André M. Smith

#1

Why is the art of music required to endure the ill-informed antics of such inartistic imbeciles as Amy Chua? Her lust for fame as an old-fashioned stage mother of either a famous violinist (yet another mechanical Sarah Chang?) or a famous pianist (yet another mechanical Lang Lang?) shines through what she perceives as devotion to the cultivation of the cultural sensitivities of her two unfortunate daughters.

Daughter Lulu at age 7 is unable to play compound rhythms from Jacques Ibert with both hands coordinated? Leonard Bernstein couldn�?Tt conduct this at age 50! And he isn�?Tt the only musician of achievement with this-or-that shortcoming. We all have our closets with doors that are not always fully opened.

And why all this Chinese obsession unthinkingly dumped on violin and piano? What do the parents with such insistence know of violin and piano repertoire? Further, what do they know of the great body of literature for flute? For French horn? For organ? For trumpet? Usually, nothing!

For pressure-driven (not professionally-driven!) parents like Amy Chua their children, with few exceptions, will remain little more than mechanical sidebars to the core of classical music as it�?Ts practiced by musicians with a humanistic foundation.

Professor Chua better be socking away a hefty psychoreserve fund in preparation for the care and feeding of her two little lambs once it becomes clear to them both just how empty and ill-defined with pseudo-thorough grounding their emphasis has been on so-called achievement.

Read more about this widespread, continuing problem in Forbidden Childhood (N.Y., 1957) by Ruth Slenczynska.

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André M. Smith, Bach Mus, Mas Sci (Juilliard)

Diploma (Lenox Hill Hospital School of Respiratory Therapy)

Postgraduate studies in Human and Comparative Anatomy (Columbia University)

Formerly Bass Trombonist

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York,

Leopold Stokowski�?Ts American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall),

The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, etc.

Andre M. Smith, Mon, 23 Apr 2012 11:09:46 -0400

#2

Professor Chua is a woefully ill-informed parent, one ignorant of just what is happening in some parts of education in America. Fully confident in her presumed success as a writer with an editorial staff at Penguin shadow boxing for her and unapologetically wearing her signature plastic smile for public appearances, the Lawyer Chua is trying to persuade and convince; on both counts controversially, but with enough negative reactions to cause her subsequently to attempt a dilution of the intensity in her initial self-congratulatory tirade by latterly asserting that her writing is merely one person�?Ts experiences of some trying times in motherhood. To gain working points among the Old-Boy network, the prime lubricant of Yale, Professor Chua initially claimed that she is a Tiger Mom as Chinese maternal type; Fierce! When that showpiece veneer didn�?Tt sit well with mothers who are the real thing, i.e., mothers from China, this faux cat altered the validity of her claim to violence by stating that she is a Tiger Mom because she was born in 1962, a Year of the Tiger. That a tenured Professor of Yale can �?" must? �?" openly justify her self-classification with superstitious underpinning should provide anyone what is needed to draw a conclusion about the level of intellect afoot in Yale Law School. Professor? Indeed!

Any of Chua�?Ts public statements of the purposes of her work evolve to fit the tenor of the evolving criticisms directed at it. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/10/amy-chua-tiger-mom-book-one-year-later_n_1197066.html It has passed, in her own words, from (1) practical handbook for parenting to (2) tongue-in-cheek (whatever that�?Ts supposed to mean), to (3) memoir, (4) satire, (5) parody, (6) �?oa coming of age book for parents�?� (7) �?othe book is about a journey�?�; and who knows what else as she makes the rounds of the book circuit trying to snare yet more unsuspecting purchasers into her net. That she can, without blushing, class a single work with such a range causes me to wonder what kind of grade she got at Harvard for her command of the English language. She�?Ts Trollope (the author), Pope (the author), The Wicked Witch in Hansel und Gretel and Gullible�?Ts Travels all penned together into one oversized Pamper. Anyone who can�?Tt read the monetary cynicism driving the kaleidoscope of this whole Tiger Mom scam and its spurious, unproven claimed insights into parenting, with variant latter-day reflections by the author herself, deserves to have paid full retail price for this book.

�?oWhat Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you�?Tre good at it.�?� http://bettymingliu.com/2011/01/parents-like-amy-chua-are-the-reason-why-asian-americans-like-me-are-in-therapy/

Stamp collecting, fishing, lazing about on a summer day, science club, Brownie Scouting, baseball, birthday parties, church annual picnic, kite flying, visiting relatives, kissing, jumping rope, student council, insect classification . . . Away with this woman! �?oFun�?� must be one of the more overused, misunderstood words in the American lexicon. Chinese parent = The Model Minority? In China?

