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)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
What's Hot!!
PIANO TEACHERS Please read this!
-------------------
European Tour for Piano Lovers
JOIN US FOR THE TOUR!
--------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
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

Who's Online Now
105 registered members (AnnInMiami, anotherscott, ando, BarryR, akressevich, 90125, bambooninja, 26 invisible), 1,209 guests, and 5 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
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3
To quit or not to quit lessons #2798302
01/04/19 07:21 AM
01/04/19 07:21 AM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 11
R
RosemaryGirl Offline OP
Junior Member
RosemaryGirl  Offline OP
Junior Member
R

Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 11
Hello all,

Thank you for contributing to such an informative forum.

A quick introduction before I dive in and ask my question: I started learning piano about 3 months ago with a teacher. Well, I'd had 3 lessons in April but only to get an idea, and at the time, I didn't have access to a good piano. I now live in a furnished house with a piano in it (for 6 months only), so I thought I would start learning properly with a teacher and see what happens. But now… I'm wondering whether to stop taking lessons; I feel I have a bit of a dilemma.

Here is why: I'm not sure how good my teacher is or whether the tuition I get from him is valuable enough. He seems to actually teach me very little. A lesson goes like this: he gives me a music sheet (an easy beginner study, or a watered down, simplified pop song along the lines of those "super easy" synthesia tunes, the best piece I've done so far being Schuman's Liedchen No.3 Op. 68), and then, as I know how to read music already (studied theory for 8 years as a teen), I practise it at home and come back the next week and play it for him. He says "very good" and gives me another piece. That's pretty much it. Three weeks ago he noticed that I was sitting in the wrong place (not in the middle of the piano) and told me about it, and I thought "that's the kind of thing he could have told me earlier!".

Anyway, I already had doubts about the tuition, but now my husband has offered me the "Piano for All" course. I'm on the last third of Book 1, and thinking maybe I should be doing that instead. When I had my first lesson with my teacher, he asked if I could play anything and I said I'd tried learning "Lean on You" (with that HD Piano video on YouTube) and he immediately said: "Chords are not for beginners, it's too early for you to play that", which he's repeated since. Now, when I opened the Piano for All course, which is all about chords and rhythms, I thought: "So, chords are not for advanced pianists after all, then!". It makes a lot more sense to me to learn how music works through chords, right? I did a bit of classical guitar as a teen, and the reason I stopped was that I never, ever understood how to just pick up a guitar and play. I was always relying on music sheets, and felt like I didn't truly understand music.

You guys on here know more than me about piano and music, so I thought you might have some advice. I now have to make one of two choices:
1) Carry on with the lessons (I only have about 6 lessons left in the next 3 months anyway, after which I'm moving to another country) and work on his easy pop songs, which in a way, is satisfying because it's a little challenging but I can still do it without any problem. However, it takes practice time away from Piano for all;
2) Stop taking those lessons and focus all my attention on Piano for all, and perhaps have lessons elsewhere when I've understood all books up to Book 7 and I have the basics down.

Would you have any opinion on this? My long-term goal is to be able to play well-known classical pieces like "Clair de Lune" or "Moonlight Sonata", and more importantly jazz standards and improvisation, as well as the odd film soundtrack and piano cover of rock/pop songs. I like all genres.

Thanks a lot for any advice you might have on this! smile

PS: Forgot to mention that my teacher also puts me off because he can't be bothered to answer emails. For example, he's given me a song to practise and I emailed him to ask whether he could give me an idea of fingerings for the first line (there are no fingerings at all), and I've been waiting for 10 days. I usually have to send him emails and texts asking to please answer before he does. The other thing that I find dubious is that the kind person who introduced me to him has been learning for 8 years (4 with him), and only ever seems to play things like the Amelie or The Piano soundtracks, or River Flows in You… Part of me hopes it's because that's what they like, part of me wonders if after all these years learning with him, that's the only thing they can play. Are my expectations too high, or is it okay to hope I'd be playing more elaborate pieces in 4-8 years' time? Again, you know more than me. Thank you.

