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Re: Student wants to go to conservatory, but not ready
hello my name is #2632669 04/13/17 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by hello my name is
...I'm not too sure Wuffski, if it is proper to be angry with your teachers for "not taking you seriously" especially if you were "not listening to them"...

Originally Posted by Morodiene
...Actually, you're not an adult beginner. You took lessons at the age of 15 - how long had you taken piano by that point? Did you start before the age of 12?

Not to excuse your teachers, but I do know that with many of my teenage boy students, I can say the same thing over and over again in many different ways, and I know they do not hear me because they don't do what I tell them. There's often a disconnect. At some point, they wake up and listen, but it's a tough age for learning I think. You may have not been able to respond at that time, who knows?...


Actually I started (with classes) as a young child to play recorder, then advanced to accordion, and as a youngster got a couple of years classes on the electric (Hammond) organ. Then I wanted to switch over to piano and a little bit of violin, because I was told that piano and violin would be the entrance card to university. But the path was not possible, because my organ playing did not advance anymore and therefore resources have not been made available or found for the two new instruments.

As a child I got my homework and accomplished it. As a youngster I accomplished my homework but have had to notice less and less progress. My teacher was convinced, that either I would not have the needed talent or I wouldn't take practicing serious enough. I was listening to my teacher, but wasn't able to detect the message and subsequently didn't follow advices properly. I that time wasn't able to respond, as Morodiene senses it correctly.

So, what went wrong, and why do I post all this here on this thread? I today think, that in that age, as it is typical for that age, I switched from simply following advice to questioning advice, I was searching too much for the "why like this?". But my teacher did not adopt classes to my new mental situation. The classes simply followed the same concept as applied before - but that concept did not produce the same progress anymore.
Furthermore, I did not have access to any vinyl record player, my radio was a toy, my cassettes have been what I was borrowed (and copied) from friends at school - not classical music. I knew the music which I played in my classes from my classes. I studied the music from the sheets and made up my mind as good as possible in order to imagine what the mood of the music might be about, always felt like a romantic musician, got my interpretation corrected by me teacher, adopted to the corrections, and shortly after was already at the next piece or exercise, and so on. Finger exercises became more and more boring to practice, it was anyway not clear what they should be good for. In the pieces I didn't find them reflected.

What about stopping classes at the instrument, making me available some records including some thoughtful explanation of what I could listen in and learn from those records? What's about going with me to the city hall library and explain me how to find some nice classical records there, and how to listen to them with headphones on the there available record player? Why not explaining me that finger exercises optimize my neuronal and muscular capabilities for a more precise playing, and thus is the physical base for better musical expression? This would have given me needed orientation, and afterwards I would have been able to evaluate myself better, if a musical career could be a path for me or not.

Today I am perfectly happy with how I approach music and instruments. After my escape from the electric organ and awfully playing electric (distorted) guitar in some garage band, and then after having had a long musical break due to a life science university career, and afterwards having picked up and enjoyed the drums as an adult, the instrument for which I found to indeed have real talent for, but having had to give it up due to the movement to a new home where nearby practice rooms are not available or affordable, I am finally a very happy adult beginner at the piano.

This 15 year old girl for sure listens to the music to which all her girl friends listen to, too. And she is busy with what her girl friends are busy with, too. She is stuck in her role as a music consumer. But, she obviously expressed to the piano teacher her great interest in finding her own way now, into an active musical future - but has no idea, neither has orientation, on HOW such way could be approached.
She might meed some off-the-instrument classes about musical development, some guide to available sources besides Spotify and Youtube and alike Pop charts journals, some access to a social group where she would be in frequent contact with other musicians!

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Re: Student wants to go to conservatory, but not ready
Wuffski #2632679 04/13/17 10:19 AM
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Thank you, Wuffski, for sharing your history. It sounds like you had a good teacher, but perhaps not the person whom you needed at the time. Luckily, you are fully in charge of what you do now, and not at the whim of anyone else. smile
Originally Posted by Wuffski

This 15 year old girl for sure listens to the music to which all her girl friends listen to, too. And she is busy with what her girl friends are busy with, too. She is stuck in her role as a music consumer. But, she obviously expressed to the piano teacher her great interest in finding her own way now, into an active musical future - but has no idea, neither has orientation, on HOW such way could be approached.
She might meed some off-the-instrument classes about musical development, some guide to available sources besides Spotify and Youtube and alike Pop charts journals, some access to a social group where she would be in frequent contact with other musicians!

