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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Gary D.] #2829303
03/21/19 01:26 AM
03/21/19 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by outo

I gladly admit I am stubborn and my teacher agrees...however my stubbornness also means I do not give up easily when things are difficult smile

I am persistent. When I make up my mind to do something, I do everything in my power to succeed. I'm also a person who examines all possibilities.

These two things together in an adult student makes things fantastic. There will be success.

But lets differentiate between this persistence and something else, a very thick-headed, self-destructive stubbornness that I also see in adults - and by the way children and teens can be this way. With such people nothing works.

I'm assuming that if I were working with your clone, and I could give you solid reasons for things I recommend, you would probably cooperate.

I don't expect anyone to take my word for anything I say unless I can either prove I'm right or give very strong evidence that I am right.

This is very different from looking for blind obedience or acceptance. I don't expect that from anyone, of any age, and no one ever got that from me when I was any age.


I consider my stubbornness a temperament trait (genetic) since I was like that from the very early age and it sort of runs in the family. Personality is something that is developed in the interaction with the environment and that I think has tempered down my stubbornness to be more functional. Even with a piano teacher smile

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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2829338
03/21/19 05:07 AM
03/21/19 05:07 AM
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I've heard that Leonard Bernstein at around age 14 did teach younger kids to make money to pay his own lessons because his father didn't want to waste money into piano

Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Gary D.] #2829404
03/21/19 09:02 AM
03/21/19 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by outo

I gladly admit I am stubborn and my teacher agrees...however my stubbornness also means I do not give up easily when things are difficult smile

I am persistent. When I make up my mind to do something, I do everything in my power to succeed. I'm also a person who examines all possibilities.

These two things together in an adult student makes things fantastic. There will be success.

But lets differentiate between this persistence and something else, a very thick-headed, self-destructive stubbornness that I also see in adults - and by the way children and teens can be this way. With such people nothing works.

I'm assuming that if I were working with your clone, and I could give you solid reasons for things I recommend, you would probably cooperate.

I don't expect anyone to take my word for anything I say unless I can either prove I'm right or give very strong evidence that I am right.

This is very different from looking for blind obedience or acceptance. I don't expect that from anyone, of any age, and no one ever got that from me when I was any age.

This is exactly what I mean. Having that perseverance to see something through and find solutions - which I think are the qualities you have, outo - are excellent in any student. Like Gary, I have reasons for everything and if a student wants to know them, I'm all too happy to share that information. Asking "why" is not resistance to learning that I was referring to.

This resistance is a mostly subconscious, "self-destructive" behavior, where they will not even try what you ask them to do, even when you give them valid reasons for doing so. It's almost as if they don't believe you know what you're talking about.


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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Gary D.] #2829416
03/21/19 09:29 AM
03/21/19 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
The bottom line: We can talk about age 14 or 16 or 18, and then we can generalize about teachers. Is it possible that somewhere there is a 14 year-old teacher who is clearly better than most teachers a decade or decades older?

I'd say yes. Without a doubt. I say that having seen what other teachers do who are clearly incompetent both as teachers and as musicians, sometimes with zero playing ability. As I have mentioned before, anyone in the US can charge any amount of money for teaching and there is no requirement for credentials - caveat emptor.

I first taught at around age 15, and I know very well that I was already better than some of the terrible teachers I've met or heard about. I taught again at around age 21, and I was way better then than most teachers many years old than me. First of all, I played by then on a very high level, with extensive performance experience. And I was interested in teaching, enjoyed doing it, so I was searching for out of the box answers from day one.

HOWEVER: in comparison to the teacher I became by age 31, I was vastly inferior. And any teaching I did at 31 was vastly inferior to what I did at 41 and 51.

At any time a teacher can become burnt-out, no longer interested in improving, so peak teaching can be at any age. But for those of us who care and continue investigate and ask questions, we continue to improve so long as we are physically able to move well and mentally able to function at a high level.

