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Originally Posted by adultpianist
I also did not have a good lesson because I had worked very hard on one of my exam pieces over summer on my own and got all the notes right. When I played it back to my teacher she said anyone can play the right notes and it will sound good but I need to pay more attention to the phrasing and I am lifting my hands off the keys too soon, instead of holdig the hands down and moving fingers. I did not know that was what I had to do. I am not experienced enough in reading music to know. She said playing the piece as I played it sounded nice to anyone who does not know music or is not following the score whilst I play but this is an exam piece and should be played to exam standard which I was not doing. She then demonstrated playing the piece how it should be played and it sounded nicer. I then had a theory book which I borrowed from the library because if I pass this exam, the next exam will require theory exam and my teacher said I really ought to get the Grade 5 theory book, not any old theory book from the library. She said since I am doing ABRSM and will be taught theory Grade 5 for ABRSM then I should be looking at the right book for the exam.

In my mind, theory is theory and it should not matter what book I look at.



well I wouldn't say that wasn't a good lesson. We take lessons to learn. She pointed some things out that you weren't aware of. Now, that you are aware your playing will improve. My teacher would ask if I wanted to learn a song and then play it and I would be like YEAH that sounds awesome! Then I'd start learning it and it DID NOT sound like that. LOL. Of course our teachers playing will sound nicer than ours. It better because that is why they are teaching us.

I agree theory is theory. But I also understand where your teacher is coming from. Since you are taking the exams I would get the Grade 5 theory book just to make sure you are study everything you need to study specifically for the exam. there's just so much to learn about theory it would be a shame to miss something that was on the test.

Anyway, it sounds like you are making great progress.


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I've just read your post and also the various responses to it, and I think you're justified in feeling a little 'put out' by the situation. It seems like at the very least, the time change might have been presented to you in a softer way, and you should have been given some options if possible.

Learning theory, to me, is like learning a language. Sure, any French book will eventually teach you French, but using the specific book in preparation for the test will ensure that you're reviewing the exact material that will appear on the test, so your chances of doing well will increase. A different book, after all, might start with scales, when the test is going to focus more on chords, or vice versa. Yes, eventually you'll learn both, but along the way you want to do well on each test.

Good luck!

Last edited by RonDrotos; 09/06/13 04:01 PM.

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adultpianist, I have read your post, here:

Subject: Re: change of lesson time


I turn up at the usual time for my lesson 7.30pm and was informed that as from next week, my lessons will be at 7pm because my teacher has a new student who cannot make 7pm so they have put me at 7pm and the new student at 7.30.

I can accommodate the new time but the point is they should have asked me rather than tell me. That is not professional.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

as I understand your post, adultpianist, you think that a piano teacher should give you an option of making a decision about any change in the time of your piano lesson.

as a beginner piano player, I should caution you that I don't see things the way the rest of the people on the planet earth sees them.

Specifically, you have 2 choices, either you agree with the terms of the time change or you don't.

--> The rule in life is that you only go for one term when you are negotiating anything or you will lose everytime.

So with that in mind, you have to decides what the one term is that you want - and stick with that term and don't change it.

Dealing with the situation, the most important thing in life is that I have the best teacher possible - so for me - I would have my lesson at anytime the best piano teacher on the planet is available. That is the only term that matters to me and that is the only term that I will ever accept.

So I win getting the term I want.

You see, only go for the most important thing/things that YOU want - in life - and let the other person - or the rest of the world have all the small stuff - that you don't EVEN want.

I hope you understand what I am saying. The expression I use is only go for favourable terms and let the other person or people have every thing else - or the stuff you don't want.

AND THE REASON IS - VERY IMPORTANT - if you go for anything other than the one term - the other side or person - WILL or MIGHT - pick one of the terms you want and you will immediately and for ever lose -

So that is why!

And here is the logic. There may be many or hundreds of terms that you want - in reality - but by sticking with the most important thing for you - you immediately win - and then all the 999 terms you can relax and take or give away those terms because you really don't care about them

and specically if the teacher was extremely average then I would say a specific time and day and
and let the teacher say no and you would have the option of leaving immediately because the teacher didn't give you an option so it is all good for you. But if the teacher was extemely average, the teacher may not have millions of students banging on their door and would immediately back way, way, way off and listen to what you have to say about a time and date of your lesson.

See how awesome life is.- how can you not love living each and every day of life.

cheers,

3S06LTA



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I can see why you would be a bit annoyed, having gone to the library and gotten the book already, only to be told it's not right. And that you thought you had done the piece well, again to be told it wasn't right. I'd feel the same if I had made the effort you seem to go to. I think perhaps your teacher has not recognised that idea of praising someone for what they HAVE done, before presenting them with feedback on what they haven't. Fortunately my teacher is very good at recognising where I have worked hard and done well. If anything, she's better at giving praise than telling me where I could be better, and I wish she would criticise more sometimes. That balance is hard to find. Sounds like your teacher may just have forgotten to congratulate you on your effort.

