2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
Who's Online Now
65 members (Beowulf, Elle789, anotherscott, Chrispy, DSC, DaveII, Dick Tracy, Eli26, 17 invisible), 494 guests, and 476 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Am I just too demanding or just bad luck?
#1543125 10/25/10 12:23 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 158
tnew Offline OP
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 158
I have signed my son up for piano lessons once a week at his school. It is a teacher from the school, and not selected by me.

He has had two lessons so far, with the third coming this thursday. The teacher has not given him any lesson plan, no required books to buy, just instruction to bring any music he has to class.

Lesson 1 was to just make up a tune. Lesson 2 was one piece to practice.

From what I have read in many teacher posts, I got the impression that I should expect a lesson plan (or just some idea of what is happening), some practical information like phone number or email, how to cancel if he is ill, and maybe some tips on how much practice time per day. Don't teachers normally use method books too?

Yeah, I suppose I could use common sense and design a practice/lesson plan for my son, select some decent music to play each week, but I thought the teacher is supposed to do that. Besides, I don't know that much about piano and probably wouldn't do a very good job of it. Am I too demanding or just having bad luck finding a good teacher?

I am going to visit her this thursday just before his lesson. I don't know how else to communicate with her.

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: Am I just too demanding or just bad luck?
tnew #1543144 10/25/10 12:42 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,913
D
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,913
You are right to go and talk to the teacher; she will probably be glad that you are there. Use the first few minutes of your son's lesson time for the conversation - don't arrive early expecting to talk to her, since she probably has another student before your son.

Sometimes in the first few lessons with a new student it's not easy to tell which will be the most suitable book, the best lesson plan, or whatever, so perhaps the teacher is still working it out; and if your son has played before, she will want to find out the specifics of what he has already done before continuing.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
Re: Am I just too demanding or just bad luck?
tnew #1543149 10/25/10 12:43 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
It may be a situation of "you get what you pay for."

If this is an inexpensive teacher who does lessons part-time, then this is probably all your going to get.

If this is someone with a full-time studio that you're paying good money for, then should be getting a lot more.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed
Re: Am I just too demanding or just bad luck?
tnew #1543192 10/25/10 01:28 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,919
C
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,919
I think it's a bit soon to make any judgements after just two lessons. The best plan would be to introduce yourself to the teacher and let them know that you are willing and prepared to help. That will certainly put you in their good books! Then you can ask them what the plan is regarding materials and practice assignments. As someone who works in a school I am always glad to meet parents although sadly it's rare that they come in. Usually we communicate through the students practice book where I leave messages and vice versa. Face to face would be nice much more beneficial but I guess the reason people sign up for lessons in school is because they are busy folk and just don't have time to come and see me.

As far as books go, it might be that the teacher will order them and invoice you which could take a week or two.


Pianist and piano teacher.
Re: Am I just too demanding or just bad luck?
tnew #1543194 10/25/10 01:29 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,651
O
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
O
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,651
tnew, no you are not being too demanding. I don't think you're having bad luck either. You are simply gathering information. You have discovered that this teacher has not bothered to communicate with you and has not even recommended any books. That may be enough information to continue searching for a good teacher.

I think you would do well to find a full time private teacher. Choose someone who at least bothers to set up an interview with you and your child...and lays out a teaching plan and explains policies. It sounds like you've found a rank beginner teacher who does not have any policies in place and lacks a teaching plan too.

Re: Am I just too demanding or just bad luck?
tnew #1543223 10/25/10 02:12 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 820
L
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
L
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 820
Some of the private schools near me offer private piano lessons right at the school - either during the day or after school. The lessons are given by the music teacher, and are often meant as a method of "getting your feet wet". Parents see these as inexpensive and convenient lessons, so why not find out if they have a budding prodigy on their hands?

Most of the students do not stay with these teachers long. Those who are serious, want something more. Those who aren't serious lose interest quickly.

I agree with those who say 2 weeks isn't a lot of time. But I also agree with Kreisler's "you get what you pay for." If you have committed to a certain number of lessons, then meeting with the teacher is definitely the way to go. Perhaps she is spending a few weeks "trying him out" before she decides what teaching method to put him in. If you signed up for "introductory" lessons of a month or so, perhaps she doesn't want to invest too much up front.

But it is fair to ask the teacher what method books you should buy, or what sort of practice schedule she recommends. If, after the meeting, you still aren't feeling comfortable, you might want to begin thinking about what you DO want from lessons, and looking for a teacher who can provide it.


piano teacher
Re: Am I just too demanding or just bad luck?
tnew #1543271 10/25/10 02:58 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 478
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 478
I don't feel you should have to ask the teacher what books to buy. If they are truely a teacher they would be assigning and telling you what they need right away in order to educate their child correctly. You need to find out if the lessons are more of a babysitting and just being able to say by the school they are providing music or if it truely is music lessons. And you are not being unreasonable.

Re: Am I just too demanding or just bad luck?
tnew #1543276 10/25/10 03:03 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,226
M
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,226
I'm going to chime in and say that for a lot of my beginners, we don't use any books for the few lessons or so because I'm acquainting them with the piano, teaching them how to differentiate sounds, teaching them rhythmic notation, etc. But after that I do move into a method.


Pianist and teacher with a 5'8" Baldwin R and Clavi CLP-230 at home.

New website up: http://www.studioplumpiano.com. Also on Twitter @QQitsMina
Re: Am I just too demanding or just bad luck?
tnew #1543309 10/25/10 04:10 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,913
D
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,913
Clearly there are two schools of thought here - "this is unacceptable", and "give it time".

