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Thank you for the discussion. I learn a lot from all of you!


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I never learned an answer to my first questions. Is this material you use for your studio? And how is it "adapted" from Mr. Bastien? Did he write it, or did you write it? I don't get it.

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keystring is explaining it nicely. I call the reasons I used as an example "first level" answers. At my current employer, when there has been a significant failure, the "root cause analysis" process requires "five why's"; the idea is that the real cause is probably only found once you have asked "why?" five times.

I may not remember correctly, but I think at Toyota they ask why seven times or something.

Of course, even with five why's, you can get it wrong or go in circles, but the first level answer is usually not what is the root of the issue.


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Originally Posted by Hendrik42

Of course, even with five why's, you can get it wrong or go in circles, but the first level answer is usually not what is the root of the issue.


I like that. The apparent fault may be a symptom of something else wrong, and there may be a precursor to that too, etc.

My only quibble would be this assumes everything is consciously observable and correctable. I still maintain there is a significant component of unconscious correction of precursors happening during good teaching.


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Originally Posted by Hendrik42
At my current employer, when there has been a significant failure, the "root cause analysis" process requires "five why's"; the idea is that the real cause is probably only found once you have asked "why?" five times.


My daughter adopted this methodology when she was 2 years old... except it went way beyond five times, and not only when there was a failure.


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One of the things that I hoped to stress in what I wrote before is the competence of the teacher: That is, the teacher is thoroughly grounded in basic technique (how the body is used effectively on the instrument), understanding of the instrument, and knows how to teach. This is primary. From there you want to be able to prevent problems by giving a good grounding, using that knowledge, and then solve them. But to be able to do that, you need to know how. This is different from a small child, and depending on the training and background of an employee, it may also be different there (or maybe not).

But the knowledge and skills have to be there, as well as attitude. A teacher who isn't interested in his work and doesn't apply himself will also not be a good teacher.

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"A Parent's Guide to Piano Lessons" by James W. Bastien, page 17-19


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Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
I never learned an answer to my first questions. Is this material you use for your studio? And how is it "adapted" from Mr. Bastien? Did he write it, or did you write it? I don't get it.

You're not going to get a correct answer from somebody who doesn't understand the difference between adaptation and plagiarism.


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Originally Posted by Candywoman
For parents, the choice of teacher comes down to whether you're nice, whether they can get makeup lessons easily, whether you're close, and whether you're cheap.


Sometimes I feel that this is very true when parents seeking new teachers. I move multiple times and raise my rate every year, now that my rate is considered high end but my "current/old" students still stick with me even that they have to drive longer to get to me.

So, as for me, I think current students know my values more than new comers!


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Originally Posted by MomOfBeginners
Originally Posted by Hendrik42
At my current employer, when there has been a significant failure, the "root cause analysis" process requires "five why's"; the idea is that the real cause is probably only found once you have asked "why?" five times.


My daughter adopted this methodology when she was 2 years old... except it went way beyond five times, and not only when there was a failure.


Oh, sure! We loose that somewhere and then we need a process guide to get back there... but when you try to answer the why?, but why?, but then why? of children, isn't it interesting where you sometimes end up?


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Originally Posted by Hendrik42
keystring is explaining it nicely. I call the reasons I used as an example "first level" answers. At my current employer, when there has been a significant failure, the "root cause analysis" process requires "five why's"; the idea is that the real cause is probably only found once you have asked "why?" five times.

I may not remember correctly, but I think at Toyota they ask why seven times or something.

Of course, even with five why's, you can get it wrong or go in circles, but the first level answer is usually not what is the root of the issue.

That's interesting. In my experience, the root cause of bad piano playing in students is their lack of desire to learn. You can instantly tell which kids are intrinsically motivated and which kids are just going through the motions.

And, no, I don't need to ask "Why?" five times in order to figure that out.

Most of the technical issues can be resolved if the student follows instructions and practices accordingly at home.


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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
That's interesting. In my experience, the root cause of bad piano playing in students is their lack of desire to learn. You can instantly tell which kids are intrinsically motivated and which kids are just going through the motions.



I'm not sure it's that simple. Some kids who aren't intrinsically motivated do improve. There's a why there that's worth asking, or maybe a how.


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Originally Posted by TimR
Some kids who aren't intrinsically motivated do improve.

Piano exams are definitely a motivating factor, where I come from. If you learn a musical instrument, you do exams, just the same as if you go to school, you do school exams, and eventually state exams. And nobody likes to fail, especially if their peers pass, and therefore, failure is not an option (as a President once said).

I knew a few kids who weren't intrinsically motivated (and I was one of them, until I 'wised up' to the delights of classical piano music ...... wink ), but with the ABRSM Grade exam looming at the end of the year, they practiced - and passed. It kept them practicing year after year until they were old enough to say 'no' if they still haven't caught the piano bug by then, by which time, at least they'd given it a fair shot.

