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Paul's Teacher in Maestro Essay


Does Paul only have music lessons from Herr Keller?

Maestro is a book written by Peter Goldsworthy. The novel has many different kind of characters within the text. Eduard Keller was highly regarded and respected in Vienna as a good pianist, so to be taught by him as Paul was, would be a great honour. Paul, who could be known as a poor student, had to focus very hard to become the pianist that he dreamed he was capable of becoming. To become a concert pianist was nearly an impossible job and Keller at many times throughout the novel showed to Paul that he may not had the talent that a concert pianist requires. Keller was not only an intelligent piano teacher but also a life teacher for Paul. Keller teaches everything that Paul can learn in a way that would be the best for a young teenager to understand, it is up to Paul to take it all in and learn from the Maestros teaching or he can just ignore his great teacher Keller.

Taught by the best to be the best, Keller grew up in Vienna. He was taught piano by Leschetitzky who was highly regarded as one of the best pianists and teachers of that time. Keller taught in a manner that Paul had never ever before experienced in his life. When Paul and Keller first met, Paul was arrogant and sure that there was nothing that this man could possibly teach him. When Keller tried to teach him in his unique style Paul could not accept it. Keller taught from the ground up no matter how experienced you were. First you must learn to listen. Kellers arrogant manner made Paul feel a lower student, but that was how Keller taught. Paul hated this style but it proved to be a very effective method. This kind of unconventional teaching was what made Keller the unique and extraordinary teacher that he was.

Paul said of Keller that he was the worst possible teacher for him. A worst possible teacher or even a bad teacher is someone that imparts no knowledge to their students. If Keller gave Paul no knowledge, then why does he have the life Keller could never live? As I said before Keller taught Paul about life and how to live it. He also revealed perfection and snatched it away. Paul himself once even accused Keller of teaching a self- criticism that would never allow him to forget his limits. If Paul believes Keller was teaching him something so valuable then why does he call him the worst possible teacher.? Paul, in the beginning of Maestro was young, selfish, spoilt and nave. He had misleading and very judgmental first impressions on all of Darwins people. He thought Keller was a drunken, old Nazi (his dad got angry about this issue), without any proof of him ever drinking. Keller was a bad teacher for Paul when he was young, because he was still trying to grow up and appreciate life. Keller tried to get him to go back to the basics with The Childrens Bach but Paul thought he was too above it.

Pauls talents on the piano were not perfect; it was a necessity to be the best pianist he could be. When Paul and his band Rough Stuff travelled to Adelaide, Paul was to play in a piano competition at The Conservatorium. Both Keller and Paul knew that this band was not good for his piano career and was simply a drainer on Pauls practice time before his first piano competition. Keller did not push him to quit the band; he hoped that Paul would leave the band as knowing that there was no point in staying in a band that was basically going nowhere. It simplifies, prevents thought, gives easy orders, was what Keller had to say of the rock and roll music that Pauls band played. On their trip to Adelaide, Keller taught not only piano to Paul, but life lessons as well. I have taught you everything you were able to learn, Keller explained to Paul about his piano playing when Paul was deciding what to do with his future.

Paul and Keller both faced the same problem at some stage in their life where they had the inability understand to what was reality and what the problem was. Keller tried to show Paul through his stories that it is much easier to face up to reality instead of living in an unknown world. Keller admits to Paul, before Paul leaves for university, about the times that he had mistaken. The evil would pass, I told my wife. No engagements. No invitations. Snubbed by former friends, music directors . . . In spite of this discussion between Paul and Keller, Paul did not heed the meaning of the stories Keller had told him and continued to dream of becoming the concert pianist that he still believed was his destiny. By the end of the novel, Paul has still not attained the perfection he strives for he was unable to recognize that he would not be a concert pianist.

Keller had learnt about life through making mistakes and Paul learns how to live his life through experiences as well. The difference is that Paul had not lived long enough to have many life changing experiences so therefore is considered a poor student ( as I said before) in comparison to Keller, an excellent teacher. Who would touch the wife of Herr Keller? Learning from mistakes is what Keller has done to give him the wisdom that he has. The wisdom that Keller had made him a very good teacher that you cant find easily. Paul on the other hand was a young, egotistical student who thought he would become a concert pianist. Liszt told Leschetitzky. Who told Keller? Who told me? Quotes like this did not help Paul at all and just made him think of himself as upper to all other pianists in his class. Paul was taught everything he could learn about playing the piano.

Keller taught in an unconventional method, which made him an exceptional teacher for Paul. One of the best things that Keller taught Paul was to understand that there are limits to everything you learn. Paul took a lot of time to learn this lesson but was better for it when he did finally learn it. The Maestro was continuously teaching Paul in every aspect of life, because he saw a younger Maestro in Paul. While Keller was a great teacher for Paul; Paul did not return the favour by being a good student to Keller, which made Herr Keller very disappointed about Paul.

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