Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.7 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!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Who's Online Now
104 registered members (astrotoy, anotherscott, accordeur, 36251, AndrewJCW, 26 invisible), 1,733 guests, and 6 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 2 of 2 1 2
Re: When do you "Fire" a student? [Re: John v.d.Brook] #2389656
02/22/15 05:11 PM
02/22/15 05:11 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 17,338
Canada
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
keystring  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 17,338
Canada
John, thank you for your reply.
Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
My focus and comment was on this very last sentence.

It is the usual misunderstanding. smile I wrote in the context of the idea of kicking out a student solely on the basis of not attending those particular formal recitals.
Quote
I believe that if used properly, recitals can be a very important foundation element in student's learning and progress at the piano. I encourage teachers to explore this and use it accordingly.

I can see what you are saying, in everything that you have written.
Quote
Once a year, you will have a chance to express yourself in front of a crowd whom you do not know; in your 3 minutes, everything must be perfect - no mistakes are acceptable. Talk about fear inducing environments.

Yup! Well, even if the "no mistakes are acceptable" is absent, if you do something only once a year, first off you are in a strange situation. You don't learn to get used to it so the situation itself will cause mistakes even for the most careful and well-prepared student. And it becomes so ultra-important that if you slip up, it will haunt you for an entire year - thus setting up even greater anxiety.

I remember that you offer your students frequent opportunities to play. Thus it becomes a normal and familiar experience.
Quote
Unfortunately, too many teachers do not use recitals as learning venues for their students, but rather as a show case. Sad.

Or a means of self-promotion. If the goal is wrong, the teaching will be wrong. I think that is the kind of thing that leads to limiting lessons to very few pieces so that the students' playing as a group will be as perfect as possible, etc.
Quote
Rather, I was and am referring to the intense focus which a student is capable of and which occurs when playing in front of others. That which was dismissed or "I'll correct it next time" suddenly is now of great import.

I had not thought of an "I'll correct it next time" attitude. I guess you're saying that a student who won't be bothered to correct his work will have a particular motivation for doing so. Gotcha.

My thoughts on recitals is that they should never be the main goal of lessons. The lessons should be for getting the skills. Those skills don't just include technique or understanding music as the twins for good interpretation / sounding good. You also have to have an approach of practising, working at home. If these things become the focus, then the recital itself should come off much better I would think.

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: When do you "Fire" a student? [Re: BrianDX] #2389708
02/22/15 07:22 PM
02/22/15 07:22 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member
John v.d.Brook  Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted by BrianDX
Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
Have you ever heard the expression, "I played it better at home?" Teachers hear this all the time and inwardly groan. No, you didn't play it better at home, you just weren't listening! Playing in recitals focus your attention like nothing else will.

I have to comment here. Last week before my lesson I was putting the finishing touches on a piece I have been playing for several weeks, and have performed it twice in front of my teacher.

I know every note in the piece, every single one. I ran through it 5 times, no mistakes. The first three times I played it at my lesson I made the same mistake three times in a row on the third measure.

I took a break from the piece, went on to other things, and then came back to it. This time I nailed it, probably played it better than at home several hours before. My teacher, who usually has some suggestions about every piece I play, said it was "perfect".

So in this case, I actually did play it better at home, for real. The good news my teacher believed me, gave me another chance, and it was a great experience.

Sorry, I know I'm OT here.

Every note perfect? What about the dozens of other elements that make up music? Phrasing, balance, touch and tone, tempo etc. etc.? Does your teacher work with you on these? Does he/she play the piece for you? Does your performance and his/hers sound identical? If not, why not?

Brian, let me tell you what happened at yesterday's recital. A dear student of mine gave a note perfect performance, but unfortunately, the Steinway B she was playing on has a booming low midrange (the two octaves below middle C), and as a result, a performer has to quickly modify the intensity of their left hand to match the sound of the higher notes being played by the right hand. This she failed to do, so instead of a beautiful sonatina, we got to listen to 3 minutes of Alberti bass. Argh. Long story short, her playing was far from perfect even though all other parameters were quite well done.