What disturbs me in this thread is the idea that people who have not played have no idea of the damage that is done by teachers who do not know what they are doing. There are others talking about this, and I believe next to no one is listening.

The your first part of the post, that is my point. We just don't know if she can be a decent teacher or not at the age of 14. She might be disastrous, and have disastrous teachers guiding her. She might be an excellent teacher but just not experienced.

If it's the latter case, then we *all* were there at one point. I had experience in playing and performing but not in teaching when I started teaching. I didn't even have a piano pedagogy course under my belt. But I had the guidance of my teacher, and I read lots of books by trusted educators to get me started. Because of this fact that we all have to start somewhere and no amount of books or classes can completely prepare us for the challenges we experience in teaching, I feel that no one here is really able to assess whether or not this 14 year old should teach.

Now to the second point (in bold): I always say that having no teacher is far better than having a bad teacher - and I do include self-teachers under the "bad teacher" category, because how can you teach yourself something you don't already know? And if you don't know anything about it, then your playing will be rife with bad habits and misconceptions. Some people don't care, and that's just fine, people can do whatever they want - but I digress.

Speaking of people who call themselves teachers but in fact are not teachers, I've heard of some pretty terrible examples. There was an old lady who taught for decades and only charge $5/hour, and she would drink from her nipper bottle and fall asleep while the student played. Why someone would call themselves a teacher, I don't understand, and charging such a low rate probably because she knew she wasn't worth much doesn't help much.

But that's not the worst. I think the worst are the abusive kind, that believe you must tear down a student before building them up (in your own image). There's just no place for that kind of behavior in any profession, but especially not in music where people are especially vulnerable.


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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: keystring] #2829721
03/21/19 10:34 PM
03/21/19 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
If the lower priced lessons are also lower quality, and if it is of a kind that will set the student up for failure, or years of very difficult fixing of what got set up, the student will not know about this. I would prefer a novice student get mentorship or guidance of some kind, or really have some idea about teaching that they get somehow, because lessons must be adequate enough. You're not making cookies where you can throw the first batch away. These are people who are learning. It is also why Peter rightly suggested that the first students be early intermediate, not beginners, so that they have some kind of first foundation.

The two questions here are: 1) should the young lady teach and 2) what to charge. Of course the second is useless without the first, which I glossed over because many have chimed in already. I agree that it's unfortunate when "lower quality" teaching is detrimental to a student's learning although ultimately no one can prevent that, except the student once s/he is no longer ignorant. Being outsiders to the situation, we can only offer knowledge of potential pitfalls and suggestions.

I understand the reasoning for a new teacher to start with early intermediates rather than complete beginners but just wonder how realistic it is that a beginner who got a good foundation would want to move on from a presumably good teacher to a new/unproven one. Perhaps it happens when someone had self-taught, had prior knowledge of a different instrument, moved to a new area, the first teacher is no longer available, etc.

Originally Posted by Morodiene
I feel that no one here is really able to assess whether or not this 14 year old should teach.

Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2829756
03/22/19 12:14 AM
03/22/19 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
A teacher on another discussion board I monitor asked advice on what the poster's 14yo daughter should charge when she starts giving piano lessons to children next fall.


I have no basis for comparison.

Would a kid, say 7, view a 14 yo teacher more as an adult teacher or more as a kind of role model. (Only experience here is my experience where adults were these kind of pure authority figures.)

Does a 14-to-7 relationship change the dynamic into more peer/older-sibling than otherwise?

Cynical me: the 7 yo will like as not quit anyway. Can't we grow 14 yo into a teacher?

Huge amount depends on the personalities, of course, but even as recent as 100 years ago, early teens were doing pretty adult things.


