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Re: Always build up, never break down. [Re: keystring] #2844975
05/04/19 12:54 AM
05/04/19 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by bennevis
.Actually, I save lives and teach life skills.

Is that enough for you?

Not when you're being flippant at a piano teacher about piano teaching, with a one-liner saying you prefer to "smash" which is meaningless. When you teach life skills, do you prefer to "smash" (whatever that means)?
I respond to posters as I see fit.
If people say silly things, I respond in kind.

Do you think that all teachers should be kowtowed to, the way you do?


"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."
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Re: Always build up, never break down. [Re: dogperson] #2844976
05/04/19 01:02 AM
05/04/19 01:02 AM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,558
Finland
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
My god, I guess I'm the worst teacher in the world.

I love smashing. Smash smash smash. You can't rebuild unless you smash.
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
If you have seen as many Transfer Wrecks as I have, you'll know that smashing is--90% of the time--the only way to combat ignorance and stupidity.

Interesting. I've read that in some elite British universities there is a pedagogical method in use that is based on humiliation. Every student there has a personal mentor - a professor, who has conversations with the student from time to time. During those conversations the main (unofficial) task of a professor is to show the student that he knows nothing and all what he thinks he knows is wrong, inaccurate or incomplete, and to humiliate the student to the point when his/her pride is deeply hurt, because hurt pride is considered there the best stimulus for learning.

That sort of method, if actually used, would only work on ambitious or overly diligent students...and if you use it on someone with a psychopatic personality, you might regret it later...


I’ve always been a diligent student, and that includes learning piano as an adult. But if someone used the bullying method on me, I would curl up into a ball and take up basket weaving instead of music. It is hard enough as it adult I have confidence in something you’re trying to do without someone trying to tear you down

Or course I did not mean any type of diligent student. There are those who will always try to please and will just work harder no matter how much they are bullied. They might do well, but of course it comes with an expense...

Re: Always build up, never break down. [Re: Lostinidlewonder] #2845003
05/04/19 07:14 AM
05/04/19 07:14 AM
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London
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Empathy is a very important trait, especially when it comes to teaching.

I'd be concerned for a student working with a teacher who doesn't display empathy and I'd question the self-serving motives of that 'teacher'

Re: Always build up, never break down. [Re: Lostinidlewonder] #2845109
05/04/19 12:27 PM
05/04/19 12:27 PM
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This thread began with a premise that uses the Always-Never construction.

That, by itself, is a problem. It states an absolute, which implies that anything that remotely contradicts it is wrong.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Always build up, never break down. [Re: AZNpiano] #2845120
05/04/19 01:08 PM
05/04/19 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
This thread began with a premise that uses the Always-Never construction.

That, by itself, is a problem. It states an absolute, which implies that anything that remotely contradicts it is wrong.

I read the opening post multiple times, first when it was on PS, and then here - where I was too busy to respond. I read it another two times now. There is nothing "always-never" in there. Not the words "always" or "never", and not implied. However, one can easily read things into what people write. I could read into your "smash" that you are a horrible cruel teacher who is out to destroy students, and then based on my interpretation, I can tell everyone that that is what you do. It would be wrong.

There was indeed an "always-never" in this forum. That was the teacher who stated that everyone teaches that beats 1 and 3 are stressed in music, it is done everywhere, and he would guide us out of that. It was a narrow premise and assumption. An integral part of choosing when and where to stress notes is a) having control of timing as a student, being trained in hearing it, counting, etc., b) having the physical ability to produce the quality of sounds one wants to produce. When I pointed this out to that teacher, he said publicly he would "ignore" a student's statement of having physical difficulty. ...... Therefore he would teach only on the basis of the right sound, having a student try over, and over, and over, and over, and over, over, and over, and over, and over, and over, over, and over, and over, and over, and over, over, and over, and over, and over, and over ....... based on the single premise that if you listen long enough, repeat often enough, you'll produce the desired sound. The fact that the physical problems preventing that production, or lack of learning to count, (underlying skills) will be ignored on and on, because there is one single premise.