�?oI�?Tm happy to be the one hated.�?� http://bettymingliu.com/2011/01/parents-like-amy-chua-are-the-reason-why-asian-americans-like-me-are-in-therapy/

�?oIf I could push a magic button and choose either happiness or success for my children, I�?Td choose happiness in a second. http://amychua.com/

That�?Ts it perfectly stated in Tigerese: Either / Or; not both. Amy Chua is a chameleonic con artist. PT. Barnum certainly was right, one �?o. . . born every minute!�?�

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André M. Smith, Bach Mus, Mas Sci (Juilliard)

Diploma (Lenox Hill Hospital School of Respiratory Therapy)

Postgraduate studies in Human and Comparative Anatomy (Columbia University)

Formerly Bass Trombonist

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York,

Leopold Stokowski�?Ts American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall),

The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, etc.

Andre M. Smith, Mon, 23 Apr 2012 11:11:24 -0400

#3

I believe some useful purpose will be served by offering here, what the lawyers might like to call, but will seldom welcome, a healthy second opinion; a collective opinion that will demonstrate in abbreviated form the absolute folly of any attempt to teach music to children in the manner advocated by Amy Chua and her supporters.

These titles, with a few accompanying comments, should be read only as an introduction to a vast, interesting subject. There is one observation one can make about them all, and many more on this same subject, if needed to prove the point: Their attempt at an inherent humane understanding. I shall let the individual writers speak for themselves. To wit:

C. C. Liu [fellow at the Centre of Asian Studies, The University of Hong Kong]: A Critical History of New Music in China, Columbia University Press, 2010.

By the end of the nineteenth century, Chinese culture had fallen into a stasis, and intellectuals began to go abroad for new ideas. What emerged was an exciting musical genre that C. C. Liu terms �?onew music. With no direct ties to traditional Chinese music, �?onew music�?� reflects the compositional techniques and musical idioms of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European styles. Liu traces the genesis and development of �?onew music�?� throughout the twentieth century, deftly examining the social and political forces that shaped �?onew music�?� and its uses by political activists and the government. http://cup.columbia.edu/book/978-962-996-360-6/a-critical-history-of-new-music-in-china

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Brahmstedt�?Ts China travels bring recognition: TTU [Tennessee Technical University] trumpet professor �?oOutstanding foreigner.�?� http://www.tntech.edu/pressreleases/brahmstedts-china-travels-bring-recognition-ttu-trumpet-professor-qoutstanding-foreignerq/

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Music Education in China: A look at primary school music education in China reveals numerous recent developments in general music, band and string programs, and private lessons. Music Educators Journal May 1997 83:28-52, doi:10.2307/3399021. Full Text (PDF)

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Howard Brahmstedt and Patricia Brahmstedt: Music education in China. Music Educators Journal 83(6):28-30, 52. May 1997.

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Joseph Kahn and Daniel J. Wakin: Classical music looks toward China with hope. The New York Time, 3 April 2007. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/03/arts/music/03class1.htm?pagewanted=all

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Ho Wai-Ching: A comparative study of music education in Shanghai and Taipei: Westernization and nationalization. A Journal of Comparative and International Education 34:2, 2004.

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Yuri Ishii and Mari Shiobara: Teachers�?T role in the transition and transmission of culture. Journal of Education for Teaching 34(4):245-9, November 2008.

There are some common trends, which indicate that certain values are now shared among music education policies of many Asian countries. These are an emphasis on the purpose of education as the development of children�?Ts total human quality rather than mere transmission of skills and knowledge by rote learning, the encouragement of a learner-centered approach, the introduction of authentic assessment, the integration of existing subjects, and the assertion of cultural specificity.

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Chee-Hoo Lim: An historical perspective on the Chinese Americans in American music education. Research in Music Education May 2009 vol. 27 no. 2 27-37.

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Howard Brahmstedt: Trumpet playing in China. P. 29. International Trumpet Guild Journal, February 1993.

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Richard Curt Kraus: Pianos and politics in China. Middle-class ambitions and the struggle over Western music. Oxford University Press. New York, 1989.

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>From Shanghai Conservatory to Temple University

Yiyue Zhang holds both Bachelors and Masters in Music Education from Shanghai Conservatory of Music in China. Currently, she is pursuing a Master�?Ts degree in Music Education at Temple University. Ms. Zhang is from a family of music. She first learned Chinese classic dance from her father at the age of 3. She then started to learn accordion at the age of 5 and piano at the age of 6. During the close to 20 years of piano training and education, she has also been learning saxophone, cello, vocal music and percussion instrument of Chinese ethnic nationalities. In addition to piano solo, Ms. Zhang has rich experiences as a piano accompanist for vocal and chorus performances. When she served as the accompanist for the female choir of Shanghai Conservatory in 2006, they participated in the Fourth World Chorus Competition and won the gold medal for female choir, silver medal for contemporary music and another silver medal for theological music. Before came the United States, Ms. Zhang taught general music at Shanghai Hongqiao Middle School and Shanghai North Fujian Rd. Primary School as her internship in 2006. From 2006 to 2008, she taught piano and music class in Shanghai Tong-de-meng Kindergarten while held Chinese Teacher Qualification Certificate. Ms. Zhang is currently the piano accompanist of Chinese Musical Voices located at Cherry Hill, NJ as well as the assistant conductor of Guanghua Chorus located at Blue Bell, PA. While holding Early Childhood Music Master Certification (Level 1) from The Gordon Institute for Music Learning, she is also actively engaged in the educational and cultural activities with the networks of local Chinese schools in the Philadelphia area. http://www.temple.edu/boyer/music/programs/musiced/MusicEducationGraduateAssistants.htm

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Li Ying-ling: Essential study on the function of children�?Ts music education.

