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At what point do students say goodbye?
#1666947 04/26/11 02:35 PM
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Akira Offline OP
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I know this is a loaded question and the answers are likely to be all over the board, but I was curious is there a number of years (or range in years), generally speaking, where there is a large drop off in students -- whereby the student who has learned the piano solely for personal enjoyment decides they've had enough piano lessons?

My teacher has had this one student that has been studying with him for something like 18 years. Another one (although not with him) has been taking lessons for 30 years. I know these are extremes, but it got me to wondering what could he possibly be teaching them after so many years have gone by.

Just curious what your experience has been like.


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Re: At what point do students say goodbye?
Akira #1666957 04/26/11 02:48 PM
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I was thinking about that question the other day. Personally I can not imagine my lessons coming to an end. Maybe some people enjoy getting feedback and help on the songs they are currently learning. I imagine that even when I have reached my goal of ARCT I will still want to go to lessons because I enjoy that hour with my teacher because she is the only one I know that lives close to me with piano knowledge. She knows so much that I'm not sure if there is an end to learning.

Re: At what point do students say goodbye?
Akira #1666986 04/26/11 03:45 PM
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Akira,
Just a thought...in case of the students you mention and other similar people who have been taking lessons for many years, it must not be a "typical" lesson, where the teacher teaches them, but it must be a reciprocative session where both, the teacher and the student must be sharing knowledge and learning from each other. They must be continuing lessons, not just for the sake of lessons, but probably, after this much time, they must be feeling more like "friends".....now, friendship never "has" to come to an end, does it?


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Re: At what point do students say goodbye?
Akira #1666997 04/26/11 04:07 PM
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First of all, as long as the teacher's playing level and/or knowledge level is above that of the student's, there are things to be learned. This is true whether it's been 18 months or 18 years together. Presumably the teacher has been growing the entire time also, and should still be "ahead" of the student, at least in terms of experience if nothing else.

But secondly, I'm going to go out on a limb and make a bold statement:
I think a great teacher can impart wisdom and provide worthwhile guidance to the growth of a student even after the student has surpassed him or her in ability. Perhaps at that point the relationship becomes more "mentor" than "teacher," but it seems clear to me it could still be invaluable to the student.


"Wide awake, I can make my most fantastic dreams come true..."
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Re: At what point do students say goodbye?
Akira #1667068 04/26/11 05:55 PM
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I would imagine that it's a task that the teacher should also have... Not always, but there comes a time when a student is ready to fly away and at that time the teacher needs to be ready to accept that!

Re: At what point do students say goodbye?
Akira #1667073 04/26/11 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Akira
I know this is a loaded question and the answers are likely to be all over the board, but I was curious is there a number of years (or range in years), generally speaking, where there is a large drop off in students -- whereby the student who has learned the piano solely for personal enjoyment decides they've had enough piano lessons?

My teacher has had this one student that has been studying with him for something like 18 years. Another one (although not with him) has been taking lessons for 30 years. I know these are extremes, but it got me to wondering what could he possibly be teaching them after so many years have gone by.

Just curious what your experience has been like.



Not quite what you are asking but relative.

For young students, I always called it the 3 year hump. If they got over the 3 year hump, they'd stay for the long run.

And they were very enjoyable to teach after that as we could explore so many more things than just notes and rhythm.


"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."
Re: At what point do students say goodbye?
Akira #1667324 04/27/11 07:51 AM
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I don't know!? I'm still waiting for the first one to leave ....!
I must teach very very slowly hehe.

With my teacher I've been going for nearly 2 years (although with some long breaks). I expect to learn a lot in the next 2 years. Then if I'm plateauing I might go to casual lessons, or have a break, or have lessons on another instrument.


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Re: At what point do students say goodbye?
Akira #1667572 04/27/11 05:23 PM
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I lose most mine as they enter high school no matter how long they've been coming. High school just has too many other things that distract them frown


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Professional private piano teacher since 1994.
Re: At what point do students say goodbye?
Akira #1667889 04/28/11 07:58 AM
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I've been studying with my teacher for 9 years.....no plans on leaving! I look forward to lessons and there's never a week that goes by that I'm not inspired and motivated to get better. I think we can always learn more and unless I surpass my teacher (hahaha) which will never happen (he's been playing and accompanying and teaching and coaching for more than 30 years...), he's stuck with me!


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Re: At what point do students say goodbye?
Akira #1667927 04/28/11 09:24 AM
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I think either Middle School or High School is when students tend to drop off, or their practice is greatly reduced. This also may be due to coming into more complicated music that requires more practice time than needed at earlier levels. So perhaps it's not a question of years of lessons, or what's going on outside of lessons, but level of study. In that case, I'd say most drop off around Intermediate (some even early Int.). Just when the music is getting exciting too!!


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Re: At what point do students say goodbye?
Akira #1668045 04/28/11 12:54 PM
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Thanks for your responses.

Let me clarify my intent. I was wondering for those who continue to play (as opposed to those who quit because they no longer want to pursue learning to play the piano), at what point do most people decide they've had enough instruction?

For example, I can't imagine many you teachers continue to take piano lessons on a regular basis.

After how many years did you decide you no longer need an ongoing teacher?

Again, I realize this differs from people who want to play professionally or have abnormally lofty pianistic goals, but I'm referring to the average casual player.

Re: At what point do students say goodbye?
Akira #1668049 04/28/11 01:11 PM
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I would probably say my lessons would be done after I reach grade 10 with the royal conservatory, but I would probably stay in contact with my teacher. If I still need lessons to get my ARCT in teaching and preforming then I will still take lessons. I can not speak for everyone but I would say "goodbye" when I have reached my goal and I fell as if I can fully apply all that I have learned to continue on my own. I think that someone just knows when it is time and the teacher will probably know too.

Re: At what point do students say goodbye?
Akira #1668061 04/28/11 01:39 PM
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Oh, gosh, I can certainly teach myself at this point, but I so value input from others because it expands my thinking, even if I don't agree with the observations.

I play for my teacher whenever the opportunity presents itself, probably every other year. In January I exchanged lessons with another college professor. Instructive for us both.

I don't think I'll ever outgrow the need for some input, at least I hope I don't.


B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
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Re: At what point do students say goodbye?
Akira #1668064 04/28/11 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Akira
I know this is a loaded question and the answers are likely to be all over the board, but I was curious is there a number of years (or range in years), generally speaking, where there is a large drop off in students -- whereby the student who has learned the piano solely for personal enjoyment decides they've had enough piano lessons?

Just curious what your experience has been like.


Your question referred to "personal enjoyment"! but I gather you were not referring to the student who is taking lessons for exams!

So, yes some students just want personal enjoyment minus the exams! So I do have students who solely want piano lesson to play outside of classical! With the odd one thrown in here and there!

From my experience, these "person enjoyment" students usually will continue lessons with me because they know I have "so much music" in my library, that they like me to play something from different styles! And they say "There, that's what I want to learn to play!" So, it's because they just want to learn songs they want to play! And because as teachers, we know what difficulty level they are at, and can advance them from there!

So if the teacher and the student are getting something out of it, I'd say it depends on each individual!

Have heard of one teacher who had an adult student who just loved to pay each lesson just to hear him play the piano! Guess you could say, she was getting a person recital each lesson! And she was willing to pay for it!

So, I have had students up to Grade 12! Then when and if they move for University, then I have to say goodbye!

Last edited by Diane...; 04/28/11 01:44 PM.

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