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#14455 - 11/11/03 12:59 AM Re: Playing for our students
Piano lady Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 361
But then why not play for students. We're all drawing from the same place. It's about creating music. Make a mistake? Heaven forbid! It's not like those CDs people have listened to haven't been edited to **** . We cannot play a piece perfectly. No human can. Only God can.

I think classical music has gotten way too stuffy. It's way too formal. The music has been taken away from the mainstream. Opera used to be for the masses and used to poke fun at nobility. Now opera is for the rich.

I like to talk to the audience about a piece I'm going to play, even though they have a program. No one reads anyway. It also gives me a chance to relax a bit and get used to being in front of the audience. Oh yeah, we teach our students not to do that.

We went to a jazz recital on Sunday at the Triple Door in Seattle. Great performance. We got to have dinner too. The atmosphere was relaxed and people were quiet during the performance. Jazz is art, too. I was thinking that I wouldn't mind that being a setting for a piano solo or chamber recital. A symphony concert would be too loud for a dinner program.

I'll tell you there is nothing like getting ready to go to a concert during the week. Get ready in 1 hour at 5 pm, rush out the door at 6 and grab a deep fry and puke at the local fast food joint, drive an hour to the concert hall, try and find a parking place, and barely make it on time, or get stuck in traffic and miss the first part. I had season tickets last year, but this routine is way too stressful. No tickets this year.

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#14456 - 11/11/03 08:27 PM Re: Playing for our students
NancyK Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 03/27/03
Posts: 644
Loc: North Dakota
Interesting what you said about classical music having become too stuffy. Another piano teacher friend and I were discussing such things the other day. Sometimes it is SO formal you can't relax and enjoy it so much or we have to worry about every little thing. I happen to play in a classic rock band with my husband and 3 friends and we have a blast with this music playing for weddings and parties and at restaurants. We play dinner sets and dance music. It is very different and very relaxed. My friend plays in an ensemble at her church and also has attended jazz concerts. These things are quite different than classical concerts. I have to say I love it all. I can't do only one. It's pretty fun to "jam" on the keyboard or bass guitar and/or sing favorite rock songs!! There are many people who enjoy this as well as classical music. I know there are others who only like classical or only rock or only jazz but I know many who crossover. I was thinking about it the other day and I have to say I just enjoy it all. My greatest love is playing a beautiful piano piece and I love to hear beautiful piano, but man do we have fun in the band. My students and their parents sometimes come hear the band and so far being involved in music other than classical has not been a detriment to my teaching career. In fact, one students family just called last night to ask the band to play at their annual Christmas party again this year. We played for my student's graduation party last year too. Her dad is an anesthesiologist and it's the hospital Christmas party we play for. Anyway
all this to say that sometimes classical does get stuffy and so formal. YET....I really enjoy it too.

[ 11-11-2003: Message edited by: NancyK ]

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#14457 - 11/11/03 09:57 PM Re: Playing for our students
Monika Offline
New Member

Registered: 07/31/03
Posts: 14
At recitals, I always end up playing. I teach both flute and piano, so I'm automatically the pianist for my flutists (and it seems I always end up playing SOMETHING by Faure!). Have you ever thought about how many parents don't even know how well you play, or if you play at all? They've just taken your word for it! \:D If I play a solo, it's always at the very end.

During lessons, I do play and demonstrate. I've found that it really helps students get excited about a new piece... or, I might play for them if I want them to listen FOR something.

Speaking of listening... I haven't started this with my piano students yet, but I've always had my flute students keep a listening journal. As my own teacher would say, "how can we expect our students know how to play musically if they have never heard examples of quality music?" This applies to listening to recording AND to us, as teachers, demonstrating.
_________________________
"The aim and final reason of all music is none else but the glory of God." -- J.S. Bach (1685-1750)

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#14458 - 11/12/03 10:48 AM Re: Playing for our students
miss beth Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 09/15/01
Posts: 135
Loc: North Carolina
 Quote:
Originally posted by NancyK:
Interesting what you said about classical music having become too stuffy.
[ 11-11-2003: Message edited by: NancyK ]


I have played for several formal weddings and receptions, but the one i enjoyed the most was outside by a beautiful river. It was very casual -- the guests stood -- no chairs. I played a keyboard. Absolutely LOVED it! I'll go with casual anytime!

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#14459 - 11/12/03 12:35 PM Re: Playing for our students
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
Classical music should be taught, & it should be played for recitals & weddings, at nursing homes, etc. How else are you going to present this beautiful music to the masses?

As I've posted before, I didn't grow up in a family that appreciated classical music, & I wasn't exposed to it except through the music my piano teacher assigned to me to play. Were it not for her, I would not have developed a love for classical music.

Yes, many people think classical music is stuffy, but I don't. I do believe that part of a piano teacher's job is to nurture & mold students' tastes in music, much as an English teacher would try to get students to read classic literature & an Art teacher would try to get students interested in fine art.

I don't think dressing up once in a while is stuffy, either... but this is where I guess I differ with a lot of folks. ;\) The only time you'll see me in completely casual clothing is when I'm doing my walk aerobics workouts or doing major housecleaning. The clothing I normally were is dressy casual. Some people might think my wardrobe is stuffy. I like to think it's classic. \:D For many people, wearing anything other than jeans & t-shirts is unthinkable (& these people probably pay as much or more for their jeans as I do for a nice pair of dress pants. Casual attire is not necessarily less expensive than dress clothing; depends on where & how you shop).

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#14460 - 11/12/03 12:58 PM Re: Playing for our students
WenBee Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 07/12/02
Posts: 92
Loc: Minneapolis
Jalepena, I totlly agree with you. Classical music should be accessible and appreciated in a variety of settings, not just formal. I also like a variety of styles, not exclusively classical. I also do not understand why some people only want to wear jeans, sweatshirts, and T-shirts. Life is much more interesting with more colors and styles, and I feel better being dressed better.

\:\)

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#14461 - 11/12/03 01:01 PM Re: Playing for our students
WenBee Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 07/12/02
Posts: 92
Loc: Minneapolis
I also agree that we should play for our students. I have performed at all my student's piano recitals. I also play their songs for them sometimes at their lessons,or demonstate a section or measure here or there. I also play the teacher duets at the end of lessons if time (rarely), but I try to get to it occasionally with each student.

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#14462 - 11/12/03 03:27 PM Re: Playing for our students
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
It's nice to perform familiar music arranged in classical settings. If you have a lot of Christian students, for example, you can perform classically styled hymns or Christmas carols. The best arrangements are those that have classical music (in its original form; not simplified) woven into the songs.

[ 11-12-2003: Message edited by: Jalapeņa ]

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#14463 - 11/12/03 07:11 PM Re: Playing for our students
Arlene Steffen Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/20/00
Posts: 2972
Loc: Fresno, CA USA
Really? I actually despise those. To me, it makes it seem like the classical music isn't good enough to stand on it's own or that it's not "spiritual" enough.

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#14464 - 11/12/03 09:22 PM Re: Playing for our students
Carole Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 2229
Loc: southern California
Arlene, Marilynn Ham has a new sacred/classical book (Alfred)out that is wonderful. My favorite is a combination of Meditation on Thais (sp?) and My Jesus I Love Thee. It is so moving. I bet you would like it. No classical music is ever done in my church unless I do a combination like this. It is always well received. If I do straight classical, very few comments.

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