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Re: I blew it [Re: Rodeo Rider] #2911098 11/12/19 09:30 AM
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Teachers are frightening. You're not alone.

But trying to rationalize it, i think we don't go to the teacher to play. We go to the teacher to learn. Is similar to going to the doctor. We don't go to the doctor to run or play any sport. We go so he heals our knee or whetever, so we will be able to run. Similarly when going to the teacher he has to highlight our mistakes in order for us to improve. That's his job, what we need. I'm sorry for the teachers. They are the bad cop in in the piano playing business and they're essential.

I remember a teacher i had time ago. Very nice guy. But when the lesson started he was a drill sergeant. Until several lessons past and i got used to it i was paralyzed. But he was really really good and i learned a lot.

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Re: I blew it [Re: Snail] #2911102 11/12/19 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Snail
Teachers are frightening. You're not alone.

But trying to rationalize it, i think we don't go to the teacher to play. We go to the teacher to learn. Is similar to going to the doctor. We don't go to the doctor to run or play any sport. We go so he heals our knee or whetever, so we will be able to run. Similarly when going to the teacher he has to highlight our mistakes in order for us to improve. That's his job, what we need. I'm sorry for the teachers. They are the bad cop in in the piano playing business and they're essential.

I remember a teacher i had time ago. Very nice guy. But when the lesson started he was a drill sergeant. Until several lessons past and i got used to it i was paralyzed. But he was really really good and i learned a lot.


+1. If I am not shown my mistakes, I will continue to repeat them and I will not change. My teacher has seen more students than I can imagine and has seen the same mistakes over and over again from different people, so she knows what has to be done to fix those mistakes.


Yamaha U1 Silent Piano
Re: I blew it [Re: Rodeo Rider] #2911113 11/12/19 10:18 AM
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Rodeo Rider, I won’t address the issue of finding an appropriate teacher, as you already know that you’re not happy with your current one, and because others here have already advised you to find a new teacher, as well. But one thing I don’t see addressed here (unless I missed it) is something that can help tremendously with performance anxiety. There is a class of medications called “beta blockers” (propranolol being one of them) that is used by approximately 70% of professional classical musicians. The drug was actually developed to treat high blood pressure, but through its same mechanism of action is also very effective at markedly reducing the physical manifestations of performance anxiety—tremors, rapid heart rate, sweating, tightness in chest, etc. Note that the drug is not a tranquilizer or anti-anxiety agent, and won’t actually reduce your feelings of anxiety while performing. But at least it will help with the physical manifestations of anxiety that can actually impede your ability to perform. I use it myself before every recital, as I learned that no matter how well prepared I am for a recital, stage fright will uncontrollably affect my body in a way that is detrimental to my actual playing ability. I suggest that you talk to your doctor and see what he or she thinks.

Re: I blew it [Re: Rodeo Rider] #2911137 11/12/19 11:13 AM
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I read about beta blockers recently. I started performing at a young age. In church, school, community theatre. I was in 3 different bands as a lead singer.

Did a lot of public speaking in various capacities. In front of large crowds. Maybe 500 ppl or so. Mc'd a well attended jack and Jill (over 200 people) just last summer. They had a DJ that only played music. And there was a 2 hour auction for raising money for the couple which my gf was supposed to conduct. She was so nervous she asked me to do it. And I led the sing a longs. To brag a tad, I was asked for my business card. My bff who was in charge (her daughter's jack and Jill) asked me as SHE had high anxiety when the time came and I stepped in at her request.

Please do not get the impression that I am heaping this onto my teacher. It was ME who had the performance anxiety, not her.

My problem started when I heard her in a loud whisper talking right behind me as I was playing. THEN it started. I had people with me who had a front row seat and (awful for them I suppose) saw me start to shake uncontrollably. I ruined my second piece, and rallied myself for my third.

My fault. Afterward I just thought "I want a do over!".

I have no issue with being corrected. I ASK for it! I have goals, thought about them for a long time, did the work, pushed through during 2 major surgeries, dealt with all my setbacks.

It's really an "oil and water don't mix" situation. I am not cut from the same cloth as my teacher, love opposite types of music. And my goals were not in line with her teaching approach.

I have already "cut the cord" paid for the next few lessons as a "thank you" as I feel bad about quitting this teacher. I spent the last two years following orders essentially. And shelving my desires on the piano. And I don't pay over $3000 a year to...be...unhappy.

