Friday Finds: Quotes from Seymour Bernstein

 

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Great tips for organizing summer camps and workshops. 

 

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I love the idea of a senior showcase recital and using it as a reflection of your teaching.

 

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I am working to foster creativity in some of my young budding composers but struggle at times knowing how to guide them in a meaningful and yet open way. Elissa has thoughts on composing that hit spot on in Guaranteed Ways to Make Students Less Creative. I can’t wait to read her promised follow-up post!

 

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In my dreams. I’m amazed at skateboarders. I can’t rollerblade, rollerskate or anything of that sort so these people amaze me.

 

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On Thursday, I gave a two-hour talk to my alma mater’s Piano Pedagogy Technology class on how I use social media and technology as a piano teacher. One thing I talked a lot about is how to manage the wealth of information and how email and Facebook news feeds can be used for managing content but are not the best nor most efficient way to do so. That evening I came home to find a post and that apparently SETH GODIN agrees with me! Like me, he uses Feedly to follow more than 50 blogs every day. Great minds think alike, Seth! Ha! (That’s me talking in my dreams as if Seth Godin were reading my blog!) 🙂

 

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This Roasted Chickpea Taco Salad was super delicious and healthy! Even my “gotta-have-meat” husband didn’t mind it being meatless. The chickpeas shine, although removing the skins before roasting is tedious and a little bit of a pain, but totally worth it. I think it’s so they roast and don’t steam. I didn’t even know you would ever have a reason to remove the skins off chickpeas. Even if you don’t make this taco salad, at least use the Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette recipe. It’s amazing and fresh.

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Seymour: An Introduction was recently premiered at the MTNA conference in San Antonio. Since it was played the evening right after my session, I was on a high and was not in the mood to sit down and watch a movie. I finally got around to watching it on Netflix over Memorial Day Weekend, and it probably took me an extra 20 minutes to watch because I kept pausing to write down powerful quotes! Here are some of my favorites:
  • The piano is like a person. They build them the same way. They never come out the same way.
  • During the Romantic Period, it was unthinkable for anyone to study an instrument who didn’t compose. Creativity and re-creativity went hand in hand. There were no computers there was no television. There were no distractions.
  • One of his students in the film said: Learning to listen to yourself makes you able to listen to other people [and sense their emotions].
  • [Life] has conflicts and pleasures, harmony and dissonance. That’s how life is. Can’t escape it. By the way, the same thing occurs in music. There are dissonances and harmony and resolutions. I believe that you won’t enjoy the resolution unless you have that dissonance. What would it be if we didn’t have the dissonance? We wouldn’t know the meaning of the resolution.
  • The most important thing a music teacher can do for their pupils is inspire and encourage an emotional response not just for music but more importantly for all aspects of life. 
  • Having a fear of memory slips. I felt inadequate as a pianist. Now you understand that if we’re talking about the correlation between a musician and a person. If you feel inadequate as a musician, then you’re going to feel inadequate as a person.
  • I have to tell you that our art is totally predictable. Music will never change. When Beethoven puts a Bb down its there forever. Because of the predictability of music when we work at it we have a sense of order, harmony, predictability, and something we can control. Your initial response to music occurs without intellectual analysis. Gifted children, for example, often project deep musical feeling without being aware of musical structure or historical facts. It is this kind of innocence from w
  • hich adults can learn. Therefore, in practicing, avoid excess of analysis, and allow the music to reveal its own beauty. A beauty that is answered by something deep within you.
  • Interviewer: Our culture deliberately drives people to focus people outside so it can control them because if you can make people slaves of consumerism, slaves of success, Slaves of status you can manipulate them completely. So the top of music in our culture is crucial because music is the art most sacredly capable of helping us get in touch with the deepest passions and compassions and deepest understandings of ourselves.Seymour: Well, the ancient Greeks knew that because you know they had a quadrivium. There were four subjects without which they felt the human could not develop. One of the four subjects was music. Somebody asked me about taking piano lessons, right? ‘Suppose a child doesn’t feel like it, isn’t drawn to music.’ So I said to this person, now let’s compare this with going to school. Little Harry wakes up on a Thursday morning and says “Mommy I don’t feel like going to school.” I said it’s unthinkable that little Harry can’t go to school, he HAS to go to school whether he likes it or not. There will be no TV; there will be no meeting with your friends. You take your pick. You’re going to practice one hour every day, and I’m going to supervise it. How do you like that? Well, do parents talk to their children like that? Of course not. And what happens? They’re half developed children when they become adults.
 

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