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#2003930 - 12/24/12 12:15 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: pianoloverus]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2406
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
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/08
Posts: 415
Loc: Bend, Or.
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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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19664
Loc: New York
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
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1474
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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Registered: 11/11/09
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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
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1474
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]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1474
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]
Mark_C Online   content
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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]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5286
Loc: Philadelphia
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.
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2004436 - 12/25/12 11:42 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
BruceD Online   content
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Registered: 05/26/01
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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]
Hakki Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2406
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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Registered: 11/11/09
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Loc: New York
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]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1474
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
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1474
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]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5286
Loc: Philadelphia
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.
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2004920 - 12/27/12 12:15 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2703
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
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]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6080
Loc: St. Louis area
^^^^^^^^^^ Ditto.
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#2005006 - 12/27/12 03:14 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Steve Chandler]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2406
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
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5286
Loc: Philadelphia
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.
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2005215 - 12/27/12 10:17 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Derulux]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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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
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1474
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]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19664
Loc: New York
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
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1474
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
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19664
Loc: New York
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]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5286
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
....

Didn't catch that. laugh wink
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2005494 - 12/28/12 11:59 AM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: Derulux]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19664
Loc: New York
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 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2406
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?
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

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#2005534 - 12/28/12 12:58 PM Re: one opinion of an amateur piano judge [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Registered: 04/12/05
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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
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1474
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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