But changing your lesson time suddenly, on behalf of someone else, without consulting you, is just poor practice.


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Originally Posted by Toastie
I think perhaps your teacher has not recognised that idea of praising someone for what they HAVE done, before presenting them with feedback on what they haven't.
It is also possible that the teacher did praise him, but not in a way that the OP wished, or not sufficiently according to what the OP wished. It could be that perhaps the OP thought the teacher would be overjoyed at his progress and his book purchase and not have any corrections to make.

I'm not saying that is, but we weren't there and only hearing one side of it. These might be things for the OP to consider though.


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Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by Toastie
I think perhaps your teacher has not recognised that idea of praising someone for what they HAVE done, before presenting them with feedback on what they haven't.


It is also possible that the teacher did praise him, but not in a way that the OP wished, or not sufficiently according to what the OP wished. It could be that perhaps the OP thought the teacher would be overjoyed at his progress and his book purchase and not have any corrections to make.

I'm not saying that is, but we weren't there and only hearing one side of it. These might be things for the OP to consider though.


I guess. Though generally I would think a teacher would adapt to what motivates a particular student. Constructive criticism is great, but not when the student goes away offended by it. You're right, we can't really say whose fault that is; the teacher's for however he/she presented the feedback, or adultpianist's for his/her reaction to it.


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You know ...

Each of the criticisms in this thread of that teacher should be prefaced with ... IF THAT IS EXACTLY AS IT WENT ....

It just feels a little unseemly to be piling on that teacher based on one side of the picture.

We have no idea of how the interaction between the OP and the teacher ACTUALLY went.

That is not to say the OP is lying, either. People sometimes have different perspectives on how things transpire. Maybe a conversation had taken place prior to that lesson in which the OP had indicated a willingness to move his lesson to an earlier time. Perhaps not. Maybe the Teacher was apologetic and offered to leave things as they were if there was a problem.

Maybe, Maybe, Maybe ... We don't know. At least, I don't.

As for the other things ... criticism of how the OP is playing the piece ... again we know nothing about how that was delivered. Or, the part about getting a different Theory book ... we know only one side of it.

And, you know what ... the truth be told ...

Coming to the Piano World forum to complain about "My teacher changed my lesson time without asking me" gives me an uneasy feel about it right out of the gate.

That's just me, I guess.


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Originally Posted by Toastie
Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by Toastie
I think perhaps your teacher has not recognised that idea of praising someone for what they HAVE done, before presenting them with feedback on what they haven't.


It is also possible that the teacher did praise him, but not in a way that the OP wished, or not sufficiently according to what the OP wished. It could be that perhaps the OP thought the teacher would be overjoyed at his progress and his book purchase and not have any corrections to make.

I'm not saying that is, but we weren't there and only hearing one side of it. These might be things for the OP to consider though.


I guess. Though generally I would think a teacher would adapt to what motivates a particular student. Constructive criticism is great, but not when the student goes away offended by it. You're right, we can't really say whose fault that is; the teacher's for however he/she presented the feedback, or adultpianist's for his/her reaction to it.
I say this because I have encountered this in several adult students. They are insecure in what they're trying to do, they feel they've started late and so they put unrealistic expectations on themselves to excel far faster than they are, etc. As a result, they actually hamper the learning process and don't want to hear the criticism, only praise because that means they're getting there faster.

Or in another form, the student is so insecure in how they're doing that any praise the teacher gives, even if frequent, positive, and enthusiastic, the student projects onto the teacher their own feelings of inadequacy. No amount of positive reinforcement or no amount of constructive criticism done respectfully and with a positive spin can change the student from seeing things negatively.

As I said in my previous post, I'm not saying this *is* the case, just saying it could be. That is for the OP to hopefully reflect upon and see. I say no matter what the OP feels about the lesson itself, the changing of schedules was handled poorly and should let the teacher/school administrator know.

Last edited by Morodiene; 09/07/13 01:32 PM.

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Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by Toastie
I think perhaps your teacher has not recognised that idea of praising someone for what they HAVE done, before presenting them with feedback on what they haven't.
It is also possible that the teacher did praise him, but not in a way that the OP wished, or not sufficiently according to what the OP wished. It could be that perhaps the OP thought the teacher would be overjoyed at his progress and his book purchase and not have any corrections to make.

I'm not saying that is, but we weren't there and only hearing one side of it. These might be things for the OP to consider though.


you refer to me as him? I am female

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Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by Toastie
Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by Toastie
I think perhaps your teacher has not recognised that idea of praising someone for what they HAVE done, before presenting them with feedback on what they haven't.


It is also possible that the teacher did praise him, but not in a way that the OP wished, or not sufficiently according to what the OP wished. It could be that perhaps the OP thought the teacher would be overjoyed at his progress and his book purchase and not have any corrections to make.

I'm not saying that is, but we weren't there and only hearing one side of it. These might be things for the OP to consider though.


