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#1247781 - 08/12/09 08:40 AM I don't think I have a very good teacher.
HeirborneGroupie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/09
Posts: 223
Loc: Florida
Hi.

I'm an adult beginner and I have been taking lessons from the same teacher for abut 3 years. She is the only teacher I've ever had so I have no one to compare her with. I need some advice.

After 3 years I have only been given 6 scales to learn. I've been practicing the others myself on my own time. When I ask about this she thinks I'm trying to move too quickly. The pieces I have been given to learn are OK. Some are too easy in my opinion but she is not adverse to giving me hard ones as well. One of the books we use is Alfred Level 2.

She has never given me any instruction on posture or technique or hand position. Most of what I've learned about this is from this sight. I think this is because I'm an adult and it maybe less comfortable to tell an adult to sit up straight.

Also, I have achieved a level where I know more theory than she does. If I have a question she can't give me an answer.

I really like her as a person. She is very sweet and positive, but is it time to move on? Should I be further along in my studies than I am? I have plenty of time to practice and I am not lazy. I am excited about learning the piano and want to succeed. I feel like I'm plodding along slowly.

Does anyone have some advice for me?

Thanks.
_________________________
Carol
Kawai RX 2


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#1247785 - 08/12/09 08:47 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: HeirborneGroupie]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

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

She has never given me any instruction on posture or technique or hand position. Most of what I've learned about this is from this sight. I think this is because I'm an adult and it maybe less comfortable to tell an adult to sit up straight.
This is bad. I'm a bit extreme - I firstly teach students how to stand and then sit (in fact, a mature student was grateful when she had to give a presentation to her bosses). Learning piano is 95% how, 5% what.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1247786 - 08/12/09 08:47 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: HeirborneGroupie]
cruiser Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 1171
Loc: Cornwall, England
Originally Posted By: HeirborneGroupie
Hi.

Also, I have achieved a level where I know more theory than she does. If I have a question she can't give me an answer.


Does anyone have some advice for me?


I'm not a teacher but, based on this comment alone I would advise YES, find yourself another teacher without delay!

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#1247875 - 08/12/09 11:02 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: HeirborneGroupie]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1644
Loc: northern California
Sounds like your gut feeling is to find your next teacher. Go ahead and do it, in my opinion. Tell your current teacher she has given you a good start, thank her for her service to you, and move on. Contact your local music teachers' assoc. for a recommendation.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1247997 - 08/12/09 03:33 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Barb860]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
Based on what you've said, I would
stay with this teacher. She sounds
okay to me. You'd rather have a
grim martinet who simply piles on
the work so that you burn
out and quit? This is
what a lot of high-priced teachers
do: pile on a lot of work to
justify the lot of money you're paying.

As for scales, I personally don't
see the need for extensive practice
of them. Scales in my view are
primarily a physical drill in finger-
crossing, which is a general skill needed
in playing. But since the finger-
crossing motion is similar in all scales,
one could argue that you could get
by with playing just one. And
since C maj. is the most difficult scale,
the argument can be made that you could
play just it.

As for posture, technique, and hand
position, my view is that no teacher
can really tell you anything about
these, because these will vary
depending on the individual's
own physiology and psychology. You've
got to work these out on your
own, which is just what you've
done, which is just fine in my view.

You've already taught yourself more
theory than your teacher knows.
That's good, not bad, in my view.
You've got to learn to do things on
your own if you want to progress in
piano. Your teacher's "hands-off"
approach has apparently encouraged
you to do this, which is just fine
in my opinion. So what's to stop
you from teaching yourself a
movement of a Rachmaninoff concerto,
while still taking lessons from this
teacher?

Top
#1248039 - 08/12/09 04:51 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: HeirborneGroupie]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
The first thing that caught my eye was:
Originally Posted By: HeirborneGroupie
One of the books we use is Alfred Level 2.
I would agree that you are "plodding along slowly" as you say. I would think you be a lot farther along after 3 years. Especially since you say that you "have plenty of time to practice (I assume that means you are, lol) and that you say you "are not lazy".


Originally Posted By: HeirborneGroupie
Also, I have achieved a level where I know more theory than she does. If I have a question she can't give me an answer.
Is this happening frequently? I have students ask questions occasionally that I can't answer on the spot, but then I research it and have an answer for them by the next lesson, or I email them the information. No one can know everything, but if you are constantly getting no answers, then most definitely it is time to move on.

I wouldn't switch teachers based on the lack of scales alone, some teachers don't plce a lot of importance on them. Is it possible that she feels you're all set since you know those 6? Maybe those are the only ones she herself knows? Have you requested more scales? I know you said you have asked her about it but I don't know what you asked her.

You haven't shared much about the teacher, ie: how long has she been teaching, what are her qualifications...? etc...
Is she a neighborhood lady just trying to help out? If she is, then maybe you have just out grown her capabilities and you need to find one with more experience.

Good luck, let us know what you do smile
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1248045 - 08/12/09 04:55 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
verania5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/08
Posts: 386
Loc: Michigan
You can at least interview some other piano instructors - have them hold a trial lesson with you so you can experience what it is like learning from another instructor.

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#1248055 - 08/12/09 05:10 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: verania5]
Johnny-Boy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 661
Loc: PA
Wondering if your teacher plays more advance pieces for you as inspiration? I think listening and watching your teacher perform is also important.

I still remember my first piano lesson. Though I was already a pianist (self-taught conversion from the accordion), it was a most inspiring moment for me.

My teacher played the Rachmaninoff "Bells of Moscow". I never heard anything like it previously. At that moment I was ready to do whatever it took to learn that piece (and to become the best pianist possible).

