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#1421656 - 04/21/10 09:21 PM How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol
Dark Dragon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/10/08
Posts: 97
Loc: ON
My thread got closed because the topic got a little sidetracked by other people.

I called the dad today. I explained my concern about having 2 conflicting teaching methods and that I didn't think it would be best for his daughter. He told me not to worry and that he was only taking the lessons because it was 2 free lessons. He said he wasn't signing up for anything and that there was nothing for me to worry about.

So all in all, it didn't turn out as bad as my 10 page thread would have made me/us suspect.

Even though I am not very impressed by comments about me getting ready to cut my ties with this student, I guess I'm glad that there are a swarm of teachers ready to engage in this kind of topic from both sides of the coin. However, I don't know how this kind of conversation would go in person. No moderators to boot, block or save in real life smile

All is good smile I feel like I'm the only one who has weird piano related problems. Let's hear your problems, don't be shy smile

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#1421660 - 04/21/10 09:30 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Dark Dragon]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
I didn't read much of your other thread, but there shouldn't be a problem with a student having 2 teachers. I have students who come to me to learn composing/improv, jazz, and go to another teacher for classical.

I ask them what the other teacher shows them for technique and practice, so that we don't overlap or give conflicting advice.

It's not a big deal.

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#1421664 - 04/21/10 09:37 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Wizard of Oz]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10356
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Until the first time that the second teacher asks the student who that idiot teacher is who keeps telling you to do things that way. smile
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#1421671 - 04/21/10 09:44 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Wizard of Oz]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
"Not very impressed by comments about me getting ready to cut my ties with this student"? Then you're not impressed by the single most important piece of advice that you could have picked up from that thread. I don't believe anyone said "forget it, you've definitely lost a student- YOU LOSER!" or anything remotely like that. I think you really missed the hugely important point that a lot of different people tried to convey to you- which is that you always have to be ready for the possibility of losing a student at any time and with any one of your students- and that it's not good for you to bad-mouth other teachers in the event that they take them in etc. A teacher has to be able to accept it when it happens. Regardless of the fact that this has panned out okay for you, I'd seriously advise you to keep all those things in mind. At some point in time, suprises will come out of nowhere and they won't necessarily turn out as they did this time. As a professional you need to be ready to deal with that. I'm glad for your sake that this has gone as you wanted it to, but I seriously hope that doesn't mean you're not going to learn anything about the right way to deal with things that are beyond your personal control. At some point in a teaching career, such an event will not have a happy ending. That's not pessimism but practical awareness. You need to be ready to deal with it, either way. Circumstances have not forced you to learn a hard lesson here, but you still need to learn a lesson about attitudes from this- or you'll simply be saving up an ever harder lesson for later. And I really wouldn't be looking forward to hearing you vent about that...
_________________________
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#1421677 - 04/21/10 09:48 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
I read a bit more of the OP's thread, Dark Dragon, seems like you are taking this WAY to personally and getting angry over nothing. A student can choose to leave whenever they want, this is not a friendship or anything. They are paying you for piano lessons, THAT'S IT!

I mean, I left my classical teacher after 12 years and haven't talked to her since then.

What country are you from Dragon? It might be that your culture treats these things differently.

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#1421781 - 04/22/10 01:18 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Wizard of Oz]
Dark Dragon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/10/08
Posts: 97
Loc: ON
Sure we are in for surprises, from scanning through the posts from other members, there have not been a lot of people who have gone through a similar situation (although a few have).

I'm not sure how much bad mouthing I did about the other teacher. All I said was I really don't agree with another teacher teaching my student and that a teacher from Poland is not going to have an advantage over me teaching in Canada (where we are currently located). I don't see any phrases where I said the other teacher was a total loser or questioned her abilities.

You guys are talking about this like students leave teachers all the time. I know it happens. Heck a dozen of my students were referred to me by another teacher. With my students, a problem that could range from not practicing, to a late payment, exam/festival scheduling conflicts, regular problems. I'm pretty sure someone teaching other peoples students is not a common thing or common problem.

Wizard of Oz
There is nothing wrong with taking lessons from one teacher for jazz and another for classical. I could totally see the benefit of that and wouldn't question that. I have one student who currently goes to another teacher for theory. I'll occasionally answer some questions she might have, but not mess with how the other teacher is teaching her. Just as I have never had a problem with the other teacher teaching my student any of the material we are working on.

To all the people who are on the side of "you're paid to teach and students can go wherever they want", we should assume that you are in favor of students being taught any material by any teacher regardless of their supposed commitment to working with you. It's about the kids and lets not have a power trip and take things so personally right?

I don't get why taking this situation online and reacting how I did matters at all. I didn't call anyone names, I didn't say anyone's teaching ability was worse, I was frustrated and wanted input, whats the problem with that? To the Dad's knowledge, I simply told him my conflict with his free teacher and he said it was nothing and over. He and the other teacher didn't hear anything about me venting, so whats the problem? I'm not allowed to vent here? I don't have a right to vent? I'm just paid to teach and are not allowed to feel anything?

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#1421790 - 04/22/10 01:31 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Dark Dragon]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
Dark Dragon, you can vent all you want, but to me it just seemed like an overreaction. Like that you weren't good enough as a teacher so they had to find a new one. That student is still going to you and you are getting paid so what's the problem?

I've had new students quit after a month or a few lessons, things didn't work out so you move on.

Unless the student is on a strict classical program practicing certain pieces for an exam, it can be more beneficial to have many teachers.

Think of music students who go to Julliards (sic?) or Berklee, they have like 5-10 teachers like regular school.

The best students learn how to be self-taught and absorb things from everyone and take what is useful to them.

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#1421860 - 04/22/10 06:12 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Wizard of Oz]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Feelings are okay, but if the parents read what you wrote on here (with the loaded implications about "Poland" and the extremely pronounced sense of possessiveness) how would they view that? Be upset by all means, but I wouldn't write anything on here you wouldn't be uncomofortable with any of the parties ending up seeing. Learning to deal with such situations without flying into a rage is important both professionally and personally.

