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#1218286 - 06/16/09 06:53 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: sotto voce]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4812
Loc: South Florida
Steven,

Perspective is crucial, and we don't have any.

We don't know how well ClassicalMan plays. We don't know how well his teacher plays or teaches.

All sorts of assumptions are being made, and it simply assures we will have yet another long, pointless forum discussion. smile
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#1218287 - 06/16/09 06:53 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: sotto voce]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
No, Steven, just plain observation over decades, which includes watching both students and teachers playing.

That's probably why airline pilots have flight checks (rather critical, I'd say), why other professions have proficiency testing, etc., and why teachers undertake continuing education.

Even concert artists develop habits which they may not be aware of. It's rather humbling, because I've done it myself. And not too long ago, I watched a concert pianist take a master class and be gently corrected on a number of important, although small, technique matters.

If those of us who are trained can succumb to bad habits, why would you suppose that those who are not trained could magically not develop them?
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1218292 - 06/16/09 07:03 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: sotto voce]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5943
Loc: Down Under
My take on the OP is that he's already decided what he wants to do, and that's to stop lessons, save the money, and self-teach. I don't suppose he was expecting all of the teachers here to say "what a great idea!" - in fact, I kind of wonder why he asked our opinion at all. Be that as it may, it's up to him, and depends what his goals are. We don't know really what his teacher is like, we don't know how well he plays - I've read some of his questions on the Pianists' Corner and wondered why he didn't ask his teacher, but maybe he did, and was just getting extra opinions. I personally would recommend a good teacher, but the bottom line is what do you want to achieve?
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#1218314 - 06/16/09 07:40 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: John v.d.Brook]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
No, Steven, just plain observation over decades, which includes watching both students and teachers playing.

That's probably why airline pilots have flight checks (rather critical, I'd say), why other professions have proficiency testing, etc., and why teachers undertake continuing education.

Even concert artists develop habits which they may not be aware of. It's rather humbling, because I've done it myself. And not too long ago, I watched a concert pianist take a master class and be gently corrected on a number of important, although small, technique matters.

If those of us who are trained can succumb to bad habits, why would you suppose that those who are not trained could magically not develop them?

Even though there are aspects of technique that everyone can agree are bad, in many other cases it's not so clear cut. There's no single pedagogical approach to piano, after all, or to the techniques that cumulatively comprise the skill set needed to play well.

Likewise, any given musician's technique can be expected to be idiosyncratic to some degree in the same way that every speaker of a language speaks his or her own idiolect. How many teachers would have presumed to correct Horowitz's flat fingers because, well, it's just "wrong"? How many today would tell Lisitsa to stop all that lost motion in her wrists because it's unnecessary, or would tell Lang Lang just to sit still and stop making faces?

One of the strongest recollections I have of piano lessons in my youth was that each successive teacher sought to undo various things that had become ingrained from the previous one, with the adamant and authoritative certainty that his or her way was the best way instead. One teacher believes in finger action, the next one believes in arm weight, one wants pliable wrists, the next one wants them rigid. There's not even agreement on bench height or placement, and it's easy to suspect there are no objective criteria for any aspect of playing.

Everyone who becomes proficient evolves, to some extent and in an organic way, an individual technique. If one reads well, plays with facility to one's own satisfaction, makes consistent progress toward meeting one's goals and never experiences pain or injury, who exactly gets to decide that there are "bad habits" that need correcting? Would it not be true that at any given master class, the same pianist might be judged to have different technical problems depending on who is giving the class and doing the evaluating?

Like it or not, plenty of self-learners do just fine. I would never try to persuade anyone that they should or should not have a teacher, because I don't believe in doctrinaire, one-size-fits-all answers. Some (if not most) people need teachers, and the lucky ones find good teachers. Others don't need teachers, or don't need a teacher any longer. Surely a bad teacher—and they are "fairly prevalent," after all—can be worse than no teacher.