There was fire in my soul after this lesson. Three weeks later I had the Rachmaninoff Prelude in C# Minor under my fingers from memory. Though my reading level wasn't up to the Prelude, my determination was, so I learned it through this teacher using only letters written out (on different levels depicting higher or lower notes from the previous one).

Anyway, if your teacher plays for you, you'll also know the stage of development the teacher is at. Some teachers aren't ready for anything other than beginners.

Best, John
_________________________
Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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#1248071 - 08/12/09 05:31 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Gyro]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: Gyro


As for scales, I personally don't
see the need for extensive practice
of them. Scales in my view are
primarily a physical drill in finger-
crossing, which is a general skill needed
in playing. But since the finger-
crossing motion is similar in all scales,
one could argue that you could get
by with playing just one. And
since C maj. is the most difficult scale,
the argument can be made that you could
play just it.

As for posture, technique, and hand
position, my view is that no teacher
can really tell you anything about
these, because these will vary
depending on the individual's
own physiology and psychology. You've
got to work these out on your
own, which is just what you've
done, which is just fine in my view.

You've already taught yourself more
theory than your teacher knows.
That's good, not bad, in my view.
You've got to learn to do things on
your own if you want to progress in
piano. Your teacher's "hands-off"
approach has apparently encouraged
you to do this, which is just fine
in my opinion. So what's to stop
you from teaching yourself a
movement of a Rachmaninoff concerto,
while still taking lessons from this
teacher?



What a load of utter tosh! What's the point paying a teacher to learn nothing, while you have to set about doing the work yourself? Any good teacher will be able to show you how to find your own most comfortable technique. If they don't teach you anything, why bother to take lessons?

As for the idea that all scales are the same- well the thumb movements are primarily pretty similar. But why do you suppose that B flat minor is harder than D flat major- when those transitory movements to and from the thumbs are quite literally identical? You need to learn the hand positions every bit as much. It's finding two simple hand positions, where you can address every note of the scale (with comfort and without additional emergency adjustments) that is vital to mastering such difficulties. And you need to learn the actual scales, so you can use them whenever they arrive in pieces- rather than be unable to progress until you've learned what could have been done more easily in isolation.

You could probably argue that it depends on what standard of music you're working at, whether learning extra scales would currently be top priority. However, if your teacher has never even been through any of the fundamentals of how to approach the keyboard, I'd certainly wonder whether they are actually teaching you anything. Very few people fall in these things by chance. If you started from scratch, any teacher ought to have approached a number of issues about addressing the piano- in at least some fashion.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (08/12/09 05:38 PM)
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

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#1248156 - 08/12/09 09:21 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: verania5]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1644
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: verania5
You can at least interview some other piano instructors - have them hold a trial lesson with you so you can experience what it is like learning from another instructor.


Good advice here.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1248211 - 08/13/09 12:22 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Gyro]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1233
Loc: Ohio, US
Originally Posted By: Gyro
Based on what you've said, I would
stay with this teacher. She sounds
okay to me. You'd rather have a
grim martinet who simply piles on
the work so that you burn
out and quit? This is
what a lot of high-priced teachers
do: pile on a lot of work to
justify the lot of money you're paying.

As for scales, I personally don't
see the need for extensive practice
of them. Scales in my view are
primarily a physical drill in finger-
crossing, which is a general skill needed
in playing. But since the finger-
crossing motion is similar in all scales,
one could argue that you could get
by with playing just one. And
since C maj. is the most difficult scale,
the argument can be made that you could
play just it.

As for posture, technique, and hand
position, my view is that no teacher
can really tell you anything about
these, because these will vary
depending on the individual's
own physiology and psychology. You've
got to work these out on your
own, which is just what you've
done, which is just fine in my view.

You've already taught yourself more
theory than your teacher knows.
That's good, not bad, in my view.
You've got to learn to do things on
your own if you want to progress in
piano. Your teacher's "hands-off"
approach has apparently encouraged
you to do this, which is just fine
in my opinion. So what's to stop
you from teaching yourself a
movement of a Rachmaninoff concerto,
while still taking lessons from this
teacher?





???????

First, how can Cmajor possibly be the most difficult scale? There are no flats or sharps to remember or trip your fingers up with, just eight white keys all in a row.

Second, teaching yourself is a wonderful thing to do. That's how I'm learning right now, but if I were paying someone to teach me I would want to feel they were actually helping me add to my knowledge, not just "holding my hand" so to speak and making pleasant conversation while they suggest music to be learned. I can get my friends to do that for free. The OP is right to at least consider whether or not their teacher is really not so great or if they have simply outgrown their teacher and are ready to move on with someone else.
_________________________
I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.


Top
#1248217 - 08/13/09 12:53 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Little_Blue_Engine]
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Little_Blue_Engine
Originally Posted By: Gyro
Based on what you've said, I would
stay with this teacher. She sounds
okay to me. You'd rather have a
grim martinet who simply piles on
the work so that you burn
out and quit? This is
what a lot of high-priced teachers
do: pile on a lot of work to
justify the lot of money you're paying.

As for scales, I personally don't
see the need for extensive practice
of them. Scales in my view are
primarily a physical drill in finger-
crossing, which is a general skill needed
in playing. But since the finger-
crossing motion is similar in all scales,
one could argue that you could get
by with playing just one. And
since C maj. is the most difficult scale,
the argument can be made that you could
play just it.

As for posture, technique, and hand
position, my view is that no teacher
can really tell you anything about
these, because these will vary
depending on the individual's
own physiology and psychology. You've
got to work these out on your
own, which is just what you've
done, which is just fine in my view.

