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Re: Why can’t I find a teacher who is good for me? [Re: Gary D.] #2818381
02/21/19 02:14 PM
02/21/19 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
There are plenty of things to do every lesson, and I wish I could see my good students at least twice a week.

Several of my students are seeing me twice a week. Most of them are splitting an hour lesson into two 30-minute lessons.

I get to catch mistakes before they crystallize. Most of these kids are making substantially better progress than the weekly students.


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Re: Why can’t I find a teacher who is good for me? [Re: bythecshore] #2818385
02/21/19 02:22 PM
02/21/19 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bythecshore
I liked 45 minutes the best, every two weeks, as the real learning took place during practice.

No, the real learning takes place during lessons. The practice during the week is necessary to keep up with the learning, so you don't forget what you have learned.

If you try to practice by yourself for two weeks, numerous things can go wrong. At your beginner level, that is a death wish. This bi-weekly lesson idea might work for really really advanced students who need some "coaching" along the way of self-learning. You are clearly not at that level yet.


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Re: Why can’t I find a teacher who is good for me? [Re: bythecshore] #2818411
02/21/19 03:17 PM
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I can see where you are coming from.

You need a buddy who has been around the block, plays well and is knowledgable. One who can shoot the breeze with you about a lot of things pertaining to piano, jazz and such.

Barring that, I'd recommend a guy named Glen Rose. I'm not sure if he does Skype lessons but he's very knowledgable, has a lot of "real world gigging for 30 years" sort of knowledge and is open to other avenues of learning jazz and stuff without starting like classical guys do...dots on the page.


He's open to question answering also, I've corresponded with him and he's a great guy. Very down to earth.

Re: Why can’t I find a teacher who is good for me? [Re: AZNpiano] #2818467
02/21/19 05:23 PM
02/21/19 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano

Yes, that is correct. I just wanted to find out the mindset and the expectations of progress that the OP has.

My adult student who is making such horrid progress actually practices between lessons, but he pushes way too much and tries to get ahead, thinking it will save him money. Unfortunately, he practices incorrectly, so each time I see him, it's one deprogramming activity after another. I'm sick of it.

I see the OP has a similar line of thinking.


I see what you're saying and I would agree if that is going on, and it might also be. I tried to address some of the goals in my own response, and hope to hear back about that from the OP.

Re: Why can’t I find a teacher who is good for me? [Re: AZNpiano] #2818536
02/21/19 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Gary D.
There are plenty of things to do every lesson, and I wish I could see my good students at least twice a week.

Several of my students are seeing me twice a week. Most of them are splitting an hour lesson into two 30-minute lessons.

I get to catch mistakes before they crystallize. Most of these kids are making substantially better progress than the weekly students.

BINGO! It's not rocket science. Most of what we do is HOW to play, and people need continual reminders about how to do that. The idea that adults are better about not screwing between lessons is just absurd. My adult beginners get so much wrong between lessons that it makes my head spin, and it requires every bit of tact and patience I have not lose my cool when simple directions I write down are not followed.


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Re: Why can’t I find a teacher who is good for me? [Re: AZNpiano] #2818538
02/21/19 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by bythecshore
I liked 45 minutes the best, every two weeks, as the real learning took place during practice.

No, the real learning takes place during lessons. The practice during the week is necessary to keep up with the learning, so you don't forget what you have learned.

Many adults are thick as a brick about this. They insist that they can learn by themselves, at home. You don't learn learn new things at home when you are a beginner unless you are an undiscovered musical genius, which none of my students are. The learning takes place IN THE LESSON, then what is CORRECTLY LEARNED in lessons is practiced at home so that we don't have to baby-sit the exactly same lesson about 100 weeks in a row.