I'd say both are correct: don't accept things as they are, but also don't make any moves until you and the teacher have had a real conversation about plans and expectations, both hers and yours. If you talk to her, and your son has a couple more lessons, and things are still not good, then you should find a different teacher.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
Re: Am I just too demanding or just bad luck?
tnew #1543585 10/25/10 10:54 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 272
D
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
D
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 272
A lot of good input up here...I just wanted to add that I think it is great that you are involved and caring enough to take the time and find an internet forum and ask the questions. It should be an obvious thing but as a piano teacher, I can tell you that with parents this is not always the case so that alone is a good start. I find that usually its easier for students with a supportive house behind them.



Dror Perl. Pianist, Composer, Teacher.

http://www.sheerpiano.com/

Sheer Piano: The First Full Color Piano Music Books




Re: Am I just too demanding or just bad luck?
tnew #1543636 10/26/10 01:29 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,856
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,856
A lot of the time it's a matter of breaking them in to daily practice gently. In your child's case probably not required.

Re: Am I just too demanding or just bad luck?
tnew #1543841 10/26/10 09:09 AM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
7000 Post Club Member
Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Originally Posted by tnew
I have signed my son up for piano lessons once a week at his school. It is a teacher from the school, and not selected by me.

I am going to visit her this thursday just before his lesson. I don't know how else to communicate with her.

I note that you are from Austria, which shares a lot of pedagogy with Germany. In Germany, I found that a lot depends on the school. Some schools, especially in larger communities, hire real teachers to teach their students during the school or in the early afternoon, when regular classes are dismissed. By real music teachers, I mean accomplished musicians who are subsequently trained as teachers. Other schools, such as where my grand-daughter attends, have general knowledge music teachers. That is, they are adept at one or more of the musical arts, but are not advanced performing level musicians. They are, however, trained as teachers. In these cases, if students show unusual interest or ability, parents are advised to search out private lessons to aid further musical development.

By talking with your child's teacher, you'll quickly learn which camp his teacher falls into and you can go from there.

About the number of lessons - I suggest to the parents of my students that they consider the first three months of lessons a period of adjustment and initiation. It does take time for students to grasp what's happening; it takes time for the teacher to digest the nuances of the student's learning process, interests, etc. I find, that even with years of teaching experience, I end up making false starts from time to time, and having to regroup and begin again. In other words, two weeks is hardly sufficient time to form any judgments, one way or the other.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
Re: Am I just too demanding or just bad luck?
tnew #1544039 10/26/10 01:44 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,651
O
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
O
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,651
But don't you think it's the least bit pathetic that there has been no communication with the parent? At least a one page letter of introduction or policies or something?

Re: Am I just too demanding or just bad luck?
tnew #1544054 10/26/10 02:08 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,913
D
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,913
Ann: Teachers in a school where they are assigned a student by the head of the school (or someone in the office) would be in a somewhat different situation regarding student communication than you are at home.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
Re: Am I just too demanding or just bad luck?
tnew #1544060 10/26/10 02:18 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,856
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,856
Often parents are surprised there is any role for them at all!

Re: Am I just too demanding or just bad luck?
keyboardklutz #1544064 10/26/10 02:26 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,913
D
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,913
Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
Often parents are surprised there is any role for them at all!
Absolutely. I find it much easier to teach those parents their role, than to teach the "other" parents what their role is not. smile

The teacher in question may be assuming that because some parents are not interested, you're not either.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
Re: Am I just too demanding or just bad luck?
keyboardklutz #1544127 10/26/10 04:12 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,949
8000 Post Club Member
Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,949
Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
Often parents are surprised there is any role for them at all!


OMG, tell me about it! I work for so many clueless parents, it's not funny anymore.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Am I just too demanding or just bad luck?
tnew #1544245 10/26/10 07:33 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,651
O
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
O
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,651
Regarding "real music teachers" I'd like to say that I have great respect for a teacher who is able to manage a classroom of kids. It's more than I could do! I still think they are "real teachers" and their strength lies in being able to teach a group. Those of us who teach private lessons don't have to be capable of managing behavior of a group of kids.

I think that someone whose scope is broad (as in teaching general music), probably lacks the depth that you would get from a teacher who only teaches piano or only teaches up to 2 instruments.

Re: Am I just too demanding or just bad luck?
tnew #1544344 10/26/10 11:22 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 203
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 203
It doesn't look like the original posted has read any of these replies yet but I would say you should be patient and try to first learn about the teachers overall teaching style and goals. Sometimes the standard approach isn't the best for all students. I would give it more than two lessons before passing overall judgement...

JPE

Re: Am I just too demanding or just bad luck?
Overexposed #1544538 10/27/10 07:16 AM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
7000 Post Club Member
Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Ann, they are two different beasts, and my comment has nothing to do with respect for the work they do, but was totally in reference to training and expertise. In the American public school system, a student who majored in sax may be pressed into teaching strings. A voice major may be asked to teach a keyboard class. Surely you don't equate the value of having a piano major teach a piano class with that of a voice teacher or other non-pianist.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
(ad) SWEETWATER Cyber Sale
New Topics - Multiple Forums
loudness/projection vs. bright/mellow
by Piano Math - 11/30/20 08:19 PM
Growing up with an Acoustic Piano
by Deltajockey - 11/30/20 07:35 PM
The 100 Hardest Piano Concertos
by achoo42 - 11/30/20 06:19 PM
MIDI to USB double output
by lukasz-zsakul - 11/30/20 04:57 PM
Chopin's Nocturne op 27 no.2 vs. op.72 no.1
by RhaegarTargaryen - 11/30/20 03:51 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics203,173
Posts3,029,072
Members99,438
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2020 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4