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#1103423 - 11/19/08 02:19 AM Going it alone when lesson prices rise next year!
Ragtime Clown Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 684
Loc: Ireland
My new teacher plans on putting up his lesson price after Christmas and although I quite understand his reasons, and also feel he is still reasonable, I was wondering if this is a good time to continue my piano study alone. I have built up a great wealth of knowledge from him in such a short time and feel good about the challenge of new pieces.

I would like to hear from anyone who quit lessons who can comment on how they feel about teaching themselves, if the progress is still fruitful alone and if it kills your motivation.

.

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#1103424 - 11/19/08 02:44 AM Re: Going it alone when lesson prices rise next year!
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
What are you going to do with the money you save by not taking piano lessons?

And, I hope you tell him a version of what you said here: "I have built up a great wealth of knowledge from you in such a short time and enjoyed the challenge of new pieces. Thank you so much for your good teaching."

I wonder if your motivation is not already dying away if you have a new teacher, things are going good, but you are considering teaching yourself instead. Either that, or you are excited about teaching yourself and would really like to pursue it.

Maybe it has nothing to do with his price increase which you say is reasonable, but you haven't made a commitment you can keep and you don't want to be tied down to lessons.

If you have a contract with him, breaking away may have some stipulations, but teachers just hate it when students drop suddenly with little communication. They usually feel it was something they said or did - and some disappointment usually occurs - and it's not necessarily about the loss of income - it's about the termination of a potentially successful collaboration just as it was getting started.

What changed in such a short time for you?

Betty

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#1103425 - 11/19/08 04:57 AM Re: Going it alone when lesson prices rise next year!
Ragtime Clown Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 684
Loc: Ireland
 Quote:
Originally posted by Betty Patnude:

What are you going to do with the money you save by not taking piano lessons?
What money? Only joking, the cost of living in the UK has gone through the roof. At the moment I have little left at the end of each month. Ultimately, the issue is not entirely cost.

 Quote:

I hope you tell him a version of what you said here: "I have built up a great wealth of knowledge from you in such a short time and enjoyed the challenge of new pieces. Thank you so much for your good teaching."
I wouldn't dream of dropping him in it. He is a fantastic teacher and when I talk about considering this departure, I'm thinking about Feb/March - not right away!

 Quote:

I wonder if your motivation is not already dying away if you have a new teacher, things are going good, but you are considering teaching yourself instead. Either that, or you are excited about teaching yourself and would really like to pursue it.
My motivation is far from dying away. I have a hunger to learn and play. I spend two hours at least every day, sometimes more on exercises and pieces. I love it.

 Quote:


Maybe it has nothing to do with his price increase which you say is reasonable, but you haven't made a commitment you can keep and you don't want to be tied down to lessons.

Not entirely, there are a lot of pieces I want to work on from various sources and I think I need the freedom and time to do this without the additional work I prepare for weekly lessons. I have also discovered the delights of harmony and chord progressions and this really excites me.

 Quote:

If you have a contract with him, breaking away may have some stipulations, but teachers just hate it when students drop suddenly with little communication. They usually feel it was something they said or did - and some disappointment usually occurs - and it's not necessarily about the loss of income - it's about the termination of a potentially successful collaboration just as it was getting started.
My teacher made it clear in September that my lessons were a 3month trial for him as much as me. He always wanted to review it in December anyway - maybe he'll dump me!!

 Quote:

What changed in such a short time for you?
Nothing has changed other than the fact that I feel that I can meet the challenges of playing the piano with minimum support. My craving and desire to play is stronger now than when I started the lessons.

[/b][/QUOTE]

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#1103426 - 11/19/08 04:57 AM Re: Going it alone when lesson prices rise next year!
Ragtime Clown Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 684
Loc: Ireland
Sorry, double post

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#1103427 - 11/19/08 09:45 AM Re: Going it alone when lesson prices rise next year!
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Hey Ragtime... I'm self-teaching, and my motivation only continues to increase. \:\)

How about a compromise, and when your 3-month trial period is up, dropping down to biweekly lessons? That way you'd still save some money, but you'd have more independence... while still being able to benefit from expert instruction on technique.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1103428 - 11/19/08 09:54 AM Re: Going it alone when lesson prices rise next year!
Ragtime Clown Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 684
Loc: Ireland
Monica, there is a strong possibility that my wife wouldn't dream of having me quitting lessons - she likes to get me out of the house at least once per week.

I would also find it extremely difficult to tell my teacher as he really is fantastic.

I also learned today that the final bank payment for my car comes out this month so I owe the bank NOTHING - so I will be £100 richer each month.

In light of this I would gladly continue, be patient and possibly ask him if he would consider mixing my pieces between classical and pop!

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#1103429 - 11/19/08 10:22 AM Re: Going it alone when lesson prices rise next year!
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
Hi Ragtime,
I think many people do well on their own.
Can you do a once a month or an occassional "check in" lesson? There may be an occassion when need some guidance but not necesarily regular lessons.

