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Would you take lessons from a teacher that struggles to play
#3001076 07/10/20 11:58 AM
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The NextDoor app has the usual find a lawn care service, who is doing fireworks still, lost dog, table for sale, etc...

One post was, "looking for a piano teacher for my daughter. recommendations?"

It's like, "I want to buy a car for my son. recommendations?"
Ya need more info!!

Anyway,

one person happily linked to a website of a local studio. I scrolled around and it looks fun. Recitals in a far away location, like, over 40 minutes drive, but the studio is one mile nearby. (?) Fun art projects and music enrichment/listening activities. 4th of July dress up competition. Canned food drive last fall.

Saw a post,
"Sharing Saturday"
it was an adult, stomping through Fur Elise, starting and restarting, several times, a simplified version with very little left hand. The trill took three attempts. Only played a handful of measures. Stiff wrists. no dynamic changes. but,

I thought, wow, adult student, nice to show! that's encouraging for the littles!

And then...


THAT WAS THE TEACHER.

She said at the end of her barely one page work through, "that is why we teach scales!"

Now, I do not have a performance degree. I did take three semesters of piano pedagogy in college and have worked with children as a teacher in some capacity for over three decades now. My addiction is collecting old piano curriculum and sheet music. There are all sorts of teachers.

I am not going to say anything. I have a strong studio. She is not my "competition."

Would you take tennis lessons from someone that cannot serve over the net? Swim lessons in the kiddie pool? Driving lessons from a 16 year old? Learn karate from a yellow belt? practice hurdle jumping for track with only one hurdle? (this actually happened to my daughter...it did not end well- she fell at her first race)

But, parents watching her website would not know what they do not know. They will vaguely recognize the piece, smile, and sign up.

She might be the nicest person ever. Pictures of students on her site are all happy. Hers is the only video/audio.

Your opinion?

Again, I'm not going to say anything so I guess this is a mini-rant. We all have room for improvement, some more than others! lol


Learning as I teach.
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Re: Would you take lessons from a teacher that struggles to play
missbelle #3001079 07/10/20 12:09 PM
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One important thing my piano teacher does is play, or show how to play, the pieces I am learning. So to answer the question - no.

Re: Would you take lessons from a teacher that struggles to play
missbelle #3001089 07/10/20 12:49 PM
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Absolutely NO
I would expect that any teacher that I have plays better than I do


"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: Would you take lessons from a teacher that struggles to play
missbelle #3001094 07/10/20 12:57 PM
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Welcome to my world!!!!!! I am surrounded by teachers like that.


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Re: Would you take lessons from a teacher that struggles to play
missbelle #3001098 07/10/20 01:05 PM
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So.. it's that kind of world. Get hustling ?

Last edited by Ken Knapp; 07/13/20 06:21 AM. Reason: Political comment removed. NOT ALLOWED.
Re: Would you take lessons from a teacher that struggles to play
missbelle #3001131 07/10/20 02:19 PM
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Many parents are determined to find inferior piano instruction for their children. It doesn't make sense to us teachers. But they want lessons to end before they start.
After all, if their child were to be successful, he would need double the lesson time almost immediately. He would need lessons for about fifteen years and a proper piano. And the parent would have to remind him to play piano for at least five of those years. And, the icing on the cake, the parent would actually have to listen to piano music for years.

So, first, they buy a c****y keyboard. They admire a teacher like the one you described, and are grateful for a mentor in their child's life. They pay her regularly and even attend lessons.

They get stuck on some cool thing, like the way the teacher gives make-up lessons without question or the fact that she gives thrice-yearly recitals. It's mysterious and worthy of anthropological study: The piano parent who wants to shoot himself in the foot.

Re: Would you take lessons from a teacher that struggles to play
missbelle #3001145 07/10/20 02:41 PM
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If I found a teacher who used to be a good pianist, but whose technique had faded with age,

. . . I might take lessons from him/ her --

. . . I'd be paying for his ears and eyes, not his fingers.

But what you describe is someone who doesn't know, or doesn't care, that she's playing badly. That's a real red flag.


. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Would you take lessons from a teacher that struggles to play
missbelle #3001190 07/10/20 03:45 PM
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The incompetent performance alone would rate a hard no; posting the video evidence of incompetence is an impressive display of stupidity on top of incompetence.


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Re: Would you take lessons from a teacher that struggles to play
malkin #3001206 07/10/20 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by malkin
The incompetent performance alone would rate a hard no; posting the video evidence of incompetence is an impressive display of stupidity on top of incompetence.

There is a piano teacher near me who gleefully posted the entire student recital online at the studio's website. The videos have been removed now.

I have students who play just as horribly as that teacher's students, but I make it a point NOT to put those awful performances on the Internet for people to criticize. When I had a website, I did put my best students' performances there (with their parents' permission, of course). It didn't do very much to help my studio grow. I'm starting to think that most parents just don't care, or they are not in a position to tell the difference.


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Re: Would you take lessons from a teacher that struggles to play
missbelle #3001295 07/10/20 07:59 PM
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Candywoman-

what an interesting theory!

But, as I have sometimes dubbed myself "The Musical Babysitter" because lessons fit the schedule (Susie has science club Tuesdays, Billy has soccer Monday, so we need something to fill Wednesday right after school, hmmm....dance class is full, art club is too messy...piano it is!! and we will never have time to practice)

That's why I always ask the student to write or draw, "why I'm taking lessons." At least I know from the beginning.

Also, this may be an odd place for a shout out, but bless Joy Morin and Susan Paradis and Gilbert de Benedetti for having worksheets and music I can email links for my on-line students!


Learning as I teach.
Re: Would you take lessons from a teacher that struggles to play
missbelle #3001334 07/10/20 11:04 PM
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No I would not take lessons from a teacher like that. It’s funny because my friend used to take lessons from the same teacher I did. She was uncomfortable having someone a lot younger telling her what to do and who could play better. If my teacher could not play a lot better than I can, I would be looking for another teacher. I am old enough to be his mother but that does not bother me.


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Re: Would you take lessons from a teacher that struggles to play
missbelle #3001367 07/11/20 03:33 AM
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No. Because knowing myself I would end up trying to teach the teacher wink

Re: Would you take lessons from a teacher that struggles to play
missbelle #3001551 07/11/20 03:35 PM
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This reminds me of a record our vocal methods professor played for our class one time, as an example of singing that shouldn't be recorded and distributed.

We can hope that that vocalist, unlike the piano "teacher" in your example, didn't ever try instructing anyone!


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