Saturday, June 30, 2012


These next 2 videos are the continuation of my interview with Dr. Carol Viera. I really was thrilled to do these videos with her which were totally unrehearsed and in the living moment!

continuation 1

continuation 2


Anonymous said...

I found these 3 videos with Dr. Viera fascinating. I feel like I've been torn between the two worlds of being a "robot" and being an expressive musician since I started music. In middle school and high school, I didn't really take lessons because of the cost and distance to get to a teacher. In preparing for All-State auditions I would try to emulate the sounds of the recordings of the musicians I had, and I would record myself on the family computer to try to see if what I heard in my head was coming through the bell. So in essence, I was self-taught, and I relied on my inner singing voice to lead my playing, which I suppose was a more inner expressive side of music.

Then I started taking lessons in my senior year of high school, and my teacher then was more methodical and perhaps "robotic". When an issue popped up in my playing, he told me how to fix it. He would demonstrate the passage, and I would model my playing after him. His pedagogy was straight-forward and clear-cut: "this is how this should be played" or "this is how you should approach this facet of technique". I seemed to do well under that method.

Then when I got to college, I studied with a teacher who erred on the side of personal musical expression and who encouraged the student to find his/her own voice. This method seemed to also work well for me, even though it was the opposite of my high school teacher. It opened up a different world of learning the trombone.

Long story short, when Dr. Viera said in the video that we should "know thyself" and decide if we are truly person a or b, I can't help but feel lost. At this point in my life, the only thing I can conclude is that I put a lot of trust in my teachers no matter what side of pedagogy they come from, and I seem to embody both. I think I learn the quickest and gain the most confidence in my playing from a more "robotic" teaching, but I am not yet sure how to balance the musical, expressive side of me within that context. Do you have any thoughts in regards to this?

Thank you for your time, and thank you for posting such an intriguing set of videos.


Norman Bolter said...

Dear Sarah,
I apologize for such a long time to respond. I posted your comment right away but I forgot to say that I mentioned this to Dr. Viera and she wants to respond to you. Unfortunately I don't have your email address. If you could send it, I will have Dr. Viera get in touch.
We both would have a ton to say on this vital topic. I feel the best thing to do is have her respond directly. I hope you read this soon.
Dr. Viera is very interested in what you have presented as do I. Again my apologizes for my very late response. Please get in touch. I will see if she will respond on the blog. Maybe you inspired another video! All the best and hang in there. You have hit on the essence of a very deep and important point.