Intermezzo from School for Fathers - Piano

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I may not have read all the responses, I was getting too angry at the author.

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And so we take lessons, admit our incompetence, leave ourselves open to corrective instruction, and practice. And yet, not completely. I practice at least five hours a day because I have that luxury and I am in love with the piano.

And I have no desire to be a professional. I am a student. I suspect that is true of a lot of us.

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Professionals know they have weak spots and seek out thoughtful criticism. Professionals understand their circles of competence. No doubt the author wanted to make his point, but he could have done so without all that arrogance. As a rank amateur, why should I even care? I find very little in this article to be actual. I am a professional piano teacher, with a degree, but I know of many amateurs who play better than me. They have the time and dedication to practice more than I do.

However, I have continued my studies at our local university, which has a music department. There is always more to learn. No one who goes to Piano Camp Sonata would be there based on this authors definitions of an amateur. I rest my case! This shows the limits of language. He describes two things, amateur and professional but then freezes his observations and those two words, making them static, unchanging. But we are more than that. Every moment we are changing, moving, learning, exploring,crossing from one state to another. So I say hooray for the gerund.

On the one side, it does take the pressure off performing, but on the other hand, it feels limiting and constricting. While being an amateur is a wonderful experience, there are things that are beyond my reach unless I can get the training so I can get the skills to become a professional. But do I really want to go through all of that, and for what? The grass is not always greener on the other side, and sometimes it all becomes just work.

But where do I really want to go? Ultimately, I would say that the label that we attach to ourselves may be less important than how we feel about it. I hope this makes some sense. It would take an incredibly myopic person to come up with such sweeping generalities. However, such labeling strikes me more as eliciting sensation than offering insight.

Just consider a performer at the Cliburn Amateur Piano Competition and it becomes obvious that the writer is writing about stereotypes rather than something realistic. We thought this was interesting and it provoked a conversation. What is a professional — for example, she has been teaching students and is a very good pianist. Does give recitals. We ate dinner last night with Yuja Wang and tonight with an early Martha Argerich.

Rachmaninoff in both instances. Professionals in spades. I thought there were plenty of good pointers toward improving any aspect of your life in this article, but I wanted to strangle the author by the time I was done reading it. Strictly speaking, an amateur pursues hobbies; professionals pursue vocations. Even that oversimplifies. After all, one can be a professional as a performer, and approach hobbies like an amateur. Thus did many a famed entertainer perform professionally in Las Vegas, only to lose all at the gaming tables!


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I suspect all of us are both, and know what each means….. The distinctions are much to general. I have no question about fitting into the amateur category re musical talent. Yet, in my former profession, I probably would be defined as a professional. I can make the same case for my adult children and various former colleagues. I think he chose the wrong words for comparison. Really the blog is more about attitudes that can help or hurt, and those attitudes can apply to either a professional or an amateur.

I believe what distinguishes adult amateur pianists from the professionals they look up to is their incredible desire to learn and their wish to get better at playing or performing the piano. It is deep within them to keep pushing because of their love for the instrument and how it makes them feel.

Some have chosen to play because they want to get back to the routines of their youth; some to prove that they can play despite having been knocked down in the past; some to soothe wounds; some to challenge themselves. For they can make their own terms in regard to how much time to spend, to keep their fingers moving or the brain working, to perform or not, to choose the repertoire they want to learn or learn the pieces that inspire them.

I am often asked how I can stand teaching adult amateur pianists with a limited skill set of technique, theory and understanding of the music. The desire to learn is what advances the amateur as well as the professional.


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  8. These lessons tend to mean spending less time with work on technique and the mechanics and more on phrasing and interpretation. But, as seen by a response, above, some pros are rusty and may need technical help as well. This keeps me on my toes! As an amateur athlete, I have done a number of races or rides on my bike. Not bad for being an amateur!

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    Amateur pianists are like the Little Engine That Could. They have drive.

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    Busy painting piano keys under the big tent. Laundry room piano. Plenty of space! Grands even fit in some of the bedrooms! Piano Monsters in Room 3! Summer Sonatina at Tanglewood. Actual staff members! Moving the piano out onto the cart. From his earliest works dating from the s to his most recent compositions, Crumb has shown that he is one of the most innovative, creative and distinctive minds in contemporary music. Porter has played "Makrokosmos III" several times over the years, as well as other works by Crumb, and considers him one of the significant composers of the 20th century.

    I find that he speaks the language of the era. Porter, who is married to Subotic. David H. Porter said that he and his late wife frequently performed together with their children.

    Intermezzo from School for Fathers Sheet Music by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari

    My late wife was a fine flutist, and David has a brother who is a cellist, a sister who is a violinist and another brother who plays oboe. And all of them married musicians. When the children were young, the entire family would gather around him at the harpsichord and play baroque music, Porter said.

    But as the children grew up and married, they moved away, and the family ensemble broke up. A couple of years ago the younger Porter and Subotic began talking about the possibility of including his dad in one of their Intermezzo concerts. Porter has an interesting background. He has a doctorate in Latin and has spent his life in academia, first as a professor of classics at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn.

    Currently, he is visiting professor of classics at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. Porter has also been active as a musician and performer. During breaks from college, he would visit his father in New Jersey. He remembers spending entire days with his father at home, taking turns reading at the table while the other practiced or played piano. Today Andrew continues to find solace and joy in the piano. When he gets home from a day of work, he takes time to play through a little Beethoven or Brahms.

    As he was thinking about ways to honor his father, their shared love of music came to mind.