This discussion has gone far beyond the scope of the OP's concern here. Maybe it should have been obvious that he wasn't going to get a unanimous pat on the back for choosing to learn on his own, but he shouldn't be treated with dogmatic dismissiveness either. Any teacher who seriously thinks that self-learners have a million-to-one chance of getting it right needs to get out more, and it's not necessary to travel far: just go next door to the Adult Beginners Forum.

Does anybody agree with Ed Weiss that a "good teacher's job should be to get you to learn on your own," or is that complete and unimaginable heresy?

Steven
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—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1218324 - 06/16/09 07:48 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: sotto voce]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
I agree with it! laugh Now, here's another question. How long must one study until the golden seal of approval is bestowed upon the student?

5 years? 10 or more? There will ALWAYS be room for improvement. And that's a fact. Plus, it really is up to the student. We're not talking about an 8 year old here. This is a mature adult who probably just wants to play for pleasure.

Bottom line ... unless he wants to be a performing classical pianist, he can discover technique on his own.
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#1218336 - 06/16/09 08:33 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: eweiss]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Gary's point is right on. In specific, we know nothing at all about this individual and his playing.

My point, that when in Rome, and you meet an Italian, chances are good he's Roman Catholic, is a generalization which one could place a confident wager. I've met hundreds, if not more, self-taught, or who had limited teacher training, piano players who barely play above an early intermediate level, and have atrocious technique. Is it fair to generalize? Well, if you ask a general question, you'll probably get a general answer.

As several point out, each and every time this topic rears its head, why ask teachers what they think if you don't want to know their answer?

My suspicion is that we're talking orders of magnitude differences in meanings of words such as "technique, just fine, etc."
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
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#1218359 - 06/16/09 09:04 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: John v.d.Brook]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Belated recognition that we know nothing about the OP did not, unfortunately, preempt dismissive generalizations that continue to be defended, even if the statistical sample has now shrunk from millions to thousands to hundreds.

And if "we're talking orders of magnitude differences in meanings of words such as 'technique, just fine, etc.,'" that applies as much to teachers and teaching skill as to pianists and playing ability.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1218369 - 06/16/09 09:29 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: ClassicalMan]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11721
Loc: Canada
ClassicMan, if your decision had been that cut and dry, you would not have come to the teacher forum to discuss it. It's also doubtful that you simply wanted a pat of approval or reassurance. Is there a half formed question behind your question, something you are wondering about? I have no idea if what I have just written has any rhyme or reason.

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#1218384 - 06/16/09 09:46 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: ClassicalMan]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13795
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: ClassicalMan
What do you think?


I think you should spend the next 6 weeks learning something on your own; say, a new Chopin waltz or Haydn sonata.

If you're able to manage it on your own and achieve a satisfactory result, then go it on your own.

If you find yourself having trouble and needing help, then stay with the teacher.
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#1218398 - 06/16/09 10:28 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: Kreisler]
ClassicalMan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/05
Posts: 165
Loc: USA
Ok, since there have been suppositions and guesses concerning my ability, here's a list of what I was unable to do two years ago. Prior to that time, although well versed in theory my playing/reading was limited to church hymns and basic one note melodies. In other words, application of the rudiments of music was quite challenging, a hurdle which I now have overcome. I have played the following pieces, Fur Elise-complete version, Prelude in E minor Op. 28. No. 4 Fredrick Chopin, Waltz in C-sharp minor Op. 64, No. 2 Fredrick Chopin, Fugue 2 in C minor Johann Sebastian Bach Fuga 2, Ave Maria solo piano, and Handel's Hallelujah Chorus (read this and committed to memory), all of which are posted at http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=musickologist&aq=f

I have also learned Mozart's Alla Turca, not posted. My many years of playing has been accompanying vocalists, choirs, and soloists in pop and improvised styles which did not require much reading.
_________________________
The thought of eternal efflorescence of music is a comforting one, and comes like a messenger of peace in the midst of universal disturbance--Roman Rolland, Musicians of Former Days

Vast untapped resources lie within.