Now THIS example goes straight to what LostinIdleWonder was talking about ........ a teacher not taking into account where a student actually is. And this can and does happen!This would lead straight into that kind of situation where a student is asked to things according to a formula invented / believed in by the teacher, and if the student can't do it, it's because the student isn't trying hard enough, isn't listening properly ... anything except the fact that the teacher is not addressing where the student is at. THAT is "always-never". Countering is not.

People in forums do not take the time to find out what somebody means. They assume. They write clever one-liners. They ignore. It's really too bad.

Re: Always build up, never break down. [Re: Lostinidlewonder] #2845175
05/04/19 05:02 PM
05/04/19 05:02 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 388
USA
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Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Sometimes teachers can have an idea of mastery that a student should achieve and drill for extended periods of time until that student achieve it, the teacher neglects that the students capability perhaps cannot efficiently match that image of mastery. Most of the times these kind of improvements if forced encourage a "parroting" of ideas rather than an intrinsic undertsanding. The building up of the student to that ideal can be done while considering the students current capabilities and a step wise improvement over long term. Of course some issues can be solved quickly but to consider that all problems can be done like this can be quite limiting and demotivating to students who struggle who may feel a failure for not being able to jump through that hoop fast enough and thus avoiding this copy/paste action is encouraged.


Thanks for your reply (answering my question about what you meant by your statement "They will not copy paste their ideas of mastery over the top of you.").

If I may respond sentence by sentence now to your reply above:

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Sometimes teachers can have an idea of mastery that a student should achieve and drill for extended periods of time until that student achieve it, the teacher neglects that the students capability perhaps cannot efficiently match that image of mastery.


A teacher needs to have goals in mind on how to bring students in general, or any student in particular, to mastery of various aspects of musicianship. Flexibility, though, is needed, and it's important that a teacher be willing to adjust goals and not drill indefinitely on something that clearly isn't working. A good teacher will be sensitive to timing and methodology that helps, rather than exasperates, a student.

Quote
Most of the times these kind of improvements if forced encourage a "parroting" of ideas rather than an intrinsic undertsanding.


This depends on the level of the student. I'll speak of children here: higher-level thinking skills come with developmental maturity. They need both a degree of developmental maturity and competent teaching to gain intrinsic understanding of the music they're interpreting.

Young students at the start of their music journey need a good teacher who can effectively demonstrate the musical principles that will serve students best. Parroting a competent teacher's model is not a bad thing! Parroting an incompetent teacher, OTOH, is a problem, but that's a discussion for another day. smile

But my point is that, until students are developmentally able to come to intrinsic understanding, and understand the "why"s behind different choices that can be made pianistically, a student needs guidance from a good teacher, and the willingness to follow that guidance.

Quote
The building up of the student to that ideal can be done while considering the students current capabilities and a step wise improvement over long term.


Absolutely.

Quote
Of course some issues can be solved quickly but to consider that all problems can be done like this can be quite limiting and demotivating to students who struggle who may feel a failure for not being able to jump through that hoop fast enough and thus avoiding this copy/paste action is encouraged.


The good teachers I know do not feel that "all problems can be [solved quickly]." Also, I don't see that "...this copy/paste action," if I'm understanding your definition of copy/paste correctly now, is something that needs to be avoided in the early-development pianist. An effective teacher's modeling solid technique and other habits is good for a student to emulate in the early years. That's a kind of parroting, if you will, that I can get behind.

Refinements and fine-tuning can occur over the years as a pianist develops his/her own style. No, we don't want an it's-my-way-or-the-highway approach to teaching students who have matured and are developing a personal style of their own based on sound musicianship. It's a process where more choice is introduced over the years, and students who have learned well the musical fundamentals taught by knowledgeable teachers can feel secure as they (the students) find new freedom of expression that was built on a strong foundation the excellent teacher laid and the diligent student applied.


