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#1434457 - 05/11/10 02:05 PM Torn in half - need advice
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Here's the problem. I'm 57 years old, quite deficient in talent but quite determined. I don't play well though that hasn't stopped me from playing whatever I could manage to learn after my fashion. After a good deal of searching I finally found a qualified piano teacher. The trouble is lessons haven't been what I expected or rather my reaction to them hasn't been. I feel guilty at my lack of preparation though some days I practice as much as four hours. I feel guilty at not having time to keep up the pieces I've left in limbo to study the pieces my teacher wants me to study. Right now I'm not enjoying practicing much (I used to) and am actually avoiding it which isn't like me. I feel I'm learning from my teacher but perhaps not as much as I'd hoped. I don't feel we've formed any kind of personal bond. Paying for my lessons is pinching a bit at this time and I feel guilty at cutting into the family finances. I'm torn between breaking off totally and continuing. I really don't know what to do. I don't know if how I feel is normal or not. I don't feel I'd miss my teacher if I left - I do feel mild regret as what might be if I continue with her.
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#1434460 - 05/11/10 02:09 PM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: -Frycek]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2457
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: -Frycek
I really don't know what to do. I don't know if how I feel is normal or not. I don't feel I'd miss my teacher if I left - I do feel mild regret as what might be if I continue with her.


Sounds like Dolly Parton summed it all up:


D-I-V-O-R-C-E !


Wait a minute, didn't she also say, "Stand by your man" ?

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#1434461 - 05/11/10 02:11 PM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: -Frycek]
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8400
Loc: Georgia, USA
Hi Frycheck,

You’ll figure out what to do. When you didn’t have the teacher, your practicing was an enjoyable pastime at your own pace. Now, you are under pressure to perform to someone else’s expectations other than your own. We tend to pull-back or withdraw when we feel overwhelmed by something or too much pressure or stress.

It will be fine, whatever you decide to do. I wish I could play as well as you!

Take care,

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#1434462 - 05/11/10 02:11 PM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: -Frycek]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: -Frycek
Right now I'm not enjoying practicing much (I used to) and am actually avoiding it which isn't like me.


That troubles me the most in your post. It's possible it's just a coincidence, but it's also possible that it's your new teacher and lessons that are causing the dissatisfaction. How long have you been taking lessons from her? Have you had a discussion with her about your dissatisfaction?

To me, it's very simple: Don't spend money on lessons you're not enjoying and/or that you're not getting as much out of as you had hoped. But I realize it probably isn't as cut and dried as all that.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1434465 - 05/11/10 02:14 PM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: Rickster]
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8400
Loc: Georgia, USA
Quote:
Sounds like Dolly Parton summed it all up:


D-I-V-O-R-C-E !


Wait a minute, didn't she also say, "Stand by your man" ?


I think you meant Tammy Wynette. grin

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#1434479 - 05/11/10 02:30 PM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: Rickster]
Piano Again Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 1162
Loc: Washington metro
Although I have a LOT of music education in my background, I've had this same experience, which is why I have hesitated to take lessons this go-around with the piano (it's been about six years since I restarted).

It sounds like perhaps there is a disconnect between your goals (what you want to play) and your teacher's goals for you. I am guessing that she is giving you pedagogical-type material that you find boring or unfulfilling, so you are not enjoying practice and that is why you are avoiding it.

Or it could just be a personality thing.

Have you discussed this with her? It might be interesting to do so. You're the customer, after all. Though I know it's difficult.
_________________________
Recovering cellist, amateur pianist.


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#1434495 - 05/11/10 02:55 PM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: Piano Again]
Waltz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 707
Loc: Massachusetts
That sounds like a tough situation. Maybe sharing with your exact feelings candidly with your instructor would help.
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#1434499 - 05/11/10 03:01 PM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: Waltz]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2375
Loc: Virginia, USA
I've just started lessons after a long time being "self taught" (but mostly not really practicing, just playing). I can sense similar frustrations but, in my case, I do have a connection with my teacher and I do see some improvements. Yes, it's tough having to undo some bad things and work on things that I don't believe are the most important. But I'm in it for the long term and believe I'm on the right track.

And that is the most important thing: Do you believe you will improve better with a teacher or not? If not, it's a no brainer.
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  • Scarlatti - Sonata in D minor, K. 213

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#1434504 - 05/11/10 03:04 PM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: Waltz]
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
Quote:
I feel guilty at not having time to keep up the pieces I've left in limbo to study the pieces my teacher wants me to study.


Let your teacher know about this. Would you prefer to learn a different style, or with different songs? Maybe that could be the switch you both need to get everything comfortable again.