Also, I agree entirely with the Wizard's above post. I don't think there's much that I'd be uncomfortable with anyone teaching my students. If I disagree strongly (eg. lazily taking the third finger in left hand root position arpeggios when a hand isn't actually small), I'm inclined to give a detailed explanation of why I feel I should "overrule" it (in this case because it continues to develop an already able finger and leaves a less able one lagging further and further behind). If I don't, I'm perfectly happy to work around things that may not necessarily be the very first thing I'd have suggested myself.

This passage stood out for me:

I sometimes hear my students say "well my music teacher said" or "my old piano teacher said". I stop them right there and say "they are not your piano teacher, I am". I don't think this is a power trip, I just want to make it clear who is in charge and who is not. If the money is given to me, I believe my say should come before any other teacher.

How interesing that you specifically chose to deny that it is a "power trip". So obviously it had occurred to you that there might be reasons why people would view it as such? It's not about who is "in charge". If you want to overrule something, you should earn their respect by explaining why- if you have a real justification. "You only answer to me" should not even come into it. If you do not a valid reason why something must urgently be overruled then, assuming it's about the student and not about you, you should be able to accept alernatives. Perhaps you view it in terms of needing to undermine the student's former training or alternate possibilities to put yourself as the lord of the manor. This may explain why you are insecure about external 'interference' with your teaching. However, I wouldn't assume that others work the same way. Teaching is really not about saying "just do what I say and ignore what anyone else told your before"- and not everyone works that way.

Next time that happens, how about if you stop them and try to convince them why your alternative is better- and leave the Stalinst rule out of it. If you can't, is there definitely any good reason why you should not allow them to do what someone else suggested?
_________________________
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#1421873 - 04/22/10 07:03 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Dark Dragon]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11657
Loc: Canada
Dark Dragon, the only thing that I would have to say about venting is that it's good to know when a teacher is doing so. Some people take time and effort to offer possibly solutions, help problem-solving, or share their experience in an effort to help. If someone only aims to vent then it is silly to make that kind of effort.

Personally, I would be more interested in learning how this evolves. The fact that the father was not planning to change teachers and that those were two free lessons that he took advantage of doesn't really resolve what you described so I don't imagine that you are stopping there.

You have told us that the student needs longer lessons, should be practising more, and consistently rather than on an emergency basis. The father who guides his daughter in practising also has the wrong expectations, wanting her to pass an exam before she has gotten enough skills to do so. It seems that he is lacking some knowledge which you can provide. I think a lot of us are interested in seeing how these things evolve, and probably expect a future "good news" post where you tell us of the positive changes that have happened. smile

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#1421900 - 04/22/10 08:28 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: keystring]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13780
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Furthermore, I would remind people that this is a public forum that anybody can view. Venting here isn't just venting to a group of teachers. Venting here is like going to your local shopping mall, grabbing a megaphone, standing up on a raised platform and shouting "Attention All Teachers Here At The Mall, What Do You Think About This???"

If a matter requires discretion or diplomacy, this is the wrong place to discuss it!
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1421930 - 04/22/10 09:58 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: keystring]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3190
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: keystring
Dark Dragon, the only thing that I would have to say about venting is that it's good to know when a teacher is doing so


Far safer to vent here with your peers than with your customers. But you run the risk of your peers not agreeing your anger is justified. Also, venting doesn't always reduce the overreaction, sometimes it reinforces it.

Quote:
The fact that the father was not planning to change teachers and that those were two free lessons that he took advantage of doesn't really resolve what you described so I don't imagine that you are stopping there.


Now here I would suggest caution. We know what he said, but we don't know how honest he was. Parents don't tell the whole truth. I don't tell the whole truth. (I would never directly lie; but I might have made some decision about the future that I didn't feel like sharing with the teacher.)

In fact, the first time the teacher told me she didn't have time to discuss my child, I would have decided to find a new teacher. I wouldn't have started a confrontation, or told her why. I would just not renew the next month. "sorry, schedule difficulties." A phone call the next day making time for the discussion would have changed my mind, but only once. I don't owe the teacher the reasons, nor am I paid to help her improve her teaching. And, I'm a kindly sort, and have no wish to hurt her feelings. So I'd just quietly move on. Having that backup second teacher on the bench makes it easy. Most parents are like me. They aren't looking for a fight; if they become dissatisfied (and it can be for totally erroneous reasons) they just drop and you'll likely never know why.

If a teacher called me and calmly explained that having two teachers would be counterproductive for my child, I'd probably believe her. If I detected any level of anger in the conversation, I very well might choose the other teacher.



Edited by TimR (04/22/10 10:00 AM)
_________________________
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#1422040 - 04/22/10 01:50 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: TimR]
Dark Dragon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/10/08
Posts: 97
Loc: ON
TimR
I think its very easy to say that you could drop a teacher because you could go to the next one. I think that you see a piano teacher as just a dime a dozen and that your child has endless teachers from which to choose from. Just because a teacher is a national piano champion and 50 years teaching experience and ladadadada, if that teacher and your son/daughter don't get along, you're not going to get optimal results. If your son/daughter enjoys lessons with the current teacher, has success, no communication issues, etc..., why pull out of the lessons just because the teacher didn't have time to address you the moment you requested?

I simply told the father I did not have time to speak to him at the moment because we only had a 30 minute lesson, and the lesson I didn't want to be late for was his OWN daughter. The competition was 1.5 hours away and it was our last chance to go over any problems she might have been having. If he was to drop me the next day because I didn't speak to him at that exact moment, that would just be a sad situation.

I think people forget or are unaware that your child's connection with the teacher is important. Once you have that connection, dropping the teaching just because you feel like trying another teacher is rather unfair to the child.

"I'm glad you got to know this teacher, but now its time to get to know another. You'll like her, now go!"

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#1422049 - 04/22/10 02:17 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Dark Dragon]
Dark Dragon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/10/08
Posts: 97
Loc: ON
Last little thing before I go to work...