Music education is beneficial in the comprehensive development of children�?Ts healthy personality, helpful to enlighten the children�?Ts creative thinking, helpful to educate the regulation senses of children, helpful to develop the children�?Ts language and good emotion. It has certain social effect and realistic meaning for the growth of children. Every teacher should pay attention to the functional character of children music education, consciously meet the demands for music education of the children nowadays, strengthen the socialization function of music education, promote socialization proceeding of children. Music Department of Kunming University. Journal of Kunming University 2:2009.

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André M. Smith, Bach Mus, Mas Sci (Juilliard)

Diploma (Lenox Hill Hospital School of Respiratory Therapy)

Postgraduate studies in Human and Comparative Anatomy (Columbia University)

Formerly Bass Trombonist

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York,

Leopold Stokowski�?Ts American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall),

The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, etc.

Andre M. Smith, Mon, 23 Apr 2012 11:10:11 -0400

#4

I divide my year annually between New York and Shanghai. One of my common visitations in the latter city is to the area in and around The Shanghai Conservatory of Music. About four years back the school built a large new building on Fenyang Lu. Along the street side is a lower level with a string of music stores stocked with new instruments. In four of those stores I counted, literally, one trumpet, one horn, one trombone, no tuba, two flutes, one clarinet, one oboe, no bassoon, a handful of strings (but no string bass), and two-hundred pianos! The single trombone (my instrument) looked and felt like it had been made in an industrial arts school as a class project. I asked one of the clerks how many trombone students were

then enrolled in the Conservatory. �?oFive,�?� he replied. I told him it would be impossible for any serious student of that instrument to plan advancement playing such useless metal and asked what brand of instruments are taught upstairs. All the trombones were imported by the school, only as needed, from Yamaha in Japan. But, why the sea of pianos?

Most parents do not want their children spending, i.e., wasting, their time on any instrument for which a student can not enter a contest and win prizes. Prizes mean medals and certificates, which Mommy and Daddy can display as their own achievements by extension. It is the major conservatories in China (Shanghai, Beijing, Shenyang, and Wuhan) which are responsible for continuing to nurture this false status, while, visually at least, giving the external impression that China is a major cultural locus of Western classical music. Anyone who has heard the wind sections of a major symphony orchestra in China will hear just how major the cultural locus is in China for those instruments. Naïve morons; school and parent alike!

For the serious student having neither interest nor ability to become a graduate of Harvard Medical School, this phony sequence of contest successes may lead to Juilliard in New York or Curtis in Philadelphia. �?oIf a clown like Lang Lang can make it, then so can my little angel. Who is, of course, the most adept keyboard wizard to blossom since Lawrence Welk or Rachmaninoff.�?� Stage mothers: Away with them!

All of this clap-trap nonsense has no relationship whatsoever to two very important issues: music or Asian American. It is, with the rarest of exceptions, largely Oriental in the homeland. Atavistic immigrants from those eastern cultures or those descended directly therefrom �?" like the ever-psychobashing Kommandant Amy Chua �?" have some untested, sentimental notion that music opens doors and ensures careers in whatever direction the unmusical music student chooses; which the student is free to choose, so long as it isn�?Tt music. (Try to figure out that one. �?oYou are free to study physics or mathematics, so long as you don�?Tt attempt to make a career of them.�?�)

For the past forty years during my own studies in medicine and music in New York I have been wedded to and worked closely with and around nurses, physicians, surgeons, and medical technicians active in all the standard disciplines. Those persons have come from all modern regions of the world. And, yes, some of my coworkers have come from the beloved Harvard Medical School. But, I can write with authority, the number of those professional persons who have had any direct contact at any times in their lives with piano or violin is insignificantly small.

No one has ever wasted time typing me as a wimp. Nevertheless, with an Amy Chua of my own only thinly masking a contempt while ostensibly trying to encourage me before the age of ten by classing me as �?ogarbage, �?olazy,�?� �?ouseless,�?� and a host of other niceties (a savage, a juvenile delinquent, boring, common, low, completely ordinary, a barbarian) all the while forbidding me to sit on a toilet until I can play triplets in one hand against duolets in the other mechanistically en duo with a metronome might have (likely would have) set me up both for advanced training to climb The Texas Tower and chronic constipation.

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André M. Smith, Bach Mus, Mas Sci (Juilliard)

Diploma (Lenox Hill Hospital School of Respiratory Therapy)

Postgraduate studies in Human and Comparative Anatomy (Columbia University)

Formerly Bass Trombonist

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York,

Leopold Stokowski�?Ts American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall),

The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, etc.

