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#1247065 - 08/11/09 02:11 AM Stupid Music Teachers
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
This isn't just me raging and venting ...
The music education in my school is appauling I fault this to an oblivious music teacher in my school. I don't know how music is taught in the states but in Australia at a high school level music is coumpulsory when a student is 12 and 13, after that students may choose to do music as part of their schooling.

I have chosen to do music as one of my subjects amongst history, sociology, English studies, Literature, creative writing and mathematics.

OK now for my fustrations, the music teacher DOES NOT let students perform music of a classical nature because the 'kids wont like it' reasonable ... but I mean everyone in the school ends up doing pop. There is NO classical music performed in the school. I recently completed a sociology paper about music education and its effects on teenagers, after gatherin statistics from teenagers I found that suprisingly many teenagers DO listen to SOME classical.

Anyways a classical pianist along with myself asked her if we can perform classical and she said no. With that she is CHOOSING the repertoire of the performers. SHE is telling people what to do.

I dont think its good to underestimate an audience, teenagers dont hate classical ... with enough exposure they do enjoy it! Anyways ... I'm nearing my time in school ... I shouldnt be angry or fustrated but I wonder if anyone has any contributions or thoughts ... please share. Sometimes I can be too much of an idealist that contending with people lke her is a nightmare ... would you tell your students to not peform classical?
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#1247067 - 08/11/09 02:18 AM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5929
Loc: Down Under
Ouch! Are you in year 11/12? Do you mean she is saying you can't perform a classical piece as part of your performance exam for the HSC??
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#1247071 - 08/11/09 02:37 AM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: currawong]
Chris H. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
Unfortunately music education is sub-standard in a lot of schools. It really depends on who is teaching it. The sad thing is that these teacher's get away with it because there are always good students like yourself who take private lessons and will get top grades at the end of the day. When the results come back it looks like they are doing a great job which is what matters most to the management at the school who don't really care what goes on in the classroom.
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#1247087 - 08/11/09 04:31 AM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: Chris H.]
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
No I can do it for my HSC, once I started talking about the vocal teacher and piano teacher years ago ... she stopped telling me what to do but I have to sing Rodger and Hammerstein when I am in school for school performances, I'm not allowed to do anything from an opera or even some 'classical' sounding theatre because the 'kids wont like it'.

Its school concerts ... things that promote 'school spirit' where I cant do anything classical. Music education varies from school to school and community to community. I've just realised that my school is the bottom of the barrel.

It can be fustrating sometimes I guess and I understand what you are saying regarding music education Chris. Teaching can be a fustrating job especailly music. I compared the attitudes of music lessons amongst working class communities to affluent communities. Amongst some working class communities, parents send their kids to music lessons because they want their kids to be 'cultured' like the affluent, they send their kids to music lessos but arent involved. Others think that music is unessacary. Contrastingly in affluent communities teachers aren't genearally respected and people send their children to cocirricular activties beacues its just the norm.

Music is an enriching experience ... people seem to take muscians for granted.

With that said, I guess I shouldnt be so mad. I just get ticked that there is an idiot 'boss' on top.
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#1247098 - 08/11/09 06:57 AM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5483
Loc: Orange County, CA
I'm not sure you should be describing adults with such words as "stupid" and "idiot." If I describe my choir students as "stupid" and "idiot," they'd have my head on a platter. Try "discouraging" or "disappointing"--those adjectives serve your purpose better.

There's nothing wrong with singing Rodgers and Hammerstein. Are you kidding me? What do you find so offensive about Rodgers and Hammerstein???
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#1247121 - 08/11/09 08:17 AM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: AZNpiano]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota

You seem to feel very strongly about it. Go talk to your teacher, take a few of your like-minded students with you. Show her there are others with the same idea. Have a sit-down, heart to heart and tell her that you have researched and found that some teenagers do like classical. Bring the documentation. Bring the pieces that you would like to perform, and tell her why you feel so strongly about it. If she still says no, go to the administration. Find out who the music department lead is and start there.

If she is your teacher, she is not the "idiot boss on top", there are many above her.

You do not have to accept what the teacher is suggesting. I am not suggesting that you ambush her, just point out how strongly you feel about it and that there are others that feel the same.

You may have a fight on your hands, but you will be doing a favor for everyone younger than you.

Good luck, let us know what you end up doing!
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#1247123 - 08/11/09 08:18 AM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: AZNpiano]
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
Sorry AZNpiano ... nothings wrong with Rodger and Hammerstein ... I just like to sing OTHER THINGS ... Favorite things, sound of music, edelweiss, 16 going on 17 ... is it just me or do you get the feeling that I should move away from the same musical? AZNpiano I wonder, ...I dont mean to come accross as an angry ansty teenager but ... if I was an adult (which I will'offically' be soon) ... if I was her equal would it be 'ok' to call her an 'idiot' and 'stupid' ...? The rules and assignements we have to ettique is interesting to me ... espcially when studying lingustics.