I don't need to justify why my method is better or worse to my student. My students come to me and put their trust and faith in me that I know what I'm talking about and don't have to explain why my method is better or worse than someone else. How about other teachers who have no business in the development of my student just mind their own business? That's no so hard. I'll ask a few of my fellow teachers at school today and see what they say. I highly doubt I'm going to get the "its all about the children and you're just paid to teach...that's it! They do what they want and you don't own them".

This will be fun smile

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#1422101 - 04/22/10 03:36 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Dark Dragon]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11657
Loc: Canada
Dark Dragon, I thought you were concerned about your student. You presented a couple of issues yesterday that were impeding her progress and things that needed to happen such as consistent practice and longer lessons. What's happening there? Surely you are not that interested in people's opinions on things that don't matter. If you are a professional then whether others believe what you are doing hardly is a concern.

Quote:
You don't own them".

This is silly. Of course you don't own your students. You are helping them develop. So what happened?

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#1422158 - 04/22/10 05:28 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Dark Dragon]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
If you want to keep that faith, telling them to just do as you say and to ignore something that has been told to them by someone else who they trust (for no reason that you are going to explain) is a risky move. Faith in authority needs to be earned and an inquisitive mind should be rewarded. I like nothing better than to hear a student voice disagreement. It shows they are at least thinking. If they have been poorly informed elsewhere, I want them to know why I am suggesting otherwise. You were talking before about confusion down to different approaches. Well there's nothing more confusing than being told what a former teacher said is wrong- ESPECIALLY without any justification. If you're doing things in a way that is better you need to explain why. If you can't, you ought to start wondering whether putting your foot down is justified and whether trying to stamp on an inquistive mind for the sake of having your own way is going to be of much use to either you or the student. Once you say that another authority figure is wrong- do you not realise that opens the floodgates for them to start wondering whether you might be wrong (especially if your justification amounts to "just do as I say")?

The teachers I remember with fondness and respect (either pianistically or academically) are certainly not those who came at me with 'the teacher is always right'. Even in primary school, I remember just how little respect I had for a teacher that wasn't even willing to listen the other side of the coin- nevermind give a thought-provoking basis for disagreeing with it. One such teacher I recall when I was 7 or so only strengthened my resolve to question unjustified authority. They never earned my respect or made me feel like I wanted to follow them blindly. I was no hell raiser, but I learned early on both that authority is not infallible and that those who portray the strongest authority (without first stopping to listen) are often the most fallible. Perhaps not all kids are like this, but I'd think very carefully about whether that type of attitude is going to do much for the 'trust' and 'faith' you speak of. That's the absolute opposite of what the 'just do it because I say so' approach could ever have inspired in me...
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

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#1422226 - 04/22/10 07:43 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11764
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
If I may say so, I see perhaps that You are reading a bit into the things that DD has said, Nyiregyhazi. I don't have any problem with a student asking a question about something that I've taught. In fact, I love the times that a student is actually thinking for themselves and asking pertinent questions. However, I don't think DD was saying that the first time or even the 2nd time a student referred back to a teacher they left previously. My assumption (which may be wrong, but I've been in this situation at times with transfer students) is that the student expects teacher #2 to be just like teacher #1. That is just not possible. When the student for the upteenth time refers back to what a previous teacher taught (especially when said teacher was not reliable but still held in high esteem by the student for nostalgic reasons), there comes a time to put one's foot down.

There are many times when a student should be inquisitive, and even questioning something taught that goes against what the student already knows. This is how one can arrive at the truth of the matter. This is especially important in voice lessons where the *vast* majority of teachers have no idea what they're talking about when it comes to technique. I find this less a problem in the piano world, although it does exist, so I can relate to where you're coming from, N. But I don't think that is what DD is doing here. She came on here upset and needing to vent to other teachers, and that automatically raised the hackles of some here who may be hypersensitive to teachers who are overbearing, abusive, possessive and read into her reaction. If you bother to look back at her previous posts, you would not see these qualities. I think giving one the benefit of the doubt is in order here.
_________________________
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#1422233 - 04/22/10 07:48 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Dark Dragon]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
Originally Posted By: Dark Dragon
Last little thing before I go to work...

I don't need to justify why my method is better or worse to my student. My students come to me and put their trust and faith in me that I know what I'm talking about and don't have to explain why my method is better or worse than someone else. How about other teachers who have no business in the development of my student just mind their own business? That's no so hard. I'll ask a few of my fellow teachers at school today and see what they say. I highly doubt I'm going to get the "its all about the children and you're just paid to teach...that's it! They do what they want and you don't own them".

This will be fun smile



Dragon you REALLY are in the dark man!! No proper student would want that attitude, in ANY field. Questioning how things done is the best way to learn, and just because it works well for you doesn't mean it works well for that student.

Ask 10 teachers how to improvise and you'll get 10 personal responses. Your role is to teach the student to become a better musician.

You need to rethink how to teach. What if your student isn't improving with your method, it could be your way isn't the best for him or her.

I think your ego is doing the talking, it's quite evident. You are insulted if someone says your way is wrong and chooses another person.

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#1422238 - 04/22/10 07:54 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Morodiene]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11657
Loc: Canada
Quote:
She came on here upset and needing to vent to other teachers, and that automatically raised the hackles

No - DD presented a problem and some people took DD serious as a teacher and listened. Specifically, she wrote that the student needed to practise more, and consistently, and needed to have longer lessons. Now that the story of a 2nd teacher is finished, these concerns seem to have vanished into thin air. All I am reading now is how DD will be proven right by getting other teachers to agree, or something like that. There was never any question about DD teaching wrong, so it doesn't seem very productive. What about the concern about the student? What about the need for longer lessons? What about the perceived need to learn more which got the father to take up the offer of the other teacher in the first place? The present attitude looks like strutting. I had hoped to take this person seriously because the situation of the student was presented reasonably and intelligently. What happened with all of that?

