NEW YORK—After doing some soul searching, a piano teacher resolves to be less of a dick. “There’s a fine line between being firm and being a total dick,” says Richard Foster, 32. “I’m trying harder not to be a dick now, but god is it hard to suppress my dickishness when my students sound like crap.”
Foster, an alum of the prestigious Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, fails to understand why every student he has taught in the past 20 years has been untalented, thankless, indolent pieces of mediocrity who can at best create elevator music. “I remember this student once,” he said. “What was his face? Kenny G was his name. God, why on earth did he choose music? He can’t play to save his life. And then he started playing sax and sucks even more at that.”
The weary pedagogue sighed while rolling his eyes, then he confessed: “I don’t want to be a dick anymore. I’ll try to be nice to these little assholes. But, fuck, how hard is it to improvise on the octatonic scale, transcribe some Chick Corea, play a bit of Liszt, and then jam to Ligeti’s opera before playing for the local philharmonic?
“I’ll try to be nice. I’ll wait another five minutes for them to figure out their goddamn do-re-mi’s before I say something sarcastic. They’re just like Beethoven, I guess: Deaf.”
A student who wishes to remain anonymous stated, “Mr. Foster is not just a dick. He is a gaping asshole. He makes me feel like a pile of shit that’s been funneled out of his tight sphincter every week. And then he accuses me of not practicing and then flushes me out without cleaning up the mess that he made.”
Then the student added, “Well, to be fair, I never, um, practice.”