I could use stronger language ... but thats another matter .. its not just rigid repertoire choice that 'dissapoints' me ... its the content that she teaches everyone ... Sorry I dont mean to sound like a demeaning teenager but when your superiors dissapoint you begin to feel rather fustrated at the whole system. I can't stand somebody who doesnt communicate to students, someone who ASSUMES ... rather than face reality, people that live in fantasy world irk me.

I guess I could just be having a bad day but I hate BEING a favorite, being called pet names ... she forgets everybody elses' name and calls them by demeaning names, if she ever tells kids off she ties in a sacred area "god made you deformed", being told to photocopy things for her, being told to chase teachers around, to find her keys, to run errands out of school for her, to get things that are inside her school, being TOLD to make multiple visits to a print shop carring a heavy object on the train and my way back home, to carry things around, to go to excursions excluding major works of other subjects, being told to partake in the dodgy vocal ensemble when I have to work on OTHER THINGS, being told to run the vocal ensemble and teach with no experience and only ten years of training,being discouraged for taking private lessons, hearing her talk down about my private teachers infront of me ... "Rebekahs teacher did this isn't that pathetic?" but she has never talked to them. I mean, I can keep going ...
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#1247127 - 08/11/09 08:27 AM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
SHE is the music department lead. What's worse is that she is the one who organises these concerts I've treid to talk to her on an intellectual level, I've tried to present statistics with her, with my findings, ... I dont mean to sound superior or anything but being a teenager in this time I feel like I can undersand my peers differently to how she understands them. Sometimes I quesiton her knowledge because he asked a boy with dyslexia what dyslexia IS, she said she never heard of such a word ... what kind of a music teacher doesnt know about learning disorders.

I've tried and other talented students have tried saying to her "there is talent hold auditions you dont know about it ..." ... "kids like this repertoire, its virtuosic they dont need to have a classical leaning" ... etc. BUT she says she knows the kids better than we do.

Gathering statistics in the school, distributing surveys to hundreds of kids is HARD work and the results dont tie into her ideas ... but she wont listen.
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#1247139 - 08/11/09 09:03 AM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Have you taken your concerns to the school's administration?
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#1247145 - 08/11/09 09:13 AM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: Kreisler]
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Have you taken your concerns to the school's administration?


I agree, and I would leave words like "stupid," "idiot," etc. out of it. I doubt that this teacher is an idiot, or stupid. You basically have a difference of opinion.

Quote:
OK now for my fustrations, the music teacher DOES NOT let students perform music of a classical nature because the 'kids wont like it' reasonable ... but I mean everyone in the school ends up doing pop.


One argument you could use is that consideration should also be given to the perfomers, and what music they like.

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#1247164 - 08/11/09 09:46 AM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: Phlebas]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11898
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Rebekah,
I agree 100% with you, that unless we encourage listening to classical music, kids won't even know it exists and thus have a closed-minded view about it. I taught a music listening session when I taught K-5 general music. The kids *loved* the pieces and had a lot of fun with it.

Having said that however, do you think you're being a bit closed minded about singing and playing other styles? Obviously you already have other opportunities to perform your classical music, so this is not your only outlet. Perhaps when you are dean of the music department, you can decide what curriculum you will be teaching. But she is in charge here, and perhaps it is a challenge for *you* to open *your* mind.

That is how school is. Many times you will learn things that you don't think you need to learn. You may come into a class expecting to learn things that you already know, and be disappointed when you don't get to do those things. However, they are the teacher, and you must respect them in that position not matter how much you disagree. You most likely won't succeed in changing her mind, as you have already petitioned her on the subject. She obviously has no intention of changing things, whether she herself doens't know enough about classical music and may feel threatened by it (or jealous of those who may know more than she), or whether she honestly feels she is doing the right things by trying to encourage kids to participate in a style that they can easily relate to and are comfortable with. Regardless of the reason, you will not change her mind if you continue to petition her. You may, however, galvanize her in her position and even get on her bad side if you persist. A little wisdom in these circumstances go a long way.

I would set aside your own prejudices and opinions for the short time you have to endure this. Be glad you have a music program at all, with opportunities to perform. Remember, classical music is not just about the repertoire, but it is also about the technique. Sing the dickens out of "Green Finch and Linnet Bird" or "Think of Me", play your heart out on a more complex arrangement of a pop tune. Let them wonder how it is you can do such things, and then you can tell them it is due to your classical training.

