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A point of frustration: A person writes ten good posts with useful information and apparently they all get ignored. One post, where part may contain emotional content, and it gets noticed and is the only thing that gets referred to and passed on repeatedly. It has been suggested to me, and I've seen it suggested elsewhere in general, that if you want to be read and noticed, you should write outrageous or upsetting things. Or write little short meaningless blurbs that sound clever and obscure. Seriously. Look for information. Pass on information. The Internet is an opportunity for learning that we never had before, and some of us had to stay in darkness about things we were passionately interested in for decades before these resources existed.

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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Who goes and reads all of a poster’s prior posts when contemplating what he meant in one particular post? Give me a break.

I can and do read several posts from people before responding to them personally, which I don't believe I was doing. This is a very clunky format. I don't have the option of easily using bold or italics here because it require coding. Elsewhere I can.

You don't have time to check me out a bit before getting insulted at what I write in general?

I would suggest that this is exactly what is wrong with the Facebook, Twitter and social media world, where anyone can say anything, instantly, with zero thought and zero consideration.

I'm responding to the name "WeakLeftHand". You could be 15 or 85, living in any country on the planet. I can choose not to read anything you've written and just react to what I see in one post, or take the time to try to figure out where you are coming from.

So if you are contemplating what I meant in one post, with nothing else, to me that is superficial and points out a great deal of what is bad about forum communication.

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Originally Posted by TomInCinci
Originally Posted by Gary D.


I should probably see a lawyer before I post here.


Or maybe Dale Carnegie.

Congratulations. You wrote a zinger, which requires zero thought and is just like countless snarky one liners I see in forums that are written for one and only one reason - to score instant points.

You made it personal.

That's always the easy way here, write a dismissive comment to someone you probably either don't know or barely know.

For the record, this is exactly why I have been thinking very carefully about leaving this place.

Now I want to make it official. I am asking a moderator, any moderator, to officially remove my name from this forum. I want to be officially banned from this place so that I never again have to waste my time here.

Again, please contact me and tell me how I can leave this place, for good.

I've had it.

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Sorry you're fed up Gary D.


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FWIW my teacher didn't show up for my last lesson. It was the second time in 4 months, and he canceled a few as well. So here I am, a biweekly student who practices 1-3 hours / day and has for the past few years, being shafted by a teacher. It can go both ways. Shame is, he's a good pianist and a good teacher, just spread too thin. Time to move on.


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And another thing....why turn these threads into such heated debates. Why take things personally when we don't even know anything about each other, what we look like, what we do, like, wear, or even what gender we are?

Can't we all agree we have one thing in common, the love of piano and piano music, not to mention the love of learning, sharing and teaching one another, and leave the nasty disagreements to other places and forums?

Mods...time for this thread to close imo.


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This thread had devolved into the personal so time to shut it down.

Edit: ok, I'm going to give this thread another chance. Please stay in topic and avoid personal/snarky comments.

Last edited by BB Player; 04/07/19 03:59 AM. Reason: Reopening thread

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The first teacher I interviewed I found via a sign in her yard. I called the number and asked a few questions--literally a few, because she talked a lot. Still, I decided to go for a trial lesson/interview. She talked a lot then, too. I said I wanted to learn classical, but she was telling me how she was going to teach me to play old standards and improvise. Her piano needed regulation. Well before the end of the interview I knew she wasn't for me. Easy decision. On the way out, in what in retrospect was a faux pas, I asked her if she knew of other teachers in the area. But, hey, I was a noob.

After reading someone here on PW mentioning community colleges as a place to get recommendations, I visited and ended up studying with instructors there. The first year was with the "starter" teacher, and then I switched to the full-time professor, who I've been with since. She teaches classes in theory, teaches applied piano, and performs often (and excellently) throughout the area. But most of all, she has a love and enthusiasm for the piano that shines through and inspires me. Plus she is very patient with me.

This is not so much wha:t to ask, but what to look for:

1. Alignment of interests. You want pop and jazz, the teacher plays pop and jazz. Ditto for classical.
2. Alignment of personalities. Can you stand being around this person for an hour a week for years to come?
3. Credentials--a tie-breaker if all else is equal.
4. Above all, does the teacher love music and exhibit enough enthusiasm for it that it will help sustain you through the inevitable difficulties you will encounter.


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Originally Posted by cmb13
FWIW my teacher didn't show up for my last lesson. It was the second time in 4 months, and he canceled a few as well. So here I am, a biweekly student who practices 1-3 hours / day and has for the past few years, being shafted by a teacher. It can go both ways. Shame is, he's a good pianist and a good teacher, just spread too thin. Time to move on.


Wow, a flat out no show? Didn't even call ahead to let you know? That would concern me.


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Slightly OT wink , here's an interesting program where famous ex-students including Daniel Barenboim and Robert Levin talk about their student experiences with the great pedagogue Nadia Boulanger. There's also an interview with Khatia Buniatishvili, who is a favorite with many here (and listen to her getting out of trouble while trying to play Bach's Prelude in C by ear/memory for the presenter grin):

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00040cd

How would we regard a teacher who raps your fingers with a ruler for playing a wrong note?