Last edited by Andamento; 05/04/19 05:08 PM.
Re: Always build up, never break down. [Re: AZNpiano] #2845255
05/04/19 09:04 PM
05/04/19 09:04 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 136
Canada
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Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Originally Posted by pianist_lady
The context of the original post is unclear to me. Is the OP a teacher? Or a student? What's the motivation behind the essay?
I haven't participated in the discussion so far, because I'm not sure what the issue is. Of course, treat your students like human beings-- that seems self-evident to me.

Yes I posted here on the teacher board as a teacher of piano for over 25 years. I guess my opening post poses some question as to what it means to actually treat students as emtional beings, this has many answers and I hoped that my opening post provokes thought. A transfer student who has spent years and much money on lessons who you evaluate as having many bad issues will not benefit from you telling them they wasted their time with poor teaching, bad habits, poor technique etc etc, instead it is useful to take all their experience from their past which they have taken into their current capability and use that as a positive power for change, something we can use to recreate them and further their development, nothing is wasted.

How we can be sensitive to building up a student in many ways rather than focusing on critique and tearing down their past experiences, that the process of building up will cause significant changes without aggressive forcing of the issue. A large responsibility of the teacher is to help the student come to terms with their own capabilities and be comfortable with it, as teachers we should encourage them to reach for their personal stars but at the same time avoid them feeling a failure if they can only hit lower targets. With transfer students or self learning students we should avoid denegrating their past experiences if we evaluate them as ineffective, instead we should use those experiences to further encourage development of their their ability, we build them up to such a point that they can reevaluate their situation and compare it with their past without us doing it abruptly, telling them to forget and simply replace with what we demand of them. If we take time to investigate how they work and tinker with that we can make quite intrinsic changes in them rather than ignoring it all and merely training them to replace their ideas with your own.


Ok, thanks for the background. I wasn't sure if this was from the point of view of a teacher who had observed some poor teaching, or a student who felt they have been badly taught in the past.
I guess I agree with the others who posted that correcting a student doesn't have to mean tearing them down personally, and that sometimes you do have to remake a student who has been led down the wrong path. That doesn't mean you are imposing your will on a student or ignoring their emotions.

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
This thread began with a premise that uses the Always-Never construction.

That, by itself, is a problem. It states an absolute, which implies that anything that remotely contradicts it is wrong.


I'm always a bit wary of posts that start with a kind of straw-man "bad teacher" or "bad student" that is discarded in favour of an ideal teaching method.


Private piano teacher
B. Mus., M.Mus. (piano performance & pedagogy).
Re: Always build up, never break down. [Re: Andamento] #2845261
05/04/19 09:58 PM
05/04/19 09:58 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 184
West Australia
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
This thread began with a premise that uses the Always-Never construction.

That, by itself, is a problem. It states an absolute, which implies that anything that remotely contradicts it is wrong.

Maybe you can elaborate where this occurs in the opening post because it seems you have just read the title only. Short responses without any quoting of passages which are of concern don't really make your position undertandable, I would like to know what you really think afterall that is why I posted so I can hear some peoples constructive opinions.

Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
This thread began with a premise that uses the Always-Never construction.

That, by itself, is a problem. It states an absolute, which implies that anything that remotely contradicts it is wrong.

I read the opening post multiple times, first when it was on PS, and then here - where I was too busy to respond. I read it another two times now. There is nothing "always-never" in there. Not the words "always" or "never", are not implied.

I also don't feel I am saying these always and never also though in parts I feel I am pushing that there is a very high propensity to behave in one way and not the other because to me at least I feel they are appropriate attitudes a teacher should havest towards their students. That is afterall how people write their points isn't it? Why would someone write ambigiously so that there is no concrete opinion? Seems odd to me to walk on eggshells in this manner. Throughout my postings however I have said that teachers teach they way they want and I am only offering my insight, which I may add come from decades of teaching hundreds of private students one on one and a precious few which I have indeed taught personally for decades!

Originally Posted by keystring

Now THIS example goes straight to what LostinIdleWonder was talking about ........ a teacher not taking into account where a student actually is. And this can and does happen!This would lead straight into that kind of situation where a student is asked to things according to a formula invented / believed in by the teacher, and if the student can't do it, it's because the student isn't trying hard enough, isn't listening properly ... anything except the fact that the teacher is not addressing where the student is at. THAT is "always-never". Countering is not.

