Amsterdam Conservatory/Ilya Grubert

June 17, 2006 at 04:30 AM · Anyone ever heard of Amsterdam Conservatory? How does it rank amongst other music academies in Europe? I want to study there, so I want to know a bit about where Im heading. Also I'd like to hear your opinion on Ilya Grubert as a teacher, if you have one. I want to study with him, if he takes me.

Replies (41)

June 18, 2006 at 05:35 AM · He is a great violinist, and was the 1st prize winner of Tchaikovsky competition sharing it with Elmar Oliveira (1978).

Don't know how patient he is with students though.

Vsego Horoshego!

Good Luck.

June 19, 2006 at 09:12 AM · I knew that already, but thanks for moving this discussion upwards in the list! I'd like to hear from some of his students or colleagues, or any students of Amsterdam Conservatory, or any friends of those students :Þ ^·^

June 23, 2006 at 10:09 PM · I (amateurviolinist) don't know how he is as a teacher, but I have a recording of the rare violinconcerto of Myaskovsky of Naxos 8.557194 (MIASKOVSKY: Violin Concerto in D Minor / VAINBERG: Violin Concerto in G Minor) and he always have big disturbing intonation problems. For example his trill at the end of part two. Half a tone too high and he does not hear it or correct it.

June 23, 2006 at 10:43 PM · Bram July-August Naxos will release Grubert playing Ernst; Both Concertos, Elegie, Otello.

June 28, 2006 at 03:16 PM · It is great that Ilya Grubert makes a world premiere recording of the concertino of Ernst, Jonathan. Better a bad recording than no recording of a violinconcerto or the 100th recording of a well known violinconcerto like Beethoven, Brahms, Tsjaikovsky by a big name. But I hope his intonation would be better than on his recording of Vainberg/Myaskovsky.

Normally I am not so critical about violinists, but I have replaced 4 violinconcerto-cd's of my collection, because the soloist plays false with easy low notes. To play not false with high and difficult notes is of course more difficult.

Those 4 cd's were:

violinconcerto from Othmar Schoeck from Emmy Verhey

violinconcerto from Britten by Rebecca Hirsch (Naxos)

violinconcerto from Bruch3 by Lydia Mordkovitz

violinconcerto of Myaskovsky by Ilya Grubert.

I think when these violinist play like on these cd's, they would not have a big chance to play second violin in a professional orchestra, when they play incognito behind a screen, because a lot of conservatorystudents nowadays play at a much higher level. But perhaps in their younger years, when the level was much lower, they were big stars. Or perhaps they have get problems with their ears.

There were cd's from these 4 violinconcerto's who were not false and which did not irritated me.

I hope you are happy with the intonation of Ilya Grubert on this new Naxos-cd with Ernst concertino.

I will buy it because there is no other version of this violinconcerto, although that I am not sure it will be not false.

July 6, 2006 at 10:22 AM · Thanks! Actually I'm quite young (15), grew up in a scientist/mathematican/programmer family and (sadly) had never even heard Grubert's recordings. Don't know where to get them easily and wouldn't afford money to buy...

The teacher I have now doesn't have perfect pitch as well. Had him for 10 years, so I've learnt to cope with it. I have the absolute pitch, though not perfect intonation, but hear the false notes. Guess it shouldn't be the biggest problem... I have more problems with bow. ^·^

July 6, 2006 at 02:56 PM · Everyone can afford Naxos! This is why we price as we do!

July 7, 2006 at 10:53 AM · Naxos is cheap and often of good quality (except for in my opinion Ilya Grubert and Rebecca Hirsch) and they have a very, very broad variation in repertoire. But you can't always sit first rank for 10 dollarcent.

The Myaskovsky cd of Ilya Grubert is 8.99 dollar on :

The version of Myaskovsky of Vadim Repin is 16.98 dollar

On both webpages there are soundsamples, so you can compare both recordings of the same piece for 1 minute of each part.

July 19, 2006 at 11:01 PM · Hello Anna

I have to tell you something about Amsterdam Conservatory because i know that conservatory very good.

If you want to make real music to be a musician you have to go there but if you want to do just violin is not a proper place becouse you have to do lots of theory,harmony,piano etc.and you will have very little time for your practice.

