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Quit? #2512795
02/20/16 08:44 AM
02/20/16 08:44 AM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 127
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Piano Valentine Offline OP
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Dear my piano forum friends,

I really wish to hear your advice.

I'm an adult beginner and now I'm already a mature learner. Though my road of taking lessons was not a smooth one, I've already taken lessons for 21 years. So, no matter what, I'm not talented at all, but I think you can understand how much I love this instrument by merely looking at the duration of 21 years.

I came across many teachers. In my area, when you take lessons in a piano shop, it's very likely that the shop will assign different teachers to you sometimes.

To cut the long story short, I wish to hear your advice about my present situation.

I've studied with my present teacher for four years (private lessons). His teaching skills are good, however, over the years I've been troubled by his 15-minute habit and cancellation of lessons by very short notice. Recently, I really don't want to tolerate again, but the problem is that it's difficult to find a good teacher here.

My teacher changed my lesson time very often (usually more than twice each month). Sometimes he told me by text message to start my lesson 10 or 15 minutes (or one to two hours)earlier or later, sometimes he cancelled my lessons two hours or several hours before my lesson time by text message. About cancellation, the reasons were "Sorry I'm sick today, sorry I need to have birthday dinner with my mom tonight, sorry I need to have birthday dinner with my dad tonight/ tomorrow, sorry I need to attend a gathering tonight, sorry I need to attend a meeting tonight..."

I expressed my view that it would be much better if he could give me a longer notice, however, the situation remained more or less the same.

My lessons should be one hour long, but on more than 10 occasions he said at the 45th minute of my lesson that he couldn't make it a full hour because of something urgent and he said he would give me back the 15 minutes next time. However, he never did.

The same thing happened again and finally I told him that he had not yet given back those 15 minutes on several occasions. He said "sorry for my absent mind". Finally he just make up the 15 minutes once.

Several months ago, at the 50th minute of my lesson he said the call of nature called him urgently and he could not give me a full hour. So I left at once as I guessed diarhhea would cause much embarrassment.

Again, regrettably, I couldn't get back the 10 minutes.

What happened last week really challenged my level of tolerance. Three weeks ago at the 45th minute of my lesson he said he had to dine with his family and therefore he couldn't finish the full hour. Again, he said he would make up the 15 minutes next lesson. Once again, he cancelled that next lesson at a short notice. That's not the key point. Here it is:

One day before another next lesson I sent him a text message and asked him if I could resume my lesson as usual at 7:00 p.m. and have the previous 15 minutes back so that the coming lesson time would be 75 minutes long. He replied "Yes".

God knows at 6:55 p.m. the next day when I was near his studio he texted me saying that he was somewhere and would be late for 10 - 15 minutes.

I thought my lesson time would still be 75 minutes long though he was late. God knows he only gave me 55 minutes and said he could not give me back the 15 minutes this time, and as usual he said he would give me back the 15 minutes next time.

That's enough!!!!!!!

It's hard to find a good teacher in my area. A lot of piano teachers here just speak (instead of play) when they teach. Even if they play, it's rare. This 15-minute teacher (let me call him Mr. 15 Minutes) demonstrates to me how to play every lesson and I could really get something in the past four years. However, I really don't want to put up with all these 15 minutes.

Could my piano friends here tell me what should I do?

Quit?

Thank you very much for reading this lengthy message. I look forward to hearing from you.

Help !!!

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Re: Quit? [Re: Piano Valentine] #2512825
02/20/16 09:58 AM
02/20/16 09:58 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,359
Upstate New York, USA
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newbert Offline
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Upstate New York, USA
The obvious question is - how/when do you pay for the lesson?

TBH, based upon his REPEATED pattern of behavior, I would only pay one lesson at a time and only at the end of the lesson. If he cuts you short by 15 minutes for what should be a 1 hour lesson, I'd pay him only 75%. IOW, I'd pay only for the time that he gives me.

That way nobody "owes" anyone anything.

If he doesn't agree to this (or change his behavior), I'd get a new teacher.

Just my opinion.


Bert
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Re: Quit? [Re: Piano Valentine] #2512828
02/20/16 10:00 AM
02/20/16 10:00 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 211
Phoenix
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You could fight fire with fire.


