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New teacher
#2631244 04/08/17 10:12 AM
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I am thrilled to have a new teacher! And she knows how to teach! Yay! I no longer need to spend time thinking "maybe this book or tutorial or exercise or approach would help." She is very organized and directive, and understands the need to move forward in small steps. She can teach me improv as well as classical. I took half my piano library in with me. The Oscar Peterson book of exercises, etc. which I like a lot, she said is excellent and we'll start working with that right away. Yay! She was not familiar with Fundamental Keys, but after looking through it, said it's so good that she is going to order several copies for other students. I'm happy with that because I really do want to continue with it. Even having had only one lesson, I feel she is there with me, rather than following me. It is a relief to have this experienced teacher guiding me on my journey.

What can be a problem for people who haven't had a teacher before, or had one decades ago whom they don't remember well, is they don't know what a good teacher/lesson looks like. The last straw for me was seeing two videos that Jaak has online. The first was submitted by a student for feedback; the second is Jaak's feedback. That helped me to recognize what I was missing out on. I stuck it out with my old teacher who was very passive for two years; I'm trying not to think of how much time I wasted.


April
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Re: New teacher
AprilE #2631247 04/08/17 10:34 AM
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What wonderful news that you have a teacher that is thorough, believes in teaching as a guide. I am in your same position: the first teacher I had as a returning adult was not thorough and would accept 'good enough' rather than 'good'. The next teacher, which I have had for two years, expects a high standard and is able to teach the skills to that standard.

I spent many decades without a teacher (and without playing at all) -- and even though the first teacher was not what I eventually needed, maybe she was what I was ready for at the time.

All you can do is be grateful for what you have now found--- and not look back at what was wasted.

Yes, it is difficult for us to sometimes know what is good. A few suggestions, and hopefully others can think of more:
- Are you learning skills that can be applied to other repertoire?
- Are the instructions clear and easy to reproduce at home?
- Does your teacher point out details that need improvement?
- Are the instructions more than just the notes and rhythm? i.e., tension, hand position, phrasing improvement?
- If you have a difficulty, is your teacher able to suggest more than one solution?

Maybe it doesn't need stressing, but in order for a good teacher to teach well, we need to be prepared for lessons: practice at home! and be prepared with questions/problems that need assistance. What you can identify, of course, changes with advancement, but all of us can at least identify 'this measure is giving me problems with the rhythm (or the phrasing or the fingering).

Re: New teacher
AprilE #2631250 04/08/17 10:44 AM
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Very happy for you smile Yours is exactly my dream scenario. I haven't found a teacher that is both thorough and particular about comfort, tension, and technique. My teacher now is a very good performer, improviser, and arranger, but I feel like she hardly teaches me technique. Most of the stuff I can do now are thanks to my first teacher, who was relatively thorough although she never said anything about tension (which I have a lot of). My current teacher doesn't even look at me or my hands when I play! I only ever get advice on notes and rhythm and not much else frown

I'm very jealous of you, and I hope I can find a teacher as good one of these days!


Working on: Schumann Album for the Young, Clementi Op 36 No. 1 (all movements), Various Bach, Czerny 599
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Re: New teacher
AprilE #2631451 04/08/17 11:07 PM
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Thank you, dogperson! Those are good questions you offered. I'd add "Does your teacher notice and address posture, tension in the body, etc.?"

Marimorimo, thank you, and I do hope that you find the person you are looking for. I know you have posted about this before. It seems ironic to me that my new teacher was there all along, even has an extensive website. I had decided if this teacher didn't work out, I'd find someone at a distance who gives lessons over Skype or FaceTime. One of the problems with that option for me was that I want both classical, and improv and arranging (I love the old jazz standards). Have you considered Skype lessons?


April
Re: New teacher
AprilE #2631567 04/09/17 11:56 AM
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Thank you, April! Yes, I have considered Skype lessons but due to possible technical difficulties (my internet connection is not very reliable) and financial constraints due to exchange rates, piano lessons via Skype is my last resort. Still hoping to find the best teacher for me around here---there must be someone out there!


