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#2169863 - 10/22/13 02:20 AM Re: Why listening to recordings is good when learning a piece [Re: Pogorelich.]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7798
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.


Could this be sarcasm at its best?


No, it's not sarcasm - I just haven't got that vocal fetish thing going that so many pianists do. Although I love listening to classical music that doesn't involve the piano, it's rarely going to be vocal music. I've got many hundreds of classical LPs and CDs, but I would guess that less than 1% of my collection is vocal. And of that, much is choral, not solo.


I get what you're saying (although we can learn a great deal from singers...........), but I would really suggest if you are playing Mozart to listen to his operas.. different world than the art song, for sure =)


Sorting though my memories, I realize I've seen two productions of The Magic Flute (the Bergman film and live at Santa Fe) and one of The Abduction from the Seraglio (a surprisingly good college production). I enjoyed them all. But I do need to see the others, I know, just because...

Long ago, I performed both of the piano quartets (and the orchestra reductions of a couple of the piano concertos) but basically, I leave Mozart to those who do it well, and that isn't me. For my required dosage smile of music of that era, I like playing Clementi.

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#2170041 - 10/22/13 12:34 PM Re: Why listening to recordings is good when learning a piece [Re: BruceD]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4763
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: JoelW
I can understand both sides here. If a painter wants to become good at landscapes, he could greatly benefit from actually going to beautiful places, but at the same time, he could learn everything he needs to by being educated and by studying the works of other painters. So, the real thing isn't a necessity but it could definitely benefit the painter to experience it.


I'll have to disagree with you on this analogy. A great artist painting a scene is not only copying what he sees at a given moment, he is absorbing into his artistic persona the mood, the atmosphere and even the sounds he hears as he paints. His painting is an amalgam of all that has touched his senses and the result is not a "photograph" of what he saw at a given moment in time but an impression of all that he saw, felt, lived and reacted to during the creative experience.

Studying and copying works of artists is removing oneself from the total experience and can only result in poorer art, accurately rendered, perhaps, but without feeling.

Regards,


It is not up to you, BruceD, to decide what makes an artist's work great or not. Bob Ross's studio work is great art because when look at it, I feel like I'm there. I hear the animals in the woods, the creek flowing. I feel the freezing wind atop a snowy mountain. I sense the warmth inside the inconspicuous little cabin in the distance.

Are you telling me his studio work is less valid just because it's studio work? I guarantee you his work is more effective (to me) than some painters' outdoor work.

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#2170053 - 10/22/13 12:50 PM Re: Why listening to recordings is good when learning a piece [Re: Alan Lai]
toyboy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 334
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: Alan Lai
Listening to past performances of the new piece you are learning is certainly not a bad idea.

However, you have to develop the ability to read the score and form the sound in your brain. What will you do if nobody performed the new piece before?



well for one thing you'd have a lot more latitude with the interpretation because you'd have the freedom from any criticism!

being only slightly facetious here. but i think the anxiety of learning any new piece comes from, well all sorts of reasons, but one of them certainly is uncertainty. and uncertainty can come from hearing a so-called 'master' play a piece, when all you are is john doe. rachmaninoff might have had good intentions offering himself or others as an example but i can easily imagine someone having gone to hear rachmaninoff and quitting the piano and going into basketry. but it's hard to discover any absolutes about this sort of thing.

i mentioned in another thread how a teacher took me to task when I said that the way I chose music to play was from hearing it, mostly from recordings. she then brought out some sheet music turned to a random page, and asked me what I heard. the question put me on the spot because reading music, while not impossible for me, is something i do with an adagio speed. i wasn't even sure how to answer the question vocally - singing is not my forte. but nevertheless i understood her point. there aren't any absolute do's or don't's when it comes to something like this. but rather i think she was simply trying to show me the traditional approach. after all, recordings are "only" 100 years old. sheet music is much older. and i suppose it is fair to say that just because the technology is there doesn't mean it is an "advance" particularly when it comes to an art form.
_________________________
"Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense."
Gertrude Stein

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#2170060 - 10/22/13 12:59 PM Re: Why listening to recordings is good when learning a piece [Re: pianoloverus]
toyboy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 334
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus

As many of you are aware(since I've mentioned it many times before), there is a huge pedagogy project going on now where literally thousands of typical student pieces are being recorded by outstanding university piano teachers so that students learning these pieces can listen to a good performance. I certainly think that for that level of student these recordings are an excellent idea.


i'm failing to understand why it's an excellent idea (or else i fail to understand the whole project). all something like this does is to say to students of the future, this is how an X number of University music professor/teachers during Y period of time, in the early part of the 21st century think how pieces A B G or Q should be played. Let alone the fact that this is how Piece M is played by Professor T. I would think that given the variability of interpretations, let alone personalities and abilities of each particular teacher, there could be as many different interpretations as there are people who are part of the project.

and aside from all that, is there really such a paucity of recordings "out there" that all these professors seem to feel the need to fill such a vaccum?

