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TimR #2185656 11/20/13 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by TimR
It seems to me that very few bad teachers probably know that they're bad.


Yep. This is why it's so important to involve one's students in auditions, exams, or festivals where they're evaluated by a third party.

It's also important to remember this bit of advice I got from one of my professors in college:

Do not measure yourself by your worst students. They will find a way to fail despite a teacher's best efforts. Do not measure yourself by your best students. They will find a way to succeed despite a teacher's worst efforts. Measure yourself by the middle, because those are the ones for whom a teacher makes the most difference.

The trick is that transfer students can fall into any of those categories, and it's often difficult to tell which of those categories a student is in until you've worked with them a bit. Interviewing can help. Knowing something about the previous teacher can help. But there are no guarantees.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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AZNpiano #2185660 11/20/13 12:42 PM
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It boils down to that saying - everyone's crazy except you and me, and I'm not so sure about you.

Last edited by Troy 125; 11/20/13 12:44 PM.
AZNpiano #2185666 11/20/13 12:48 PM
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There must be many subcategories of bad teachers.

One might not result in the student learning much of anything.

But another may be very good at imparting skills to the student, only the skills are incorrect or injurious. These hardworking and well-intentioned teachers learned the wrong or obsolete methods from their teachers, and do an unfortunately good job in passing them on.


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Kreisler #2185667 11/20/13 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Kreisler
Do not measure yourself by your best students. They will find a way to succeed despite a teacher's worst efforts.

While I agree with most of what your professor said, this part just doesn't ring true. When things aren't being taught (correctly, or at all), the student is not going magically know how to do things.

By "succeed," I want students to realize their full musical potential. A bad teacher won't be able to do that.


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AZNpiano #2185670 11/20/13 01:04 PM
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So who determines what is correct?


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AZNpiano #2185743 11/20/13 02:52 PM
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To AZN Piano:

What qualities do you pocess that makes you a superior teacher?

Do you think that maybe these transfer students have bad habits because they just don't want to do piano and are forced by thier parents? It's not always bad teaching. There are poor students as well.


RG55 #2185755 11/20/13 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by RG55
To AZN Piano:

What qualities do you pocess that makes you a superior teacher?

Do you think that maybe these transfer students have bad habits because they just don't want to do piano and are forced by thier parents? It's not always bad teaching. There are poor students as well.
AZNPiano isn't online at the moment but I'll take a stab at answering...

First of all I do not understand what you mean with the word "pocess". Process perhaps? but it doesn't make much sense either.

In any case I don't think AZN is saying that he's a superior teacher (and knowing him personally I know that he doesn't brag), but that he can see so many missing things and knowledge to the transfer students that it's something that seems to be attributed to bad teaching.

Thing is this: If you check with a student and he doesn't seem to have a clue on what on earth is an interval (for example), but has had a few years of lesson, then something's amiss. If you mention sight reading and offer a level 1 work, that the student has no clue what to do with then there's obviously a problem that isn't a lack of studying, but a lack of offering the chance to the student to simply know about it...

If this makes any sense...

Nikolas #2185763 11/20/13 03:25 PM
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possess not pocess, pretty easy to figure out....just a spelling error.

Last edited by RG55; 11/20/13 03:28 PM.
RG55 #2185764 11/20/13 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by RG55
possess not pocess, pretty easy to figure out....just a spelling error.
Sorry... I'm the last to talk about tpyos... smile Didn't think of that!

RG55 #2185785 11/20/13 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by RG55
Do you think that maybe these transfer students have bad habits because they just don't want to do piano and are forced by thier parents? It's not always bad teaching. There are poor students as well.

I know that already. Don't forget about bad parents, too!


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Nikolas #2185786 11/20/13 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Nikolas
Thing is this: If you check with a student and he doesn't seem to have a clue on what on earth is an interval (for example), but has had a few years of lesson, then something's amiss.

Ha! Remember the last time somebody brought that up? Apparently some teachers don't teach intervals.


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AZNpiano #2185788 11/20/13 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Nikolas
Thing is this: If you check with a student and he doesn't seem to have a clue on what on earth is an interval (for example), but has had a few years of lesson, then something's amiss.

Ha! Remember the last time somebody brought that up? Apparently some teachers don't teach intervals.

What DO they teach then??


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RG55 #2185804 11/20/13 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by RG55

Do you think that maybe these transfer students have bad habits because they just don't want to do piano and are forced by thier parents? It's not always bad teaching. There are poor students as well.

I addressed this, but it might have gotten lost in a too long post
Originally Posted by KS
First item is the question when a transfer student comes in with difficulties: Is it due to the previous teacher? .... I think that AZNpiano is talking about the times when you can tell.

We've had stories of third year transfer students where every note has a finger number penciled in by the teacher, and the student can't read. Or what if a transfer student comes in clueless and lost, and is soon wowed by "how much she is learning"* and makes tremendous progress and continues to do so. Things of that nature.