Rather than telling a student that a performance was perfect, I will tell them that "It was a strong performance" or "An excellent interpretation" or "Nicely done" or other word choices which suggest an element of excellence while still allowing for continued improvement. IMO, teachers who tell students their performance was perfect are doing them a grave, grave disservice.


"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: When do you "Fire" a student? [Re: keystring] #2389713
02/22/15 07:31 PM
02/22/15 07:31 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member
John v.d.Brook  Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted by keystring
I remember that you offer your students frequent opportunities to play. Thus it becomes a normal and familiar experience.

Yup. Here's what I offer my students:

In studio performance opportunity playing for other students: 8/yr

Community recitals: 4/yr (3 formal, 1 in a gig type setting)

Piano parties, made up of studio families: 4/yr

Formal studio recital: 1/yr

Piano Guild Auditions: 1/yr

I also encourage advanced students to schedule a recital of some kind where they are the featured performer. They can do this with friends or completely solo. Younger students are encouraged to give "house recitals" for friends and families.


This is almost 2 performances per month during the school year.


"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: When do you "Fire" a student? [Re: pianoheart] #2389759
02/22/15 10:35 PM
02/22/15 10:35 PM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 167
FLORIDA
P
pavane1 Offline
Full Member
pavane1  Offline
Full Member
P

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 167
FLORIDA
No I don't really dismiss students but what I do is put them on what I call the "last chance program". If I continue having a problem with lack of practicing I assign them a piece and then tell the student or parent to contact me and set up a lesson when the piece is learned and ready for polishing. I almost never hear from them again and this takes care of the problem in a comfortable manner.

Doreen Hall www.palomapiano.com


Doreen Hall
www.palomapiano.com
Re: When do you "Fire" a student? [Re: John v.d.Brook] #2389859
02/23/15 07:28 AM
02/23/15 07:28 AM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 2,182
First Town, First State
BrianDX Offline
2000 Post Club Member
BrianDX  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 2,182
First Town, First State
Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook

Every note perfect? What about the dozens of other elements that make up music? Phrasing, balance, touch and tone, tempo etc. etc.? Does your teacher work with you on these? Does he/she play the piece for you? Does your performance and his/hers sound identical? If not, why not?

Brian, let me tell you what happened at yesterday's recital. A dear student of mine gave a note perfect performance, but unfortunately, the Steinway B she was playing on has a booming low midrange (the two octaves below middle C), and as a result, a performer has to quickly modify the intensity of their left hand to match the sound of the higher notes being played by the right hand. This she failed to do, so instead of a beautiful sonatina, we got to listen to 3 minutes of Alberti bass. Argh. Long story short, her playing was far from perfect even though all other parameters were quite well done.

Rather than telling a student that a performance was perfect, I will tell them that "It was a strong performance" or "An excellent interpretation" or "Nicely done" or other word choices which suggest an element of excellence while still allowing for continued improvement. IMO, teachers who tell students their performance was perfect are doing them a grave, grave disservice.

Thanks for your comments John. I should have put quotes around "perfect", as after 17 months of lessons and hundreds of hours of practice I know all too well about the myriad of things that go into playing each measure, well beyond hitting the correct notes.

My main point of my comments was that there are in fact times (too many for my linking) where I really did play hat better at home.


Yamaha C2X | Yamaha M500-F
Groucho Marx: "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
Curriculum: Faber Developing Artist (Book 3)
Current: German Dance in D Major (Haydn) (OF); Melody (Schumann) (OF)
Re: When do you "Fire" a student? [Re: pianoheart] #2390827
02/25/15 01:47 PM
02/25/15 01:47 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 272
USA
missbelle Offline
Full Member
missbelle  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 272
USA
I teach through a private school, and to quote the old tv show Monk, "it's a blessing, and a curse."