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#1422239 - 04/22/10 07:56 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Morodiene]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
If I may say so, I see perhaps that You are reading a bit into the things that DD has said, Nyiregyhazi. I don't have any problem with a student asking a question about something that I've taught. In fact, I love the times that a student is actually thinking for themselves and asking pertinent questions. However, I don't think DD was saying that the first time or even the 2nd time a student referred back to a teacher they left previously. My assumption (which may be wrong, but I've been in this situation at times with transfer students) is that the student expects teacher #2 to be just like teacher #1. That is just not possible. When the student for the upteenth time refers back to what a previous teacher taught (especially when said teacher was not reliable but still held in high esteem by the student for nostalgic reasons), there comes a time to put one's foot down.


If I put my foot down, I always explain why. If I cannot convey to the student why something is vital (so they can understadn WHY, not simply do as told) I have no business overruling their previous teacher. How confusing for a student is it if the rule is always obey whoever is the authority figure right now and always go against anyone who had been before? They'll soon be wondering whether they should bother listening, or whether they'll just end up being asked to do differently again and ignore the current advice. No good teacher has any business overruling something just because they are the teacher. If any piano teacher did that to me, my respect for them would fall virtually to zero. I should probably never listen to a single command they gave me ever again- unless they earned my respect by showing me why I should listen to them.

If you bother to look back at her previous posts, you would not see these qualities. I think giving one the benefit of the doubt is in order here.

Actually, it's precisely because of both the passage I quoted and various other power hungry rants that I say this. Nothing much came across in that post other than the sentiment, "I'm in charge and you may not question me". That's how to prevent learning, not how to encourage it.
_________________________
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#1422314 - 04/22/10 10:07 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Dark Dragon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/10/08
Posts: 97
Loc: ON
First off, I am not a her smile

Now that this situation with the other free teacher is over with, I've reduced the lesson time with the student, charged more and care a lot less.

...so I think you guys would assume.

Can't I have a day to teach my lessons and write a follow up post before the assumptions start? lol Technically I could post my reply during lessons, but that's interfering with me watching the game when I'm teaching lol! smile You need to give me time to reply to my own post which was only created what...yesterday? smile easy there smile

The father said to continue lessons as scheduled for this month and we will make changes next month to extend the lessons to the length that I had recommended.

I'm pretty sure that any student who walks in my door better show some kind of respect and not be staring me or my teachers down and making us earn respect. I'm not some bum off the street. I'm a teacher that has been referred to the majority of my students and they walk into my studio already knowing what to expect from all of my teachers and they have an idea of what we expect from them.

If a student is a transfer student, I never talk down about that teachers methods, I'll never say that my say will over rule in that case. ALL that I am saying is that when have the situation with my student under control, I highly reject the idea of another teacher coming in and confusing my student. She doesn't need another view point, angle, etc...some concepts she has yet to be taught by me and I just need more time, not outside help. In this instance, whatever this teacher says that contradicts what I'm saying, my say will overrule. Why? I am the hired teacher who the parents trust will help their daughter be successful, not this other teacher. I shouldn't have to explain to my student every time someone else tries to teach them a different way. You know those times where people say "its not my place to tell you" ? This is one of those times where the teacher should have said that and everything would have been cool.

where do babies come from - your parents tell you
whats 2+2 - your school teacher
anything piano related - your piano teacher, not just any teacher.

Would it not be safe to assume that if I am very strong in my feelings that I should have full responsibility for my student that I actually care about her and her development? She's not in Juliard, she's not 50 year old concert pianist, she doesn't need a swat team of teachers, she just needs to make sure she gets her assigned work done and have more time with me (which she will be getting in a week). Our connection is very strong and we have very effective lessons, it doesn't need to be needlessly disturbed by an outsider.

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#1422317 - 04/22/10 10:16 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Dark Dragon]
Morodiene Offline
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DD, sorry for the gender confusion. No offense was intended. laugh I think you make a valid point that as the expert the parents hired, you need to teach a student in the way you feel is best in your informed opinion. If another teacher gets involved teaching the same stuff in a different way, that can throw this out of whack (FWIW, a master class is so much different than taking lessons simultaneously, so that argument doesn't really hold water to those of you who would bring that up).

I'm glad they decided to take longer lessons with you, and I hope that her practicing picks up. Perhaps this little jaunt with the other teacher really showed them how much they appreciate you! wink
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#1422324 - 04/22/10 10:23 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Dark Dragon]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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If a student is a transfer student, I never talk down about that teachers methods, I'll never say that my say will over rule in that case.

Sounds more than a little different to:

I sometimes hear my students say "well my music teacher said" or "my old piano teacher said". I stop them right there and say "they are not your piano teacher, I am". I don't think this is a power trip, I just want to make it clear who is in charge and who is not. If the money is given to me, I believe my say should come before any other teacher.

That paragraph was objectionable in more ways than I can describe- quite independently of the specific situation you were describing elsewhere. It doesn't describe someone "staring you down" or misbehaving. It describes an inquisitive mind being told to subdue itself and just obey because you tell them to do so. I just hope what you say this time (in square contradiciton to what you said before) is substantially more representative of how you deal with students than what I quoted from you above.
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#1422344 - 04/22/10 10:44 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Wizard of Oz Offline
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Dragon, just curious, what do you do if a student says "No I learn it better this way, or find I this works better than what you showed me."

Do you insist that the student follow your way, or do you let theme do what they like.

Music is about discovery and curiosity. There are many paths leading to that.

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#1422365 - 04/22/10 11:37 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Wizard of Oz]
Dark Dragon Offline
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Wow

You must really think I'm a control freak.

If a student finds its easier to do something different from what I'm saying, we discuss it and sometimes we go that way. No problem.

I insist the student follow my way, not some random teacher who feels like showing her a thing or two.

My say comes before some random piano teacher or their school music teacher. I've had enough students come with really bad habits and mistakes that I've had to undo. All my transfered students come from a teacher I have met and spoke to in person. We've discuss our methods, how she has taught them, how I teach my students etc...They have blended well. We've never had an issue with the student saying "well my old piano teacher said". Their old piano teacher was good, it was a good foundation.

A student coming from a random piano teacher who I don't know (a number of whom I have heard horror stories from the students point of view) sometimes says "well my old piano teacher said". In that instance, we are looking for a fresh start. They tried the other teachers method and obviously it didn't work, so I don't want them to be thinking about their method anymore. Thus my say overrules because the previous method did not get the job done and we'll just say its not the way to go anymore.