Situational anxiety oh boy yes.

I'm not part of the "stuffy, proper, rigid old lady circuit" lol. I am almost 60, with the heart of a 20 year old. I am more determined than ever to make my desires on the piano musically. And I believe in myself.

In relaxed settings (bar crowd or trendy restaurant) outdoor (country fair etc) no issue! But put in the buttoned up starched collar crowd I can't do it.

So wrong fit for me. I did learn from this teacher. I believe no learning is a waste.

I actually feel...free. Like I lost a big weight.

Re: I blew it [Re: Rodeo Rider] #2911143 11/12/19 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Rodeo Rider
But put in the buttoned up starched collar crowd I can't do it.



Stuff the starched collared then. Not being a professional you don't have to play for them, just play what you want and play for yourself, or just for groups you actually want to play for.

Re: I blew it [Re: Rodeo Rider] #2911149 11/12/19 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Rodeo Rider
I actually feel...free. Like I lost a big weight.

Congrats on starting the next chapter of your musical life.


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Re: I blew it [Re: Rodeo Rider] #2911154 11/12/19 12:04 PM
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Thanks Tyrone from the deepest depths! I spent the last 3 months of lessons feeling like a failure. I told her this, as I am quite open.

A friend who is a professional pianist said "it seems she culled you". Hmm. Maybe I'm the dunce and I didn't "get" the message my teacher was trying to send. Anyway, not to beleager a point...i am playing at a "kitschy" restaurant, doing the sing a long thing. Fun stuff. Ya, fluff, ok. But that was always my goal.

This pro friend (and btw he is well, kinda big time) said "your teacher is your kryptonite". "It happens". "Move on" "thank her for everything...start a new".


Last edited by Rodeo Rider; 11/12/19 12:04 PM.
Re: I blew it [Re: Rodeo Rider] #2911160 11/12/19 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Rodeo Rider
Thanks Tyrone from the deepest depths! I spent the last 3 months of lessons feeling like a failure. I told her this, as I am quite open.

A friend who is a professional pianist said "it seems she culled you". Hmm. Maybe I'm the dunce and I didn't "get" the message my teacher was trying to send. Anyway, not to beleager a point...i am playing at a "kitschy" restaurant, doing the sing a long thing. Fun stuff. Ya, fluff, ok. But that was always my goal.

This pro friend (and btw he is well, kinda big time) said "your teacher is your kryptonite". "It happens". "Move on" "thank her for everything...start a new".



I’m glad you’re free. I can’t say for certain but if you were in fact culled, it might just be your teacher took on too many students. Perhaps her stress and anxiety manifested itself in your lessons. It’s not your fault if she’s cranky and critical at your lesson. You’ve been patient but time to get away from the kryptonite. Best wishes for a new teacher.


J & J
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Re: I blew it [Re: Rodeo Rider] #2911162 11/12/19 12:30 PM
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You need to think about WHY you go to play for charity and WHY you go to your teacher. And ask yourself if you are playing for yourself or not.


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Re: I blew it [Re: Rodeo Rider] #2911177 11/12/19 01:04 PM
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Rider, sometimes a student and teacher just don't gel. There's no need to feel bad about it. When the combo is good, magic can happen. But when it is, as you say, "oil and water", it's best to move on.

As I teacher, I've had some of those magical combos and some of those "oil and water" situations. When it's the latter, I would rather the student move on sooner rather than later to minimize their bad experiences. I certainly don't take it personally, and I would hope that no professional would take it personally.

FWIW I'm part of the "buttoned up starched collar crowd" myself (metaphorically speaking - nobody I know wears starched collars here in Austin, TX - it's too hot). But I'm glad that there is a diversity of musical tastes and styles.

I have one student who brings in Nine Inch Nails pieces to learn (apparently the band leader of NiN is a classical pianist). He and I are polar opposites in many areas - yet we have great professional chemistry together and it continues to be a productive relationship. You just never now how it's going to pan out.


Austin Rogers, PhD
Music Teacher in Austin, TX
Baldwin SD-10 Concert Grand "Kuroneko", Baldwin Upright, Yamaha P-255
Re: I blew it [Re: Rodeo Rider] #2911183 11/12/19 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Rodeo Rider
Mc'd a well attended jack and Jill (over 200 people) just last summer. They had a DJ that only played music. And there was a 2 hour auction for raising money for the couple which my gf was supposed to conduct. She was so nervous she asked me to do it. And I led the sing a longs. To brag a tad, I was asked for my business card. My bff who was in charge (her daughter's jack and Jill) asked me as SHE had high anxiety when the time came and I stepped in at her request.



