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ipsp79 Offline OP
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Hi, I have discovered that most of the jazz piano performers cannot not be a good jazz piano teacher. What do you think? smile

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My opinion may differ from the norm.




Rise like lions after slumber,in unvanquishable number. Shake your chains to earth like dew
which in sleep has fallen on you. Ye are many,they are few. Shelley

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Originally Posted by ipsp79
Hi, I have discovered that most of the jazz piano performers cannot not be a good jazz piano teacher. What do you think? smile


I agree, however, good jazz piano teachers are not also good performers.


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[/quote]

I agree, however, good jazz piano teachers are not also good performers.

[/quote]

Hi, I also agree with your opinion. Fyi, I have changed 3 jazz piano teachers because they cannot teach me systematically. Most of the time, they perform in front of me instead of teaching me. Now, I have a good jazz piano teacher. She's managed to teach me systematically but I also discover that she is not those performers type smile Anyhow, I am happy with her.

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99% jazz piano performers are also piano teachers, because very few people make living as a performer. I don't think it's about performer vs teachers..some peferformers are also excellent teachers.

I understand what you guys are saying. I've had my share of teachers who weren't able to really articulate what they are trying to tell me, and it may come down to "just do it like this". I was really frustrated with my teacher in school, because she had no sense of organization. I remember she was working on my inside playing. She was happy with my progress, but when it was time for my jury, I played the same thing she had me working on all semester and she was upset at me for playing so "inside", which is what she asked me to do in the first place. Apparently she forgot the fact that we've been working on that all semester.

I think I learned how to practice mostly from my classical piano teachers. They were much more articulate about how you need to isolate different elements and practice that way. It's kind of like working with sports instructor.


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Originally Posted by etcetra
99% jazz piano performers are also piano teachers, because very few people make living as a performer. I don't think it's about performer vs teachers..some peferformers are also excellent teachers.

I understand what you guys are saying. I've had my share of teachers who weren't able to really articulate what they are trying to tell me, and it may come down to "just do it like this". I was really frustrated with my teacher in school, because she had no sense of organization. I remember she was working on my inside playing. She was happy with my progress, but when it was time for my jury, I played the same thing she had me working on all semester and she was upset at me for playing so "inside", which is what she asked me to do in the first place. Apparently she forgot the fact that we've been working on that all semester.

I think I learned how to practice mostly from my classical piano teachers. They were much more articulate about how you need to isolate different elements and practice that way. It's kind of like working with sports instructor.



Yes, you are right smile In my opinion, jazz piano is more difficult than classical piano as the former is more free style and yet being restricted by some jazz rules. However, for the later, we just need to follow the rules strictly. smile

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I think the biggest problem for many jazz teachers is that they have problem breaking down the process for the students. For example, I remember my teacher was working on solo piano, and how I need to have bass/chord/solo line going on at the same time.. I know what he wanted me to do, but without an actual method, it was just confusing. It felt like sink or swim situation and half of the time I wasn't even sure if I was doing things right.

What I discovered for myself is that I needed to write down actual rhythm pattern and examples first and play them strictly within that framework. I am not talented enough to "just do it". Once I was comfortable, I could add variations and come up with new comping pattern, and eventually I was able to solo with more freedom. But I really needed that discipline/structure first, which I didn't get from my teachers.

Yes a lot of jazz is "freestyle" but I still think a discipline/structured approach like classical music works better in most cases.

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Originally Posted by etcetra

Yes a lot of jazz is "freestyle" but I still think a discipline/structured approach like classical music works better in most cases.


In the UK the ABRSM has an 'official' jazz piano syllabus with five grades. So at least some experts believe that jazz piano can be taught systematically. The problem is that many jazz musicians believe that following this syllabus does not produce competent jazz performers. So where does that leave us?

People playing 'classical' piano are very often mostly playing works composed before the 20th century. We have a pretty good consensus about how those works ought to sound, which means we can teach a systematic way to produce those sounds. But jazz is, comparatively speaking, a new musical genre and one that is rapid development and change. There's little consensus about how jazz 'should' sound, and so of course there's going to be little consensus about how to achieve that sound.

It's a problem. I wish I knew what the solution was.



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I think Jazz is an folk art that is primarily taught by performing and having someone repeat that performance, which is how folk music is traditionally taught. It isn't "wrong" or being a bad teacher, it is just a different way of teaching.

If you don't like it, then you should state it when you interview your teacher.


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Originally Posted by kevinb
Originally Posted by etcetra

Yes a lot of jazz is "freestyle" but I still think a discipline/structured approach like classical music works better in most cases.


In the UK the ABRSM has an 'official' jazz piano syllabus with five grades. So at least some experts believe that jazz piano can be taught systematically. The problem is that many jazz musicians believe that following this syllabus does not produce competent jazz performers. So where does that leave us?

People playing 'classical' piano are very often mostly playing works composed before the 20th century. We have a pretty good consensus about how those works ought to sound, which means we can teach a systematic way to produce those sounds. ........ There's little consensus about how jazz 'should' sound, and so of course there's going to be little consensus about how to achieve that sound.





I don't know how, or if, it differs from the British originals, but I find that the ABRSM method published in America works great alongside the standard piano methods (Faber & Faber, etc.... though mismatched, level-wise) for students who wish to learn jazz style by first 'reading' it off the page.

But the discipline and practice in formative jazz study needs to be focused on learning the language. That means knowing how to work with all different types of chords and chord relationships, having a sense of how all the different scales and modes sound - and most importantly, how we can derive music from all those facets.

There are those who can seemingly pick music out of the air without having any of this type of study and background. But in order to teach it, there has to be a translation into the more concrete, everyday, terms that's similar to those we use in standard music theory..

And that's really time consuming - and it's far from easy. It's definitely not for those who are impatient and expect to teach jazz with the same ease that they display while improvising.

For many students and teachers, it's much more efficient - and more grounded - to start with the nuts and bolts that is the basic language, and work up from that..... Which might seem dry and rote to those students who are used to playing "whatever comes out" and expect to be molded into the next Brad Mehldau overnight.

By the way, I'm becoming a big fan of the Dave Frank 'Joy of Improv' books - who I believe is a member here. A great method with clearly-defined steps.


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Originally Posted by Gerard12

I don't know how, or if, it differs from the British originals, but I find that the ABRSM method published in America works great alongside the standard piano methods (Faber & Faber, etc.... though mismatched, level-wise) for students who wish to learn jazz style by first 'reading' it off the page.


Yes, indeed. However, I suspect the problem is that many jazz performers (and teachers, I guess) don't think that this is a valid way to begin learning to play jazz. My own feelings are mixed.




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Hi guys, thanks for the input.

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One point to remember about becoming a jazz student is, many classical students who started lessons at an early age, developed reading and technical skills and are interested in finding a good jazz teacher who can explain the process, jazz theory and the language of improvisation. This in a sense splits the creative mind where the students have learned to speak Japanese and now has to learn a difficult second language like Mandarin Chinese.

There are many good online resources to learn jazz theory through books, DVDs, Skype private lessons, etc. But the most important thing I feel in learning to play jazz is to listen to it being played by the masters and learning about transcribing jazz solos, arrangements and ideas by others who already have a handle on the process.

katt


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