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How do I tell my teacher I'm trying out new teachers? #2199837
12/18/13 07:49 PM
12/18/13 07:49 PM
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Raindrops Offline OP
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I'm an adult student. I've been with this teacher for over a year and half. I'm going to take one of the nationally organized exams (want to stay anonymous:-)), and that requires ear training which my teacher doesn't teach. Not that she's not capable of, she's not willing to give ear training from day one. I'm considering switching teachers for the below reasons:

(1) The exam is in 5 months and I need ear training NOW and I don't want to have another teacher to give me another weekly lessons just for ear training.
(2) Sometimes I feel I needed a little more after each piece is done because that's just entirely my own interpretation. I want my teacher to show me what's better. She doesn't like demonstrate. sometime I think it's because she doesn't want to influence me with her interpretation, she wants my interpretation be original, but...This problem can be solved I think if I talk to her and we explore together. But I feel maybe it's also nice to see what other teacher can give me? BTW, she's a very good teacher in every other way.
(3) Recently we had some mis-communications and this is the second time I encountered similar problem with her. I feel she's aloof and for as long as I study with her, doesn't matter for how long, she will never be my friend. Sometimes I think it might be my problem because I ask a lot questions during lessons. Some of them may sound offensive to her? Although she knows I know I will never outgrown her for the rest of my life. So basically the chemistry is not there. Like when she's introducing a music book to me and just randomly said "and this page is the composer's handwriting" and then I was surprised coz from BBC Documentary they say this composer's handwriting is very wild, so I questioned "really? I thought this composer's handwriting is very wild?" It was a question and I didn't know for sure. Still don't know for sure. And even if she's wrong it doesn't affect her qualification of teaching, but she took it offensively and the rest of the lesson she kept on protecting herself from me. Part of the reason she's deffensive is because another student (who's relatively new) came early and sat through the entire lesson. She wanted to protect her image in front of the other student. And I felt so uncomfortable with another student in my private lesson with my teacher.
(4) She teaches at my home which means I have to have the lesson on my own piano which I practice everyday and won't give me inspiration during lesson time.
(5) Another student came to my home study after me which is not convenient to me. And she doesn't have a home studio.

She's not a bad teacher at all. I improved a lot during my study with her. I still haven't decided if I should change a teacher, but I don't want to hide from her that I'm seeing potential future teachers and I might give her notice in the end, or not. How do I go about tell her this?


1915 Mason & Hamlin AA (Rebuilt)
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Re: How do I tell my teacher I'm trying out new teachers? [Re: Raindrops] #2199841
12/18/13 08:02 PM
12/18/13 08:02 PM
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Toronto, Ontario
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Peter K. Mose Online content
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This is going to end badly, I just know it. The simpler thing is to end lessons now, before Christmas, or whenever your current tuition term ends, and tell your teacher a nice lie, like saying you feel compelled to start learning the oboe in 2014 instead of the piano. Then once you have severed your ties, begin interviewing other teachers.

These potential new teachers would also feel uncomfortable meeting you knowing you have a present teacher, if you arrange to meet them now. I know I would.




Last edited by Peter K. Mose; 12/18/13 08:05 PM.
Re: How do I tell my teacher I'm trying out new teachers? [Re: Raindrops] #2199851
12/18/13 09:01 PM
12/18/13 09:01 PM
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musicpassion Offline
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Am I understanding correctly that she is teaching another student at your house? This would be very unusual.

I would suggest telling the teacher you are thankful for the musical growth you've experienced under her teaching but that you are going to stop lessons with her. I don't think II would explain any more than that. She should be teaching ear training, btw. It can be a real challenge to fit everything into the lesson time available, but to say she doesn't teach that at all?! Find a new teacher.


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Re: How do I tell my teacher I'm trying out new teachers? [Re: Raindrops] #2199865
12/18/13 09:36 PM
12/18/13 09:36 PM
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A rather odd arrangement? you the student are being taught on your piano in your home, and
another student in your home on your piano? ...your doing a big favor for the teachers benefit, investigate as many teachers as you want, then bid your current teacher adieu..
politely of course..

Re: How do I tell my teacher I'm trying out new teachers? [Re: Raindrops] #2199869
12/18/13 09:48 PM
12/18/13 09:48 PM
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Polyphonist Offline
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Originally Posted by Raindrops
Another student came to my home study after me.

That's very strange. Why did you let them make this arrangement?


Regards,

Polyphonist
Re: How do I tell my teacher I'm trying out new teachers? [Re: Polyphonist] #2199915
12/19/13 12:14 AM
12/19/13 12:14 AM
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Irvine, CA
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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by Raindrops
Another student came to my home study after me.