"Motivation is simple, you eliminate anyone who isn't motivated." - Lou Holtz.
Re: Quit? [Re: Piano Valentine] #2512836
02/20/16 10:25 AM
02/20/16 10:25 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,478
Twin Cities
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TonyB Offline
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Twin Cities
To me, it is fairly straightforward. If you had an employee who did as you describe, as consistently as you describe, would you fire him or her? You hire a piano teacher, which makes him or her your employee for the duration of the lesson.

After 21 years of taking lessons, wouldn't you be far enough along to be able to go without a teacher, at least for long enough to find another even if that takes time. That is a long time, and certainly long enough to become VERY proficient at playing piano, especially considering how long many concert-level players have been taking lessons before they became at least noticeably decent.

Rather than putting the blame for any lack of progress over this period of time squarely on you, perhaps it is time to consider that, just maybe, the teachers you have had over this 21 years may be at least a factor. 21 years at anything is a very long time to go without achieving at least satisfying results (based on your conclusion that you are "not talented at all". I could see you being to blame if you have not been practicing between lessons, but otherwise, if you have been following your teachers' directions and practicing appropriately, then the problem is not you.

At below concert level, I think that the overall impact of "talent" is way overblown. Anybody with average physical coordination and full use of both hands and all 10 fingers can learn to play piano at least well enough to entertain him or herself and friends/family, given appropriate instruction and reasonable levels of desire to accomplish this, and should be able to do so in FAR less than 21 years.

Tony


Re: Quit? [Re: Piano Valentine] #2512847
02/20/16 11:05 AM
02/20/16 11:05 AM
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 2,258
Germany
JoBert Offline
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Germany
If I were in your position, I would indeed cancel my lessons with this teacher. After 21 years you should be able to proceed on your own, at least for the time it takes to find a new teacher - even if that should take a bit longer.

You write that it is difficult to find a good teacher in your area. It seems that your current teacher is indeed one of the not-good ones. Because part of being a good teacher is also to be professional about agreements and dates/times. To be honest, this teacher is ripping you off. From your description, it seems that each month you pay for 4 lessons, but you can count yourself lucky if you get even 3 1/2.

Re: Quit? [Re: Piano Valentine] #2512860
02/20/16 11:32 AM
02/20/16 11:32 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 1,325
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Your teacher is a thief.


Ralph

Kawai VPC1
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Pianist since April, 2015
Re: Quit? [Re: Piano Valentine] #2513106
02/21/16 01:44 AM
02/21/16 01:44 AM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 127
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Piano Valentine Offline OP
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Dear my piano friends,

Thank you very much for spending your time writing to me. I've copied my reply I left in the main forum page here:

---------------------------------------------------------

Dear my piano friends,

Thank you soooo very very much for all your advice. It's so kind and generous of you to give me so much practical and honest advice. Thank you very much for your humorous and true remarks. My BIG THANKS for all of you from the bottom of my heart.

Last night I went to sleep with frustration and worries. Today I woke up and felt a bit better. I turned on my computer and so many sincere replies from all of you gave me a big big surprise.

First of all, I wish to let you know I've already made up my mind - I'm going to quit fast.

Now let me tell you my history of piano learning.

I'm now in my late 40s. I fell in love with this amazing instrument at the first sight when I was a kindergarten kid. In my generation only those from wealthy families could take piano lessons and naturally I was not qualified.

I started my first piano lesson right after my graduation in my early 20s. Initially I didn't have a piano. I rented a practice room on an hourly basis at a piano shop near my home. Initially I didn't know if I should buy one because my home was small and many people around me were saying that adult piano learners couldn't get to anywhere as it was too late to learn (however, when I look back, actually all those who said so had never taken any piano or music instrument lessons).

I first took piano lessons at the piano shop that I rented a practice room. I remember I came across several teachers there. It's the easiest time in the first six months. The homework was easy to me. The joy of the first taste of playing the piano with both hands simultaneous is still so fresh and so deep on my mind. And then the homework was still so easy to me. I enjoyed learning and playing Minuet No. 1 in the First Lessons in Bach Book One (So ~ Do Re Me Fa So ~ Do~ Do.......) Everything went smoothly. And then my aunt introduced a good teacher to me. I was still a beginner but I made much progress. I always remember this nice teacher and it was really my big luck. Her memory was like a computer. She sometimes asked me what piano music I liked. I sang the melodies and she could play some sections to me (e.g. Chopin nocturnes). I took lessons in her apartment. She didn't live there. It was just for giving piano lessons. Her antique Yamaha grand piano (in brown) was in the middle of the living room and each bedroom got one upright piano. There were a total of four pianos in her apartment. When I arrived a few minutes earlier or the student before my lesson time was still there when time's up, she sent me to one of the upright piano so that I could practise for a few minutes.

