is Save It For Me, but I don't think that works.

BTW: Probably the reason I don't know is, I don't hear words! Or hardly. I just tune them out. I think I just have a resistance to anything about music being concretely representational. That's also one reason that I prefer untranslated vocal music: I want there to be as little danger as possible that I'll understand the lyrics. But even in English, I mostly just don't hear the words. The only lyric of "Ronnie" that I know is "Ronnie." "Sherry" is a bit of an exception: I know two of the words -- Sherry, and baby. grin

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#2008449 - 01/03/13 09:56 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Mark_C]
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
"Sherry" is a bit of an exception: I know two of the words -- Sherry, and baby. grin

I think the next line is, "Won't you come out tonight"

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#2008491 - 01/03/13 11:47 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Derulux Offline
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You guys are cracking me up.. I was thinking of: "December, 1963 (Oh What A Night)". Then apply to Mark's quip: "How many people's rooms did you go back to at that competition?" wink
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#2008518 - 01/03/13 12:52 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Derulux]
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Originally Posted By: Derulux
You guys are cracking me up.. I was thinking of: "December, 1963 (Oh What A Night)". Then apply to Mark's quip: "How many people's rooms did you go back to at that competition?" wink

Let's see.... grin

"....Oh what a night,
You know I didn't even know her name
But I was never gonna be the same
What a lady, what a night!
Oh, I got a funny feeling when she walked in the room
And I, as I recall it ended much too soon
Oh what a night...."


OK, how many people's rooms.... ha

P.S. I never realized songs had lyrics like this so far back (1975) -- I would have thought not until a couple of decades later.

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#2008610 - 01/03/13 03:31 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Numerian Offline
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That's Bob Gaudio, with help on the lyrics by his wife Judy Parker. I'm in the same camp as you are Mark - the Four Seasons are my all-time favorite pop group, and Gaudio, who wrote almost all of their many hits, has to be among the top song writers in the rock field. I used to think of The Four Seasons as just Frankie Valli, but more and more I think you have to put Bob Gaudio first, who gave The Four Seasons influence topped only by The Beach Boys and The Beatles.

Okay, that's my plug for a brilliant song writer. You may now return to your regularly scheduled argument.

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#2008660 - 01/03/13 05:40 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Numerian]
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Originally Posted By: Numerian
That's Bob Gaudio, with help on the lyrics by his wife Judy Parker. I'm in the same camp as you are Mark - the Four Seasons are my all-time favorite pop group, and Gaudio, who wrote almost all of their many hits, has to be among the top song writers in the rock field. I used to think of The Four Seasons as just Frankie Valli, but more and more I think you have to put Bob Gaudio first, who gave The Four Seasons influence topped only by The Beach Boys and The Beatles.

Okay, that's my plug for a brilliant song writer. You may now return to your regularly scheduled argument.


The Drummer Gerry Polci sang the lead vocals. Frankie sang back-ups.
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#2008662 - 01/03/13 05:41 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
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Once again, another amateur piano competition thread by Ronald stereotyping capabilities of participants. Look, we don't need this kind of negative cynicism. I understand you want to be in touch with reality, and that's fine -- but please just keep it to yourself and use it as a way to improve.

Everyone should try their hardest to achieve what they want. What I absolutely hate about your attitude is that just because someone isn't talented enough or doesn't have the professional training, that they shouldn't even try. You are the killer of dreams and hope -- maybe you don't have any left but don't ruin it for the rest of us.
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#2008761 - 01/03/13 10:14 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Numerian]
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Originally Posted By: Numerian
....the Four Seasons are my all-time favorite pop group

How cool is that!!

Quote:
....and Gaudio, who wrote almost all of their many hits, has to be among the top song writers in the rock field. I used to think of The Four Seasons as just Frankie Valli, but more and more I think you have to put Bob Gaudio first....

Yes. And I never even heard of him till I looked up some things during this discussion.

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#2008763 - 01/03/13 10:16 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: fuzzy8balls]
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Originally Posted By: fuzzy8balls
Once again, another amateur piano competition thread by Ronald stereotyping capabilities of participants. Look, we don't need this kind of negative cynicism. I understand you want to be in touch with reality, and that's fine -- but please just keep it to yourself and use it as a way to improve.

Everyone should try their hardest to achieve what they want. What I absolutely hate about your attitude is that just because someone isn't talented enough or doesn't have the professional training, that they shouldn't even try. You are the killer of dreams and hope -- maybe you don't have any left but don't ruin it for the rest of us.

I think Ronald gives us a good punching bag. grin

I also hope and trust that nobody will actually be discouraged by what he says.

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#2010468 - 01/07/13 08:20 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: fuzzy8balls]
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Originally Posted By: fuzzy8balls
Once again, another amateur piano competition thread by Ronald stereotyping capabilities of participants. Look, we don't need this kind of negative cynicism. I understand you want to be in touch with reality, and that's fine -- but please just keep it to yourself and use it as a way to improve.

Everyone should try their hardest to achieve what they want. What I absolutely hate about your attitude is that just because someone isn't talented enough or doesn't have the professional training, that they shouldn't even try. You are the killer of dreams and hope -- maybe you don't have any left but don't ruin it for the rest of us.


If I had that attitude, I myself would not have participated in any amateur piano competitions, and would not practice hard to improve myself so that I can do better. What I said is a reality and wanted to share with people who are just got into this amateur pianist competition world so that they can plan well. As they get better, they can adjust their expectation so that they can manage their time wisely by practicing something that they are very unlikely to perform.

For people like you, it is a different story. You know that the worst you can do is to be the top players in semifinals, but most likely you will be in the finals all the time. Therefore, your planning is totally different from that of who always fell apart in the first round. Unfortunately, most people in this forum are not in the top 6 or 8 pianists of any piano competitions. Hence, they need to smell the coffee, not smoke something thinking that they will be in the final and wasting their time to practice the whole program.... I'd rather share the reality than being pretentious.

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#2010546 - 01/07/13 11:37 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: cefinow]
slipperykeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 379
Loc: Dorset, England
Originally Posted By: cefinow
Originally Posted By: slipperykeys


Does anybody remember the series "The Wonder Years"?

Kevin takes piano lessons in one episode and plays a piece at a recital for other students. He plays poorly but is very upset when another child plays the same piece well and the teacher explains why she allowed that to happen.

Typically, and most usefully.... I have forgotten the explanation!
Well, it was a long time ago but, as was often the case in The Wonder Years, it was a beautiful study of humanity, challenge and life-lessons.



This piqued my interest, so I looked up the episode in question and found a transcript. To sum up the missing explanation... At a dress rehearsal a week before the recital, Kevin finds out that his teacher's star piano pupil is playing the same piece he is! He is dismayed. Star pupil plays a flawless rendition. Teacher announces that she wants to show how two performers have a different interpretation of the same piece. Kevin then plays, and bombs. Despite encouragement, he withdraws from the recital. ... then regrets it. Here's the closing sequence, while Kevin is watching the star pupil play "his" piece at the recital.

[Shot of KEVIN stopped on his bike, looking toward the house in the background.]
NARRATOR: I never did forget that night. I remember the light glowing from Mrs. Carples' window. And I remember the darkness falling as I sat out there on the street looking in.
And now... More than twenty years later... I still remember every note of the music that wandered out into the still night air. The only thing is... I can't remember how to play it anymore. [He rides his bike off down the street.]


Thanks, so... that's what happened!

I haven't seen it in twenty or so years and would love to see it again.

The point is, the teacher SUPPORTED both students and that's the difference.

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