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#1422370 - 04/22/10 11:43 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Dark Dragon]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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If a student finds its easier to do something different from what I'm saying, we discuss it and sometimes we go that way. No problem.

I insist the student follow my way, not some random teacher who feels like showing her a thing or two.


Are you honestly unaware of the fact that the second sentence already massively contradicts the first? This almost reads like a parody. Seriously. Why should "some random teacher" matter- if you actually abide by the first sentence? What matters, if you care about progress, is what works. That has NOTHING to do with who happened to suggest it. That should not even enter the thought process. The way you phrased that, it practically sounds like you would sometimes deliberately contradict what a student got from someone else, no matter whether it worked. I really hope I'm mistaken, but you basically proceeded to discredit what you said about being open minded before you even finished the next sentence.
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#1422377 - 04/23/10 12:01 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Also, nothing here changes the fact that if a student says perfectly innocently that they are used to doing somethign different, to stamp your foot and behave in a way that seems to say "Tough. I'm in charge now" is not productive. That is the key issue for me. In such a situation, you need to earn their trust. Imposing authority and telling them not to question you does not achieve that. Rewarding the inquisitiveness before responding to it with an explanation as to why you would like them to try something different is overwhelmingly more likely to gain trust.
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#1422392 - 04/23/10 12:57 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Elissa Milne Offline
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I think the two statements have assumptions behind them which remove all apparent inconsistency, Nyiregyhazi....

If the student turns up at a lesson doing something that impairs their playing and then they insist on doing it (despite the fact it's wrong/unhelpful/dangerous/time-wasting - select appropriate description as occurs in each instance) *because* their former/alternate teacher has told them to, then the teacher they are with at the moment has no further ability to assist them in their learning. The student places no value on the guidance of the teacher they are with if they won't work *with* the teacher to find a solution.

It's rare for a student to find a technical solution to a problem unassisted - if they could have found the solution they wouldn't have had the problem, as a rule..... But there are all kinds of other aspects of being a piano student that the first statement refers to: maybe it's how to practice, maybe it's how to count a rhythm, maybe it's how to shape a phrase, maybe it's how to create a climax - and many of these things have umpteen approaches the might work. One would assume the teacher is in an excellent position to guide the student (whether that involves the student's inclinations being followed, or not).

One has nothing to contribute if all one's guidance is always considered a second-rate contribution.

I've never had a piano teacher tell me to do something that wasn't valuable, and the loss would have been mine if I had insisted on doing things the way I did the year before. Each piece is a new challenge and each phase of repertoire acquisition creates brand new opportunities for growth. Refusing to participate in growth with your teacher diminishes to nil the value of the lesson.
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#1422394 - 04/23/10 01:01 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Wizard of Oz Offline
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Actually, yeah you do sound like a control freak. I mean, your reaction of anger and frustration isn't typical for a teacher when their student gets lessons from someone else.

You say you "insist" on the student following your way. I never teach like that. I show the student several ways and approaches.

You ever seen how Thelonious Monk plays? Very angular and sharp, disjointed, but brilliant.

Or Keith Jarrett and how he howls and makes weird noises and body spasms.

Both are great pianists and have figured out what works best from them.

True there can be bad teachers who've given students bad habits and you need to correct that. But you aren't showing the student how to figure things out and experiment to find out what works best for them.

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#1422418 - 04/23/10 02:11 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Wizard of Oz]
Elissa Milne Offline
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Originally Posted By: Wizard of Oz
I mean, your reaction of anger and frustration isn't typical for a teacher when their student gets lessons from someone else.


REALLY?!!!!
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#1422448 - 04/23/10 03:38 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Elissa Milne]
keystring Online   content
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I would like to address the issue of former teachers generally. Different scenarios are possible. The first teacher may teach similarly to the new one, or have taught well but differently. In that case the 2nd teacher can at least build on what the student has. Supposing, however, that the first teacher has ruined the student in some way, or let the student believe he was doing well without really teaching?

A special relationship builds between a student and his teacher, and no relationship is as strong as the one with the first teacher. You cannot expect a new student to be indifferent to his first teacher - there is loyalty, and affection is wrapped into what was taught. There is also TRUST. The student trusts his teacher guided him, that he learned the right thing. If that is not so, then it is a shock and not something he'd want to know. It also means he cannot rely on what he thought he had gained, and that is a shaky feeling you'd rather not have. If a student learns he has been misled, there is also betrayal, loss of trust, anger, and sadness. It might be easier to vent at the new teacher than be angry at the old. These are realities. Maybe students need to be controlled, but it still exists.

Nyer. touched on something else. If you trusted your first teacher and it turns out you were conned, how can you trust the second. And how to you know which teacher lied to you? It is easy for the new teacher to know, but a student who is still dependent on guidance and so does not have the judgment, how can he tell? For a teacher to say "because I said so, I'm the boss" (which is how it came across) - that does not feel very safe from where I'm sitting.

Back to the scenario of going from one good teacher to another good teacher who does things differently. There are different angles to approaching music, some of them seeming contradictory. When we are beginners we like the idea that things are done one certain way, so we know where we are. We do not yet know that teacher A's & teacher B's "conflicting approaches may actually be two sides to a same picture. If you get B's approach then maybe your playing will be so much richer in ways you can't imagine just now. However, A worked fine for you - why would you want to abandon or fool around with it? This is especially so if you still think there is only one right way.

This is assuming a wise teacher who has the skills, and will be able to guide her student. Those teachers who believe students are walking fire hydrants, that's not under discussion here.

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#1422452 - 04/23/10 04:01 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: keystring]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: keystring
Back to the scenario of going from one good teacher to another good teacher who does things differently.
I hate to break with conventional wisdom (no I don't) but I don't think there are such things. The order of delivery may differ, but never content.
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#1422453 - 04/23/10 04:10 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Elissa Milne]
Wizard of Oz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
Originally Posted By: Wizard of Oz
I mean, your reaction of anger and frustration isn't typical for a teacher when their student gets lessons from someone else.