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Re: Why can’t I find a teacher who is good for me? [Re: bythecshore] #2818585
02/21/19 10:31 PM
02/21/19 10:31 PM
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Some replies in here made me though: It is important to state your goals to your teacher too.
I've heard again and again that some teachers are afraid to give too easy stuff to adult fearing to bore them out. This is a thing that happened with my first teacher, with the exact opposite effect: things were too hard and I got discouraged at time.
Many adults don't want to go through easy stuff. If you are willing to do so, say it. Otherwise, your teacher might think you want the usual "adult-route" and give you that, when they could perfectly follow another route if they know you are open to it. smile


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- Chopin, nocturne op. posth. in C# minor
- Debussy, Golliwog's cakewalk
- Pozzoli, E.R. 427, etude no. 6
Re: Why can’t I find a teacher who is good for me? [Re: Gary D.] #2818607
02/22/19 01:06 AM
02/22/19 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by bythecshore
I liked 45 minutes the best, every two weeks, as the real learning took place during practice.

No, the real learning takes place during lessons. The practice during the week is necessary to keep up with the learning, so you don't forget what you have learned.

Many adults are thick as a brick about this. They insist that they can learn by themselves, at home. You don't learn learn new things at home when you are a beginner unless you are an undiscovered musical genius, which none of my students are. The learning takes place IN THE LESSON, then what is CORRECTLY LEARNED in lessons is practiced at home so that we don't have to baby-sit the exactly same lesson about 100 weeks in a row.


I think this may apply to adult beginners without musical background. There are plenty of adults who are beginners with the piano but have a background in other musical activities. One does not have to be an undiscovered musical genious to understand music and be able to process things on your own. I don't know if you are just very unlucky or if it's your environment but I don't think all adults are that hopeless.

My own experience is quite the opposite btw: I cannot really LEARN new things on lessons because it is too hard for me to focus on the things that are difficult when interacting with another person. I cannot imitate someone's actions or follow someone's spoken instructions well. I get the idea and tools for learning from the teacher but the actual processing and learning needs to be done at home where I can focus on what I do. It took a while in the beginning, but my teacher soon learned when she had to stop "teaching" and let me figure out something on my own. That way always worked, no matter how impossible something seemed at lessons the next time I came had learned it. And something I figure out this way I don't forget as I would if spoon fed.

Re: Why can’t I find a teacher who is good for me? [Re: outo] #2818621
02/22/19 03:47 AM
02/22/19 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by outo
I think this may apply to adult beginners without musical background. There are plenty of adults who are beginners with the piano but have a background in other musical activities.

Actually, that could potentially make things worse. I've taught people who can play violin already, so they can already read treble clef. But then their bass clef reading NEVER caught up, and it's a gigantic mess. Adult students also suffer from the fact that their brains tend to move quicker than their fingers, so they may conceptually know the information, but their fingers are not equipped to move as quickly as their brains.

Originally Posted by outo
My own experience is quite the opposite btw: I cannot really LEARN new things on lessons because it is too hard for me to focus on the things that are difficult when interacting with another person. I cannot imitate someone's actions or follow someone's spoken instructions well. I get the idea and tools for learning from the teacher but the actual processing and learning needs to be done at home where I can focus on what I do. It took a while in the beginning, but my teacher soon learned when she had to stop "teaching" and let me figure out something on my own. That way always worked, no matter how impossible something seemed at lessons the next time I came had learned it. And something I figure out this way I don't forget as I would if spoon fed.

You are unique. Most people don't think that way.


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Re: Why can’t I find a teacher who is good for me? [Re: AZNpiano] #2818650
02/22/19 05:21 AM
02/22/19 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by outo
I think this may apply to adult beginners without musical background. There are plenty of adults who are beginners with the piano but have a background in other musical activities.

Actually, that could potentially make things worse. I've taught people who can play violin already, so they can already read treble clef. But then their bass clef reading NEVER caught up, and it's a gigantic mess. Adult students also suffer from the fact that their brains tend to move quicker than their fingers, so they may conceptually know the information, but their fingers are not equipped to move as quickly as their brains.

I guess I was more thinking about general musical education which includes singing, knowing the notes, meters and such at some level, not so much in depth instrument training. Everyone in my generation and before got compulsory musical education in school, so that's my reference group. Things may have been forgotten, but not fully lost.
Originally Posted by AZNpiano

Originally Posted by outo
My own experience is quite the opposite btw: I cannot really LEARN new things on lessons because it is too hard for me to focus on the things that are difficult when interacting with another person. I cannot imitate someone's actions or follow someone's spoken instructions well. I get the idea and tools for learning from the teacher but the actual processing and learning needs to be done at home where I can focus on what I do. It took a while in the beginning, but my teacher soon learned when she had to stop "teaching" and let me figure out something on my own. That way always worked, no matter how impossible something seemed at lessons the next time I came had learned it. And something I figure out this way I don't forget as I would if spoon fed.

