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How to find a good teacer? #2860652
06/19/19 11:21 PM
06/19/19 11:21 PM
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Wehhua Offline OP
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I am an adult beginner of age of 40+, I need to find a teacher ASAP. My question is how do you know a teacher is good /qualified enough to be able to give lessons. Will you check his diploma certificate or you will require him/her to play a music piece in front of you to get to know his skill level? is such request appropriate or it will be regarded impolitenss or even an offense? I am in East Asia, there are many piano trainning institutions here filled with imcompetent tutors which seems making money is their primary goal .

Last edited by Wehhua; 06/19/19 11:23 PM.
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Re: How to find a good teacer? [Re: Wehhua] #2860669
06/20/19 12:50 AM
06/20/19 12:50 AM
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Posts: 3,395
Australia
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earlofmar Offline
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One of the important aspects of choosing a teacher will simply be a personal connection. So you may have to interview several teachers before you settle on one. I think these early discussions, where both parties share as much as possible, is when you decide if you can be yourself in front of this teacher.

Keep in mind that all teachers need to make money, so this is more about finding a good teacher. Much has been written here in this forum in other posts about finding a good teacher, but a teacher that is in high demand, (generally the more expensive ones), is always a good sign. Be prepared to answer questions on your goals and expectations, my last teacher/student interview felt more like my teacher was deciding if she would take me on rather than the opposite way around.

I would also add that for the early beginner, as long as you are getting taught the right fundamentals, it need not matter how well the teacher can play. It comes down to how well the teacher can teach.


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

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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Re: How to find a good teacer? [Re: Wehhua] #2860688
06/20/19 02:10 AM
06/20/19 02:10 AM
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Wehhua Offline OP
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The institutions won't let you to interview, instead they require you to take and pay one lesson stright away not having known anything about the teacher, this is just a waste of time and money (one lesson cost about USD 35) plus constantly taking a test lesson have totally disrupted my learning process.

Re: How to find a good teacer? [Re: Wehhua] #2860715
06/20/19 05:09 AM
06/20/19 05:09 AM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 245
Chiltern Hills, England.
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gwing Offline
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Are you limited to 'institutions' or are there piano teachers that operate independently where you live? If not can you advertise for a piano teacher and choose one that seems to have the right approach?

Paying for the first lesson I can understand, they have to make a living and can't be expected to spend their time unpaid trialling students who have no commitment (unless there are many teachers and few students and they are fighting for business). When I started lessons I paid up front for a block of four lessons rather than just one, and my teacher was at the expensive end. However I carefully selected that teacher after researching both the list of qualifications and experience they published and what their attitude to teaching and learning seemed to be, and I have no regrets at all. Still with the same teacher now :-)

Re: How to find a good teacer? [Re: Wehhua] #2860831
06/20/19 11:37 AM
06/20/19 11:37 AM
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I just started to take class in a music school with rate of $40 for 30 min. I don't feel comfortable to take a private class in a stranger's house. But I some kind of have low expectation of my teacher from the rate - he might only got $20 from teaching me. I guess if I only want to go to institutions and pay no more than $40 weekly, I should be realistic?
I like my teacher, he is calm and kind and encouraging, by the way.

Re: How to find a good teacer? [Re: Wehhua] #2860844
06/20/19 12:20 PM
06/20/19 12:20 PM
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Southeast USA
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Originally Posted by Wehhua
I am an adult beginner of age of 40+, I need to find a teacher ASAP. My question is how do you know a teacher is good /qualified enough to be able to give lessons. Will you check his diploma certificate or you will require him/her to play a music piece in front of you to get to know his skill level? is such request appropriate or it will be regarded impolitenss or even an offense? I am in East Asia, there are many piano trainning institutions here filled with imcompetent tutors which seems making money is their primary goal .


It might help if you explain better about "institutions filled with incompetent tutors". Usually, an institution will have standards for teachers - that should be part of why anyone would chose that institution to begin with. Maybe you have some specific experience? If so, what method do you plan to use (Alfred's, Faber, Suzuki ?). Have you actually gone to one lesson and decided the teacher was not for you?


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Re: How to find a good teacer? [Re: Wehhua] #2860846
06/20/19 12:28 PM
06/20/19 12:28 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 4,119
Florida
dogperson Offline

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At the first lesson with my current teacher, I did not ask her to play. Rather, I played two pieces for her and she provided comments: the level and detail of the comments interspersed with her demonstration told me she had the skills, knowledge and communication skills to be a great teacher.

I find having a teacher play for you does not get you the information you need. Not only can almost everyone learn a higher level piece or two and not really play at that level, but also to be able to play well does not mean that you can teach well.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It’s ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: How to find a good teacer? [Re: Wehhua] #2860847
06/20/19 12:31 PM
06/20/19 12:31 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 5,143
Tyrone Slothrop Offline
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Originally Posted by Wehhua
I am an adult beginner of age of 40+, I need to find a teacher ASAP. My question is how do you know a teacher is good /qualified enough to be able to give lessons. Will you check his diploma certificate or you will require him/her to play a music piece in front of you to get to know his skill level? is such request appropriate or it will be regarded impolitenss or even an offense? I am in East Asia, there are many piano trainning institutions here filled with imcompetent tutors which seems making money is their primary goal .