Right, some teachers merely teach very one dimensionally their stringent syllabus and only care where their student fits into that, sure beginner teachers might have no other method because they are testing out their methodology but all should consider a flexibility which incorporates each students personal journey in terms of physical playing development, discipline approach and creative desires.

Originally Posted by keystring

People in forums do not take the time to find out what somebody means. They assume. They write clever one-liners. They ignore. It's really too bad.

You get this everywhere on the internet there are a few who think that the internet is merely a platform to tell people that they are wrong. It is difficult for some people to think outside of their bubble and we should really help them feel comfortable to ask constructive questions though I don't really have the time to do this and just spend my time with those who actually ask questions and comment whether they agree with me or not. I like to share my ideas because I might help others who are on the same journey as myself. I also like to share my ideas to see what others think so I can get opinions and balance my own ideologies afterall that is a good use of these kind of forums rather than never learning anything at all!









Originally Posted by Andamento

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Sometimes teachers can have an idea of mastery that a student should achieve and drill for extended periods of time until that student achieve it, the teacher neglects that the students capability perhaps cannot efficiently match that image of mastery.


A teacher needs to have goals in mind on how to bring students in general, or any student in particular, to mastery of various aspects of musicianship. Flexibility, though, is needed, and it's important that a teacher be willing to adjust goals and not drill indefinitely on something that clearly isn't working. A good teacher will be sensitive to timing and methodology that helps, rather than exasperates, a student.

Exactly, I am aware though that some teachers really are stubborn and will drill incessantly. I just have to see what some poor transfer exam students are subjected to who come to me, some have been doing the same few pieces for over a year!! This situation is not so uncommon and I have seen so many examples of this happening, it is quite saddening since I can see how much the creativity of these students has been strangled so much so that they give up and accept that this must be the only way to develop the art of piano.


Originally Posted by Andamento

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Most of the times these kind of improvements if forced encourage a "parroting" of ideas rather than an intrinsic undertsanding.


This depends on the level of the student. I'll speak of children here: higher-level thinking skills come with developmental maturity. They need both a degree of developmental maturity and competent teaching to gain intrinsic understanding of the music they're interpreting.

I agree that they need all this as you say though I like to consider exactly how we allow them to gain this intrinsic understanding as there may be a danger in building them up without any intrinsic understanding we may go too far and they merely parrot without understanding of ability to apply ideas themselves without our guidance. My theory which I have used is to always walk along side them at their level without the temptation to drag them up, actions which may try to instill ideas that they are not ready to understand naturally but need to merely copy without understanding. This is ok though small spurts at a time but I then pave the way for them to apply it naturally rather than just doing as I say. This can be done by asking for feedback in many different ways and seeing them apply the ideas themselves. Each teacher should know how much they can give their students and not stretch too far that the intrinsic realisation because too far reaching.

Originally Posted by Andamento

Young students at the start of their music journey need a good teacher who can effectively demonstrate the musical principles that will serve students best. Parroting a competent teacher's model is not a bad thing!

Sure it is not bad but then they need to eventaully understand what they are doing and agree with it and find use for it. I gave an example earlier on of students who have transfered over to me who do all sorts of floaty type movements with their playing mechanisms, when I ask them why they do such things they almost always tell me it was because what their other teacher demanded, when I ask them to play as they normally prefer these movements vanish. This is only one example but there are many others that students may do just because they have been told to do so but can function perfectly fine without doing such things, this is what I am wary of because we don't want to form them into something they are not, that is the creative approach I really want to nurture.

Originally Posted by Andamento

But my point is that, until students are developmentally able to come to intrinsic understanding, and understand the "why"s behind different choices that can be made pianistically, a student needs guidance from a good teacher, and the willingness to follow that guidance.
[quote]
Yep I agree but the time which it takes to come to that intrinsic undertanding needs to be taken into account, sometimes teachers can just be happy that the student is copying their ideas and neglect whether this is naturally understood rather than cleverly parroted.