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: To quit or not to quit lessons [Re: RosemaryGirl] #2798305
01/04/19 08:47 AM
01/04/19 08:47 AM
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 209
Ireland
Sibylle Offline
Full Member
Sibylle  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 209
Ireland
I'd say your intuition is the best indicator here. If you don't feel comfortable with a teacher, it'll ultimately kill your enjoyment of the instrument.

I never had the type of tuition I often read about here, with equal parts of theory, technical practice such as scales, and pieces. I only ever practiced pieces, in increasing levels of difficulty, and on the side, got a working knowledge of music history and theory (but I'd gotten that in school already, so we didn't have to spend much time during my piano lessons). That's what I wanted, too - I loved my lessons.

However, my teacher always gave me detailed feedback, fingerings, advice, and made me practice a piece until I could play it really well. I learned a lot and progressed steadily.

What you could do is talk to your teacher. Tell him what you had expected, and find out what his ideas are. See if you can come go any agreement. Otherwise, I'd much recommend looking around for a different teacher - don't stop lessons altogether as it's really helpful, especially when you're just starting, to have someone to guide you.

Last edited by Sibylle; 01/04/19 08:51 AM.

Sibylle

My piano background

"Not a shred of evidence exists in favour of the idea that life is serious." -Brendan Gill
Re: To quit or not to quit lessons [Re: RosemaryGirl] #2798311
01/04/19 09:05 AM
01/04/19 09:05 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,132
Pennsylvania
D
dmd Offline
4000 Post Club Member
dmd  Offline
4000 Post Club Member
D

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,132
Pennsylvania
For me it is very simple ….

I try to explain to a new instructor what I am looking for with lessons and then ….

If I am not happy with the instruction or the instructor (for any reason), I quit and look for someone else.

After a bit, I will know if the problem is ME or the instructor.

You will too.

Good Luck


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Casio PX-160, SennHeiser HD 555 Headphones, Apple iPad Mini, Spacestation v.3 Powered Stereo Monitor, Focal CMS 40 Monitors
Re: To quit or not to quit lessons [Re: RosemaryGirl] #2798336
01/04/19 09:54 AM
01/04/19 09:54 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 336
Just outside London UK
akc42 Offline
Full Member
akc42  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 336
Just outside London UK
It doesn't sound like he is teaching you. With my teacher when I play a piece through, there are always bits which don't go so well, or I am not playing it correctly. We might spend the entire lesson on just one bar/measure (if its difficult to get right) and all along I am getting little tips as how to practice better.

If I still struggle she promises to go away and try to practice the piece I am playing and come back with something the following week. For the past month or so I have been playing Chopin Nocturne Op9 No2 and was struggling with playing the fast little right hand only cadenza near the end where 4 notes are repeated twelve times very fast. The previous lesson she had suggested playing two notes very fast then three notes very fast, then four notes very fast, then five and so on - I tried that, but couldn't get about 7 or 8 notes before I lost the rhythm. So this week she suggested trying different (deliberately) wrong rhthmn as an exercise and also promised to try practicing it herself so next week she can have even more ideas.

Also this week she noticed my left hand was playing some of the left hand chords slightly wrong. So we tried in the lesson to JUST play the left hand - and sure enough I found it hard to get it right without the right hand reminding me. So during this weeks practice I have a task to practice playing the whole piece left hand only just to try and make it more solid.

Sometimes those tips are repeats of what I have already been told but I forget to put them into practice. Practicing slowly is one. Stop at the error and play up to that and not beyond over and over till I always get it right is another.

One thing I think you could do, is bring your prepared piece AND some questions about what you felt was difficult to get right and you aren't confident about. If you teacher can give you valuable tips when you ask those questions then maybe he is ok - if he can't give you advice when you are hitting difficulties then he is definitely the wrong one for you.

Last edited by akc42; 01/04/19 09:55 AM.
Re: To quit or not to quit lessons [Re: RosemaryGirl] #2798343
01/04/19 10:18 AM
01/04/19 10:18 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,838
Georgia, USA
Sam S Offline

2000 Post Club Member
Happy Birthday Sam S  Offline

2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,838
Georgia, USA
What qualifications does your teacher have? Music degree? Diplomas? Piano Pedagogy training? Or did he just start calling himself a piano teacher one day and start taking money?

