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Advice that is not advice.

Life in general: Zen in the art of bowing?

From Mungo Carstairs
Posted March 29, 2009 at 08:09 PM

I saw this sign yesterday:

"If the door fails to open, take a step back."

It was over the door of a pet shop, but I thought it might be good advice for the aspiring virtuoso as well.  Does anyone have any favourite gnostic, gnomic, zen or such-like sayings or koans to contribute?

Here's my suggestion:

Q: What is the sound of one hand clapping?

A: I don't know, but maybe Skegness isn't ready for Schoenberg after all.

From Marc Bettis
Posted on March 29, 2009 at 08:51 PM

A known quote by a certain known violin teacher/pedagogue, during a masterclass to a student after the student had finished playing:

 

"You have only 2 problems...

.

.

.

.

 Your right hand...

.

.

.

And your left hand."

 

 

From a lesson my professor had with Gingold, regarding a fingering he had been using from a particular edition he had:

(with a very thick accent of course)

"What the h*ll are you doing?"

 

;>)

From Sander Marcus
Posted on March 30, 2009 at 12:49 PM

3 simple steps to playing the violin:

1. Place violin under chin.
2. Place bow on strings.
3. Play.

Is that not elegant?

From Oliver Steiner
Posted on March 31, 2009 at 12:45 AM

Marc Bettis wrote:

"A known quote by a certain known violin teacher/pedagogue, during a masterclass to a student after the student had finished playing:

"You have only 2 problems...

Your right hand..........

And your left hand." 

 

Nothing boils my blood more than a statement like that, made at a so-called "master" class.  I'm sure the teacher's rapier-like wit elicited a few snickers from the audience, but what has he given the student with those words? Think about it.  

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on March 31, 2009 at 01:24 AM

Steel-toed boots are to kick people like that in the nuts with.

"If the door fails to open, take a step back."
It was over the door of a pet shop,"

Dude, you ought to write for Steven Wright :)

 

From Marc Bettis
Posted on March 31, 2009 at 02:45 PM

Oliver,

If I'm remembering correctly that was Shinichi Suzuki ;>) after complimenting a beginner student, and before helping solve their technical concerns.

From Sander Marcus
Posted on March 31, 2009 at 11:31 PM

Years and years ago, one of my teachers said something I never forgot. It was, I think, one of the best things any teacher can say:

"This is what I like about what you did. Now let's see what we can do to make it better."

Sandy

From Oliver Steiner
Posted on March 31, 2009 at 11:55 PM

 Marc,

I can imagine that were it preceded and followed by constructive comments, it might mitigate the bad effect of the comment in isolation.

 

Sander,

That excellent quote sounds very much like the sort of thing one would often hear from Miss DeLay.  Being self-critical, as one must be in practicing, takes courage, and that approach encourages the student - helps him to have the courage to do the work.


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