[quote=Andamento]
The good teachers I know do not feel that "all problems can be [solved quickly]."

Yes, though we have to be wary that they don't then drill something too long that isn't working and too far reaching to be naturally understood for that student, there is that catch 22.

Originally Posted by Andamento

Also, I don't see that "...this copy/paste action," if I'm understanding your definition of copy/paste correctly now, is something that needs to be avoided in the early-development pianist. An effective teacher's modeling solid technique and other habits is good for a student to emulate in the early years. That's a kind of parroting, if you will, that I can get behind.

Yeah they can parrot but they need to understand the why I feel even at a young age. Sometimes though things happen naturally for the youngsters and as experienced teachers we notice this because they can then apply the ideas without us prompting them, this often is good enough to prove they understand what we have given them. We should though if required get feedback from them to ensure they really do understand what we have asked of them.

Originally Posted by Andamento

Refinements and fine-tuning can occur over the years as a pianist develops his/her own style. No, we don't want an it's-my-way-or-the-highway approach to teaching students who have matured and are developing a personal style of their own based on sound musicianship. It's a process where more choice is introduced over the years, and students who have learned well the musical fundamentals taught by knowledgeable teachers can feel secure as they (the students) find new freedom of expression that was built on a strong foundation the excellent teacher laid and the diligent student applied.

Yep I agre with this. On a subtle point some youngsters I come across though have very poor technique and a high amount of resistance to naturally following a proper technique, sometimes we have to correct the most important issues in a fragmented manner because applying too much at once becomes confusing for them and not naturally understood, we correct the worst issues and build from there. Their technique may look pretty terrible but it gets better as time goes on slowly.


"The biggest risk in life is to take no risk at all"
Re: Always build up, never break down. [Re: Lostinidlewonder] #2845384
05/05/19 10:10 AM
05/05/19 10:10 AM
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The title of the thread is:
Always build up, never break down.


Learner
Re: Always build up, never break down. [Re: Lostinidlewonder] #2845392
05/05/19 10:27 AM
05/05/19 10:27 AM
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Boynton Beach, FL
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Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Originally Posted by Fidel
As a student who received the makeover treatment from a teacher let me say this...

My teacher wasn't trying to smash or destroy me. Matter of fact she simply analyzed the technique taught by my teacher of the previous 4 years and said I would go no further unless I replaced it with a better technique. Not repair, replace.

What ensued was 18 months of learning how to play again. I had to forget what I knew and replace it with something I didn't know.

I lost the ability to play piano. I couldn't play with the cognitive dissonance of the new technique. Repertoire I played in high school i could not attempt in college. I quit.

I didn't play for 37 years. Then I restarted. My body had no muscle memory. Therefore my high school technique was not interfering with my college teacher's instruction. It's 2 years later and I finally understand what my college teacher was trying to instill. In many ways she was a genius but she vastly over estimated my ability to learn.

Was it worth it? Yes, if I live long enough. After 2 years of restarting, I feel ready to begin again. However if I die or am disabled before I learn the repertoire, then I suppose I would have been better off never starting.

Moral of story: teachers can destroy students. And when they do, you have to move on. Period. The teacher can't teach and the student can't learn. Both need a better match.


This account is not so uncommon but it also pains my heart to imagine lost potential and the lifetime relationship with music that might have been. It is so important that teachers read your story and think deeply how it effects how they may be dismantling a students own precious method that in many cases should be a part of their journey and not merely replaced. We can make changes over time build them up first and not destroy what they have, allow the students to make those realisations of change on their terms with us joining them in that journey. I’m glad you have managed to take up piano once more!

I don't know why it would take 18 months - I wasn't there to be able to judge the teacher. But obviously, the student wasn't ready to change. The teacher should have seen that and backed off. But the change needed to happen, and the student did need to replace, from their own account. This is a drastic measure where you are dealing with someone who suffers from an injury of some kind. Otherwise, one could easily take a step back from more difficult rep temporarily (not for 18 months) to rework technique.