Ilya Grubert is a great techer i had a masterclass with him he is extraordinary not only as a teacher but as a violinist to he is still one of the great virtuoso of his time even though he is 54 years the only problem is that is hard to get to him because he is very busy.I heard some of his students and they are very good last month a heard in Amsterdam at Beurs Van Berlage a Romanian student of him Razvan Stoica and he was very good i never heard such a great interpretation and fillings at a 19 year old .Enyway i just wanted to tell you some of what i know because a stayd in Amsterdam a while.

All the best.

(P.S sorry for my english)

April 5, 2007 at 10:22 AM · Hello everyone,

I am a student of Ilya Grubert so if you still need to know something about him, just ask me!

April 6, 2007 at 04:40 AM · Greetings,

>orchestra, when they play incognito behind a screen, because a lot of conservatorystudents nowadays play at a much higher level. But perhaps in their younger years, when the level was much lower, they were big stars. Or perhaps they have get problems with their ears.

I was at college at the same time as Rebecca Hirsch who was an outsatnding pupil of Jaroslav Vanacek. She was a brilliant virtuosa who performed many times with the college orchestras as well as professionally even before she graduated. Much, much highe r level than most conservatory students.Sorry you didn`t like the CD.



April 6, 2007 at 01:46 PM · Anyone who thinks a conservatory will make him/her a great virtuoso is barking up the wrong tree. Did Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, etc attend conservatories?

April 7, 2007 at 04:53 AM · Greetings,

well it has a lot to do with it becuas e th e great teachers tend to hang out there. They used to hang out at fish and chip shops but it made their clothes ponk something rotten.



April 8, 2007 at 02:09 AM · Well, Mozart basically had a homeschool conservatory from birth (daddy did write a rather important book on how to play the violin). So, if a conservatory is not a legitimate place for a talented violinist to study, I would like Ron to enlighten us on where he deems appropriate and why.

April 12, 2007 at 05:23 AM · As to whether Mozart learned in a Conservatory:

Here is a quote by Mozart

"If one has the talent it pushes for utterance and

torments one; it will out; and then one is out with it

without questioning. And, look you, there is nothing in

this thing of learning out of books. Here, here and here

(pointing to his ear, his head and his heart) is your

school. If everything is right there, then take your pen

and down with it; afterward ask the opinion of a man who

knows his business."

April 12, 2007 at 09:04 AM · Must be difficult for someone who has been inundated with music and knowledge so early on in his life, to imagine how it feels not to have been. His knowledge had already turned in to intuition at a very early age.

Still he asvises:

"Afterward ask the opinion of a man who knows his business."


April 13, 2007 at 12:33 AM · You know what?

The point is that Mozart could actually express what it is to be human rather than a product of bypassing that with intellectual excuses for what you do. AND there is no school that will teach you that, no matter how much you look for excuses.

What I think truly IS difficult is for someone to see where the music really comes from who has spent their whole life believing people need to be indoctrinated in order get anywhere. I don't think they really hear what music is anymore because they are so full of what it is supposed to be. And then when Mozart puts in clearly where the music comes from he's supposed to imagine it comes from something else. Don't make me laugh.

I studied piano in The Netherlands myself, but then had some lessons from Youri Egorov, which again reminded me that the music comes from a different place than the conservatory and all their high held beliefs in discipline made it out to be.

That anyone would say that Mozart was being forgetful or unrealistic to put it on the line really makes me laugh. Or that he had a lack of imagination that he didn't make it to come from indoctrination or having other people or books tell you how to think.....

Yes VERY funny

Lets all imagine that music comes from schools and their way of intimidating people who follow their own drummer. Someone who comes down from "heaven" in order to actually express something inimitable about life must put everything on hold because he or she needs to have, or imagine even, that people who believe intimidating you with grades in order to get you to do what they say are more important.

Excuse me now I have to go imagine that all the schools (and governments too! Or Leopold Mozart and cohorts) in the world are what created evolution and human genius....If they hadn't put it in writing it wouldn't have happened!

I'll have to concentrate REAL hard though.

