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Topic Options
#1255377 - 08/24/09 06:20 PM Okay...Am I totally nuts ?
dmc092657 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/08
Posts: 277
After several years away from the piano I returned about two years ago and am enjoying it more than ever. I've been studying classical exclusively in that time but now I'm starting to get an itch for jazz lessons as well. I took these in the distant past and really enjoyed it. The teachers I had gave me a very good grounding in jazz theory, chord voicings etc. The problem is that I also love classical and don't want to give up the lessons on that either. I almost feel like two different genres gives a really cool variety along with different challenges.

Over the summer, my classical lessons ran every other week for an hour. I don't expect that to change when school starts up (my teacher teaches at a local community college as well as privately out of her home). I've inquired into jazz lessons at a local conservatory and they would be 30 min weekly ones.

Am I nuts to want to study with two different teachers & genres ? Of course giving enough time to each is an obvious concern. Also if anyone sees a problem as far as conflicting techniques I'd appreciate hearing that as well.

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#1255389 - 08/24/09 06:46 PM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: dmc092657]
J Cortese Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/20/09
Posts: 357
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Okay...Am I totally nuts ?

Quite possibly. :-)

But give it a try and see if it works. WTH? If it doesn't, you can always just stop. It'd be neat to share info between lessons and see how the instructors respond as well.
_________________________
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#1255392 - 08/24/09 06:48 PM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: dmc092657]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: dmc092657
Am I nuts to want to study with two different teachers & genres ?

No.
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1255394 - 08/24/09 06:53 PM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: dmc092657]
SAnnM AB-2001 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 2022
Loc: Canada
I'm not a teacher but have been studying classical for 7 years. I've always admired those who play jazz and can improvise and thought it might help my classical training. I googled and found a jazz teacher in my area and signed up for a 4-lesson trial (one hour-long lesson every other week)..along with my regular weekly lessons. I found that I could not commit enough time to justify doing both (they are so very different). It wasn't fair to me or the teachers... It was a good exercise and helped me decide which genre I prefer. I chose classical. If you can sign up for a trial, perhaps it isn't too much for you.
_________________________
It's the journey not the destination..

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#1255396 - 08/24/09 06:59 PM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: SAnnM AB-2001]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1263
Loc: California
If you can swing it, I say go for it. Most teachers have their 'forte' (classical, jazz, composition, improvisation). One of my teachers was fabulous as a classical teacher (students always winning MTNA competitions) but was completely lost with anything 'by ear' or improvised. I was sort of left on my own.

I would tell the classical teacher about the jazz lessons, though.
_________________________
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

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#1255397 - 08/24/09 07:03 PM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: dumdumdiddle]
SAnnM AB-2001 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 2022
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: dumdumdiddle

I would tell the classical teacher about the jazz lessons, though.


Definitely.........
_________________________
It's the journey not the destination..

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#1255404 - 08/24/09 07:14 PM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: SAnnM AB-2001]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
Absolutely not! Just be sure to share with both teachers what you're doing. Maybe you can find a new genre wink
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1255434 - 08/24/09 08:01 PM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
dmc092657 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/08
Posts: 277
Quote:
Maybe you can find a new genre wink


I'll call it jazzical.... grin

I absolutely intend to tell both teachers assuming I decide to try it. I think it would be much different if I was a beginner in one genre but I've really had plenty of exposure to both over the years. They're really worlds apart in their mental approach but extremely challenging in their own unique way.

I'll let you know how it plays out.

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#1255477 - 08/24/09 09:25 PM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: dmc092657]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
To play the devil's advocate, it seems that inevitably there will be some sort of conflict as to how to approach a method of playing something, for a hypothetical example say a trill, where each teacher has a very different way of practicing or whatever.