Kids today have access to so many things at their fingertips, they have less of an excuse than previous generations to be able to find out something they are passionate about.

Yet I find many kids are enamored with the idea of something, but not the doing of that thing. It sounds like this girl in particular is in that situation. I definitely think she should be taken seriously, and showed just exactly what is expected of her.

Hopefully she'll get the hint and either try practicing and realize she doesn't want a career in piano, or she will step up to the plate.



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Re: Student wants to go to conservatory, but not ready
luebella123 #2632695 04/13/17 11:51 AM
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In regards to comments of puzzlement about how a student who doesn't practice much can be called a "model student". I imagine that she is probably polite and attentive during lessons, listens to what her teacher says, arrives on time, comes every week etc. It's just that a student also has to practice regularly, enough, and effectively - the last part being a teacher/student collaboration because the student needs to be well guided for the "effective" part, but then also has to DO it. smile

Re: Student wants to go to conservatory, but not ready
The Monkeys #2633790 04/17/17 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by The Monkeys
SonatainfSharp, why don't you take that job? You play better than her, don't you?

Is she pretty? Show business is a business I guess.


Actually, I did try to get the job, but she had a contract with the building management for years before I knew the job existed, and they kept renewing it. Now, it wouldn't make logistical sense to try for it again. And I would get bored.

Long ago, I was hired through a music school to play at one of the anchor stores at the Mall of America when it was just opening, but the times they wanted me to play were during school (I was still in high school back then). They don't have pianists playing now.

I see pianos being played in lobbies all over the place in Minneapolis. Heck, even Menards (Home Depot's competition in the upper midwest) has pianists in all of their remodeled stores on weekends! (I am not sure what they pay, though.) Nothing is more hilarious than construction workers getting wood while they hear show tunes and Chopin being played throughout the store!


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Re: Student wants to go to conservatory, but not ready
luebella123 #2633862 04/17/17 06:04 PM
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Which Menards stores? I gotta check that out!

I play in a couple hospital lobbies after hours when I'm visiting people. One piano is junk. I have to encourage someone to get a knee replacement at the hospital with the better piano I guess!

Re: Student wants to go to conservatory, but not ready
keystring #2633906 04/17/17 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
In regards to comments of puzzlement about how a student who doesn't practice much can be called a "model student". I imagine that she is probably polite and attentive during lessons, listens to what her teacher says, arrives on time, comes every week etc. It's just that a student also has to practice regularly, enough, and effectively - the last part being a teacher/student collaboration because the student needs to be well guided for the "effective" part, but then also has to DO it. smile


"Pay on time" comes to mind as a characteristic of model students.


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Re: Student wants to go to conservatory, but not ready
SonatainfSharp #2633911 04/17/17 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp

I see pianos being played in lobbies all over the place in Minneapolis. Heck, even Menards (Home Depot's competition in the upper midwest) has pianists in all of their remodeled stores on weekends! (I am not sure what they pay, though.) Nothing is more hilarious than construction workers getting wood while they hear show tunes and Chopin being played throughout the store!
I love Menard's! I bet you'd have to play the "Save big money at Menard's" jingle in between each piece. laugh


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Re: Student wants to go to conservatory, but not ready
malkin #2633912 04/17/17 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by keystring
In regards to comments of puzzlement about how a student who doesn't practice much can be called a "model student". I imagine that she is probably polite and attentive during lessons, listens to what her teacher says, arrives on time, comes every week etc. It's just that a student also has to practice regularly, enough, and effectively - the last part being a teacher/student collaboration because the student needs to be well guided for the "effective" part, but then also has to DO it. smile


"Pay on time" comes to mind as a characteristic of model students.


-Pays on time
-Doesn't spit at and/or bite the teacher
-Brings books to lessons

That makes it in my book.


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Re: Student wants to go to conservatory, but not ready
Pianocat3 #2634044 04/18/17 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Pianocat3
Which Menards stores? I gotta check that out!

All of the current remodels, so the stores where the double escalator goes to the second floor. Typically, the piano is located at the top of the escalators, between the up and down. I have only seen one store with the piano at the bottom.


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Re: Student wants to go to conservatory, but not ready
SonatainfSharp #2634078 04/18/17 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
Nothing is more hilarious than construction workers getting wood while they hear show tunes and Chopin being played throughout the store!

When you are doing manual labour, it might be quite pleasant to walk in and out of Chopin, only with the disadvantage of wanting to linger and having work to do.