You've already taught yourself more
theory than your teacher knows.
That's good, not bad, in my view.
You've got to learn to do things on
your own if you want to progress in
piano. Your teacher's "hands-off"
approach has apparently encouraged
you to do this, which is just fine
in my opinion. So what's to stop
you from teaching yourself a
movement of a Rachmaninoff concerto,
while still taking lessons from this
teacher?





???????

First, how can Cmajor possibly be the most difficult scale? There are no flats or sharps to remember or trip your fingers up with, just eight white keys all in a row.



A lot of people find C major to be the most difficult scale. You don't have any black keys to use as a "road map," you're always crossing white key to white key - even with the minor seconds - and your long fingers are further out, which makes it more difficult to play evenly. It's quite common for people to remark on this. Chopin, supposedly, did not teach C major as the first scale because of this.

Can't say I agree with the rest of that post, though.

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#1248243 - 08/13/09 02:14 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Barb860]
Roxy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/08
Posts: 478
Loc: Whittier, Calif
In a sense you have answered your question yourself. You feel there are some things you know more than your teacher as you are not being challenged and so you stated you have no one to compare her with. So compare. Set up some interview lessons with other teachers to be able to determine how much more you want to learn or if you are learning what you want and at the pace you want. And never, I repeat, never feel guilty no matter how nice your teacher is if you want to expand or advance. You can leave on good terms or should be able to. Good luck.

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#1248258 - 08/13/09 04:59 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi

What a load of utter tosh! ......


If you know one scale you know them all is an entertaining concept. That may be a new one. I think he just saved me a thousand hours! Every forum has people like this - best thing to do is to allow them their opinion or otherwise known as DNFTT. (Google DNFTT if you are familiar what it stands for).

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#1248296 - 08/13/09 08:08 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: HeirborneGroupie]
HeirborneGroupie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/09
Posts: 223
Loc: Florida
Thanks for the advice everyone.

I like the idea of auditioning other teachers. At least then I would have a basis for comparison.

As for her qualifications..... I know she's been teaching for ten years. She plays very well. Sometimes she plays for me and I hope I can play like that one day. Her students are mostly small children though. She has told me that she rarely has a student as advanced as I am.

I think I will try to audition other teachers and also have a frank conversation with her about my progress.

Thanks again everyone.
_________________________
Carol
Kawai RX 2


Top
#1248340 - 08/13/09 09:28 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: HeirborneGroupie]
EDWARDIAN Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/16/09
Posts: 89
Loc: New York, USA
I'm curious as to which scales you were taught. My guess is all the white key scales except F Major? Did you ever play a scale starting on a black key? How about a harmonic minor? Or a melodic minor? Or a blues scale? How many octaves?. . .

Sorry. I feel teaching scales is an integral part of teaching piano, and after three years you should at least know all the majors and at least some of the minors. They help with good fingering, musical theory, knowing your way around the keyboard, etc. And NO, you do not use the exact same fingering in all of them!!!

Perhaps bring this up with your present teacher, but if you aren't satisfied it may be time to move on.

Joan
_________________________
Joan Edward

Private piano teacher, 20+ years
EDWARDIAN45@hotmail.com

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#1248346 - 08/13/09 09:42 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: EDWARDIAN]
HeirborneGroupie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/09
Posts: 223
Loc: Florida
Hi Joan.

I've been given C G D A F and Bb major to practice. All two octave scales. No minor or blues. I've only been given arpeggios in C and G although I try the rest on my own.
_________________________
Carol
Kawai RX 2


Top
#1248375 - 08/13/09 10:19 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: HeirborneGroupie]
EDWARDIAN Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/16/09
Posts: 89
Loc: New York, USA
Well, then you see there can be different fingerings - the C G D A, then different for the RH in F and totally different for Bb. That's good! If you do arpeggios in C and G, you can transpose them easily to D and A.

Try then to do a C minor scale. Use the same fingering as C Major, but make E and A flat. C D Eb F G Ab B C

Or A Minor - same fingering as A Major, but only G is sharp. A B C D E F G# A Again, simply stated, the 3rd and 6th tones are lowered a half step. D Minor is D E F G A Bb C# D.

Do you have Hanon The Complete Virtuoso? Besides the valuable exercises, at the back of the book all the major and melodic & harmonic minors are laid out. Plus arpeggios. A great reference book as well as exercise source.

See what your teacher thinks. Let her know you'd like to move ahead. She sounds like a nice person, maybe just being too hesitant to push you. But it's not pushing if the student is raring to go! thumb

Good luck! wink

Joan
_________________________
Joan Edward

Private piano teacher, 20+ years
EDWARDIAN45@hotmail.com

Top
#1248399 - 08/13/09 10:59 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: HeirborneGroupie]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11406
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
It's OK to feel this way. Every teacher had more than one teacher to give them what they needed at that time in their development. It sounds as though it is time for you to move on.

Have a face to face talk with your teacher. Let her know how much you appreciate what she's done with you, but you feel you're ready to move on to the "next step". Mention that you're interested in learning more complex theory and technique, and you feel it would be best to find another teacher to help you with that. Then after you allow for some discussion, ask her if there is anyone she can recommend you transfer to.

Believe me, this straight-forward approach is the best for you and for her. As a teacher who has received everything from students just not showing up anymore, emails suddenly appearing saying that they are discontinuing lessons, etc. If your teacher has a cancellation policy (mine is 30-days notice) then adhere to that. I would love if a student (or the parent) would just be honest with me in person if they decided to discontinue lessons with me. I don't argue with students or try to change their mind, because I know that someday every student will either move on or quit. The in-person discussion actually makes it easier for me as a teacher to take.

