Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 5 of 6 < 1 2 3 4 5 6 >
Topic Options
#1362712 - 01/31/10 10:15 PM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: Elissa Milne]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5529
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
...those teachers who have had some 'interesting' experiences along the way, and have struggled to find ways to cope.

A little understanding in this discussion wouldn't go astray regarding the situation some teachers find themselves in with genuinely disrespectful students (and yes, I think all the teachers in this forum are capably of distinguishing between excited questioning and disrespectful questioning).


For me, some understanding that, among others, teachers of other subjects have also dealt with these issues, would go a long ways toward *some* piano teachers not appearing to think piano teachers are so uniquely burdened, or so uniquely situated in the human condition smile

I will, oh dear, reiterate - the internet is a written means of communication. Largely, it is communication among relative strangers to each other. It seems to me to be important to qualify one's assertions, as currawong has pointed out. It is important, because there are no other cues besides the written word, to say "some" students are or can be problems, rather than approaching one's answers in a thread as if they apply universally, or even that you yourself apply them to every situation with your students.

I think one of the questions asked earlier, which I haven't seen addressed, is also important - are the views of students and their parents important? If so, it seems to me that many of the posters in this thread have relevant viewpoints for that very reason, so statements about how their participation makes it impossible to discuss the issue seem silly to me.

And I will say, once again (I can be really repetitive) - anything you say here that can be found by, oh, say, a potential student, probably will be. This is a public, in a really big way, forum. As Betty has found out, one need only Google one's user name to find that one's comments on PW come up pretty fast smile So if some of us have thought your comments might be a little abrasive, some of your potential students may also find them that way.

Of course, it is entirely possible that you and Betty don't want those students any way laugh None of us is a perfect fit for everyone.

Cathy
_________________________

Top
(ad) My Music Staff
Check out the new way to manage your music studio
#1362715 - 01/31/10 10:18 PM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: jotur]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5529
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Originally Posted By: MsAdrienne
or while hoisting an intake manifold from a pickup truck).


Thank you, MsAdrienne. I just have an enormous respect for the job my auto mechanic does, and the amount of knowledge it takes to do it. And he's great on the business end, too smile

Cathy
_________________________

Top
#1362716 - 01/31/10 10:21 PM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: jotur]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
I heard that a good mechanic is worth their weight in gold. I agree. smile
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

Top
#1362725 - 01/31/10 10:32 PM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: jotur]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
"Are the views of students and their parents important?" asked by Cathy.
Yes! Why would the interviewing process not be a 2-way street?
A student and parent come to a teacher for an interview. The goal is to determine if this is a good fit for student and teacher. The teacher must be straight-forward in presenting what she has to offer. Student and/or parent must express what they are looking for and what their needs are. How else can the interview really be effective?
_________________________
Piano Teacher

Top
#1362732 - 01/31/10 10:40 PM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: Barb860]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17777
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Barb860
"Are the views of students and their parents important?" asked by Cathy.
Yes! Why would the interviewing process not be a 2-way street?
A student and parent come to a teacher for an interview. The goal is to determine if this is a good fit for student and teacher. The teacher must be straight-forward in presenting what she has to offer. Student and/or parent must express what they are looking for and what their needs are. How else can the interview really be effective?


+1, Barb!

This seems so obvious to me that I am truly perplexed at the amount of disagreement that is going on in this thread. confused
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

Top
#1362830 - 02/01/10 12:48 AM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: Minniemay]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5483
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Minniemay
It doesn't bother me when parents or students ask questions. That shows they are engaged. But questions can be asked in a confrontive, offensive way. That's where the problems are.


Well, I've worked for several "plastic" people whose tone and body language are well controlled. So I do have to read between the lines, so to speak.

