[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Metronomes (was Re: No, Gould's so fast)

Anne M. posed some interesting questions.

>couldn't help as he had never owned a metronome and wasn't familiar with
>the markings.
>Is this common for pianists today? Or do most pianists and other musicians
>use metronomes, at least when they're learning music? It's worth noting
>that his mother was a piano teacher. Is it customary for a piano teacher to
>avoid the use of a metronome?

Most of us need to use a metronome sometimes.  Very few of us have the
natural sense of rhythm that Glenn Gould had.  It is common for people to
play the more difficult passages in a piece slower than the easy parts. I
have a few students who play so erratically that I can't stand to listen to
them unless the MM is on.  If they play with it enough their rhythm usually
improves.  Most teachers recommend using the MM some of the time, not all
of the time.

Good editions of music will suggest a lower and upper MM speed for each
piece.  I object when conservatories say  that "This is the proper one and
only speed for this piece"
>A few years back, I read that English teachers in Maryland who were no
>longer teaching their students what they should be learning. Instead, they
>were teaching them how to pass a notorious state-wide essay test.

This is how music is being taught in Canada.  We have a national contest
called the Kiwanis Music Festival.  It is not unusual to hear 15 kids in a
competition all play the same piece in exactly the same way.  The only
difference is the number of wrong notes each hits.  Every once in awhile a
kid will do something like Bradley mentioned GG doing -- reverse the
staccato and legato markings.  Instead of being commended for originality he
is shown the score that Bach was supposed to have marked (only he didn't)
and told that he "played it all wrong".

Parents want value for their money.  They need to have their children pass
exams and win contests in order to feel that the teacher is any good.  My
way around this is to only allow exams every other year.  On the odd years I
have kids to other things  -like play jazz . If you buck the system too much
you can't make a living.

>, that was like closing the barn door after the horse had run away...

Another metaphor please.(Just joking,  Anne knows why I don't like this

Anne S