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#1278669 - 10/01/09 01:03 PM New Student Question
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1081
Loc: California
(similar question posted on AB)

I get a bit anxious when I have my first lesson with a teacher. It's easier with classical teachers, because I know a few pieces well enough that I can play one that won't make me hang my head in shame.

I'm having a lesson with a blues/boogie pianist/teacher this weekend, and I'm a bit anxious, because I know she'll ask me to play something. My non-classical music consists of playing an okay bunch of chords to sing with, or in some very easy exercises I've learned from a book, a simple left hand bass line with an easy right hand something or other.

Is this level of anxiety typical for adult students on first lesson? After the first, I'll be okay, because I work my butt off to do whatever I've been told to do well for the next lesson, but the first one...

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#1278680 - 10/01/09 01:24 PM Re: New Student Question [Re: Nikalette]
Joe H. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/13/09
Posts: 11
Every student is different. Some come into the first lesson totally relaxed, and some come in extremely nervous. But even the easy-going ones get a little nervous when I ask them to play for me, so rest-assured, anxiety is very normal.

Just keep in mind, that when the teacher asks you to play, it's because she wants to get a good idea of your playing ability. Play as you would if you were by yourself, and play within your comfort zone. Go with those chords, and those left hand bass exercises, then she'll know exactly where to go from there. Hope that helps.

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#1278749 - 10/01/09 03:16 PM Re: New Student Question [Re: Joe H.]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12149
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Your teacher doesn't know what to expect from you, either! Don't worry about trying to impress them, you're obviously there to learn. Did she ask you to prepare something to play for her? If not, then don't worry about "performing" for her. Will she ask you to play something? Probably, but hopefully not before she's taught you something first! laugh It is a partnership, not a recital.
_________________________
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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#1278760 - 10/01/09 03:47 PM Re: New Student Question [Re: Morodiene]
Sal_ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/08
Posts: 355
Loc: Lacey, WA
Second that. You're there to learn. Make those inadequacies loud and clear, or how else will they get fixed?

Alternatively, I've told teachers to "pretend I know nothing."

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#1278781 - 10/01/09 04:17 PM Re: New Student Question [Re: Nikalette]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3243
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Nikalette
After the first, I'll be okay, because I work my butt off to do whatever I've been told to do well for the next lesson, but the first one...


You and I are very different then, because I'll work my butt off to do badly for the next lesson! <grin>
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#1278990 - 10/01/09 10:09 PM Re: New Student Question [Re: Nikalette]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3179
Just play what you know. The teacher will want to know how you play, how your hands look as you play, is your playing 'musical', etc.

You don't have to play exactly the style that the teacher plays, because that is what you are there to learn.

So play the classical you are familiar with, and whatever else you can in the style of the teacher.

You should do fine.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1279014 - 10/01/09 10:42 PM Re: New Student Question [Re: rocket88]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Be yourself!

No reason that I can think of for your anxiety.

The time will go by fast and will be filled with communication as you get to know each other.

Why not keep an open mind without any expectations and simply respond in the "now" of the situation.

If you tell your teacher to "make believe you know nothing", you may get what you ask for and start at the very beginning again.

It is much easily for a teacher to work if they can see you at your best and at your worst. There is no running or hiding from the worst so if you are there for making progress and becoming a finer musician, you are going to have to expose who you are musically.

But that doesn't mean it's going to be a "bad" event, it is going to be based on the "reality" of what the teacher sees as the path for improvement. That doesn't mean you are going to get "whipped" or intimidated in any way.

If you have the habit of being super hard on yourself you are you're own worst enemy and you need to explore why you do that to yourself. If you know you quit too soon, why is that? If you take lessons, but don't prepare "enough" to make progress, who are you kidding?

Go in thinking you will give yourself your best efforts. It should be "enough". Be free to make mistakes and get them out of the way as there could be a missing part of your learning that needs to be put into place.

Optimism vs pessimism, which do you choose?

Betty

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