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HPSCHD-L  April 2001

HPSCHD-L April 2001

Subject:

Re: junk instruments, was Opera hpschds

From:

James <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Harpsichords and Related Topics <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 8 Apr 2001 12:16:35 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (41 lines)

I have to relate an epiphanic experience I had about about twenty years
while skiing with a group of people in Colorado.  I was at the back of the
pack struggling to keep up, when finally one woman took me aside and said
"Those skis are not right for you.  Go to the rental shop at lunch and demo
some high performance skis!"  (I have to explain the difference between
"demo" and "rent:"  The rental skis at most resorts are crap designed
specifically for that market, the "demo" skis are part of the
manufacturers' marketing program aimed at serious skiers.)  So at lunch I
arranged to demo some serious racing skis, with some trepidation as I did
not consider myself a "serious" skier.  After lunch, I found myself at the
front of the pack, with the rest of the group struggling to keep up with
me.  I realized that I had been a good skier, much better than I realized,
for quite a long time, and was being held back by inferior equipment.  I
immediately went out and sprung for some serious high performance skis, and
have never regretted it.  I consequently went through the same educational
process with my wife, who for a long time resisted buying better skis on
the grounds that she was not a good enough skier to justify the expense,
and the results were the same when I finally convinced her.

So I conclude that the ski "establishment" which includes resorts,
equipment manufacturers, and teachers, must collude in a marketing scheme
which works the same as the one that governs the music business.  And I had
the same experience with ski teachers as I did with music teachers - none
of them ever told me that I needed to get better equipment.

So, why?  Did my teachers (music and ski) not correctly perceive what was
going on with me, did they not care, or were they (consciously or
unconsciously) part of a deliberately contrived scheme similar to the one
that I described earlier with regard to the violin marketing
establishment?  Do music educators talk about this stuff among
themselves?  We have a daughter who is just now embarking on a career in
music teaching, and I just talked with her about this. She is somewhat
aware of the issue, but has not received any particular guidance in how to
deal with it.  Specifically, at what point should a teacher feel obligated
to asses the potential of a given student and make appropriate equipment
recommendations?  Or is it even possible to do so?

(Actually, I should be aiming this at the viola list - there are probably
more teachers there than on this list.)

JB

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