Not only will this make your short time left in the school much more tolerable, you may just learn something in the process. smile
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#1247170 - 08/11/09 09:58 AM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3160
Originally Posted By: Rebekah.L
...she forgets everybody elses' name and calls them by demeaning names, if she ever tells kids off she ties in a sacred area "god made you deformed", ...being discouraged for taking private lessons, hearing her talk down about my private teachers infront of me ... "Rebekahs teacher did this isn't that pathetic?" but she has never talked to them. I mean, I can keep going ...



As the head of the department, and the teacher, the choice of repertoire is her decision. If you progress in music after school, and perform with other people, you will frequently have to play music that is not your choice. So learning how to do that gracefully is part of your education.

On the other hand, the demeaning talk from her is completely wrong, and very likely illegal. I would get a small tape or digital recorder and record her rantings, and take it to the principal.

She has no business being a teacher if what you say about what she says in class is true.

She sounds like a loose cannon on deck, and is able to get away with speaking like that because no one has reported her.


Edited by rocket88 (08/11/09 10:01 AM)
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#1247365 - 08/11/09 03:13 PM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
MA Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 302
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
You are too polite to call her stupid and an idiot. What kind of school are you attending? Where are the parents?

So the school cafeteria should take vegetables off the menu because children won't like them? And the English teacher won't teach Shakespeare because the students don't undertand it? And the math teacher shouldn't teach arithmetics because it's boring and everyone has a caculator?

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#1247378 - 08/11/09 03:33 PM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11674
Loc: Canada
Are any of the teachers concerned about this part:
Quote:
...being told to chase teachers around, to find her keys, to run errands out of school for her, to get things that are inside her school, being TOLD to make multiple visits to a print shop carring a heavy object on the train and my way back home, to carry things around, to go to excursions excluding major works of other subjects, being told to partake in the dodgy vocal ensemble when I have to work on OTHER THINGS, being told to run the vocal ensemble and teach with no experience and only ten years of training, being discouraged for taking private lessons, hearing her talk down about my private teachers infront of me ... "Rebekahs teacher did this isn't that pathetic?"

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#1247383 - 08/11/09 03:52 PM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: keystring]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11898
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
keystring, yes, but that is a whole different issue than the one about the pop music.

Rebekah, I think you need to learn how to say now. None of those things are required of you. If you are participating in a performance, then yes, you are expected to help carry things and set up. If the woman asks you to get her keys, or track down a teacher for her, I've done that myself. Sometimes you can't leave the classroom unattended, and so you are asking the student to do you a favor. However, you do not have to go to a print shop, participate in ensemble work that are outside of your class grade or something that you previously agreed to do, teach a class, etc.

You need to speak to the principal directly about this, and now. The talking down part also should be addressed to the principal, but be sure to have specific examples of when these things were said and done. Write them down in a list with as much specifics as you can recall (dates or particular events help). List names of those who witnessed her saying derogatory things about your "pathetic" teachers. Show the principal your list when you meet with them.

From what you're saying, it is highly likely that this teacher dislikes you and/or is jealous of you in some way. But that's neither here nor there. Don't bring up that possibility to the principal. Simply stick to the facts and let them know that you feel you are being treated unfairly and taken advantage of, but that if you don't do these things, you may get a bad grade.
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MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
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#1247385 - 08/11/09 03:57 PM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: MA]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17777
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: MA
Where are the parents?



My thoughts exactly. The way school systems operate, student complaints are rarely taken seriously or, worse, elicit a knee-jerk reaction of stubborn resistance. This is not fair, but it is what it is. If your parents, on the other hand, ask to come in for a conference and air the same concerns, you will have a much higher likelihood of getting changes implemented. This is particularly true if you can get a small group of parents of like-minded students.
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#1247391 - 08/11/09 04:21 PM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: Monica K.]
John Anthony Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/07
Posts: 115
Oh Good. I didn't have to go find Monica!!!

I'm an older college student who went back to school after a trucking injury in large part due to the encouragement i received on this board. I've had to deal with teachers with boundary issues (and prevailed almost every time) to a point that it's been suggested that I go for a Psychology degree, but I am committed to my Business/Music degree plan. Teachers CAN be some of the most boundary-illiterate people in the world. Some go into teaching because they care, or love to learn, but many others go into it because they have control issues and/or live vicariously through the students and/or exploit their position to get their own needs met. I've found plenty of all at school.


People often "raise" children the way they were raised. Children (and you are a child in this context) have a lot of needs. It's normal. You came into the world with a set of needs (food, clothing shelter) and relied on adults for everything. As you grow, your needs diminish. Now that you are a teen, you are starting to experiment with making adult decisions but you have gotten into a situation with a teacher who is overwhelmed with her OWN unmet needs and who is thereby alternating between being enmeshed with you and squashing the needs of others.