I had a student who had taken voice lessons with me last year, but had decided not to take summer lessons. I kind of got the feel from them that she was questioning whether or not she wanted to continue voice. Then when I sent out information for Fall semester enrollment, I received an email from the mother stating that "she woudl like to try working with a different voice teacher" and would not be returning. It was a polite email, and I wasn't terribly surprised, but still I was hurt not only by the method of delivery (even a phone call would have been better), but also it doens't allow me to have any closure. Why does she want to try another teacher? What specifically went wrong in our lessons to make her think to look elsewhere? As far as I know we got along very well and she made lots of improvement. So now I have that question lingering in my mind, and I doubt it will never be resolved.

I *do* think you should leave your teacher, but please show her the respect that you obviously have for her by ending it the right way.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1248401 - 08/13/09 11:03 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: EDWARDIAN]
HeirborneGroupie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/09
Posts: 223
Loc: Florida
Thanks Joan.

Yes, I do have the Hanon book. I had never looked towards the back before. Thanks for pointing this out smile. It will be very helpful. I will try out some minor scales in my practice.

I think you are right about my teacher. I need to let her know that I want to move forward and learn more. I am very comfortable with her and the thought of getting used to someone new seems like it will set me back.

Thanks again.
_________________________
Carol
Kawai RX 2


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#1248415 - 08/13/09 11:20 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Morodiene]
HeirborneGroupie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/09
Posts: 223
Loc: Florida
Hi Morodiene.

You are right. Too often people resort to email when they have something difficult to say. I would not do this to my teacher. I think I'm going to try to make it work with her. I will tell her that I am discouraged and that I would like to move to more challenging subject matter. If it doesn't work out, I will tell her in person. We have 3 years of lessons together. She deserves that.

As for the theory part, she has expressed an interest in taking a refresher course at the local community college. Maybe this is something we could do together. Just a thought.

It's really cowardly of students to quit via email. I'm sorry that teachers are treated this way.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to reply. I am encouraged that maybe if I take the reigns, and tell her my goals that things could work out. If they don't, then I will audition other teachers and find someone new.
_________________________
Carol
Kawai RX 2


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#1248441 - 08/13/09 11:55 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: HeirborneGroupie]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11406
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Heirborne: Good for you. Giving a teacher time to make adjustments is really important. We can't always know what your secret goals are, and so with adults especially, we try not to push them too much unless they ask for it. Simply letting her know you want more is perfectly OK and I'm sure she will try to accommodate your interests. Let us know how it goes!
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1248583 - 08/13/09 03:39 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: HeirborneGroupie]
ProdigalPianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

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

I'm an adult beginner and I have been taking lessons from the same teacher for abut 3 years. ...One of the books we use is Alfred Level 2.


Originally Posted By: HeirborneGroupie
She has told me that she rarely has a student as advanced as I am.


Wow. 3 years of lessons, working in Alfred book 2, and you are unusually advanced for her??

YEAH. You need to switch teachers. ASAP.

Find someone who regularly teaches truly advanced repertoire without a second thought. Your own skills will skyrocket.

Liz
_________________________
Adult Amateur Pianist

My only domestic quality is that I live in a house.

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#1248618 - 08/13/09 04:42 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: ProdigalPianist]
verania5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/08
Posts: 386
Loc: Michigan
Prodigal - I wish my skills would skyrocket, it is more like a slow and steady crawl laugh

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#1248621 - 08/13/09 04:44 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: verania5]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
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Originally Posted By: verania5
Prodigal - I wish my skills would skyrocket, it is more like a slow and steady crawl laugh


Slow and steady wins every time smile smile
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#1248630 - 08/13/09 05:08 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
ProdigalPianist Offline
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Slow and steady is great as long as there is sufficient forward momentum and the foundation for later skills is being carefully laid. From what you have said about your current teacher, this is not happening, or likely to happen.

Which teacher do you think will have students who progress more quickly and smoothly, with better skills and to higher levels:

A math teacher who only every got to 4th grade level and thinks 3rd grade is "advanced" or a math teacher who regularly teaches beginners up thru college level math?
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#1248641 - 08/13/09 05:27 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: ProdigalPianist]
keystring Offline
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Quote:
Which teacher do you think will have students who progress more quickly and smoothly, with better skills and to higher levels:

A math teacher who only every got to 4th grade level and thinks 3rd grade is "advanced" or a math teacher who regularly teaches beginners up thru college level math?

The third one that you didn't mention. The math teacher who in teaching grade 1 lays the foundations for grade 12, and who, when seeing a problem in grade 12, looks as far back as he needs, even if it's grade 1. The one who sees the whole picture and prepares his/her student.

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#1248664 - 08/13/09 06:17 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: keystring]
Gary D. Online   content
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Originally Posted By: keystring

The third one that you didn't mention. The math teacher who in teaching grade 1 lays the foundations for grade 12, and who, when seeing a problem in grade 12, looks as far back as he needs, even if it's grade 1. The one who sees the whole picture and prepares his/her student.

That's the only kind of teacher I would want to work with. smile

Maybe I'm being too harsh, but I just don't see how any teacher can be effective without a solid knowledge of theory.
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#1248678 - 08/13/09 06:44 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Gary D.]
ProdigalPianist Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: keystring

The third one that you didn't mention. The math teacher who in teaching grade 1 lays the foundations for grade 12, and who, when seeing a problem in grade 12, looks as far back as he needs, even if it's grade 1. The one who sees the whole picture and prepares his/her student.

That's the only kind of teacher I would want to work with. smile

Maybe I'm being too harsh, but I just don't see how any teacher can be effective without a solid knowledge of theory.