That's very strange. Why did you let them make this arrangement?


Yes, I have same question, why? Just curious, do you receive some discount from this teacher for him to use your house and your piano?

I predict this is going to end badly.

If you don't have another student come to your house for this teacher to teach, then everything is better to solve.

Now, a little bit too complicated......


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Re: How do I tell my teacher I'm trying out new teachers? [Re: Raindrops] #2199917
12/19/13 12:21 AM
12/19/13 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Raindrops
I feel she's aloof and for as long as I study with her, doesn't matter for how long, she will never be my friend.


It's not her job to become your friend, nor yours to make her like you. This seems like a big red flag to me.

Is this the same teacher you decided to leave just a few months ago, when you posted in May about your teacher not meeting your needs? Clearly nothing has changed, so it is unlikely to in the future.

If the status quo is not meeting your expectations, you have to decide whether to continue with it forever anyway.


gotta go practice
Re: How do I tell my teacher I'm trying out new teachers? [Re: Raindrops] #2199921
12/19/13 12:33 AM
12/19/13 12:33 AM
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San Jose, CA
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Raindrop, you seem to have a rainstorm of reasons, but it's not necessary to provide your teacher with ANY of them. 30 days' notice and a "Thank you," is good and sufficient. However, save all your reasons for your reference when you are shopping for your new piano teacher--- or the one after that.

If you feel you simply must have a stormy and emotional exit scene, you might be better off to simply pay the final 30, but not take the lessons. It is a small world, and these teachers talk--- they even have conventions! You can easily resign by sending a card in the mail.

It is not a piano teacher's business to also be your personal friend. Many ethical difficulties lie in that direction. If you turn on your television it's likely that you will hear about this; there is a certain element of the press--- Nancy Grace, etc--- that loves these stories.


Clef

Re: How do I tell my teacher I'm trying out new teachers? [Re: Raindrops] #2199960
12/19/13 03:13 AM
12/19/13 03:13 AM
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Raindrops Offline OP
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Thank you all for replying. To answer your questions, she didn't give me any discount, I accepted her giving lessons to another student at my place because I don't know how to say no to my teacher.

I don't think there will be a stormy exit scene, I just don't want her to feel too bad about it. She's my teacher and have taught me useful things. Even though we are not a good match, doesn't mean she's not good for other students. I just want to know which way is most acceptable to a teacher to take it when some students want to leave her. Want to show her that I still respect her even though I decided not to study with her. Plus, I haven't decided if I want to stop lessons with her yet. After I try other teachers if I still think she can give me better education, then I'll stick with her and simply tell myself to turn off every other request.


1915 Mason & Hamlin AA (Rebuilt)
Re: How do I tell my teacher I'm trying out new teachers? [Re: Raindrops] #2199988
12/19/13 05:12 AM
12/19/13 05:12 AM
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As is so common in this forum we have your side of the story, which may be accurate or may be the wildest exaggeration of the truth imaginable. smile



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Re: How do I tell my teacher I'm trying out new teachers? [Re: Gary D.] #2200048
12/19/13 09:13 AM
12/19/13 09:13 AM
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I had a problem with my teacher. I tried another one and decided the one I tried was too advanced for what I was learning so I went back to my own teacher and we got over the problem (my problem not hers). I did not tell her I was seeking out another teacher. Had I found one, then I would have told her but we have a good raport and what you have to realise is that over a period of time you get to feel comfortable with the teacher and then a new teacher comes and you have to start all over again.

Re: How do I tell my teacher I'm trying out new teachers? [Re: adultpianist] #2200072
12/19/13 10:31 AM
12/19/13 10:31 AM
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Virginia, USA
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TimR Offline
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I hope this isn't harsh. But this has a bit of the feel of the radio program my wife likes, Delilah. On long trips she keeps awake with talk radio and is a big fan of Delilah. I'm more of a public radio listener so we alternate.

Are you familiar with this format? Listeners call in with problems and D tells them what to do. Basically every interaction is the same: Caller is doing X behavior which they recognize as a problem, Delilah tells them not to do it, caller gushes thanks, cue the soothing music.

The OP seems to have trouble being assertive with her teacher and setting boundaries, being decisive and leaving, etc. (as noted, we have only one side of the story) Part of the advice is in essence to be more assertive and set boundaries - if the OP could do that she wouldn't need our help. Kind of a catch-22.


gotta go practice
Re: How do I tell my teacher I'm trying out new teachers? [Re: Raindrops] #2200118
12/19/13 12:20 PM
12/19/13 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Raindrops
Thank you all for replying. To answer your questions, she didn't give me any discount, I accepted her giving lessons to another student at my place because I don't know how to say no to my teacher.