Andre M. Smith, Mon, 23 Apr 2012 11:14:09 -0400

#5

Russians call me German, Germans call me Russian, Jews call me a Christian, Christians a Jew. Pianists call me a composer, composers call me a pianist. The classicists think me a futurist, and the futurists call me a reactionary. My conclusion is that I am neither fish nor fowl �?" a pitiful individual.

Anton Rubinstein (1829-94), composer, formidable Russian concert pianist, founder of The Saint Petersburg Conservatory (1862). http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=6&oq=%22anton+rubinstein&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGLJ_enUS344US352&q=%22anton+rubinstein%22+youtube&gs_upl=0l0l2l850891lllllllllll0&aqi=g5s3

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WHO or WHAT is AMY CHUA?

Her father, Leon L. Chua, was born in The Philippines. He was graduated in 1959 from Mapúa Institute of Technology in Manila as a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. His Master of Science followed from MIT in 1961. Amy was born in Champaign, Illinois on 26 October 1962 while Leon was pursuing his studies for a Ph.D. (1964) at The University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. And it�?Ts here in this synoptic review that her troubles begin with her shield in a contrived public relations makeover comastered by her publisher, Penguin. She states that she is Chinese. But her surname has not been identified anywhere as Chinese.

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Is the author fully ethnically Chinese? I am wondering because while I certainly have not met every Chinese person who has lived, I have known a fair number of Chinese yet have not met a single Chinese person with the author�?Ts surname. I read somewhere that the author�?Ts surname is a translation of a Chinese surname, Tsai, with which I am familiar. How many generations back in her direct family line, i.e. her parents or her parents�?T parents, did her family come from China? I have not previously encountered a person who talks & writes so much about being Chinese & talks on behalf of the vast population of mothers born in China yet her surname & how I have heard it pronounced is very different from that with which I am familiar. While I wish to improve to better fluency in Mandarin, I have spoken enough Mandarin with native speakers to notice I have not heard Mandarin Chinese words pronounced with the same pronunciation as I hear her name pronounced. I truly am curious about what I have read briefly about a historical migration of immigrants, including the author�?Ts ancestors, who immigrated to the Philippines, speak a language seemingly common among those immigrants & bear names that are translations from Mandarin Chinese into such language. It is an interesting occurrence I am curious to know more about. http://www.amazon.com/Chua-Chinese-didnt-already-know/forum/Fx2TW1617UZNULU/Tx2INJY62TIU5CI/1/ref=cm_cd_ef_rt_tft_tp?_encoding=UTF8&asin=1594202842&tag=jusadbel-20

Cheap Social Worker said�?�

When reading excerpts from Amy Chua�?Ts latest book, I noticed that she left out any reference to her Filipino background. Looking at Chua�?Ts biography, her parents spent a considerable amount of time doing business in the Philippines, with her father even going to school there. Chua also spent a good portion of her childhood going back and forth between the United States and the Philippines, though I wonder if she ever went outside the walls of her gated community to interact with the main population. Given that Filipino values on education are very similar to these �?oChinese�?� values Amy Chua promotes, why does �?oBattle Hymn of the Tiger Mother�?� ignore her Filipino heritage completely? http://askthepinoy.blogspot.com/2011/01/does-prof-amy-chua-have-any-other.html

As a Harvard undergraduate during the years that the author was there, I do not recall the author attending any of the many meetings or social occasions held by the Asian students on campus. Although the book discusses the author�?Ts �?oChinese�?� upbringing, and refers to the Chinese food that she loved as a child and the �?ohigh culture�?� of her Chinese ancestors, there is little in the book to indicate that the author is, or considers herself to be, part of a larger community or network of Asians or Chinese in America, an affiliation that�?Ts critical if the author�?Ts voice is to be heard as at all representative of that community. http://www.amazon.com/review/R180XSBCBH3O89/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1594202842&nodeID=&tag=jusadbel-20=

It�?Ts not uncommon to hear alcoholics claim that it�?Ts because they�?Tre Irish or to hear that a bad temper is a result of bad genes. Chua is no different, and is justifying her abusive behavior based on the fact that she is Chinese. The reality is that Chua�?Ts style is not a product of her Chinese heritage. Chua has never lived in China; her parents have not either. http://voices.yahoo.com/review-amy-chuas-battle-hymn-tiger-mother-7701018.html?cat=25

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It isn�?Tt at all clear to me when and where Chinese culture came into the heritage of Amy Chua, if indeed it ever has, for the surname Chùa is, in fact, Vietnamese. It means temple and is commonly found in Buddhist and other religious contexts, e.g., (1) Chùa Pháp Hoa �?" Nam �sc, (2) Chùa Ph?t Tích [Temple of Saint Paul], (3) L? Khánh Th� nh D?i Hùng B?o Di?n Chùa Quang Minh, ph?n 1, and (4) t?i Chùa Ho?ng Pháp, H?c Môn, S� i Gòn.