April 12, 2007 at 12:38 PM · Don't you need some means to facilitate the music inside of you? I would have thought hearing music in you isn't the same thing as expressing it to be heard as you hear. The mechanics of expression or effective formulation of an idea may need to be learned? No?


April 12, 2007 at 01:21 PM · For those who had never a chance to listen to Ilya Grubert playing here are a few examples (all works by Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst):

Fantaisie Brillante sur la Marche et la Romance d'Otello de Rossini

Violin Concerto in F sharp minor

Elegie sur la mort d'un objet cheri

Violin Concertino in D major

Rondo Papageno


April 13, 2007 at 07:15 AM · You wrote:

Don't you need some means to facilitate the music inside of you? I would have thought hearing music in you isn't the same thing as expressing it to be heard as you hear. The mechanics of expression or effective formulation of an idea may need to be learned? No?


The whole statement is so well thought out to as say nothing (because it has to sound well thought out according to "method" and thus has to avoid really saying anything to be acceptable, thus people can avoid thinking for themselves and tout some method as an excuse) that it's hard to respond at all. If the mechanics of expression (and I cringe to think it has something to do with mechanics as if you are dealing with a car or something)...albeit if it is that this (or the formulation of an idea) needs to be learned then there would never have been such a genius as Bartok who made his own idiom, as well as the rest of the great composers who did something completely new, which the schools really didn't teach them. Music also is something which flows, it is as much a part of life as breathing. You can as little decide that the real music is what you have heard inside you and decide that this needs "mechanization" in order to get out (this is REALLY hard to imagine, unless you're a psychiatrist and they ofcourse all know how to impove upon any great artist who they have given some diagnosis of a mental condition), you can as little do this as that you can spend your whole day telling yourself when to breath in and when to breath out. You have to simply let it happen and get involved with it. Being in a conservatory setting should even help with such a process except that most teachers will actually try to make the music out to be something that it isn't because that's the only way they can make it tangible (rather like taking a fish out of the water and when it's dead dissecting it, as if a dead fish you have killed in order to find out what it is is the end of the story of what a fish is). It's awfully nice that you believe someone needs to be taught how to do things but a real genius is always going to rebel and do things their own way. If it depended on being told how to do things then there would be millions of great composers but there aren't, and yet the schools still go on acting like they know how things should be. And these same schools would decide who is crazy and who isn't.

Also music is in essence one of the healing arts. A person should feel better from being involved with it. In many schools quite often the teachers seem to think that it's best when the student leaves a lesson thinking that they do everything wrong and that the only way to do things is how the teacher has told them to. Then the students grow up to do the same thing.

I once heard a comedian say about music "I have suffered hard and long for my art and now I think it's your turn."

There's many a teacher who follow the same principle and are completely serious about it.

Now this isn't a criticism of Ilya Grubert, it's just whether you think that a conservatory is the final answer to where you get your education.

April 13, 2007 at 02:06 AM · You can't divine advanced technique out of the air. That might just mean sitting in a practice room playing a good many hours, practicing a prescribed routine that has been passed along by well known pedagogues (nice and grumpy ones). Each unique individual will take that training and relationship with their mentors and make it what he/she chooses. If you don't have significant chops or the mental rigor to withstand the perpetual rejection inherent in auditoning, you will not get you a job. Period.

April 13, 2007 at 09:04 AM · "Advanced" technique really isn't something that there is a shortage of. You will find I believe that the people who do play in the finest orchestras are the ones who have somehow integrated the music itself to a level where it is natural enough to allow the real healing, artistic and human elements to emerge, that way when a phrase has to have breadth to it, it simply does and the listener as well as the player is moved to another realm for a moment. That is the difference between someone who makes auditions with the finest orchestras and someone who spends the rest of their life "battling" in order just to get the notes out (and perhaps never really understanding them enough so that the mind can integrate the music at all levels enough for it to become natural). It you can't relate to the music at the level that it really exists and that it is healing, you're not going to be able to relax your mind in a way to allow all levels of the music to integrate. This does effect your technique more than anything else, it will also effect your motivation, your ability to concentrate, you physical ability to perform and every other aspect of the music that there is. If you truly have learned to relate to music then it doesn't matter to you how many auditions you have to take, it's something you believe in yourself. You might also just keep music for yourself (like Schubert or Fanny Mendelssohn did, or like Emily Dickinson did with poetry ... I really don't think these people gave less to art than those with a "job" did).

