Having a teacher? Yes!

Hi my dear friends! As Niklas mentioned last week, I’m going to share my own experience and feelings during the long way of music learning this week with some video of “cello master class” from Pieter Wispelwey and Yo-Yo Ma.

Galina Pavlovna Vishnevskaya said, after her teacher Vera Nikolayevna Garina’s teaching, she found she is Mezzo-soprano but not soprano as she thought before. And after a year studying with her, Galina won a competition held by the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

I rarely heard someone learnt classic instruments by themselves and became professional without any help of teachers. And I do think it is important to have a teacher, not only at the beginning even.

First, I’m going to share my experience with you! I followed cello lesson since I was 4 and stopped once after I came to Belgium. But after 1 year, I started to look for a cello teacher in Belgium to continue taking cello lesson. Because in the gap year, I found I still have some difficulties to play pieces like Bach Cello Suites(Rostropovich_version), Elgar Cello Concerto(Du Pre version)… And those difficulties were the weak points my previous cello teacher mentioned to me before I left for Belgium. But I could not figure them out myself after lots of tryings. After I follow the private lesson from my current cello teacher, he gave me some exercises sheet music focusing on those weak points to improve my skills. And those exercises do help me! I have already started to play the third Suites from Bach.

Let’s first watch a video of master class


Process of teaching


After teaching


Or watch it overall

For me, the teacher is kind of music doctor. They diagnose the weak points of your playing and give you some “pills” – the techniques to solve the weak points. They also “develop” your weak points sometimes. They have seen a lot of weak points from their students or from their own experience. And they also have different solutions, like sheet music or just physical exercises with bow and fingers… They will help you to solve your own problems much faster your trying to solve yourself. Besides, music is not only notes. After you could play the notes, you are going to express it to the audience. There are also tips and experiences that teacher will share with you: how to express the thoughts of yourself and the composers.

Masterclass from Rostropovich

Or other skills: teamwork! 🙂 They have very interesting conversation! (Don’t worry… It’s in English, not Japanese)

Another interesting link! From apocalyptica

Thank you for reading and I do hope to hear from you in the comments!


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3 Responses to Having a teacher? Yes!

  1. Couldn’t agree with you more! Teachers are invaluable when you’re stuck… And i don’t think computers can help the way a human can help. But who knows, maybe in a few years software and sensors will be intelligent enough!

    • Depending on what you mean with being ‘stuck’, I don’t think I’ve really had this. I have felt the frustrating feeling of not making progress, but not for long periods, since a while later I usually notice an aspect where I have improved. But I can imagine that a teacher can help you in these situations.

      About the other part: That’s what I find so interesting. Some serious artificial intelligence is needed to match aspects of human teaching, but we’re getting closer to the point where this could be possible!

      • Teachers are always the best, because they have had the experience just like you while developing themselves in becoming teachers (going through school and struggling). These experiences they have would help them empathize with the student and guide them. I believe empathy is also a big part of learning, as a relationship between a teacher and a student is needed for a better development.

        On the other hand, as the AI’s are growing pretty rapidly and after enough experiments with them it could be possible to implement these experiences the teachers have accumulated into them. Though the feeling would still be different, because the relationship established would be between an AI and a human.

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