REALLY?!!!!


That student didn't quit lessons with Dragon and all of a sudden jump to a new teacher. They tried the teacher out while still sticking with you.

If they are looking at other teachers, it means they aren't getting something from you. And if that's the case then so be it.

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#1422454 - 04/23/10 04:12 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: keystring]
Elissa Milne Offline
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I suspect that if teacher A were demonstrating that there are a number of approaches to learning repertoire, for instance, it would be a simple thing for a student to continue gaining even more approaches from a second teacher. A student insisting on doing things in one way only suggests that they were taught in a "there-is-only-one-right-way" manner (OR that the student just has that personality!!).
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#1422455 - 04/23/10 04:12 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: keyboardklutz]
Wizard of Oz Offline
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Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: keystring
Back to the scenario of going from one good teacher to another good teacher who does things differently.
I hate to break with conventional wisdom (no I don't) but I don't think there are such things. The order of delivery may differ, but never content.


Huh?

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#1422456 - 04/23/10 04:13 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Wizard of Oz]
Elissa Milne Offline
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Originally Posted By: Wizard of Oz
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
Originally Posted By: Wizard of Oz
I mean, your reaction of anger and frustration isn't typical for a teacher when their student gets lessons from someone else.


REALLY?!!!!


That student didn't quit lessons with Dragon and all of a sudden jump to a new teacher. They tried the teacher out while still sticking with you.

If they are looking at other teachers, it means they aren't getting something from you. And if that's the case then so be it.
Ah, well, context tempers a blanket response.....
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#1422457 - 04/23/10 04:19 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Wizard of Oz]
Dark Dragon Offline
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Originally Posted By: Wizard of Oz
Actually, yeah you do sound like a control freak. I mean, your reaction of anger and frustration isn't typical for a teacher when their student gets lessons from someone else.
You say you "insist" on the student following your way. I never teach like that. I show the student several ways and approaches.
True there can be bad teachers who've given students bad habits and you need to correct that. But you aren't showing the student how to figure things out and experiment to find out what works best for them.


Maybe the way you teach is bad and I should correct that. I don't think anyone is going to mind because its not typical for a teacher to get angry and frustrated when their student is getting lessons from someone else. There's no twist of your word, no assumptions and this seems to be the view point of a few people here. You guys can share you're students around all you want and you can teach how ever you want because its your business right? I don't share my students and I teach how I want because its my business right?

In terms of contradicting myself, ya it would be contradicting if you just read it without thinking beyond "how am I going to make DD look like a fool with what he just said".

Let's try to be super clear. Students who have been half taught, mis-informed, etc...are to forget about their previous teacher and accept my method. They can question it the first few times, but they learn very fast why questioning my ability or knowledge is not going to help them in anyway. I don't really care how it sounds, the point is for them to come learn from me. They pay me to guide them because they obviously cannot do it own their own. Questioning me every chance they get is not something that should be a priority in any way. Should the instance come where they have something unique to offer, I'll listen. But really...should I expect any student to surprise me every lesson by showing me about learning piano more than a handful of times?

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#1422460 - 04/23/10 04:29 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Dark Dragon]
Wizard of Oz Offline
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Dragon, man all I can say is I'm glad you weren't my teacher!! And it sounds like you only teach classical, right?

I teach bad? Pretty funny man, if you're offering a free lesson come on down.

Sounds like you got people issues more than piano issues.

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#1422461 - 04/23/10 04:30 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Dark Dragon]
Elissa Milne Offline
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I'm reading most of this conversation as not realising we are talking about kids as young as 5 in this kind of a context (not necessarily this particular instance). I once had a 5 year old start with me [an absolute beginner], skip the second lesson, turn up at the third having practiced nothing at all, and instead of having a fourth lesson they said they had decided to stick with their 'first' teacher!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Needless to say, I didn't even bother wasting my time pursuing them for the two lessons' worth of fees they owed me - GOOD RIDDANCE!!!
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#1422466 - 04/23/10 04:44 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Wizard of Oz]
Dark Dragon Offline
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Originally Posted By: Wizard of Oz
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
Originally Posted By: Wizard of Oz
I mean, your reaction of anger and frustration isn't typical for a teacher when their student gets lessons from someone else.


REALLY?!!!!


That student didn't quit lessons with Dragon and all of a sudden jump to a new teacher. They tried the teacher out while still sticking with you.

If they are looking at other teachers, it means they aren't getting something from you. And if that's the case then so be it.


Really? My student tried another teacher because they weren't getting something from me? Strange, I could swear we have pages upon pages of post referring to the fact that I have discussed extended lessons with the student because we were lacking time and not so much because she wasn't getting enough out of me.

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#1422467 - 04/23/10 04:49 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Dark Dragon]
Wizard of Oz Offline
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Sorry, I didn't bother to read most of it. Too much drivel. Keep venting though, it might help dissipate your anger.

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#1422469 - 04/23/10 04:50 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Wizard of Oz]
Dark Dragon Offline
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Originally Posted By: Wizard of Oz
Dragon, man all I can say is I'm glad you weren't my teacher!! And it sounds like you only teach classical, right?

I teach bad? Pretty funny man, if you're offering a free lesson come on down.

Sounds like you got people issues more than piano issues.



Did you not have a response to me saying I would teach your students because you wouldn't mind? Instead you just somehow think I'm just throwing an attack on you and saying you teach bad? Crazy.

People like me who just teach classical right? How in the world did you come up with that assumption? I'm starting to have more issues with a few of you teachers more than anyone or anything else. I think I've spent more time trying to explain and defend and clearly spell things out, but no matter what I come out as a "classical only, control freak". I think my time explaining my situation is up.

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#1422470 - 04/23/10 04:57 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Dark Dragon]
Wizard of Oz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Dark Dragon



Maybe the way you teach is bad and I should correct that.





Either English isn't your first language or you just have a hard time expressing yourself in the written form.

If that isn't you saying that "I teach bad" then I don't know what is. And what exactly are you basing that opinion on?

Actually let's hear your method on improvising or better yet just post something up.