Sam

Re: To quit or not to quit lessons (teacher vs Piano for All [Re: RosemaryGirl] #2798351
01/04/19 10:29 AM
01/04/19 10:29 AM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 11
R
RosemaryGirl Offline OP
Junior Member
RosemaryGirl  Offline OP
Junior Member
R

Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 11
Thank you for your answers so far.

Regarding what you say, akc42, I have told him before that there was a bit in a piece that didn't sound quite right, and he just listened again and said "no, it's fine". I think he's just satisfied that it sounds very good for a complete beginner. It sounded to me like he wasn't bothered, and to this day I think it was not fine, as I can now do it better, a couple of weeks later.

As for Sybille's advice to just talk to him, I guess I'm finding it a little difficult… On my first lesson, he told me what the monthly price would be for weekly lessons. I paid him. I later found out that you don't get lessons on school holidays or public holidays, so that month I had just ONE lesson. When I saw him again and asked him whether that means the monthly fee gets reduced, he answered a little carelessly that no, the price is the price however many lessons are in a month. So, I paid for a month's worth of lessons and got just one. He said I could have gone to his private studio on those days, but by then, it was too late. So, I don't find him particularly easy to talk to.

And I see what you're saying, Don. I forgot to mention in my original post that I move region, or usually, country, every 2-3 to 6 months, so I'll never have much regularity in terms of teachers. The question here is, am I wasting my time with this one?

And what about the musical aspect regarding chords? Is it right to say chords are not to be taught to beginners? That's the opposite view to Piano for All.

Thanks a bunch.

Re: To quit or not to quit lessons [Re: RosemaryGirl] #2798361
01/04/19 11:03 AM
01/04/19 11:03 AM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,999
Midwest USA
Stubbie Offline
Gold Subscriber
Stubbie  Offline
Gold Subscriber

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,999
Midwest USA
Quote
So, I paid for a month's worth of lessons and got just one. He said I could have gone to his private studio on those days, but by then, it was too late.
This implies that you're taking lessons in a music school of some sort and not private lessons. Is that the case?

About your moving every few months--learning to play the piano well takes years, even with a good teacher. Changing teachers every few months is not going to be the most efficient way to learn. It will be difficult for the teacher to put into practice their longer term methods for teaching skills, and you as the student will be constantly starting over with a new teacher. Six months might be enough to get something done, but two to three months probably not. I am an advocate for having a teacher, but you might be someone for whom the self-teaching route works best, at least until you settle down in one place for awhile.

Learning based on chords. If you want to play classical music, you need a lot of other stuff as well. There is a long discussion (in two, separate threads) on that topic (with the usual straying off onto other topics). I am not familiar with Piano for All, but I would be very cautious about taking it as the final authority on the subject.

Adult only wants to learn chords?

Update on adult who only wanted to learn chords


[Linked Image]
Re: To quit or not to quit lessons (teacher vs Piano for All [Re: RosemaryGirl] #2798362
01/04/19 11:05 AM
01/04/19 11:05 AM
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 209
Ireland
Sibylle Offline
Full Member
Sibylle  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 209
Ireland
Originally Posted by RosemaryGirl
I don't find him particularly easy to talk to.

There's your answer. A teacher should be someone you trust and get along with at least on a basic communication level.


Sibylle

My piano background

"Not a shred of evidence exists in favour of the idea that life is serious." -Brendan Gill
Re: To quit or not to quit lessons [Re: RosemaryGirl] #2798365
01/04/19 11:10 AM
01/04/19 11:10 AM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 107
Sweden
A
Animisha Offline
Full Member
Animisha  Offline
Full Member
A

Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 107
Sweden
Originally Posted by RosemaryGirl

I now have to make one of two choices:
1) Carry on with the lessons (I only have about 6 lessons left in the next 3 months anyway, after which I'm moving to another country) and work on his easy pop songs, which in a way, is satisfying because it's a little challenging but I can still do it without any problem. However, it takes practice time away from Piano for all;
2) Stop taking those lessons and focus all my attention on Piano for all, and perhaps have lessons elsewhere when I've understood all books up to Book 7 and I have the basics down.

