Written on: 08/11/2011
This was a 1 year full time course for adults and it was rather intense, about 14 hours per week. Overall, I have found the standard of teaching on the very good side, some tutors I have thought did better than others, some others I didn't find too helpful. Unfortunately there's always some people that you just don't like or find difficult to connect with. I found one of the classmates rather arrogant and snotty, a pianist old girl ( I guess she's in her late 40's) , short and ugly too. Incredibly, she always acted with an air of superiority and over-confidence. I honestly don't know what she sees in the mirror every morning when she gets up, maybe a tall, beautiful and intelligent lady?
Anyways....let's get to the meat.
1. The lessons about Shostakovich were very good. This was a difficult subject to learn about, ( and to teach too, I imagine) ; we had to write an essay about Shosty and I found writing essays a tough nut to crack, especially considering that English is not my first language. Even after the course ended, I learned to appreciate the history behind this particular composer.
2. The theory classe, I have found really, really good, and I would look forward to them. This tutor also offered me some amazing support especially at the end of the course. I feel I really cranked up my theory skills of a good few notches!
3. The break gave us plenty of time for lunch etc....mostly 45 min to 1 hour.
4. Even for a little over a grand, I felt the course to be good value for money.
Things that could have been better:
1. The composition tutor never really assigned any exercises; he just verbally explained some historical and technical details about binary structure and that was it. He would devise composition assignments right off the bat. I found this to be rather ineffective, but fortunately some other study of structure was covered by the Music History tutor as well as the Theory tutor. I especially enjoyed their lessons about the Sonata.
2. I felt that some tensions could have been avoided. Once we were discussing some music history and the Council of Trent, and I said in passing that I hated the Catholic Church for what they had done with the Inquisition. I was immediately attacked and later accused of having stated that I hated Catholics, which was totally untrue, as I criticized the Church for what they had done IN THE PAST. To these people, 'Catholic Church' and 'Catholics' meant the same thing. What a load of rubbish. I wasn't attacking Catholic people. My family is Catholic too although I don't like Western religions and I am more inclined toward Buddism and Taoism, although I am not either. I thought these people were total bigots, which they were. It just made me think more about how this kind of intolerance has led to so many people killed for hundreds of years.
All the same, I apologized later about the whole thing to avoid other silly tensions. I learned a good lesson, though: keep your mouth shut, as some people, even though they are over 40 years old, are really bigots and what they really want to hear is what they like to hear: the Catholic Church has always been a wonderful place where people congregate and listen to the word of the Lord. Or whatever.
Anyways, sometimes I liked to mess with people as this 'I smile and you smile and we both say 'good morning' was ridicolous, i.e. I could tell we could not stand each other :)
So at times I would arrive late on purpose (at the start of the course I was punctual to a fault), or some harmless messing with people, and I enjoyed it ;)
Once we had a performance and I had to play the piano, and as I play from memory, the tutor came over and lowered the piano stand and said 'well you don't need it'. God, sometimes I just wanted to tell her to shut up, ah ah.
But instead I just took out the stand and said 'well, I can see my reflection, so it's still of some use to me'.
Ah ah...what can I say? Sometimes I wanted to have some fun too.
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