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#1296599 - 10/30/09 11:28 AM Prime goal
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Most piano teachers believe they are doing a good job in their exhausting role.

But what should be the prime goal of piano teachers?

Please chaps ... no multi-listing ... just a concise PRIME GOAL.

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#1296604 - 10/30/09 11:35 AM Re: Prime goal [Re: btb]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17671
Loc: Victoria, BC
I think that the answer to that question depends both upon the age and level of the student(s) in question.

If you must have a generic one-size-fits-all - and perhaps meaningless - goal: "Enable students to realize their full musical potential."

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony
Writing from Paris until 15 May, 2014

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#1296617 - 10/30/09 11:47 AM Re: Prime goal [Re: BruceD]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
I'd say it should be to teach musicianship (in the fullest sense with everything the word implies).

Steven

p.s. btb, did you perchance mean to post this in the Teachers Forum, or were you looking instead for the perspective of pianists (even those of us who haven't had a teacher in decades smile )?
_________________________

"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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#1296821 - 10/30/09 06:03 PM Re: Prime goal [Re: sotto voce]
whatevsyo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/09
Posts: 99
I think, as cheesy as it sounds, it's ultimately to help students come to love music.

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#1296824 - 10/30/09 06:13 PM Re: Prime goal [Re: whatevsyo]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6077
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
I was thinking the same as Remnant - because when you love what you are doing, you are better at it I think and your full potential comes out...
A lady for example told me recently she studied the flute for five years as a child, but then gave up because her new teacher did not inspire her...
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#1296991 - 10/31/09 12:43 AM Re: Prime goal [Re: ChopinAddict]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Thanks chaps for the valued responses ...
but if we pick up on the germ of your respected thoughts ...
"to introduce the student to quality music via the piano" ...

The big question

Do you think the majority of piano teachers succeed ? ... when there are a reported 20 million wearied Americans who baled out of piano lessons ... frustrated because of never mastering sight-reading.

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#1296996 - 10/31/09 12:54 AM Re: Prime goal [Re: btb]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Hehe, btb, I should know you well enough to suspect that you just might be steering in that direction.

I have no answer to the "big question," as my own personal experience isn't applicable. My background is a bit atypical in that I learned to read before attending school and to read music before ever having a formal lesson. I guess that lightened the burden for my teachers, as they weren't depended on to "succeed" in those goals at all. smile

But I have questions further to your big question. What was the average age of the Americans in your statistic who bailed on their piano lessons? What percentage does it represent of music students who did learn to sightread? Would the proportion of unsuccessful learners be different for piano students than those learning other instruments?

Believe me, I am very aware of my good fortune in avoiding completely the literacy learning curve for music and language (and very thankful for it).

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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#1297009 - 10/31/09 01:37 AM Re: Prime goal [Re: sotto voce]
RogerW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 430
I don't think the prime goal has anything to do with music. If this was the case, the majority of students (who bail out as btb pointed out) would be left with nothing useful for their non-musical careers later in life.

Instead I'd say the prime goal is to teach the value and effect of hard work, dedication and deliberate practise. The students who learn that they can transcend their own abilities and that the impossible becomes possible if they work hard enough will benefit from this greatly later in life, regardless of the career they choose.

Even if the ultimate goal was to become a professional musician, teaching the values above should be a top priority right from the start. No matter how well the student understands music or how great his musicianship is, he will never make it unless he works hard enough.

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#1297013 - 10/31/09 01:52 AM Re: Prime goal [Re: RogerW]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
I hate hard work Roger ... if there was not a "fun" element in anything I learnt, I steered clear ... that’s why I was no good at making big money, going to prison or daft enough to want to be President.

Forgive the jocularity but dull husbandry (hard work) IMHO is what kills off enthusiasm ... it is only when the play element involves fun (as with children at play) that apparent effort evaporates and optimum learning takes place.

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#1297033 - 10/31/09 04:48 AM Re: Prime goal [Re: btb]
RogerW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 430
btb, to prove your point, perhaps you can name a few professional pianists I would have heard of who haven't worked hard to achieve their skills?

Sure you can, and should, try to make the work as fun and enjoyable as possible. I see it as any teacher's most important task to teach the students that learning can be fun and even if it isn't immediately enjoyable, the goals you achieve make the effort worth it. But that doesn't reduce the amount of effort you have to put into it to achieve a certain level of expertice. In the end, improving your skills through focused practise, constantly stretching yourself beyond your limits, is not enjoyable. It is mentally very demanding and most people hate it. That's why most people at some point stop improving and never become top performers in their field. If you can point me to any research that says otherwise, I would be very interested to read it.

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#1297039 - 10/31/09 05:12 AM Re: Prime goal [Re: sotto voce]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11187
Loc: Canada
Quote:
I'd say it should be to teach musicianship (in the fullest sense with everything the word implies).

Ditto, and what I would want a teacher's goal to be as a student. Musicianship implies learning to play the instrument and understand the workings of music - one can't work without the other.

