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#2057790 - 04/01/13 01:24 PM Finally getting a teacher!  
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 4
johnny931 Offline
Junior Member
johnny931  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 4
So I've been playing piano for about 2 years now, and have been teaching myself the entire time. This was mostly due to financial issues. Well lucky for me, things have changed and I can finally afford to start taking lessons!

Really nervous about the whole thing though. It'd be one thing if I was brand new, but I'll be going into this with a, more than likely, long list of bad habits and the like. This'll be the first time I've ever played in front of anyone as well (except for the wife).

What should I expect? Any advice?

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#2057811 - 04/01/13 02:14 PM Re: Finally getting a teacher! [Re: johnny931]  
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 248
ElleC Offline
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ElleC  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 248
NJ, USA
Did you pick out a teacher yet? if not, I suggest trying out a few before committing to one. During my search, I found that most piano teachers would give a free 30 minute trial lesson. It gave me a feel for different teaching styles and their personalities. I ended up choosing the one that I felt most comfortable with.

Good luck with piano lessons! Btw, I started out with 30 minute lessons once a week but that only lasted 3 lessons. I now take hour lessons cause it just goes by so fast!

Originally Posted by johnny931
So I've been playing piano for about 2 years now, and have been teaching myself the entire time. This was mostly due to financial issues. Well lucky for me, things have changed and I can finally afford to start taking lessons!

Really nervous about the whole thing though. It'd be one thing if I was brand new, but I'll be going into this with a, more than likely, long list of bad habits and the like. This'll be the first time I've ever played in front of anyone as well (except for the wife).

What should I expect? Any advice?


Adult beginner since January 2013. My only regret is that I didn't learn sooner.
#2057968 - 04/01/13 06:01 PM Re: Finally getting a teacher! [Re: ElleC]  
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 311
Cobra1365 Offline
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Cobra1365  Offline
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Joined: May 2010
Posts: 311
Delaware
I was in your same shoes last August. I had been teaching myself for about 2 yrs and my wife and kids bought me 11 introductory lessons.
I too was very nervous the first few times. In fact, I still with less inhibition at home than I do at lessons.

But, my sight reading has improved immensly and I am learning that I was developing bad habits that I didn't know about.

I think the key is to be up front with the teahcer and have a set of goals that will help him/her guide you on your way. Figure out what genre you prefer to play and ask the instructor for suggestions along those lines.

One thing that has stuck with me since I have started lessons. My instructor told me he sees a lot of adults want everything perfect before moving on. We tend to stop when we make a mistake and we get frustrated when we have a problem. Kids tend to be more relaxed about making a mistake. So, I try to tell myself not to be so hard on myself and that I am still a novice! I WILL make mistakes. That way, I don't tend to get as frustrated and there is less fear that I will quit.


Started Playing May 2010 at 51 yrs old, Some Self Learning, Lessons X 3yrs
#2057977 - 04/01/13 06:22 PM Re: Finally getting a teacher! [Re: johnny931]  
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 464
SoundThumb Offline
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SoundThumb  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 464
San Diego, CA
No need to be nervous, this is going to be a lot of fun. I did the same thing a few years ago and taking lessons is great. One piece of advice, don't think about it in terms of breaking some bad habits, that is too negative and hard to do. Rather, just sit down to that first lesson thinking: "I am starting something new, teach me what to do." Some of what the teacher tells you will be easy to understand and to perform because you have already done it on your own. Other things will be harder because they are different than the way you have been doing them. That will be the most fun because it it why you decided to get some help. You aren't breaking old habits, you are creating new ones.

Good luck Johnny, you are taking an exciting next step.

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#2057978 - 04/01/13 06:22 PM Re: Finally getting a teacher! [Re: Cobra1365]  
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 4
johnny931 Offline
Junior Member
johnny931  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by Cobra1365
I was in your same shoes last August. I had been teaching myself for about 2 yrs and my wife and kids bought me 11 introductory lessons.
I too was very nervous the first few times. In fact, I still with less inhibition at home than I do at lessons.

But, my sight reading has improved immensly and I am learning that I was developing bad habits that I didn't know about.

I think the key is to be up front with the teahcer and have a set of goals that will help him/her guide you on your way. Figure out what genre you prefer to play and ask the instructor for suggestions along those lines.