Re: Student wants to go to conservatory, but not ready
luebella123 #2634101 04/18/17 11:47 AM
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Luebella123
I'm not a piano teacher, but I was a Girl Scout Leader, 4H Leader, and Camp Fire Leader. I also raised a few kids of my own. I've worked with kids of all ages but this problem boils down to one thing- you need to direct your energies towards the parents.

Kids that don't do their assignments, get projects done on time, don't show up, have all their materials, all that boils down to an environment at home where they either aren't held responsible for things and/or the parents make all the decisions and take care of everything for the child. Of course, there could be exceptions, but most fall into this category.

You can continue to explain to this child things that need to be done, but if someone always does everything for her and she doesn't understand responsibility and accountability, then it will go in one ear and out the other. If it concerns you that much, and I understand because I been wrapped up with other peoples kids more than once, have a parent/student/teacher meeting. Determine first that this really is their plan, not just talk. Explain to the parents what really is involved to achieve this. Don't tell them their child can't, or is to far behind, but let them know the level she needs to be at, what needs to be addressed and what needs to change. And let them know how that is going to impact the whole family if she has to practice hours each day. Explain how she needs support and guidance to accomplish these things. And other things like longer lessons each week. Start to assign her lessons as if she was on board with it. Generally, the parents either understand it or they don't. If they don't, you might lose the student, or she just continues the same, but you have made it clear to them it's not going to get the results but you can still teach her to play. It they get it, and get on board, then you'll need to coach them every week along with the child so that they have the tools they need to support her. At that point, you need to be prepared to bring the student to the best of her abilities.

But my best guess is that the first scenario will happen. A lot of the time the parents of these kids are as unrealistic as the kids are. And sometimes it's better if you lose that student. Not trying to sound mean, because I always had a hard time with that part. But I know that once they were gone, I was less stressed, my other kids got more from me, and so did my family. It they leave they'll talk to other teachers and schools and hear the same thing and maybe then, they'll finally "get it". We all have disappointing things in our lives. Just another note, it seems there are more and more kids that have these unrealistic ideas because they are told they can do anything they want in life but no one teaches them the discipline and work ethic to make that happen

Re: Student wants to go to conservatory, but not ready
Wuffski #2634107 04/18/17 12:23 PM
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I'm sorry that you feel the way you do about your past, but I'd like to hope that you can learn to let go of your anger.

We all look back at of lives about things that happen and say what if? My personal what if was that I wanted to be a Veterinarian and was always under the impression my parents were on board to help me. I volunteered 2 summers at a Vet office and took the college prep classes, worked hard for good grades. In my senior year, I started applying to colleges and my parents then told me they werent going to help me pay for it, even though we were far from needy. I wonder how different my life would have been. But I don't dwell on it, and I've moved on. I have had many animals in my life, even owned a farm. In reality, when I look back, there are many things I probably would not have been able to do as vet and I know there is no way I'd ever be able to work around it. The big one is putting an animal down. I just could never do that.

That being said, you are looking back at being 15 with an adult point of view. How many times did our parents or other people tell us things that we ignored? You just don't know what you would have some of someone would have presented you with all of that information and offered all that help. My experience Doth teenagers is that the more you try to help, the more they back away. It's normal for a teen because they are learning at that age to break away and be independent.

Focus on the here and now, not the past. You can't change the past but you can change your future. There are a lot of fun things you can still do as an adult musician, even if it's just the challenge of learning to play.

I'm an adult who took lessons at 6 and 7. I only got to the second level method book. I had no time to practice and quit. I really didn't have the time, I was involved in so many other activities. Yes, I wish I hadn't quit, but I don't beat myself or anyone else up that I did. I did a lot of other things and that made me who I am now. My husband got me a piano this past Christmas and I am learning to play again. Now I have the time (I broke my back a few years ago) and I also have maturity to help me focus and practice. I am now 58 and really enjoy it since its not something I feel obligated to do, or that I have to learn to make a living.

Life is about the journey, not the destination. We all have the same destination. You can choose how many stops and side roads you want to explore along the way.

Re: Student wants to go to conservatory, but not ready
luebella123 #2635496 04/22/17 06:16 PM
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Thanks for all the nice words. Today I am really fine with me and my piano journey. wink

Somebody recommended to give the student the chance to understand reality better by giving some classes at the pace of classes which truly could prepare for a conservatory career. I like this idea! Make sure that proper orientation on the many paths to a musician's life is giving and afterwards let the student test the pace!

Any news about the student? I am really curious to read a word on how things developed.

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