09. January 2009 · 3 comments · Categories: TV

More from the show, Beyond the Practice Room which I’m still watching …

Seeing a mom … first words out of her mouth after a performance? She told her son he played wrong notes at the end.


I really encourage parents to be encouraging. I really despise the parents who are harsh. It makes me sad. I like parents who get their children to practice. I don’t care for parents who say discouraging things in front of me about their children. That makes me sad, too.

But ah, parents! We teachers rely on them in some ways. And hope they don’t do harm. Which is, I suspect, exactly how they feel about teachers!

Well, You show me a really fine talent that succeeds, and I’ll show you an ambitious parent. There’s gotta be something because otherwise, no sane child is going to spend eight or nine hours daily … it just can’t be.

Q: As an educator do you discourage or encourage that?

I tell people that anybody who says they love to practice is either a little bit stupid or lying.

I can’t remember the name of the woman talking about, but she was a child prodigy. The one who practiced all day, with a break for meals, English class, and a walk. She has some good things to say. I’ve decided to record the rebroadcast of this so I can watch this again.

“I love to watch them. I love to look at the choice of repertoire. And I learn. It’s so much fun. It makes me feel so young.”

-again, by the woman I quoted above, an 80 year old, former child prodigy.


  1. Sounds kinda like Beethoven’s father – he saw what Mozart was doing and decided to manufacture his own prodigy. Except if little Ludwig played a wrong note he’d get beaten…

    One wonders, is it about the kid or the parent? It’s like those beauty pageant thingies, seems to me.

  2. [quote]I tell people that anybody who says they love to practice is either a little bit stupid or lying. [/quote]
    But why? I do love to practice. Not 8 or 9 hours daily, and I don’t always feel like it, and it depends on the thing I’m playing, but I like playing. So I’m stupid, according to that woman, whoever it may be…
    And I’ve heard about parents like that before, and I wonder if it’s better to have a parent like that or a parent who takes absolutely no interest in musical talent and won’t let a child have lessons or something. The best is somewhere in between, as with most things 😉

  3. Well, do suspect the juror was a little over the top; most love to practice some of the time. But when it’s like THESE kids, who practice 8 and 9 hours, I do think they probably get some prodding now and then. Maybe not …?

    And yes, “somewhere in between” IS best. I really get frustrated with the parents who are entirely hands off. Those students usually quit sooner rather than later.