One thing that has stuck with me since I have started lessons. My instructor told me he sees a lot of adults want everything perfect before moving on. We tend to stop when we make a mistake and we get frustrated when we have a problem. Kids tend to be more relaxed about making a mistake. So, I try to tell myself not to be so hard on myself and that I am still a novice! I WILL make mistakes. That way, I don't tend to get as frustrated and there is less fear that I will quit.


That last part really hits home with me!
I've spent SO MUCH TIME on pieces because I just can't force myself to move on to the next part until I get the part I'm on completely perfect. Can be quite annoying sometimes!

#2057989 - 04/01/13 06:40 PM Re: Finally getting a teacher! [Re: johnny931]  
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,675
Whizbang Online content
1000 Post Club Member
Whizbang  Online Content
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,675
Originally Posted by johnny931
What should I expect? Any advice?


If you're like me, you're going to be a wreck for your audition and play abysmally. But your teacher is probably going to be used to that.

If you have a strong idea about your musical tastes and goals, it'll be good to express that. I'm currently studying under the best teacher I've ever had, and a huge part of that is that he combines great technical and interpretive expertise (as a professional musician) with a genuine depth of interest and familiarity with the genre that I'm focusing on.


Whizbang [Linked Image]
amateur ragtime pianist
https://www.youtube.com/user/Aeschala
#2057994 - 04/01/13 06:56 PM Re: Finally getting a teacher! [Re: johnny931]  
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,011
Peter K. Mose Online content
2000 Post Club Member
Peter K. Mose  Online Content
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,011
Toronto, Ontario
Unless you select an ogre for a teacher, you're going to have a blast for the first few lessons, regardless of the teacher you choose. You'll be soaking up knowledge, ideas, and technical tips. But if you can find a piano teacher who is genuinely comfortable with adult learners, and perhaps even experienced in working with them, the chances of an enduring rapport are better.

Good luck, and keep us posted!

#2058143 - 04/02/13 03:29 AM Re: Finally getting a teacher! [Re: johnny931]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,393
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014
Bobpickle  Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,393
Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted by johnny931
What should I expect? Any advice?


Like when you play around or in front of your wife, you'll probably want to please your audience (your teacher), but this is the wrong mindset. Your teacher is there to take you from where you are in the present to where you want to be in your goals, but they can only do this if you're 100% truthful in your playing and in discussing your habits, so be completely honest and open with them; it will feel very awkward and uncomfortable at first, feeling like a child again but in an adult's body, but with sincerity and time, you will adapt and come to love every minute of it.


"[The trick to life isn't] just about living forever. The trick is still living with yourself forever."
#2058195 - 04/02/13 08:40 AM Re: Finally getting a teacher! [Re: johnny931]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,023
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Morodiene  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,023
Boynton Beach, FL
ElleC makes a good point: do not start with 30 minute lessons unless you really cannot afford more. You will need 45-60 minutes per week.

When you play for your teacher, don't think of it as a performance, but rather sharing what you've worked on with someone who is on your side and wants you to succeed and can help you get there. While you are playing, don't think about things outside the music itself - it's very easy to get distracted and start thinking, "Oh, I wonder if they're cringing at hearing me butcher this piece!" which then causes you not to focus on the task at hand. Play and let them deal with the results.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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#2058225 - 04/02/13 09:57 AM Re: Finally getting a teacher! [Re: Morodiene]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,327
malkin Offline
4000 Post Club Member
malkin  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,327
*sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted by Morodiene
... it's very easy to get distracted and start thinking, "Oh, I wonder if they're cringing at hearing me butcher this piece!" which then causes you not to focus on the task at hand. Play and let them deal with the results.


I used to have this pretty severely, because in fact I do cringe at hearing myself butcher every piece. But I quit worrying about it when I realized that listening to students play is pretty much what being a piano teacher is all about.

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.



Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#2058312 - 04/02/13 01:26 PM Re: Finally getting a teacher! [Re: malkin]  
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 60
KBS1607 Offline
Full Member
KBS1607  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 60
Illinois
Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by Morodiene
... it's very easy to get distracted and start thinking, "Oh, I wonder if they're cringing at hearing me butcher this piece!" which then causes you not to focus on the task at hand. Play and let them deal with the results.


I used to have this pretty severely, because in fact I do cringe at hearing myself butcher every piece. But I quit worrying about it when I realized that listening to students play is pretty much what being a piano teacher is all about.

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.



My word is 'painful' and my teacher always finds a positive way to not call it painful. But I LOVE when the studio is empty as I worry less.



Alfred Adult Level One graduated 2010
I've been taking lessons since 2005

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