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#1297052 - 10/31/09 06:47 AM Re: Prime goal [Re: keystring]
joangolfing Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/06
Posts: 663
Loc: Iowa
I agree with Roger D. "I don't think the prime goal has anything to do with music."
Piano lessons change the brain in such a way that a person finds the "zone" of staying in the present moment through dedication and deliberate practice. And it transfers over to what they want to do in the rest of their lives. And isn't the present moment one of the most enjoyable places!

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#1297057 - 10/31/09 07:17 AM Re: Prime goal [Re: joangolfing]
landorrano Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2443
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: joangolfing
I agree with Roger D. "I don't think the prime goal has anything to do with music."


I heartily disagree.

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#1297063 - 10/31/09 07:51 AM Re: Prime goal [Re: btb]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4974
Loc: boston north
Originally Posted By: btb
Most piano teachers believe they are doing a good job in their exhausting role.

But what should be the prime goal of piano teachers?



To teach students to become proficient in techniques to learn music without them.

And that would be a lifetime of experience.

(great suggestions above as well)
_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1297073 - 10/31/09 08:32 AM Re: Prime goal [Re: lilylady]
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
It depends a lot on the age of the student. For adults, the goals are more flexible because the student might articulate specific goals from the start (learning to play form a fake book, playing by ear, technique, etc.)

For children, IMO, the main goal of a piano teacher should be for their students to learn to play the piano as well as they can up to their potential. I've always steered away from teachers - for my daughter - who said their main goal was to instill in their students a love of music. Parents can/should do that at home. I tend to judge teachers on how well their students play. The ones whose students play better are the ones whose goal is for their students to play and perform as well as they can. IMO, kids who can play well ultimately enjoy it more - as a rule.

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#1297106 - 10/31/09 09:23 AM Re: Prime goal [Re: joangolfing]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: joangolfing
Piano lessons change the brain in such a way that a person finds the "zone" of staying in the present moment through dedication and deliberate practice.

Lessons can only have such an effect if they're successful. The dropouts did not, apparently, learn to find the "zone" from their lessons. frown

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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#1297470 - 10/31/09 10:22 PM Re: Prime goal [Re: landorrano]
Canonie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 1941
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: joangolfing
I agree with Roger D. "I don't think the prime goal has anything to do with music."


I heartily disagree.

yeh, I'm with you landorrano. It's a new concept to me, to sell music lessons as a brain and life development tool. Although I agree that music study provides some pretty special skills that apply elsewhere.

My prime goal as a teacher is directly connected to hearing that so many study piano when young, but later can't play a note, or remember a thing. When I started teaching I thought about this over and over - what can I do to get music inside them, and to stick. I made lists and lists of things I would do differently to my childhood teachers. And I made lists of the extra-to-piano things that are the reason i am a musician now.

My goal is to teach kids such that music is an active part of their whole life; whether later it's piano or another instrument, whether for work or leisure, with others or just playing solo at home. I couldn't do without music, so I hope to be able to pass this precious gift on to others.
_________________________

Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.

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#1297474 - 10/31/09 10:42 PM Re: Prime goal [Re: RogerW]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
Originally Posted By: RogerW


Instead I'd say the prime goal is to teach the value and effect of hard work, dedication and deliberate practise. The students who learn that they can transcend their own abilities and that the impossible becomes possible if they work hard enough will benefit from this greatly later in life, regardless of the career they choose.



I really love that answer.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1297522 - 11/01/09 01:12 AM Re: Prime goal [Re: apple*]
Canonie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 1941
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: RogerW
...the prime goal is to teach the value and effect of hard work, dedication and deliberate practise. The students who learn that they can transcend their own abilities and that the impossible becomes possible if they work hard enough will benefit from this greatly later in life, regardless of the career they choose.


These are brilliant skills to have, and this is an excellent and succinct description of the secret weapons that musicians acquire. Good thing to remind parents of these skills now and then too. Just not my Prime goal.

I go jogging because being in the bush is enjoyable and it's good for my brain (great reason!), others go jogging for weight-loss (great reason!).
_________________________

Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.

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#1297542 - 11/01/09 01:56 AM Re: Prime goal [Re: RogerW]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17671
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: RogerW
[...]
Instead I'd say the prime goal is to teach the value and effect of hard work, dedication and deliberate practise. The students who learn that they can transcend their own abilities and that the impossible becomes possible if they work hard enough will benefit from this greatly later in life, regardless of the career they choose.

[...]


While I don't disagree, in principle, with the above-stated goal, it seems to me that it expresses a somewhat generic goal of the good teacher of any acquired skill. What does the music (piano) teacher bring to the equation, a unique addition, that other teachers do not? Isn't that the essence of the original question?

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony
Writing from Paris until 15 May, 2014

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#1297543 - 11/01/09 01:59 AM Re: Prime goal [Re: BruceD]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Ta BruceD ... you're on the money.

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