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What do you think if your violin teacher alters a piece for solo recital?
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chozabc
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May 30, 2014 - 12:56 pm
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I am new to this forum. My daughter has been taking violin lessons for 6 years. She is a very advanced player. Last year we auditioned and started with a new teacher from a prestigious music school. Next month she is going to do her first violin recital with this new teacher. What happened was the teacher decided her piece is too long (with piano introduction etc it goes around 9 minutes) and the teacher changed the piece to be a 5~6 minutes' piece. I have been outraged since I heard about it. My daughter felt fine about it and didn't want me to talk to her teacher. She also does not want the teacher to be mad at her. I have been searching on the internet to see if this is a common practice in any solo recitals, but find no answer. For such once a year event, do/does any teacher do this to a child? My daughter goes to school and practices averagely 15~20 hours a week. I feel it's so disrespectful and feel being treated like dirt. Any comments?

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RosinedUp
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May 30, 2014 - 3:39 pm
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I don't have any experience in the classical world, so I feel kind of ignorant about why someone would object.  The reasons against shortening a recital piece aren't obvious to me.  Could we hear why it would be bad?

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Oliver
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May 30, 2014 - 5:07 pm
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Were there special circumstances?  Program time restraints?  Are there any other performers?  I think the key word is "why".

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Tyberius
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May 30, 2014 - 6:31 pm
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Although  I do see and understand your concern, I think you are over reacting. If she has demonstrated she can play the piece with some degree of skill, there is no law or rule as to what can be changed and what must be played. By making such a fuss over it, you very well may be taking your daughter's enjoyment out of actually playing.

If the guidelines the teacher has placed prevents her playing it in its entirety, record her playing it for our pleasure. :) We never get tired of how or what people play, how they embellish or delete things. Sometimes some of us even play a piece "properly".  violin-student 

Honestly, though, we would love to see and hear her play. pink-violin-girl

"I find your lack of Fiddle, disturbing" - Darth Vader

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chozabc
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May 30, 2014 - 9:12 pm
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We were told only the piece is too long. No other reason has been given. And we are not the ones who chose the piece. I guess I am overreacting. We have been to so many recitals. I really have never seen any kid did not play their entire solo piece through at their once-a-year recital. I understand the recital should be a celebration for end of year. But it is difficult for me to swallow. 50% of the kids in the current teacher's studio are from pre-college division in NYC. I do not believe any of them play only part of their pieces to accommodate the time restraint program because the teacher has been giving the impression that those performances are the highlights of the event. I do not want to feel my kid does not deserve the time. After all, with the paycheck I am paying to this teacher, I feel I deserve a full program for my kid. This is not a selected student concert by all means. I guess I am overreacting again. 

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Uzi
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May 30, 2014 - 10:51 pm
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chozabc said
We were told only the piece is too long. No other reason has been given. And we are not the ones who chose the piece. I guess I am overreacting. We have been to so many recitals. I really have never seen any kid did not play their entire solo piece through at their once-a-year recital. I understand the recital should be a celebration for end of year. But it is difficult for me to swallow. 50% of the kids in the current teacher's studio are from pre-college division in NYC. I do not believe any of them play only part of their pieces to accommodate the time restraint program because the teacher has been giving the impression that those performances are the highlights of the event. I do not want to feel my kid does not deserve the time. After all, with the paycheck I am paying to this teacher, I feel I deserve a full program for my kid. This is not a selected student concert by all means. I guess I am overreacting again. 

I think you might be overreacting just a bit.  I do the recital thing to hear my grandson, plus all of the school orchestra concerts, so I have some experience from the audience as well as the payer of lessons perspective. In fact, I have to go to recital rehearsal tomorrow and the recital on Sunday. 

I think that the primary purpose of recitals is two-fold. 1. It gives the kids the experience of playing solo in front of an audience, which is good for the kid and 2. It's an opportunity to  demonstrate to the parents that they haven't been flushing their money down the toilet, which is good for the parent and teacher. That's about it.  While we all enjoy hearing our kids play, every parent really only wants to hear their own kid play. Normally, all of the others kids are just something you have to endure until your kid gets on stage. When there are a lot of students playing, nobody wants to have to sit there all night long waiting for their kid to get on stage and if recitals go on too long, it will start generating huge complaints from lots of parents. I'm sure that's why the piece was cut down. 

Lastly, recitals are often pretty stressful for the students, so you might not want to add even more stress to the process. There's a good chance that she might be wishing they'd cut it down to 2 minutes.    

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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Fiddlestix
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May 31, 2014 - 2:05 am
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I tend to agree with, " Uzi ", on this. In my opinion, I think it's more to show the skill level's of all the students and their accomplishments and not their endurance level. 

I would also think there are time restraint's on the concert, like 8pm - 9pm or for however long it lasts. People get kinda fidgety if they have to sit for too long on the hard school bleacher benches.  

Over reacting, maybe a bit, but it's normal I think for parent's to get that involved. If your daughter is satisfied with the shorter solo, then I think it should be fine for you too. Tell her to "break a leg" and for you 'mom', enjoy all the students and the entire program.

Good luck to her, I'm sure she's a great violinist and will do just fine.  thumbs-up

 

Ken.

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DanielB
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May 31, 2014 - 6:55 am
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I would think that a piece that your teacher selects for your child to learn was probably selected more for the learning experiences and techniques it contains than necessarily just what will sound/fit good at a once a year recital.  Recitals are samplers, not concerts.  You don't want your student focusing too much on one single show that only happens once a year. 

With time constraints for that show, the teacher may have felt that a shorter version of the piece would showcase your daughter's talents and achievements better. 

I can see how a situation like this could raise some questions in your mind that you might want to talk with the teacher about to clarify.  But jumping right to feeling "outraged"?  Yeah, that might be a bit of an over-reaction.  Since the issue seems to really be a hurdle for you, a quiet talk with the teacher to get a better understanding of what is going on would normally seem reasonable.

There is a bit of a problem with that, since you mentioned your daughter was fine with the change and did not want you to bring up the matter with the teacher.  The question would be, do you trust your daughter's judgement on that as a musician and student, or not?  She will have to rely on her own judgement on such matters if music develops into being her career as an adult.

What I would most suggest is that you focus on supporting and encouraging your daughter so she can look forward to and enjoy her upcoming performance at the recital. You do not want her to have any doubts about your emotional support. 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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Fiddlerman
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May 31, 2014 - 7:59 am
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Which piece will she be performing and how (where) did her teacher shorten it?
Whether it was acceptable or not to do so, you should IMAO respect your daughters wishes since she must face the teacher on a regular basis. It might just be a one time thing. Perhaps non of the performers are getting more than 5 to 6 minutes.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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