Agreed. The OP's teacher does not seem to fit the description KS gave above.
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#1248681 - 08/13/09 06:57 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: ProdigalPianist]
Gary D. Online   content
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The problem is that any beginner, starting with no knowledge of piano at all, may be the rare future piano major, and then everything that was taught from day one becomes critical.

There is some kind of weird idea that the first few years don't matter that much. That if a well-intentioned teacher who has only very limited knowledge is kind and enthusiastic, *that* somehow is going to avoid major "fixing" some time down the road.
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#1248730 - 08/13/09 08:20 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: HeirborneGroupie]
Betty Patnude Offline
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In two different posts that you made, I found something to be inconflict because 3 completed years of lessons would be about 120 lessons over this time - either of half hour lessons, making it 60 total lesson hours, or 120 hour lessons making your investment of time and expense in your piano lessons 120 lesson hours. You certainly have been paying for results, don't you think? Have you been getting results?

When she says you are among her most advanced students, and you say you use the Alfred 2nd level book at lessons, there is a warning sign. An adult with 3 years would most likely be in music literature - pops - classical and fairly independent in their reading of music and their accomplishment levels. THe theory and the technique would begin to be in place so that artistry and interpretation of pieces would be included. You would certainly need an hour lesson by now and your assignment would be full of things to do. An adult can handle all scales and chords, inversions, arpeggios with 3 years under their belt. This is different that being able to read music in all of the key signatures but you should be comfortable in reading music in keys of C,G,D and F and Bb, I would think. This is 2 #'s and 2b's. You should have memorized a number of pieces that you enjoy playing for yourself and others by this point. You should be able to play music with a variety of tempos, your beat should be steady throughout anything you play, and you should have established accuracy with playing rhythms.

Above all your teaching should be teaching you to think and observe and sound like a musician. If you feel your playing is lacking and your lessoning has been incomplete and that you know more than your teacher in some areas it is time for you to find a better teacher.

www.learningmusician and www.getlessonsnow are music teaching directories that you put your zip code and your instrument (piano) in the search and names of those listed with the service appear with a profile and information about the teacher you are considering.

When you make an appointment for an interview and you play for the teacher, ask them what they see and hear in your playing and how would they begin instruction with you in the short term, and what would their long term goals be for you. Do they have a program in mind for you? Ask about their education and musical experiences in teaching adults. You need to be assured that you are making a good choice for yourself. Find the best teacher who fits the budget you have for your lessons.

If you aren't moving ahead at the pace that you feel you are capable of, it definitely is time to part with your present teacher. If you are merely comfortable with a predictable learning situation, think what you could do with a vibrant and exciting, inspiring, motivating teacher who understand your needs and know how to guide you on the way to musicianship.

Sticking with an inadequate teacher is what will set you back. Having opportunity to work with more than one teacher during your piano student years could be the best thing that ever happened to you. And, if you have a totally competent teacher to work with as your first teacher, the same would be true, he or she could be the best thing that ever happened to you. But what you have described does not seem to be working for you.

From my expectations of myself as a teacher, I would feel that I had failed you miserable if you were talking about me as the teacher you are thinking of leaving after 3 years. It would have been a "sin" to take your money and not deliver everything you needed and were capable of doing.

This is a serious business that piano teachers are in: the best critique of a teacher is to listen to the students they produce. It tells the tale over and over about competency and music literacy. The only questions people seem to ask are: "Where are you located?" and "How much do you charge?" These are relevant but inadequate questions to ask someone you are trusting will bring you to musicianship. Ask better questions! Expect better answers! You are in the driver's seat as being the one to find your best solution.

Good luck to you.

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#1248735 - 08/13/09 08:33 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Betty Patnude]
jagshrink Offline
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Registered: 06/11/09
Posts: 43
Loc: OH--IO
Betty,
On behalf of all adult beginners, thank you for this wonderfully articulate, informative, and well thought out posted response.
jagshrink


Edited by jagshrink (08/13/09 08:33 PM)

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#1248782 - 08/13/09 09:42 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: jagshrink]
Betty Patnude Offline
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Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Thank you for your kind and enthusiastic comment, jagshrink.

I am really an advocate of music literacy and capable musicianship for all who seek it. I would like to be able to assure all who enter piano study that their experiences with their teacher will be wonderful. However, I can't do that. I have to advise about being cautious and deliberate in choosing a piano teacher. There are ways to find answers to questions and to build confidence toward making a decision about who to study with.

Choosing a marriage partner is a big decision.
Choosing which real estate to buy is a big decision.
Choosing which college to attend is a big decision.
We make major decions fairly often in our everyday lives.

Choosing a piano teacher is no less important that any of the above. It is your musical future that you are investing in and gathering information is among the most important things to have available to you. If you want a happy outcome you have to pay attention to the details before the decision is made. This is not an impulse choice of what's behind door #3 - the decision making of finding a good piano teacher affects the outcome greatly.

Caveat Emptor applies here. "Buyer beware!"

Things will go better for you when you make a qualified decision.

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#1248783 - 08/13/09 09:44 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Gary D.]
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gary D.
The problem is that any beginner, starting with no knowledge of piano at all, may be the rare future piano major, and then everything that was taught from day one becomes critical.

There is some kind of weird idea that the first few years don't matter that much. That if a well-intentioned teacher who has only very limited knowledge is kind and enthusiastic, *that* somehow is going to avoid major "fixing" some time down the road.