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#1218401 - 06/16/09 10:31 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: Kreisler]
ClassicalMan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/05
Posts: 165
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Originally Posted By: ClassicalMan
What do you think?


I think you should spend the next 6 weeks learning something on your own; say, a new Chopin waltz or Haydn sonata.

If you're able to manage it on your own and achieve a satisfactory result, then go it on your own.

If you find yourself having trouble and needing help, then stay with the teacher.


Kreisler, this sounds like a good plan 2. It usually takes me aprox. 6-7 weeks to master a difficult piece. The haleleujah piece, although I heard it many times took 5-6 months with the teacher, and about a month to 6 weeks to memorize!
_________________________
The thought of eternal efflorescence of music is a comforting one, and comes like a messenger of peace in the midst of universal disturbance--Roman Rolland, Musicians of Former Days

Vast untapped resources lie within.

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#1218402 - 06/16/09 10:33 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: sotto voce]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4812
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: sotto voce

One of the strongest recollections I have of piano lessons in my youth was that each successive teacher sought to undo various things that had become ingrained from the previous one, with the adamant and authoritative certainty that his or her way was the best way instead.

But Steven, I have to assume that you never had the good luck to study with what I would consider to be a top-notch teacher. I've heard some of your stories, and if you remember, I could swap some with you. But I did have one very fine teacher who was a perfect fit for me, and I never thought I would be so lucky as to find another.

And I openly disagreed with him on numerous ocassions on all sorts of things. A good teacher not only allows that and expects it, he (or she) welcomes being challenged by someone who is truly thinking. This pushes the teacher, challenges him to examine his own ideas.

In my experience there are far more petty tyrants than really good teachers. I expect to be challenged myself for saying so, but it remains my belief. In fact, there is something worse I feel: well-meaning, kind people who truly seek to help but who are so limited by their assumptions that they unintentionally pass on ideas that are not just questionable but just plain wrong.
Quote:

One teacher believes in finger action, the next one believes in arm weight, one wants pliable wrists, the next one wants them rigid. There's not even agreement on bench height or placement, and it's easy to suspect there are no objective criteria for any aspect of playing.

All valid points, but also points that illustrate inflexibility and assumptions. To use just one example, I start people out with forearms more or less level, meaning that people do not sit "high" or "low". But I teach this as more or less a center position, someplace reasonable to start, then immediately mention that fine players vary considerably. As for wrists, it is my belief that more damange is done by telling people how to move their wrists than leaving them alone and allowing them to find what is natural for them. Just a couple hours or so of watching many of the finest players in the world tells anyone who is thinking that there is incredibly variation in the way different people look as they play. The "one size fits all" approach to technique (and most everything else) is something I have opposed as long as I've taught.
Quote:

Everyone who becomes proficient evolves, to some extent and in an organic way, an individual technique. If one reads well, plays with facility to one's own satisfaction, makes consistent progress toward meeting one's goals and never experiences pain or injury, who exactly gets to decide that there are "bad habits" that need correcting?

In fact, I would wager that Horowitz, when playing at his best, would have been "corrected" by many teachers if he walked in to take a lesson, just playing something, IF they did not know who he was. Can't you just see it?

"Vladimir, you seem to have enormous talent. You do many things well. But you sit too quietly. You won't be able to connect with your audience with such a dead-pan expression. And you are just going to have to sit higher, or you will do physical damage to yourself. Most important, you could play SO much better if only you did not play with such straight fingers. I'll be glad to help you with these problems, and if you work really hard to correct your faulty technique, perhaps someday you might even have a career."
Quote:

Would it not be true that at any given master class, the same pianist might be judged to have different technical problems depending on who is giving the class and doing the evaluating?

My answer: yes.
Quote:

Like it or not, plenty of self-learners do just fine.

The only point I have against this is that in the world of "classical pianists", I believe it is nearly impossible to succeed without some kind of thorough grounding. Having said that, we also know that Chopin's way of playing developed more through his own instincts than from any teacher, and Richter is one who is menationed over and over again as "largely self-taught". However, there I suspect "self-taught" is a relative term. I lack specific information there.
Quote:

This discussion has gone far beyond the scope of the OP's concern here. Maybe it should have been obvious that he wasn't going to get a unanimous pat on the back for choosing to learn on his own, but he shouldn't be treated with dogmatic dismissiveness either.

