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Working too hard - is not good


Rue
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Generational bias often leans towards suggesting that younger people often don't work 'hard enough'.  Frankly, I've never believed that.  In my role as a teacher, in every class the personality of  students has run the gamut from slackers to over-achievers, and pretty much in the same percentage over the years.  Although I realize my sample population consists of the 'higher achievers' to begin with, I suspect my observations apply to the general population.

I've heard people making fun of YouTubers.  I don't see the appeal of YouTubing as a living myself, but regardless, it has become a viable 'job'.  I was also wondering about the inherent 'danger' of those making a living off YouTube - with the demand for constant, new, never-ending content.  We need to slow down.  Burn-out, no matter what the venue, is very real.

Case in point:

TwoSet Violin

I have admitted that I enjoy most :)(but not all :rolleyes:) of their content.  I think they've done a wonderful thing by drawing in viewers and exposing them to classical music in a fun way

They have been - and this is nuts - trying to put out 5 videos a week.  Honestly, I can't imagine how stressful that must be.

And?  Sadly, but not unexpectedly, we have issues as a result:

I hope Brett takes a good long rest, feels better soon, and the two of them are up and running again - but at a slower, more manageable pace.

 

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Agreed.  

These two have nearly 3 million subscribers.  No doubt that a good chunk of subscribers are fairly new to classical music.  I enjoy most of their videos too.  Wonder how they get away with some of the roasting they do to other musicians but they are young, eager, hard working, and skilled in their trade.  I applaud them for the positive effect they have had on classical music, albeit to the detriment of violas and basses. :lol:

Lesson to all: Stop and smell the roses once in awhile. 

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I do not adhere to the idea of, “faster better stronger more”

my mother used to say, “make haste slowly.“ I don’t know where she got that, but it’s a great quote.

If the goal is only “faster better stronger more.” Eventually you burn out.

Not everyone is Haydn, who wrote excellent music for 60 years.

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22 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

I do not adhere to the idea of, “faster better stronger more”

my mother used to say, “make haste slowly.“ I don’t know where she got that, but it’s a great quote.

If the goal is only “faster better stronger more.” Eventually you burn out.

Not everyone is Haydn, who wrote excellent music for 60 years.

Make haste slowly, from festina lente, from σπεῦδε βραδέως.

It was famously one of Augustus Caesar's mottos.

But I got it from my first (German) violin teacher.

She also taught me:

On practice: Slow makes fast, fast makes sloppy.

On quality:  He who buys expensively, buys cheaply.

 

I really appreciated the honesty in this video.  Brett and Eddy are the heirs to Victor Borge as far as I'm concerned. I admire them so much. Thanks for posting, Rue.

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On 12/11/2020 at 12:41 PM, violinnewb said:

I applaud them for the positive effect they have had on classical music, albeit to the detriment of violas and basses. :lol:

I think with regard to the Violas....they seem to be pretty consistent in not making fun of viola players so much as making fun of the intense fear young violin players have of being told 'maybe you would be better as a viola player' Sometimes that line can be blurry however....

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1 hour ago, _Alex said:

I think with regard to the Violas....they seem to be pretty consistent in not making fun of viola players so much as making fun of the intense fear young violin players have of being told 'maybe you would be better as a viola player' Sometimes that line can be blurry however....

Then maybe you haven't seen some of their older videos, including The Viola King...

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18 minutes ago, outofnames said:

Then maybe you haven't seen some of their older videos, including The Viola King...

 

1 hour ago, _Alex said:

I think with regard to the Violas....they seem to be pretty consistent in not making fun of viola players so much as making fun of the intense fear young violin players have of being told 'maybe you would be better as a viola player' Sometimes that line can be blurry however....

Have you guys seen the Ling Ling Insurance video?  LOL

Also, take a look at their merch.  Viola jokes abound!

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31 minutes ago, violinnewb said:

 

Have you guys seen the Ling Ling Insurance video?  LOL

Also, take a look at their merch.  Viola jokes abound!

By far the funniest to me was their video,  "types of musician moms", where Eddy finishes with the Asian Tiger mom, berates her son (Brett) and tells him that Ling Ling wins every competition and practices 40 hours everyday.  I think that was the start of Ling Ling 40 hours. 

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This may be off-topic, but: lately I've been thinking a lot about rests in music.  I play mostly celtic/folk and a bit of jazz, and in those worlds improv is super-important. (Like you should never play the repeats in a jig the same way, you need to come up with some interesting little twist). It's taken me a very long time to understand that the notes you leave out are as important as the notes you put in. I think the music can only exist in relation to silence,  and sometimes we forget to allow space for silence.

Two people who were masters at this were Miles Davis and Billie Holiday.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't remember how I came upon TwoSet, but they and their admonitions to PRACTICE revived my interest in playing the violin. Admittedly, I'd been thinking about it for some time, but it's due to them and to Olaf the Violin Maker that I actually got re-started after a lengthy hiatus.

