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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000032.txt from 2002/06

From: Karona Poindexter <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Teaching the 'students' of today
Date: Sat, 1 Jun 2002 23:05:59 -0400

sex and the clarinet, now there's an interesting comparison . . .

On Saturday, June 1, 2002, at 08:13 AM, Tony Pay wrote:

> On Sat, 1 Jun 2002 07:53:53 -0400, said:
>>>> The most amazing statement that I have often heard in a lesson is,
>>>> "What difference does it make?", when trying correct an inherent
>>>> problem. Apparently they assume that I'm giving out information
>>>> just to fill up time, or I am not intelligent enough to give
>>>> valuable information.
>> Joseph Wakeling said:
>>> Mind you, it might be that they just don't understand why it's
>>> important. Not that I'm assuming you don't give reasons - and I know
>>> that "What difference does it make?" can be as much a sign of
>>> laziness as not understanding - but there can be value in verbally
>>> challenging what a teacher tells you. ;-)
>> You can tell a lot from the tone of such a statement. In most cases,
>> when this question is asked it is usually done in a surly, complaining
>> tone. It is not usually given because the student is really interested
>> in the answer. Verbally challenging the teacher can be valuable as
>> long as you are doing because you really want to understand. But
>> many times it is not done for that reason. I am not out to create
>> mindless robots, but whining and complaining is not the same as
>> respectful inquisitiveness.
> Nowadays teaching is almost always something imposed on a kid who
> doesn't want it. This is one of the great ills of our times.
> In my view, you should simply not teach 'students' who don't want to be
> in your lessons, as a matter of principle. It's not as if the world is
> in need of clarinet players, after all.
> Playing the clarinet (particularly playing the period clarinet) should
> be thought of as being like having sex -- it's only any good if you
> actually want to do it. And it's not a question of thinking less of the
> student, any more than you would think less of someone who didn't want
> to have sex.
> Teaching may not suit some people, anyway. I stopped having lessons as
> soon as possible, myself; and a few years ago my youngest son asked for
> a guitar for his birthday -- on the condition that he didn't have to
> have a teacher. (He'd been there, you see.)
> Someone said that it wasn't a good idea to teach pigs to sing, because
> it was useless -- and it annoyed them. This makes a joke out of another
> aspect of the matter that it's worth taking seriously.
> What's the *real* meaning, for example, of the more famous injunction
> 'not to cast pearls before swine'?
> I'd say the point is that if you do, it's *you* that's stupid, not the
> swine. And they have a right to be annoyed, because they're interested
> in things that are much more important, for them -- and arguably, much
> more important anyway.
> Tony
> --
> _________ Tony Pay
> |ony:-) 79 Southmoor Rd
> | |ay Oxford OX2 6RE
> tel/fax 01865 553339
> ... Adults are just kids who owe money.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------


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