You are unique. Most people don't think that way.

It's not so much thinking, it's just what works. But you are probably right, I have some cognitive deficiencies that I had to learn to compensate from early on by myself and that made me develope problem solving skills most people probably never needed. I have no doubt that your experience has taught you what works and what does not and how your students respond. It's just not necessarily universal, so someone coming here may be ok with something different. Without being a musical genious, which I am surely not smile

Re: Why can’t I find a teacher who is good for me? [Re: bythecshore] #2818663
02/22/19 06:21 AM
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I read about this sort of thinking all the time in ABF: adults starting piano but who know some musical concepts and theory etc from playing guitar, drums etc. Or just from watching lots and lots of YT videos, or reading books about it. And they think they can rush through the the basics of piano playing, or even dive straight into advanced beginner-intermediate stuff (or just plain advanced stuff, like Moonlight......) - with or without a teacher - and get burnt, when they realize that piano playing is really a very technical activity. They develop tension and frustration when they just can't get their hands & fingers to do what they want them to do (i.e. like what those whizz-kids do on YT).

Anything technical cannot be rushed, no matter how great your knowledge of its nuts & bolts. Would anyone think they can just go rock-climbing up a vertical cliff simply because they own lots of shiny new carabiners, camming devices, belay devices, nuts, hexes etc, and know what they're for, and how they're used?

It seems to me that my 'senior' friend (whose piano-learning story I've related here lots of times) is pretty unique: he started learning piano from scratch at 60, having had long experience of attending concerts and reading about classical music. He already had an immense knowledge of music - but no practical experience. Once he decided to learn piano, he jumped in at the deep end, and bought a Steinway upright (really). His teacher (who specialized in teaching adults) intended to start him on an adult beginner book (one of those that starts the beginner straight into playing adult 'songs' and is very popular in ABF), but he realized very quickly that wasn't the way he wanted to learn. Luckily, his teacher was understanding and accommodating, and switched him to a children's beginner primer (which he uses with his child students) that assumes no prior knowledge, no prior experience, no prior skills, goes at baby steps, and skips nothing. Not even the basics. His progress through the early stages was slow but sure. (A lot slower and surer than that of adult beginners who post about their progress in ABF). He followed a piano syllabus (ABRSM) to the letter, and though my friend eventually decided not to do the exams, he kept with it.......and now, several years later, he's playing like someone who learnt as a kid (and learnt properly). He can sight-read very well (and sight-sing: he joined a choir recently, and is currently preparing for a complete Messiah performance at Easter), play by ear, even improvise in classical style; but most of all, he plays very musically (Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms et al) and has no technical problems - he has never suffered from 'tension' or any sort of injuries. He still has weekly lessons with his teacher, who considers him to be the best adult student he's ever had.


"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: Why can’t I find a teacher who is good for me? [Re: bennevis] #2818666
02/22/19 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
I read about this sort of thinking all the time in ABF: adults starting piano but who know some musical concepts and theory etc from playing guitar, drums etc. Or just from watching lots and lots of YT videos, or reading books about it. And they think they can rush through the the basics of piano playing, or even dive straight into advanced beginner-intermediate stuff (or just plain advanced stuff, like Moonlight......) - with or without a teacher - and get burnt, when they realize that piano playing is really a very technical activity. They develop tension and frustration when they just can't get their hands & fingers to do what they want them to do (i.e. like what those whizz-kids do on YT).



I think what this discussion went to was whether one can learn anything else than bad habits independently or if all the learning has to happen on lessons, thus requiring 1-2 lessons every week for any adult beginner? I don't think anyone who knows anything thinks one should rush things or jump into difficult repertoire too soon (although many of us did and survived). Except for those rare prodigies, whether child ot adult, who simply seem to know the right way by instinct wink

The physical side of playing is what definitely requires hands on teaching. However it is entirely possible to learn to understand written musical notation and count correctly on your own, if there's some background already. One can also learn to finger independently according to one's hands with some initial help from the teacher. These are some things that seem to be a big issue with the adults students of many teachers here, if I understand them correctly.