What's a Jack and Jill? Is it something to do with the children's charity?

Re: I blew it [Re: j&j] #2911186 11/12/19 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by j&j
Originally Posted by Rodeo Rider
Thanks Tyrone from the deepest depths! I spent the last 3 months of lessons feeling like a failure. I told her this, as I am quite open.

A friend who is a professional pianist said "it seems she culled you". Hmm. Maybe I'm the dunce and I didn't "get" the message my teacher was trying to send. Anyway, not to beleager a point...i am playing at a "kitschy" restaurant, doing the sing a long thing. Fun stuff. Ya, fluff, ok. But that was always my goal.

This pro friend (and btw he is well, kinda big time) said "your teacher is your kryptonite". "It happens". "Move on" "thank her for everything...start a new".



I’m glad you’re free. I can’t say for certain but if you were in fact culled, it might just be your teacher took on too many students. Perhaps her stress and anxiety manifested itself in your lessons. It’s not your fault if she’s cranky and critical at your lesson. You’ve been patient but time to get away from the kryptonite. Best wishes for a new teacher.



J&J she was incredibly Moody and showed openly her displeasure. I was going to quit in the early summer, and all of a sudden she came around and I decided to stick with her. My 3 companions with me said "you were great, and then as some discussion was going on behind you, you kinda went off the rails" and it was SURREAL. I was having an out of body experience, I couldn't control it.

In a way, I'm glad it happened. It forced me to be objective.

Yesterday I had a "block party" and had new neighbors, family, friends over. We did several Don McClean numbers (my grandson on guitar, now there's the talent in this family!) My brother and sister. We all sang, ya tempo was here and there, but all left with a song in their hearts.

My piano teachers as a youngin' were also elitist types. And I hated every minute of my lessons. For 7 years.

I was "designated" the piano player as most of my family members are musicians, and my dad said I was the only one he could count on to practice.

Re: I blew it [Re: johnstaf] #2911188 11/12/19 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by Rodeo Rider
Mc'd a well attended jack and Jill (over 200 people) just last summer. They had a DJ that only played music. And there was a 2 hour auction for raising money for the couple which my gf was supposed to conduct. She was so nervous she asked me to do it. And I led the sing a longs. To brag a tad, I was asked for my business card. My bff who was in charge (her daughter's jack and Jill) asked me as SHE had high anxiety when the time came and I stepped in at her request.



What's a Jack and Jill? Is it something to do with the children's charity?


A jack and Jill is a combined bridal shower and groom's stag. It was very organic. I had zero time to prepare. And I was so good at it. I was surprised how comfortable I was.

I knew a lot of the folks that were there, including an old boss. So I was able to wax and wane about the family a bit, knowing them as well as I did.

And I was asked "do you have a business card" by several people. And the auction was very successful.

So, here's my take.

1) Teacher does not like me
2) I am not learning what I paid for, and very clearly stated in detail exactly what I wanted from the get.
3) Teacher said yes I can help you
4) Slowly and insidiously my "repertoire" gets sidelined, bit by bit
5) I have self talk that goes "well she's the professional, so I will follow her wishes"
6) I am not getting much out of these lessons. Just a sense of failure
7) I mention this...we redirect. For a few lessons
8) Sonatas get introduced. Sonatinas, Preludes, etc
9) No more "fun music"
10) Oh well....maybe she knows better than I
11) What? She just told me, 2 years in she hates jazz, r&b (r&b is my thing.been likened to a cross of Etta James and Bonnie Raitt" vocally) and all popular music?

My fault. Too eager to please others.

To quote a song "you can't please everyone, so you gotta please yourself".

Re: I blew it [Re: Rodeo Rider] #2911193 11/12/19 02:02 PM
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I recently approached a teacher to learn with and linked him my youtube as a general idea of where I'm at and what I'm interested in. He lists himself as a jazz/classical teacher. He replied back 'I don't teach blues, so no thanks try someone else'. Who knows, maybe he just didn't like me or was too busy or didn't want to teach a beginner but it did seem a little strange as i have no special interest in blues and would happily focus on jazz/classical if it meant getting a good teacher.