REPEATING: We don't know how he plays, how he reads, what level he is on, or even what kind of music most interests him. We also don't know anything about the teacher he has had for the last year and a half. The wise thing would have been to wish him good luck with his decision. Almost everything else, including what you and I are discussing here, is most likely off topic and are leading nowhere. wink


Edited by Gary D. (06/16/09 10:39 PM)
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#1218421 - 06/16/09 11:21 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: Gary D.]
ClassicalMan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/05
Posts: 165
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: sotto voce

One of the strongest recollections I have of piano lessons in my youth was that each successive teacher sought to undo various things that had become ingrained from the previous one, with the adamant and authoritative certainty that his or her way was the best way instead.

But Steven, I have to assume that you never had the good luck to study with what I would consider to be a top-notch teacher. I've heard some of your stories, and if you remember, I could swap some with you. But I did have one very fine teacher who was a perfect fit for me, and I never thought I would be so lucky as to find another.

And I openly disagreed with him on numerous ocassions on all sorts of things. A good teacher not only allows that and expects it, he (or she) welcomes being challenged by someone who is truly thinking. This pushes the teacher, challenges him to examine his own ideas.

In my experience there are far more petty tyrants than really good teachers. I expect to be challenged myself for saying so, but it remains my belief. In fact, there is something worse I feel: well-meaning, kind people who truly seek to help but who are so limited by their assumptions that they unintentionally pass on ideas that are not just questionable but just plain wrong.
Quote:

One teacher believes in finger action, the next one believes in arm weight, one wants pliable wrists, the next one wants them rigid. There's not even agreement on bench height or placement, and it's easy to suspect there are no objective criteria for any aspect of playing.

All valid points, but also points that illustrate inflexibility and assumptions. To use just one example, I start people out with forearms more or less level, meaning that people do not sit "high" or "low". But I teach this as more or less a center position, someplace reasonable to start, then immediately mention that fine players vary considerably. As for wrists, it is my belief that more damange is done by telling people how to move their wrists than leaving them alone and allowing them to find what is natural for them. Just a couple hours or so of watching many of the finest players in the world tells anyone who is thinking that there is incredibly variation in the way different people look as they play. The "one size fits all" approach to technique (and most everything else) is something I have opposed as long as I've taught.
Quote:

Everyone who becomes proficient evolves, to some extent and in an organic way, an individual technique. If one reads well, plays with facility to one's own satisfaction, makes consistent progress toward meeting one's goals and never experiences pain or injury, who exactly gets to decide that there are "bad habits" that need correcting?

In fact, I would wager that Horowitz, when playing at his best, would have been "corrected" by many teachers if he walked in to take a lesson, just playing something, IF they did not know who he was. Can't you just see it?

"Vladimir, you seem to have enormous talent. You do many things well. But you sit too quietly. You won't be able to connect with your audience with such a dead-pan expression. And you are just going to have to sit higher, or you will do physical damage to yourself. Most important, you could play SO much better if only you did not play with such straight fingers. I'll be glad to help you with these problems, and if you work really hard to correct your faulty technique, perhaps someday you might even have a career."
Quote:

Would it not be true that at any given master class, the same pianist might be judged to have different technical problems depending on who is giving the class and doing the evaluating?

My answer: yes.
Quote:

Like it or not, plenty of self-learners do just fine.

The only point I have against this is that in the world of "classical pianists", I believe it is nearly impossible to succeed without some kind of thorough grounding. Having said that, we also know that Chopin's way of playing developed more through his own instincts than from any teacher, and Richter is one who is menationed over and over again as "largely self-taught". However, there I suspect "self-taught" is a relative term. I lack specific information there.
Quote:

This discussion has gone far beyond the scope of the OP's concern here. Maybe it should have been obvious that he wasn't going to get a unanimous pat on the back for choosing to learn on his own, but he shouldn't be treated with dogmatic dismissiveness either.