Professor Chua is a graduate of El Cerrito High School in California. http://elcerritogauchos.net/ She claims a superiority of a Chinese culture she has never lived in but is married to a white American Jew. Attempting yet another of her unpersuasive slow-change / quick-change acts she has claimed to have inculcated so-called, but unspecified, Chinese values into her two American daughters. She clearly believes that unrelenting emotional pressure on children and simultaneous denial of affection toward them will improve their physical skills. What implausible culture that has lasted more than seventy-two consecutive hours has advocated such a bizarre relationship between parent and child? She states that she has denied her two daughters the experiences of having performed in school plays. But their father had to have had enough stage experience prior to having been admitted at age 21 into the Drama Department (1980-1982) of The Juilliard School in Manhattan to justify that admission.

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�?oall you need to be able to do [to get into Juilliard] is just be badass at one instrument and read music.�?�

* * *

I think that is an extremely simplistic way to look at it. There are children who are groomed for Juilliard from grade school onwards. Children who start playing at 3 or 4 and by the age of 10 are already practicing 6+ hours a day. It takes incredible long-term discipline to be �?obadass�?� at one instrument.

Juilliard grants a 10 minute audition. By the time you walk in, greet the jury, tune up, they get their papers ready to go, glance at your accompanist, you have 7 minutes to convince them that you are at the top of the top and that you have a viable career in performance ahead of you.

Harvard is, in some senses, more forgiving because you have so many more ways to prove yourself. You can show you are smart through grades, you can show that you earned academic honors, you can show character through recommendation�?�all Juilliard gives you is 7 minutes to blow them away. http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-admissions/439847-harder-than-harvard.html

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Professor Chua has stepped as an authority into several worlds in which she has no known experience and attempted to convince readers deeply concerned with the subjects she has written about that her word is the best word, founded as she believes on substantial personal experience. She moves in step with a long and continuing line of crackpot self-styled such authorities to lay claim to a success citing her ill-chosen and unexamined demographic whopping sampling of two, one of whom has effectively rejected her horrific emotional, social, and artistic models in favor of a pursuit of a life as a real person.

Does anyone now remember the scam of Linus Pauling (1901-94), author of �?oVitamin C and the Common Cold�?�? In 1970 Dr Pauling, a hustling chemist with no patients and no clinical studies to substantiate his claims, convinced many of the world�?Ts non-thinkers that tanking up on vitamin C would cure the common cold, cure cancer, cure heart disease, and wipe out miscellaneous infections. He amassed a small fortune from his publications. Forty-one years later? Anyone who has contracted the seed basis for a cold still sniffles, cancer is rampant, heart disease remains with us, and infections are a functioning reality, increasing in their variety, throughout the human species. And Dr Pauling? Who? http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/pauling.html

Obstetricians write books on running. Physicists write books on philosophy. Social workers write books on love. Orthopedists write books on financial investment. Vitamin gurus write books advising pursuit of the Fountain of Youth in the manner of Herodotus and Juan Ponce de León (1474-1521). Generals write unbiased books on history. Psychoanalysts �?" with the highest suicide rate of any professional group in the world �?" plumb the woes of others promising answers of consolation.

And, reminding us, yet again, that fools rush in where angels fear to tread, Professor of Law Amy Chua has overarchingly tried to portray herself with her menopausal-crisis magnum opus that she is (1) an authority on music instruction of the preadolescent, (2) is an informed intellectual on the relationships both distinguishing and binding alien cultures, (3) she believes that both private and public sustained and repetitive humiliations of defenseless children will inevitably lead to a positive strengthening of those children�?Ts characters, (4) she believes that children perceive through the senses of sound and sight what their parents want them to perceive, (5) that there likely will be no relationship between enforced disruptive prohibitions of physiological functions of urination and defecation in early childhood and a possible dysfunction of those systems manifesting later in life, (6) that denial of nutrition is an educational tool, (7) that avowals of love following psychological and physical cruelties meted to the young do not establish a perverse link between those avowals and cruelties, (8) that two daughters who know well that their pussy-whipped father had the valuable preprofessional experiences of the very stage presence they may have wished for themselves in adolescence have not formed an unhealthy opinion of compromised male hegemony during those years it might have benefited them in the formation of what will become their future relations with men, (9) that, while their mother was referring to their minds and their bodies openly and publicly in the most vile terms of contempt and debasement their father sat idly by, possibly out of sight but not out of earshot, (10) that the father of two daughters is portrayed in print and public appearances by their mother as the bringer of jollity when permitted to do so by their mother (Egads!), (11) that the phrase �?oHead of Household�?� has been perverted in the Chua example to refer to the elder with the loudest mouth and the least flexible personality, (12) [The reader here is invited to continue filling in the blanks . . .]

Whether or not any modern Chinese man or woman �?" or, in the example of Amy Chua, any Filipina descended from Vietnamese �?" subscribes to any of the tenets of historical Confucianism, those tenets continue, for many modern Orientals both in and from the Eastern lands, to elicit a sentimental ideal to which many pay lip service in time of reference.