Your descriptions of how she treats you and others are all violations of trust. We trust a teacher not to play favorites just as we trust them not to sanction, invalidate, bully or abuse less favorite students.

Her job (defined as being in a position of leadership) is to care for and advocate for all students equally.

She is assigned to teach you. You didn't approach her out of need. Her responsibility is to RECOGNIZE this responsibility.

When a person who is seeking care, and that care gets muddied, as in the examples you listed above, you are essentially being used to meet her needs, and this is improper because it is IN REVERSE.

Sarcastic, derogatory, insulting and/or disparaging remarks also violate the emotional boundaries of the recipient because they cannot fight back -- they are not equals.

I agree with Monica. You are unfortunately in a position where people will work harder to cover their a** than to solve your problem. Enlisting the help of your PARENTS however will force them to listen.

Complaints in writing never hurt either. This teacher needs some professional help. Perhaps you can do her a favor over the long term and get her pointed in a direction of healing.
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#1247396 - 08/11/09 04:43 PM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
ProdigalPianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 1049
Loc: Phoenix Metro, AZ
Originally Posted By: Rebekah.L


I guess I could just be having a bad day but I hate BEING a favorite, being called pet names ... she forgets everybody elses' name and calls them by demeaning names, if she ever tells kids off she ties in a sacred area "god made you deformed", being told to photocopy things for her, being told to chase teachers around, to find her keys, to run errands out of school for her, to get things that are inside her school, being TOLD to make multiple visits to a print shop carring a heavy object on the train and my way back home, to carry things around, to go to excursions excluding major works of other subjects, being told to partake in the dodgy vocal ensemble when I have to work on OTHER THINGS, being told to run the vocal ensemble and teach with no experience and only ten years of training,being discouraged for taking private lessons, hearing her talk down about my private teachers infront of me ... "Rebekahs teacher did this isn't that pathetic?" but she has never talked to them. I mean, I can keep going ...



So, what it sounds like you're saying is that the issue with not being able to perform classical music is the straw that broke the camel's back? Because none of these totally justifiable complaints is about the music you are allowed to perform.

Things you need to do:

1 - dial back on the "idiot" and "stupid" terms. Your relative age to your teacher has nothing to do with your need to do this. The plain fact is, no matter WHAT the age of you OR your teacher is (even if you were older)...the person doing the 'name calling' is not going to be taken seriously by those you complain to.

2 - decide what you're really upset about. Is it the music, or the treatment? Treatment of you or other students? Make a list of your complaints. Chose the items that your parents/the administration are going to be likely to agree is a problem (most likely, unless you can point out that X and Y and Z school district's students are at an advantage to yours, because their curriculum includes classical music, you won't get anywhere because I'm guessing the administration probably thinks they won't like classical either). Pick your battles. Focus.

3 - engage your parents and meet with the administration to discuss your complaints. But only after you have clearly and in writing made these same complaints to your teacher. (the administration will want to see chain of command followed). Give them specific behaviors you would like to see changed.

4 - Just Say No. Some of this is going to just require you respectfully declining when you teacher asks/tells you to do things. It sounds like you are currently being treated like a teacher's assistant. Frankly, my parents would have not considered this viable grounds for complaint. My mother was a teacher and believed that being treated this way was a compliment and an honor.

DO stand up for yourself, when you have given careful thought to the points where you are being treated poorly. When I was a senior in high school I was an accompanist for the choir. I was planning a career in music ed and so was heavily involved in both band and chorus. At the end of the term, I got a B. I'd never gotten a B in a music class In My Life. I remember when we all got to chorus that day, because he had given Bs to the Entire Class and we were all mad. He excused himself that he gave us all Bs because it was his first semester and he didn't know us all well enough to give us anything else.

What I SHOULD have done when he called me up to the piano to do warm-ups (he didn't play) was say,"I'm sorry, but if the extra effort of accompanying does not get me any extra credit then I will have to resign as an accompanist." I didn't. I knew my parents would have been unsupportive. But I should have done it. That was 29 years ago and I still remember it. So Do stand up for yourself once you decide what you're objecting TO.
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Adult Amateur Pianist

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#1247424 - 08/11/09 05:38 PM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: ProdigalPianist]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
On another note, why does the music have to be in school? Why not choose a different elective and pursue private lessons outside of school?