How will you deal with that? (I am not trying to start a fight, I am just curious).
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1255600 - 08/25/09 02:00 AM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: rocket88]
trillingadventurer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 304
Loc: San Diego
I took a few jazz lessons a few years back and it opened my musical horizons greatly. *I know how to improvise simple stuff with myself and students.
*I can "fake" things a bit which is fun!
*It's helping me recognize which of my students' strength is with jazz...and refer them to appropriate teachers accordingly. (For example some students "see" music so easily with their ears and jazz chord theory.
*It brought me right back to classical which I adore. I felt like I couldn't rest easy until I studied jazz for awhile.
_________________________
M. Katchur

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#1255673 - 08/25/09 08:19 AM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: trillingadventurer]
dmc092657 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/08
Posts: 277
Quote:
To play the devil's advocate, it seems that inevitably there will be some sort of conflict as to how to approach a method of playing something, for a hypothetical example say a trill, where each teacher has a very different way of practicing or whatever.

How will you deal with that? (I am not trying to start a fight, I am just curious).


Rocket, that question has occurred to me as well. I think the best approach is to have a talk with my classical teacher up front and explain what I'd like to do. I'll ask her if she could foresee any conflicts like what you have described. If she feels strongly against it, then I'll have to rethink. If problems arise along the way, then I'll try to manage them as they come.

I should add (in case it wasn't obvious) that I'm an adult amateur. Not a college student working on a degree. All this is a labor of love.

Or as Ashkenazy once called it..."Sweet slavery" !

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#1255698 - 08/25/09 09:14 AM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: rocket88]
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
I used to feel the same way. I loved classical and still do and I wondered why teachers didnt teach it both ways. People write essays and thesis' on this matter and some teachers choose to go with both. I lean more towards classical and I would say that is purely because I have spent more time studying classical. I'm also far more advanced in my classical understandings and skills so sometimes learning Jazz feels like a real fustration since I haven't done enough learning. One of my friends considered seeing a Jazz teacher however due to time constraints and an already big classical load she decided not to. Her prospective jazz teacher was good collegues with her piano teacher but she told her to keep it a secret since her teacher didn't like jazz! ... It was really a joke but her teacher insisted she find a Jazz teacher since he admitted to having little interest in Jazz. Much is dependant on your stage of development. Even so, now as I am looking to embark university level music many students who study at institutions have one private teacher in their principal intstrument. A friend of mine asked to take lessons from a differnt teacher for her last year and that prospective teacher declined as she said that 'its not right to steal another teachers student.'

Time and expense are other important factors but one thing that you would have to bear in mind is your level of development. Were are you intemediate, advanced, beginner? If you are intermediate or beginner or even as a beginner in jazz you would find that your teacher can probably help you out. Another thing that you have to bear in mind is that styles have cross-polinations. Bach used 7th chords in his harmonys and that repeats in Jazz. Baroque ornamentation and is apparent in some Jazz. Classical is also the 'grandfather' the roots to all western tonal music. Just some food for thought.
_________________________
http://colouredsilence.wordpress.com/


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#1255700 - 08/25/09 09:18 AM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: rocket88]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
Originally Posted By: rocket88
where each teacher has a very different way of practicing or whatever.
How will you deal with that? (I am not trying to start a fight, I am just curious).


I don't really think that will be a problem. Dmc has said he has experience. I can see how that could seriously mess with the mind of a younger student,but I think dmc will be able to differentiate between the two.
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1255833 - 08/25/09 01:21 PM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
I don't see any problem. I see no
real difference between classical
and jazz piano. The notation is
the same and the technique is the
same. The only differences are in
style and approach--in classical
you play note-perfect from the score,
with no improvisation allowed, whereas
in jazz, improvisation is everything.

Interestingly, the way jazz piano
is taught is actually the much more
old-fashioned approach to piano.
This is the way piano was taught
in the 17th to 19th centuries, when
pianists composed their own
repertoire and were expected to
improvise on the spot. The way
classical piano is taught only
came into being in the early 1900's, when
pianists started to play from memory
in concerts, and stopped composing
or improvising.

The composition and ear-training you
get from jazz piano should benefit
your classical playing, since
you typically get none of this in
classical instruction. And the
techniques, sounds, and patterns
you experience in classical playing can
be used in jazz improvisation.