Professor Chua has made a significant fundamental error in attempting to define her relationship with her two daughters. �?oParenting method�?� is not a synonym for �?oBeing a parent.�?� The former arises from the jargon and complex overlays of institutional structure established by American teachers colleges, their promulgators, and devoted acolytes fallen under the influences of Frederick Wilson Taylor [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Winslow_Taylor] and leaders of The Efficiency Movement [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efficiency_Movement] in the first decade of the twentieth century; good for building the Model T but less than good for building character. �?oBeing a parent�?� arises from the traditional standing of parents within all well-established functioning societies.

With one exception, all other public pictures of the face of Professor Chua portray her with her signature toothy grin. The only one in which she is not smiling is that showing her imperiously overseeing her younger daughter during a music practice session. http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/RV-AB161_chau_i_G_20110107132417.jpg

That this parenting nitwit can lay claim to so-called traditional Chinese values, while supplanting the very bases of those values with individual license to cruelty and an immodest flaunting of self at the expense of those children traditional values would obligate her to protect from adversity, is a revelation of ignorance and egocentricity wholly at odds with the established teachings of Confucius.

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André M. Smith, Bach Mus, Mas Sci (Juilliard)

Diploma (Lenox Hill Hospital School of Respiratory Therapy)

Postgraduate studies in Human and Comparative Anatomy (Columbia University)

Formerly Bass Trombonist

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York,

Leopold Stokowski�?Ts American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall),

The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, etc.

Andre M. Smith, Mon, 23 Apr 2012 11:15:00 -0400

#6

Some words penned in response to the thoughts of a student writing elsewhere . . .

I would not normally lock horns and try to best a junior in high school; I�?Tm hoping you do not read my words here as such, for they are meant for you only as a provocation to further thought to your ideas well-presented.

You�?Tve written that you �?oused to get frustrated when I had to practice violin and I really didn�?Tt want to . . .�?� Do I read correctly that you no longer �?oget frustrated?�?� If so, that�?Ts a remarkable advancement. As a musician myself I want to ask you, Why do you practice violin and not another instrument of your choosing less frustrating, for examples, flute, harpsichord, tuba, or tabla. There is a vast �?" and I do mean vast! �?" repertoire for each of those, and many other, instruments that could challenge you unendingly for the remainder of your life. Instead of spending hours at your chosen instrument (whichever it may be) in the drudgery of isolated practice, why not spend more of your time in practice with music ensembles of various kinds. This can yield a discipline and advancement of a uniquely different kind. If you are studying formally with a violin teacher I�?Tm quite sure he will confirm the well-founded idea that, as a performer, playing an instrument is one kind of challenge but playing an instrument WITH PEOPLE is significantly more so. A musician in isolation is a musician limited. And herein lays one, only one, of the transparent contradictions of the way Professor Chua has taught her two daughters to approach their instruments; opportunistically solely for unartistic purposes.

A fundamental flaw in the approach to music of Amy Chua �?" an amusical hack with no known talent for an art of any kind! �?" is that she has decided it�?Ts perfectly acceptable to pervert one of the greater of the fine arts for use in ulterior purposes. In the example of the Chua family, so-so slogging through masterpieces of music was used to impress others when applying for admission to university. (Would Professor Chua dare to advocate this openly with religion, physics, good grammar, or issues of national interest?) The whole idea that her elder daughter, Sophia, played a debut recital in Carnegie Hall is an early example of the pervasive blight of résumé bloat on which social climbers like Amy Chua have advanced themselves; a blight to which the Chua daughters were introduced early by two parents who know well how to tweak the system to gain unearned personal advantage.

Carnegie Hall, http://www.carnegiehall.org/history/, includes three auditoria in its building: Stern Auditorium http://www.carnegiehall.org/information/stern-auditorium-perelman-stage/, Zankel Hall http://www.gotickets.com/venues/ny/zankel_hall_at_carnegie_hall.php, and Weill Recital Hall http://www.carnegiehall.org/Information/Weill-Recital-Hall/. It was in Weill that Sophia performed as only one among a cattle-call string of young pianists that day. Do you doubt what I write here? Compare the architectural design,

http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/RV-AB160_chau_i_G_20110107132345.jpg, behind Sophia with that of the architectural design at the rear of the stage in http://www.carnegiehall.org/information/stern-auditorium-perelman-stage/. Having been a performer, myself, in both Stern and Weill over many years you have my assurance that Sophia performed her piece in Weill. Debut recital in Carnegie Hall! Indeed!

You have written about your parents that they are �?oless extreme than Chua I�?Tll admit, but a lot of her memoir is satire and exaggeration.�?� Don�?Tt be deceived by quick-change artist Professor Chua. She has spent more than one year trying to convince readers of her text that she is some kind of nouveau belles-lettrist who did no more than exercise a writer�?Ts license to engage her readers. In truth she meant what she wrote until her hypocritical posturing as an authentic Chinese mother �?" born in Illinois to a Filipino father, neither speaks Chinese nor writes Chinese script �?" came back to haunt her with a ferocity that caused this self-styled Tiger Mother to recoil into improvised doublespeak. Amy Chua is a complete fake!