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#1422471 - 04/23/10 05:11 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Wizard of Oz]
Dark Dragon Offline
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Originally Posted By: Wizard of Oz
Actually, yeah you do sound like a control freak. I mean, your reaction of anger and frustration isn't typical for a teacher when their student gets lessons from someone else.
You say you "insist" on the student following your way. I never teach like that. I show the student several ways and approaches.
True there can be bad teachers who've given students bad habits and you need to correct that. But you aren't showing the student how to figure things out and experiment to find out what works best for them.


Let's try this with the full paragraph.
You think people don't get upset when someone else teaches their student. You think I teach classical only (I like that one, that was pretty random). No body was asking how you teach as that isn't what is in question. But...if you don't care if someone teaches your student, then any hobo could start teaching them for free and making a mess of things. You're not really teaching them at that point, you're really un-doing other peoples mistakes.
As much as I'd love to continue guessing where methods on improve and me teaching classical only have anything to do with what the topic or sub topic is about, zzzzzzzzzzzzz

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#1422473 - 04/23/10 05:19 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Dark Dragon]
Wizard of Oz Offline
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First off, you have no "ownership" of that student. They could go to 10 different teachers if they wanted to. Would it benefit them? Maybe, maybe not.

Do you have a right to get angry? Sure. But that isn't going to stop them, so what's the point.
You would have been better off explaining that to the parent rather than coming here.

As for improvising, if you "insist" on teaching your student "your" method only, then I want to hear it. Cause I could probably find 10 different or better ways to go about it.

It's not what you teach that is the problem, it's your attitude of "my way or the highway".

And no really, I'd like to hear some improv from you.

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#1422487 - 04/23/10 06:26 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Wizard of Oz]
Elissa Milne Offline
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Originally Posted By: Wizard of Oz
Originally Posted By: Dark Dragon



Maybe the way you teach is bad and I should correct that.





Either English isn't your first language or you just have a hard time expressing yourself in the written form.

If that isn't you saying that "I teach bad" then I don't know what is.

"I teach bad"??? Hmm, interesting English!!!
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#1422489 - 04/23/10 06:37 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Elissa Milne]
Wizard of Oz Offline
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Hey I was paraphrasing his sentence...and we all know how "good" the Aussies use English!! G'day mate, another shrimp on the barbie?! aussie aussie aussie!! oy oy oy ! Blimey bird go eat some Vegemite!

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#1422493 - 04/23/10 06:44 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Elissa Milne]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Why do I get the sense that this thread is heading for a locking, just like the last one. Well, perhaps it's because a search for understanding seems to be getting lost again amidst a jockeying for position on the rankings of 'who can zing the other better.'
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#1422499 - 04/23/10 06:59 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Wizard of Oz]
Elissa Milne Offline
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Originally Posted By: Wizard of Oz
Hey I was paraphrasing his sentence...and we all know how "good" the Aussies use English!! G'day mate, another shrimp on the barbie?! aussie aussie aussie!! oy oy oy ! Blimey bird go eat some Vegemite!

"Blimey bird"???? Hmm, maybe it's been a while since you visited Australia..... And btw, the term 'shrimp' is never used in Australia, that was a special translation so that Americans could understand what Paul Hogan was eating.... And Australians use conjunctions when using the imperative (instead of "go eat" an Australian would say "go and eat").

But you're right, sporting chants are the foundation of understanding the literacy of a nation, aren't they!
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#1422526 - 04/23/10 08:39 AM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Elissa Milne]
Wizard of Oz Offline
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Never set foot in Australia in my life, but lived with, traveled and befriended enough of them mates to barely understand them. Throw in a kiwi or 2, they're like a separate breed. Rooming with a Brit, Aussie , Canadian and Saffie at once just about killed my English!! haha

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#1422682 - 04/23/10 01:40 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Wizard of Oz]
keystring Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Wizard of Oz
Throw in a kiwi or 2, they're like a separate breed.

Done. Are you sure they'll breed?

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#1422727 - 04/23/10 02:38 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: keystring]
Dark Dragon Offline
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Wizard,

We've finally made you feel what I have felt. The mere suggestion that "maybe" you were a bad teacher and that I should teach your students made you start going off about how you wouldn't want me as a teacher, how we should have a game of who improvises better, how you could find 10 ways to do something better than me. I don't think I ever directly said I was better or worse than anyone. But I'm glad you came back with something, showing that "maybe" you wouldn't want me to teach your students because you already feel you could do things 10 times better than me.

That's how I feel about some random teacher teaching my kid a free lesson because they think that I'm a bad teacher and they could do better. I'm not really saying YOU are a bad teacher, but you haven't really understood how I felt until you started coming back at me with all your comments. I feel (just as you feel) that I can teach my students well enough that they don't need some other teacher to come in.

You're completely defeating the purpose of this forum if you think I should just talk to the parent instead of coming on here first. Isn't think a place for teachers to talk about issues, ideas etc... with other teachers? I'm not just going to talk to my client about this kind of issue without thinking about it and discussing it with other teachers who could at least understand where I'm coming from.

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#1422755 - 04/23/10 03:17 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Dark Dragon]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
If you're ever in my area, give one my students a lesson any time you want. If you tell them something I would adamantly disagree with, I'm comfortable that I can show them why. I don't teach anything that I cannot justify- why would I present it as a sole acceptable truth if I could not even convince anyone of it? Conversely, if you teach them something different that benefits them, great. The primary goal of my teaching is to prepare my students to think for themselves and not to need to follow orders blindly. The input of others could only serve to help.

What "random teacher" said you're a bad teacher and they could do better? You're defending yourself against allegations that nobody has made. This is simply paranoia. The more you vent this type of puzzling insecurity without so much as a hint of prompting or evidence, the more it will cause people to wonder if you have something to be rightly insecure about. If deep down inside you are secure in your abilities, get on with things and stop "defending" yourself against accusations that nobody ever made. As a professional teacher, I would be very uncomfortable with exposing such a complex of insecurity on a public forum. You really don't want any of your clients to stumble across these kinds of posts, believe me...
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

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#1422760 - 04/23/10 03:23 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Dark Dragon]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Dark Dragon, that's exactly what a forum should be for, imo. Precisely what a forum should be all about.