Also, if you are thinking about studying in Amsterdam, Europe is a great place to learn something about music. The Netherlands is a much more free thinking environment and they support the arts there MUCH more. And there is MUCH less violence and their government isn't constantly at war. It's actually a civilized country.

April 13, 2007 at 09:05 AM · Berendt, I don't really mean to snap at you so much about your remark but it does touch a nerve. I think you have to understand, that music was the only outlet Wolfgang had. That perhaps the abundance of music around him at a young age also added to his being exploited to the unhealthy level that he was. If something needed to be expressed it would torture him till it got out, and it would come through in the music (where it became perhaps universal). But, he DID let it out where many other people wouldn't have in order to "fit in," more. With him music was more than just an "art," it was something essential to life and someplace he could put feelings which weren't allowed anywhere else and which were universal to the human condition. In many ways this was despite the way he was exploited. He knew what would allow his mind to relax and reach to the core of what music and life was (and engage with the whole evolutionary vehicle of being human he was given) but I think it was sad for him that that would have to remain unspoken to the very people who would say that they had taught him. He also knew, beyond words, that it was that which allowed his mind to be a harp upon which the angels played so to speak, and that this was more a rebellion against what he had been taught music was than anything heralding such a method or an exploitation.

Umpteen people have to criticize Mozart as if he was undisciplined or how he lived his life (as if they would even know with the worse than Paparazzi like information people base their knowledge on) but I don't really see that they one of them have done anything as profoundly human as he did.

April 13, 2007 at 11:44 AM · To the readers that are still on topic here.

Choosing a teacher is a very important decision, so I would advise you to follow at least some private lessons or a master class with the teacher of your choice before making that decision. Asking people's opinion and advice is a good option for the first step of decideing who to try. It means it is better to start thinking about teachers about a year before you start doing auditions.

Having said that, I live in Amsterdam, and have heard good stories about both the playing and teaching of Mr Grubert. I only had the chance to meet him shortly a while ago, and he seemed to me a very nice person. I studied at the Amsterdam Conservatory, and the structure there is not too rigid. It might be a good place for your personal development. It has already moved to the Bachelor/Masters system, although you would be wise to check how far they are with the international certification of their curriculum. Lots of schools in the EU are now going through that transition.

Interestingly there is a difference I have noticed between the English speaking and European countries in the attitude of choosing a techer. In English speaking contries, students often decide to study at a specific school before they choose their teacher. This still surprises me, as I feel in mainland Europe, the tendency is more towards first finding the right teacher and then seeing where he might be teaching.

Good luck with all the choices that have to be made during this time of year!

April 13, 2007 at 11:47 AM · Wow Roelof. Why do you think everyone disagrees with you before you even read their post with some degree of mildness. But then, I am new to this forum and probably will get to know it's different personalities through time. I think you will continue to address that harmless and admiring post until I react. Sadly much of my admiration has since disappeared. You have to understand that one can agree completely with what you are saying AND study, or even teach at a conservatory.

Although I feel bad that we are getting so off topic, my last two cents, so your huge contributions do not completely cloud what I really meant to say.

It was wonderful how you chose such a good quote that answered basically all the questions people were putting out.

1. First of all, genius is unique. And through genius beauty, art, what ever you want to call it is born. Mozart describes this process beautifully.

2 Then, when it has been born, and you want to verify it's value, you may go to someone that knows his buisiness. Even the best contemporary composers I know would show their new pieces to someone they know before coming out with it to the public. It is wise, and an age old process.

3 When we think of W.A. Mozart we have to understand that the musical idiom was such a second nature by his upbringing, that what was heard in his head cold be written down by him. Thank God.

4 Because you learn basics somewhere, if you grow larger than who taught you the basics, you rebel. The real art comes out in rebellion, as you put it yourself.

I am as amazed at a genius as Mozart as you are. I also thank god that he was born into a musical family so his genius can still heal, invigorate or inspire millions of people. It is difficult to believe that he could have written his wonderful music without the knowledge of music notation, harmony and style. But you seem to know more about this than I do.