When I taught at a university, I was often annoyed that students would sign up for a class and complain that it wasn't what they wanted. Why did they sign up in the first place? They knew what the course content was going to be, so what did they expect?
_________________________
"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)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1247430 - 08/11/09 05:59 PM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: Kreisler]
ProdigalPianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 1049
Loc: Phoenix Metro, AZ
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
On another note, why does the music have to be in school? Why not choose a different elective and pursue private lessons outside of school?



For students majoring in piano in college, instruction and participation is traditionally outside of school so engagement in school programs would not weigh heavily on admissions and scholarship opportunities.

However, in my experience (my personal experience is from the dark ages but I work at a university and have several friends among the music students), vocal and band/instrumental students' engagement in their high school music programs does come into consideration for college admissions and scholarships.

Kreisler, you have experience with college faculty, how do you think it would be viewed in a potential voice or band/instrument student came in to audition and said they didn't participate in their HS music program because they didn't like the music the teacher chose or the teacher asked them to run errands?
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#1247434 - 08/11/09 06:07 PM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: Kreisler]
ToriAnais Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 244
Loc: Australia
I can't stand people who work in music education and try to be "cool" and "popular" and basically not do their job. It is a large part of a music teachers job to expand their students musical appreciation. They're there to educate, to facilitate learning, not to be an entertainer. Grr. This kind of situation really hits a nerve with me.
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#1247439 - 08/11/09 06:21 PM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: keystring]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3160
Originally Posted By: keystring
Are any of the teachers concerned about this part:
Quote:
...being told to chase teachers around, to find her keys, to run errands out of school for her, to get things that are inside her school, being TOLD to make multiple visits to a print shop carring a heavy object on the train and my way back home, to carry things around, to go to excursions excluding major works of other subjects, being told to partake in the dodgy vocal ensemble when I have to work on OTHER THINGS, being told to run the vocal ensemble and teach with no experience and only ten years of training, being discouraged for taking private lessons, hearing her talk down about my private teachers infront of me ... "Rebekahs teacher did this isn't that pathetic?"


Umm, read my post.
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#1247458 - 08/11/09 06:58 PM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: Kreisler]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11674
Loc: Canada
I have a question about this.
Quote:
On another note, why does the music have to be in school? Why not choose a different elective and pursue private lessons outside of school?

This is a student who will be graduating from high school this or next year, and going on to higher education, and possibly into music studies. Is gr. 12 music a prerequisite for applying to music at a postsecondary level? If so, is there really a choice? By the same token, does one grin and bear it in order to not tee off the music department head who is doing these things?

For the second suggestion, the OP has been taking private lessons for a number of years in both voice and piano. Would this be enough for post secondary applications? Can high school credits in music be dispensed with?

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#1247466 - 08/11/09 07:24 PM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: keystring]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5929
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: keystring
I have a question about this.
Quote:
On another note, why does the music have to be in school? Why not choose a different elective and pursue private lessons outside of school?

This is a student who will be graduating from high school this or next year, and going on to higher education, and possibly into music studies. Is gr. 12 music a prerequisite for applying to music at a postsecondary level? If so, is there really a choice? By the same token, does one grin and bear it in order to not tee off the music department head who is doing these things?

For the second suggestion, the OP has been taking private lessons for a number of years in both voice and piano. Would this be enough for post secondary applications? Can high school credits in music be dispensed with?

As far as I know of the situation here (which is where Rebekah is), entry is by audition, combined with an acceptable university admission score which need not include music.
*disclaimer* Please check for yourself rather than just taking my word for it if you're in this situation. smile
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#1247512 - 08/11/09 09:01 PM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: ProdigalPianist]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: ProdigalPianist
Kreisler, you have experience with college faculty, how do you think it would be viewed in a potential voice or band/instrument student came in to audition and said they didn't participate in their HS music program because they didn't like the music the teacher chose or the teacher asked them to run errands?


If it was a Music Education degree, it'd look pretty strange and people would wonder why. Unless of course the high school was nearby, in which case the faculty would probably know about the teacher's antics and let it slide.

If it was a performance degree in piano, I doubt anybody would care.
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#1247688 - 08/12/09 01:13 AM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: Kreisler]
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
They dont look at the subjects you did in further study, I choose because I had a different teacher and he was great. Also, if I did any other elective I would be neglecting music.... I do a great deal of it outside of school and I would really like to not have any affliations with school. First off ...

I have read all the posts, Morodiene, let me tell you that I have sung 'Think of Me' before and I am currently polishing Green Finch and Linnet Bird, I am NOT allowed to do Green Finch and Linnet Bird because she 'doesnt like it'. I understand what you are saying regarding being more open minded, sure she is the head of department and what she is doing is yes, having me 'learn'. I don't hate mainstream music, pop or music of that kind, please dont get the sort of impresion I just feel like she's forgetting one thing and that thing IS: it's about the STUDENTS. I also think that her subjectivity should not play part of the equation, my piano teacher hates opera, doesnt like mixing music with drama but he still merrily plays opera accompaniments for me and finds pleasure in imparting things fo me. My singing teacher hates a some baroque pieces, he still happily teaches me and tells me that I'm the student ... he's the guide on the side.