REPEATING: We don't know how he plays, how he reads, what level he is on, or even what kind of music most interests him. We also don't know anything about the teacher he has had for the last year and a half. The wise thing would have been to wish him good luck with his decision. Almost everything else, including what you and I are discussing here, is most likely off topic and are leading nowhere. wink


GaryD, I repost:


Ok, since there have been suppositions and guesses concerning my ability, here's a list of what I was unable to do two years ago. Prior to that time, although well versed in theory my playing/reading was limited to church hymns and basic one note melodies. In other words, application of the rudiments of music was quite challenging, a hurdle which I now have overcome. I have played the following pieces, Fur Elise-complete version, Prelude in E minor Op. 28. No. 4 Fredrick Chopin, Waltz in C-sharp minor Op. 64, No. 2 Fredrick Chopin, Fugue 2 in C minor Johann Sebastian Bach Fuga 2, Ave Maria solo piano, and Handel's Hallelujah Chorus (read this and committed to memory), all of which are posted at http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=musickologist&aq=f

I have also learned Mozart's Alla Turca, not posted. My many years of playing has been accompanying vocalists, choirs, and soloists in pop and improvised styles which did not require much reading.
_________________________
Vast untapped resources lie within.
Pieces currently learning: Nocturne Op.9 No.2, Maple Leaf Rag!
_________________________
The thought of eternal efflorescence of music is a comforting one, and comes like a messenger of peace in the midst of universal disturbance--Roman Rolland, Musicians of Former Days

Vast untapped resources lie within.

Top
#1218434 - 06/17/09 12:02 AM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: Morodiene]
Judy M Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/13/09
Posts: 5
Loc: CT, USA
>>We cannot learn everything we need to know from one person. It sounds as though it might be a good time to take a little break with this teacher, but keep your eyes out for another one.<<

On my flute email list, this is quite often recommended. You take away different ideas from different teachers, and then you get to sort out what works best for you. Auditing a masterclass is also a great way to pick up new knowledge and ideas to try. Learning is an ever-evolving process, and sometime you need to shake things up a bit.

I'm taking several one hour flute lessons this summer. I found my instructor by emailing the flute studio at a nearby conservatory (Hartt in Hartford). If you are looking for a few calibration or test-the-waters lessons, this would probably be your best bet--you'll have a better chance of getting someone who is currently studying the pedagogy of teaching piano and who has experience teaching more advanced students who are adults.

--Judy

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#1218442 - 06/17/09 12:33 AM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: sotto voce]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3165
Originally Posted By: sotto voce

Given that lazy or incompetent teachers are admittedly "fairly prevalent," I wonder what the odds are that students who've had years of instruction from such teachers will also have "technique problems of major magnitude."
Steven


Steven, the odds are great.

As a teacher who was taught by a technique-focused teacher, (thank God!) I can say that every student I have had who was a transfer student has had atrocious technique.

I am not talking about differences of opinion of what is good technique...I am talking about people who have major tension problems in their hands, play stiffly, have "flying fingers" that are out of control, etc; People whose "technique" is the single and most significant limiting factor in their playing.

To prove that, I ask them "what is the single factor that propelled you to seek out a teacher". The answer is always the same: Their playing is hobbled, and they know it, but do not know why it is hobbled, nor do they know how to correct it.

Simply put, they did not come to learn repertoire, or music history, or how to read music, they came to learn how to play well.

Therefore, if lazy or incompetent teachers are prevalent, (and I think they very much are), my observation is that those teachers, for whatever reason, simply do not teach technique at all. Most likely they do not know how.

Think about it...aren't "Lazy" and "Incompetent" definitions of a teacher who is not teaching what is necessary to play well? I think they most certainly are.

For example, I have NEVER had a transfer student who was taught technique, ever heard the word "technique" spoken, nor ever heard of Hanon, Pischna, etc.