Also, do you know that buying a CD is more environmentally friendly than listening to download?


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I listened to it while exercising.
Originally Posted by bennevis
How would we regard a teacher who raps your fingers with a ruler for playing a wrong note?

Listening to that part, it appeared that she gently tapped the finger which played the wrong note. How would I regard that? It might appear as entirely the right thing. In playing piano, the notes we see or perceive in our mind's eye, the notes we hear or expect to hear, and the act of putting fingers onto keys and the tactile sensation, are all interwoven. Which part of that chain or "network" do you address? I could see that working for me! Shoving a student in the ribs so hard that the adult male student falls off the bench - I'm not sure how I see that. A moment of musical passion and maybe good mutual fun rather than malice or intimidation - maybe ok, or maybe the price one is willing to pay but ought it ever to be paid. I'd rather it not happen.

The composer who was challenged to create a "thin" piece of music; the rich chord he put in versus the elbow crashing on the keyboard producing the right chord for that composition - I totally saw the sense of that and ofc she had a student who was in a position to be able to comprehend.

Of course none of these are older students with no musical training starting out on an instrument, or spotty or wrong training needing to be sorted out and fixed. My hat continually goes out to teachers who take on such students (many of us here) and even manage to make it work. They will never be put out there as "great teachers" but me thinks they ought to be, perhaps with a few superlatives. wink

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Also, do you know that buying a CD is more environmentally friendly than listening to download?

This risks going OT, and if it does, then we should start a thread on that OT topic. He talked of streaming music. He also said that if one individual listens to the same piece many times, then it is less environmentally friendly to play a CD of that piece over and over, than it is for him to stream it the same number of times. When asked how many times was the tipping point, he hedged and referred to his brother who could answer that. If I listen to a piece played by 5 different pianists, over Youtube, will this be less environmentally friendly than if I buy 5 CDs? If his argument is that: one individual listens to Moonlight 100 times, it's better environmentally friendly for him buy a CD --- What if 100 individuals listen to Moonlight once? Is it still more environmentally friendly for them to buy 100 CDs? What if there are 100,000 listeners, and 100,000 CDs? Is there a difference between streaming and other ways of listening? (I've never "streamed" so I have no experience with it.)

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I'd be curious to read how a CD would be more environmentally friendly.

I stream a lot. Radio is dead to me. If I'm already paying the expense of a smart phone with data, another $4/month to not have commercials and have control over what's playing is a bargain to me. But that's me...

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Originally Posted by Stubbie



This is not so much wha:t to ask, but what to look for:

1. Alignment of interests. You want pop and jazz, the teacher plays pop and jazz. Ditto for classical.
2. Alignment of personalities. Can you stand being around this person for an hour a week for years to come?
3. Credentials--a tie-breaker if all else is equal.
4. Above all, does the teacher love music and exhibit enough enthusiasm for it that it will help sustain you through the inevitable difficulties you will encounter.



Very good thank you!

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Originally Posted by stevechris
Originally Posted by Stubbie



This is not so much wha:t to ask, but what to look for:

1. Alignment of interests. You want pop and jazz, the teacher plays pop and jazz. Ditto for classical.
2. Alignment of personalities. Can you stand being around this person for an hour a week for years to come?
3. Credentials--a tie-breaker if all else is equal.
4. Above all, does the teacher love music and exhibit enough enthusiasm for it that it will help sustain you through the inevitable difficulties you will encounter.



Very good thank you!


I like that list too. I'd add something about Communication skills--the teacher has to be able to communicate to me what to do, and also has to be able to understand me when I express what difficulty I'm having. I'd also add something about Teaching chops, whether you want to call it pedagogy or andragogy or just plain old good teaching--the teacher has to be able to figure out what I need to do to fix whatever problem I'm having.


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Originally Posted by Serge88


And remember, they run a business and want new client. They will never tell you, we're not a good fit. You will have to decide for yourself if she meet your goal.



This, I disagree with. I have had teachers who do tell you if you are not a good fit. And remember, this is as much an interview process for you, as it is for them.

I can't offer you much advice as I was not a beginner when I looked for my instructor as an adult.

One thing I do think is relevant is to look for someone with experience teaching both beginners and advanced students as you want someone who can go the long haul with you if you stick with it. I would also only consider instructors who specialize in only piano. When I looked for an instructor, those two points were deal breakers for me. Also, don't think that switching teachers means that you wont learn something from them. I worked with an instructor once for two years before it became obvious we were not a good long term fit. Those two years were not a waste. I learned a lot during that time, even though it didn't work out long term.

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Originally Posted by bennevis
Slightly OT wink , here's an interesting program where famous ex-students including Daniel Barenboim and Robert Levin talk about their student experiences with the great pedagogue Nadia Boulanger. There's also an interview with Khatia Buniatishvili, who is a favorite with many here (and listen to her getting out of trouble while trying to play Bach's Prelude in C by ear/memory for the presenter grin):

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00040cd

How would we regard a teacher who raps your fingers with a ruler for playing a wrong note?