Also I would like to add that performance skills are different from compositional skills. Although ideally a musician should know how it feels to create something unique, so he can perform music on stage directly from his heart, I think it is really important to be coached well, musically and technically, while in development. I have heard some incredibly talented and musical violinists play the violin very badly. With very few insights they were often able to become not only even better musicians, but also good violinists.

I am sorry you have had bad experiences with teachers and conservatories. Let's hope enough teachers do emphasise the healing qualities of music, and help their students to develop their unique musical personalities.

I am quite busy, so please excuse me if I respectfully refrain from answering your writing in this thread. You have made your point very clearly.

April 13, 2007 at 12:32 PM · Thoughtful post, Berent!

April 13, 2007 at 05:49 PM · To begin with Berendt you wrote "Must be difficult for someone who has been inundated with music and knowledge so early on in his life, to imagine how it feels not to have been" This sounded to me like you were saying that Mozart couldn't relate to people who hadn't been inundated with music their whole life. It sounded like you were saying that Mozart forgot that people have to be taught the basics and be surrounded with music to get it. Now, that seems to be a simple misunderstanding, if what you meant was that despite the fact that Mozart was unindated with music he still did remember what it was like for someone who wasn't and advised them to go to someone who knew their business. If that's what you meant. I don't think Mozart ever forgot the initial joy of getting to know music and that Mozart never forgot the initial miracle of how music brings out the human quality in everyone and for him that came first, that is the basics, being human. I certainly never said that he was never taught musical notation and harmony, but he never seperated them from what music was meant to be.

Then you AGAIN state

"3 When we think of W.A. Mozart we have to understand that the musical idiom was such a second nature by his upbringing, that what was heard in his head cold be written down by him. Thank God."

This is simply a technical statement. Just because you can write down what you hear in your head doesn't mean the music comes from a source which honors it for what it truly is. I have heard this time and time again, that Mozart could write down a whole piece he had stored in his head, that Mozart could play back a whole piece that he had heard, that Mozart could write down a whole piece he had heard; but this is not the true essence of Mozart. Mozart integrated the condition of being human with music, the spontaineity and innocent sincerity of a child, this goes way beyond learning notation, style, counterpoint, harmony etc. This is true art regardless of whether it is a painting, a dance, acting, a novel a poem etc.

Music is not as simple as being able to write down what you hear in your head, it has to do with a whole integration of the emotional world and the unconscious and what you actively become involved with and perhaps the reason Mozart was so adept at writing what went on in his head was that that was his only outlet although music then and still now in our complicated society is not acknowledged to be the spiritual energy it truly is, it is more used for sensual escape. In more "primitive" societies (the ones who wouldn't be causing global warming for example) music remains part of the healing and spiritual arts, in our society it is different and is seen more as sensual escape. This can even become a sort of prison and he states this on his death bed:

I am an unusual thing I have no soul no body One can not see me but can hear me I do not exist for me alone Only a human being can give me life as often as he wishes And my life is only of short duration For I die almost at the moment I am born And so according to man's caprice I may live and die untold times a day To those who give me life I do nothing but those on whose account I am born I leave with painful sensations for the short duration of my life Of my life till I depart I am appointed to a situation which will afford me leisure to write music just to please myself And I feel capable of doing something worthy of the fame I have aquired But instead I must die Instead I must die

Also, I never said that one can't completely agree with what I say and teach and study at a conservatory but I am not so naive as to believe that in most cases that is what is going on. Neither did I bring up the idea that the conservatory isn't the one place where one needs to go to become an accomplished musician, that was someone else and then there was a reply that Leopold was supposed to be a homeschool conservatory. Leopold then, as it goes, was so very controlling that he disowned Wolfgang for marrying the wrong person (which did turn out to be a great mistake because she created most of the gossip that completely clouds over what happened in Mozart's life as well as other things I won't go into here which are extremely disturbing)...albeit Leopold disowned his son, lived a nice retirement off of his son's earnings when he was a child (and was worked to such an extent that it's not crazy to bring up child endangerment laws) and even tried to find other prodigies to exploit after Wolfgang had gone his own way (with terrible results if you read about it). And Wolfgang was trying this whole time to earn a whole living in Vienna with a family to support: This is the progression of the home conservatory Wolfgang had as a child.