Top
#1255844 - 08/25/09 01:35 PM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: trillingadventurer]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
I personally would not tell either
teacher about the dual instruction.
Today teachers like to clearly separate
the fields of classical and jazz
piano and don't like it when student
is in both. Classical teachers
typically would be much opposed
to simultaneous jazz instruction,
because they would see it as a
lesser art form. And even jazz
teachers might want you to put all
your time into their field. But
this is misguided, because there's
really no difference between the
two and they should nicely complement
each other, provided you have
enough time and energy to practice
your assignments in both.

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#1255896 - 08/25/09 03:03 PM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: Gyro]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1644
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: Gyro
I personally would not tell either
teacher about the dual instruction.
Today teachers like to clearly separate
the fields of classical and jazz
piano and don't like it when student
is in both. Classical teachers
typically would be much opposed
to simultaneous jazz instruction,
because they would see it as a
lesser art form. And even jazz
teachers might want you to put all
your time into their field. But
this is misguided, because there's
really no difference between the
two and they should nicely complement
each other, provided you have
enough time and energy to practice
your assignments in both.


At the risk of being argumentative here, I know many classical piano teachers who welcome the study of jazz and often teach it themselves. My view, along with theirs, is that such comprehensive keyboard study "rounds out" the education.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1255904 - 08/25/09 03:14 PM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: Barb860]
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1785
Loc: Central TX
Originally Posted By: Barb860
Originally Posted By: Gyro
I personally would not tell either
teacher about the dual instruction.
Today teachers like to clearly separate
the fields of classical and jazz
piano and don't like it when student
is in both. Classical teachers
typically would be much opposed
to simultaneous jazz instruction,
because they would see it as a
lesser art form. And even jazz
teachers might want you to put all
your time into their field. But
this is misguided, because there's
really no difference between the
two and they should nicely complement
each other, provided you have
enough time and energy to practice
your assignments in both.


At the risk of being argumentative here, I know many classical piano teachers who welcome the study of jazz and often teach it themselves. My view, along with theirs, is that such comprehensive keyboard study "rounds out" the education.


That said, I agree with gyro in that there are teachers out there (classical teachers) that _do_ feel basically the way he mentions. Perhaps his use of the word "typical" is incorrect in scope, and there may be some who are simply tolerant of it though not actually opposed to it, but his overall comment does have some truth to it. Don't know very many "serious high level" jazz teachers to know if the feeling is reciprocal though.

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#1255909 - 08/25/09 03:19 PM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: Barb860]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
That's hardly argumentative; Gyro isn't a teacher and hasn't had one in decades, so one wonders what his generalizations about what teachers supposedly do and don't do could be based on.

Steven
_________________________

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

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

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#1255922 - 08/25/09 03:41 PM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: Gyro]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: Gyro
I don't see any problem. I see no
real difference between classical
and jazz piano. The notation is
the same and the technique is the
same. The only differences are in
style and approach--in classical
you play note-perfect from the score,
with no improvisation allowed, whereas
in jazz, improvisation is everything.

Interestingly, the way jazz piano
is taught is actually the much more
old-fashioned approach to piano.
This is the way piano was taught
in the 17th to 19th centuries, when
pianists composed their own
repertoire and were expected to
improvise on the spot. The way
classical piano is taught only
came into being in the early 1900's, when
pianists started to play from memory
in concerts, and stopped composing
or improvising.

The composition and ear-training you
get from jazz piano should benefit
your classical playing, since
you typically get none of this in
classical instruction. And the
techniques, sounds, and patterns
you experience in classical playing can
be used in jazz improvisation.

Anothe tasty post from Gyro. Agree with you here.

_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1255942 - 08/25/09 04:01 PM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: eweiss]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Question: Okay...Am I totally nuts ?

Answer: How would we know that?

Suggestion: Why don't you do it anyway?

Comment: Maybe it helps to be totally nuts?

Question: Were you going to listen to "us" or are you planning to find the answer yourself through your own experience?

Reminder: You can achieve what you can imagine.

Question: What's stopping you?