Edited by rocket88 (06/17/09 12:45 AM)
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#1218458 - 06/17/09 01:47 AM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: rocket88]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...

Great technique. Look Ma, no fingers! For someone who tends to have the sound turned off, it's kinda weird.
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#1218459 - 06/17/09 01:58 AM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: rocket88]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5509
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: rocket88
For example, I have NEVER had a transfer student who was taught technique, ever heard the word "technique" spoken, nor ever heard of Hanon, Pischna, etc.


Wow, that's unfortunate frown

I've had transfer students whose technique was quite solid, but they are not playing the way I want them to play, so I had to spend some time to help them "un-learn" some of their habits--which might not be bad habits according to their previous teacher. Different teachers teach different techniques.
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#1218516 - 06/17/09 07:00 AM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: keyboardklutz]
ClassicalMan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/05
Posts: 165
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz

Great technique. Look Ma, no fingers! For someone who tends to have the sound turned off, it's kinda weird.


This was before I was brave enough to show my fingers or owned a tripod. I merely played the piece into the electric digital piano. Look at the haleleujah piece for my fingers.
_________________________
The thought of eternal efflorescence of music is a comforting one, and comes like a messenger of peace in the midst of universal disturbance--Roman Rolland, Musicians of Former Days

Vast untapped resources lie within.

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#1218518 - 06/17/09 07:04 AM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: AZNpiano]
ClassicalMan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/05
Posts: 165
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: rocket88
For example, I have NEVER had a transfer student who was taught technique, ever heard the word "technique" spoken, nor ever heard of Hanon, Pischna, etc.


Wow, that's unfortunate frown

I've had transfer students whose technique was quite solid, but they are not playing the way I want them to play, so I had to spend some time to help them "un-learn" some of their habits--which might not be bad habits according to their previous teacher. Different teachers teach different techniques.


I wasn't after technique. My goal was learning how to handle new pieces! Actually, I haven't had the same teacher for a year and a half. I've actually been through 3 teachers. The first one couldn't take me any further. I just kinda believe I can develop my own techniqe and take it from here. One teacher told me play with my fingers curved like a ball. Another said, it doesn't matter how you hold your fingers as long as the piece sounds perfect. Like AZpiano states, "different teachers teach different techniques".
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The thought of eternal efflorescence of music is a comforting one, and comes like a messenger of peace in the midst of universal disturbance--Roman Rolland, Musicians of Former Days

Vast untapped resources lie within.

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#1218554 - 06/17/09 09:23 AM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: Judy M]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
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Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Judy M
>>We cannot learn everything we need to know from one person. It sounds as though it might be a good time to take a little break with this teacher, but keep your eyes out for another one.<<

On my flute email list, this is quite often recommended. You take away different ideas from different teachers, and then you get to sort out what works best for you. Auditing a masterclass is also a great way to pick up new knowledge and ideas to try. Learning is an ever-evolving process, and sometime you need to shake things up a bit.

I'm taking several one hour flute lessons this summer. I found my instructor by emailing the flute studio at a nearby conservatory (Hartt in Hartford). If you are looking for a few calibration or test-the-waters lessons, this would probably be your best bet--you'll have a better chance of getting someone who is currently studying the pedagogy of teaching piano and who has experience teaching more advanced students who are adults.

--Judy


Hartford CT! My old stomping grounds smile. I grew up in West Hartford, but my parents refused to let me go to Hartt or even apply there because they wanted me to go to college somewhere a bit further away from home. Definitely going to a conservatory or university is the most likely place to find a teacher at the advanced levels.
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#1218576 - 06/17/09 10:04 AM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: Morodiene]
Judy M Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/13/09
Posts: 5
Loc: CT, USA
>>I grew up in West Hartford, but my parents refused to let me go to Hartt or even apply there because they wanted me to go to college somewhere a bit further away from home.<<


I grew up in State College, PA, and people always say "Why didn't you go to Penn State?" Um, because my PARENTS lived 5 minutes away? smile


Judy

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#1218593 - 06/17/09 10:57 AM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: keyboardklutz]
GreenRain Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/08
Posts: 888
Loc: Somewhere in Europe
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz

Great technique. Look Ma, no fingers! For someone who tends to have the sound turned off, it's kinda weird.


