Just thought I would share the top 5 most awful and outrageous things I’ve ever gotten via the emilywright.net inbox/YouTube. Most are edited for obvious reasons.


5. “Everything you play sounds like a Duport étude. You suck. Stop making videos, and stop sighing so much!”

4. “You are the worst cellist on the internet.” (clearly this person has not looked very hard)

3. “Die you ****! You have **** coming out of your **** and your mother is ******* a *** and a ******. Die die die.”

2. “Your voice makes me vomit and you are arrogant beyond measure.”

1. “My teacher says you’re a hack.”


That last one is the only one that still stings. I wonder if it’s true. I wonder who the teacher is. I wonder what context that comment took place in. What a hum-dinger, though, right?  Still, I get so many great comments from students and other professionals that it’s worth it.


But only just.

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17 Responses

  1. Always, always consider the source! A compliment or criticism from someone you respect has a ton of weight. All the rest really doesn’t matter, it’s just noise, smoke and mirrors.

  2. It’s neat how insults tend to reflect the level of judgement people have for themselves. These all point out some sort of failing on a standard they have set for themselves and came up short on. “You slacker!” translates to, “I wish I had more time.” Let’s break these down from context, shall we?

    5. Cello hipster. Never written anything of their own. Deep down in their untreated borderline personality disorder, they know this.
    4. The worst cellist on the Internet (found ‘im!)
    3. Probably just killed a bunch of people? (In a video game) Has trouble talking to all humans.
    2. Is the fakest person there ever was. Has nothing original to tell anybody. Likes what everybody likes. A real boat non-rocker.
    1. Has a hack/hipster teacher that probably hates themselves more than they do you. This poster likely gets beat up by the cooler kids. If they’re not, they should be. Has played for under 2 years. In High School or younger. Not going to amount to much as long as they’re on this path. Their teacher is at fault for this one and I don’t care who it is. If you’re watching, you have failed your student.

    Writing/playing/performing is hard enough at each new level you reach without some anonymous clown begging for crumbs of attention. You try new things and it doesn’t always translate. That’s part of the whole deal. It’s all well and good, but on a professional level, if you haven’t actually made or done anything, then you really can’t say much in critique of anything else. It’s an issue of experience and perspective. As a side effect, you also don’t hurl insults freely due to this crazy stuff you learn to appreciate people for their hard work called professional respect. It’s too crowded where these lost souls do dwell. Even I in turn open myself to their bile by hitting “Submit Comment.” It’s fine though. I’ve been called just about every Internet insult (from people who actually paid money to see my band), and I’m sure I was where they were at some point, but I also had really awesome people to help me stop that kind of nonsense and help me move on to the next level. You’re doing them a service. Don’t let them get you down, Em Dub.

  3. I’ve seen most of your videos, and they’re creative, instructive, and show what a talented cellist and dedicated teacher you are. It’s unfortunate there are those out there who feel like they have to vent their egotistic attitudes and misguided opinions on someone like you. Keep up the good work, Em – you’re appreciated by many of us!

  4. There are a lot of bad teachers out there. You are not one of them. Maybe your style is not for everyone, but your enthusiasm inspires me. AND you’re a great musician. And also your mom is hot.

  5. #3 mean person needs to be institutionalized, obviously. The rest are just grumpy and jaded! And that “my teacher says…” comment — whatever! You are popular in the Internet cello world, so some cellists with no self-confidence want to take a snipe at you. People like that are to be pitied, really. They live cranky, self-loathing and other-loathing lives out of their emotional and spiritual poverty. Otherwise, they wouldn’t make such comments. You, on the other hand, live your life out of abundance — out of all the good that is in you. You look for the good in other people. You build people up rather than tear them down. You face life with a sense of joy, adventure, and gratitude. You have everything they don’t have. Everything that truly matters.

  6. Ah don’t worry and especially don’t worry about the comment from the teacher, in my experience there are a good number of teachers out there who rely upon the messiah complex (as in trying to be seen as one) to keep their students coming back. It sounds like the same ol’ banal B.S. to me.

    Never forget that in this industry if someone is insulting you you are likely doing something right!

  7. Some of that is ridiculously specific (I’m sorry, but the Duport etude one made me giggle). I’m assuming #3 may be suffering from schizophrenia or similar… still – do you want me to post a short video of me playing something so that the UR Teh Worstest Cello-er On Teh Interwebz person can find a new target? As an added benefit, they can also tell me I’m fat and my glasses are funny.

    As for the last one, I can see where that one would hurt, but maybe you can think about it as a non-sequiter. Oh, your teacher thinks I’m a hack. Fascinating. In related news, my veterinarian likes cheese. Opinions! We all have them!

  8. Since the demise of Usenet, the YouTube comments section is the septic tank of the Internet. Maybe in second place to 4chan, maybe not. Apparently, a million monkeys hammering at a million keyboards will not produce anything near to Shakespeare.

  9. Having a voice that actually did make people vomit would be a pretty cool super power, sort of a Mystery Men kind of thing.

    Pukegirl – ‘blahblahblahblah blah blah’
    Bad Guys – ‘Bleugh, retch, spew’

    Okay, so you can’t have a normal conversation, but that’s over-rated anyway :0)

  10. Last weekend I was playing a quartet gig and -as happens- came to a passage that required an extension. Instead of trying to dislocate my pinky to reach the note, I used my thumb/second finger to facilitate the extension. In that background scroll of thoughts that flow when I’m playing, I thought, “Emily Wright.”

    You make a difference.

  11. Oh almost forgot: update your link to the IMSLP Journal, pretty please. 🙂 I use their blogroll to hop around, and I need to make two hops to get here now, oh the agony …

  12. re the ‘My teacher says…’ comment – the word Teacher carries a lot of baggage: knowledge, experience, skill and, above all, the authority to make judgments.

    So, who is this ‘teacher’? And who assigned that office?

    You know who you are in the context of your colleagues and you know where your musical community fits in the larger context of the performing arts world. That’s the most accurate measure of who you (musically) are and the only one that should concern you. The youTube commentary is just an annoyance, like mosquitoes around a campfire.

    You offer good advice in your YouTube clips. Just remember: Non Carborundum Illegimitii!

    – Bob Hubbard

  13. “My teacher says you’re a hack.”

    Reminds me of something Janos Starker said or Rostropovich (he recanted after Slava’s death):

    “Rostropovich is an entertainer, he just happens to entertain with the cello!” (my bad paraphrase)

    We’re all hacks in someone’s eyes. 😉

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