Also, do you know that buying a CD is more environmentally friendly than listening to download?



It was fun to listen to Khatia play the Bach. I smiled at her comments on it afterwards!



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Originally Posted by KiraM423
Originally Posted by Serge88


And remember, they run a business and want new client. They will never tell you, we're not a good fit. You will have to decide for yourself if she meet your goal.



This, I disagree with. I have had teachers who do tell you if you are not a good fit. And remember, this is as much an interview process for you, as it is for them.

I can't offer you much advice as I was not a beginner when I looked for my instructor as an adult.

One thing I do think is relevant is to look for someone with experience teaching both beginners and advanced students as you want someone who can go the long haul with you if you stick with it. I would also only consider instructors who specialize in only piano. When I looked for an instructor, those two points were deal breakers for me. Also, don't think that switching teachers means that you wont learn something from them. I worked with an instructor once for two years before it became obvious we were not a good long term fit. Those two years were not a waste. I learned a lot during that time, even though it didn't work out long term.


Yeah, I think that, unless it is a teacher that struggles to find student (or is only beginning teaching with few students), this is unlikely to happen - And even in that case, they might not act that way. Not saying it doesn't exist, but in my experience (in piano and other instruments; I had 6 different teachers in my life, 3 in clarinet, 3 in piano), I've never met one that acts this way.

What could happen is that the teacher is not aware he is not meeting student's goals. Or that he thinks it is some situation with a person struggling, like they must see repetitively, and don't think another teacher would be the solution. Or that they don't have the teaching experience to notice there is something wrong.


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Originally Posted by KevinM
Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by KevinM


I started lessons in mid December, 2 weeks later I missed my weekly lesson, then I missed a lesson in February because I had a cold, I could have actually physically gone to the lesson but it was right at the beginning of the cold when I was most contagious. My teacher was pleased I cancelled. I am now not going to my next 2 lessons as I will be on holiday.

I already know I am going to miss at least one lesson in June for a work trip to The Hague and there is every chance it will be two.

But perhaps trying to do this whole thing is a fools errand since my commitment to it is not enough.

I assume you are answering me. Hey, it's the Internet, so why not get a grudge when you don't even know me.

I would answer you politely, but since your answer was incredibly sarcastic, hostile, I'll go past you and explain to other people, who perhaps are not jumping to conclusions, as you just did.

One of my adults has to travel to South America about every other month or more. He makes lessons whenever he can and is quite obviously committed to doing what he is able to do. And he's one of my favorite students. I want students, especially adults, to make lessons as often as possible.

I should probably see a lawyer before I post here.


Yes it was aggressive. Your absolute statement left no room for interpretation, fed directly into my own doubts as to whether I should be doing this, whether I can make the commitment to make it worthwhile, whether I should selfishly set aside time for something I love when I have more responsibilities than I feel I can manage.

Also, long enough experience of using the internet, I now just parse all caps as someone shouting at me.

I do apologize because my reply was overly aggressive.

I would also suggest you think about how you frame things, that there will be people like me reading what you say who have stressful lives that they are struggling to cope with. For me, one reason why I took up the piano was trying to help deal with stresses I'm frankly not managing. Your words said to me I shouldn't be wasting my teachers time or my time. I did not realize the joy I would find learning to play the piano again and I want to do what I can to keep playing.

Kevin


Agree with the above. If you're going to write things aggressively, be prepared for the response to be just as aggressive (or more). The point is, anytime I mention my point, the teachers go on the deep end and exaggerate what my point is. It makes it difficult to speak to teachers, and further proves my point. Should I say, "if you don't want to partake in ALL the ups and downs of teaching, don't teach!"?? That solves nothing. While this might not be the intention, it sounds like it. Wouldn't it be weird if schoolteachers told students, "If you don't plan on getting straight As, get out of my class!"

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The irony is, JazzyMac, that in the teacher forum, your previous criticism here was mentioned, and as a negative thing - that teacher defended what you had had to say.

This thread was shut down because it got emotional and such. I and probably a few other people asked for it to be opened again, and it was for the sake of the advice and information that might flow from it. Don't fan the flames the other way again. We've already lost one member and frankly, I'm hurting.

A lot of people have put out some major effort in the OP's question, which I think is an important one, and good ideas are still coming in. I'd like the thread to stay alive for that purpose.

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Originally Posted by cmb13
FWIW my teacher didn't show up for my last lesson. It was the second time in 4 months, and he canceled a few as well. So here I am, a biweekly student who practices 1-3 hours / day and has for the past few years, being shafted by a teacher. It can go both ways. Shame is, he's a good pianist and a good teacher, just spread too thin. Time to move on.

This is unprofessional, regardless of how good a teacher or pianist he is. If a teacher is spread too thin and it's causing them to miss lessons and cancel, then they need to not take on so much. It's important to learn one's limits and just work within those.


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