This is a great point. A beginner teacher still needs to be excellent, and even if they're not up to teaching difficult advanced rep, they still need to know enough about good technique to install good habits in their students.
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#1248986 - 08/14/09 09:44 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Morodiene]
HeirborneGroupie Offline
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Registered: 02/05/09
Posts: 223
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Thanks for all the great responses.

After my lesson yesterday it is now clear to me that this relationship is not going to work. So, I have decided to start looking for a new teacher. I tried the two sites that Betty suggested but the closest teacher to me is 30 miles away. This is the problem I had in the beginning. It was just by chance that someone gave me my current teachers business card. I know there are teachers here but I can't seem to find them.

Betty,
Thanks for your advice. You are right. I can't let my fondness for someone hold me back from accomplishing my goals.

I will continue to search for a teacher and hope I can find one soon.
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#1248989 - 08/14/09 09:53 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Betty Patnude]
Monica K. Offline

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Registered: 08/10/05
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Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude

Choosing a marriage partner is a big decision.
Choosing which real estate to buy is a big decision.
Choosing which college to attend is a big decision.
We make major decions fairly often in our everyday lives.

Choosing a piano teacher is no less important that any of the above.


Ummm.... while I agree with your general take in this thread, I can't help but think that choosing one's spouse is just a tad more important than choosing one's piano teacher. wink Actually, I think *all* of the examples you posted are more important than the choice of one's piano teacher.

Heirborne Groupie, are you located near any colleges or universities with music departments? Perhaps you could call them up and see if they have any referrals for good teachers in your area.
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#1249005 - 08/14/09 10:20 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: HeirborneGroupie]
Hop Offline
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Loc: Hudson, FL
Originally Posted By: HeirborneGroupie
Thanks for all the great responses.

After my lesson yesterday it is now clear to me that this relationship is not going to work. So, I have decided to start looking for a new teacher.

I will continue to search for a teacher and hope I can find one soon.


You made this decision prior to my being able to suggest that you do. Based on what I see here, this is pitiful.

Approximately one year ago, I "fired" my teacher because I too saw little progress. I have been self-study for about a year, making mjuch more progress.

I just found about about a a new teacher who sounds good. I plan on stating my objectives, and insisting on a program of study (like a syllabus) so that I can see how he plans to guide me to accomplish my goals and objectives. While I may ask for an estimate of time that it should take, I intend to be quite flexible about that, as I intend to enjoy the journey while working hard to get to the destination.

Hop
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#1249006 - 08/14/09 10:21 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Monica K.]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
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Check the local schools too. I keep business cards at the elementary, middle and high schools. A lot of my students found me this way. You know they'll be close by if you call schools near you. You could also check the Community Education offerings. It sounds off-the-wall, but you could also call your local senior center. These seniors are very active in the communities, and know a lot of people.

I agree with Monica that a teacher isn't as important as a spouse, house, or college unless you want to be a concert pianist.
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#1249027 - 08/14/09 10:46 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Monica K.]
Betty Patnude Offline
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Loc: Puyallup, Washington
HeirbourneGroupie,

Try Google: Another way to find a piano teacher may be to enter your zipcode/or your city into google and the words piano lessons or piano teacher.

The site mentioned are pretty dependable for coming up with candidates for teachers but if you are in a smaller town at a distance to bigger cities your more local piano teachers may operate totally by word of mouth. This would mean calling a music store or your local church musicians or your local school district and individual schools to see if they have list of piano teachers in your area. If there are community or 4 year colleges in your vicinity there is another source. Do you have a local www.craigslist? Where is your closest piano retailer? Is there much arts activity near you? Brainstorm for ideas of where to look. It may seem like looking for the needle in the haystack!

I would also suggest that you use the www.mtna.org (Music Teachers National Association) which will have a state affiliate (Florida) and a list of NCTM's (Nationally Certified Teachers of Music). This is a list of very professionally prepared teachers who have academic credentials or have tested to be qualified at teaching at the highest levels of piano study. This level of teaching may not be what you are interested in at this time. However, you could ask for referrals to teachers in your area should you be able to contact a NCTM who might be able to give you some assistance. If you determine that there is a chapter of music teachers in your area of Florida - you will be able to find any local teachers who are members. There are approximately 24,000 members of MTNA across the US. Here in Washington State there are between 1000-1200 - I don't know the statistics on Florida.

Keep asking for referrals. The 30 mile away teacher may know others who live closer to you. Call around and ask who is experienced in teaching adults and advancing students. Someone who accepts only beginners is not going to be a candidate for you.

Another thought is that teachers usually make their whereabouts know for September enrollment - back to school is always a big month to acquiring new students.

Again, continued good luck to you!

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#1249059 - 08/14/09 11:49 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Betty Patnude]
HeirborneGroupie Offline
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Registered: 02/05/09
Posts: 223
Loc: Florida
Thanks for all the ideas!!! smile I have left a bunch of messages all over town based on those ideas. I have emailed teachers that are too far away to see if they have referrals, I have left messages at both Community Colleges in my area and at my local piano retailer.

I'll let you know what happens.

Thanks again everyone.
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#1249062 - 08/14/09 11:53 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: HeirborneGroupie]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
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Fabulous! You'll certainly have luck now smile smile
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#1249136 - 08/14/09 01:25 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
Piano Again Offline
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Registered: 08/12/04
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Loc: Washington metro
I just stumbled across this organization:

http://www.musikalessons.com/howitworks.htm

Has anyone tried this?
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#1249220 - 08/14/09 03:17 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Piano Again]
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted By: Piano Again
I just stumbled across this organization:

http://www.musikalessons.com/howitworks.htm

Has anyone tried this?