There are teacher certifications issued by the major conservatories in China, if that's where you are. For example, 上海音乐学院 (Shanghai Conservatory of Music) has piano teacher certifications. If you find a certified teacher, they will be less likely to be bad. (They still may not be good, but that you will just have to try out yourself.)


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: How to find a good teacer? [Re: Wehhua] #2860862
06/20/19 01:05 PM
06/20/19 01:05 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,543
Pennsylvania
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dmd Offline
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Originally Posted by Wehhua
... they require you to take and pay one lesson stright away not having known anything about the teacher ….


That is their way of "filtering out" those that really have very little money and just like trying things out … free. Is that you ?

Quote
... this is just a waste of time and money (one lesson cost about USD 35)…


Well, it is not a waste if it results in you finding a good teacher or preventing you from taking lessons from a "bad" teacher.

Quote
... plus constantly taking a test lesson have totally disrupted my learning process.


Well, if you are constantly taking test lessons, you probably fall into the category I mentioned earlier that institutions are trying to avoid.

AND … it is working.




Last edited by dmd; 06/20/19 01:05 PM.

Don

Kawai MP11SE, Edifier R1850DB Active Bookshelf Speakers, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs
Re: How to find a good teacer? [Re: Wehhua] #2860942
06/20/19 03:34 PM
06/20/19 03:34 PM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,232
Toronto, Ontario
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Peter K. Mose Offline
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Originally Posted by Wehhua
I am an adult beginner of age of 40+, I need to find a teacher ASAP.


Wehhua, please forget the ASAP concept. That's wrongheaded. It is difficult to find a worthy piano teacher for an adult beginner, and the places you are most likely looking are exactly the wrong places to find them. You are going to have to interview many prospects, and take many trial lessons. My advice is to talk to public school music teachers and church organists for recommendations. Don't give up - someone is out there for you.

Re: How to find a good teacer? [Re: Wehhua] #2861065
06/20/19 10:34 PM
06/20/19 10:34 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 7
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Wehhua Offline OP
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Wehhua  Offline OP
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Thank you for all the tips and suggestions you guys gave. In fact I started the lesson about 6 weeks ago in a piano store nearby my house where they sell pianos and also provide piano lessons ( in the place I live, this is the most common way to find a teacher, as the teacher is hired part-time by the pianon store, the teacher has to pay 40-50% their income to the store owner, which I think is the main reason why the teacher is not so enthusastic, I used to adviertize on internet seekingfor a provate tutor with diploma, but got no response), at their request, I paid 12 lessons upfront and after taking 5 classes with them, I stopped because I found the teacher is neither professional nor responsible, no matter how I played at the class, he did not comment at all, just move on to the next stage. I assum a teacher's main task is to correct your mistakes and let you know how to improve, and beside, he never demostrate the piece for me. The material I am using seems for kids as well: John Thompson Easiest Piano Course(1-3), Beyer Kids Version..
I have made an appointment with another piano store to take a trial lesson this Saturday, i will see how it goes.Maybe I should lower my expectation and fit into the market situation

Re: How to find a good teacer? [Re: Wehhua] #2861069
06/20/19 11:17 PM
06/20/19 11:17 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 5,143
Tyrone Slothrop Offline
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Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 5,143
Originally Posted by Wehhua
Thank you for all the tips and suggestions you guys gave. In fact I started the lesson about 6 weeks ago in a piano store nearby my house where they sell pianos and also provide piano lessons ( in the place I live, this is the most common way to find a teacher, as the teacher is hired part-time by the pianon store, the teacher has to pay 40-50% their income to the store owner, which I think is the main reason why the teacher is not so enthusastic, I used to adviertize on internet seekingfor a provate tutor with diploma, but got no response), at their request, I paid 12 lessons upfront and after taking 5 classes with them, I stopped because I found the teacher is neither professional nor responsible, no matter how I played at the class, he did not comment at all, just move on to the next stage. I assum a teacher's main task is to correct your mistakes and let you know how to improve, and beside, he never demostrate the piece for me. The material I am using seems for kids as well: John Thompson Easiest Piano Course(1-3), Beyer Kids Version..
I have made an appointment with another piano store to take a trial lesson this Saturday, i will see how it goes.Maybe I should lower my expectation and fit into the market situation

It may depend on your specific location in East Asia. In Shanghai for example, there are many highly qualified piano teachers, with advanced performance degrees. If you are in a small town or in a city without a Conservatory, then of course, things may be different for you.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: How to find a good teacer? [Re: Wehhua] #2861075
06/20/19 11:39 PM
06/20/19 11:39 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,395
Australia
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earlofmar Offline
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Originally Posted by Wehhua

I have made an appointment with another piano store to take a trial lesson this Saturday, i will see how it goes.Maybe I should lower my expectation and fit into the market situation


I don't think you need to lower your expectations if you are not happy with your teacher. As I wrote before the teacher/student bond is a major factor if you are to enjoy this journey. If all else fails you could always take Skype lessons.