Often I don't think it's what is being said, but in the manner it is presented. I always say "give the student a little of what they need and a little of what they want." It helps soften the blow.

Just because you are trying the get them to replace what they're doing with something better, doesn't mean you hit them over the head with it.


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Re: Always build up, never break down. [Re: Lostinidlewonder] #2845419
05/05/19 11:35 AM
05/05/19 11:35 AM
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LiW, I've been pondering what has gone wrong with this thread. I'm thinking that first of all it is too broad, too ambitious, sort of like trying to tell a life story in one sentence. As you wrote, you are reacting to things you have seen and responding to them, but others have not seen what you have seen, and who knows what they are picturing. There is also a tendency for teachers to become defensive and feel under attack, maybe because teaching is such an elusive thing for knowing if one is in fact doing well.

Everything and anything you have written can be taken to mean different things, and can contain different associations for different people. Or it can come across as just meaningless wordy waffle. To a large extent this thread seems to have been a failure. What if you broke down your ideas into sub-ideas? Taken one idea, present it in a more concrete form with examples. Maybe turn it more into a question so people won't feel lectured (in case they do)? Maybe that will work better here.

Re: Always build up, never break down. [Re: malkin] #2845424
05/05/19 11:51 AM
05/05/19 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by malkin
The title of the thread is:
Always build up, never break down.

Yes it is. How do you understand those words? Or - why are you mentioning it? (not rhetorical)

Re: Always build up, never break down. [Re: Morodiene] #2845430
05/05/19 12:06 PM
05/05/19 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
I don't know why it would take 18 months - I wasn't there to be able to judge the teacher. But obviously, the student wasn't ready to change. The teacher should have seen that and backed off. But the change needed to happen, and the student did need to replace, from their own account. This is a drastic measure where you are dealing with someone who suffers from an injury of some kind. Otherwise, one could easily take a step back from more difficult rep temporarily (not for 18 months) to rework technique.

It's hard to tell. And I would say that if you're a student, you won't know whether it's needed - even in retrospect - and then only if you have managed to get successful training or new feedback from a competent teacher (which you also won't be able to recognize until you've experienced it.)

This goes to something I responded to from the opening post: namely, if a transfer student was taught badly, are there also things this student does well that should be supported, used, and pointed out? If, as a teacher, you see "everything is wrong" with what the student has learned to do, do you fix "everything"? How do you do this, exactly? There are probably different philosophies.

Everything is intertwined. One idea coming from this is that you have to stop playing all repertoire, start at the very beginning, because as soon as you play any repertoire, the habits that went into playing it will also be there. What you do with your hands affect the shoulders affect breathing - so everything has to stop. Another idea is that fixing anything along the chain will affect everything else. If you fix your breathing, your hands might start working better. Another still is that if the whole body works together in the dysfunction, if you fix one thing, the rest of it won't work because you have a broken confused chain. (I've experienced this) .... or ... the rest of the chain wants to start fixing itself.

I'd think that remediation has to be thought through. A teacher who remediates --- especially that drastically ---- has to know what they are doing, or not start at all. It's like taking the motor and parts out of a car, and leaving the parts out, walking away.

What about timing? A student in the last years of high school, about to enter college, and it seems, planning to audition maybe, left with the motor out - no repertoire to play - because it has all been dismantled. How thought through was this?

Another thought still: Some teachers have very rigid ideas of how things are "supposed to" be, and if any student presents who has learned differently, then it all has to be changed to the "supposed to". But that might also be wrong. If you're a student, the moment you can have any kind of perspective on this is if and when your playing is on even keel and you finally know what you're doing. Otherwise a student is quite vulnerable and sort of a sitting duck. wink

Re: Always build up, never break down. [Re: keystring] #2845474
05/05/19 02:33 PM
05/05/19 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by malkin
The title of the thread is:
Always build up, never break down.

Yes it is. How do you understand those words? Or - why are you mentioning it? (not rhetorical)


Were there not comments about whether or not the words always & never occurred in the OP?