Have you talked to your insurance agent about this?


Semipro Tech
Re: How do I tell my teacher I'm trying out new teachers? [Re: Raindrops] #2200228
12/19/13 03:49 PM
12/19/13 03:49 PM
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How do I tell my teacher I'm trying out new teachers?

Why are you trying out new teachers? Can't you just call several and ask:

1. I am interested in ear training, I would like to take ____exam on ____date. Would you be willing to teach for this exam?

2. In order to feel secure I need a lot of input in how I play a piece. Do you discuss differences students can make in order to sound different in a lesson? Do you pass a song or can you ask me how I feel about passing a song first.

(3) Do not expect a teacher to ever be your friend. It's a profession - you don't expect your dentist to be your friend. If friendship develops, it has to be natural.

(4) Ask the prospective teacher: Where do you teach your lessons? Studio? Your home? Teacher's home? Determine location feasibility.

If all the answers are satisfactory, then give your teacher notice and try the new teacher.

OR be upfront with your current teacher and say:

1. I would like to have 10 minutes of each lesson on ear training, I want to take x exam on x date, are you willing to teach me? If not, ask for a referral.

2. Miss X, can you help me with____ before we move on to another piece.

3. Miss X, I no longer want to have other students in my home. Please arrange for them to take lessons in their homes.

I think a lot of the issue is you might have a different communication style from your teacher. You may need to work on being more direct or you will find yourself in the same situation with a new teacher.




Re: How do I tell my teacher I'm trying out new teachers? [Re: BDB] #2200286
12/19/13 05:26 PM
12/19/13 05:26 PM
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My current place is a rental and I didn't pay insurance. I already told my teacher that I wish her to arrange the other student's lesson somewhere else.


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Re: How do I tell my teacher I'm trying out new teachers? [Re: MaggieGirl] #2200293
12/19/13 05:37 PM
12/19/13 05:37 PM
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Raindrops Offline OP
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Yes MaggieGirl, I already got all the answers from potential teachers for what you listed below. I don't know how you define "friend", maybe I used the wrong word. In my past experience I had a tearful teacher who had to leave all her students because of her moving to a different state. I had great rapport with her and always enjoyed her lessons.

About my current teacher (1) I already asked her a second time a few months ago if she would teach ear, she simply referred her past students for teaching me ear. (2) I mentioned in my original post that this is something we can work on. (3) yes I've already told her.

The reason I'm hesitating is because it took me long time to find a good teacher. As an amateur, I can't decide the level of the teacher up front that easily. It takes some time to get to know the teacher and see if I'm happy with what I'm learning from her. With my current teacher, the problem is in things other than her teaching, except that she doesn't teach ear.


1915 Mason & Hamlin AA (Rebuilt)
Re: How do I tell my teacher I'm trying out new teachers? [Re: Raindrops] #2200308
12/19/13 05:54 PM
12/19/13 05:54 PM
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Toronto, Ontario
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Raindrops, clearly you are ambivalent about moving to another teacher, since there is plenty that is good about your present teacher and your relationship with her. You are also correct that there is a long getting-acquainted-and-comfortable period with any new teacher, which is yet another reason to maintain what you have established.

I am not sure why you are so against the idea of simply hiring someone else to tutor you in ear training and the rudiments of music. If it's a question of money, you could do this with a friend or spouse for free. It's not difficult stuff, just tedious.

Re: How do I tell my teacher I'm trying out new teachers? [Re: Raindrops] #2200340
12/19/13 06:56 PM
12/19/13 06:56 PM
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Olympia, Washington, USA
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Originally Posted by Raindrops
My current place is a rental and I didn't pay insurance. I already told my teacher that I wish her to arrange the other student's lesson somewhere else.

You miss the point. You are liable for what happens on your property, including rental property, including someone else doing business with your consent (which you've given). It's somewhat a grey area, but you should probably carry $1,000,000 in personal liability and the same in commercial liability insurance. Deduct that premium from your lesson fee.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
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Re: How do I tell my teacher I'm trying out new teachers? [Re: Raindrops] #2200364
12/19/13 07:55 PM
12/19/13 07:55 PM
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Am I wrong in thinking that this arrangement is ad hoc and not professional?

Re: How do I tell my teacher I'm trying out new teachers? [Re: keystring] #2200450
12/19/13 10:41 PM
12/19/13 10:41 PM
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Olympia, Washington, USA
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Originally Posted by keystring
Am I wrong in thinking that this arrangement is ad hoc and not professional?

In my book, it's most unprofessional. It breeches so many boundaries . . . . . What can one say? Utter astonishment.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
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