At that time I misunderstood that I would be able to play a lot of Chopin and Beethoven's Sonata Op.111 one day in my life. After about a year of happy lessons there, bad news. My wonderful teacher would migrate to Canada.

Aha, forgot to tell you. I live in Hong Kong.

I felt so upset. I expected that I would continue to come across teachers who seldom demonstrated anything before me. God knows... it was really the case afterwards.

Here in my area, as far as I experienced, most piano teachers didn't even demonstrate a few lines. When they demonstrated, usually they only played the right hand or the left hand parts, but not both hands, let alone an entire piece. When I could see my piano teachers play, it was just limited to those very elementary songs.

I started to take lessons in 1990 and intended to stop forever in 2007. Between 1990 and 2007 (17 years) I paused two times (every time it lasted for about two years) because my work was too busy. For a very long time I was so frustrated because I didn't even know what I was playing. Anyway, I went back to take lessons when my time allowed. In 2005 my teacher started to teach me ABRSM Grade 7 pieces. Then I took Grade 7 exam in 2007. In one and a half years, every lesson, that teacher only taught me the exam things. So boring. I found it hard plus boring. Sadly, it was like a mess. I failed in the exam.

I started to consider seriously if I should never take lessons again. I said to myself I didn't know why I was so stupid. After a total of 13 years of lessons, it turned out that Grade 7... I couldn't make it!

I thought my abilty couldn't allow me to get anything beyond that. I asked myself, "Adult beginners really can't get anywhere? I was just day dreaming...?"

Before I could have my first piano lesson, I had my own ways to enjoy piano music. I had no money to buy cassette tapes when I was small but I had a radio and I could see my music teachers play the piano in my school days. And then when I had a job as an adult I had my CD player and CDs. So I listened to a lot of piano music no matter when I was in school or after I got a full-time job.

In 2007 I decided not to take lessons again after I got the Grade 7 result slip, but my nice colleague felt sad about my decision. She said, "Please don't! You love this instrument so much. Please don't give up! The piano teacher of my son is very good. He teaches at the keyboard faculty of a university here. Let me consult him on your behalf first. Please wait ..."

The teacher of his son wanted to have a word with me. Then we talked over the phone for half an hour. He said I should continue to take lessons as long as I still loved the piano. He told me not to be defeated by just an exam. He said that long long ago there was no piano exam in our world at all. He asked me, "Will you still love the piano if there is no piano exam now?"

Then he would like me to see me play before giving me any further comments. I went to his home (that's where he gave private lessons). I played and watched him play. We discussed together and it lasted for one hour. He didn't charge me anything for that hour even though I offered. He said I should continue. He told me to think about it. He said I was the only one who knew if I should continue or not. Finally I studied with this teacher for four years.

He taught me a lot. I felt like I was reborn. I went forward fast and tremendously. When I looked back, it turned out that I had wasted more than a decade.


At a later stage he elected to leave this profession and set up his own company. He started to do business and it's not related to music. Then he transferred me to my present teacher. My present teacher was his former student.

So here I am.

Let me give you an idea what I can/ could play. These are examples of some of my favorite songs:

~ Bach WTC BWV853 prelude and fugue
~ Bach Litte Fugues and Preludes BWV935
~ Brahms Intermezzo Op. 116 No. 4
~ Liszt Love Dreams No. 3 (but except Bar 25)
~ Chopin Prelude No. 15
~ Chopin Nocturne Op. 9 No. 1
~ Rachmaninoff C sharp minor


I'll continue to love my piano music. I do know the love will never be changed.

It's a good idea, this time I had better give myself a break, continue to practise and polish without a teacher. I know nothing about online learning, but I will give myself a chance by looking for some information and perhaps look for another teacher later.

Once again, thank you very much my dear piano friends here. Your comments mean a lot to me.