They imply; I infer.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1362835 - 02/01/10 12:52 AM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: currawong]
saerra Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 842
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: saerra
At the end of the day, I guess I feel that my health, or my learning (in the case of piano) - is ultimately MY responsibility. This means I need to ask questions when things are unclear, get second opinions from time to time, and try to carefully evaluate whether my teacher is effectively guiding me towards better musicianship.
Well said, saerra. And I think it's interesting that a little while ago we had a thread about badly taught transfer students and how shameful it was that there were teachers around taking money who didn't know what they were doing. It's almost as if students are only supposed to question bad teachers - that is, not US.


Thanks Currawong. I was thinking about that too - I specifically remember a thread (that I can't find now - argh!) where teachers were lamenting, "why do students stay so long with bad teachers"?

For someone that knows nothing about piano, it can be extremely difficult/impossible to know if your teacher is actually "good". You have no way to evaluate that (especially when this is your first teacher - how can you possibly judge?)

And, you hit on part of what bugs me - there are teachers who give the impression that it's disrespectful to question your teacher, or even consider they may not be excellent. But, we clearly see that NOT all teachers are excellent, or even competent. And, there's no magic way to determine which is which.

Elissa - I don't think you're getting it. The irony is that you are complaining about the lack of respect you get, yet you continue to engage people here in the same manner.

Your response to me starts with "Oh brother" and continues later with (again) "Get over it." Do you honestly not see how ironic that is?

Do you not see how, if you were interested in the slightest in coming to a mutual understanding with the non-teachers here, you might possibly choose less dismissive language? I mean, how would you react if you were trying to discuss something with a student, and they rolled their eyes and muttered, "Oh brother"?

At any rate, I've said my peace. I'm very grateful for the teachers here that are helpful, and have taken the time to explain things, calmly, to use about how their lives work - like Currawong and Kreisler. Thanks guys 3hearts

Top
#1362838 - 02/01/10 12:54 AM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: Barb860]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5483
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Barb860
Student and/or parent must express what they are looking for and what their needs are.


Ah, here lies the problem!

1) Parents who flip-flop on their stated goals.
2) Parents who promise to help, but never do.
3) Parents whose piano goals are not the same as their kids' goals.
4) Parents who just want to keep up with the Joneses in the piano department.
5) Parents with unrealistic goals and crazy expectations.
6) Parents who flake out.
7) Parents who are too afraid to talk to you, so they have their kid make the phone calls to reschedule lessons

I can list 80 more problems. From the first three years of teaching piano, I've seen it all.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1362873 - 02/01/10 01:38 AM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: Elissa Milne]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11675
Loc: Canada
I was asked why I had deleted my post. Frankly, because it seemed useless. But I'll try to reconstitute it.
Quote:
There are ... new teachers ...who would love to have some experienced advice as to how to approach their teaching.

This was put forth two years ago when we discussed participation in the Teacher Forum. When a teacher asks her peers for advice, then her colleagues need room to be heard as they are in lesser numbers. By and large this has been respected. Side issues tend to pop up at a later time. In this thread a newish teacher was facing the prospect of an impending interview with trepidation, so that was the case.

If a question is asked involving parents, and if parents can give feedback on what they actually do find important, then surely that is a useful thing to have. There was concern of being judged, and some non-teachers wrote in to say that they were not looking to judge or control: perhaps that can be a reassuring thing?

Quote:
... the first interview is partially about the teacher reassuring the parent that the teacher knows what they are doing - as a teacher (not necessarily as a performer). Communicating a sense of plan and purpose in that first interview can pre-empt ongoing toxic challenges to the teacher's expertise.

Roughly this is also what some of us would find important: that the teacher knows what she is doing. When John used the word "leadership" this is what I pictured.
Quote:
How does a teacher work effectively as an educator when their expertise is being called into question?

This is the key to where it went funny. Some teachers were addressing the scenario of an interview where the teacher is being challenged, while the reader was picturing the scenario of an interview with a reasonable parent - in that light some attitudes seemed kilter. It only makes sense if you have a matching parental attitude. The actual situation did not involve hostile parents, only the fear that there might be.