You may however have to lower your expectations regards the initial material though, we all have had to start somewhere.


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

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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Re: How to find a good teacer? [Re: Wehhua] #2861104
06/21/19 02:18 AM
06/21/19 02:18 AM
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Toronto, Ontario
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Peter K. Mose Offline
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Here we go again. A performance degree means approximately zero when it comes to teaching a beginner at the piano, and maybe double zero when it comes to teaching an adult beginner at the piano. If our OP is looking for degrees, I might look for a degree in psychology, philosophy, literature, religion, anthropology, history, theatre, etc. Or adult learning.

But don't look for degrees or diplomas. Just keep taking trial lessons with different piano teachers, until something clicks. Stick with that teacher until either of you gets bored, then move on. Hopefully you will stay together for years.

Re: How to find a good teacer? [Re: Wehhua] #2861119
06/21/19 03:55 AM
06/21/19 03:55 AM
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Michael P Walsh Offline
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Don't worry about playing the kids stuff, don't let your ego get in the way. Just learn to play it as though it's Bach.

Re: How to find a good teacer? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2861154
06/21/19 06:34 AM
06/21/19 06:34 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
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Tyrone Slothrop Offline
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Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
Here we go again. A performance degree means approximately zero when it comes to teaching a beginner at the piano, and maybe double zero when it comes to teaching an adult beginner at the piano. If our OP is looking for degrees, I might look for a degree in psychology, philosophy, literature, religion, anthropology, history, theatre, etc. Or adult learning.

But don't look for degrees or diplomas. Just keep taking trial lessons with different piano teachers, until something clicks. Stick with that teacher until either of you gets bored, then move on. Hopefully you will stay together for years.

While I agree with the sentiment, when there are teachers who...
Quote
no matter how I played at the class, he did not comment at all, just move on to the next stage. ... and beside, he never demostrate the piece for me.
,,,then it's necessary to establish some minimum standards.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: How to find a good teacer? [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2861169
06/21/19 07:17 AM
06/21/19 07:17 AM
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NobleHouse Offline
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
Here we go again. A performance degree means approximately zero when it comes to teaching a beginner at the piano, and maybe double zero when it comes to teaching an adult beginner at the piano. If our OP is looking for degrees, I might look for a degree in psychology, philosophy, literature, religion, anthropology, history, theatre, etc. Or adult learning.

But don't look for degrees or diplomas. Just keep taking trial lessons with different piano teachers, until something clicks. Stick with that teacher until either of you gets bored, then move on. Hopefully you will stay together for years.

While I agree with the sentiment, when there are teachers who...
Quote
no matter how I played at the class, he did not comment at all, just move on to the next stage. ... and beside, he never demostrate the piece for me.
,,,then it's necessary to establish some minimum standards.


+1 thumb


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Re: How to find a good teacer? [Re: dogperson] #2861209
06/21/19 10:08 AM
06/21/19 10:08 AM
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Posts: 1,095
Moscow, Russia
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Iaroslav Vasiliev Offline
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Originally Posted by dogperson
At the first lesson with my current teacher, I did not ask her to play. Rather, I played two pieces for her and she provided comments: the level and detail of the comments interspersed with her demonstration told me she had the skills, knowledge and communication skills to be a great teacher.

+1. That's right, that's all what is needed: a teacher must identify errors and flaws, demonstrate on the piano how it should be played and describe in details the strategy to achieve this.

Originally Posted by dogperson
I find having a teacher play for you does not get you the information you need. Not only can almost everyone learn a higher level piece or two and not really play at that level, but also to be able to play well does not mean that you can teach well.

Agree, being able to play well does not mean that you can teach well. But still a demonstration contains very valuable information. It's not a level of the piece that you need to look at, but look at the hands how they move, there must be a certain degree of elegance in movements, and try to hear fullness of the sound, there must be no harsh sounds unless a piece clearly requires it.

Re: How to find a good teacer? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2861210
06/21/19 10:10 AM
06/21/19 10:10 AM
Joined: Mar 2018
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Texas
Dr. Rogers Offline
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Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
If our OP is looking for degrees, I might look for a degree in psychology, philosophy, literature, religion, anthropology, history, theatre, etc. Or adult learning.


Are you implying that people with PhDs in engineering cannot teach piano? grin


Austin Rogers, PhD
Music Teacher in Austin, TX
Baldwin SD-10 Concert Grand "Kuroneko", Baldwin Upright, Yamaha P-255
Re: How to find a good teacer? [Re: Wehhua] #2861219
06/21/19 10:40 AM
06/21/19 10:40 AM
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Michael P Walsh Offline
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Worst teacher I ever had was an extremely good player (not piano, was on another instrument). He just seemed to be more interested in showing me just how flashy and fast he was. I took exception to it because I was paying for the dubious privilege. I'm pretty sure he was the exception.

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