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#456453 - 12/08/04 03:45 PM Yikes, now Iíve done it!
Dan Offline

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 1031
Loc: Colorado
I e-mailed a possible new piano teacher last week. Just got off the phone with him and he wants me to come over on Sunday to talk. AND, he wants me to play 2 pieces. One Iím ďcomfortable withĒ and one Iím ďuncomfortable withĒ

I told him I havenít played since March! He says thereís 24 hours in a day and that I could use IV feeding to maximize my practice time between now and then!!


Dear Lord, what have I done!

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#456454 - 12/08/04 03:55 PM Re: Yikes, now Iíve done it!
kluurs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 3748
Loc: Chicago
Dan is in deep
of this we are sure
what we sow we reap
so off to kuala lumpur...

God...I love this stuff!

#456455 - 12/08/04 03:55 PM Re: Yikes, now Iíve done it!
AndrewG Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2506
Loc: Denver, Colorado

Long time no see!

"Dear Lord, what have I done!" - You have done just a great favor for yourself!!


#456456 - 12/08/04 03:56 PM Re: Yikes, now Iíve done it!
Dan Offline

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 1031
Loc: Colorado
Hey Ken! get back to the Coffee Room! I came over here to panic quietly!

(and you *still* can't write poetry, so phffffttttt!

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#456457 - 12/08/04 03:59 PM Re: Yikes, now Iíve done it!
Dan Offline

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 1031
Loc: Colorado

Hope so, really hope so. It's time to get back in the game so to speak.

How's things in your world? Hey I saw somewhere the Onofrio (sp?) now carried Bosendorfer. Have you seen them there? Are the well prepped?


#456458 - 12/08/04 04:00 PM Re: Yikes, now Iíve done it!
gryphon Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 11678
Loc: Okemos, MI
Sounds like he's serious. Could be the best teacher you've ever had. And if it doesn't work out, fire him.
"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
MSU - the university of Michigan!

#456459 - 12/08/04 04:03 PM Re: Yikes, now Iíve done it!
Dan Offline

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 1031
Loc: Colorado
Yeah gryp, he does. That's what scares the heck outta me and at the same time pumps me up!

#456460 - 12/08/04 04:04 PM Re: Yikes, now Iíve done it!
Goldberg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/08/03
Posts: 1235
Loc: U.S.
Hmmm, despite my usual optimism, this doesn't sound too good!

Well, why don't you give us a little bit of information before we fly around in a panic. For how long did you play before taking a break in March? What pieces did you know at that time and what do you think you can have re-worked in...*checks calander*...5 days, sort of, if you count tonight and early Sunday? How much practice time do you have each day (I'm hoping for at least 2 to 4 hours, here)?

Depending on your skill level/what you want to accomplish with lessons, you must realize there is no harm in playing "easier" pieces for the teacher--if you can get "comfortable" with them. I've made many *horrible* first impressions on various teachers and other such people by, in my immature youthfulness, smashing out pieces that are far beyond my abilities. Last time I found myself terribly embarrassed and lucky to find my teacher's acceptance nevertheless (I might add that he said he admired my enthusiasm--a good thing--but I just didn't have enough experience to follow through. I might also add that, because of having lessons with him, he brought me right up to speed to play some of the audition pieces). My point is, if the teacher is worth the trouble, he's going to be more impressed by thoughtful, musical performances than anything else.

Now, I'm sure you know all that so I suppose that entire section has been rendered useless. But I'm leaving it since I took two minutes to type it all out.

Really, I think the information I asked about above will be most helpful. And, we'll know you're on the right track if you never even come online to reply to this post!

#456461 - 12/08/04 04:04 PM Re: Yikes, now Iíve done it!
kluurs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 3748
Loc: Chicago
Hey Dan..

I write the lyrics...you do the melody..

"I write the songs that make women cry
they'll just want to just turn up and die...

You'll do the notes that sound so wrong..
so why don't we just write another song???"

backing away from the keyboard....

Seriously, don't sweat it... Teachers want you to feel good about this whole business. The best thing you can do is to be honest with him. As with any such situations, just play something that you feel VERY comfortable with - and then maybe a part of something you were working on.

He wants to get money from you on a regular basis - and he'll make you feel as comfortable as possible.


#456462 - 12/08/04 04:10 PM Re: Yikes, now Iíve done it!
Dan Offline

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 1031
Loc: Colorado

Here's the e-mail I sent him (with names and phone #'s edited out). It answers your questions except for practice time. That would be limited to about 1 hour per day on weekdays, longer on Saturday and Sunday. In addition to the pieces listed below, I do of course know some simpler ones. I'm planning on asking my wife what she thought I did best and going for that one as my "comfortable piece" I guess. "Uncomfortable" is easy. That's pretty much everything.