On the other hand, here (below) we are no longer talking about an interview, are we?

Quote:
A teacher is a guide, and a guide relies on those being guided to follow their guidance. Imagine trekking through a wilderness with a guide you have hired. At each fork in the road you suggest the map they are using is inappropriate. At each river you question why you need to cross it. At each rock-face you suggest the guide has blundered. And you complain about the weight of the pack on your back, announcing on a daily basis that you wish you didn't have to carry it.

In addition, you complain that others you've known have managed this track much faster. Part way along the journey you announce that you've decided to short-change the guide when it comes time to pay them.

Meantime, the guide goes about their business every day, trying to ignore the carping, the irrelevant commentary, and not wanting to have the trek delayed by lengthy debates about reimbursement. The guide is so excited about the views from the summit, and the amazing plant-life that can be seen in the valleys, they can hardly wait to share what they've experienced with those they are guiding.


Does the interview fit into this? Can it help prevent some of this from happening? Anything else?

Top
#1362909 - 02/01/10 02:23 AM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: keystring]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Anybody done any short posts I can read?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#1362918 - 02/01/10 02:31 AM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: saerra]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
No one is suggesting that students shouldn't ask questions. Students who don't ask questions don't tend to learn all that much, as it turns out. Parents who ask questions are fantastic too!! There is nothing I love more. The interview at the start should be the start of a relationship of exchange of ideas and reflections.

That first interview creates the framework from which both teacher and student can build a relationship of mutual respect. If the teacher stops respecting the student for some reason (maybe the student fails to make any effort) or if the student stops respecting the teacher then the relationship ceases to be productive.

It's obviously a revelation to some participants in this forum that not every student is the ideal and that not every parent is a joy with whom to work. I note that there is a thread in another forum discussing whether or not smoking marijuana enhances one's practice. That was a revelation to me today, and I learned a lot from that discussion thread. As I know nothing about smoking marijuana I didn't contribute to the discussion.
_________________________
Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

Top
#1362919 - 02/01/10 02:33 AM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: AZNpiano]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: Barb860
Student and/or parent must express what they are looking for and what their needs are.


Ah, here lies the problem!

1) Parents who flip-flop on their stated goals.
2) Parents who promise to help, but never do.
3) Parents whose piano goals are not the same as their kids' goals.
4) Parents who just want to keep up with the Joneses in the piano department.
5) Parents with unrealistic goals and crazy expectations.
6) Parents who flake out.
7) Parents who are too afraid to talk to you, so they have their kid make the phone calls to reschedule lessons

I can list 80 more problems. From the first three years of teaching piano, I've seen it all.


Great start to a list of challenges piano teachers face. But I think you've summed up the most common reasons for problems in on-going progress in the learning process.
_________________________
Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

Top
#1363174 - 02/01/10 11:41 AM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: keyboardklutz]
DancinDigits Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 68
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Anybody done any short posts I can read?


LOL!!!!!
_________________________
Music is the voice of the heart.

Top
#1363226 - 02/01/10 12:38 PM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: AZNpiano]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: Barb860
Student and/or parent must express what they are looking for and what their needs are.


Ah, here lies the problem!

1) Parents who flip-flop on their stated goals.
2) Parents who promise to help, but never do.
3) Parents whose piano goals are not the same as their kids' goals.
4) Parents who just want to keep up with the Joneses in the piano department.
5) Parents with unrealistic goals and crazy expectations.
6) Parents who flake out.
7) Parents who are too afraid to talk to you, so they have their kid make the phone calls to reschedule lessons

I can list 80 more problems. From the first three years of teaching piano, I've seen it all.