I only wish I'd had them when I was a kid or when I was taking lessons 18 years ago (yikes, it's been THAT LONG?!?) If I had, I might not have quit when I did.

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  • 1 month later...

Yes. I watched it afterwards. Good stuff.

I don't see anything wrong with fans donating towards a "free" concert. We do it all the time, in "real life".  And it's essentially not any different than paying for tickets, and then donating to an organization.

But...by offering a free, quality, informal concert, they are attracting (and keeping) interest in classical music high - to a new, broad, mostly young, audience. Win-win.

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On 12/29/2020 at 5:40 PM, Regina3000 said:

I don't remember how I came upon TwoSet, but they and their admonitions to PRACTICE revived my interest in playing the violin. Admittedly, I'd been thinking about it for some time, but it's due to them and to Olaf the Violin Maker that I actually got re-started after a lengthy hiatus.

I only wish I'd had them when I was a kid or when I was taking lessons 18 years ago (yikes, it's been THAT LONG?!?) If I had, I might not have quit when I did.

It's amazing how much easier it is now to learn things just from online resources. I was a successful self taught guitarist, and as such I was determined to become a self taught violinist many years ago and eventually gave up. Now, years later I've been able to start again and correct all (most) of my past bad habits and gain a lot of skill just by using online videos and tutorials as reference. I stumbled on Eddy Chen some years ago on Youtube before he started TwoSet because he has some good tutorials I found helpful. It's my strong belief that many or even most people do not flourish musically in the traditional 'one lesson a week and practice boring exercises + songs you don't even like in between' method. So it's great to see now there are other options.  

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29 minutes ago, _Alex said:

...It's my strong belief that many or even most people do not flourish musically in the traditional 'one lesson a week and practice boring exercises + songs you don't even like in between' method. So it's great to see now there are other options.  

I'm afraid I will have to disagree. ^_^

I think most people flourish with one-one traditional lessons. Most can't successfully self-teach since there is no one around to comment on their progress.  Even when I think I'm doing something well, a teacher can point out why I'm not...and then it's like "ooohhhh! THAT explains it! (Whatever "it" might be).

If you "practice boring exercises + songs you don't even like'" you either have the wrong teacher or a bad attitude. Self-teaching won't fix either. :lol:

The benefit of the plethora of on-line info (if you can sort through the cr*p) is as an adjunct to quality weekly lessons.

 

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56 minutes ago, Rue said:

I'm afraid I will have to disagree. ^_^

I think most people flourish with one-one traditional lessons. Most can't successfully self-teach since there is no one around to comment on their progress.  Even when I think I'm doing something well, a teacher can point out why I'm not...and then it's like "ooohhhh! THAT explains it! (Whatever "it" might be).

If you "practice boring exercises + songs you don't even like'" you either have the wrong teacher or a bad attitude. Self-teaching won't fix either. :lol:

The benefit of the plethora of on-line info (if you can sort through the cr*p) is as an adjunct to quality weekly lessons.

 

I take weekly lessons and have been with the same teacher since I embarked on this journey just over 4 years ago.

The last year or so, I have felt like I'm self directing lessons a bit.  When I mentioned this to her, she informed me that my chosen pedagogical material is sound and so she felt no need to change what I'm working on.

All that said, I doubt I'd be where I am without her instruction.  It often feels like she's passive, but the results say otherwise. 

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2 hours ago, Rue said:

I'm afraid I will have to disagree. ^_^

I think most people flourish with one-one traditional lessons. Most can't successfully self-teach since there is no one around to comment on their progress.  Even when I think I'm doing something well, a teacher can point out why I'm not...and then it's like "ooohhhh! THAT explains it! (Whatever "it" might be).

If you "practice boring exercises + songs you don't even like'" you either have the wrong teacher or a bad attitude. Self-teaching won't fix either. :lol:

The benefit of the plethora of on-line info (if you can sort through the cr*p) is as an adjunct to quality weekly lessons.

I realize I am speaking in absolutisms, and there is lots of room for middle ground with teachers acting more like mentors, etc. But my point still stands...I'm a lot more successful now that I was pre internet.  

I think this is the classic 'I was successful inside the educational system and therefore it works / I was not successful inside the educational system and therefore it doesn't work' argument that will never be resolved I guess. 

I had a discussion with a person a while back who was agonizing over his daughter's violin lessons. He said his wife was pushing her to keep going with a 'very difficult' teacher at Longy and the child was not having fun. I remember saying, if you want her to have a lifelong love of music, you need to get her out of these lessons immediately. If, on the other hand you want her to be a very successful (classical) violinist, you'll need to stamp out the notion that there is going to be any fun. Your choice. I know that sounds cynical, but for too many people it's true. Yes of course the system worked for Hillary Hahn, and if you want to be like her, you have to subscribe to the system. But one major problem with lessons is you never learn how to play for yourself. You never just pick up your instrument. If you do pick it up you have immediate guilt that you are not 'practicing the right things'

The comment about 'bad attitude' is unfortunately a long perpetuated myth ... people who don't do well in the 'traditional method' either aren't trying or have a 'bad attitude', when in fact the 'bad attitude' is a symptom, not a cause of the disease. 

