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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000702.txt from 1999/06

From: "Edwin V. Lacy" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Need a teacher's viewpoint
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 16:48:54 -0400

On Tue, 22 Jun 1999, Soo Goh wrote:

> I am thinking about taking lessons from the visiting clarinet
> professor while he is here. My question is, will my college professor
> feel insulted if I do that?

Probably not. However, this is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it is
a good idea to get a variety of inputs as to style, technique, etc.
Eventually, you will pick and choose bits and pieces of various of your
teachers, and that becomes your individual style. However, there also is
the possbility of becoming confused by having too many opposing viewpoints
to try to reconcile. You don't want to get in the position of having to
try to evaluate everything your teacher says in light of what you may have
heard from another teacher. Sometimes in becomes almost impossible to
avoid the feeling that one of them must be right and the other must be

There is another factor to consider. One of the most outstanding bassoon
players and teachers in the world is Milan Turkovic, formerly principal
bassoonist of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. I heard him say that
many American College students who may be travelling about Europe call him
and ask for "a lesson." He says that he always refuses such requests,
because he feels that it requires at least three or four months for a
teacher and a student to become accustomed to each other, and then another
six months or so for the student to complete a prescribed course of study.

He calls the process of having a lesson or two from as many teachers as
possible "collecting teachers." Too often, the real purpose is to be able
to include the names of famous teachers on one's resume, although it seems
doubtful that anyone has ever really benefitted in a substantial way from
having a list of famous names on his/her resume. But, sometimes we see
even less significant items listed on applications and resumes.

So, if you are going to study with a visiting professor, I would suggest
that you try to think through carefully what you want from him. Probably
the most valuable thing would be assistance with one or more major works
on interpretation or other matters of musicality.

Ed Lacy

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