Re: Why can’t I find a teacher who is good for me? [Re: AZNpiano] #2818702
02/22/19 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by outo
I think this may apply to adult beginners without musical background. There are plenty of adults who are beginners with the piano but have a background in other musical activities.

Actually, that could potentially make things worse. I've taught people who can play violin already, so they can already read treble clef. But then their bass clef reading NEVER caught up, and it's a gigantic mess. Adult students also suffer from the fact that their brains tend to move quicker than their fingers, so they may conceptually know the information, but their fingers are not equipped to move as quickly as their brains.

Originally Posted by outo
My own experience is quite the opposite btw: I cannot really LEARN new things on lessons because it is too hard for me to focus on the things that are difficult when interacting with another person. I cannot imitate someone's actions or follow someone's spoken instructions well. I get the idea and tools for learning from the teacher but the actual processing and learning needs to be done at home where I can focus on what I do. It took a while in the beginning, but my teacher soon learned when she had to stop "teaching" and let me figure out something on my own. That way always worked, no matter how impossible something seemed at lessons the next time I came had learned it. And something I figure out this way I don't forget as I would if spoon fed.

You are unique. Most people don't think that way.


I must be unique too because that's exactly how I am. I have 30 minutes to get some direction and some guidance and 99% of it is actually done at home. I can't focus clearly or imitate actions just as the other person said (unless I'm not paying for it, and we are just buddies sitting around together and have all of the time in the world then maybe this works for me.)

Re: Why can’t I find a teacher who is good for me? [Re: PianoWVBob] #2818807
02/22/19 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by outo
I think this may apply to adult beginners without musical background. There are plenty of adults who are beginners with the piano but have a background in other musical activities.

Actually, that could potentially make things worse. I've taught people who can play violin already, so they can already read treble clef. But then their bass clef reading NEVER caught up, and it's a gigantic mess. Adult students also suffer from the fact that their brains tend to move quicker than their fingers, so they may conceptually know the information, but their fingers are not equipped to move as quickly as their brains.

Originally Posted by outo
My own experience is quite the opposite btw: I cannot really LEARN new things on lessons because it is too hard for me to focus on the things that are difficult when interacting with another person. I cannot imitate someone's actions or follow someone's spoken instructions well. I get the idea and tools for learning from the teacher but the actual processing and learning needs to be done at home where I can focus on what I do. It took a while in the beginning, but my teacher soon learned when she had to stop "teaching" and let me figure out something on my own. That way always worked, no matter how impossible something seemed at lessons the next time I came had learned it. And something I figure out this way I don't forget as I would if spoon fed.

You are unique. Most people don't think that way.


I must be unique too because that's exactly how I am. I have 30 minutes to get some direction and some guidance and 99% of it is actually done at home. I can't focus clearly or imitate actions just as the other person said (unless I'm not paying for it, and we are just buddies sitting around together and have all of the time in the world then maybe this works for me.)

I think most of the adult beginner posters on this forum are unique and do not represent the vast majority of adult students out there.


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Re: Why can’t I find a teacher who is good for me? [Re: Morodiene] #2818823
02/22/19 01:00 PM
02/22/19 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
I think most of the adult beginner posters on this forum are unique and do not represent the vast majority of adult students out there.

Morodiene, in what way are we different than this vast majority? (I am just really curious smile )


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Re: Why can’t I find a teacher who is good for me? [Re: outo] #2818835
02/22/19 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by outo

I think this may apply to adult beginners without musical background. There are plenty of adults who are beginners with the piano but have a background in other musical activities. One does not have to be an undiscovered musical genious to understand music and be able to process things on your own. I don't know if you are just very unlucky or if it's your environment but I don't think all adults are that hopeless.

Are you answering me? Where did I say ALL adults are hopeless? I'm working with three right now who are the exact opposite.
Quote

My own experience is quite the opposite btw: I cannot really LEARN new things on lessons because it is too hard for me to focus on the things that are difficult when interacting with another person.