Some of the things she has said to me just wanted to make me cry ... "Go and learn something for once" ... "would you be quite with your comments just let me teach this child" (after she asked for my help in teaching a student). See the real problem is that to a fly on the wall I dont look angry or unsatisfied. I am her 'pet' her little side kick, she might talk so positviely of me to the principal and to her fellow staff members but she'll treat me poorly when no one else is around or if its just a small group of people. She is an orator and I admit, I am to fault because I always get enticed under her requests saying yes constantly then realing I dont have time. If I say no I cant - like I have in the past she'll publicly proclaim it to everyone.

Music is not supported in the school, she makes friends with parent and then makes these racist jokes infront of students about 'Arab parents' 'Asians' 'Africans' ... they might not seem racist as she is playing with sterotypes and is joking but I dont think is acceptable. It could jsut be me reacting but she looks good and I am making her look even better. If I dont make her look good then I wont look good either.
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#1247690 - 08/12/09 01:23 AM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: ProdigalPianist]
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
Oh and by the way the errands thing and the parents thing and the other favors thing ... she's the one who calls up my parents and praises me. She THINKS my parents arent supportive of me as a musciain so she calls them to tell then how 'marvellous and talented I am' ... then she says to me 'some parents just dont know how to raise thir children' ... my parents are paying for two sets of private lessons, my dad is an engineer and my mum works full time. They arent rich - I come from a middle class family but they forsake some of lifes luxuries to pay for lessons.

My mum and her have a good relationship and I even have a good relationship with her ... its only no one is there were it changes.
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#1247779 - 08/12/09 08:34 AM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
PlayWellOneDay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/16/06
Posts: 45
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Rebekah, I imagine from your use of "HSC" that you are in NSW. I am in Melbourne but much of what I have to say will apply to you. (I am not a teacher, but an adult learner.)

The elite private school I attended did offer lessons (which I didn't get) as well as a weekly musical appreciation class (force-fed Sculthorpe) and choir in our own time. And the choir was almost nothing but Purcell and Handel. I can tell you it's just as frustrating from the classical-only side. The reason this happens is because it's less work for the teachers.

Originally Posted By: Rebekah
if she ever tells kids off she ties in a sacred area "god made you deformed"


This makes me think you're in a Catholic school. This type of comment is *NOT PERMITTED* in a Government school, both because it is demeaning and because it is pushing religion. Back in the 1980s in Victoria a second instance would be a firing offence (and I know this because a family member got to do the firing). Probably just one would do it now.

If a religious school, I am unsure of the law.

Quote:
being told to chase teachers around, to find her keys, to run errands out of school for her, to get things that are inside her school, being TOLD to make multiple visits to a print shop carring a heavy object on the train and my way back home, to carry things around,


Now you have me worried.

You know she is being paid by your parents or the taxpayers. You are not a dogsbody. If you are being used as one it is either so she doesn't have to do her own job, or to establish power over you, or to maintain contact with you beyond class. Any one of those ought to be raising a red flag.

I think you're better off simply skipping the extra-curricular music, doing your AMEB piano, and avoiding contact with this person. Maybe even changing schools. You will need to bring your parents into the loop. Others here are having a go at you for being brash, rude, talkative, arrogant and a know-it-all... pretty normal for a 17-year-old girl, but if you can stay calm and cool it would be better.

Quote:
hearing her talk down about my private teachers in front of me ... "Rebekahs teacher did this isn't that pathetic?" but she has never talked to them.


Don't let her near them. Keep your private lessons as a refuge.

P.S. Work on that spelling/grammar: "appalling", "different from", "favourite" (your spelling is the US one), possessive apostrophe etc.



Edited by PlayWellOneDay (08/12/09 08:55 AM)

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#1247813 - 08/12/09 09:20 AM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: PlayWellOneDay]
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
I go to a government school, yes, in NSW. How embarrasing to be picked up on grammar, I'm an English major ... I do extension 2 (thats the highest level of English offered in NSW). I'll be honest and say that I just write ... I don't proof read.

I'm sorry if I appeared to be an arrogant 17 year old, ... I was quite worked up emotionally and for the past few days, some students have been terribly fustrated with her as she has this sheer, outrageous amount of oblivion in many areas. I guess I should really stop complaining since I have two months of school left. With that said I don't want to perform in the school setting anymore and I don't want to have anything to do with school productions. Despite this she continually has me learn "sound of music" to perform during exam period.