I actually went a long time without a teacher but I felt like I needed more direction and structure. When I started my lessons I realized I had made some pretty good progress on my own.

Good luck. Let us know what you decide to do.
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

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#1103430 - 11/19/08 12:52 PM Re: Going it alone when lesson prices rise next year!
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Ragtime Clown,

I thank you so much for answering my questions! That was very courageous of you. My thinking was that I would challenge your thinking a little so that you might determine how you really felt about your plans.

Hopefully the teacher likes you as much as you like him, and you could continue with him. If you do need to take a break, there is at least one candidate that you would want to return to.

Perhaps he would agree to a number of lessons, say 10, and then a month break for you to absorb all that you had learned.

I myself would recommend staying in lessons as long as possible and as consistently as possible. I know from experiences in teaching that the results are not as good if there are too many absences in a short time.

Adults usually find it hard to get enough practice in between lessons due to work load and other family responsibilities.

Spending two hours a day and having strong motivation to learn really makes the possibility of reaching your goals come true.

With the availability of some money redirected to piano lessons, you can actually continue your path with your new teacher, if you so choose.

Best wishes!

Betty

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#1103431 - 11/19/08 01:28 PM Re: Going it alone when lesson prices rise next year!
DeepElem Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/06
Posts: 366
Loc: USA
Tony, you are all over the place with this "how do I learn to play the piano" thing. Almost every day (ok, slight exaggeration ;\) ) you have a different thought, Pianomagic, private lessons, Shawn Cheekeasy, play by ear other than Pianomagic, back to lessons, or lessons for more pop, or who knows what is next. The best thing you can do is pick something and stick with it for a year without second guessing yourself.

You have a great love of music, a strong desire to learn, and seem to really benefit from the focus a teacher provides. If you can afford it stay with the teacher and just work with him to learn to play the music you love.
_________________________
-Buck
------
If you knew what you were doing, you'd probably be bored.
- Fresco's Law

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#1103432 - 11/19/08 03:28 PM Re: Going it alone when lesson prices rise next year!
Ragtime Clown Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 684
Loc: Ireland
Just home from tonights lesson.

Tonight I learned a lot about myself. This thread started it off and throughout the day I thought about it.

Well tonight my teacher told me directly that I was expecting too much too soon. I had taken a new piece and thought I could play it right away. He told me to work on one line at a time and don't progress until each line was learned.

I got the message and here I am, tail between my legs- again.

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#1103433 - 11/20/08 04:30 PM Re: Going it alone when lesson prices rise next year!
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
"here I am, tail between my legs"

It happens to the best of us. At least you can admit it and learn from it. That's the important thing. \:\)

And you know we won't judge you ;\)
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

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#1103434 - 11/20/08 06:45 PM Re: Going it alone when lesson prices rise next year!
DeepElem Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/06
Posts: 366
Loc: USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Ragtime Clown:
Well tonight my teacher told me directly that I was expecting too much too soon[/b]
Welcome to the club \:D

A while back I had a couple of threads here that basically ended with people telling me "just enjoy the journey". I offer you the same advice, but I have to confess I'm not always successful keeping that mindset. When I lose that mindset I often find myself getting frustrated and looking at different online learning methods (which of course is not the answer).

Good luck Tony and keep us posted on your progress.
_________________________
-Buck
------
If you knew what you were doing, you'd probably be bored.
- Fresco's Law

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#1103435 - 11/20/08 07:30 PM Re: Going it alone when lesson prices rise next year!
saerra Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 842
Loc: Atlanta, GA
\:\) Glad you're going to be able to continue. I saw your original post, and had trouble getting a reading on what you really wanted - you didn't sound like you really wanted to leave!

And... about expecting too much too soon - I really do think it's normal. To me, it seems that if we were in a more social setting (for example, a class or club, where we could see what "normal" progress really is!) it would be easier - without any way of knowing how long it normally takes, it's easy to assume we should be further along!

(To that end, I think it helps if our teachers can normalize this a bit for us... it can be depressing if you think you're not making progress!)

\:\) Anyway, glad it's all working out!

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#1103436 - 11/21/08 06:21 AM Re: Going it alone when lesson prices rise next year!
Ragtime Clown Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 684
Loc: Ireland
I worry about how long it will take. I was playing in a local piano shop recently when an old pianist commented 'thats excellent, full of harmony'. I was thrilled with my performance. He then sat down, and at my request played 'Moon River'. I could see how he structured the song and exactly what was going on. I knew how simple he played it but how elegantly it sounded. I think that once you ghave mastered the basics you begin to get restless because you are SO close to the final product.

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#1103437 - 11/21/08 11:52 AM Re: Going it alone when lesson prices rise next year!
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
RTC,
I completely understand where you are coming from. However, if you can shift your thinking away from worry I think you will progress even faster. I think what you saw at the piano shop was meant for you to see b/c that is your next level of achievement. We all need something to strive for. But how do we know what it is if someone doesnt show us.
I think all the feelings you are having are b/c you know the potential you have inside you and you won't settle for less- use them as a tool.
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

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