ARGHH!!!! The above mentioned things happen which drive us teachers crazy.
But none of it can be predicted at an initial interview, right?
We come to an agreement and begin instruction. Whether or not all hell breaks loose after the interview is another story.
Then we part ways or sit down to regroup.
As John calls it, "the cat and dog thing in the studio" in my opinion can be difficult, if not impossible, to predict.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

Top
#1363265 - 02/01/10 01:21 PM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: keystring]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: keystring
Quote:
There are ... new teachers ...who would love to have some experienced advice as to how to approach their teaching.

This was put forth two years ago when we discussed participation in the Teacher Forum. When a teacher asks her peers for advice, then her colleagues need room to be heard as they are in lesser numbers. By and large this has been respected. Side issues tend to pop up at a later time. In this thread a newish teacher was facing the prospect of an impending interview with trepidation, so that was the case.


Speaking only for myself, I participate on this forum to share lessons learned over 30 years of trials and tribulations with other teachers, especially those who are relatively new to the teaching profession. I don't view this as a debating society where we can practice our skills in that department.

From time to time, a problem posted by a parent or adult student reminds me of something one of my parents/students went through and if I have the time, I try to share with them.

Even though those were my original goals, and continue to be my primary goals, I have learned much listening to others on this forum, which is why I voted to keep the teacher's forum open to all.

Because this is a piano oriented forum, it attracts readership from many adult students, and many of them participate with opinions on teaching issues. Many of these suggestions are valuable, however, we should not forget that in the population at large, adult piano students represent less than 5% of all piano students, in fact, probably less than 1% (it's hard to get an accurate number). Most of us deal day in and day out with issues concerning our students' learning and these students are generally grades 2 to 8, with a severe drop off for high school aged students. Folks, primary school students learn differently than secondary school students who learn differently than adults. That's why the public school systems certify teachers for teaching at the different levels.

As we discuss issues, we teachers are primarily thinking of our 7 - 15 year old students, not the occasional adult student. This is not to minimize the importance of how to teach adults, it's just that's not where most of us are coming from.

There are also a number of parents who participate on this forum. Piano*Dad comes to mind as an individual who has provided insightful commentary time after time. Comments such as he provides are extremely valuable to teachers. Keep 'em coming!

Many of us teachers are full-time. We need a living income. Not only do we have on-going business expenses, such as maintaining our instruments (for my studio, 4 tunings a year times 3 pianos at $120 a pop), studio rental, etc., etc., etc. we need to have a living net income. While we can appreciate the Bohemian life-style which artists adore, it doesn't pay the bills. As someone once said, our business is built like a three-legged stool. Musicianship is one leg, teaching skills a second leg, and business acumen is the third leg. Regretfully, many of our music schools do not require any skill learning in either of these two legs, and as a result, we sometimes get less than effective teachers, and teachers who go under financially.

So now, I will climb down from my box. Thanks for listening!
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#1363270 - 02/01/10 01:25 PM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: jotur]
DancinDigits Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 68
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: jotur


And I will say, once again (I can be really repetitive) - anything you say here that can be found by, oh, say, a potential student, probably will be. This is a public, in a really big way, forum.
Cathy


It sure is!

I know that I use the internet as one of my search tools in trying to find a teacher. The web has fast become an advertising media for it has the ability to reach many, many people with only a click away.

I am very cautious about taking seriously what I find on the net, as anybody can put anything out there. I came across a cynic who proclaimed that only bad music teachers advertise on the net for they can't secure clients by any other means. I am sure that there are bad teachers who advertise on the net, but I would never go as far as to make that kind of sweeping generalization and say they 'all' are bad. That's ridiculous, I do think.

OTOH if someone puts something out there that expresses their own personal views, etc., I take it into serious consideration when forming any judgements as to whether this is the kind of person I wish to secure services from.

This is not a private lounge or restricted access forum. It's very public. It gives me lots of useful information. I, personally, love the 'exposure'.
_________________________
Music is the voice of the heart.

