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.

09. January 2009 · Comments Off on Young Artists · Categories: Links, Ramble, TV

We’ve all played badly. We’ve all played well. There are times when we played well and gotten terrible reviews. Times when we’ve played terribly and are ready to commit suicide and discovered everybody liked it.

The quote above is from a juror at a piano competition, explaining that all the jurors have “been there, done that”.

I am watching Beyond the Practice Room, on KCSM, which is about a competition in New York for young (ages 14-18) pianists. Terribly fun to watch. Humbling, of course.

Earlier today I was watching something on YouTube (I can’t even remember what now) and thinking about how incredible some musicians are, and how much time has gone into training for these musicians. Hearing that one of the jurors in the movie, when she was young, practiced all day long (with breaks for eating, a walk, and an English lesson).

If you want to record it, it’s on KCSM again at 2:00 AM on January 11.

Man, I love hearing the artists’ talk about their performances: “It was okay.” “It could have been worse.” It was better than I feared and not as good as I hoped.” “My hands were numb.”

Geesh … one young man’s father stayed up all night, playing classical music for the children while they slept, having heard that classical music is good for learning. Okay, then.

I must say, I’m simply amazed by pianists.

We oboists? We. Play. One. Note. At. A. Time.

But even without that … these kids are just miles beyond me.

I surrender.

Nicholas Daniel was born on January 9, 1962. (He’s a young’un, I tell ya.)

Mozart Oboe Concerto:

09. January 2009 · 1 comment · Categories: Ramble

… SLOWLY back to work I go.

On Monday private students returned to the studio. Today I’m back to UCSC (I need to get out the door nearly now, in fact!), and Monday it’s back to the stage.

It’s kind of a nice way to get back to work, really; nothing to jarring. But it does sort of feel like those days when it wants to rain but doesn’t quite pour. I think I’m getting impatient.

I know that’s difficult to believe … ME, being impatient!