> Dear *****,
> My name is Dan Graham, and I am searching for a piano
> teacher in the Boulder area. I am 48 years old, and
> have been playing the piano for about 5 years. I left
> my former instructor in March and since that time I
> have not practiced or played at all.
> I found myself quite frustrated with the amount of
> time it took me to learn new pieces. While I am not
> positive of the reasons for that slow pace, I've come
> to believe that my lack of sight reading ability is a
> large contributor. For me, learning a new piece was a
> process of memorizing all of the notes while at the
> same time learning the techniques needed for that
> particular piece of music. I was successful using this
> memorization method, but I found that I had little
> ability to enjoy new music (even simple pieces)
> because of the time investment required. (Learning to
> play the 1st movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata
> for example took me over a year of diligent practice.)
> The problem I think is that I cannot sit down and play
> even the simplest of music (for example a Christmas
> carol) using the sheet music. This meant that for
> simpler pieces, the time investment to memorize the
> work is far beyond the enjoyment I would derive from
> being able to play it. While for more complex pieces,
> the time investment to memorize and learn the needed
> techniques is very large and seems quite daunting. The
> end result for me was an inability to simply enjoy
> making any music other than the pieces I'd memorized.
> I believe I would enjoy the process of learning much
> more if I were to develop the sight reading skill
> needed to pickup a piece and within a few practice
> sessions be able to play it through with an
> "acceptable" level of competence. I'm not talking
> about being able to play something at performance
> level that I've never seen before, but rather the
> desire to play well enough to simply enjoy the music
> or to accompany the family while singing carols.
> I'm hoping to find a teacher who has had some success
> in teaching adults to sight read at the level I've
> described and your comments on your home page on the
> BAMTA website regarding sight reading and
> accompaniment seemed to fit well with my goals.
> I would be very interested in speaking with you about
> my goals, finding out if you think we might work well
> together, and of course finding out if you have any
> openings in your teaching schedule. I can be reached
> at this e-mail address, or by phone at *** ***-****.
> Thank you for your time,
> Dan
> FYI: I learned to play the following pieces during my
> studies.
> Beethoven, Op 27 No 2, 1st movement only
> Satie, 1st Gymnopedie
> Chopin, Preludes for the Piano, No 4 (Prelude in E
> minor), No 6 (Prelude in B minor), No 7 (Prelude in A
> Major), No 20 (Prelude in C minor)
> Faber & Faber arrangements of Carol of the Bells and
> of Good Morning Blues.
> I've also spent some time working on Guaraldi's "Linus
> and Lucy" and Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag.

#456463 - 12/08/04 04:11 PM Re: Yikes, now Iíve done it!
Dan Offline

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 1031
Loc: Colorado
Ken, never thought I'd say it, but keep 'em coming! I need LOTS of humor right now!

#456464 - 12/08/04 04:27 PM Re: Yikes, now Iíve done it!
kluurs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 3748
Loc: Chicago

- more bad poetry on the way...

First, I'm about your age - though my mental age trails yours significantly...

I too am not the greatest site reader. The bad news is that there is a huge "natural ability" that we missed when we were standing in line for talents... I never did see the Poetry line - was hidden behind the "Talent to Collect Lots of Crap" sign of which I was enamored.

Still, one can get better. Some guy named Cooke spoke about this - spending some time each day on site reading...one can progress from horrendous to really bad...to just plain bad and with luck...mediocre. I'm proud of being mediocre. It took me a while to get here.

The other part of it is spending some time reading Buddhist philosphy...from that comes joy in very simple things...not pushing so hard to move too quickly through a piece...finding ways of enjoying working on a very short measure of music and refining it like a jewel...relaxing a bit more about the whole process.

That last line - made me a better pianist, a better runner, a better swimmer, a better typist - but sadly not a better poet.\


#456465 - 12/08/04 10:24 PM Re: Yikes, now Iíve done it!
cathys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/03
Posts: 917
Loc: Virginia
Dan - Good luck with the new teacher. I didn't realize you had taken time off from lessons. I think if you find the right match it will get you excited about lessons again. I just switched teachers (although not by my choice) I think the change can actually be a good thing.


#456466 - 12/09/04 02:30 AM Re: Yikes, now Iíve done it!
AnnaMatthew Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/13/04
Posts: 470
Dan, we're in the same boat. Only im seeing her on Tuesday- and i have nothing im comfortable with!
But im really hoping ive found the one. Im sick of "test-trying" teachers. I need one who can help me in my goals. I hope you have found the right teacher for yourself too! Im gonna not to wory so much about playing for her. (though im queen of nerves when it comes to playing for people!)

#456467 - 12/09/04 07:26 AM Re: Yikes, now Iíve done it!
Dan Offline

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 1031
Loc: Colorado

Yeah, it's a funny thing about my nerves. I'm really nervous playing for other people, but I'm NOT nervous when I'm playing for my teacher. I had a teacher once who explained that he (the teacher) is the one that needs to be nervous, not the student. After all, I'm paying him to teach me. He said it better than that, but you get the general idea. Anyway, since then I've been able to play for teachers without nerves getting in the way. There's plenty of *other* things that make my play poorly, trust me! And this teacher explained that it was GOOD that I had things to learn because that gave him something to do!

Good luck on Tuesday. I ended up picking my first recital piece to "get comfortable with". It's in my fingers and came back pretty easily last night. It ain't great mind you, but it's ok.


#456468 - 12/09/04 03:21 PM Re: Yikes, now Iíve done it!
Sketchee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/23/03
Posts: 198
Loc: Beltsville, MD
Don't worry too much! The teacher will probably help you with any troubles you have. Anyway what are you doing sitting here reading my post! Go practice! hehe ;\)
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