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#940931 - 02/18/05 11:17 PM Qualities in Teachers
DaWF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/05
Posts: 233
Loc: Wisconsin
My teacher recently informed me that at the rate I was learning, I'd have roughly a year left with her before she'd like to see me move on to a college professor or someone of that level.

I was just curious to what qualities I should look for in a teacher before I start taking lessons from them. Should I attend a recital of theirs, or does performance ability matter when considering a teacher? What other things should I observe?

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#940932 - 02/23/05 01:26 PM Re: Qualities in Teachers
princessclara2005 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/05
Posts: 429
Loc: Dallas, Texas
Performance ability is not the ONLY factor to be considered as a good teacher, it is important, however, so try to go to their recitals will be a good idea....in addition, arrage few lessons with them to see what they say about the things and pieces you are playing....have some specific questions regarding style, technique in mind, so that you can expose the problems to them and compare their responses.

Also, sometimes personalities between you and your teacher also matters.

Good luck

#940933 - 03/01/05 12:24 PM Re: Qualities in Teachers
hilaryemma Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 11
Loc: Colorado
Personally I think the personality match between you and your teacher is extremely important. While you don't just want to sit there hanging out with them, you want to be able to interact with each other, and respect each other. For many years I had a teacher who I thought to be very good, but really I was very nervous about my lessons and looking back, I didn't enjoy them much at all.

When I finally switched teachers (granted, I was older), I started to realise that my lessons could be fun AND I could learn something at the same time. I learnt more with him in 6 months than I had done in 10 years with the other teacher.

Their peformance ability, in my opinion, really shouldn't be a major factor in deciding who to pick. Of course your teachers should be able to play, but first and foremost, they should be able to teach.

My advice would be to ask for a trial lesson to see how comfortable you are with the setup and ask some questions while you are there.

Good luck!

#940934 - 03/06/05 11:15 AM Re: Qualities in Teachers
ljohnson Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/04/05
Posts: 17
Loc: USA

Congratulations on your success as a student! Are you planning to go to college or look to study with a master teacher? Either way, I would approach this from the angle that you consider it a great priviledge to study with a musician of this caliber and do not insult them with a shopping around type of attitude.

While you should be satisfied that you will have a productive relationship with this teacher, it will bode well for you not to present yourself as knowing more than the teacher. I honestly don't feel that a student has the experience or judgement to determine the elidgibility of a teacher. After you acquire some credentials yourself, you may then be able to make these judgements. You should insist that your teacher recommend someone or call her colleagues to get recommendations. Recommendations by other professionals is the only way to go, or, trust the persons qualifications and just GO! We all have faced that transition in our lives. Frankly, my teachers would have laughed me out of the place if I had dared wasted their time with my ignorance. And I have learned so much from each of them, despite any problems that arose.

Best of luck!

#940935 - 03/07/05 09:03 PM Re: Qualities in Teachers
Candywoman Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 1049
The question of performance ability is an interesting one. My teacher didn't perform much for me but she had obviously paid her dues earlier.

When people do the teacher/performer comparison they often forget you can't teach what you don't know. Have you tried different fingerings so you can pass these on to your students? Have you tried different physical approaches to the same phrase? What about dealing with performance anxiety and other performance issues?

I think teachers gain credibility when they can play to a high standard everything they teach.


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