Another question: Will you give us feedback at some later date?

It's not such a novelty to have two teachers at the same time for different purposes. It needs to be planned to your calendar and time frame for preparing your assignments for lessons. It needs to fit in your budget. There is no point to doing more than one musical project at the same time unless you have the time, effort, money and you are or can become a disciplined learner.

Just for the joy of it is a good enough reason. You may determine that this works for you, but if it isn't working you are going to have to accept that and focus in on what you most need to be doing in order to make progress in your music.

You will never know if you don't try. If it seems important to you, then it is.

Now - finding the willing teachers may be the next challenge. I would not keep it a secret from either of them. And, maybe you could find both paths from one teacher. It's been known to happen.

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#1255972 - 08/25/09 04:28 PM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: eweiss]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Even people who have no idea what they are talking about are bound to be right occasionally. A broken clock is right twice a day, but it's still a broken clock. A cuckoo clock is always cuckoo. smile

Steven
_________________________

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

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

Top
#1255974 - 08/25/09 04:30 PM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: bitWrangler]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1644
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: bitWrangler
Originally Posted By: Barb860
Originally Posted By: Gyro
I personally would not tell either
teacher about the dual instruction.
Today teachers like to clearly separate
the fields of classical and jazz
piano and don't like it when student
is in both. Classical teachers
typically would be much opposed
to simultaneous jazz instruction,
because they would see it as a
lesser art form. And even jazz
teachers might want you to put all
your time into their field. But
this is misguided, because there's
really no difference between the
two and they should nicely complement
each other, provided you have
enough time and energy to practice
your assignments in both.


At the risk of being argumentative here, I know many classical piano teachers who welcome the study of jazz and often teach it themselves. My view, along with theirs, is that such comprehensive keyboard study "rounds out" the education.


That said, I agree with gyro in that there are teachers out there (classical teachers) that _do_ feel basically the way he mentions. Perhaps his use of the word "typical" is incorrect in scope, and there may be some who are simply tolerant of it though not actually opposed to it, but his overall comment does have some truth to it. Don't know very many "serious high level" jazz teachers to know if the feeling is reciprocal though.


Does Gyro know "very many serious high level jazz teachers"? Does he know any teachers at all, classical or otherwise? From where does he get his information? He has advised folks to not start their kids with teachers in past posts. He has told them this would be "throwing them (the kids) to the wolves". Is this how he feels about piano teachers?
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1255982 - 08/25/09 04:51 PM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: Barb860]
dmc092657 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/08
Posts: 277
Quote:
Question: Okay...Am I totally nuts ?

Answer: How would we know that?

Suggestion: Why don't you do it anyway?

Comment: Maybe it helps to be totally nuts?

Question: Were you going to listen to "us" or are you planning to find the answer yourself through your own experience?

Reminder: You can achieve what you can imagine.

Question: What's stopping you?

Another question: Will you give us feedback at some later date?

It's not such a novelty to have two teachers at the same time for different purposes. It needs to be planned to your calendar and time frame for preparing your assignments for lessons. It needs to fit in your budget. There is no point to doing more than one musical project at the same time unless you have the time, effort, money and you are or can become a disciplined learner.

Just for the joy of it is a good enough reason. You may determine that this works for you, but if it isn't working you are going to have to accept that and focus in on what you most need to be doing in order to make progress in your music.

You will never know if you don't try. If it seems important to you, then it is.

Now - finding the willing teachers may be the next challenge. I would not keep it a secret from either of them. And, maybe you could find both paths from one teacher. It's been known to happen.


Betty, Obviously nothing is stopping me. The real reason I was asking was to find out how common it is to juggle two different teachers in this fashion. Maybe that should have been the emphasis of my question. I've never considered doing it before and wanted to get an idea of how difficult it may or may not be. I enjoy my classical teacher and want to continue working with her but she doesn't do jazz. The jazz teacher I have in mind is a good one and I've been told he is pretty accomodating to schedules. Unfortunately they don't reside in the same body. I thought the best group to bounce it off of would be other teachers just to see how it would play. I already go every other week with my classical teacher. My hope is that I can alternate weeks between each instructor.

