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#1160479 - 03/10/09 02:24 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: AlphaMeridian]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5455
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Originally Posted By: AlphaMeridian
(Also, I didn't notice this before, but is this some kind of weird mix of a flat forum and a threaded forum? Obviously this post is addressing pretty much everyone, but it seems to be pegged as a "reply" to lotuscrystal)


Yes smile I think the default view is one long thread, tho your replies will be labeled to the last post above yours (maybe, to the person you're [edited from "your" :D] quoting, but I don't know for sure). There has been other comment on this. You might look for the megathread on whether or not you like the new forum in the Piano forum. I think you can edit preferences for the kind of view you want, but I haven't tried because I prefer the "one long thread" view.

Remember - not *all* teachers feel the way *some* teachers do about adults, and it's worth it to read individual teacher's replies thruout the thread. It's easy to have the negative stuff overwhelm the more rational stuff - partly just because it's usually a longer post laugh My impression, from being on PW a couple of years, is that the great majority of teachers here, some of whom post fairly regularly in the other forums, too, have a pretty adult view of adult students, or any other students, for that matter smile

And welcome -

Cathy


Edited by jotur (03/10/09 02:27 AM)
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#1160483 - 03/10/09 02:38 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: AlphaMeridian]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: AlphaMeridian
Oh wow, this thread really really scares me.
Teachers should have no bias. Yes, there is certainly a difference between beginner child and adult but you're no teacher if that effects who you offer your services to. Preference? That's not part of the game.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1160548 - 03/10/09 07:52 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: keyboardklutz]
lotuscrystal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/22/08
Posts: 304
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Piano teaching isn't a 'game'...sorry. It's an artform, and every teaching artist has the right to choose what genre/demographic they specialise in. It's called 'free-will', KBK smile



Edited by lotuscrystal (03/10/09 07:52 AM)

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#1160561 - 03/10/09 08:20 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: keyboardklutz]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3170
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: AlphaMeridian
Oh wow, this thread really really scares me.
Teachers should have no bias. Yes, there is certainly a difference between beginner child and adult but you're no teacher if that effects who you offer your services to. Preference? That's not part of the game.


I can't agree with that. Part of the responsibility of the teacher is to say no, when the skill set demanded is not part of the repertoire. If you're not good at teaching it, you're professional enough to pass them on to somebody who is. If you're a classical specialist you may find it impossible to teach jazz and vice versa. If you're good with youth you may not have the right approach with adults, or very young children.

There are a lot of issues with adult students, and few teachers who specialize in them. There are also few adult students in general, and far fewer who are serious. That does pose some obstacles for the serious adult looking for a quality teacher - but there's no contract for the sunrise, no guarantee life has to be fair or easy. If you persist you can find someone.

Now, possibly: one of the reasons teachers are reluctant to take adults, besides the psychological baggage they bring, is that to invest a lot of effort in somebody who will quickly drop out becomes tiring. (correct me if I'm wrong, this is my theorizing. I haven't taught adult piano; I have worked with adult guitar, choir, and handbells) Adults drop partly because it's frustrating not to improve more rapidly. It's easy to point the finger and say they didn't practice or they weren't committed, but that's often not the case. They learn slowly because a) they're adults and adults learn most things slowly and b) they're adults and the same learning strategies DO NOT WORK for adults.
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gotta go practice

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#1160592 - 03/10/09 09:38 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: lotuscrystal]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: lotuscrystal
Piano teaching isn't a 'game'.
Notice I said 'teaching' - and for teachers it's 'the game' - the only one on offer not 'a' game. Tim, don't confuse knowledge base with teaching skill.
Originally Posted By: TimR
Now, possibly: one of the reasons teachers are reluctant to take adults, besides the psychological baggage they bring,is that to invest a lot of effort in somebody who will quickly drop out becomes tiring.
That's just part and parcel, though I don't understand why it should be tiring, nor how it differs with children.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1160610 - 03/10/09 10:12 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: keyboardklutz]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3170
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: lotuscrystal
Piano teaching isn't a 'game'.
Notice I said 'teaching' - and for teachers it's 'the game' - the only one on offer not 'a' game. Tim, don't confuse knowledge base with teaching skill.
Originally Posted By: TimR
Now, possibly: one of the reasons teachers are reluctant to take adults, besides the psychological baggage they bring,is that to invest a lot of effort in somebody who will quickly drop out becomes tiring.
That's just part and parcel, though I don't understand why it should be tiring, nor how it differs with children.


bkb,
It probably wouldn't bother me, but I can see how it would others.

