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#1289576 - 10/19/09 12:25 AM Looking for a Teacher!
manofsong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/16/09
Posts: 143
Loc: Earth
Hello! I am a new member looking for a Piano Teacher in the Chicago area. I don't know if this is the correct place to post this so if I'm out of line here please let me know. I am 45, I read music very well (former classical singer) and I have my own piano to practice on. I want to start at the beginning, I play but not very well. I can travel to a studio or you could come to my house, if this still happens. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you all for your time.

C
_________________________
I often wonder what could have been.

1917 Baldwin L, Satin Mahogany, #30220

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#1289630 - 10/19/09 04:39 AM Re: Looking for a Teacher! [Re: manofsong]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
Go to mtna.org and you will find a link to the state music teacher's association which can provide you with a referral.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#1289820 - 10/19/09 12:13 PM Re: Looking for a Teacher! [Re: Minniemay]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
google searchs

1) Enter "Piano Lessons" with your zip code or city. What comes up?

2) Use a music teacher directory service:

LearningMusician

GetLessonsNow

Again, piano and your zip code will bring up profiles of anyone listed who teaches within about 25 miles of your location.

3) The MTNA list will produce "Nationally Certified Teachers of Music" who have achieved certification from membership with Music Teachers National Association; there are state MTA's and there are local chapters within the states. MTNA has about 24,000 members; Washington State, where I live has about 1,200 members.

Good luck.

Betty Patnude

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#1296773 - 10/30/09 04:31 PM Re: Looking for a Teacher! [Re: Betty Patnude]
knightplayer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/09
Posts: 67
Loc: Chicago, Illinois, USA
I'm in the same boat, but on the fence on whether to keep working on my own or getting a teacher. I returned to the piano earlier this year and found a piano technician from the Piano Technician's Guild (Laura Olsen)who recommended a local instructor, based on what I described as my interests.
Betty- I followed your recommendations and also found several good prospects. I also saw your profile on GetLessonsNow.
I wish you were in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. But- since you aren't, what should an almost retired adult student ask a prospective teacher? and- is a half hour really enough time, if the student intends to practice at least an hour a day?
Julius

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#1296793 - 10/30/09 05:06 PM Re: Looking for a Teacher! [Re: knightplayer]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2469
Loc: France
Go to a good music school, the best around, a conservatory if possible, and ask around. Also go to the shops where the best musicians buy sheet music, and ask the boss for some recommandations.


Edited by landorrano (10/30/09 05:08 PM)

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#1296802 - 10/30/09 05:25 PM Re: Looking for a Teacher! [Re: knightplayer]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Hi, Julius,

I see you've made some progress!

You'll want an hour, won't you?

Contacting these teachers by email gives you a track record of what has been talked about and one thing easily leads to another email if you didn't think of the question immediately.

I appreciate that the adult student is going to have questions answered so that he can make a choice between candidates, but you would want your questions answered if this were the only teacher in town, too. So questions and answers are good.

You seem hesitant in starting so there must be a concern that you have that is at the root. Why not get your thoughts down on paper and see if you can work out in your mind exactly what you want to know before starting. I would be interested in how well the teacher communicates with me, how he/she behaves in making corrections, in instructing. I would want to know that he/she knows more than me and can competently guide me toward my goals.

Info to check:
1) Teacher biography or profile
2) Teacher's experience and philosophy about adult learners - you want an enthusiastic, experienced teacher of adults who "does" the kind of music that you are interested in.
3)You will want to know their studio policy in full so that you will know upfront what the expectations are for students in this studio.

If you have never studied music before the study of basic notation is absolutely necessary. Hopefully, your teacher will know how to start beginners with a keyboard orientation, music staff coordination, counting system, and all the things that teachers do in building the skill set needed to be a keyboard musician.

If you, as an adult, have had some prior musical training, you still want the teacher to be perceptive as to what might have been missing in your original instruction - if it's been a long time - there is probably something(s) that need review.

List your goals: short term and long term. Share them with the teacher.

Meet with the teacher and see if one lesson is available, or a short period 8 - 10 lessons that could be your "trial" period together. And, since you seem to have a friendly manner, your teacher might agree to play something she enjoys playing for you.

I'd take you in a minute with your practicing an hour a day pledge!

Good luck! And get started!

Betty

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#1296889 - 10/30/09 09:09 PM Re: Looking for a Teacher! [Re: Betty Patnude]
knightplayer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/09
Posts: 67
Loc: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Betty
Thanks for the well thought out response.
As I mentioned, I'm returning after a 40 year absense. I think I'm serious about this, but I want to make sure that I am serious, so I want to give it some time to make sure the desire and commitment doesn't fade away.
I had about 3 years of lessons in the early 60's at a local music store and played on and off (but not seriously) thru High School and College.
I've been following Hugh Sung's Clare de Lune from scratch, and after passing thru the part that was the stumbling block for me 40 years ago (and finally getting it to sound like music instead of notes), I think I can also apply his methodology to another piece that I could only play parts of.
If I can get all the way thru those and play them well, I will have confirmed that I'm serious and ready for a teacher.
Thanks again for your response
Julius

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#1296922 - 10/30/09 10:48 PM Re: Looking for a Teacher! [Re: knightplayer]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
I haven't taken any of the presentation that Hugh Sung has done on video teaching under consideration. I think that adult students probably like this method very much. If it works well for you, certainly, use it as I believe is a free demonstration and you can work at your own pace. I just haven't had time to look his presentations over and cannot speak with any authority about them. I know there have been many video teaching programs in the past, some of high quality and some not as desirable, especially if you have to pay a lot of money for the video set. Hearing other adult student's recommendations would be important to the users and buyers of these systems.

