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#2114202 - 07/07/13 01:00 PM Re: Student who won't drop : ( [Re: chasingrainbows]
Joyce_dup1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/02
Posts: 194
Loc: Chicago
Oh my goodness, yes. Most of my students are what we call recreational students. That is, they will most likely never aspire to competitions, piano majors, or concert pianists. They are mostly over-scheduled so they miss many lessons, and come in often saying that they didn't really get to practice. So as their "piano coach", I meet them where they are. I encourage students continually to create routines for their practice. To learn how to practice effectively. To try for progress at each practice session, no matter how simple. I generally allow 3 weeks maximum for a single piece of music (unless they are advanced students). I figure at the end of 3 weeks either they don't like it and won't play it, it is too difficult and they need to review, or it has just gotten stale and isn't going any place. So I try to spark interest to presenting new pieces and sometimes a new approach. Progress is slow, and frustrating from a teaching standpoint. But I earn my living in this way. I study, research, and do everything I can to create interest and to encourage the student to work hard and try for improvement. So to answer your questions, there are many ways to teach. Not everyone is cut out for challenging competition style programs. Does this answer your questions? What would you most like to see in your lessons?

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#2114234 - 07/07/13 02:33 PM Re: Student who won't drop : ( [Re: chasingrainbows]
ROMagister Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 518
Loc: Bucuresti, Romania
I didn't know as a child, at the time of stopping: how to express it, and what to request better, and neither did my parents. So any feedback would have been ineffective.

But now I would say I did not just WANT to be frustrated, to come out as rude or indisciplined... only to say that classical notation seemed a historical layering of kludges, with serious inconsistencies and ergonomic difficulties. Milliseconds of processing delays just add... and at some level rhythm suffers and the whole process stutters and stops. Real teaching is making the difficult easy. Or if that doesn't fall from the sky, making do with the existing-easy to the slightly more advanced.

And another thing... I would have liked the teacher not to assume too much from the early progress, or later frustrations, and not just compare the balance of input > output to the statistical mass of students with other skills, development options and motivations (like 13-year-old young ladies eager to show at recitals). To understand internal costs - mine, not hers in her youth, or other students'. Not to consider HER failure if I don't reach, say, Conservatory level [which was pretty hard and competitive at the time]. But enjoy any progress.

This may sound rude, but I read it in an Asperger's list, from a wise old lady: "If you ASSUME too much with me, You'll make an ASS of U and ME".

An even wiser guy sometime said, about rigid people in power:
"Forgive them, for they don't know what they're doing".

#2114331 - 07/07/13 06:19 PM Re: Student who won't drop : ( [Re: chasingrainbows]
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1568
Loc: NJ
Barb, the update is this: I spoke to mom again about his total lack of practice (of just one piece a week, that he selected), not bringing in his assignment book, as well as my feeling that he may be better suited with another teacher who taught pieces by ear. Mom said they were taking a break for the summer, so I finished the last lesson with more theory work (scales, circle of 5ths, for example).

ROMagister, I appreciate your input. Of course, I would love to have more students that are committed to learning music the "traditional" way (scales, exercises, classical music primarily. competitions), however, those students generally are not the type to sign up in a music store. At the very least, I hope that my students will enjoy lessons with me and at the very least, work on 2 or 3 pieces a week (many which they select) and do their best. I ask that they show some interest and focus during lessons, and ask questions when they are confused. I provide positive feedback along with suggestions for improvement. I include theory, composition, duets, and encourage creativity. But for students who obviously are just looking at their music from lesson to lesson and doing no practice in between, I find them to be a waste of my time. There are too many students waiting to sign up who will at least put in some practice time to work on music they like.
Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member

#2114336 - 07/07/13 06:57 PM Re: Student who won't drop : ( [Re: Barb860]
adultpianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 540
if you watch the Helene Grimau docuentary, she is a classical professional pianist, but when she was going to school she refused to do what her piano teacher wanted and wanted to do her own thing. Her piano teacher got rid of her for a while and said if you cannot do as you are asked and play what you should I do not want to see you here again.

Helene thus left for a while,did her own thing and returned ready to do what the school wanted. You see, she did her own thing, got it out of her system and then was ready to follow the ciriulum of the piano school.

#2114772 - 07/08/13 04:48 PM Re: Student who won't drop : ( [Re: chasingrainbows]
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1568
Loc: NJ
I'm not even asking this student to follow my curiculum. I am asking him what interests him musically, and then follow through accordingly -- getting the music he wants to learn. If he can't even work on pieces he WANTS to learn, he is wasting my time and his parents' money.
Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member

#2114850 - 07/08/13 07:14 PM Re: Student who won't drop : ( [Re: chasingrainbows]
adultpianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 540
ok but there has to be some sort of guideline. Ifa my teacher asked me what sort of music I liked, it would be pointless, because she is a classical piano teacher and when I enrolled with her I wanted to study classical piano. I once asked her if she could play jazz and she said no. She said if I wanted to learn jazz piano I would have to find myself a jazz piano teacher. As it happens although I like listening to jazz, I have never wanted to play jazz or blues for that matter but if i wanted to,there are teahers at the school I go to who teach that style of piano.

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