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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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Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3498
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
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]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1472
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
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5277
Loc: Philadelphia
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]
Hakki Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2402
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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Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5277
Loc: Philadelphia
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]
pianoloverus 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.
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 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.

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]
Hakki Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2402
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 Offline
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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]
Hakki Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2402
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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Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 65
Loc: New York City
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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Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5277
Loc: Philadelphia
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]
slipperykeys Offline
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Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 358
Loc: Dorset, England
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]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2402
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
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7753
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]
pianoloverus Online   content
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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
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5277
Loc: Philadelphia
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
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 358
Loc: Dorset, England
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
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 358
Loc: Dorset, England
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 Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2402
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
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 358
Loc: Dorset, England
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
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1472
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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Registered: 04/04/08
Posts: 415
Loc: Bend, Or.
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]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Loc: New York
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
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5277
Loc: Philadelphia
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]
pianoloverus Online   content
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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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Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6182
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
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]
keystring Online   content
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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]
Hakki Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2402
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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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11548
Loc: Canada
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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