I am very glad to hear you say "I have heard some incredibly talented and musical violinists play the violin very badly. With very few insights they were often able to become not only even better musicians, but also good violinists."

Let's hope you don't lose admiration for your students just because something hits a nerve with them and something that tortures them has to come out, for as the quote goes

"If one has the talent it pushes for utterance and

torments one; it will out; and then one is out with it

without questioning. And, look you, there is nothing in

this thing of learning out of books. Here, here and here

(pointing to his ear, his head and his heart) is your

school. If everything is right there, then take your pen

and down with it; afterward ask the opinion of a man who

knows his business."


Also, I am extremely busy as well and won't be responding to posts here either. I started with because I was interested in Josef Hassid who I have gotten to know since. And since I am a multidimensional emotional person, have still for example, to go buy some marbles (something to forget all of it) for him and me to play with that he can remember having been a carefree child before he had his brain damaged and was killed by the mental health institutions (you can read about how I tried to respond to that in the posts about Josef Hassid here

Http:// and no I didn't respond there in a mild manner either

And no, I don't have a problem with Josef, but I can't validate that he is there at all as little as I can the many other experiences I have had, without many people saying that I am crazy and they becoming paranoid or exploitive even.

April 13, 2007 at 06:46 PM · Berent, your point four:

"4 Because you learn basics somewhere, if you grow larger than who taught you the basics, you rebel. The real art comes out in rebellion, as you put it yourself. "

Do you mean genuine rebellion, and is that universally true?

April 13, 2007 at 09:05 PM · "4 Because you learn basics somewhere, if you grow larger than who taught you the basics, you rebel. The real art comes out in rebellion, as you put it yourself. "

Is a difficult one. You are right, probably not universal. Again this is different in creative, compositional sense or performing.

In teaching I have often seen a form of rebellion in advanced students with a very strong character. It is sometimes nececary for them to rebel in order to break new ground. Sometimes they take things too far and I would say this is not always for the benefit of art! But in all it is part of a process and important for finding one's ownness. If this happens before a good standard of technique and performance is reached it can be quite disruptive.

In composition I guess the rebellion (if we call it this) is more important, because one should not only choose and develop one's own stile, but often a specific idiom as well. Often one would try to find some totally unique form. This might require a stronger break with the past.

I probably meant point nr 4 more in a compositional sense, as we were talking about Mozart. I think the speed of compositional development over the centuries depended on great courage of great minds. "Rebelling" against what was the norm.

April 13, 2007 at 10:47 PM · I guess I should respond because I would have something pertinent to say about how composing can relate to playing, but I need to stop being on the internet so much.

How I learned, from composing, to play piano (I'm more a luthier with the violin myself right now but that has made me feel more alive than anything):

I actually had studied, got a degree in piano and then found a good teacher for technique after I had a degree. Then instead of encountering a school to go to (I didn't go on for a masters degree) I encountered a different thing (which you may call a school but it's not necessary). I became involved with a spiritualist church (and other spiritual studies at first) and I ended up talking to Clara Haskil through a medium a couple of times (years ago like 16-17). She is just one of the beings who was there for awhile through such channels just to show me they were there and that just being there was how they helped the most, I had felt her around before, like 15 years before. She, and I had to pull it out of her, said that I needed to relax my mind more. She said this after I asked her about relating to the form in music. That sounds incredibly simplistic but it was more like the waving of a wand to show (iets verscheined) what is to come: in the following years as I composed more and more I became involved with a part of the mind which expresses, nurtures and thus gives life to music just because it becomes involved with it. The mind does this by itself so the only way to allow this to happen is to relax. It's like a natural harmonizing of all of life and to have a whim ceases to be distracting but a door to a whole other world. Through different occurences I won a competition where I would have to play my own music and so had to practice again. I found that in the mean time, because I had gotten to know music on the inside, that my playing was completely different and things happened all by themselves (without me having any control over them) and much more was accessible to me in a way which before I would have missed because I wouldn't have had the subtleness to allow it to happen and I would have tried too hard. In the end I might say that it's the multidimensional emotion which moves the body to express music (again this is something which happens by itself, it's more "this is possible" than "I feel this or that"). Not only did I have to rebel against what I was taught, but I had to completely forget a lot of it (especially what I had been taught musically) to discover how my body could actually play the music in a way which was completely natural to me. I had to give myself the right to relax with time into every nook and cranny of the architecture each phrase and thus discover the spiritual emotional energy (something which hovers by itself over one guiding and enchanting one on, the same way as sunlight warms the earth guiding growth). Finally, after about 4 years and I think 17 -18 recitals I was able to go deeper inside myself and start to release emotional wounds I had had for centuries or more than centuries, something my mind needed to do to discover what life really is about.

