1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Bad Legacy.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by ChaloCBA, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. ChaloCBA


    Jul 16, 2013
    Hello people, This post it's about something I & other people (my violist, violinist,classical guitarist & percussionist friends) have observed on studiyng with classical trained teachers... I don't know why but they seem to be very rude persons... my teacher on conservatoire confessed me that his russian teacher was very bad with him, he made him feel like the worst garbage for 10 years... luckily I think he has made progress but before that he was very mean & rude with his pupils,now he has calmed down a bit I guess...
    I took lessons with another well known (here) classical & jazz double bassist who was very good on technique but when i was in private classes with him during two years I swear sometimes I thinked he was provoking me to punch him, he has some very interesting technique but he was so disgusting person... very low self steem on him & it was like he had a upset mind all the time...
    I think this is a direct heritage from european-colonialist-mindset in america... if we try to imitate music from other period & place we should only keep good technique habits & good music but not that obssesive-minded pushing on your students because we are not born in 16 century Germany or France or England... we have another heritage & things have changed on some things for good i think... the good way to encourage somebody on keep playing is to be a good & comprehensive person with your students, it's not your fault if your student does'nt reach to be the best in the world & put his teachers technique flag somewhere... on other side... if we keep like that there would be no jazz, no rock, no new approachs nor ways... what do you think?
  2. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    It's also a way to weed out those who aren't serious. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. You either rise to the occasion or don't.

    Also, I pay good money for teachers to give me tough love and prefer that they don't BS and coddle me. Just cut to the chase and tell me whats up with my playing. If I can't handle it, it's my problem, or the guy is full of it and I just blew $100. Generally thats never the case and you do get what you pay for.

    If I paid for an expensive lesson with a highly regarded symphony principal I sure as hell am going to bring my A game and consider what he says even if he's gonna destroy me. That guy got somewhere in the real world and there's some serious cred to reckon with. Look at the message of what they're saying, not their character.

    Still, it doesn't mean that I take lessons regularly from ***holes. You have to look closely how valuble the information you're getting is and whether or not you should look past the character flaws.

    Just another perspective.
  3. ^^^^^^

    Words of wisdom
  4. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    I believe it is possible for a teacher to tell a student straight up what is and isn't working, without being abusive difficult or demeaning. My bass teacher does not cut me slack; if something isn't right he looks at what I am doing and tells me I need to do it better, and gives guidelines on how to do so. If he doesn't think I am putting enough work on something he tells me I need to put more time in on that thing. None of this is abusive or demeaning.

    I think especially in the classical world there has developed over the centuries a cult of the teacher which includes the idea that a properly demanding teacher can be abusive without having to live up to the level of interpersonal respect that we expect in our other human interactions. Then, those whose psychological problems make them want to act like this feel like they have a free ticket to do so. The student who tries to hold a big-name teacher to account for his or her misbehavior is likely to get blacklisted.

    Frankly, if I were to experience some of the things I have heard about and read about, a knuckle sandwich would occur, shortly followed by a severing of the relationship.
  5. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2011
    Torrance, CA
    A good teacher should have the respect for their students to not cut them any slack and be honest with them about their capabilities. That said, a good teacher should also be diplomatic in the way they deliver their opinions. Some people are just toxic.
  6. Most of the truly toxic teachers I've run into are just small-time Napoleons. They are rarely as good as they think nor made it as far in their careers as they felt they deserved. Big egos and small minds mix poorly.

    On the flip side, most of the really successful and inspiring players and teachers are very friendly and encouraging. The best ones are downright nurturing. They know they don't need to prove themselves to anyone and that a student asking for help is just a sign of respect. They might push you a little harder than you'd like, but it's rare that they will try to hurt you.

    There is also a wide range of types of students. For instance, I actually like being pushed to my limits and don't mind so much when things get personal. Some students need more encouragement and positivity, while others would rather have just the facts delivered dispassionately. The trick is to know your students well enough to know to which they will respond best.
  7. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Teachers are people too. They get frustrated too esp with a day full of snotty kids and people who won't listen. Sure, it may be unprofessional but again it's up to you to decide if they're going too far for you or not. If you ditched them, you kinda teach them a lesson too.

    And respect is earned, not something you can take for granted.

