Self-Defined Human
Self-Defined Human
#10 - What Music Teachers Are Getting Wrong, with David Servias

My guest is David Servias, a piano teacher and fellow Instagrammer (@stuff.david.does). Listen in as we chat about piano teaching, music practice, social media videos, theoretical computer science, and the eventual robot takeover of humankind.

(0:01:55) Trying something new during a pandemic.
(0:07:48) Videos are a type of practice.
(0:10:35) Don’t want to see ourselves on camera.
(0:13:44) People don’t care as much about us as we do.
(0:15:47) Recording ourselves playing the piano.
(0:17:05) Avoiding things you’re afraid of.
(0:18:01) Improvements happen automatically when you record.
(0:20:28) You can’t teach piano.
(0:24:10) Punishing students for making mistakes.
(0:25:20) Being aware of mistakes or not being aware.
(0:32:44) Correcting students’ mistakes based on intuition.
(0:36:19) Teaching students not to trust their own instincts.
(0:40:19) Was Michael angry at his teachers as a student?
(0:54:27) Michael’s minimalistic way of teaching piano.
(0:59:56) High standards, competitions.
(1:05:49) Teachers claiming to be able to teach everything.
(1:12:16) Juries in music school.
(1:20:40) Yoga challenges.
(1:24:12) Meditation.
(1:31:57) Musicians should learn from actors.
(1:38:51) Improvisation, screwups, groups.
(1:46:02) Playing from memory.
(1:51:54) Harmony and chords and analysis.
(1:55:26) Theory and practice, grammar.
(1:58:31) Theoretical computer science.
(2:01:23) Computers vs humans, neural networks, social media algorithms.

About the Author

Piano player, meditator, social media influencer.

  • Hi Michael, I have listened to your conversation with David Servias, and I could relate to many things around the piano lessons. I can also relate your “anger” to piano teachers and I find it very good that you come up with alternatives. It’s quite a life long search, anyway. You might like this article about ‘A life in piano lessons’:

    • One of my teachers studied with Sebők. He said that lessons were often like meditation. I didn’t know what that meant, at the time.

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