Would you have any opinion on this? My long-term goal is to be able to play well-known classical pieces like "Clair de Lune" or "Moonlight Sonata",


Hi Rosemary, and welcome to ABF!

I would do neither of these options. Taking lessons from a teacher who is not teaching is a waste of your money and time. But neither would I focus all my attention on Piano for all, because of your long-term goal. If you want to play classical pieces beautifully, someone needs to teach how to play, how to sit, how to use your arms, wrists, hands and fingers. If their are no other teachers in your area, or if they are too expensive, you could consider an online "video teacher". That is what I would do. I mean, that is what I do. wink Take a look at this site

Tell us what you decide, when you decide. smile

Animisha

Re: To quit or not to quit lessons [Re: RosemaryGirl] #2798379
01/04/19 11:47 AM
01/04/19 11:47 AM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 128
48-49 High Street (WI, USA)
T
TheophilusCarter Online content
Full Member
TheophilusCarter  Online Content
Full Member
T

Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 128
48-49 High Street (WI, USA)
Good Lessons > No Lessons > Bad Lessons. Dump this fellow and find a better teacher, or work on your own - from books, CDs, DVDs, and the helpful folks here. smile


Decent upright bassist, aspiring decent pianist
Casio PX-160, Casio CDP-130
Roland KC-80
Re: To quit or not to quit lessons [Re: RosemaryGirl] #2798403
01/04/19 12:26 PM
01/04/19 12:26 PM
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 17
MARINE CITY
mrshaund Offline
Junior Member
mrshaund  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 17
MARINE CITY
I talked to a few instructors before I started and chose the one that fit my personality, he lets me play through then corrects me but also made a binder with his own material to go along with using the Alfreds book to change things up constantly and keep me interested as well as he lets me pay for each lesson rather than the ones I had spoken with before him wanted 3 months in advance with no refund and had a set course.

Re: To quit or not to quit lessons [Re: RosemaryGirl] #2798406
01/04/19 12:37 PM
01/04/19 12:37 PM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 446
Toronto, Canada
T
thepianoplayer416 Online content
Full Member
thepianoplayer416  Online Content
Full Member
T

Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 446
Toronto, Canada
It's not easy to factor in moving around. If you have a portable instrument like a flute, clarinet or violin you can take the instrument with you. Unless a keyboard is your choice of instrument you can find a few portable ones that you can carry around.

When it comes to a teacher, many would want a long-term commitment. There are some who teach through Skype and other means online. You can keep the same teacher except for the time difference.

Re: To quit or not to quit lessons [Re: RosemaryGirl] #2798425
01/04/19 01:05 PM
01/04/19 01:05 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,524
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Morodiene  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,524
Boynton Beach, FL
It does sound like you two don’t work well together. However, I want to address some of your other concerns.

I do not believe beginners should do chords right away. I don’t like Alfred’s All in one for this reason, the chords come too soon and too often. Learning to use individual fingers is much more important at first, plus technically chords too soon can be harmful to play (though not always). So I agree with your teacher on this principle, especially if you want to play advance classical pieces like the ones you mentioned. Piano learning is not like guitar.

Secondly, I charge my students the same amount every month for however many lessons there are in the month including holidays. This is made clear before lessons begin, and so if a student started in December, then they’d probably only have 3 lessons that month. That’s because the average works out over the period of the entire semester or school year.

Many schools operate this way as well: everyone taking lessons pays the same monthly rate when there are only 3 lessons in the month or when there are 5 lessons. It averages out to getting 34 lessons from September through May, and that full cost of 34 lessons is divided into 9 equal payments. Just like you don’t get a break on rent in months where there are only 30 or 28 days vs 31. So it averages out if you continue lessons.