I realize I am speaking in absolutisms and there is lots of room for middle ground with teachers asking more as mentors, etc. But the point remains that I am much more successful now than I was pre-internet. 

 

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2 hours ago, Rue said:

I think most people flourish with one-one traditional lessons. Most can't successfully self-teach since there is no one around to comment on their progress.  Even when I think I'm doing something well, a teacher can point out why I'm not...and then it's like "ooohhhh! THAT explains it! (Whatever "it" might be).

As to your point about no one around to comment on your progress.... The violin is a fairly robust instrument. I find that despite my best efforts, there are always people around to comment on my progress :rolleyes: 

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30 minutes ago, _Alex said:

...

The comment about 'bad attitude' is unfortunately a long perpetuated myth ... people who don't do well in the 'traditional method' either aren't trying or have a 'bad attitude', when in fact the 'bad attitude' is a symptom, not a cause of the disease. 

...

First of all, not everyone learns the same way. No question. But most of us do. So do we speak to the 25% (just tossing that figure out, might be less) that don't, at the expense of the 75% that do?

I certainly think we need to accommodate the 25% that learn differently (and who I've worked with) but we can't bypass the 75% that do well within the established system.

There definitely is a 'bad attitude'. I see it all the time with students. I saw it up close and in action with my two sons. I've also seen the 'bad attitude' on the part of a teacher in action. Even 'high achievers" are affected by attitude.

Combine a student with a bad attitude with a teacher with a bad attitude and the end result is frustration, rebellion, failure.

People engage in activities for different reasons. Ultimately the goals should still be valid. Do you want to play for pleasure? Do you want to play to compete? Might need a different approach.

1 minute ago, _Alex said:

As to your point about no one around to comment on your progress.... The violin is a fairly robust instrument. I find that despite my best efforts, there are always people around to comment on my progress :rolleyes: 

*giggle*

:P

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I would hate to self-teach without some experience with a teacher first, because how do you know what you don't know

But the online stuff can be extremely valuable too.  Lots of breadth.  It would be interesting to take lessons and you're told to do something that conflicts with what a video says, perhaps from a lot better teacher. 

BTW a lot of great players are offering video lessons during the covid break from touring,  About as expensive as learning to fly an airplane though.  Another thing I would not want to learn entirely from video.

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3 hours ago, Bill Merkel said:

BTW a lot of great players are offering video lessons during the covid break from touring,  About as expensive as learning to fly an airplane though.

I thought that would be the case and reached out to two well-known pedagogues that my daughter and teacher greatly admire, asking about the possibility of a limited number of video classes for her, with no reply.  I know many musicians are greatly suffering but apparently not universally.

On 12/12/2020 at 12:52 PM, PhilipKT said:

I do not adhere to the idea of, “faster better stronger more”

my mother used to say, “make haste slowly.“ I don’t know where she got that, but it’s a great quote.

If the goal is only “faster better stronger more.” Eventually you burn out.

My daughter loves classical music and playing dearly.  But my hunch is that things are so competitive now that for a career she'll get beaten at auditions by someone whose goal is strongly “faster better stronger more” and who manages not to burn out, even at the expense of the love of music.  I think that in her teachers generation, and even more recently, that love of music, talent, and maybe a few breaks along the way were sufficient to be successful at this.  I'm not sure anymore.

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21 minutes ago, StanY said:

I thought that would be the case and reached out to two well-known pedagogues that my daughter and teacher greatly admire, asking about the possibility of a limited number of video classes for her, with no reply.  I know many musicians are greatly suffering but apparently not universally.

My daughter loves classical music and playing dearly.  But my hunch is that things are so competitive now that for a career she'll get beaten at auditions by someone whose goal is strongly “faster better stronger more” and who manages not to burn out, even at the expense of the love of music.  I think that in her teachers generation, and even more recently, that love of music, talent, and maybe a few breaks along the way were sufficient to be successful at this.  I'm not sure anymore.

I wish her peace and success. It’s hard to really be successful, but it’s easy to play for love, teach for money, and gig occasionally in addition to the unfortunate necessary  “real” job. 
regarding Zoom or FaceTime teaching, the advantage-the only advantage- is that distance is no barrier.

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26 minutes ago, StanY said:

...

My daughter loves classical music and playing dearly.  But my hunch is that things are so competitive now that for a career she'll get beaten at auditions by someone whose goal is strongly “faster better stronger more” and who manages not to burn out, even at the expense of the love of music.  I think that in her teachers generation, and even more recently, that love of music, talent, and maybe a few breaks along the way were sufficient to be successful at this.  I'm not sure anymore.

Or... she finds herself a niche, like Brett and Eddie did.

Times change and new/novel opportunities arise.

 

 

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