Working on: Schumann Album for the Young, Clementi Op 36 No. 1 (all movements), Various Bach, Czerny 599
+ CASIO PX-720 and PX-730 +
Re: New teacher
marimorimo #2631662 04/09/17 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by marimorimo
Thank you, April! Yes, I have considered Skype lessons but due to possible technical difficulties (my internet connection is not very reliable) and financial constraints due to exchange rates, piano lessons via Skype is my last resort. Still hoping to find the best teacher for me around here---there must be someone out there!


You have probably already thought of this --- but is there a local university or college? Other sources to look for piano teachers are through piano tuners, churches and local music groups.

Edited to add: Sent you a PM with another suggestion

Last edited by dogperson; 04/09/17 05:07 PM.
Re: New teacher
AprilE #2631715 04/09/17 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by AprilE
I stuck it out with my old teacher who was very passive for two years; I'm trying not to think of how much time I wasted.


Maybe look at it this way: you could have spent those two years with an abusive piano teacher. That would have been far worse.

Re: New teacher
AprilE #2631732 04/09/17 11:09 PM
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That would indeed, Peter, but I wouldn't have put up with that. It's the not knowing what a good piano lesson and a good teacher look like. Still, I have to take responsibility for not saying "this isn't working for me" much sooner.
And I have learned a lot, both directly and through resources mentioned, over the past two years thanks to the generosity of people who post on these forums. On with the journey!




April
Re: New teacher
AprilE #2632062 04/10/17 11:03 PM
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April, switching "out" from a piano teacher is an act of courage for an adult student, no matter one's playing level. An attachment develops, and it seems overwhelming to try to start a new relationship with a new, unknown mentor.

But it happens, and you have done it - congratulations! Keep us apprised of your new journey, if you wish. Many hobby pianists will be rethinking their present situations, thanks to your posts.

Re: New teacher
AprilE #2632068 04/10/17 11:57 PM
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Thank you for your thoughtful post, Peter.


April
Re: New teacher
AprilE #2632095 04/11/17 03:20 AM
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Never judge your past decisions with arguments which you haven't had available to that point of the past. And if hesitating to follow this advice, then first think about what makes somebody an experienced person in a field: maybe the experienced person knows how to master a topic because part of the experience was messing up with the topic initially - and now simply knows perfectly which steps to better avoid or how to safely recognize the advantageous steps?
Well, if you prefer torturing yourself, then consider that efficiency is to learn from the attempts and failures which others did. I should add now: Let me see what I can learn from your story for my journey.

Re: New teacher
AprilE #2632305 04/11/17 08:59 PM
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I appreciate your thoughts, Wuffski, but I'm certainly not torturing myself. I'm excited about working with this new teacher. However, I am aware that I could have started working with her a year, or even two years ago. I didn't and that is what it is. But at the ripe age of 71, I think it is okay to be aware of time passing.


April
Re: New teacher
AprilE #2632477 04/12/17 01:48 PM
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AprilE,
Congratulations on your new teacher. I am 72, so I understand about lost time due to all the years I did not play at all. I recently had an excellent teacher, but the traveling distance was a huge drawback. I have now found another teacher who I will start with next month. She is much closer, and I believe she will also be just as qualified. I'm in a rural area where good piano teachers are not easy to find. I'm not sure yet where she will start me, but I'll follow whatever method and advice she decides on. My other teacher used Faber's Adult All in One method level two. The theory was well below my level, but not the technique. Some of the pieces in the middle of the book I had to work at a little. I'll be anxious to see what my new teacher advises. I haven't ever joined the 40 pieces a year thing here on the forum or uploaded any of my compositions, but I am considering it.

Re: New teacher
AprilE #2632603 04/13/17 12:08 AM
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Thanks, Theory Grl, and that's grand you found a teacher closer to you. I hope she is excellent.

I do think you should share some of your compositions!


April

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