As for repertoire and direction of lessons, did you tell him you wanted to learn the Moonlight sonata and Clair de lune? He may be teaching you what he finds most adult students are looking for unless you make it clear what you want. He may be absolutely delighted to have a more serious student and change his approach. It’s worth having a conversation at least.

Lastly, the thing about emails: you are not paying for him to be on call 24/7. You are paying for 30 or 45 or 60 minutes per week and whatever prep time he may need for lessons, period. Some emails cannot be answered properly in email format and are better addressed in person. And there are some people who don’t read emails at all, so he may not even know you had those questions. Whatever the situation, I don’t think it is fair for you to expect him to take time out of his personal life to answer those questions.

What is best is to write down your questions and take them with you to go through them at the beginning of your lesson. Just say if he says, “play this piece for me,” is to tell him first you’d like to go through some questions you have first. This is the time you’re paying for, so pick his brain! It will become clear if he knows his stuff or not by how he answers wink


private piano/voice teacher FT

[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Re: To quit or not to quit lessons [Re: Morodiene] #2798433
01/04/19 01:15 PM
01/04/19 01:15 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,338
Canada
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
keystring  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,338
Canada
Originally Posted by Morodiene
Lastly, the thing about emails: you are not paying for him to be on call 24/7. You are paying for 30 or 45 or 60 minutes per week and whatever prep time he may need for lessons, period.....

I agree with this. I'd like to add a "however". ......... However, if a student who is a relative beginner goes home with a piece that has been assigned and has no idea about fingering, then a few things are missing in the lesson itself. At that level you should not be in a position of having to figure out your own fingering or at best, with the teacher's guidance during the lesson (which includes learning to figure out fingering).

All in all, what has been described sounds like things I have encountered and can barely be called teaching.

If you move around a lot, how about distance learning? The first name that pops into my head is Shirley Kirsten. If you only use books, there is no chance for feedback. You would only go by what you think you are doing, versus what you actually are doing.

Re: To quit or not to quit lessons [Re: keystring] #2798441
01/04/19 01:20 PM
01/04/19 01:20 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,524
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Morodiene  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,524
Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by Morodiene
Lastly, the thing about emails: you are not paying for him to be on call 24/7. You are paying for 30 or 45 or 60 minutes per week and whatever prep time he may need for lessons, period.....

I agree with this. I'd like to add a "however". ......... However, if a student who is a relative beginner goes home with a piece that has been assigned and has no idea about fingering, then a few things are missing in the lesson itself. At that level you should not be in a position of having to figure out your own fingering or at best, with the teacher's guidance during the lesson (which includes learning to figure out fingering).

All in all, what has been described sounds like things I have encountered and can barely be called teaching.

If you move around a lot, how about distance learning? The first name that pops into my head is Shirley Kirsten. If you only use books, there is no chance for feedback. You would only go by what you think you are doing, versus what you actually are doing.

Yes, but the sad truth is that often adults come to a lesson and they don’t want to learn fingering or technique or anything like that. It’s possible this guy is just doing what is typically expected until/unless he has reason to do otherwise.

That’s why asking questions in person is so helpful: how he responds will tell you exactly what kind of teacher you’re dealing with.


private piano/voice teacher FT

[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Re: To quit or not to quit lessons [Re: RosemaryGirl] #2798479
01/04/19 02:46 PM
01/04/19 02:46 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,999
Midwest USA
Stubbie Offline
Gold Subscriber
Stubbie  Offline
Gold Subscriber

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,999
Midwest USA
The Skype suggestion above might be a good solution for someone who moves around a lot.


[Linked Image]
Re: To quit or not to quit lessons [Re: Morodiene] #2798481
01/04/19 02:49 PM
01/04/19 02:49 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 11,231
B
bennevis Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
bennevis  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 11,231
Originally Posted by Morodiene
the sad truth is that often adults come to a lesson and they don’t want to learn fingering or technique or anything like that. It’s possible this guy is just doing what is typically expected until/unless he has reason to do otherwise.

That’s why asking questions in person is so helpful: how he responds will tell you exactly what kind of teacher you’re dealing with.