Aha, forgot to tell you. I'm taking private lessons. In my area usually we don't sign any contract unless you take lessons in a piano shop/ company. My present teacher has no cancellation/ make-up class policy. However, I seldom cancelled lessons. Over the four years I only called suddenly to cancel (on one occasion I was sick and on another occasion I needed to work overtime). Apart from the above two times I only cancelled lessons when I was out of town, but every time I give him a one month notice. Every time I wrote the dates down on a piece of paper and gave it to to him so as to avoid misunderstanding. I was out of town once or twice a year, every time I needed to cancel one or two lessons.

As he could teach me something, I respected him. I foolishly brought him special Christmas gifts (e.g. piano-shaped chocolates). I even foolishly wrapped my tuition fees in a handmade envelop every four lessons (here the usual practice is paying four lessons each time). I paid him $ for four lessons in each first lesson. I feel that he is a piano lover. So every time I download piano comics and print it out and fold a handmade envelop and put money inside to share piano humour with him. He said his friends found my envelops marvellous when he showed them on Facebook. Apart from the above, I brought him gifts after my Japan piano factory tours. I went there twice. Now, when I look back. Perhaps it was my fault. Perhaps my kindness and stupidity gave him a false signal and hence fostered his unreasonable behavior.

My friend is also an adult beginner. I started to tell her my frustration about one or two years ago. She said, "If I were you, I'm sure I would either automatically deduct the 15-minite money or accumulate four 15 minutes and ask him to give me back one lesson for free."

Now I'm blaming myself. At that time I felt that my friend's suggestion was wise and perfectly reasonable, but I foolishly wondered if it was too mean or too harsh. Money is not my paramount concern, though I'm just an ordinary small citizen. I already started late and I spent/ wasted over a decade on ridiculous lessons, so time and lesson quality are my first priority. I tried to convince myself to turn a blind eye on tuition fees, but now I stronly feel that his behavior is already beyond money and tolerance. It's caused nuisance and anger. I just meant to share my piano joy with my teacher by giving him piano little things, but I end up being treated like that.

~~~ Sigh ~~~

~~~~~~~ Sigh again ~~~~~~~

Re: Quit? [Re: Piano Valentine] #2513127
02/21/16 04:40 AM
02/21/16 04:40 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 4,550
Florida
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Dear Valentine
We all truly feel your pain and your initial thought to just give up and self-teach would be our initial thought as well. Please do yourself a favor: give yourself a little time to heal, and then look for another teacher.

We all have dreams. From your post last July, you really want to play a Polonaise. Find yourself a teacher that will help you develop the technique to get there.

Finding a good teacher is not always easy... and you have had a tough time... but they are out there and would be delighted to have a student passionate about music. Don't give up on your dream.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It’s ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: Quit? [Re: Piano Valentine] #2513146
02/21/16 06:41 AM
02/21/16 06:41 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 12,225
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Originally Posted by Piano Valentine
Then I took Grade 7 exam in 2007. In one and a half years, every lesson, that teacher only taught me the exam things. So boring. I found it hard plus boring. Sadly, it was like a mess. I failed in the exam.

If Grade 7 was your first ABRSM exam (or if you skipped several grades), it wouldn't be surprising if you failed it. Really, you should just put it behind you, and forget about any more exams. Spending so much time preparing for a piano exam, at the expense of continual musical development, is never a good thing.

BTW, I did all the ABRSM exams, one a year, when I was a student. The piano teachers in my high school never let any student skip grades unless she/he was obviously very talented, and able to master the requirements (not just the set pieces) in a short time, i.e. no more than three months.


Quote
Before I could have my first piano lesson, I had my own ways to enjoy piano music. I had no money to buy cassette tapes when I was small but I had a radio and I could see my music teachers play the piano in my school days. And then when I had a job as an adult I had my CD player and CDs. So I listened to a lot of piano music no matter when I was in school or after I got a full-time job.

Listening to lots of great pianists - live in recital, if possible - is one of the best ways to improve your own piano playing, and musicality. Especially as you've already acquired sufficient skills to understand how they do what they do, if you can already play these:

Quote
~ Bach WTC BWV853 prelude and fugue
~ Bach Litte Fugues and Preludes BWV935
~ Brahms Intermezzo Op. 116 No. 4
~ Liszt Love Dreams No. 3 (but except Bar 25)
~ Chopin Prelude No. 15
~ Chopin Nocturne Op. 9 No. 1
~ Rachmaninoff C sharp minor

As others have said, you should give yourself a break from teachers, and continue working on developing your pianistic and musical skills by yourself. Go to as many live concerts as you can, and try to get a seat on the keyboard side, close to the piano. There's nothing more inspiring than to listen and watch virtuosi close-up, and feel the huge range of tonal nuances, dynamics and articulation they can command.
CDs and YouTube videos cannot provide such an intense and inspiring experience.