But it was getting to know music on the inside that brought this about and fortunately, because "society" found me crazy, I was left alone to do this and I found out how wrong they are. And they're not bothering me. But that's just them, that's not my teachers.

April 16, 2007 at 08:52 AM · In afterthought, with all my posting, I really think I should add that it is extremely important to have training that explains how to play your instrument. I have fussed and fussed about the essence of music and how it should be a healing art etc., but if you don't have a teacher who can teach you how to simply play your instrument (so that what is inside of you can come out), if you don't have someone who can show you the proper way to play so that you can be relaxed so you aren't fighting with your body or your mind to get it to do something – then I think you need to find another teacher.

It takes a lot of humility for a teacher to get out of the way, do the simplest things in order to help a person find the avenues for their soul to grow, if a teacher is telling a student how to play something without having the humility to get down to the physical level and show a person how to balance the fingers, the arms, the posture or whatever it takes to make them comfortable and nurture that simple process called music or art where a person finds a part of their soul which comes from nature and is engaged with natural expression – if a teacher bypasses this then I think one would need to look elswhere, no matter how mesmerizing the teachers abilities are as a performer.

Many things one can hardly put into words, one can only hint at them in a way because it will be different for everyone, but, if you can actually play your instrument, then you don't need such words and this is why music exists...

And playing a simple song you might understand the words of Goethe which all the explaining in the world could never have told you.

April 16, 2007 at 06:47 PM · I'm sorry. I didn't have time to read any of the above.

Is it of any value to a reader?

April 18, 2007 at 02:26 PM · Oh reading is very bad for humans. They might actually find they themselves can decide such important matters as to whether or not Squirrels should pay income tax...

August 14, 2007 at 07:35 AM · By the way, in this time we live in now....

You see in Mozart's time, it wasn't possible for anyone to just go to the store and buy a book which told you what you needed to know for the style of composition Mozart wrote. Books were part of an elitist community of those who had enough money for such things. So, the statement (the quote) is outdated; but, I wasn't thinking of that when I used, and I used it because Mozart said it has to get out and will get out regardless

the quote again:

"If one has the talent it pushes for utterance and

torments one; it will out; and then one is out with it

without questioning. And, look you, there is nothing in

this thing of learning out of books. Here, here and here

(pointing to his ear, his head and his heart) is your

school. If everything is right there, then take your pen

and down with it; afterward ask the opinion of a man who

knows his business."

In this time Mozart might have said "It's nothing about academics and then have suggested that someone should use as much of their ear as they had, their heart and their mind to see if what they were musing about or what they were working on was indeed involved those faculties and THEN, only then go on and perhaps go to the library and read as much as they can to get in touch with what they are doing themselves. Mozart, in that time, didn't suggest that someone, if they felt they had talent, needed to first go get apprenticed before they dared to really let out what was on the inside....

He set it straight about where the music comes from.

I really question whether this statement is understood at all "Here, here and here

(pointing to his ear, his head and his heart) is your

school. If everything is right there, then take your pen"

Even if a person knows only 3 or 5 notes, would they truly come up with something which their heart their mind and their intellect are comfortable with, Even if they couldn't write it down, if they come across someone who "knows his stuff" they could defend what they are doing and know if they were in dissagreement with that teacher and then look for another they would find the right teacher rather than that would all be suppressed because 'it's wise to go to a man who "knows his stuff"'

And beyond that the whole quote is a statement about being fearless rather than feeling any guilt whatwoever that something as controversial as true expression really is comes out.