You see, I do not have to do any billing or scheduling, I get paid for my time in being there whether or not a student arrives, no recital hall fees, free printing, etc...
Yay!

But, I also get zero say in what students I get.

Most of my students do practice, and lesson time zooms by! But there are a couple that...no matter what, they do not want to be there, and I have tried pulling new ideas out of my hat, but it is painful how much one boy would rather be elsewhere.

Mom seems clueless. "Grandma gave us a piano and we feel that someone should learn to play it!" So they signed up their 3rd grade son that hates reading and school, loves sports, and drags himself in weekly for his "torture session."

I have eschewed traditional teaching methods and we just draw on the board, learn by rote, talk, tried to get him to listen to music and march or clap (ha-- nope!) and give him colored pencils and give him the answers for note values.

Mom just says they do not have time to practice, but she knows I am a good teacher and will do well with her son.

Well, what is she doing?

I am desperately working on not having him resent lessons.

The "drop-add" period had ended, and full semester payment was set last week, so I am paid, yet stuck, with this boy until May.

For my private studio lessons, most of parents stay unobtrusively during the lesson, since I teach to home schoolers, and the parents are used to being involved. I enjoy those lessons, and it is a team effort.

School- well, I will drag out something he ca play for recital, and hopefully the boy can convince mom not to continue in the fall.

I do like the boy.
I feel his pain.
I try to work with him.

But, if not for the school, I would fire him, and he would thank me!


Learning as I teach.
Re: When do you "Fire" a student? [Re: pavane1] #2393579
03/04/15 03:51 AM
03/04/15 03:51 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 21
California
P
pianoheart Offline OP
Full Member
pianoheart  Offline OP
Full Member
P

Joined: May 2013
Posts: 21
California

Originally Posted by pavanne1
No I don't really dismiss students but what I do is put them on what I call the "last chance program". If I continue having a problem with lack of practicing I assign them a piece and then tell the student or parent to contact me and set up a lesson when the piece is learned and ready for polishing. I almost never hear from them again and this takes care of the problem in a comfortable manner.

Doreen Hall www.palomapiano.com


This is a great idea!

Last edited by pianoheart; 03/04/15 03:52 AM.
Re: When do you "Fire" a student? [Re: pavane1] #2393661
03/04/15 09:56 AM
03/04/15 09:56 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 367
Alabama
A
anamnesis Offline
Full Member
anamnesis  Offline
Full Member
A

Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 367
Alabama
Originally Posted by pavanne1
No I don't really dismiss students but what I do is put them on what I call the "last chance program". If I continue having a problem with lack of practicing I assign them a piece and then tell the student or parent to contact me and set up a lesson when the piece is learned and ready for polishing. I almost never hear from them again and this takes care of the problem in a comfortable manner.

Doreen Hall www.palomapiano.com


That's a great idea, but I assume at the very least you are assigning a piece you know the students would want to be able to play and is within their range? Giving something that they would have no interest or is beyond their known capabilities would seem to be an automatic setup for failure. With those conditions, this seems like an excellent idea.

Re: When do you "Fire" a student? [Re: pavane1] #2393781
03/04/15 02:11 PM
03/04/15 02:11 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 17,338
Canada
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
keystring  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 17,338
Canada
Originally Posted by pavanne1
No I don't really dismiss students but what I do is put them on what I call the "last chance program". If I continue having a problem with lack of practicing I assign them a piece and then tell the student or parent to contact me and set up a lesson when the piece is learned and ready for polishing. I almost never hear from them again and this takes care of the problem in a comfortable manner.

Doreen Hall www.palomapiano.com

Doreen, one can assume you are doing what I'm about to ask, but it may be worth stating in a broad forum such as this. Do you discuss the specific behaviour that you want, that they are not doing? If they are not practicing, is this discussed? I am also thinking of knowing how to practice, and possible obstacles to practice such as overscheduled activities or parents not setting up a time and quiet space, which need to be discussed.