All young musicians should be given only two music instrument choices to pursue in life, Violin or Piano. All else is useless waste. Any adult giving such advice is one woefully ill-informed. As a bass trombonist, my instrument has been my first class ticket from person-to-person, school-to-school, city-to-city, studio-to-studio, and stage-to-stage. With the kinds of preparations the Chua daughters were given will they ever perform, as I have, with Richard Tucker, Birgit Nilsson, Roberta Peters, Herbert von Karajan, Leopold Stokowski, and the two-thirds of The New York Philharmonic who were my schoolmates for five years in Juilliard? Forget it!

Mercifully, I was never besieged with a Tiger Mother or Tiger Anything to motivate me. Yes, I too sometimes was bored with scales and chords. Yes, sometimes my imagined future seemed an unattainable fantasy. Yes, I did sometimes fall flat on my face in public performance (as did my teachers before me and also their teachers before them). Life went on and continues to do so.

You�?Tve written that �?oAt this point (as a Junior in high school) about 35% of the pressure to do well comes from my parents and the other 65% is complete self-motivation.�?� From the subtlety of your writing I suspect you�?Tre cutting yourself short with that 65%. You appear to be much more highly motivated than your objective perspective about yourself can show you at this early time.

The violin? I advise you to seriously reëvaluate what you believe is your relationship to any instrument of your choice; if, indeed, the violin has been your choice and not that of someone else. If the violin has been your choice, stay with it through all the coming stormy weather of doubt and seeming incompetence. If it is not, drop it in preference to another more to your liking and its fitness for your physicality. (If it�?Ts the tuba, tell your parents that someone other than I recommended it!)

Good Luck!

Cordially,

André M. Smith, Bach Mus, Mas Sci (Juilliard)

Diploma (Lenox Hill Hospital School of Respiratory Therapy)

Postgraduate studies in Human and Comparative Anatomy (Columbia University)

Formerly Bass Trombonist

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York,

Leopold Stokowski�?Ts American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall),

The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, etc.

Andre M. Smith, Mon, 23 Apr 2012 11:16:09 -0400

#7

Q: You insisted your girls also have hobbies so they wouldn�?Tt become �?oweird Asian automatons.�?� So you chose classical music. You didn�?Tt want them doing crafts which �?ogo nowhere�?� or playing drums which �?olead to drugs.�?�

A: For me classical music symbolized refinement and hard work and delicacy, and a certain depth. Both the piano and the violin are capable of producing such beauty, something more meaningful than watching TV or doing Facebook for 10 hours. http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/01/13/amy-chua-on-high-stakes-parenting/

_______________________

The most extraordinary feature �?" among many extraordinary features �?" of the Amy Chua debacle is that no one in authority in New Haven has yet to pull her aside to tell her that she being a Professor of Law at Yale simply isn�?Tt working well for the good of the University.

This woman is a COMPLETE moron! That she has been able in her book to unite any music instrument whatsoever with deleterious external behavior harkens back to at least somewhere in the nineteenth century when it could be said openly and quite sincerely that Negroes have an innate sense for rhythm and most Italians pass their days in song. Just from what source(s) this half-baked Professor has discovered a relationship between drums and drugs is unstated; and I�?Tm quite sure will so remain.

Also, this buffoon refers to crafts that �?ogo nowhere�?� thereby ensuring that her two daughters will have had no experience designing and building to completion with their hands any project of their choice. Her blanket statement about crafts discretely omits details about what she believes any of these cul-de-sac pursuits are.

But, moving back to the smoke heads and autoharpoonists with which Professor Chua believes the field of percussion music is suffused . . . She who advocates classical music concerts (which she is not known to attend), Mandarin language (which she does not speak, read, or write), and an aggressive pursuit of piano and violin (while being unable to play either) has chosen as her target, from the full palate of the world�?Ts instruments the innocent drum. She can tell it to Stravinsky, Hindemith, Bartok, Kodaly, Copland, Khatachurian, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Ives, Janacek, Smetana, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Sibelius, Schubert, Schumann, Wagner, and her beloved Mozart and Haydn.

You might want to set aside a few minutes to see how the staff junkie in this performance has kept everyone else intact. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8po7FZonP-I But for us, taking the Professor in her stride let�?Ts look at some of the world�?Ts examples she may have a dread fear one of her daughters may emulate.

