40 thoughts on “Leonard Bernstein: Teachers & Teaching”

  1. His explanation of silence is a brilliant analogy for conversations as well; many of us are silent in a conversation because we're simply waiting to play our next "note". The silence is there for us to prepare our next sentence, not to wait for the other person to finish theirs. A conversation where you're waiting to talk show that you're not really listening.

  2. I get it, it was the standard in the 60's. But it always bothered me that so many videos of Lenny seemed to show him with a cigarette in his mouth or hand when he was working with other musicians, blowing smoke everywhere. I always wondered if it was a show of power as the reverse, the student smoking in Lenny's face, wouldn't fly. Such a talented man chained to his habit of tobacco.

  3. ascending doh to doh = descending me to me… but who would know… unless I shared? Come muggles…

  4. ascending doh to doh = descending me to me… but who would know… unless I shared? Come muggles…

  5. Bernstein loved The Beatles who were by far the greatest band of the 20th century, also…they wrote the most beautiful compositions in popular music of the 20th century ! 🙂

  6. "Currently out-of-print and unavailable on DVD, I thought I'd make it available for those interested in gaining some insight into music pedagogy" – what a wonderful generous idea. I had never seen this piece with Lennie, and I had seen alot of them. Thank you Karl!

  7. LB, the eternal teacher/preacher — from beyond the grave. Thank goodness there are still folks posting in his name!!!

  8. I absolutely love Lenny but it is so incredibly sad that he was addicted to nicotine. There are very few videos of him without a damn cigarette in his mouth…I think it really shortened his marvelous life.

  9. Teacher guru taught versus God given autodidact I would say. However, Bernstein was a genius with exceptional intellectual strength, with lots of admirers and followers, who didn't have to live the lonely life of the creative composer.

  10. Indeed, the Ra Material & A Course In Miracles BOTH say the same thing Bernstein says.

    Namely, to teach is to learn, to learn is to teach. They are a unity. This is a teaching to take to heart, oh, student.

  11. I had the honor of being conducted by Bernstein twice at Tanglewood . Brahms 2nd Symphony. Overture to Candide. He was funny , brilliant, compassionate, serious, sharing.

  12. Here's part 1 of "Leonard Bernstein at Harvard: "The Unanswered Question":

  13. Thanks for uploading this. Bernstein was probably the best music educator in modern history. He was also an excellent composer, and a superb pianist (it was nice to hear him talk about the role of piano music in his life, and to hear some examples). He was a brilliant man, a gifted natural musician, and a hardworking, productive guy who left an enormous legacy of compositions, students, and performances. He had an oversized ego, but that's not uncommon among great artists. Many people comment on how much he smoked, how much he drank, or his sexual orientation — personally, I don't care about those things.

    But what I find mysterious is that his conducting fails to inspire me. When I listen to music conducted by Kleiber or Tennstedt, I can count on discovering new dimensions to the music, details or relationships that I hadn't noticed before. The music becomes fresh and vivid. The same thing happens some of the time when I listen to Abbado, Levine, Muti, Nelsons, Rattle, Jansons — and even pariahs like Dudamel or Ormandy, and oddballs like Zinman or Welser-Möst occasionally bring me to the edge of the chair. But with Bernstein, I hear… "Yep, that's Beethoven's 4th all right," or "Sure enough, Mahler's 1st." The music is always competently played, there's nothing wrong about it — but it sounds pedestrian and ordinary.

    I just don't understand why a musician whom I admire in so many other ways doesn't light my fires when he conducts, as so many other conductors do,. Maybe I haven't heard the right performances by LB, or maybe I haven't learned to hear unique and exciting things in the music that others perceive? I know I'm in the minority on this — maybe a minority of one. But if anybody can enlighten me, or point to what I ought to listen to, please do. And if anybody else feels the same way, please relieve my loneliness.

  14. Well… That was 57 minutes well spent. I had forgotten how much I appreciated Lenny Bernstein. Shame on me.

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