I mentioned it, because it seemed to me relevant that the words always and never appeared in the title of the thread, but you're right that there was no point in doing so. This thread has gone so far down the rabbit hole as to be interesting only for discourse analysis of communication failure.


Learner
Re: Always build up, never break down. [Re: malkin] #2845478
05/05/19 02:45 PM
05/05/19 02:45 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 17,019
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by malkin
The title of the thread is:
Always build up, never break down.

Yes it is. How do you understand those words? Or - why are you mentioning it? (not rhetorical)


Were there not comments about whether or not the words always & never occurred in the OP?

I mentioned it, because it seemed to me relevant that the words always and never appeared in the title of the thread, but you're right that there was no point in doing so. This thread has gone so far down the rabbit hole as to be interesting only for discourse analysis of communication failure.



The OP was wondering how they came across as preachy - and you are right, it's in the title. That sets the tone. The use of "always" and "never" tends to do that.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: Always build up, never break down. [Re: keystring] #2845487
05/05/19 02:54 PM
05/05/19 02:54 PM
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Posts: 388
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Originally Posted by keystring
LiW, I've been pondering what has gone wrong with this thread. ... Maybe turn it more into a question so people won't feel lectured (in case they do)? Maybe that will work better here.


That's what most OPs do with their threads in the teachers forum -- come with a question or a few, and ask the advice of the teacher posters. OPs like this one, though, and some others, have been all statements and no questions. The message, whether deliberately or inadvertently, appears to be one of "Listen to me and the knowledge I'm imparting to you" rather than "I'd like to get advice from you. How would you handle _________ situation?"

All statements and no questions is another reason the OP comes across as preachy.

Re: Always build up, never break down. [Re: Andamento] #2845490
05/05/19 02:59 PM
05/05/19 02:59 PM
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Posts: 17,019
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted by Andamento
Originally Posted by keystring
LiW, I've been pondering what has gone wrong with this thread. ... Maybe turn it more into a question so people won't feel lectured (in case they do)? Maybe that will work better here.


That's what most OPs do with their threads in the teachers forum -- come with a question or a few, and ask the advice of the teacher posters. OPs like this one, though, and some others, have been all statements and no questions. The message, whether deliberately or inadvertently, appears to be one of "Listen to me and the knowledge I'm imparting to you" rather than "I'd like to get advice from you. How would you handle _________ situation?"

All statements and no questions is another reason the OP comes across as preachy.


Or even engaging in discussion like, "How do you handle this situation? This is how I handle it and why. What do you think?" It invites the reader to participate, rather than automatically being on the defense if they do not do exactly as the OP says and thus are abusive teachers that don't care about their student's feelings.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: Always build up, never break down. [Re: Morodiene] #2845503
05/05/19 03:13 PM
05/05/19 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by Andamento
Originally Posted by keystring
LiW, I've been pondering what has gone wrong with this thread. ... Maybe turn it more into a question so people won't feel lectured (in case they do)? Maybe that will work better here.


That's what most OPs do with their threads in the teachers forum -- come with a question or a few, and ask the advice of the teacher posters. OPs like this one, though, and some others, have been all statements and no questions. The message, whether deliberately or inadvertently, appears to be one of "Listen to me and the knowledge I'm imparting to you" rather than "I'd like to get advice from you. How would you handle _________ situation?"

All statements and no questions is another reason the OP comes across as preachy.


Or even engaging in discussion like, "How do you handle this situation? This is how I handle it and why. What do you think?" It invites the reader to participate, rather than automatically being on the defense if they do not do exactly as the OP says and thus are abusive teachers that don't care about their student's feelings.


Yes, exactly. I see it as the difference between seeking to understand and seeking to be understood. Your example, Morodiene, shows that both can be part of a good discussion. But when an OP only seeks to be understood, well, that's one-sided and rather off-putting from the get-go.

Re: Always build up, never break down. [Re: Andamento] #2845509
05/05/19 03:28 PM
05/05/19 03:28 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 136
Canada
pianist_lady Online content
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Originally Posted by Andamento
Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by Andamento
Originally Posted by keystring
LiW, I've been pondering what has gone wrong with this thread. ... Maybe turn it more into a question so people won't feel lectured (in case they do)? Maybe that will work better here.