Gyro's remarks notwithstanding, I have no intention of keeping it a secret from either teacher. They have every reason to expect me to be honest about this and I wouldn't feel comfortable keeping them in the dark.


Edited by dmc092657 (08/25/09 04:58 PM)

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#1256028 - 08/25/09 05:46 PM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: sotto voce]
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1785
Loc: Central TX
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
Even people who have no idea what they are talking about are bound to be right occasionally. A broken clock is right twice a day, but it's still a broken clock. A cuckoo clock is always cuckoo. smile

Steven


Originally Posted By: Barb860
Does Gyro know "very many serious high level jazz teachers"? Does he know any teachers at all, classical or otherwise? From where does he get his information? He has advised folks to not start their kids with teachers in past posts. He has told them this would be "throwing them (the kids) to the wolves". Is this how he feels about piano teachers?


Opinions on the poster aside, his post in this case had a valid perspective, it is one that I have seen first hand and in more than one occasion. Again, he may be overstating the extent, but the basic premise is reasonable.

To the OP, over the summer our daughter started taking some Jazz lessons in addition to her "normal" lessons. In our case the content of the two classes differed radically enough that we didn't see any issues at all, technically or ideologically. Currently she isn't far enough along on the Jazz side to have worked on any specific technique that may not "play well" (forgive the pun) with her "classical" technique (our biggest concern other than time). We think this dual course is generally beneficial and plan on continuing as practice time allows (iffy now that school has started).

Another thing to look into that's a bit different than many following the "standard" classical path is chamber music (and yes, there are "classical" teachers out there who aren't too hot on this as well). We have both kids doing chamber and it has been an awesome experience. It gets them out of the "piano playing as an individual endeavour" mode and teaches them other music playing skills (e.g. handling situations when you and the other players get out of sync). There are other plus' and minus' but overall we've been very pleased.


Edited by bitWrangler (08/25/09 05:47 PM)

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#1256055 - 08/25/09 06:27 PM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: bitWrangler]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
It's possible to agree with a premise without going out of one's way to say that one agrees with a poster who posts 99.9% nonsense, much of which is potentially harmful. Might as well say, Congratulations, right on! and keep 'em coming.

Whatever the merits of what was written on this occasion, there's no reason to think it's any less made up than all the bizarre factoids in the other 3,000+ posts.

Steven
_________________________

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

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

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#1256089 - 08/25/09 07:47 PM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: sotto voce]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4738
Loc: South Florida
I want to know if a student of mine is studying with another teacher.

I have NO problems with a student studying other teachers when other teachers are respecting what I'm teaching. And that almost is the case.

If a student keeps his teachers in the dark, the only advantage would be when the teachers are unwilling to cooperate with each other. In that case the problem might be rather big and delicate egos. smile
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1256238 - 08/26/09 02:01 AM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: sotto voce]
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
It's possible to agree with a premise without going out of one's way to say that one agrees with a poster who posts 99.9% nonsense, much of which is potentially harmful. Might as well say, Congratulations, right on! and keep 'em coming.

Whatever the merits of what was written on this occasion, there's no reason to think it's any less made up than all the bizarre factoids in the other 3,000+ posts.

Steven

THis is a little OP ... maybe we should start a thread about that poster. Why dont we try to empathise with him ... what if he had a set of bad teachers?
_________________________
http://colouredsilence.wordpress.com/


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#1256349 - 08/26/09 09:04 AM Re: Okay...Am I totally nuts ? [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Threads have been started about that poster. They have been summarily deleted by moderators, and I agree with their decision to do so. I don't think any member needs to be the topic of a thread unless it's his or her birthday. smile

I would suggest that empathy doesn't require validation. I don't question whether or not he had bad teachers; I don't think it's exculpatory any more than having had bad doctors is an excuse for posting that Lyme disease and AIDS are not serious conditions and don't require medical treatment—something that poster has also written in these forums.

Steven
_________________________

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

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

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