I guess. Though generally I would think a teacher would adapt to what motivates a particular student. Constructive criticism is great, but not when the student goes away offended by it. You're right, we can't really say whose fault that is; the teacher's for however he/she presented the feedback, or adultpianist's for his/her reaction to it.
I say this because I have encountered this in several adult students. They are insecure in what they're trying to do, they feel they've started late and so they put unrealistic expectations on themselves to excel far faster than they are, etc. As a result, they actually hamper the learning process and don't want to hear the criticism, only praise because that means they're getting there faster.

Or in another form, the student is so insecure in how they're doing that any praise the teacher gives, even if frequent, positive, and enthusiastic, the student projects onto the teacher their own feelings of inadequacy. No amount of positive reinforcement or no amount of constructive criticism done respectfully and with a positive spin can change the student from seeing things negatively.

As I said in my previous post, I'm not saying this *is* the case, just saying it could be. That is for the OP to hopefully reflect upon and see. I say no matter what the OP feels about the lesson itself, the changing of schedules was handled poorly and should let the teacher/school administrator know.


I am in no way insecure and try very hard in my homework practice, giving up other things in order to perfect my pieces. I sacrifice my social life when it comes to learning a piece of homework that I want to get right. That is dedication. It means that I am thoroughly dedicated to learning the piano and if I have a choice of a night out or staying in to practice then I usually stay in to practice and only when I feel it is going right do I reward myself with a night out. For me, a night out means less time spent practicing and less time learning the piece. Don't forget, I take exams so I cannot afford to waste time.

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Why does taking exams mean you can't afford to waste time? Must you take the exams on a certain timetable?


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Originally Posted by adultpianist


you refer to me as him? I am female
I didn't know, now I do. smile


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Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Why does taking exams mean you can't afford to waste time? Must you take the exams on a certain timetable?
This is what made me say what I did. I don't know you ap, so I'm only guessing based on the years of lessons I've given to adult students. It's not meant to be an offense, but I urge you to do some reflection before outright dismissing what I've said about unrealistic expectations. If you can eliminate that in all honesty to yourself, then fine. If you're not sure, perhaps ask some people that you know and trust.

If you feel you can't "waste time", then certainly you'd want to eliminate those behaviors that hold you back, right?


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Thank you! BTW, I watched your Discovery At Night video: very nice playing!


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Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Why does taking exams mean you can't afford to waste time? Must you take the exams on a certain timetable?


Yes because when you study for an exam you are allowed to chose when to take it. You do either spring, summer or winter. There is no point going in for it unless you are ready or you will fail. I will go for it in March 2004. I have a lot of work to do for it and playing piano does not come naturally to me so I have to work twice as hard to perfect pieces. The higher exams mean longer and harder pieces so that is why I said I cannot waste time because what someone else might learn in two months takes me three.

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I guess there's a fine balance. If you put so much pressure on yourself, get frustrated, become unhappy -- then sooner or later you will burn out and quit. Then some years later, you will regret it.

The only way to succeed is to enjoy the long journey, every step of the way.

Like you, I'm doing all the graded pieces, technical requirements, theory classes, etc.; but I also told my teacher that for any given grade level, I may (or may not) take the actual exam. E.g., I'm in RCM grade 7 (our system goes from Grades 1-10 plus a diploma). I will most likely skip the Grade 7 and Grade 8 exams. I'll consider doing the Grade 9 and 10 exams when I get there, but I don't have to decide for another couple of years.

I'm sure other systems like ABRSM are similar, you can pick & choose the exams you take, skip grades, etc. In the RCM system, the only required exam is Grade 10, and only if one intends to pursue the ARCT diploma.


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As with my previous comments, these may be accepted or rejected.

A couple of suggestions: learn to say "thank you" more often and argue less. There were a lot of good comments on the thread, and not one thank you that I could see. Even if the original poster disagrees with some of the comments, many of them were thoughtful. Many come from years of hard won experience.

Another suggestion is to cut back on the computer time. Many of us would be better pianists with less time spent online, and more at the bench. (My practice time is limited because of chronic physical problems, so I have to find other ways to advance than bench time. Also I am not going to take exams.) This thread alone likely cost an hour or more to the op. With a Piano World forum start date of 12/01/12 and already over 300 posts in less than a year. Cut that time and post count by 50% and that might be another hour or two a week.

Again, accept or reject any or all, these are just suggestions.

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Originally Posted by adultpianist
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Why does taking exams mean you can't afford to waste time? Must you take the exams on a certain timetable?


Yes because when you study for an exam you are allowed to chose when to take it. You do either spring, summer or winter. There is no point going in for it unless you are ready or you will fail. I will go for it in March 2004. I have a lot of work to do for it and playing piano does not come naturally to me so I have to work twice as hard to perfect pieces. The higher exams mean longer and harder pieces so that is why I said I cannot waste time because what someone else might learn in two months takes me three.
Piano is hard for most people - I would say only a rare few does it come "naturally". And no matter how natural or not, we all need to practice. Lots! smile

And everyone learns at whatever pace they learn at. It's good that you know how long it takes you, but don't compare that with others, because they're a totally different person with different experiences.


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