I've told the story of my friend (who started lessons at 60) several times, but it sounds like the OP's teacher is teaching the way his other adult students want to be taught, which is also the way my friend's teacher thought he wanted to be taught. That is, to start playing 'adult songs' straightaway, and not worry about technical stuff.

Luckily for my friend (who knew a lot about classical music even though he was a complete beginner at learning music), he persuaded his teacher during his first lesson that he wanted to learn everything from the basics up, and his teacher was amenable to it. (BTW, his teacher specialized in teaching adults). He switched to a beginner's primer targeted at children (the same book he used for his child students, who all did piano exams) - which prioritizes individual finger movement and control before playing any chords, just as Morodiene advocates. (That was also the way I was taught, as a kid).

My friend has been reaping the rewards from his thorough grounding in technical and musical basics - he's playing late-intermediate classical pieces (original ones, not simplified) with excellent musicality and technique, he has good aural skills and can play by ear, and has also recently joined a choir, where he met other amateur musicians of similar age, and is now planning on meeting up with them regularly to play chamber music.

However, he is only interested in classical music, and his teacher taught him accordingly. The OP may have different ideas about what she wants.

That's why it is so important for adult students to talk to their teachers to make sure that what they are singing from the same hymn sheet - right from the first lesson.


"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: To quit or not to quit lessons [Re: Morodiene] #2798483
01/04/19 03:07 PM
01/04/19 03:07 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,338
Canada
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
keystring  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,338
Canada
Originally Posted by Morodiene
Yes, but the sad truth is that often adults come to a lesson and they don’t want to learn fingering or technique or anything like that. It’s possible this guy is just doing what is typically expected until/unless he has reason to do otherwise.

That’s why asking questions in person is so helpful: how he responds will tell you exactly what kind of teacher you’re dealing with.

You have just put your finger on a major problem. Not only are there teachers who have this experience, but also you will see "advice" to teachers to this effect. It is why adult students must be proactive. One would think that if you sign up for lessons, you would be taught what is needed and in some kind of logical manner - but that does not necessarily happen. So it may be necessary to tell a new teacher that you want to learn. That said, I find it irresponsible and unprofessional for a teacher not to teach because he thinks this group of students don't want to learn. Must teacher I have come to know and respect do their darndest to guide their students.

[quote ]That’s why asking questions in person is so helpful: how he responds will tell you exactly what kind of teacher you’re dealing with. [/quote]
That is a good idea. At least you'll be able to tell if he can teach and just didn't bother.

Re: To quit or not to quit lessons [Re: RosemaryGirl] #2798485
01/04/19 03:10 PM
01/04/19 03:10 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,322
Australia
E
earlofmar Online content
3000 Post Club Member
earlofmar  Online Content
3000 Post Club Member
E

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,322
Australia
Originally Posted by RosemaryGirl


And what about the musical aspect regarding chords? Is it right to say chords are not to be taught to beginners? That's the opposite view to Piano for All.

.


Sure beginners can learn chords but they are not the most important thing for a beginner. Coming to lessons with guitar background as I did, I definitely placed too much importance on chords, and had the same quandary as you at the lack of them in the music I was learning. When I did learn some chordal pieces it didn't make me any better or give me better insight (at the time) into the classical music I was interested in.

Piano For All, Alfreds All In One, and face to face lessons are all different ways of learning music, and nothing wrong with the first two. But to play Debussy and Beethoven pieces, the most efficient way is face to face lessons. I actually brought Alfreds book 2 to my first teacher and we used the pieces I was interested in, I also dabbled with Piano for All on the side.

Early lessons can be quite disappointing for a motivated and inquiring adult beginner. I guess because no matter our enthusiasm we are completely inept at actually playing piano, making it difficult for the teacher to keep us enthused while teaching to our glacial pace (sometimes one step forward, two steps back). So it can be easy to blame the teacher at this point for lacking a miraculous teaching style. Having said that there is a lot of trust and confidence needed in the teacher, and once that is broken there is no point going on. You start questioning everything, and you might even start to hate going to lessons, so I think it is time to move on. Even more so considering the behaviour of this teacher isn't what you would expect.