I've never heard of them and there's not one in my neck of the woods (WI). I would think, like anything, you won't have a guarantee of a good teacher or a great match. The only way to know is to interview with them. Certainly try out a teacher or two in this organization along with your other candidates.
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#1249230 - 08/14/09 03:25 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: EDWARDIAN]
TimR Offline
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Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3149
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: EDWARDIAN
They help with good fingering, musical theory, knowing your way around the keyboard, etc. And NO, you do not use the exact same fingering in all of them!!!
Joan


You don't? I pretty much do. I use 1231234 for them all - of course I don't start on the same finger for all, but after the start the pattern is the same.

Maybe you mean you don't use the exact fingering while playing repertoire. That I'd have to agree with. It's fairly rare to have more than a scale fragment in the music, and above beginner level you're probably playing more than one note at a time with that hand, so scale fingering can't transfer.

We just had a long thread about the value of scales, and while there was minor disagreement, consensus supported the value of practicing them. However, the benefits that were listed, that most people did agree with, could be obtained without learning 12 scales. Most of them could be had learning one scale well. (Be a little boring for me. That's why I add one flat or sharp a week when I do mine.)

I think gyro's probably right this time.

Probably also this teacher is a bad fit for this student. I hate to say he or she is a bad teacher. They exist, but rarely do we have enough info to be sure. But often we can say with confidence the fit isn't working.
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#1249434 - 08/14/09 09:25 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: TimR]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: EDWARDIAN
They help with good fingering, musical theory, knowing your way around the keyboard, etc. And NO, you do not use the exact same fingering in all of them!!!
Joan


You don't? I pretty much do. I use 1231234 for them all - of course I don't start on the same finger for all, but after the start the pattern is the same.

Maybe you mean you don't use the exact fingering while playing repertoire. That I'd have to agree with. It's fairly rare to have more than a scale fragment in the music, and above beginner level you're probably playing more than one note at a time with that hand, so scale fingering can't transfer.

We just had a long thread about the value of scales, and while there was minor disagreement, consensus supported the value of practicing them. However, the benefits that were listed, that most people did agree with, could be obtained without learning 12 scales. Most of them could be had learning one scale well. (Be a little boring for me. That's why I add one flat or sharp a week when I do mine.)

I think gyro's probably right this time.


Sorry, but why do you think that B flat minor is harder than D flat major? The passing of the thumb is literally identical in both. Why does merely removing one of the flats make life difficult? If you can see the reason for that added difficulty, you'll soon see why it's worth building up to learning every single scale. The ability to pass the thumb under 3 and 4th fingers is a vital component, but it's not the sole point of scale practise- not by a long shot.
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#1249445 - 08/14/09 09:46 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Kreklewetz Offline
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Registered: 11/01/07
Posts: 17
Loc: Montreal
Unless you happen to already be an advanced music theory specialist looking to learn or improve your piano playing (which I'm assuming you're not), there is absolutely no way a teacher should be able to get away with knowing less than his or her own students. Not only should a well-rounded professional music teacher know more theory than you, the sheer amount of theory knowledge they have should boggle your mind. What they know should seem like quantum-physics to your grade-school math. Even after years of fruitful study, any good teacher should still have an almost limitless amount of knowledge left to teach you.

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#1249448 - 08/14/09 10:02 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Gary D. Online   content
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Registered: 08/30/08
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Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi

Sorry, but why do you think that B flat minor is harder than D flat major? The passing of the thumb is literally identical in both.

Not true for Bb harmnoic minor, ascendeng. In the RH, the thumb passes from a white to a white, from F to G. As for the LH, it is no longer automatic.

But it is for the natural form.

Just think of the big sweeping Bb harmonic minor scale, both hands, ripping up the whole keyboard in Chopin's Ab Polonaise. Much more difficult than a four octave Db major scale with both hands…
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#1249450 - 08/14/09 10:03 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Kreklewetz]
Gary D. Online   content
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Registered: 08/30/08
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Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Kreklewetz
Unless you happen to already be an advanced music theory specialist looking to learn or improve your piano playing (which I'm assuming you're not), there is absolutely no way a teacher should be able to get away with knowing less than his or her own students. Not only should a well-rounded professional music teacher know more theory than you, the sheer amount of theory knowledge they have should boggle your mind. What they know should seem like quantum-physics to your grade-school math. Even after years of fruitful study, any good teacher should still have an almost limitless amount of knowledge left to teach you.

I could not agree more.
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#1249478 - 08/14/09 10:38 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Gary D.]
rocket88 Offline
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Posts: 3158
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
There is some kind of weird idea that the first few years don't matter that much. That if a well-intentioned teacher who has only very limited knowledge is kind and enthusiastic, *that* somehow is going to avoid major "fixing" some time down the road.


Thinking back, I never heard that until I started reading some of the posts on this and the Adult Beginner's Forums. Prior to that, I always thought people sought out the best right from the beginning.
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#1249648 - 08/15/09 08:48 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Gary D.]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi

Sorry, but why do you think that B flat minor is harder than D flat major? The passing of the thumb is literally identical in both.

Not true for Bb harmnoic minor, ascendeng. In the RH, the thumb passes from a white to a white, from F to G. As for the LH, it is no longer automatic.

But it is for the natural form.

Just think of the big sweeping Bb harmonic minor scale, both hands, ripping up the whole keyboard in Chopin's Ab Polonaise. Much more difficult than a four octave Db major scale with both hands…


You mean melodic? To be honest, I don't find that one terribly uncomfortable, compared to the alignment required for the harmonic, although it's certainly less natural than D flat.