You don't learn to DO things in lessons. You learn what to practice on at home, and how to do it. My job is to check if it's happening. Videos made at home are vital, because at home you can find a way to record your process. When adults (or children) show what is happening at home, I know instantly if it's going to work, or if not, why it will NOT work. The point is that when you go home and begin working in your own way, if for any reason your process is wrong, which can be any number of false ideas, the longer you continue working in this wrong way, the more there is to fix.

In addition, you are not a beginner, not even close. You are not in any way the kind of adult I'm talking about, an adult who is still fairly new to the piano.
Quote

I cannot imitate someone's actions or follow someone's spoken instructions well. I get the idea and tools for learning from the teacher but the actual processing and learning needs to be done at home where I can focus on what I do.

I understand that. But the average student, even a very good one, will work at home, thinking he (or she) has understood things well, but things need to be tweaked, and two or more weeks is enough time to get really "good at doing things wrong". For me just one day of playing or practice on something new is disastrous if I start off with wrong fingering or wrong notes. Obviously at this point it is my job to fix potential mistakes immediately. None of my students can do that.
Quote

It took a while in the beginning, but my teacher soon learned when she had to stop "teaching" and let me figure out something on my own. That way always worked, no matter how impossible something seemed at lessons the next time I came had learned it. And something I figure out this way I don't forget as I would if spoon fed.

That's something different, and not at all what I am talking about. If you are close to a beginner, you are not going to figure out complex fingering on your own, or how to solve new rhythm problems, and so on. There are always an infinity of potential snafus like that.

Here is an example: Supposing you are working with me, and you just started a new Scarlatti Sonata. You tell me you are not sure what fingering you will use, and I agree for the most part, but I warn you about one or two spots that have unusual solutions you may not think of. Not all good fingerings are in any book, and you have to adapt fingerings to your hand and hand size. You then say you are going to work it out at home, and I agree. How long do you want to experiment with your own fingering before you want me to check to see if it is going to work? If you don't need me for that, you are very advanced and at a level I almost never see from students. In addition, we could be staggering several different projects, so let's say you want two weeks to think it out, and we agree you won't practice much with the fingerings until we agree, together, that they are wise and will work. We could have half a dozen things like that going, not all started at the same time. But the idea is that you show me where you are. You can do it by recording at home, in which case you are under no pressure in a lesson. But we are still examining fingering, including redistributing plus many other things, and we are monitoring to make sure you don't get into long range habits from doing the wrong thing too long.

Again, I know from painful experience that two weeks of doing something wrong is deadly for me in terms of future ease. Two DAYS screws me up totally, because I begin to absorb habits that get ingrained. The moment I do things wrong even 3 or 4 times that alternate wrong solution gets in my brain and creates a fork in the road. Thereafter, at any moment my brain my chose A, the initial wrong choice, instead of B, the one I want. And A/B are not always right/wrong for anyone else, but only one is best for me, and I need to know that from the first time I start on something.

90% of what I do with students is about fixing things that are already wrong. And that gets worse when the time between lessons is extended.

Last edited by Gary D.; 02/22/19 01:21 PM.

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Re: Why can’t I find a teacher who is good for me? [Re: PianoWVBob] #2818872
02/22/19 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
I must be unique too because that's exactly how I am. I have 30 minutes to get some direction and some guidance and 99% of it is actually done at home. I can't focus clearly or imitate actions just as the other person said (unless I'm not paying for it, and we are just buddies sitting around together and have all of the time in the world then maybe this works for me.)

What's the point of having a teacher if 99% of the learning is done on your own?


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Re: Why can’t I find a teacher who is good for me? [Re: AZNpiano] #2818936
02/22/19 05:49 PM
02/22/19 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
I must be unique too because that's exactly how I am. I have 30 minutes to get some direction and some guidance and 99% of it is actually done at home. I can't focus clearly or imitate actions just as the other person said (unless I'm not paying for it, and we are just buddies sitting around together and have all of the time in the world then maybe this works for me.)

What's the point of having a teacher if 99% of the learning is done on your own?