Top
#1363299 - 02/01/10 02:13 PM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: John v.d.Brook]
DancinDigits Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 68
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
we should not forget that in the population at large, adult piano students represent less than 5% of all piano students, in fact, probably less than 1% (it's hard to get an accurate number).


Which, from my own personal situation, is part of the problem. I am finding that most stuido programs are designed for the 'bulk' of their clientele, which happens to be children. This makes perfect sense when one is operating a business. From the adult student's own personal and individual needs, it makes it very difficult for one to not only find instructors that accept adult students but that also have the proper skill set to teach them. I recognize that wasn't your point - but it does get a bit frustrating when I am told that I would benefit from professional instruction, but I can't find anyone to teach (much less someone that I can afford). Add to the situation that I live in rural America and well. . . . .

Sorry - don't want to derail this thread (which I think has already taken a huge detour!), but your comment triggered my thought.


Quote:
While we can appreciate the Bohemian life-style which artists adore, it doesn't pay the bills.



I am sure that if you had your druthers, what you would select to do as a musician could very well conflict with what you need to do as a business person - and what you need to do to keep your business healthy. I own my own business and its not always about what I want to do, but what I need to do.

I also observe that sweeping generalizations can and often do, do an injustice to the participants on both side of the issues. If I insult my clients, it won't be long before I don't have any.

There are people on both sides of the issue who have good working relationships with one another. I still believe, for the most part, that these issues that have been expressed in this thread and elsewhere on the board are not the driving force with most students/teachers.

FWIW, there is too much 'us versus them' going on, and that's really a shame.

I think we can be united in our love of music.

In closing, I wish to thank you for your willingness to listen to the non-teachers in the forums and to acknowledge that some of us have our valid points too. It not only makes good business sense, but its shows maturity and intelligence.
_________________________
Music is the voice of the heart.

Top
#1363322 - 02/01/10 02:45 PM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: John v.d.Brook]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11675
Loc: Canada
Earlier I started a post beginning with a response to Elissa's reference to not writing about smoking marijuana if you don't do so yourself. I wrote "What if marijuana could talk, and post what it is like to be smoked? We are the weed. Pun intentional."

Two years ago I was told in PMs by teachers that input from non-teachers provides valuable insight. Were it not for that I would have stopped posting here. It makes sense that there is some degree of dialogue since we have intermeshing roles and can learn from each other. What is played out here can have effects out there with individual teachers, parents, and students. Instead of guessing about each other, with each party huddled in their respective corners, maybe we can make some headway. It is also delicate and difficult. If the teacher-parent-student triangle is complex out there, it's doubly complex over here. Deciding when and how to post is not easy, and it is easy to step on one pair of toes while trying to avoid another. Perhaps we can be more forgiving?

In the present matter, a newish teacher was in trepidation at the thought of an impending interview with a parent. There are parents among the members. It is natural for some to want to say "No, I am not out to judge you. I want to see how well you get along with my child, and if you have a plan." It is meant to be reassuring and a gesture of goodwill, naive or not.

That being said, the feedback I got from teachers back then is that when a teacher is asking for advice, it is best to step back in order to not muddy the waters. I think must try to do that most of the time. It's a judgment call.

There are times when such a question also touches on relationships that non-teachers have with teachers, and often there are issues that ought to be addressed. We dealt with this two years ago and one idea was the creation of a sub-thread in such cases where those interested can discuss it. If communications can be ameliorated and some of the problems that teachers commonly experience can be addressed mutually so that "out there" changes start happening, isn't that worthwhile? This is one idea, in any case which might be of interest to newcomers who had not heard of it.

The encouragement to participate notwithstanding, I intend to sharply curtail my activities here in such matters. Fwiw, advice in the direction of letting parents / students know you have something to offer and know what you are doing would be for me the kind of "leadership" I would find reassuring. A leader is more than a boss and I think John used that word.