If a student is being sent home to learn a piece entirely on his own, then I assume that you have already taught the student how to approach a piece on his own. Or that you have given instructions before sending the student home with this task. The student may stay true to form and ignore those instructions like all others, but at least those instructions exist.

I would hate anyone to try this idea by simply grabbing some piece, say "Here, do this on your own and come back when it's ready." with nothing more.

If the student is being sent home and told not to come back until the piece has been learned, because he hasn't been practising, then I think he should be told that this is the reason. He also needs to know that this is a chance for him to change his behaviour. Otherwise, what is the point.

My concern is that in those cases where maybe a student is lost and doesn't know how to practice for whatever reason, and is not doing so because of that - that this assignment is basically impossible. Not for your students, but some other person who teaches, who may try this for the wrong reason.

Re: When do you "Fire" a student? [Re: pianoheart] #2394137
03/05/15 09:05 AM
03/05/15 09:05 AM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 167
FLORIDA
P
pavane1 Offline
Full Member
pavane1  Offline
Full Member
P

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 167
FLORIDA
I give them a piece that is well within their range of capability.For example; I had a student that was put on the last chance program recently. She was studying Burgmuller's Tarantella, getting nowhere with it. So I assigned the Arabesque (much easier as all of you know). I played it and got her started with it, made sure she practically knew it when she left my studio just like I would any other piece.Told her and mom to call me when she is ready for a lesson. She did not.
I had this student for a while and I like the her.

The thing is I really think some people want to quit but for some reason or other they can't let go, Honestly, this gives them an out.

I always make sure that they understand that we are still friends. and that I like them.
This works out well, I have to live in my town and run into my former students. Plus I believe we are in the business of building people up, not tearing down. For me it's not just about the 88 keys it's about people's lives. I use a sewing analogy I'll put it on my blog as not to take up too much space here.

Doreen Hall www.palomapiano.com



Doreen Hall
www.palomapiano.com
Re: When do you "Fire" a student? [Re: pianoheart] #2394165
03/05/15 10:25 AM
03/05/15 10:25 AM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 50
North Carolina
Angela62213 Offline
Full Member
Angela62213  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 50
North Carolina
I think this depends a lot on what your focus as a teacher is. I am just starting out, so obviously getting some sort of a reputation is pretty near the top of my list. But at the very very top is teaching kids to love music and to gain a skill that will help them for life. I know very well that I am dealing with over scheduled kids, and that some are more dedicated than others. I do have higher expectations for some students than others (I really prefer those students) However, unless there was a serious problem such as the students attitude, a regular refusal to do any work whatsoever, or a problem with payment I would not dismiss a student. I have only had to do this once, but me and the parent were in agreement that the student was not ready for lessons.


"Prayer is when you talk to God, Meditation is when you are listening, Playing the piano allows you to do both at the same time"
Re: When do you "Fire" a student? [Re: pianoheart] #2394300
03/05/15 03:13 PM
03/05/15 03:13 PM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 167
FLORIDA
P
pavane1 Offline
Full Member
pavane1  Offline
Full Member
P

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 167
FLORIDA
When I was starting out I got this advice from one of my teacher trainers. She said be careful to educate potential families about what is involved in piano study and select students who seem to be serious.
I have stuck to this and I have found that good students beget more good students. If your students play well people will hear them and want to study with you. Plus it makes the job more fun if the students come in prepared.

Doreen Hall www.palomapiano.com


Doreen Hall
www.palomapiano.com
Page 2 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Bechstein
Shop our Store for Music Lovers!
PianoSupplies.com is Piano World's Online Store
Please visit our store today.
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Another Pianobuddies playdate pics
by Rickster. 11/18/19 09:51 PM
Piano size & loudness
by theoo. 11/18/19 09:46 PM
What upright piano should I buy?
by OscoBosco. 11/18/19 09:35 PM
What's Hot!!
Our August Newsletter is Out!
------------------
Mason & Hamlin Piano Factory Tour!

-------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics195,174
Posts2,892,430
Members95,017
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


 
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 - 2019 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.1