The 1% can be extremely important wink

Re: Why can’t I find a teacher who is good for me? [Re: Gary D.] #2818968
02/22/19 07:13 PM
02/22/19 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by outo

I think this may apply to adult beginners without musical background. There are plenty of adults who are beginners with the piano but have a background in other musical activities. One does not have to be an undiscovered musical genious to understand music and be able to process things on your own. I don't know if you are just very unlucky or if it's your environment but I don't think all adults are that hopeless.

Are you answering me? Where did I say ALL adults are hopeless? I'm working with three right now who are the exact opposite.
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My own experience is quite the opposite btw: I cannot really LEARN new things on lessons because it is too hard for me to focus on the things that are difficult when interacting with another person.

You don't learn to DO things in lessons. You learn what to practice on at home, and how to do it. My job is to check if it's happening. Videos made at home are vital, because at home you can find a way to record your process. When adults (or children) show what is happening at home, I know instantly if it's going to work, or if not, why it will NOT work. The point is that when you go home and begin working in your own way, if for any reason your process is wrong, which can be any number of false ideas, the longer you continue working in this wrong way, the more there is to fix.

In addition, you are not a beginner, not even close. You are not in any way the kind of adult I'm talking about, an adult who is still fairly new to the piano.
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I cannot imitate someone's actions or follow someone's spoken instructions well. I get the idea and tools for learning from the teacher but the actual processing and learning needs to be done at home where I can focus on what I do.

I understand that. But the average student, even a very good one, will work at home, thinking he (or she) has understood things well, but things need to be tweaked, and two or more weeks is enough time to get really "good at doing things wrong". For me just one day of playing or practice on something new is disastrous if I start off with wrong fingering or wrong notes. Obviously at this point it is my job to fix potential mistakes immediately. None of my students can do that.
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It took a while in the beginning, but my teacher soon learned when she had to stop "teaching" and let me figure out something on my own. That way always worked, no matter how impossible something seemed at lessons the next time I came had learned it. And something I figure out this way I don't forget as I would if spoon fed.

That's something different, and not at all what I am talking about. If you are close to a beginner, you are not going to figure out complex fingering on your own, or how to solve new rhythm problems, and so on. There are always an infinity of potential snafus like that.

Here is an example: Supposing you are working with me, and you just started a new Scarlatti Sonata. You tell me you are not sure what fingering you will use, and I agree for the most part, but I warn you about one or two spots that have unusual solutions you may not think of. Not all good fingerings are in any book, and you have to adapt fingerings to your hand and hand size. You then say you are going to work it out at home, and I agree. How long do you want to experiment with your own fingering before you want me to check to see if it is going to work? If you don't need me for that, you are very advanced and at a level I almost never see from students. In addition, we could be staggering several different projects, so let's say you want two weeks to think it out, and we agree you won't practice much with the fingerings until we agree, together, that they are wise and will work. We could have half a dozen things like that going, not all started at the same time. But the idea is that you show me where you are. You can do it by recording at home, in which case you are under no pressure in a lesson. But we are still examining fingering, including redistributing plus many other things, and we are monitoring to make sure you don't get into long range habits from doing the wrong thing too long.

Again, I know from painful experience that two weeks of doing something wrong is deadly for me in terms of future ease. Two DAYS screws me up totally, because I begin to absorb habits that get ingrained. The moment I do things wrong even 3 or 4 times that alternate wrong solution gets in my brain and creates a fork in the road. Thereafter, at any moment my brain my chose A, the initial wrong choice, instead of B, the one I want. And A/B are not always right/wrong for anyone else, but only one is best for me, and I need to know that from the first time I start on something.

90% of what I do with students is about fixing things that are already wrong. And that gets worse when the time between lessons is extended.


Yes, why would you bother spending time with things they already do right... But do they really get so much wrong between lessons? Do they not quite soon (after a few lessons) learn how to correctly study certain things on their own? I am not arguing with you or AZN. To me it just sounds almost like your students are lacking some basic life skills smile

BTW. I certainly felt like a beginner with the piano when I started lessons with my present teacher. I had 3 months of self learning and 3 or 4 lessons with another teacher. I remembered absolutely nothing from my not so successful childhood lessons and had not even touched a piano for 3 decades. But from day one my favorite thing about the piano as an adult was to carefully work on fingerings and counting new pieces so that I play them correctly the way they are written. My big weakness was lack of physical playing technique (and not understanding how to make it better) and what I have now I have my teacher and her patience to thank for.