    I've had teachers cuss at me, maybe just a couple times. It was well warranted and it snapped me out of what I was doing wrong. IOW: it had a positive result in the end. There are as many teaching styles as there are learning styles. You have to find the teacher to works for you.

    TBH, I hate getting lessons with teachers who aren't comfortable stepping on my toes. I get a heckuva lot more out of those that are more demanding - in the "right" way. That's just how I am.
  8. Nathan Parker

    Nathan Parker

    Oct 10, 2008
    Seattle, WA

    I think this video is relevant. The other part of the equation.

    As for mean teachers, I think everyone responds differently to different methods of teaching. If one way doesn't work, find another. Those guys are probably just teaching music the way they were taught it.

    Personally, if I go to a teacher and he doesn't give me a stuffed bunny and jellybeans during the first lesson, I never go back.
  9. eerbrev


    Dec 6, 2009
    Ottawa, ON, CAN
  10. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    When I hadn't been playing long I fell into playing in a trio with the great trumpet player Wadada Leo Smith. I told him people were complaining that I was not good enough or hadn't been playing long enough he said, "I don't think that way, the music is bigger than all of us".

    When I teach a student, we are working on music together. If I am giving good information then it is substantial enough that I can get something out of it as well.
    I am proud of the fact that I have a way of pushing people very hard without them feeling pressured.

    I have a 12 year old prodigy, at our first lesson he told me he had heard about a book called Simandl, but his orchestra teach said it was too hard. I told him, "it is too hard, but we are going to do it anyway". He got excited and is still pushing forward.

    The music will deliver the facts dispassionately, a good teacher helps you to hear it.
  11. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I think that says more about your circle of acquaintance than it does about classical teachers with a "European colonial mindset". My teacher studied with both June Rothenburg and Julius Levine and they were both warm and encouraging. But, as he also teaches at Kingsborough in the Brighton Beach area, he does a lot of chamber music with ex-pat Russians and says that they often get into huge screaming matches/arguments about how the music should be played. So, if you absolutely insist on generalizing, maybe it's just the Russian school of instruction....
  12. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Long, long ago I stumbled into a week-long master-class from Gary Karr. I had been playing DB for less than a year.

    Gary says, "I started studying the bass with Uda Demenstein, a Russian bassist who taught three generations of my bass playing family." It's safe to say that would be a Russian foundation. Whether because of or in spite of that Gary's approach to teaching is grounded in humor, inspirational example and hard work.

    I can't say how hard Gary pushed his private students. I can tell you that the master-class was all about two things: a) 'Playing music is fun and playing the bass is a joy. Let's get to work!' b) 'There are no limits on the bass for anyone in this room. Even you, Sam.'
  13. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Well, there you go.
  14. ChaloCBA


    Jul 16, 2013
    Well, THANKS to everyone for commenting on this thread, I appreciate it, seriously... I missed to tell that I myself don't worry if they push me too hard if its a " Only-bass & music related pushing". It would be the case of my proffesor of conservatory, the one who studied with the russian guy, he is a young guy, he was severe sometimes, but not a "dark" person...this days he is more stable and only talks about music & technique, so I have reached a point were i understand & listen to him... the other teacher... well... he has a vast experience but (by reading & thinking on all your comments) i realize it's simply a very well trained musician with a very stable job, but in this case the problem is in his circle... he was fighting loud with his wife during classes very frecuently in front of my, her daughter watching everything...I found myself in middle of the fight & my presence there being part of the problem... I think it's a very mean psicological but someway common violence problem, because I was not his "worst, laziest" student who does'nt practice, i try always to see my study as something very serious & in a realistic point of view... HE has teached me some very good things, but he was very contradictory about a lot of things...in a moment started to be rude about me & my person & to yell at me, he said that for sure i had not studied & in that situation I lost the interest on showing my (small or giant) progress to him (but im very pleased with my progress really).. the last times he was half naked, on boxers, on lessons & I said seriously "dress up" but he was not doing it... when he was not fighting his wife they went on a sexual behavior in front of me & his daughter... thats not about "degrading" his school for not reaching the top of my skills..... I thinked too much if the knowledge was worth to being in that environment, because here nobody knows so well the ergonomycs of the instrument...but now I feel much much better... thanks to everyone!!
  15. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Sounds good. Even the hardasses are usually sweethearts underneath all that gruff.