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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000749.txt from 2004/10

From: Adam Michlin <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Appealing to the superficial
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 12:41:08 -0400

At 08:37 AM 10/25/2004 -0700, Ormondtoby Montoya wrote:
>I can't see that it has *anything* to do with stimulating children's
>interests in classic music.

We are discussing two simultaneous ideas which very much interrelate.

1. How or whether to get students interested in Mozart (as representing
classical music in general, I suppose).
2. Valid or invalid interpretations of Mozart and how they relate to the above.

It is easy for most people on this list, including Tony, to accept "Mozart
as rap" as invalid. I'm not so sure it as easy to accept "Mozart played by
a band" as invalid. I submit none of the above are invalid. What matters is
whether or not the educational goal is achieved (most certainly *not* to
*make* students like Mozart, but certainly to give them the *chance* to
like Mozart). This is the point I was trying to make.

If anyone on the list really believes I am a bad teacher for wanting to
give students a *chance* to like Mozart, I'll let them have the final word
on the subject.

>If there's any question in your mind that Tony would play for a school
>if his schedule and location and belief in the teacher's goals
>permitted, then you seriously misunderstand him.

I do not know what his beliefs are in regards to the goals of teachers he
may or may not perform with. Hence I have asked him.

>You could have asked a related question, such as "Tony, do you think
>that students may become more interested in classical music if they
>could attempt K.622 with a professional clarinetist?", then your
>question wouldn't bother me. But you've phrased your question in terms
>of Tony's personal standards and ethics, and this isn't want this
>discussion is about.

Because I truly am interested in Tony's personal standards and ethics as
well as because he has criticized my personal standards and ethics. His
criticisms may even have validity. I am not an artist as he is. I do not
aspire to be such an artist. When it comes to teaching, I am an
opportunist. Guilty as charged.

>....and this time, I don't think that you can convince me to apologize
>for what I've posted. This topic is about motivating students, not
>about any performer's personal standards.

You certainly have no reason to apologize. If Tony is going to tell me I am
wrong for using non-traditional interpretations of Mozart to give students
a chance to appreciate Mozart then I really have no choice but to point out
that there was time when he was the one playing the non-traditional
interpretations. Some members of the taste police might still say he's
playing non-traditional interpretations.

Such are the vagaries of the taste police, all of which I find very

One of my favorite quotes:

"Critics have their purposes, and they're supposed to do what they do, but
sometimes they get a little carried away with what they think someone
should have done, rather than concerning themselves with what they did."
-Duke Ellington


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