I'm curious about why you think that your teacher should play for you the pieces you're learning - the only one of my four teachers who ever did that was my first one, when I was an absolute beginner, and frankly, didn't know what a piano sounded like when played properly. (I didn't know any classical music then, and had never heard any solo piano music before). And that was only for the first few months.

My last teacher was a concert pianist himself, and he never played anything more than a few bars on his (second) piano during the lessons. When he wanted to demonstrate something, he usually just played with one hand.

BTW, you're definitely not a beginner.



"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Quit? [Re: Piano Valentine] #2513163
02/21/16 08:41 AM
02/21/16 08:41 AM
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 214
United Kingdom
Purkoy Offline
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I admire your patience with 'Mr 15 Minutes', but there is a respect issue here. Many of the reasons he's given are planning things ; his mother's birthday will be important, but it doesn't come as a surprise, it's the same date every year. He should be planning round these events. I'm guessing you pay in blocks rather than per lesson, since the obvious response would be to pay for the time you got for that lesson. You wouldn't pay for a dozen eggs if you only got ten.

At this stage, given how you're expressing your feelings of frustration here, this is impacting your confidence in this teacher, even where you now get your full hour. I think you have enough piano power under your belt now to coast on your own until you find an alternative teacher who will honour the commitment to a paying student.

Re: Quit? [Re: Piano Valentine] #2513523
02/22/16 08:43 AM
02/22/16 08:43 AM
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Piano Valentine Offline OP
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Dear dogperson,

You remember and recognize me??? Wow wow wow!!!

I told my present teacher about this dream last year and he swiftly taught me two of the easy Polonaise (i.e. No. 11 and 13). These two are much easier than I thought. So now I already have two Polonaise as an entry ticket if I really sign up two years later.

Yes, I really need time to heal though I feel much better now.

-----------------------------------------------------

Dear bennevis,

I felt like I was reborn soon after I started to study with my previous teacher. I strongly felt that I could absorb a lot of skills merely by watching him play at such a close distance with his explanations.

You know, before I formally became his student, in that first hour he demonstrated the three Grade 7 pieces to me while my official teacher had never done that. I didn't know teaching without demonstration didn't work because almost all teachers I came across were like that.

I did Grade 3, Grade 5 and then Grade 7. I took the initiative to try Grade 7 in 2015 just because I wanted to play Ginastera's Danza de la moza Donosa. This time I finally made it.

Before this ABRSM Grade 7 exam, I asked my previous teacher if I should take Performance Assessment held by ABRSM in order to overcome exam fright (free repetoire, no marks, no fail or pass, just comments from the examiner). I said I would never take any exam if I trembled inside the exam room again. My previous teacher said yes and at last I really overcome it. I was afraid of playing the piano in front of anyone before I studied with my previous teacher. Then I started to enjoy playing the piano for my friends and families once I found that my piano music was no longer so terrible.

I went to Zimmermann's concert years ago in Hong Kong. I was about 15 rows away from the stage. I could see his fingers, but I couldn't really feel the nuance. If only I could sit on the stage behind him on his left or right.

------------------------------------------------------

Dear Purkoy,

When I look back, I was patient and too patient and foolishly patient.

Exactly ! I don't know why his mom's birthday, dad's birthday, church gatherings, family dinner, special meetings and so on are my business. What's more, he took as if his call of nature had something to do with me (that "something" = 10 minutes).

Ha Ha Ha, your 10 eggs vs. a dozen eggs analogy is so amusing !

Yes, I'm going to take a break from lessons first. I don't know how long it'll take. I just know I'll never leave my piano so long as I'm still alive.