That's what most OPs do with their threads in the teachers forum -- come with a question or a few, and ask the advice of the teacher posters. OPs like this one, though, and some others, have been all statements and no questions. The message, whether deliberately or inadvertently, appears to be one of "Listen to me and the knowledge I'm imparting to you" rather than "I'd like to get advice from you. How would you handle _________ situation?"

All statements and no questions is another reason the OP comes across as preachy.


Or even engaging in discussion like, "How do you handle this situation? This is how I handle it and why. What do you think?" It invites the reader to participate, rather than automatically being on the defense if they do not do exactly as the OP says and thus are abusive teachers that don't care about their student's feelings.


Yes, exactly. I see it as the difference between seeking to understand and seeking to be understood. Your example, Morodiene, shows that both can be part of a good discussion. But when an OP only seeks to be understood, well, that's one-sided and rather off-putting from the get-go.


Completely agree.


Private piano teacher
B. Mus., M.Mus. (piano performance & pedagogy).
Re: Always build up, never break down. [Re: Morodiene] #2845538
05/05/19 06:06 PM
05/05/19 06:06 PM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 160
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Detroit
Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by Fidel
As a student who received the makeover treatment from a teacher let me say this...

My teacher wasn't trying to smash or destroy me. Matter of fact she simply analyzed the technique taught by my teacher of the previous 4 years and said I would go no further unless I replaced it with a better technique. Not repair, replace.

What ensued was 18 months of learning how to play again. I had to forget what I knew and replace it with something I didn't know.

...
I don't know why it would take 18 months - I wasn't there to be able to judge the teacher. But obviously, the student wasn't ready to change. The teacher should have seen that and backed off. But the change needed to happen, and the student did need to replace, from their own account. This is a drastic measure where you are dealing with someone who suffers from an injury of some kind. Otherwise, one could easily take a step back from more difficult rep temporarily (not for 18 months) to rework technique...

Yes 18months elapsed on the calendar which consisted of 12months of lessons plus 1 month of self study. I didn't have access to a piano when school was out so "only" 13months of hands-on piano time occurred. I can't say if that's too long to learn a new technique all I know is that's how long it took me and when time was up I decided to move on.

Funny that you should mention a drastic situation like an injury. Many professional pianists, I've heard number as high as 60%, do get injured. I was never injured, I mean I was a teen; I was strong, flexible, limber. My teacher specialized in rehabilitating injured pianists; it was a booming business. She taught me what she knew about avoiding injury. Along with new technique she was teaching me to be the same kind of specialist she was; I became intimately familiar with ligament, joint and muscle mechanics. When I quit work after 35 years in software development I had carpal tunnel in both wrists plus tendonitis in my right shoulder (mice, I hate them). I used what she taught me to heal my carpal tunnel and ease my tendonitis. Really, I would never question her knowledge about pedagogy only her ability to estimate how long it takes to rebuild a technique.

To me the question i still have is did she have to take me back to square 1 and start all over again? I mean my technique from high school wasn't bad even if it was limited. I had been taught a curvy finger, lift the fingers above the keys and plonk them down on the tip keeping everything else relatively static. It was extremely "finger-y." Ok, even I knew at the time that wasn't the best way to go about it. However to switch immediately to a flat finger, big muscle motions with fingers never losing contact with the keys, that was a stretch too far to assimilate quickly.

The only thing you get totally wrong is saying "the student wasn't ready to change." Nope not even close. I knew I had to change, more accurately to grow. I had been playing for 4 years when i entered the conservatory and I was 1000% aware that other pianists did things I could not. I was extremely eager to learn. I worked extremely hard to learn the new technique. But what I didn't understand at the time, muscle memory wasn't known to me back then, was when my teacher pulled out the strings of my first technique, the entire tapestry of my ability unraveled. I didn't know how to put it back together, until now. 39 years too late unfortunately.


"the lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne." -- Chaucer.
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