That's where art comes from and if you think you can harness it to some schoolish idea of making it depend on the school (as if the vegetable store preceded the sun)'re lost before you started.

"it pushes for utterance and

torments one; it will out; and then one is out with it

without questioning."



I wonder how much it is understood that to be completely "safe" and supported you have to be, in a sense, completely fearless.

What is one doing to creation when, being creative, one has such fear of whether it comes out right?

Why are we individuals!?


I think it's because the harmony was already there to bless us with individuality, otherwise it wouldn't be created would it!?

And yet it is created.

Go do it!

August 14, 2007 at 10:56 AM · I love how this is a thread about Ilya Grubert. Long live digression!

August 14, 2007 at 03:31 PM · Ilya Grubert is an incredible artist and teacher! Few people I know studied with him and are forever grateful to him for his guidance.

August 16, 2007 at 10:22 PM · Its a thread about deciding about what teacher to have...

August 17, 2007 at 05:36 AM · Roelof,

I was actually completely serious. I really like watching how these discussions develop and digress, and how one isn't limited to talking about exactly what's in the subject line. That freedom's a really good thing.

August 17, 2007 at 11:33 AM · Double post - sorry.

August 17, 2007 at 12:58 PM · OK Megan

You might laugh at this but I (years ago) talked to a spiritual medium who channeled (or in other terms was a conduit of the holy spirit, the paramour Jesus said he would send after him) who was one of Jesus disciples (John). "John" told me that one of the best things I could do as a teacher is allow people to make their own digressions (he called it "detours"). That way people find their own answers. That's supportive of the person rather than the person having to be supportive of the method.

So evidently we haven't digressed enough but we can change planes now to whoever in the beyond that leads to. And we don't have to worry about getting "lost."

Also, if someone comes into a lesson having had a difficult day, it really helps to give them space to refind themselves in the music rather than trying to be disruptively objective.

Music can heal, and I believe it belongs in the healing arts (but unfortunately it would have to just about be legally considered a drug for it to be now adays).....

I talked with John about how I wanted to write an opera about Jesus perhaps where he isn't crucified. He right away picked up the thread that this would happen like anything does and that my story was "real."

To me Jesus is like so many people who in the end can only express themselves through tragedy and that they transcend all the pain they go through because death is their escape. There are many unique people full of unheard miracles who end up this way, and end up going home somewhere else.

Since then I'm completely not alien to miracles (even the physical variety) and have had to truly learn forgiveness. Perhaps I'll do what John said to me about my music:

"Like in your arias where there's a moment that brings out an aspect of the character beyond tragedy"...and perhaps help make a world that honors such crazy things and such crazy people enough that there would be a home here for where strawberries grow:

Here's another thing Jesus and them taught me....through experience of a miracle.

If it helps anybody I might as well put it down

If you truly enjoy a Strawberry (or anything that comes from the elements of the earth..a violin even), remembering what comes from the earth, and truly take in the essence: if man would destroy the earth, you would still remember what a Strawberry is and it would create a new world for you. This is the same with any part of your body you thought was irreparably damaged. This is also the same with the minds of the people who would destroy the earth and their emotional wounds, no matter how impossible you thought it was to find help. The Strawberry can help.

August 17, 2007 at 01:43 PM · Oh Ilja is just going to love this....

This in case there's confusion

This is not supposed to be about a Christian Invasion of a culture.....

It's about a Strawberry!

A violin even....

A Snatch

And then there's Emily, Emily Dickinson

Heart, not so heavy as mine

Wending late home—

As it passed my window

Whistled itself a tune—

A careless snatch—a ballad—

A ditty of the street—

Yet to my irritated Ear

An Anodyne so sweet—

It was as if a Bobolink

Sauntering this way

Carolled, and paused, and carolled—

Then bubbled slow away!

It was as if a chirping brook

Upon a dusty way—

Set bleeding feet to minuets

Without the knowing why!

Tomorrow, night will come again—

Perhaps, weary and sore—

Ah Bugle! By my window

I pray you pass once more.

thanks Megan, I would have forgotten a few things there....

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