Looking back at my own six years of lessons with three different teachers, the first two were cheaper, but a lot less experienced than my current teacher. However depending on which day of the week you ask me, I think they were right for the time.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


13x[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Re: To quit or not to quit lessons [Re: RosemaryGirl] #2798499
01/04/19 03:49 PM
01/04/19 03:49 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 11
R
RosemaryGirl Offline OP
Junior Member
RosemaryGirl  Offline OP
Junior Member
R

Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 11
Thanks again for all this thorough advice.

Interestingly, the reason why I thought this teacher might be a good fit for me is that he has an online school, so I thought that if we built a good rapport, he could just become my teacher for the long term, at a distance. He seemed to rather be hoping for that as well as he "plugged" this idea on my first lesson. Clearly, that won't be happening. He has a fairly large following on YouTube, but from what I can see his "school" (which I have online access to as his student) consists in just supplying students with music sheets of well-known songs transposed into easier versions, with synthesia-style videos attached — without any actual Skype teaching as such.

The way he was introduced to me, he seemed to be a private teacher who uses space in a high school on some days of the week — and I happened to take the slot of a student who is away for 6 months, while I'm here just for 6 months, so I go to my lessons on that day. I seem to recall him telling me that he only teaches one other adult. I get the impression he has a skewed view of what people want, just because most people on YouTube want to be able to play the Amelie soundtrack for their cousin's birthday, but I might be mistaken. I had told him what my goals where on lesson 1, but another issue is that he forgets from one week to the next what he's already told me, what pieces I've already played him, etc. Literally, he has no recollection of what we did previously, which led my husband to quip that he sounds like he smokes too much pot!

As for emails and not answering them, I might not have been expecting an answer if 1) he'd given me all the information I need and 2) he'd not told me that I can contact him anytime. He said that, he invited it. Plus, on a professional level, as a freelance service provider myself, I would expect that clients might contact me with queries that are outside my charging hours, I don't find that too imposing when it happens very occasionally. On a human level, it seems you could answer someone's emails when you know the person… But maybe that's me! He also upset the kid who's away for 6 months because he didn't answer a message of hers, and they've had a working relationship for 4 years, so I think perhaps it's not me being weird.

I tried the clarinet last year smile — loved it, but it's actually a lot more interesting to play when you can join a harmony orchestra, which I did and loved; but once I moved, I realised I don't fancy playing an instrument on my own that sounds a little "bare" without an accompaniment, hence the idea of the piano. I am thinking of purchasing a good portable digital piano when I move (under 15 kg). I'm not going to wait until I settle, as that might never happen… I'm a digital nomad.

So, it sounds from all your advice that Piano for All might be something I could do on the side, but that I need to carry on learning in the "classical" way with a teacher. I'm a little worried about the technical aspects of Skype lessons, but will look into cameras, etc. Perhaps I should stop with this particular teacher and find a good online teacher.

Thanks again, this is all very enlightening, and I can also see the standpoint of the teacher better now. Much appreciated.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3

Moderated by  BB Player 

(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Petrof
(ad)
Sweetwater - Keyboards
Sweetwater
ad
Jazz Piano Online
Jazz Piano Lessons Online

New Topics - Multiple Forums
Kawai vs yamaha conservatory grands
by kokatla. 01/17/19 09:10 PM
Name that piano! Prizes! Fame!
by Bruce In Philly. 01/17/19 07:26 PM
Concerns about buying the MP11SE due to possible MIDI issues
by Scriavel Bachmanin. 01/17/19 05:14 PM
Debussy plays Clair de Lune
by prout. 01/17/19 05:11 PM
Yamaha P-255 to P-515?
by MegaPiano. 01/17/19 03:56 PM
Forum Statistics
Forums40
Topics189,633
Posts2,782,961
Members92,145
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Please Support Our Advertisers
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

Sweetwater

PianoTeq Petrof
Piano Buyer Spring 2018
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 - 2018 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.2