Re: Quit? [Re: Piano Valentine] #2513524
02/22/16 08:45 AM
02/22/16 08:45 AM
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Piano Valentine Offline OP
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Anyway, I should move forward. After this break, I'm going to do one or some or all of the following things:

~ Take an elementary piano tuning course.
~ Take some masterclasses as a spectator.
~ Try some parts of Chopin Ballade No. 1 again. My present teacher knew it was one of my dream pieces and he said I could try part of it. It was a year or two ago that I finished about half of it. Then I went back to it on my own twice. The Youtube tuition given by Josh Wright has helped me a lot, particularly the much-slow-down demonstration of the last part. It turns out that this superb difficult part can be so beautiful and so different at such a low speed.
~ Take a short piano course at a music school in Europe or USA. I've never visited any music school and I wish to take a glance at what formal piano training is like.
~ Look for another teacher.
~ See if there will be any chance for me to visit a piano hammer factory.

Re: Quit? [Re: Piano Valentine] #2515633
02/28/16 11:27 AM
02/28/16 11:27 AM
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Not long after I started my penultimate lesson I told my teacher that I was going to quit and the next lesson would be my last lesson. He didn't ask anything. He just said one word. In my language it means "good/ OK/ that's fine".

He didn't ask, I didn't say anything further and just continued with the lesson.

He taught as usual and I learned as usual. He even started a new piece and lent me a book of scores as usual. I'll take my final lesson next week and then I'll be free.

I didn't expect the "quit" conversations would be so simple and short. I just spoke one sentence and then he just spoke one word. As he didn't ask anything, perhaps he had been waiting for me to say "quit".

No matter what, I feel much much much better now smile

Re: Quit? [Re: Piano Valentine] #2515657
02/28/16 12:39 PM
02/28/16 12:39 PM
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Posts: 205
Florida, United States
Bsw Offline
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Valentine
I have been taking piano for a little over a year. About 6 months ago I had a nagging feeling that the teacher I had was not teaching me what I needed. I will not go into the reasons, there were many, but I did not do anything. I recently found a new teacher and after the initial visit I knew i had to change. I told the music school that I would not be coming back. I did receive one call from my previous teacher and he wanted to know if it was because of him. I did not tell him the real reason for my leaving, just that it was not him.
I new teacher is so much better. I have had to go backwards to go forward but already I see the difference. It may take me a while to get back to the level I was playing before but now I know it will be right
So, I guess what I'm saying is look for the teacher that is right for you.


Started October 2014
Faber & Faber 3
Faber & Faber 2B completed
Alfred's Adult All-In-One
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Re: Quit? [Re: Piano Valentine] #2515845
02/29/16 04:00 AM
02/29/16 04:00 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,265
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline
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Tubbie0075  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,265
Melbourne, Australia
I have similar experience to you in learning the piano. I first started piano lessons in teenage years and stopped after 3.5 years. Like you, I passed ABRSM grade 3 and 5, and prepared for grade 7 but I never got to take the exam.

After that, it was high school, uni, work, migration, career, saving $, house, car, partner etc. I am now in my 40s too. But during those 2 decades when I didn't have piano lessons, I'd play on my then digital piano regularly. In the later part of those 2 decades, I took up violin lessons and studied for 6 years, and passed AMEB violin grade 5, 7 and 8.

Roughly 6 years ago (gosh it's 6 years already), I finally bought myself an acoustic grand piano and switched from violin lessons to piano lessons (with a different teacher). Last year I passed AMEB piano grade 8.

My piano teacher of the last 6 years (my only piano teacher since resuming piano lessons) is a very busy musician. He's a concert pianist, teaches piano at the university, a composer, a member of a piano trio, a recording artists etc. My weekly lessons get cancelled a lot. Mostly of the time I get at least one week notice. Sometimes I get a day notice like yesterday, and sometimes the lesson is cancelled a couple of hours on the day. However, he is almost never late for lesson and he never finish early. There was once he was running late and we ended up only having a 40-min lesson instead of the usual one hour. At the end of the lesson, he insisted of paying me back part of the lesson fee even though I didn't mind. Despite the cancellations, I am not very bothered by it. I have learned and progressed so much studying with him, and that's part of the package: he's such a good teacher because he is also a concert pianist, university teacher, recording artist and composer, which comes with unexpected cancellation of lessons.

So I guess you should ask yourself, is your teacher worth it for you to put up with the inconvenience of last minute cancellations? Do those 10-minute short in lesson make a big impact to your long term studying with him? Has he got your best interest at heart as your teacher? Does he give you his full attention during lessons? Do you enjoy during your lessons? Do you learn a lot? Are you inspired to practise every time you finish a lesson? You know the answer to these questions and that should help you make your decision. You don't need confirmation from us.

