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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000601.txt from 2000/07

Subj: Re: [kl] enthused musings upon Mozart Concerto
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2000 17:47:06 -0400

At 01:50 PM 7/18/2000 -0500, you wrote:
>While I tend to agree with the original post from Lelia that it is
>possible to hold the major works in such awe that students would almost
>never play them, on the other hand, I find this approach to be too much to
>the other extreme. Here's part of the problem. Now, we have 8th grade
>students who are playing the Mozart Concerto. No doubt there are students
>of this age who can manage the notes from a technical standpoint.
>However, when and if they go to college, their teachers are going to want
>to work with them on the Mozart. In many cases, when faced with this
>necessity, students feel that they are failures, because their reaction is
>likely to be, "But I've already played that." Of course, we recognize
>that there are various degrees of "playing" a piece.

I learned the Mozart Concerto, 2nd mvt in 7th grade, the 3rd mvt in 8th
grade and went on to play it in college only as a study for auditions.
However, I seemed to have a good understanding that my 7th and 8th grade
presentations were of a work in progress - mine that is.

>Personally, I find it more unlikely that a student that young could manage
>the Brahms Sonatas from a musical standpoint.

I tend to agree with this statement - even though it may seem like a
contradiction for what I said regarding Mozart. Brahms seems to require
such mature playing for the musical elements he wrote - I'm talking
pedagogically as well as musically. I hope this is not interpreted as
putting Mozart's down in any way - I am not intending that at all!

>I'm afraid that in some cases, the ego of the teacher is involved. It
>makes them feel important and/or successful to be able to say, "My 12 year
>old student is playing the Mozart." (or Brahms, or whatever it may be)

Admittidly (did I spell that correctly???), some teachers have a need to
feed their ego by putting all of their students on the Mozart at an early
age. Many of us however, expose students to Mozart when we feel it will
really help them in their playing, their appreciation of great music, and
as a motivational force in their musical lives. So I guess I agree with you
when you qualify what you say with, " some cases....."

>But, as a college
>teacher, I would feel derelict in my duties if I did not assure myself
>that a student can perform the Mozart in a musically acceptable way.
>Often, the fact that they have played such works in high school (or even
>younger) just makes the whole process a lot more distasteful when they
>have to repeat these pieces as college students.

Sometimes as college teachers who teach young students, we must try to
divorce our mature ears from what they do with what they have accomplished
after the fact - with Mozart, this is often so important.

Roger Garrett

Roger Garrett
Professor of Clarinet
Director, Symphonic Winds
Head, Recording Studio
Illinois Wesleyan University
School of Music
Bloomington, IL 61702-2900
(309) 556-3268

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