(And some who gave up regretted it as adults, and restart lessons......).


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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Hendrik42
keystring is explaining it nicely. I call the reasons I used as an example "first level" answers. At my current employer, when there has been a significant failure, the "root cause analysis" process requires "five why's"; the idea is that the real cause is probably only found once you have asked "why?" five times.
..............
Of course, even with five why's, you can get it wrong or go in circles, but the first level answer is usually not what is the root of the issue.

That's interesting. In my experience, the root cause of bad piano playing in students is their lack of desire to learn. You can instantly tell which kids are intrinsically motivated and which kids are just going through the motions.

AZNpiano, this only makes sense if, as a good teacher, you are talking about your own students, whom you have started, for whom you have shaped the foundations from day 1, where I assume you are vigilant as you observe them from week to week and guide them along the way. But we're not talking about you, your students, and what poor students might be doing to undermine their learning --- the topic here are here are the attributes of a good teacher!

Hendrik referred to my post, and in my post I start with the prerequisite of knowledge both about playing skills, and music, and knowledge of how to teach, and applying it. And then the ability to prevent problems by preparing a student properly along the way, and knowing how to solve problems - by having that knowledge. None of this is being aknowledged. Why not?

Ok, take what we can agree is poor teaching: The student is rushed through levels, given finger numbers as a crutch, is choreographed on the same 3 pieces for an entire year, is praised for rushing through while given no tools of technique. That student comes to you and cannot read a single note, can't find middle C, has a mess in lieu of technique. Are you going to say that the cause of that student's weaknesses and poor playing are due to "lack of interest"? I am positive that you don't think so.

This thread is about the elements that make a good teacher. What makes a good student or parent is another topic altogether, even if they do go hand in hand.

Can what I wrote twice before please be addressed? Is prerequiste knowledge and the ability to teach NOT important?

Quote
And, no, I don't need to ask "Why?" five times in order to figure that out.

BECAUSE you know how piano playing works, what a student needs, how to teach it, and how music works. Which was the main point I was making in the topic at hand: "What elements make a good teacher?"

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Most of the technical issues can be resolved if the student follows instructions and practices accordingly at home.

Which the teacher first needs to know how to give!

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Originally Posted by bennevis
Piano exams are definitely a motivating factor, where I come from. If you learn a musical instrument, you do exams, just the same as if you go to school, you do school exams, and eventually state exams. And nobody likes to fail, especially if their peers pass, and therefore, failure is not an option (as a President once said).

Those beliefs are also prevalent here and in many places, and it is the stuff on which elections are won. It is the nemesis of teachers, who have to try to somehow manage to teach and keep their students motivated, while dodging the worst effects of that mentality - and the exams. Writing someone who has taught in the school system, and then helped students one-on-one in private teaching.

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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by TimR
Some kids who aren't intrinsically motivated do improve.

Piano exams are definitely a motivating factor

Oh, here we go again.

While there is definitely a segment of the student population who can be motivated by piano exams, the great majority will not. Piano exams might motivate the self-motivated students who just lack a little interest in piano.


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Originally Posted by keystring
BECAUSE you know how piano playing works, what a student needs, how to teach it, and how music works. Which was the main point I was making in the topic at hand: "What elements make a good teacher?"

I'm not sure I disagree with your point. Did what I write contradict what you think? Is there a disagreement somewhere??


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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by TimR
Some kids who aren't intrinsically motivated do improve.

Piano exams are definitely a motivating factor

Oh, here we go again.

While there is definitely a segment of the student population who can be motivated by piano exams, the great majority will not. Piano exams might motivate the self-motivated students who just lack a little interest in piano.

That's because exams are not the done thing where you are. If there's no peer pressure to pass (because few kids do exams, and parents - and teachers - have no interest), why would a kid bother?

That's not the case in other parts of the world where classical piano is taught.

BTW, there is a world outside CA. (Yes, I've been to CA myself......).

Even outside USA, believe it or not........


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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by keystring
BECAUSE you know how piano playing works, what a student needs, how to teach it, and how music works. Which was the main point I was making in the topic at hand: "What elements make a good teacher?"

I'm not sure I disagree with your point. Did what I write contradict what you think? Is there a disagreement somewhere??

It is more a lack of response by any teacher to what I did write - and I believe that these elements, which I kept as broad as possible - are essentials. Yet nobody is mentioning them, nobody is supporting them, yet what you just highlighted is exactly what I have been talking about.

That first article is so vague and almost contradictory.

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Originally Posted by bennevis
That's because exams are not the done thing where you are. If there's no peer pressure to pass (because few kids do exams, and parents - and teachers - have no interest), why would a kid bother?

That's not the case in other parts of the world where classical piano is taught.

And that's a good thing? So, the only reason anybody would bother to take up classical piano is to pass a series of tests?

It doesn't take a genius to realize there's something wrong in that picture.


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