There's a lot of overhead to losing a slot, having to fill it, waiting on the income, etc. When we moved back to the US from overseas we needed a month to month rental. There were almost none available, everybody wanted a minimum year lease. I can understand that. When you leave there's no rent due, plus you've got to clean and repair for the next person. As a result we paid a very high rent.

What's the alternative, force people to rent month to month? Force teachers to take adults? Would adults pay a premium price?

Every Monday night the Golf Channel has the Haney Project, which I think is directly applicable. It's a reality show, where one of the world's top teachers tries to build the swing of one of the world's top athletes. I've watched the first two episodes, and it's not so clear he's going to succeed.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#1160705 - 03/10/09 01:58 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: TimR]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
What am I doing wrong? THe original topic and the qualm of the original poster comes back to mind.

What am I doing wrong? The best people to ask are the 4 teachers who refused him - declined to offer him a place in their studio, for what ever reason they had.

Since then, we have been doing 19 pages of our own personal baggage of what our preferances and things to avoid being discussed are riling others who do not think the same.

One of the things that is almost too much to wish for, is that when we read each others postings, it might be noted that some of our posters uphold over and over again their opinion which remains stagnant. Nothing that has been said changes their thinking. So therefore, we are guaranteed an "argument" since we are not approaching these challenges in communication by "learning" from these situations.

If we could each discover "What we are doing wrong", myself included, it would be a connection together and a more purposeful outcome, I think. The same old, same old is not representative of taking the opportunity to learn from each other.

Information and knowledge are precious to me. If I could get the information without the personalities and the baggage, it would be possible to teach anyone.

I think it's important to look for authentic students when we open our doors to inquiry and interview from potential clients. They should also be looking for a self-actualized and authentic teacher. Doing the work is where the focus is at, hopefully.

Betty Patnude

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#1160778 - 03/10/09 04:30 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Betty Patnude]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3170
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
What am I doing wrong? THe original topic and the qualm of the original poster comes back to mind.

What am I doing wrong? The best people to ask are the 4 teachers who refused him - declined to offer him a place in their studio, for what ever reason they had.

Betty Patnude


I'm not sure I completely agree.

We've diverged from the original topic, but some of the discussion about adult students, while only marginally related, is an interesting topic in itself. Where does a serious adult student search for a teacher? Where does a hobbyist adult go for lessons or a performance outlet? How must instruction be modified to meet the unique learning styles of old farts like me? How can this kind of teaching be made profitable and pleasant for teachers?

But back to the OP. I agree the best source of information would be the four piano teachers who declined to teach, or possibly the organ teachers who referred him.

However, it is unlikely they will provide that information, if they even know. (They may not. There may just have been vague alarms in the back of their mind, nothing they can articulate.) But if they do know, they are neither obligated to answer at all, or to answer honestly if they do, and I suspect they would not. Are you always brutally honest when declining a student? And have him leave upset, and maybe badmouth you all over town, in an industry highly reliant on word of mouth?

I would not expect a prospective teacher to. I might expect an actual teacher to be brutally honest about my playing <grin> but then I have a contractual arrangement and in a sense I'm paying her to do so.

If I were the OP, I would not consider going to any of those teachers and asking why they rejected me, because that's more or less accusing them of doing wrong, and they'll expect me to argue with them. I would go back to them and say something simple like: "I'm having trouble finding a teacher. Can you recommend anyone who might fit, and can you give me some suggestions how to present myself to them?" I think that might produce some useful information, iff one listens "with big ears." If you are very calm and nonconfrontational, there is even some chance one of them would change their mind and give you a chance; they may have made a quick judgment, and you've now given them more data in the course of your interaction. (Or you could blow it big time, give the impression you're argumentative or otherwise difficult, and then they'll give you the name of another teacher, but quick call ahead to warn them you're coming.)

Bottom line, though, who cares what I did wrong? Tell me what to do right next time.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#1160816 - 03/10/09 05:18 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: TimR]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

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

Of course you are relating to fixing things for the future, that is really where the help is most needed in a helpful vein.

I appreciate hearing our differences, which really aren't big differences in viewpoint at all, but your mind gets to the problem solving before mine does.

This may be something that desperately needs change, but I'm always been aware of what is wrong before I have seen the what is right in any situation.

I am learning and considering what you have to post, Tim. It really makes me think and clarify what I'm sending out into the world, believe it or not.

I uphold "for the highest good of all" and I keep finding times when I missed the mark a little and sometimes a lot. I do have good intentions.

I like the parrying when it is constructively offered!

Would you want to hear:
"Someone is speaking poorly of you"? Or,
"Someone is speaking highly of you"?

Sometimes both are essential to our learning. I think a lot of it depends on how the receiver sees the sender as relevant in their lives. Peer? Friend? or Pain? Nemesis?

More good posting from you Tim!

Betty

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