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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: mostlystrings] #2829900
03/22/19 10:53 AM
03/22/19 10:53 AM
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Midwest USA
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Originally Posted by mostlystrings
[....]I understand the reasoning for a new teacher to start with early intermediates rather than complete beginners but just wonder how realistic it is that a beginner who got a good foundation would want to move on from a presumably good teacher to a new/unproven one. [....]
I think you are correct, that most students who already had several years of instruction under their belt would not be inclined to move to a young teen with no experience in teaching.


A case can be made for the 14-yr old to charge less: it would be in the (unwritten) agreement between the student (or parent) and teacher that in return for being the new teacher's first student (i.e. the student upon whom the teacher learns how to teach), the student agrees to accept the risks involved in being the teacher's first student. The difference between the standard charge and the new teacher's lesser charge covers the risk to the student.

For a new teacher who has taught under the supervision of an experienced teacher or had other training regimens and thus gained some insight, that risk is greatly reduced and the standard fee would seem to be appropriate. (But as I understand it, the 14-yr old can consult with her teacher but does not intend to 'apprentice' teach under the older teacher.)


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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Morodiene] #2830109
03/22/19 05:26 PM
03/22/19 05:26 PM
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I agree with everything you said but want to stress these:
Originally Posted by Morodiene

Now to the second point (in bold): I always say that having no teacher is far better than having a bad teacher - and I do include self-teachers under the "bad teacher" category, because how can you teach yourself something you don't already know?

For traditional playing self-teaching is a horrendous idea. The worst thing - and students never know this - is that only a very good teacher makes great recommendations re fingering, and good technique is impossible with bad fingering. There are so many other things. When is the last time you saw a self-taught student pedal right?
Quote

Speaking of people who call themselves teachers but in fact are not teachers, I've heard of some pretty terrible examples. There was an old lady who taught for decades and only charge $5/hour, and she would drink from her nipper bottle and fall asleep while the student played. Why someone would call themselves a teacher, I don't understand, and charging such a low rate probably because she knew she wasn't worth much doesn't help much.

But that's not the worst. I think the worst are the abusive kind, that believe you must tear down a student before building them up (in your own image). There's just no place for that kind of behavior in any profession, but especially not in music where people are especially vulnerable.

That's a helluva choice, between total incompetence and abuse. The worst is therE are teachers who both.

Also, there are teachers who are emotionally cold and incompetent. That kind of coldness is a mild kind of abuse, and I know because I had such a teacher. I don't think anyone has ever love music more than I did as a teen. It was my life. But I almost quit because of her. Now, after many years, I realize she was not as bad as I thought.

SHE WAS FAR WORSE.

Last edited by Gary D.; 03/22/19 05:28 PM.

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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2830183
03/22/19 10:26 PM
03/22/19 10:26 PM
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Thinking out loud.

I've conversed with two or three fellow students who at some point studied with a teacher who was new to teaching. These tended to be older, attending college as music majors, but they weren't practising teachers yet. Some things that came across from their tales was that the teachers were full of enthusiasm and ideas, not yet jaded, and also maybe identifying with their students more, putting themselves in their shoes.

One student I remember had gone the exam circuit, acing every exam, and started to feel something was missing. She wanted to go into music in a broader and more whole manner, beyond exam preparations. The teacher was older and set in his ways and routines. There was an absolute incomprehension. This young lady joined up with a college music major about to graduate, whose enthusiasm and interest matched her own. It went quite well from what I could see.

The other is the plus and minus of experience. "Students of your category all do xxx / all think like xxx" - which can pigeon hole a student, which a fresh new teacher won't do as readily, one may think. It's a slippery slope, because if students of my category do tend to make typical mistakes, maybe the experienced teacher can head off the disaster before it occurs; but if I'm atypical maybe that's a wrong move.

What you want is a decent teacher; neither experience nor age can guarantee that.

Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2830557
03/23/19 07:23 PM
03/23/19 07:23 PM
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I taught one girl when I was in high school. Her mom would have never taken her to formal piano lessons. They didn't have much money, and I was a family friend, her daughter was showing interest and could play by ear already. We only lasted a few weeks, but that is besides the point. Since "competing for students" was brought up, I want to point out, I seriously doubt that the market of students who would go to a teacher like you Peter would be the same group of students that would take lessons from a 14-year old.


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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Whizbang] #2830607
03/23/19 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Whizbang
Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
A teacher on another discussion board I monitor asked advice on what the poster's 14yo daughter should charge when she starts giving piano lessons to children next fall.


I have no basis for comparison.

Would a kid, say 7, view a 14 yo teacher more as an adult teacher or more as a kind of role model. (Only experience here is my experience where adults were these kind of pure authority figures.)

Does a 14-to-7 relationship change the dynamic into more peer/older-sibling than otherwise?

Cynical me: the 7 yo will like as not quit anyway. Can't we grow 14 yo into a teacher?

Huge amount depends on the personalities, of course, but even as recent as 100 years ago, early teens were doing pretty adult things.

I think you are missing something important about young kids and teens. You are thinking that a slightly older person is super cool because of being able to connect, but think about this:

When I first started teaching I was in my early 20s, and I looked about 5 years younger. I mean I was REALLY young looking. So my hook when teaching teens was pretty much to appear as someone like them, a bit older. This can be a powerful thing, and I'm not denying that.

When I was 40, I was roughly the age of a lot of the parents of kids, a very different thing, but you can work with that too. Many kids have parents who don't listen, who don't value their opinions, and meeting an adult who is listening is another huge hook. And it's not fake or a game. It's powerful.

Now I'm 70. Not sure how I got here, but I'm the age of the parents of older adults (30 years older than someone 40), and a lot of my younger students are the age of my grandchildren. That could make me so out of date, so old, so crystalized that I'm irrelevant. That's how it COULD go.

The fact is that I just spent about 20 minutes with my own grandson talking about music from right now, and why current video game music is mostly very much in the Romantic tradition. We listened to several things he really likes, YouTube, and I showed him both music I grew up with but also some music I am teaching a boy his age which the boy brought in, from anime.

We make connections. When I was young I spent a huge amount of time with people my age, like all young people, but I enjoyed my parents, and I was super close to my grandmother, who was the best piano teacher I ever had.

Bennevis always talks about his piano teacher, the one who was only 19. It's all about finding someone special who knows something and who wants to give it to you, and when that works nothing else matters. If you find one teacher like that in a life time, count yourself incredibly lucky. It does not happen often.


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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2830646
03/24/19 01:26 AM
03/24/19 01:26 AM
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Gary D., I want to say that I like reading your posts very much, I think you are a wonderful teacher. You cultivate love for music, and it's the most important part. My respect and best wishes to you.

Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Iaroslav Vasiliev] #2830673
03/24/19 05:44 AM
03/24/19 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Gary D., I want to say that I like reading your posts very much, I think you are a wonderful teacher. You cultivate love for music, and it's the most important part. My respect and best wishes to you.


+1


“If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt) - stolen from Kreisler
Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: ShyPianist] #2830750
03/24/19 09:34 AM
03/24/19 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Gary D., I want to say that I like reading your posts very much, I think you are a wonderful teacher. You cultivate love for music, and it's the most important part. My respect and best wishes to you.


+1


+2 !!!


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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2831271
03/25/19 03:12 PM
03/25/19 03:12 PM
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One side arguing for what is possible.

Another side arguing what is probable.

As an adult consumer of piano lessons for both myself and an adolescent offspring, I would not professionally engage a 14 year old teacher. I'm a musician on several instruments. I value the craft and the profession too much to not seek a seasoned professional. OTOH, there's quite the market of people who don't see the value of experience and professionalism; they only want the cheapest lessons, "To see if he/she 'has any talent'"

That is not to say I don't think the 14 year shouldn't be allowed to try; to me, it's just a false enonomy but far be it for me to suggest how others should spend their money.

Kurt


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