It just fustrates me to see a person with a relevant degree regarding education, underestimate and treat others in such an unexceptional way. I wonder what it is she has done during her studies. I wonder how she could just grow to be a horribly oblivious person. In saying all of this I could just be expecting someone with great intellegence, this teacher said to school kids that she reads playboy ... not even knowing what it is ... just so she can be cool.

I dont have many more months ... she'll just be another passing chapter of my life but I feel fustrated that the music education in my high school will be horribly taught. Its funny I've always wanted to be a music teacher beacuse of her at certain times, she's one of them driving motivations as I want to revolutionise things in a community with a lower socioeconomic status.

PlayWellOneDay you are fortunate to come from an elite private high school, I guess yes, the classical experience can be dry but I am not merely stressing the point that she resticts classical repertoire, I am saying that she only allows for pop and I am sure that a lot of it has to do with her subjective tastes. In other words she is restrictive as she has assumptions of people. She does not understand that she is the 'guide on the side' not the 'sage on the stage'. She might be head and I respect her position as the power and authority but I feel like she should understand that she is organising but not performing, she should really remember that her students should enjoy the performing aspect. She will often refer to the audience as uneducated and 'stupid' when in actuallity I wonder who is really 'stupid'? Many students love to watch a pianist play Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2 ... she does not allow it. She complains constantly of the students but she doesn't even put any effort into remembering their names. She calls them rats and 'boy' or 'girl' instead.

Many teachers may see her to be successful or respected as she has a teaching degree and qualification but in actuality she seems to hold limited knowledge of classical music. At least that is my impression, she said that she has classical roots in piano but she didnt like it and listed and played pop, now that is the music that she enocourages. She is limited in her knowledge, she always asks to look at the score of music if I sing or play something flawlessly, she'll make a remark like "oh faboulously played great intonation and articulation, you really know how to establish pulse, accents are outstanding, great use of phrasing and dynamics ... If there was one thing I had to say .. it would be ... accent the first note of every bar" (what happened to accents are outstanding). I asked her what is intonation and according to he its 'the tone of your natural voice'... interesting... my comments on a report "flat notes ... great intonation" ... um ok? She has said to me that I wasnt born with good intonation... and she taught me pitch and tone. What does intonation mean again? I'm confused (sarcasm)

The unproffesional behavior is strangly something that she gets away with at the same time she only does it if its just me and her or a small group of people.

It really fustrates me that students grudginly have to perform a program of the selected works that she likes ... sure she might be teaching people a lesson that you dont choose your own repetoire other people do but at the same time, this is co-cirricular.

With that said, I plan to tell her that I refuse to perform for the upcoming school concert. If I ever make an appearence in the school after I graduate I will be sure to advertise to people that private lessons are vital in the succession of music studies later in life, the school system provided especially in the state school is limited. I am not really angry at my own restrictions I am really fustated at is happening to the younger wave of students, they don't get an enriching music experience, they grow up to hate it ... not wanting to pursue it later as an audinc member or a musicain(at least that I am seeing).

My apologies for my derogatory comments, I guess I should cease writing when I am in a high emotional state.
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#1247826 - 08/12/09 09:43 AM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Don't cease writing, just read everything twice before you post it. I'd guess that I delete about two-thirds of everything I write!
_________________________
"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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#1247851 - 08/12/09 10:26 AM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11674
Loc: Canada
I wouldn't go quite this far:
Quote:
I will be sure to advertise to people that private lessons are vital in the success of music studies later in life.

Some people cannot afford it, and that would be a discouraging message. They are definitely desirable.

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#1247865 - 08/12/09 10:50 AM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: keystring]
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
Rebekah,
You don't strike me as arrogant - just frustrated over the situation.

I would just make sure come off that way if/when you talk to an administrator or someone else about her.

Best of luck.

My daughter had a teacher just like her.


Edited by Phlebas (08/12/09 10:50 AM)

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#1248003 - 08/12/09 03:41 PM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
ProdigalPianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 1049
Loc: Phoenix Metro, AZ
Originally Posted By: Rebekah.L


I'm sorry if I appeared to be an arrogant 17 year old, ...


It's not that you sound arrogant. When I said

Quote:
dial back on the "idiot" and "stupid" terms. Your relative age to your teacher has nothing to do with your need to do this. The plain fact is, no matter WHAT the age of you OR your teacher is (even if you were older)...the person doing the 'name calling' is not going to be taken seriously by those you complain to.


