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#3158845 09/23/21 06:43 AM
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hi guys,

im having a problem with my current teacher, i love what he has done for me and known him many years (2004). a dear friend.

however i feel his methods just dont fit into todays modern way of life anymore. clearly a generational issue going on i feel.

He seems unwilling to teach more up to date stuff and only interested in traditional mozart, bach etc. I feel i need a change!

hes about 65, me 34.

Shouldn't say this perhaps but im not convinced how much practice he does as his demonstrations can be really quite rough.

and a lot of mistakes/feeling of its not really secure in the fingers even on things hes known along time.

and he cant play like, anything from memory not even bits n pieces he claims to have known for years.


But i dont want to offend him. he does admit im quite a talented lad underneath my quiet demeanor .

and can do certain things at the piano most people would kill for, little technical subtleties, ideal hands etc.


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I’m the wrong person to ask, because I believe if you develop good skills and technique through classical training, you will have the skills to play more popular music. My training was classical—- but I played pop at home for fun. He’s taught you technical subtleties and nuances? Priceless

Your teacher doesn’t memorize? Irrelevant, if the demonstrations are rough, do you still understand ?

You are learning and progressing? Be grateful

Last edited by dogperson; 09/23/21 08:04 AM. Reason: Typos
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Originally Posted by daoc2009
hi guys,

im having a problem with my current teacher, i love what he has done for me and known him many years (2004). a dear friend.

however i feel his methods just dont fit into todays modern way of life anymore. clearly a generational issue going on i feel.

He seems unwilling to teach more up to date stuff and only interested in traditional mozart, bach etc. I feel i need a change!
If you feel there's nothing more you can learn from him - musically and/or technically -, ditch him, by all means.

If it's just a matter of him not teaching you pop or anime or whatever it is you want to learn, why don't you just get the scores of those and learn them by yourself? By now, you should have the skills to do so. The raison d'être of any good teacher is to get his students to the level where they can be independent of him - eventually. In other words, they can learn stuff and make more progress by themselves.

Those aiming high (i.e. budding concert pianists) will of course want to continue refining and learning new ways of interpretation etc by attending masterclasses as well as studying further with teachers whose methods appeal to them.

When I was a student many decades ago, it never occurred to me to ask my teacher to teach me pop or anything non-classical - nor did it occur to my fellow students either. We all went the traditional (& ubiquitous) classical exam-based route in our lessons. I just played pop, folk etc by ear (- any scores of such stuff were hard to come by in those days, even if I could afford them), as did all my friends. If we had access to such scores, doubtless we'd have played from them.

As a teacher, I wouldn't spend lesson time teaching my students any stuff which I don't care for, but I'd certainly encourage them to learn other stuff by themselves, if they wanted to, and I'd be there to help with any specific problems.


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I think the diplomatic way would be to tell him that you're taking a break from piano. If it takes a while for you to get another teacher, it's kind of true, isn't it?

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Hi Daoc2009

Now I am not a piano teacher, but it seems clear from your description that you would like to move on to a new piano teacher. I guess it is hard for you to tell him, because you consider him a dear friend. So you have to think of a very friendly way of saying goodbye to him as a teacher. Maybe buy a really nice present that you give to him when you tell him that it has been a difficult decision for you, but it is time to move on. And maybe, that you hope that the two of you will still be friends. But of course, it is not sure that is possible when you no longer have a teacher-pupil relationship.


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You've been with this person 17 years. You are patient. Or, unassertive.

If he's been the same for 17 years, you won't change his style. So the decision is yours.

And after 17 years you should be skilled enough to know what to do next.

I can fire a teacher but I haven't figured out how to break my cable TV contract. I think you can probably get divorced more easily.


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Daoc - here’s a question for clarification. When you say your teacher doesn’t want to teach you anything other than Mozart and Bach, what is it that you want to play? Do you want to play 20th century pieces by composers like Bartok (this is just an example… what I mean here is something that is more recent but firmly in the tradition of Western classical music, and that you would potentially hear in a recital given by a concert pianist)? Or do you mean pop music or jazz?

I don’t know that the answer really matters. But if there are musical areas you want to explore, and your teacher really can’t or won’t help you with those things, I don’t think this is a terribly difficult conversation to have.

You can just say that right now, you have limited time, and you really want to explore XX music; right now, you really don’t feel like dedicating a lot more time to Mozart and Bach. leave it at that.

Good luck!

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The generational issue is a serious thing. It may be you've become too close with your teacher.

You may tell him that you're going to dive into jazz and going to find a jazz teacher. He will probably think you're a madwoman, but that way you won't hurt him. But this trick won't work if you live in a small town where all teachers know each other and chat.

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Originally Posted by daoc2009
He seems unwilling to teach more up to date stuff
Originally Posted by Sgisela
Do you want to play 20th century pieces by composers like Bartok
I think even 20th century is no longer 'up to date' now grin

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Originally Posted by cygnusdei
Originally Posted by daoc2009
He seems unwilling to teach more up to date stuff
Originally Posted by Sgisela
Do you want to play 20th century pieces by composers like Bartok
I think even 20th century is no longer 'up to date' now grin

Okay, this is very off topic, to call somebody who died 1945 - 86 years ago! - contemporary is really strange. For me, contemporary starts.... hmmmm.... when I was born! laugh


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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by cygnusdei
Originally Posted by daoc2009
He seems unwilling to teach more up to date stuff
Originally Posted by Sgisela
Do you want to play 20th century pieces by composers like Bartok
I think even 20th century is no longer 'up to date' now grin

Okay, this is very off topic, to call somebody who died 1945 - 86 years ago! - contemporary is really strange. For me, contemporary starts.... hmmmm.... when I was born! laugh

The OP specifically said ‘more up to date’ relative to Mozart and Bach. They did not actually say ‘contemporary’ music or ‘pop’ music or anything else. This was my confusion. Everyone was assuming the OP was referring to really contemporary stuff and/or pop. I don’t think that’s at all clear from the OP’s post. My question was for clarification purposes.

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Originally Posted by Sgisela
The OP specifically said ‘more up to date’ relative to Mozart and Bach. They did not actually say ‘contemporary’ music or ‘pop’ music or anything else. This was my confusion. Everyone was assuming the OP was referring to really contemporary stuff and/or pop. I don’t think that’s at all clear from the OP’s post. My question was for clarification purposes.
Have a look at his recent post to see what he's playing:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...judge-my-playing-please.html#Post3157974


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I think when people play well Bach Beethoven and Mozart, they should be able to sight read most of the anime and pop musics and they don't need particular practice....


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Originally Posted by bennevis
Have a look at his recent post to see what he's playing:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...judge-my-playing-please.html#Post3157974

Thanks, BenNevis - the YouTube channel did answer a lot of my questions.

Daoc2009- if your YouTube channel is representative of the kind of music you like to play, I can see why you feel as you do about lessons that are focused on classical repertoire. I think breaking from lessons with your current teacher should not be difficult, because what excites you musically is not stuff that he is going to help you with, or even encourage you to work on. I don’t think there’s a problem. Just be honest about the kind of music you want to play, and I think he should understand that he has either given you the foundation to be able to do it on your own, or that someone else is better suited to continue guiding you on your piano journey.

The next question is about what you want to do after stopping your current lessons. As others have said, I think there is a lot you can do on your own, and you will have fun doing it. But if there are specific skills that you’d like to cultivate further and feel like you want guidance, then I’d look for a teacher who can help you with those skills. I’m thinking of something like improvisation, but you may have other ideas. Your current teacher may even be able to suggest local people who have a specific skill set or knowledge base that you would find helpful to hone your interests.


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