Every conference has one or two – sometimes led by really big names in the piano world. It’s a big part of any good music program. Most teachers love them. I get bored. My mind screams for stimulation and I can’t pull out a book; it would be far too rude. I feel trapped. So I skip that session. Every time.
Back in University days in Vancouver we hung out with an artsy crowd – went to a lot of concerts and shows of all sorts – including some at the Fringe Festival one year. That was cutting edge and I didn’t get it. I remember my friend Heather saying that if I saw GOOD cutting edge theatre I would. Those words have stayed with me – they’re applicable to so much.
Like Masterclasses? Truth be told, at some of the classes we’ve had in town, the students have been so ill-prepared that no teacher, no matter how great, can do a thing in 20 minutes to achieve progress. It becomes a frustrating session of watching someone try to get someone else to press the right keys at the right moment.
The other extreme is a virtually perfect performance – unlike what the majority of us achieve on a weekly basis. There is little to say at all. Minimally less boring – at there has been a good performance.
A larger conceptual issue for me is that this is a one-off event. The teacher has no idea of what it took the student to get to that point or how well anything that he suggests will work in the long run. There’s no follow-up.
So let me just listen to a lecture or read a book. I’ll take notes, then go home and process it. I’ll work through the information in the coming weeks and months, referring back to my notes, or exploring some of the tangents. It’s the way I’m wired.
Meme credit: Collaborative Piano Blog