Wizard of Oz, hahaha, OK, well if you think that Kiwis and Australians are the same 'separate' breed then you quite clearly don't know all that much about Trans-Tasman relations, hahahaha!!! And that must have been one big room you were all living in (brit, aussie, kiwi, saffie, canadian)!!!
_________________________
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

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#1422767 - 04/23/10 03:33 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Elissa Milne]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
If the student turns up at a lesson doing something that impairs their playing and then they insist on doing it (despite the fact it's wrong/unhelpful/dangerous/time-wasting - select appropriate description as occurs in each instance) *because* their former/alternate teacher has told them to, then the teacher they are with at the moment has no further ability to assist them in their learning. The student places no value on the guidance of the teacher they are with if they won't work *with* the teacher to find a solution.


In such a situation the only answer is to earn trust. If you rubbish what the other teacher (and previous authority) said, you also thrust a knife into their reasons to trust authority in general- which includes yours. To exercise authority in such a situation is actually to undermine yourself- unless you can prove yourself to be worthy of exercising authority.

Simply saying "you will obey me now" cannot help in these situations. Such an approach is probably what leads to those kinds of school classroom teachers we all remember who students obeyed but despised. The more you rely on pure authority over earned respect, the more authority you need to exercise to get your own way. And the more you continue to fuel that distaste for authority- requiring even more authority to be utilised to retain order etc. It soon spirals hopelessly out of control.
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

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#1422778 - 04/23/10 03:47 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Nyiregyhazi, I agree with all you have written in response to my post above..... Unless the teacher finds a way to establish trust with the student the situation does spiral out of control, and it becomes an untenable relationship.

I've had a situation where I took a student from my mum - a student I had known (via my mum's teaching studio) for some number of years. The parent was excited about making the transition - there are some aspects of teaching I've specialised in, and the student was transferring specifically to take advantage of these specialisations - my mum was thrilled, the parent was thrilled, I was thrilled, but it turned out the student wasn't so thrilled. For whatever reason this student simply would not do at home the things that we had worked on in the lesson, and before a ten week term was up it was clear that the transition had been a disaster - the parent and I would talk about strategies we each could use, but nothing worked.

It turned out that the student's high school music teacher was making suggestions completely contrary to the teaching I was giving in the private lesson, and the student was afraid that the end of year mark would be bad if my teaching was taken into account, so instead followed the dodgy advice being given by a classroom teacher who had no piano teaching experience at all. We struggled on all year, but it was the WORST teaching experience of my life.

The final mark this student achieved was OK, but not in the league that all my previous students had achieved in the same field of endeavour. So not only was it a horrible experience, but the student ended up with a worse result than the parent (and student for that matter!) had expected when signing up for the tuition with me, and the student was miserable turning up to lessons knowing they were going to ignore my input.

Lose/Lose.

I would suggest that any teacher finding themselves in a situation where another teacher's contradictory advice is being followed to the detriment of the student's progress to simply talk to the parent and say, it's not working. Maybe there will be a solution, but I think by the time it's reached this stage the relationship will almost always be irreparable.
_________________________
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

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#1422786 - 04/23/10 04:00 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Dark Dragon]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3190
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Dark Dragon
Wizard,

We've finally made you feel what I have felt.


What you decided to feel. It's your choice, you know. You have no control over the reactions and opinions of other people, but you do control how you respond.

Sorry to diverge from the topic, but that's a point that needs to be made from time to time.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#1422796 - 04/23/10 04:17 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Elissa Milne]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Interesting. I wouldn't deny anything you say there. However, it seems that the issue here was the fact it was clearly bad advice. I'm not saying I could magically have pulled a rabbit out of a hat there. However, if I had that specific problem I would go especially out of my to show why I was telling them to do certain things and do everything I could to force them to take notice through power of argument and demonstration. I've often had students who simply don't want to change fingers on repeated notes or see why there's a point. Fortunately this is an aspect of my technique which is no disgrace, so I'll play a rapid-fire C major scale in which every note is repeated in triplets or semiquavers- and then show them what happens if I attempt the same with one single finger instead of by cycling through them. I feel that this type of demonstration earns a substantial amount more respect than any amount of imposed authority could achieve. If someone else had said repeated notes work better with one finger, I think they'd be questioning that advice pretty quickly. You can't always win, but my means of trying to do so would always be to attempt to engage the student's thoughts.

Incidentally, I'm certainly not opposed to the idea that persistent outside advice could be harmful. Clearly that can happen. The issue for me is whether the teacher objects on the grounds of someone else getting involved (no matter what the results are) or whether they object based on negative impact. Floods of poor advice would trouble me- not the notion alternate ideas coming into the equation. Clearly, what you describe there is not merely a jealous or insecure reaction.
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

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#1422839 - 04/23/10 05:34 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Elissa Milne]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11657
Loc: Canada
Quote:
I would suggest that any teacher finding themselves in a situation where another teacher's contradictory advice is being followed to the detriment of the student's progress to simply talk to the parent ....


In the case of a high school student might I suggest that the student should also have a chance to talk to the private teacher about the situation. Music is full of politics, negotiations and ego, and an experienced musician might help a young lady or gentleman learn to wend their way sweetly through the minefield.

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#1422894 - 04/23/10 07:21 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: keystring]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: Wizard of Oz
Throw in a kiwi or 2, they're like a separate breed.

Done. Are you sure they'll breed?


If you didn't know, Kiwi is slang for someone from New Zealand. and I know much them Kiwis and Aussies love each other, just mix up their country of origin and see what happens! hahah

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#1422907 - 04/23/10 07:55 PM Re: How did my thread get closed, I wasn't done updating lol [Re: Wizard of Oz]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11657
Loc: Canada
Wizard, it was a joke. A play on words. A deliberate misunderstanding. A kiwi in this case is not a fruit. This is a kiwi. Note the concentrated gaze, which explains the superb sight reading abilities common to musicians from Down Under.

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