John, in light of the frustrations being aired, and on the topic of interviews, it struck me that your biannual review is a bit like a twice yearly "interview" which maybe helps everyone stay more on track. It is something that as student I would have liked (or parent), because in my experience one tends to "wonder" instead of asking. A lesson flits by so fast. I have been tempted to mention it.

Best of luck everyone. Irinev, we're all crossing our fingers and hoping it went well.

Top
#1363386 - 02/01/10 03:47 PM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: keystring]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
"The problem is that no one is listening to our viewpoints, only using our viewpoints to continue to aggravate us about having a viewpoint which contrasts to theirs."

This does sadden me a bit. It's true, there are people who behave like this on the forums. I hope you can hear the sincerity in the printed word when I say, "Agree or not, I do hear you."

I do have a list of people whom I've decided it's better not to hear from at all--- but it's short, and very select.

This has been a valuable discussion for an adult student who is about to look for a new teacher. Part of my own astonishment is because I really don't think along the lines that some people who have posted apparently do--- but since the issues are out there, it is better to, at least, understand what they are.
_________________________
Clef


Top
#1363391 - 02/01/10 03:54 PM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: Jeff Clef]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11675
Loc: Canada
Um - Jeff is quoting Betty and not me - right Jeff?

Top
#1363413 - 02/01/10 04:14 PM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: John v.d.Brook]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3200
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook

Speaking only for myself, I participate on this forum to share lessons learned over 30 years of trials and tribulations with other teachers, especially those who are relatively new to the teaching profession. I don't view this as a debating society where we can practice our skills in that department.


This type of conversation may be the ONLY way many teachers (and many students) improve their performance.

Some have talked about how public a job piano teaching is, but I have to say I see a different side to it.

The actual teaching process is one-on-one, in private. The opportunity to watch an experienced (or inexperienced) teacher work and learn from them, or the opportunity to have a mentor sit in on your lessons and critique how you do them would be vanishingly rare. Some may never have seen anybody teach except for their own teacher when they were a student.

This is true to some extent for other types of teachers, though classroom teachers do a student teaching placement, and their peers have a general awareness of what goes on in the building. Piano teaching is more solitary than that.

Seems to me sage advice from experienced teachers like john is a learning opportunity that can only come from a forum.

A few decades back I was a grad student in clinical psychology. That course in counseling techniques was mandatory. Of course we had the textbooks and some role play in the classroom, but most of the learning was from client sessions. Observed clients sessions! - sometimes you had another therapist in the room, sometimes watching through a mirror, but always with the tape recorder running. Listening to those tapes in class, and having them dissected by the teacher and classmates was one of the most stressful experiences I can remember. But it would be pretty hard to improve without it.
_________________________
gotta go practice

Top
#1363479 - 02/01/10 05:34 PM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: TimR]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
This is a comment about the entire subject of interviews with teachers, parents, students:

If each person is operating from a place of honesty and integrity as to the conditions under which the child student will be taught, you have a team of support and vision working collaboratively together. You have a foundation.

If you have one of the people on this team who is not really interested, has little to offer, no values or guidelines as to how to accomplish our goals, you are working on a quick-sand base.

When people show us by their behavior or attitudes that there will be some problem areas in communication or mutual respect for each other, it may persuade the teacher that there is not enough positive in the situation to work with this student. This would be obvious to me when a base of operations would be non-existant. Mother has such a busy schedule something else takes priority over keeping the appointment, say a hair coloring appointment, son doesn't want to practice, someone shows a temper or a child answers back to the parent and a tug of war starts in my presence. Dysfunction enters the picture and rears it's ugly head again and again to sabotage what could have been a wonderful experience in music making.

I can only say, put your best foot forward when interviewing with a teacher. When too many warning signs show up in the interview, many piano teachers are going to think twice about accepting the student. We want fully vested clients who fit the profile of a piano student, not those who self-sabotage and self-destruct and take up copious time and energy in dealing with them.