Boston Symphony Orchestra http://www.bso.org/brands/bso/about-us/musicians/bso-musicians/percussion.aspx

Dallas Symphony http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfFqJGehovg

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra School of Timpani http://www.nickwoud.com/page7.htm

HHS Winter Percussion-Dublin 2-12-11 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXWSS4w15dw

Swiss Top Secret Drum Corps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7k6VYGtm8g

New York Philharmonic Orchestra http://nyphil.org/meet/orchestra/index.cfm?page=section§ionNum=16

London Symphony Orchestra http://www.neilpercy.com/

Berlin Philharmonic http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dHOhpRr_Vc

Bolshoi Theater Percussion Ensemble http://www.allmusic.com/artist/bolshoi-theater-percussion-ensemble-q93538

Shanghai Percussion Ensemble http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=htsf&oq=&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGLJ_enUS344US352&q=Shanghai+Percussion+Ensemble

Paris Percussion Festival http://speakeasy.jazzcorner.com/speakeasy/showthread.php?t=2968

Los Angeles Percussion Quartet http://www.lapercussionquartet.com/

Chicago Symphony Orchestra http://cso.org/About/Performers/Performers.aspx?hid=779&cpid=780&cid=83&nid=826

Charles Owen, The United States Marine Band and The Philadelphia Orchestra http://www.pas.org/experience/halloffame/OwenCharles.aspx

Evelyn Glennie (deaf since the age of twelve!) http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=3&oq=%22evelyn+glennie%22&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGLJ_enUS344US352&q=evelyn+glennie+youtube&gs_upl=0l0l8l151344lllllllllll0&aqi=g5

Elayne Jones http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82HKMGGqfhg

Max Roach http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Roach

Gene Krupa http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=2&oq=%22gene+krupa%22&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGLJ_enUS344US352&q=gene+krupa+youtube&gs_upl=0l0l12l31079lllllllllll0&aqi=g5

Saul Goodman (Long may his memory endure!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4JbVS5-Z3w

Gerald Carlyss (student of Saul Goodman at Juilliard) http://www.indiana.edu/~deanfac/bios/2007/Carlyss07.pdf

Victor Firth (student of Saul Goodman at Juilliard) http://www.vicfirth.com/education/percussion101-timpani.php

Fred Begun (student of Saul Goodman at Juilliard) http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/fred-begun-former-national-symphony-orchestra-timpanist-embarks-on-new-ventures/2011/09/21/gIQA1nlrAL_story.html

Howard van Hyning (student of Saul Goodman at Juilliard), conductor of The New York Tympani Choir http://www.pas.org/news/InMemoriam.aspx

Phil Kraus (student of Saul Goodman at Juilliard) http://www.pas.org/news/InMemoriam.aspx

Richard Motylinski http://www.ncsymphony.org/about/index.cfm?subsec=people&peoplecat=musicians&catid=19&person=23

Danny Villanueva http://www.dannyv.zoomshare.com/1.html

_______________________

With time and space I easily could list one-hundred more, but these few will prove the point. Got the message, Professor? On any matter dealing with the fine arts you are, to put it discretely, outclassed.

_______________________

André M. Smith, Bach Mus, Mas Sci (Juilliard)

Diploma (Lenox Hill Hospital School of Respiratory Therapy)

Postgraduate studies in Human and Comparative Anatomy (Columbia University)

Formerly Bass Trombonist

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York,

Leopold Stokowski�?Ts American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall),

The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, etc.

Andre M. Smith, Mon, 23 Apr 2012 11:16:42 -0400

#8

On another web site I have read

�?oIn America, most parents of Asian Americans understand that music isn�?Tt always about winning prizes. If anything, they�?Tre so resistant to the idea of financial compensation in music that a talented youngster like myself is pushed into music for college resume reasons and yet pulled away from it so that one can focus on his chosen profession of doctor, lawyer, etc.�?�

Will some reader of these Comments, one with a good understanding of the relationship of �?omusic for college resume reasons,�?� please explain here just what that relationship is and in what era it began? Has it anything to do with post-1949 access to aspirations abroad? Is it a sudden blossoming after the economic opening of 1979? Is it a contrived criterion established by college admissions boards in The US? Do Mainland Chinese seeking education in England or Canada pursue the same deadening, inartistic route as those applying to The US? If a career in music is considered useless by Chinese parents, why not prepare their children as sculptors or water colorists? Why pursue any activity artistic? Is there some clearly defined idea that a student activity that makes sound and provokes applause is superior to all other activities?

I believe the ideal person to respond to this challenge is an older parent, perhaps age 65 or above, who does truly believe that Western violin or piano is an ideal route to advancement in any field that is not artistic and that pursuing those same two instruments as a life�?Ts work is A WASTE OF TIME. Why not erhu, pipa, reed flute . . . ?

Frankly, I am not interested to read three kinds of response: (1) from a child written defensively on behalf of a parent, (2) a child denouncing the system, perhaps out of some real disappointment, as it now exists, and (3) a child�?Ts response interpreting an attempt by any parent who hasn�?Tt sufficient interest to reply.

______________________

André M. Smith, Bach Mus, Mas Sci (Juilliard)

Diploma (Lenox Hill Hospital School of Respiratory Therapy)

Postgraduate studies in Human and Comparative Anatomy (Columbia University)

Formerly Bass Trombonist

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York,

Leopold Stokowski�?Ts American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall),

The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, etc.

Andre M. Smith, Mon, 23 Apr 2012 11:12:52 -0400