I guess my point is some teachers are very upfront about what they're interested in and what they want to teach, and want to share that interest with their student. Others are very versatile and are comfortable teaching anything. Others still see student's as a regular paycheck and will 'market' or say they can teach anything but then just rail road them down their familiar method and style. So yeah, you're an adult and a buyer - so buyer beware!

Rodeo it sounds like you've learnt from the experience and are moving on so that's about all we can ever ask right? I wish you luck.

Re: I blew it [Re: Rodeo Rider] #2911195 11/12/19 02:07 PM
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Dr Rogers very sound info on your part.

This teacher had mentioned her "finances" quite a bit. I found it very difficult to adhere to a weekly lesson plan. Work and life make that almost impossible.

And after "plateuing" a few months back it felt like pushing a boulder up a mountain.

I compared notes per se with some of the other adult students, and I was shocked at the fact I was being given 5 times the amount of work!

3-5 pieces (somewhat advanced for me, but I know you have to aim high) each 2 or 3 weeks.
Hanon each week
Scales, at least one each week
Theory..almost done with book 1 btw
And separate "blues improvisation" stuff
On top of working on my own compositions

Now, I don't shy away from hard work. Maybe she felt I could handle it? This person was difficult to read. My direct questions were met with...no direct answers. I felt lost. I felt like she couldn't wait till we were finished.

I believe that I just don't fit HER demographic as a student. And maybe she shouldn't have taken me on. Maybe it was for the paycheck? And behaving negatively towards me was a cue I didn't pick up.

The more I think about it, the more I believe that to be true.

It ALMOST killed my love of this instrument. Thank God my husband is so supportive of me.

Going to go hammer the keys for a bit smile learn me some 50's boogity boogity LOL

I have several Ray Charles tunes to shore up. His music isn't too difficult, most know it and like it, and I've joined a band (as the lead singer) and have practice tonight.

Re: I blew it [Re: Rodeo Rider] #2911204 11/12/19 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Rodeo Rider
11) What? She just told me, 2 years in she hates jazz, r&b (r&b is my thing.been likened to a cross of Etta James and Bonnie Raitt" vocally) and all popular music?

FWIW, she need not share your tastes, or you hers, in order to teach you.

Originally Posted by Rodeo Rider
1) Teacher does not like me

That may be an understatement. I get the impression that she really held you in contempt.



And still I dream she'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather
Re: I blew it [Re: Rodeo Rider] #2911211 11/12/19 02:38 PM
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Sounds like you know this teacher?

Re: I blew it [Re: Rodeo Rider] #2911213 11/12/19 02:43 PM
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Hi Rodeo
You might want to check out the pianist corner- non classical. You will find a number of supportive, like minded souls.


"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: I blew it [Re: Dr. Rogers] #2911225 11/12/19 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers
Rider, sometimes a student and teacher just don't gel. There's no need to feel bad about it. When the combo is good, magic can happen. But when it is, as you say, "oil and water", it's best to move on.

As I teacher, I've had some of those magical combos and some of those "oil and water" situations. When it's the latter, I would rather the student move on sooner rather than later to minimize their bad experiences. I certainly don't take it personally, and I would hope that no professional would take it personally.

FWIW I'm part of the "buttoned up starched collar crowd" myself (metaphorically speaking - nobody I know wears starched collars here in Austin, TX - it's too hot). But I'm glad that there is a diversity of musical tastes and styles.

I have one student who brings in Nine Inch Nails pieces to learn (apparently the band leader of NiN is a classical pianist). He and I are polar opposites in many areas - yet we have great professional chemistry together and it continues to be a productive relationship. You just never now how it's going to pan out.

I really enjoy listening Alternative and Nine Inch Nails. I enjoy learning and playing Classical on piano. I enjoyed playing most of the music in the Adult Lesson books. It’s cool because you can see exactly your level in an organized way. As long as I’m playing piano, I just enjoy playing. It’s the only way I could get through practicing scales.
By doing scales and arpeggios I’m getting to know how the piano’s doing.


J & J
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Re: I blew it [Re: Rodeo Rider] #2911228 11/12/19 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Rodeo Rider
Going to go hammer the keys for a bit smile learn me some 50's boogity boogity LOL

I like that 50's boogity boogity too! smile

And, since I like to play tunes on the piano that you don't usually hear played on the piano, I don't think there's a piano teacher anywhere that would want to touch me with a ten-foot pole... smile

Wishing you all the best!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
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