As to how the interview goes with adults, same comments apply, just simplified by the fact that the principles are speaking face to face and the collaborative team is the two people.

Honesty and intregity will never get you in trouble as these things along with good communication and a willing piano student will get you where you hope to someday reach your musical goals.

If you have a dream in music, your teacher is the custodian of your dream. If you believe that you are going to have a good time in piano lessons, you are likely to to fulfill your destiny.

Top
#1364094 - 02/02/10 02:28 PM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: keystring]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
"Um - Jeff is quoting Betty and not me - right Jeff?"

Yes, Keystring, quite right. 'Heard' you too, though.

I don't know why, but this discussion reminds me of something my mom said, years ago, about my granddad's wife: "I made up my mind," she remarked, "that I was not going to fight with my mother-in-law, no matter what kind of fool thing she said. It hasn't been easy, but I've stuck to it."

It was remarkably sensible, and I've tried to take a lesson... I admit, with limited success.
_________________________
Clef


Top
#1364099 - 02/02/10 02:38 PM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: Jeff Clef]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef
"Um - Jeff is quoting Betty and not me - right Jeff?"

Yes, Keystring, quite right. 'Heard' you too, though.

I don't know why, but this discussion reminds me of something my mom said, years ago, about my granddad's wife: "I made up my mind," she remarked, "that I was not going to fight with my mother-in-law, no matter what kind of fool thing she said. It hasn't been easy, but I've stuck to it."

It was remarkably sensible, and I've tried to take a lesson... I admit, with limited success.


Great quote!!!!
+1, Jeff!
_________________________
Piano Teacher

Top
#1364764 - 02/03/10 12:07 PM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: Betty Patnude]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19335
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude

When people show us by their behavior or attitudes that there will be some problem areas in communication or mutual respect for each other, it may persuade the teacher that there is not enough positive in the situation to work with this student...

I can only say, put your best foot forward when interviewing with a teacher. When too many warning signs show up in the interview, many piano teachers are going to think twice about accepting the student. We want fully vested clients who fit the profile of a piano student, not those who self-sabotage and self-destruct and take up copious time and energy in dealing with them.
Written completely from the point of view of a teacher interviewing a student. I think one could switch the words "teacher" and "student" in these paragraphs and get an equally appropriate advice for teachers.

Top
#1364857 - 02/03/10 01:52 PM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: pianoloverus]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
This is very true, pianoloverus.

On the other hand, piano students don't tend to have a lot of experience in choosing piano teachers, so they might not know how to recognise whether a piano teacher fits the profile of a piano teacher, let alone a piano teacher who will deliver the kinds of learning experience the student is keen to have. And on the whole piano teachers tend to have both vested interests, as well as professional expertise that assists them in not self-sabotaging the lessons (just as a mechanic has a vested interest in repairing a car so that it won't burst into flames upon leaving the garage). Students, by way of not knowing what path lies ahead, sometimes make the route a little more convoluted for themselves than it might otherwise be.

Further than that, when a teacher decides to not accept a student this makes a very marginal difference in the content of the teacher's week. They may have 36 students already, and one more does not even represent a 3% change in their working week, and due to the structure of taxes probably a 2% change in income. For a student, however, having a teacher decide to not go ahead means that they are still 100% searching for a teacher.

The situations are not commensurate, although of course, the interview is about both parties engaging in some due diligence before engaging in a course of tuition.
_________________________
Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

Top
#1365203 - 02/03/10 09:51 PM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: Elissa Milne]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11675
Loc: Canada
Quote:
On the other hand, piano students don't tend to have a lot of experience in choosing piano teachers.

Not only experience, but also knowledge. I think that we need to become informed before even contacting a piano teacher. If this is true, how do we become informed enough to make intelligent decisions?