I was not just talking about in this instance. This fact of social interaction is a Life Lesson that more people would be better off to learn. In ANY situation, a person who lets their frustration and anger cause them to refer to another party as "idiot" or "stupid" or similar derogatory terms, **is the person who has damaged their own credibility**.

It has nothing to do with being a teenager irritated by an adult. If you were both 40 years old, and you called her stupid, your credibility would be equally damaged by your having done so.

It is a matter of learning how to professionally register a complaint about another person's behavior (in a school situation, a work situation, or a business situation). **The way you do this** will either enhance your credibility with those to whom you speak, or damage your credibility. Your usage of derogatory terms damages your own credibility with listeners, no matter the factual basis of your complaint. That's just a fact of life.
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#1248049 - 08/12/09 05:00 PM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5929
Loc: Down Under
Rebekah, if, as it seems, you are in year 12 with only a couple of months before final exams (and you must be in the middle of your trials now!) what is she doing having you perform stuff in a concert unrelated to your final exams? I think you have every right to not participate, unless you wanted to run your HSC program, and it sounds like she won't allow that. Every HS music teacher I know is now focused on supporting the HSC (note to non-NSW people = Higher School Certificate, final external high school exams with a lot depending on them, including university admission index) students, not piling extra things on them! It's a very stressful time for most students - so it's no wonder you're a bit overwrought! I'd just focus on what you have to do, and leave this person behind as much as possible.
(Easy to say, I know smile )
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Du holde Kunst...

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#1248242 - 08/13/09 02:12 AM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: currawong]
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
Rebekah,

Sounds to me like you are experiencing a typical "school" situation. Join the crowd!

Read John Holt. I notice that Kreisler has quoted him in his signature.

You will learn a lot. You are learning alot. Now you know what not to be or do.

Music, imo, is music, no matter what genre. Although personally, a strong foundation in classical rep is very important.

To leave out a genre of music a student wishes to perform, as long as it can be performed well, is music sacralige(sp?).

Maybe she is suppose to be teaching Pop? Not classical. And the school is behind this. That is the only thing that I can see that may give her the right to do what she is doing.

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#1248254 - 08/13/09 04:03 AM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: pianobuff]
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
Kreisler, thanks for your comments. The school system is different here, I don't need to do music but at this stage with just a month till the exam I cant just leave it... I dont have any other 'credit points' or 'units' to cover. I dont know how to explain the system but put it this way, I CANT just drop music. Final music exams are thankfully externally marked so I dont need to really worry about her bias. I'm also a vice captain so I say to administation 'oh the music department and the school is just so wonderful' ... the principal knows me and loves me ... but the way it works IS that she IS 'friends' with the music teacher and between the three of us we talk each other up.

With saying all of this, my real concern lies in the crumbling of the music department at my school. Theres nothing in the school system that says she has to do pop, I have explored syllabus content and if anything she is not properly following it. Most other teachers think that she is so nice as a collegue... on the outside she may look to be so nice but looks decieve.

The things she gets students like myself to do is appauling. My parents know bout it and allow it to happen because they tell me that its worse when I get older.

So anyway, I guess there is no reason to be mad. I'm nearly out of school, I'm just really concerned. I told her I cant do anything extra cirricular anymore... told her that I dont think I shold perform and said that my parents arent allowing to that, she said she 'understands'.

Who knows I might become a music teacher in a state school and I might wind up like her.

Its a sticky situation beacuse you see for years I have been her personal assistant, she has pulled me out of class, she has had me take order of many co-cirricular activities, I've praised her and talked highly of her to the principal and excutive staff ... she's praised me infront of staff ... it would look strange if I decided to turn that around.
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#1248266 - 08/13/09 05:49 AM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: Kreisler]
NocturneLover Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/09
Posts: 149
Loc: Dantooine
I agree Rebekah, your music teacher is stupid. This is strange, usually the teacher wants all the students to play classical and maybe a little jazz.

You said you've already reasoned with your teacher yet she wouldn't listen to your suggestion, why don't you talk to your principal about this...
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#1248443 - 08/13/09 11:57 AM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: NocturneLover]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11898
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I really think you need to go see the principal - with a parent present - and with your list of specifics that she has done that is unprofessional. You have one month to go, so stick it out, but you can still make the principal aware of this for future students.
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#1248495 - 08/13/09 12:59 PM Re: Stupid Music Teachers [Re: Morodiene]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17777
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Good suggestion from Morodiene... but if even that makes you feel too uncomfortable, you could possibly hold this meeting AFTER you graduate, and/or send a letter afterwards, e.g., in the spirit of "I appreciate greatly the education I have received at your school, but I thought you may want to be aware of some issues that I feel in retrospect were not handled correctly," etc.
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