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Anjru Offline OP
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Hi.

I’ve been playing piano somewhat consistently for maybe 15, 20 years. I had lessons when I was a kid. Then taught myself guitar and flute while taking trumpet lessons for 5 years. I’m interested mist in blues and jazz though I stray from time to time into classical. And while I can accompany myself on guitar singing a lot of songs on piano that’s not something I have under my belt. I’m just doing this for fun. I’m 67 and retired. In the L.A. area.

I’ve tried finding a teacher that’s a good match as one always hears how a teacher is so important if you want to progress well. Prices here range from $50/hr in person to 120+ online, which is kind of baffling. I’ve tried finding people through Craigslist and with other online searches and haven’t had the best of luck. I found a young guy whose playing appealed to me but wasn’t so hot at directing me in my pursuit. I had a more accomplished teacher that used to teach at Berklee who was way too pedantic. Then there was the guy who spent too much of the lesson playing without really showing me anything.

I’d prefer to have lessons in person as zoom lessons feel sort of empty to me. Maybe I’m just looking for some kind of magic bullet. Still, I just had the idea of posting here to see what kind of feedback I might get. Hopefully, whatever discussion this might create will help move me and maybe others in a more positive direction.

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I would suggest you try mtna.org (music teachers assoc). You can search for a teacher by zip code.


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Hi Anjru!

I am not a piano teacher myself, but here are my two cents.

I think that you need to do some good thinking about what you want with your lessons - or maybe you just need to verbalise it as best as you can. You say that the first guy "wasn’t so hot at directing me in my pursuit". What is your pursuit, and how do you want to be directed? Write a concise email about this and send it to piano teachers, asking them if they think they would be a good match for you.


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Originally Posted by Animisha
Hi Anjru!

I am not a piano teacher myself, but here are my two cents.

I think that you need to do some good thinking about what you want with your lessons - or maybe you just need to verbalise it as best as you can. You say that the first guy "wasn’t so hot at directing me in my pursuit". What is your pursuit, and how do you want to be directed? Write a concise email about this and send it to piano teachers, asking them if they think they would be a good match for you.

Great suggestion 👍🏻


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I have a similar problem over here in the Uk. I am 73 and I have been teaching myself following videos and some suggestions off here. Like Anjou I had lessons has a child but apart from some organ lessons in the 70’s, I have not had any since of any type. I find trying to find a teacher as difficult, also it’s the cost, being a pensioner on limited funds. I do not fancy zoom type lessons, I would prefer face to face lessons. At the moment I feel like I am stuck, I do not seem to be improving, I really need to consider what Animisha says to and perhaps set myself some targets.


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Music Teachers Assoc of California has a "find a teacher" page.
http://www.mtac.org/about-us/find-a-teacher/

You could also try calling colleges near you for a recommendation.


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Two very good suggestions so far: get thee to a teacher, and search your soul for clues. As a piano teacher who has taught for 26 years, my suggestion is to also prepare yourself for how one ought to learn. I think you don't need targets. You need to be more like a sponge. The joy of learning happens when you don't put the learning in boxes, stating, "I want this; I don't want that." Start with the premise that you don't know what you want. How can you know if C.P.E. Bach is the thing for you, or rather old Beatle tunes? Answer: try both.

I would like to take tennis lessons, but I already know the pitfalls. I would have to pick the balls up for the instructor. I have to endure a teacher's constant encouragement, which I don't like because as a piano student, I am not used to compliments. Everything would go at a snail's pace and for a lot of money. So I've concluded it's not worth it. Some things are just too late in the game.

For you, I'd give it one more kick at the cat. But then, see what you can do with the talents and abilities you already have. Produce one concrete puppet show for kids with trumpet, guitar, flute and piano. Enjoy what you can, but I think it's more important to help the younger generation than plod in the fields as an old horse with limitations.

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Anjru Offline OP
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Thanks. The mtna and the mtac.org are good suggestions, as well as contacting a nearby university. The ideas to prepare a summary of what I want and that I don’t need targets seems somewhat conflicting. That being said, while being open to new ideas, methods, facts, I do, as I mention lean towards jazz and blues.

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Originally Posted by Anjru
Thanks. The mtna and the mtac.org are good suggestions, as well as contacting a nearby university. The ideas to prepare a summary of what I want and that I don’t need targets seems somewhat conflicting. That being said, while being open to new ideas, methods, facts, I do, as I mention lean towards jazz and blues.

Totally forgot about Rob Mullins, a forum member here ,LA, that teaches jazz. The link to his profile and posts is below. I have not taken lessons from him

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/users/5349/rob-mullins.html


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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Originally Posted by Anjru
The ideas to prepare a summary of what I want and that I don’t need targets seems somewhat conflicting.

It does! But that is the good thing about a forum. Everybody gives you their two cents, and you chose whatever it is that appeals to you.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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Anjru Offline OP
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Thanks dogperson. If heard of Rob but forgot about him. I think he has some books out, too. Just sent him an email.

Tried the nat music assoc. They gave a school nearby. Sent them an email this morning. They haven't replied. The calif music assoc has mostly classical instructors near me.

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Originally Posted by Candywoman
...I would like to take tennis lessons, but I already know the pitfalls. I would have to pick the balls up for the instructor. I have to endure a teacher's constant encouragement, which I don't like because as a piano student, I am not used to compliments. Everything would go at a snail's pace and for a lot of money. So I've concluded it's not worth it. Some things are just too late in the game.

Even if you know you'll never play at Wimbledon, but if you love being on a tennis court, if you dream of beautiful backhands, if the sound of the ball on racket strings makes you happy, and you feel like you rock your cute tennis kit, there's no reason not to go for it. The good news is that there are opportunities to learn and practice that are not expensive. You do not need to hire a top tier coach.

Top tier tennis coaches probably won't take you on anyway. Many piano teachers probably won't want you as a student, but there are many who will be happy to teach you! It may take a while and many contacts but keep it up and you'll find someone.


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I ask my students each fall, new and returning, whY they are taking piano lessons.

That helps me know how to guide them. Parent driven? Wants to learn a cool song? Got a piano as an heirloom? Adult returning to lessons? As a hobby? To get into college? etc...


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As a teacher in Los Angeles and member fo the MTAC and other organizations, I want to mention that I think most teachers active in these orgs typically lean towards traditional, classically focused lessons geared towards kids. (Not saying there aren't still many very good teachers in them).

Jazz/pop/blues teachers are out there, but I feel you might have a better shot at them by contacting some pop/jazz/vocal departments at community colleges/Community music schools and getting names that way.

As others have suggested also, what do you really want out of our lessons? To be more specific, in 15 months time, what do you wish to be able to accomplish that you can't do now? Know which chords to use to harmonize your singing? Write your own pieces? Be able to play faster? Be able to hear something on the radio and play it by ear? Give polished performances of classical pieces? Become a better sight-reader? Again, you said one teacher wasn't so hot in directing you in your "Pursuit", but you didn't say what your "Pursuit" is.

No single teacher - however good - is going to be the best for all of these things. Narrow down what YOU want, and try to focus in your search from there. Good luck!

Last edited by Opus_Maximus; 06/28/22 04:02 PM.

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