it all sounds very good-intentioned, but a rather self-serving if not pointless project to me.
_________________________
"Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense."
Gertrude Stein

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#2170069 - 10/22/13 01:21 PM Re: Why listening to recordings is good when learning a piece [Re: toyboy]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19274
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: toyboy
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus

As many of you are aware(since I've mentioned it many times before), there is a huge pedagogy project going on now where literally thousands of typical student pieces are being recorded by outstanding university piano teachers so that students learning these pieces can listen to a good performance. I certainly think that for that level of student these recordings are an excellent idea.


i'm failing to understand why it's an excellent idea (or else i fail to understand the whole project). all something like this does is to say to students of the future, this is how an X number of University music professor/teachers during Y period of time, in the early part of the 21st century think how pieces A B G or Q should be played. Let alone the fact that this is how Piece M is played by Professor T. I would think that given the variability of interpretations, let alone personalities and abilities of each particular teacher, there could be as many different interpretations as there are people who are part of the project.

and aside from all that, is there really such a paucity of recordings "out there" that all these professors seem to feel the need to fill such a vaccum?

it all sounds very good-intentioned, but a rather self-serving if not pointless project to me.
I think there is definitely a "paucity" of excellent performances of what I'd describe as these beginner to late intermediate pieces available either on recording or YouTube. In fact, the huge majority of them may have close zero performances by a professional level pianists available.

I'm not involved with this project(obviously, since I'm not a piano teacher and certainly not a professor of piano at a major university), but I'm reasonably sure I know why this project was undertaken. It's because the average student can benefit greatly from listening to these performances before, during, and after they are studying one of these pieces. What I think some of those who disagree with this idea overlook is that the huge majority of piano students(the 99% who are not super advanced about to enter a conservatory level)cannot just "do their homework" because they don't have such a complete skill set. So these recordings are what I would describe as helping them do their homework.

I don't see how the criticism that these performances represent only the thought of pianists at this point in history or the particular pianist playing these works is at all relevant to the pedagogical purpose. The performances are meant to give a good model performance of works that don't have many or perhaps even any good professional performances available because they are pieces that professionals would never perform in concert.

Some links about this project:
http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=49476.0
http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=49476.0
http://music.uiowa.edu/people/alan-huckleberry
http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/interv...edagogy-project


Edited by pianoloverus (10/22/13 01:46 PM)

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#2170072 - 10/22/13 01:26 PM Re: Why listening to recordings is good when learning a piece [Re: JoelW]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17954
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: JoelW
I can understand both sides here. If a painter wants to become good at landscapes, he could greatly benefit from actually going to beautiful places, but at the same time, he could learn everything he needs to by being educated and by studying the works of other painters. So, the real thing isn't a necessity but it could definitely benefit the painter to experience it.


I'll have to disagree with you on this analogy. A great artist painting a scene is not only copying what he sees at a given moment, he is absorbing into his artistic persona the mood, the atmosphere and even the sounds he hears as he paints. His painting is an amalgam of all that has touched his senses and the result is not a "photograph" of what he saw at a given moment in time but an impression of all that he saw, felt, lived and reacted to during the creative experience.

Studying and copying works of artists is removing oneself from the total experience and can only result in poorer art, accurately rendered, perhaps, but without feeling.

Regards,


It is not up to you, BruceD, to decide what makes an artist's work great or not. Bob Ross's studio work is great art because when look at it, I feel like I'm there. I hear the animals in the woods, the creek flowing. I feel the freezing wind atop a snowy mountain. I sense the warmth inside the inconspicuous little cabin in the distance.

Are you telling me his studio work is less valid just because it's studio work? I guarantee you his work is more effective (to me) than some painters' outdoor work.


It is indeed up to me what makes great art - to me, since my reaction to any art form is (technique apart) subjective. Why can I not decide what is great art to me, while, at the same time, you say that you can decide what art is great art - to you?

Why are my opinions of, and reactions to, art less valid than yours?
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2170082 - 10/22/13 01:40 PM Re: Why listening to recordings is good when learning a piece [Re: BruceD]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4763
Loc: USA
You're right. But I have no idea how you can call Bob Ross's work bad art.

EDIT: Actually, you aren't right. I looked at your post again and saw that you used the words "poorer art". No such thing. You simply may not like the fact that a studio painting didn't originate from a real world experience, but that doesn't affect what's conveyed to the observer. A Bob Ross painting might be more powerful to me than a Picasso for example.


Edited by JoelW (10/22/13 01:51 PM)

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#2170087 - 10/22/13 01:51 PM Re: Why listening to recordings is good when learning a piece [Re: jazzyprof]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1485
If one has the ability of a concert pianist (technical, interpretation, etc etc), one is more likely to be successful in learning new pieces without listening to any recording. Otherwise, I think we will be better off to copy what great artists had done. We know that we cannot even copy 70% of what they did, so that our playing will, by default, sound different from the recording.

Imagine if one who does not have the talent and knowledge tries to interpret a piece from scratch by himself, it will be a disaster.

I understand the fun of figuring things by ourselves, but we need to be honest to ourselves regarding our ability.


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#2170093 - 10/22/13 02:14 PM Re: Why listening to recordings is good when learning a piece [Re: pianoloverus]
toyboy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 334
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus

I don't see how the criticism that these performances represent only the thought of pianists at this point in history or the particular pianist playing these works is at all relevant to the pedagogical purpose. The performances are meant to give a good model performance of works that don't have many or perhaps even any good professional performances available because they are pieces that professionals would never perform in concert.


then mea culpa to me. i spoke without full knowledge of the extent of the project. (and still am!) if we're talking about recordings of Czerny, Hanon, etc, things more pedagogical, I can understand that a bit better. But from what you say, it sounds like a vast project to save lazy students...who are admitted for questionable reasons in the first place, maybe?
_________________________
"Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense."
Gertrude Stein

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#2170095 - 10/22/13 02:15 PM Re: Why listening to recordings is good when learning a piece [Re: JoelW]
toyboy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 334
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: JoelW
A Bob Ross painting might be more powerful to me than a Picasso for example.


just how conditional is that "might"? wink
_________________________
"Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense."
Gertrude Stein

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#2170099 - 10/22/13 02:22 PM Re: Why listening to recordings is good when learning a piece [Re: JoelW]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17954
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: JoelW
You're right. But I have no idea how you can call Bob Ross's work bad art.

EDIT: Actually, you aren't right. I looked at your post again and saw that you used the words "poorer art". No such thing. You simply may not like the fact that a studio painting didn't originate from a real world experience, but that doesn't affect what's conveyed to the observer. A Bob Ross painting might be more powerful to me than a Picasso for example.


There, again, you are saying that your subjective reactions to art are valid and mine are not.
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2170112 - 10/22/13 02:53 PM Re: Why listening to recordings is good when learning a piece [Re: BruceD]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4763
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: JoelW
You're right. But I have no idea how you can call Bob Ross's work bad art.

EDIT: Actually, you aren't right. I looked at your post again and saw that you used the words "poorer art". No such thing. You simply may not like the fact that a studio painting didn't originate from a real world experience, but that doesn't affect what's conveyed to the observer. A Bob Ross painting might be more powerful to me than a Picasso for example.


There, again, you are saying that your subjective reactions to art are valid and mine are not.



No, I'm not saying that. I'm saying that there is no such thing as "poorer art" the way you described.

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#2170136 - 10/22/13 03:25 PM Re: Why listening to recordings is good when learning a piece [Re: toyboy]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19274
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: toyboy
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus

I don't see how the criticism that these performances represent only the thought of pianists at this point in history or the particular pianist playing these works is at all relevant to the pedagogical purpose. The performances are meant to give a good model performance of works that don't have many or perhaps even any good professional performances available because they are pieces that professionals would never perform in concert.


then mea culpa to me. i spoke without full knowledge of the extent of the project. (and still am!) if we're talking about recordings of Czerny, Hanon, etc, things more pedagogical, I can understand that a bit better. But from what you say, it sounds like a vast project to save lazy students...who are admitted for questionable reasons in the first place, maybe?
"Admitted" where? My understanding is this isn't for those admitted to a conservatory or even those admitted as a beginner or intermediate to a teaching studio of some high powered teacher: it's for the 99% who have low to moderately high ability, not a lot of time to practice, and who will probably grow impatient/frustrated if it takes them forever to learn a short piece.

I don't think it's necessarily a question of laziness but lack of experience. Listening to a performance of a piece they are learning can give them additional experience or another tool to learn the piece or learn the piece more accurately/faster than by themselves.

Have you ever heard a YouTube performance by an enthusiastic and motivated amateur that never the less fell so far short of what the piece should sound like one would think that the performer couldn't possibly have heard a high level performance of the piece?





Edited by pianoloverus (10/22/13 03:28 PM)

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#2170194 - 10/22/13 05:47 PM Re: Why listening to recordings is good when learning a piece [Re: pianoloverus]
toyboy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 334
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
"Admitted" where? My understanding is this isn't for those admitted to a conservatory or even those admitted as a beginner or intermediate to a teaching studio of some high powered teacher: it's for the 99% who have low to moderately high ability, not a lot of time to practice, and who will probably grow impatient/frustrated if it takes them forever to learn a short piece.


only was taking you at your word: "As many of you are aware(since I've mentioned it many times before), there is a huge pedagogy project going on now where literally thousands of typical student pieces are being recorded by outstanding university piano teachers so that students learning these pieces can listen to a good performance. I certainly think that for that level of student these recordings are an excellent idea."

It was the "so that students" part that made me think it was for students. Pardon my misinterpretation of the word "students".
_________________________
"Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense."
Gertrude Stein

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#2170232 - 10/22/13 07:13 PM Re: Why listening to recordings is good when learning a piece [Re: toyboy]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19274
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: toyboy

It was the "so that students" part that made me think it was for students.
It is for students.

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