Yes, but people ussually listen to the music with speakers turned on.

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#1218625 - 06/17/09 12:02 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: ClassicalMan]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: ClassicalMan
Another said, it doesn't matter how you hold your fingers as long as the piece sounds perfect. Like AZpiano states, "different teachers teach different techniques".
Er, that's not technique that's ineptitude.
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#1218626 - 06/17/09 12:04 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: GreenRain]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: GreenRain
Yes, but people ussually listen to the music with speakers turned on.
Aha! But I watch.
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#1218631 - 06/17/09 12:08 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: keyboardklutz]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...

Jeez, you are shy! Do you think next time we'll get your wrists?
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#1218634 - 06/17/09 12:10 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: ClassicalMan]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3165
Classical man:
Quote:
I wasn't after technique. My goal was learning how to handle new pieces!


To me, that sounds like "I am not interested in learning how to run. My goal is learning how to run!"

For most people, their lack of workable technique is the single major obstacle to playing well. Insofar as learning new pieces, (here I assume harder pieces than what you already play), that certainly holds true.

Quote:
I just kinda believe I can develop my own techniqe and take it from here.


Unless you are a prodigy who instinctively follows the right direction for you vis-a-vis technique, developing the right technique on your own would be rare.

Quote:
One teacher told me play with my fingers curved like a ball. Another said, it doesn't matter how you hold your fingers as long as the piece sounds perfect. Like AZpiano states, "different teachers teach different techniques".


Just because a a "teacher" teaches something does not mean it is correct, nor that it is the best approach for you. The fact that you were taught very different approaches (or none at all) by those teachers illustrates that technique is a poorly taught, or ignored, topic. Which is what I said in my post about my transfer students, who universally lack technique.
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#1218638 - 06/17/09 12:16 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: rocket88]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3213
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: rocket88

Just because a a "teacher" teaches something does not mean it is correct, nor that it is the best approach for you. The fact that you were taught very different approaches (or none at all) by those teachers illustrates that technique is a poorly taught, or ignored, topic. Which is what I said in my post about my transfer students, who universally lack technique.


Hmmm.

Assuming you're correct, is a bad teacher any better than no teacher?

and if bad teachers are in the majority, which would seem to be the case if none of your transfers have had good teaching, is there any hope?

Case 1, no teacher, most learn bad technique.
Case 2, bad teacher, most learn bad technique.
Case 3, rare good teacher, x percentage learn good technique. X is somewhere between 0 and 100.
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#1218641 - 06/17/09 12:22 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: TimR]
ClassicalMan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/05
Posts: 165
Loc: USA
Mine's better than your's...no, mine is only better because you think so or I think so?...go figure
_________________________
The thought of eternal efflorescence of music is a comforting one, and comes like a messenger of peace in the midst of universal disturbance--Roman Rolland, Musicians of Former Days

Vast untapped resources lie within.

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#1218642 - 06/17/09 12:23 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: keyboardklutz]
ClassicalMan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/05
Posts: 165
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz

Jeez, you are shy! Do you think next time we'll get your wrists?


Klutz, why the tangents. Address the original issue without all of the hooplaa!


Edited by ClassicalMan (06/17/09 12:24 PM)
_________________________
The thought of eternal efflorescence of music is a comforting one, and comes like a messenger of peace in the midst of universal disturbance--Roman Rolland, Musicians of Former Days

Vast untapped resources lie within.

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#1218644 - 06/17/09 12:27 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: TimR]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: TimR

Case 1, no teacher, most learn bad technique.
Case 2, bad teacher, most learn bad technique.
Case 3, rare good teacher, x percentage learn good technique. X is somewhere between 0 and 100.
The idea is to keep looking. You know when you've found a good'n - you'll never want to leave.
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http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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