When I go back to pieces I learned on my first years I do notice that in some places I now prefer different fingering. My weak fingers are better so I do not need to avoid certain fingerings as I did in the beginning. But I don't think the fingerings were horrible and I see all that fingering practice a useful learning process that I would have missed if my teacher helped me with every step of the way.

Sometimes my teacher and I would look at pieces together first and sometimes I would look at it beforehand alone first. I usually found the latter more efficient. As for bad habits, usually when my teacher points out something that I have done wrong, I will correct it in for next lesson and that's that. Seems I am not good at forming or keeping bad habits. Also I must point out that while I do often learn (=figure out) things on my own, I avoid continuous repeated practice on them until they have been reviewed by my teacher. That is just common sense... I very early learned not to practice for practice's sake, but only when I felt I knew how to and felt it was productive. So if I was overwhelmed by something I just put it aside and waited until my next lesson. Those times I of course wished it was sooner...

Re: Why can’t I find a teacher who is good for me? [Re: outo] #2818998
02/22/19 08:11 PM
02/22/19 08:11 PM
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This first:
Originally Posted by outo

When I go back to pieces I learned on my first years I do notice that in some places I now prefer different fingering. My weak fingers are better so I do not need to avoid certain fingerings as I did in the beginning. But I don't think the fingerings were horrible and I see all that fingering practice a useful learning process that I would have missed if my teacher helped me with every step of the way.

I could right at this moment show you a crucial mistake I made in the very famous F Major Two Part Invention. This could have been instantly corrected by a decent piano teacher - remember mine was an idiot - and as a result I still have think carefully not to revert to that wrong fingering as I demonstrate it. Each time I re-teach it, I get it right - again - but when I rest from it, the old fingering comes back. It is a permanent fork in the road, one fork going straight to fingering h e l l.

I can't tell you now long it is until these wrong forks become permanent, and to some extent it probably differs from person to person, but for me it happen very fast.

Here is a similar language thing. As a child I read the word "gauge" as "gawg", like raw. I had not heard the word, so for me it was passive. I did not put it together as the thing we call a "gauge", water, air gauge, which rhymes with cage. As a result, when I got to use the verb to this very day I have to remind myself of the correct pronunciation.

These wrong habits are so common in scales, chords and arpeggios that I think it is a fair statement to say that no student will learn all these things without critical wrong fingerings if not watched and correct, and you want to fix this ASAP. Here it he most basic one. Almost every beginning, all ages, tries to play a C major chord in the LH with 521.

Fingerings for weak fingers - this is complicated. On one hand, you can't always start people with the same fingerings they will use later, especially with kids, because things change physically. Even adult hands will sometimes stretch to some degree. Even so, I would say that smart fingering is the most important thing in good technique, because all the relaxation and good movements in the world will never come together with awkward fingering. What makes it worse is that for many MANY things there are alternate possibilities, and you only find out what is best for you by experimenting.
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Finally this:
[quote]
I avoid continuous repeated practice on them until they have been reviewed by my teacher. That is just common sense...

Common sense? There is no such thing. smile

Probably one adult in 100 does what you are doing. You can't go by the people you talk to here, because they are atypical.

Of course it is smart, and necessary, but please believe me that most students of any age don't do what you are doing. If they did, I would not spend most of my teaching time fixing things that have been done wrong, over and over and over and over...
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I very early learned not to practice for practice's sake, but only when I felt I knew how to and felt it was productive. So if I was overwhelmed by something I just put it aside and waited until my next lesson. Those times I of course wished it was sooner...

I will tell you that my best adults come up with questions queued up for every lesson, not because they are lazy or stupid, but because they work hard and are intelligent. I don't have them play things over and over for me, because that's what I do with the "toasters". Toasters are looking for a Personal Piano Trainer, and they won't play well if they become immortal and play for two hundred years. With the good ones I am trouble-shooting, often in advance. Look out for this section. That section has tricky fingering. You want to work on rhythm in those sections, because something really tricky is going on. And so on...


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