Good luck!















Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Prelude No. 8 and 16
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5
  • Liszt: Leibestraume
  • Bach-Rachmaninov: Prelude
Re: Quit? [Re: Piano Valentine] #2515890
02/29/16 09:11 AM
02/29/16 09:11 AM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 127
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Piano Valentine Offline OP
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Piano Valentine  Offline OP
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Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 127
In my area I've also heard that one should expect and accept a lot of cancellations if studying with a concert pianist/ prestigious teacher.

Good questions.

I decided to quit because I don't think he's worth it for me to put up with his last minute cancellations. Those 15-minute things and the 10-minute washroom time don't really make an impact practically, but rather psychologically. He sometimes got my best interest at heart as my teacher. He doesn't give me his full attention during lessons because he views his mobile phone and uses the touch screen (I guess he was checking or sending text messages) almost every lesson behind me (I could see that because of the reflection on the mirror). I enjoy my lessons sometimes. I don't feel I can learn a lot, but usually I can get something every lesson. Sometimes I'm inspired to practise every time I finish a lesson.

Wow, happy to hear that your piano lessons are so wonderful smile


Re: Quit? [Re: Piano Valentine] #2515917
02/29/16 11:07 AM
02/29/16 11:07 AM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 127
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Piano Valentine Offline OP
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Piano Valentine  Offline OP
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Initially I really didn't mind the 15-minute stuff at all and I didn't want to calculate with him, but I found it annoying and unfair when I realized that it had became his habit.

~ Sigh ~

Re: Quit? [Re: Piano Valentine] #2516025
02/29/16 04:12 PM
02/29/16 04:12 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,265
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline
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Tubbie0075  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,265
Melbourne, Australia
When you said your piano teacher repeatedly cancel lessons last minute because of social events, or checking mobile phone messages during lessons, that's a sign of not having your best interest. My teacher rarely takes a call and never check his phone for message during lessons. If he has to take a call, he would apologise for it and leave the music room, and not more than a minute.

I hope you find a good teacher soon :-)




Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Prelude No. 8 and 16
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5
  • Liszt: Leibestraume
  • Bach-Rachmaninov: Prelude
Re: Quit? [Re: Piano Valentine] #2516129
02/29/16 10:16 PM
02/29/16 10:16 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 16
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Jusca Offline
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Jusca  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 16
Your concern is highly legitimate. I wouldn't tolerate his constant changing of plans and cheating me out of lessons. I'd want a refund or give me the extended time as discussed. Any student that would constantly cancel on a teacher would still be charged for the lesson. The same for the teacher. I know it'd be difficult to get any refund back but I'd speak with my wallet by not giving him any more money and canceling the private lessons.

I'm sorry you've encountered a teacher who doesn't respect your time. I hope you'll eventually find someone else who does with the other attentive qualities you are expecting in your lessons.

Last edited by Jusca; 02/29/16 10:18 PM.
Re: Quit? [Re: Piano Valentine] #2516509
03/02/16 01:03 AM
03/02/16 01:03 AM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 14
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CoolJL Offline
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CoolJL  Offline
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Posts: 14
I'm sure there are plenty of good teachers out there, but I think teacher student relationship is very important, and it is very important to have a teacher, not just passionate about the instrument, but also passionate about teaching. Being good at something doesn't automatically equate to being good at teaching.

The last time I had a piano lessons was when I was at University in London, 20 or so years a go, and she was wonderful. Simply because I sensed that she really like to teach she genuinely cared about everyone she taught. She'd happily let me chose what ever the pieces I wanted to, often I'd end up chosing something too difficult for myself but she never said that piece was too difficult or anything like that. Because she knew that I chose those pieces because I loved them and simply wanted to have a go, and she was more than happy to help me through them with lots of encouragements smile . She knew as I did, I was never going to be a concert pianist, so more than anything she wanted me to just enjoy playing the piano.

It was only later on, after stop having lesson, that I had found out that she was one of the senior professors at Royal Academy of Music! She was a very busy person, no doubt, but the point is that she made sure that she had time for teaching, not just within the conservatory but outside of it as well, to less talented individuals such as myself. Because she wanted to share her knowledge and share the joy of music making to as many people as she could.

Anyway, enough of me reminescing, I do wish you luck in finding a new teacher.

Last edited by CoolJL; 03/02/16 01:19 AM.
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