* (referring to one story told in this thread)

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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Nikolas
Thing is this: If you check with a student and he doesn't seem to have a clue on what on earth is an interval (for example), but has had a few years of lesson, then something's amiss.

Ha! Remember the last time somebody brought that up? Apparently some teachers don't teach intervals.

What DO they teach then??

Finger numbers?

Actually, students can get quite far without learning intervals. They can just learn the letter names and press down the correct keys. Obviously, the concept of M3 vs. m3 eludes them, and they won't gain an appreciation for why the melody sounds good, or why certain passages sound "ugly" on purpose.


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AZNpiano #2185821 11/20/13 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Nikolas
Thing is this: If you check with a student and he doesn't seem to have a clue on what on earth is an interval (for example), but has had a few years of lesson, then something's amiss.

Ha! Remember the last time somebody brought that up? Apparently some teachers don't teach intervals.

What DO they teach then??

Finger numbers?

Actually, students can get quite far without learning intervals. They can just learn the letter names and press down the correct keys.

Wow. I knew there were a lot of ignorant teachers, but are they really THIS ignorant? You've seen people that teach this way?


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Polyphonist
AZNpiano #2185833 11/20/13 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by ezpiano.org
What is the good for going to CM test and receive everything "Average" or less? So, we are going to focus for "Excellent" and "Good" in all areas. As far as theory test, anything less than 90% is considered "not good" in my standard. On the top of CM syllabus we also learn composition, reading sheet music, playing popular music etc as part of the curriculum.


That's all well and good, but what incentive do kids have for getting better than average? They still get the same certificate. Branch Honors is a complete joke. Even Convention Honors is a joke nowadays. By the time kids get to Panel, they're so busy with high school, they stop lessons altogether, or they stop doing Panel.

After some consideration, I pulled a couple of my more talented students out of CM this year because the program doesn't foster excellence; it promotes "passing." I try to tell my students' parents that CM is aimed at the average student, so if your kids are clearly above-average, then why would they do CM? Passing Level 10 doesn't mean the student is playing at level 10. It just means the student passed a test.


To answer your questions:
What incentive they get for being better than average? Answer is nothing but a "good job" from me, a well-rounded education in piano, a chance of not to hate piano in future (remember Nikolas sister in law who played Rach 2 and never touch piano again? I am trying to produce students who is opposite of that). I educate parents that CM is just a tool, it is "not everything" about piano education.

I am totally agree with you that the program doesn't foster excellence, but it promotes passing only. However, it is not my decision to pull any of my students out from the test just because I think so. I always educate the parents of what is my most honest opinions, and let them decide themselves.

So, no, they are not getting any tangible incentive to be better than average, mostly I educate them to value what is intangible because that is something that no one can grab away from them once they master a certain concepts.


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Minniemay #2185841 11/20/13 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Minniemay
So who determines what is correct?


I really like your question. This is probably the best question asked in this thread.

I do not have the "correct" answer to your question, but I can offer my opinion:

What is the best meal plan?
--Paleo
--Clean eating
--Mediterranean
--Low fat
--Low carb
--Vegetarian
--Vegan
--Raw Food
--Gluten Free
etc......

Each of those meal plan sounds okay and standard to me. Problem is, would I be happy to be only vegetarian? Is my kitchen equip to cook only raw food? Can I get clean meat from my local grocery store if I opt for "clean eating"? All these has to come into factors. Sometimes I think a good teacher should have the recipe for all of these plans ready, present it to parents, have them choose from it and teach accordingly. A good teacher also should know the pros and cons of each plan and present it to parents without bias and have them decide themselves.







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Originally Posted by Polyphonist

Wow. I knew there were a lot of ignorant teachers, but are they really THIS ignorant? You've seen people that teach this way?

Those are the realities, PP. This is why I was upset when you were suggesting that one should not bother teaching such students, because students taught this way will assume they have been learning properly, and won't understand why they are having problems with what the new teacher is giving them. It is not fair and it should not happen. That is why AZN started this thread.

bzpiano #2185871 11/20/13 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ezpiano.org

I do not have the "correct" answer to your question, but I can offer my opinion:

What is the best meal plan?
--Paleo
--Clean eating
--Mediterranean..................

I have an answer to your metaphorical question:

The counterpart to a teacher in your metaphor would be a doctor, nutritionist, or dietitian. I would expect this person to understand how the human body works, how food works (nutrition), and I would expect this person to check my health and history and then apply that knowledge to my needs.

I can see a self-medicating individual grabbing a packaged diet at random, because he is an amateur taking stabs in the dark. But I would not expect a nutritionist to do so.

In the same way, a good teacher will have knowledge of what skills and knowledge are needed in order to play the piano, and will be observing her student while guiding and using that knowledge. Even if that teacher ascribes to a program, hopefully underneath it all, the teacher is using that knowledge as her actual guidelines for guiding the student.


Minniemay #2185912 11/20/13 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Minniemay
So who determines what is correct?

I made the same point and was ignored...

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