However, many teachers would prefer to see their students be able to play their music under their own power of reading, thinking and controlling their gestures - a combination that gets built through music that has come before in lessons - making good playing like something that is nourished and nurtured until the adult student is ready to be completely independant and self-functioning with the musical thought starting and stopping from within the student without any outside assistance.

The imitative mode is very different in approach and in results to receiving instruction in person with a variety of music assignments.

I still think that any learning musician benefits from having an experienced piano teacher in their corner to help disciplined learning along and to be there for necessary corrective measures that the student is not aware of needing.

If you are satisfied you have no reason to look further.

Perhaps you will take that step with a teacher at a later date.

You will know what you want to do if that point arrives for you.

Best wishes!

Betty

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#1297053 - 10/31/09 06:47 AM Re: Looking for a Teacher! [Re: Betty Patnude]
knightplayer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/09
Posts: 67
Loc: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Betty
Please don't misunderstand my last post. I agree with everything you said.
I need a little time to make sure that I'm serious. Then, it makes sense to work with a teacher. I suspect this will be a process that takes a few months rather than years. Then my work with the teacher can go on for years rather than months.
Julius

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#1297111 - 10/31/09 09:33 AM Re: Looking for a Teacher! [Re: knightplayer]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12047
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: knightplayer
Betty
Please don't misunderstand my last post. I agree with everything you said.
I need a little time to make sure that I'm serious. Then, it makes sense to work with a teacher. I suspect this will be a process that takes a few months rather than years. Then my work with the teacher can go on for years rather than months.
Julius




I think the only way you're going to know is if you bite the bullet and try. Some teachers offer trial periods or even a trial lesson/interview. Some will charge for the trial lesson, others will not.

Why do you need to make sure you're serious? And what do you mean by serious? To me, "serious" could mean:
-you want to be a professional
-you want to be able to play at a high level of proficiency
-you want to study hard and develop good practice routine/habits

Which one applies to you? If the first option, then I can understand your hesitance. I do not believe it's ever too late to learn piano, but being a professional will require much more than 1 hour of practice per day, so I'm guessing that's not your definition of serious.

If it the latter two, having a good teacher will definitely help you in this. Going it alone can often lead to stopping work on a piece prematurely, whereas a teacher will lead you to higher accomplishment with it, and thus you will learn more in the process. So what do you have to lose?
_________________________
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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#1297187 - 10/31/09 12:10 PM Re: Looking for a Teacher! [Re: Morodiene]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2469
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Morodiene

I think the only way you're going to know is if you bite the bullet and try.


"Bite the bullet"! ?? !!

Are piano teachers that scary?

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#1297457 - 10/31/09 09:54 PM Re: Looking for a Teacher! [Re: landorrano]
Gabe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/14/09
Posts: 164
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Hope you don't mind if I butt in here and don't start my own thread. I'm in a similar boat as you. Working my way through Alfred 1.

I had piano a teacher friend give me a couple of lessons but she normally teaches kids and I didn't find the relationship comfortable. I realize that the most important thing is practice, which I'm now doing about an hour and a half a day. I can read music (violin lessons decades ago) and am becoming more and more comfortable site reading/playing in the keys of C and G as long as the notes are withing the lines.

One good thing is that I think I have a sense of the rhythm of the pieces and generally recognize when I play a wrong note and can correct myself.

I'm wondering if it makes sense to have lessons less frequently than every week, perhaps every couple of weeks to make sure I'm not practicing the wrong technique and to get directions and feedback on musicality and such.

I also think I'd like to have someone who is also a performer rather than just a teacher.

I may have found someone like this on the internet but have not talked to her yet. Just wanted to see if what I'm asking for is reasonable.

Thanks.
Gabe


Edited by gabeh98 (10/31/09 10:19 PM)
_________________________
Baldwin Hamilton 243

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#1297594 - 11/01/09 07:49 AM Re: Looking for a Teacher! [Re: Gabe]
knightplayer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/09
Posts: 67
Loc: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Welcome to the thread.
Here's an opinion from someone in the same boat.
It seems like lessons less than once a week would leave you wanting more, if you are practicing an hour and a half every day. I think it depends on your level of patience for how quickly you want to progress.
The more I see, the less I see in C,F,&G.
I'm working on Clare de lune and the Phantom of the Opera songs- D flat. After a while you get used to it. Or at least it becomes less intimidating.
Morodiene and landorrano- thanks for the encouragement- I will jump in and probably soon, but, I'm one of the people who doesn't like to (is not comfortable with) play for others. I'm taking a little time to refresh my skills. When I stopped lessons 40some years ago I was thru the grey book from the Schaum series (someone was color blind the book is olive green). That's at least where I want to resume. I'm also working on playing while we have people in the house. My mind drifts off of where I am in the music which leads to mistakes which gets me more frazzeled.cursing That needs a little work.
To the teachers- Do you have students who from time to time insert lessons in between thier normal weekly lesson?
Julius
PS- no I don't want to be a professional, but I need to sound every bit as good as one wink



Edited by knightplayer (11/01/09 07:53 AM)

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#1297649 - 11/01/09 10:13 AM Re: Looking for a Teacher! [Re: Gabe]
Gabe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/14/09
Posts: 164
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I certainly don't mean that I wouldn't be moving on between lessons. I can take on new pieces on my own and figure them out. More fun that way anyway. I've covered three quarters of Alfred 1 that way and I'm working on other pieces as well.

I see it almost like having a personal trainer versus working out on your own.

I'd still like a combination of trainer and working on my own, just not a weekly session with the trainer. This way I won't feel some outside pressure to get to a certain point each week. Less frequent lessons gives me the flexibility and freedom to go faster or slower as seems natural to me.
_________________________
Baldwin Hamilton 243

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