The harmonic is a particularly good example here though, because the thumbs and adjacent notes are identical. The reason why it's vastly more difficult than D flat lies elsewhere. That's the reason why we learn all scales, not simply how to turn your thumb under. It's about learning to move efficiently in and out of various hand positions- where ever finger is aligned from the earliest available opportunity. Incidentally, B (not B flat now) minor harmonic is one the single most difficult scales for my right hand. Some scales are much more difficult to line up for. The last thing you want to do is learn them from scratch, in the counless pieces where they arise.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (08/15/09 08:53 AM)
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#1249875 - 08/15/09 04:20 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
TimR Offline
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Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3149
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi


Some scales are much more difficult to line up for. The last thing you want to do is learn them from scratch, in the counless pieces where they arise.


Countless pieces where they arise?

Uhh.....that one's hard to buy. Yes, there are countless pieces where that scale itself is the basis of the harmonic structure.

But pieces where one hand plays octave or bigger scale fragments of those less common minor scales? With the same fingering you'd use when practicing that scale out of context? Without playing any other notes in the same hand, that will force you to change fingering? LOL.
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#1249944 - 08/15/09 06:33 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Gary D. Online   content
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Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Gary

Just think of the big sweeping Bb harmonic minor scale, both hands, ripping up the whole keyboard in Chopin's Ab Polonaise. Much more difficult than a four octave Db major scale with both hands…


Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi

You mean melodic? To be honest, I don't find that one terribly uncomfortable, compared to the alignment required for the harmonic, although it's certainly less natural than D flat.

Terribly uncomfortable on what level? I've had it in my hands since my early teens, and in the exact context I just mentioned.

But think it through. As is often the case, the default LH fingering is not the one that is theoretically the fastest or easiest for LH alone.

For passage work, using this scale, I would cross with 4 on Db and 3 on A. The reason is simple: when given a choice, it is smoother to cross the thumb with 4, on a black note, and 3 on a white note, which is precisely why the G scale, in the RH, is not normally played with thumbs on G and D for RH only passage work.

However, for ease in getting the hands to work together, C and F are used as default places to use the thumb, and this is the fingering shown in Hanon, for instance.

The point is that mastering as many standard scales (and forms) in all keys provides a very good foundation, but it is only the START of exploring which fingerings work best in passages. Sometimes default scale fingerings, even for major scales, are horrible solutions in all sorts of passages. Very few teachers get into the theory BEHIND the fingerings that are chosen, so students follow them, as they are taught, and get locked into a box.

The harmonic is a particularly good example here though, because the thumbs and adjacent notes are identical. The reason why it's vastly more difficult than D flat lies elsewhere. That's the reason why we learn all scales, not simply how to turn your thumb under. It's about learning to move efficiently in and out of various hand positions- where ever finger is aligned from the earliest available opportunity. Incidentally, B (not B flat now) minor harmonic is one the single most difficult scales for my right hand. Some scales are much more difficult to line up for. The last thing you want to do is learn them from scratch, in the counless pieces where they arise. [/quote]


Edited by Gary D. (08/15/09 06:35 PM)
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#1250009 - 08/15/09 08:42 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Gary D.]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: Gary

Just think of the big sweeping Bb harmonic minor scale, both hands, ripping up the whole keyboard in Chopin's Ab Polonaise. Much more difficult than a four octave Db major scale with both hands…


Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi

You mean melodic? To be honest, I don't find that one terribly uncomfortable, compared to the alignment required for the harmonic, although it's certainly less natural than D flat.

Terribly uncomfortable on what level? I've had it in my hands since my early teens, and in the exact context I just mentioned.

But think it through. As is often the case, the default LH fingering is not the one that is theoretically the fastest or easiest for LH alone.

For passage work, using this scale, I would cross with 4 on Db and 3 on A. The reason is simple: when given a choice, it is smoother to cross the thumb with 4, on a black note, and 3 on a white note, which is precisely why the G scale, in the RH, is not normally played with thumbs on G and D for RH only passage work.

However, for ease in getting the hands to work together, C and F are used as default places to use the thumb, and this is the fingering shown in Hanon, for instance.

The point is that mastering as many standard scales (and forms) in all keys provides a very good foundation, but it is only the START of exploring which fingerings work best in passages. Sometimes default scale fingerings, even for major scales, are horrible solutions in all sorts of passages. Very few teachers get into the theory BEHIND the fingerings that are chosen, so students follow them, as they are taught, and get locked into a box.


Eh? Are we talking about the same thing? The scale that has G natural and A natural is the melodic minor, not the harmonic. I said I DONT find it terribly uncomfortable, whereas the harmonic lies much less easily under my hand (thanks to the third finger which needs to be placed directly between two black keys).

Interesting idea about the alternative fingering though. Personally I would say that my hand would feel more cramped in on the 3, despite the comfort on the 4, but it's well worth experimenting to see what you hand does most comfortably.

However, I really don't see why students should not start with a basic fingering. Except for the most talented, you need a basic fingering. My sightreading of classical repetoire improved immeasurably, since I worked on improving my standard scales. My mind could do the reading in good time but fingers simply would not operate, because they didn't know the patterns well enough. Knowing them better (and having thought about them on the way- rather than merely repeat them) puts me in better stead to experiment with alternatives. The more you understand how routine patterns work, the more you can find your own patterns. Sometime now when I sightread things like Mozart, my fingers fall into patterns that work extremely well but are not part of any conventional pattern. This didn't happen until I improved my basics.

The average student who tries to find his own way for fingerings usually ends up running out of fingers or being forced to cover awkward positions. For anyone less than a genius, the regular patterns are a good way to start out (although I do make an exception for F sharp minor, which I teach with A major fingering in the left).


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (08/15/09 08:43 PM)
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