All kinds of people teach piano. Tales of transfer students tell us that the good car mechanic is not everywhere. The new teacher's discerning eye and ear will quickly see that the student playing a few pieces impressively is lacking major basic skills, but the parent will have been fooled for a long time because this looks like progress. A careful teacher might even be rejected because this other one seems to "progress faster" - glitzier pieces, fast climb through grades - how can we tell? And how fair is that to teachers who don't set out to impress but to teach? In that light I think we do need to become informed precisely for the reason you state.

Top
#1365209 - 02/03/10 10:19 PM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: keystring]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
Our local teachers association has a referral service. They know the teachers and quite a bit about reputations and skills. They know those who specialize, who's new, who has years of experience, which ones have students winning competitions, etc. They will be able to filter for you based on what you are looking for.

Many local associations have something similar. There is also a publication available for parents from MTNA. www.mtna.org
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

Top
#1365225 - 02/03/10 10:34 PM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: Minniemay]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11675
Loc: Canada
Quote:
.... which ones have students winning competitions, etc. They will be able to filter for you based on what you are looking for.


Perhaps this should be a new topic (?) but for now I am highlighting this part because it goes back to what I was writing about. I wrote that we parents/students need to be informed beforehand, and you are trying to answer this. In the above scenario maybe I am looking for a teacher whose students win competitions, and there is a place where I can find this. But should I be looking for such a teacher? Should winning competitions be my criterion? "Being informed" means having an idea of what the criteria probably should be, or something of that nature.

Supposing that I assume that winning competitions is a sign of a good teacher. Should I not first find out what learning piano is about, what good teaching might encompass? That is what I meant by being informed. In my previous example, a transfer student come in who play a few pieces very well - he might be a competition winner. But the new teacher quickly sees that this student has been given very few of the tools such as learning to read music. If I am an informed parent, I will know that note reading is important. If I am not informed, I can be taken in. I may very well look for competition winners and come upon that first teacher. I don't know if I'm being clear.


Edited by keystring (02/03/10 10:37 PM)

Top
#1365263 - 02/03/10 11:20 PM Re: when a parent requests an interview [Re: keystring]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Keystring, you are hitting on such an important aspect of the whole piano education process: how can parents without a background in music possibly know what to look for in a teacher or how to be of maximum assistance as the lessons proceed?

I had a student once whose family had no idea what I was referring to when I discussed 'practicing', and they smiled and nodded, and it took about four weeks of quite strange conversations and detailed demonstrations before they really understood what their daughter needed to do between lessons. And this was made all the more difficult because it seemed to the parents that this much effort was surely only required if you were taking music 'seriously'.

I think there is a big need for appropriate resources for parents to turn to for simple explanation of what piano lessons might involve, what they might deliver, what students need to be doing between lessons, what kinds of outcomes will be achieved with which kind of lessons, and so very much more. Teachers will agree that we rarely have problems with the children of families with a culture of learning musical instruments: everyone knows, understands and agrees on what needs to be done to make any progress (no matter what the goal). This doesn't mean that these children necessarily make the best progress, simply that there is a great deal of clarity in the communication process.

I'm not aware of any fabulous website or book to recommend, but the MTNA link sounds promising!
_________________________
Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

Top
Page 5 of 6 < 1 2 3 4 5 6 >

Moderator:  Ken Knapp 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
ad (Casio)
Celviano by Casio Rebate
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Questions for those that use dremel for hammer shaping.
by UnrightTooner
21 minutes 58 seconds ago
Pianoteq vs Digital Piano vs Acoustic Piano
by wildpig
Yesterday at 11:57 PM
Baldwin Hamilton 1941
by JMN12
Yesterday at 11:13 PM
Tucson, AZ: Is Arizona Room a bad place for a piano?
by Paul678
Yesterday at 08:14 PM
Kissin plays...
by JoelW
Yesterday at 07:33 PM
Who's Online
79 registered (Allard, ando, Alex75001, barbaram, 25 invisible), 1014 Guests and 21 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76224 Members
42 Forums
157574 Topics
2314574 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission