Fantasia K397

I took to playing the piano more often. At one time I decided that I didn’t want to play it anymore, so stopped... No, paused, my weekly lessons with Marivonne, a (relatively) stern teacher, who was very stubborn and a perfectionist in her own art. I’m very glad she was, as I’m in need of that right now...

I decided to resume, I want to progress. I have paused at grade 3, and after a year of worry, I understood that a piano is an essential part of my daily routine. A pleasant, therapeutic addiction.

My current teacher (if I may call him so), is a very talented musician, who was chosen to become a head of some clarinet society by all members of its board, unanimously, and is very proficient in playing the piano as well as a clarinet (and maybe some other instruments I’m not aware of). His musical talents aside, he is not much of a great music teacher. He doesn’t have the courage to be stern and stubborn with his pupils.

*Moan*, I have to be realistic. He teaches primary-school kids, as well as my eight-year-old brother. I crave perfection and strict discipline; every note I play on the piano, he murmurs "Well Done!" or "Excellent!", to the point that I begin to doubt the credibility of these words. It’s almost like a tick.

Well, I have to trust myself on this. How good a teacher he may be, he is still a teacher, and provides valuable help. I need this help, to prod me to play on and on. After him helping me with the notes and going away, I begin to watch videos of masters playing the pieces that I’m studying, to better help me understand the dynamics and the rhythm. Currently, I have finished learning Mozart’s Fantasy in D Minor, and am progressing in improving my dynamics. Here’s a very nice video I found, of Emil Gilels (who was Soviet, by the way) -

Did you see that? The best musicians of the world are Russian, and Chinese... and a few other countries... But not English (apart from Elgar). The best teachers, the best discipline was always Russian (music-wise). If I was to go to Russia to learn to play the piano, I would be treated very roughly for my ignorance and laziness. The teachers mean well, they stretch your abilities and inspire you. Charismatic personalities.

One prominent composer said that the Russian music school is not aimed for pleasing the simple-minded John Does, it is harsh and very selective, aimed at finding Mozarts and not for the masses. That’s what I crave.

$root - whoami
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