Sunday, May 03, 2009

Alienating Musicians

Here are three examples of why so many people stop studying the violin (and other instruments) when confronted with this kind of a teacher. It's not so much what this teacher says that I find so very difficult to stomach, but how he communicates verbally and how he demonstrates his concepts musically. I imagine that there are other teachers like this loose in the musical world.

1. 2. 3.

(I know that #1 seems like a joke, but when you move on to #2 and #3, you will see that it is serious.)

When you have had enough, please go here for an example of how beautifully and effectively someone can use the internet to help people to learn about string playing and musicianship.


There is an elaborate discussion about these videos over at If you scroll down (or search for) "Nicholas Garibaldinos," you will come upon something far more disturbing than even the violinistic content of the video-violin-lessons: the "king" revealing himself in sentences that show he is either the product of a horribly deficient education, or that he feels that he is entitled to live far beyond the conventions of punctuation.

The discussion among the other literate violinists at the site is interesting reading, and Mr. Garibaldinos was kind to host a post by this "king".


Tod Brody said...

It may not be a joke, but this guy is a crackpot of the first order. I cannot for the life of me imagine anyone actually choosing him for a teacher, or really taking him seriously in any way. That's ok, because he seems to take himself seriously enough for everyone. And, as with any first-order crackpot, some of his observations are not entirely insane, or even have kernels of interest. The playing, which flows nonstop like raw sewage from a rusty pipe, (which a serious teacher would never do)is truly wretched. But again, not without a hint of something more. Fascinating, but the guy's a nut.

Χρήστος said...

I'm sorry to tell you that as a pianist and composer-to-be I would definitely choose the King for my teacher. I have actually been in a situation where a teacher was harsh and strict and found myself learning more in a year than past teachers had taught me in years...

Your "american" approach to things is quite naive... You just see the superficial madness of the first guy and it seems annoying to you, then you compare it to a soft and calm guy playing such a beautiful piece of music and talking like he loves the whole world... I'm sorry but as I said, that's simply naive.

My guess is you're imagining a young child being taught by the crazy Jew, full of fear and eventually scared-off learning music but it's obvious that the mad-hatter takes only older and mature student, not easily intimidated by his extravagance.

So how about judging the guy from his performance as a teacher and not his somewhat eccentric character...? After all, overblown egos are not unusual in the performing arts.


Elaine Fine said...

Then I'm glad to have introduced him to you here, Chris!

Χρήστος said...

What other reason one has to become a composer, if not putting musicians through hell! This deranged teacher spoke directly to my heart! ;)

Keen on posting and composing, I enjoy your blog!


P.S. I have your original comment in my e-mail. :P Learning the violin is (of course) the same as learning any other instrument. kthnxbye.

T. said...

Makes me thankful for Kyoko (my oboe teacher). I'd never last in this teacher's studio - but perhaps a pre-professional or professional student would benefit? No idea.

Anonymous said...

This article is a load of rubbish. The King has had the complete opposite effect on me. He has rekindled my love & passion for the violin. If anything, I would have given up had it not been for him. As for the example you is simply nauseating. Your blog is nothing but an elaborate wank. All the best.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the King himself has spoken.

thekingontheviolin said...

i am paul de keyser (the king on the violin) there is extensive blogg on i have attempted to refute the "accusations" using the name nicholas garibaldinos. there are two entries1 elvis move over the king on the violin and 2 once more unto the breach. i will not elaborate further here. who is anonymous? thank you very much... please get in touch via you tube if you would like.

thekingontheviolin said...

there are now nine videos for you to watch..incidentally i am most experienced with teaching children from the age of five up. they love the lessons. possibly there is a cultural difference between political correctness in current u.s teaching and my own style. any way although i was offended at first by the hostility of the bloggs i am now wishes

Anonymous said...

This is very amusing, and amusingly disturbing. :)

Of course, giving people like this the attention they crave (negative or positive) will only encourage them. We had a guy just like this in our composition department (very thankfully now retired, but I still won't name the guilty :)), so I got to learn that lesson as an undergraduate.

I find it especially funny that THE KING seems to be making personal appearances on every blog and site that discusses him. As this spreads, it is really going to be great... perhaps the Time Cube of classical music.

saskia said...

Hello fellow musicians, I was taught by "The King" for 2 years between the ages of 12 and 14. Having already had 4 teachers beforehand, 2 lovely but totally inefectual, one dragon lady, and one brilliant, Paul was fantastic - in 2 years I improved beyond my own belief and continue to use some of his teaching methods for my own students today (20 years on) He also ran our string orchestra and pulled some amazingly passionate results out of us. His playing was inspiring, and his opinions thought-provoking. I think anyone who is highly intelligent and passionate about their subject in any field can come across as arrogant through the intensity of their opinions. I would much rather a strong teacher whom challenged me. than one who didn't have the bottle to say what they thought! BTW I now play professionally.

Anonymous said...

It has been with great surprise and joy that I have recently discovered your appearance on Utube, As a foundational teacher I have used all of your published teaching books as the core curriculum for my studio. Not only are they the very best available , but like all superior books , these" brain children" have,a definite life of their own. I was glad to see the King "put up his Dukes" with the student he was teaching while showing his "noblisse oblige" to perform a see/saw demonstration with the bow. It certainly proved that "when it was up~it was up,and when it was down it was down, and when it was halfway up the hill, it was neither up nor down"Many thanks for your wise and musical offerings.

Judy Litterst USA