It's not as if there is one way out there, nor only one set of songs. I'd quit on a teacher if they were 'forcing' me to learn songs I didn't enjoy - and I have, too!

Don't let a small passing like this ruin your lesson experience. Before all else, discuss it with your teacher and ask if there is another way you can both approach the lessons.
_________________________
II. As in, second best.
Only lowercase. So not even that.
I teach piano and violin.
BM, Violin & Percussion Performance 2009, Piano Pedagogy 2011.

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#1434516 - 05/11/10 03:22 PM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: ll]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
You're obviously not punching the air and shouting yippee! after each lesson. Find another teacher, don't be shy in making an exit.
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snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
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#1434579 - 05/11/10 04:43 PM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: -Frycek]
MaryBee Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 1207
Loc: Cleveland, OH
These are questions for you to think about; you don't have to answer them here, unless you want to.

What do you hope to accomplish through taking lessons? Are formal lessons the best way to reach those goals?

Does your teacher know what your goals are? If not, why not?

Why are there any guilt feelings over anything you do or don't do in regards to piano? Is there someone else besides yourself that you're trying to please with your piano playing?

Would a different teacher work out better, or is it just lessons in general that don't suit you? I don't think you should jump in with another teacher until you know why this one isn't working.

I'm not trying to sound down on lessons, because I take lessons, and I love them! But you don't, and you need to figure out why you don't. If you loved your lessons, you probably wouldn't even be feeling bad about their cost cutting into family finances.
_________________________
Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
XVI-XXXIV

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#1434741 - 05/11/10 07:48 PM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: MaryBee]
GlassLove Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/10
Posts: 769
Loc: Michigan
Gosh, I don't punch the air and shout yippee after each lesson, but I don't do that after each practice session either. Neither event would cause me to quit though!!! I have had horrible lessons and horrible practice sessions....I imagine that I am a critical ingredient in both instances.
Now that you have a teacher, you have an additional individual to whom you can attribute "anything regarding your piano playing." Care should be taken not to blame the teacher (at least entirely) for this difference.
Perhaps you don't enjoy practicing as much now because you desire to "perform" at your weekly lesson in a way that you didn't expect yourself to perform on a weekly basis before?
I think that you should tell your teacher that the lessons have led to your feeling differently about practice. If your teacher is a good one, she/he will understand you and make the necessary adjustments to her/his expectations (and necessarily to yours).
I have had several "moments" like this with my teacher. They were deeper into our relationship (3 or 4 months of knowing one another), but I think both she and I gained something from the discussions.
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Christine











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#1434745 - 05/11/10 07:53 PM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: MaryBee]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
I hear you, Frycek. Practicing is hard! If we practiced what was already easy for us, I guess we wouldn't move forward.

The advice to speak candidly, about your feelings and resistance, with your teacher seems good to me. I think these things are very well-known to teachers; very likely from their own personal struggles with them. So if you acknowledge the problem and ask for help... well, what could you lose by it?

As for the financial pinch (and the time crunch), maybe having lessons every other week might help out with both. I know at least one other student of mature years who does it this way, simply because she has more calls on her time than she can answer, with the more intensive teaching schedule that youngsters (with no other job in life) pursue. I tried bi-weekly for awhile. Now I have a new teacher and weekly lessons, and that press for time is a real issue.

Teachers also understand about the expense of a musical education, from the same personal experience. It is legitimate and honorable to open up negotiations--- just don't offer to pay with a chicken! Oh well; if you want to. Offer and counteroffer is the way deals are struck.

Maybe you could throw in a bonus lesson once in awhile, as you have money for it, and your teacher might see a benefit in being able to fill up a slot left vacant from a cancellation.

I could see it working out for you. Best of luck with it!

BTW, my new piano teacher is great. As a student himself, his time is more within my personal financial reach, and it is far less scary--- less in the way of psychodrama--- to study with him. Believe me, I appreciate that aspect very greatly. And I feel happy to help support both the ambitions of a student, and a person who wishes to have a career in the performing arts. One day, no doubt about it, his time will be far beyond my purse.

Hey--- got to go practice.


Edited by Jeff Clef (05/11/10 07:55 PM)
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Clef


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#1434753 - 05/11/10 08:35 PM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: Jeff Clef]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11422
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I think that while not every lesson will be stellar, you should generally feel excited about the next time you get to practice when you leave. If you don't, (or worse, you feel like giving up after a lesson!) then you know it's not working out with this teacher.

Take some time to reflect on the things that you think contributed to not feeling a "bond" form between you two. What did your teacher do that you don't like? What things did you like about them? This will help you find the right teacher for you.

Like kbk said, don't be afraid to move on. It's not an insult to the teacher if you leave, it's just sometimes the personalities don't quite mesh.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1434754 - 05/11/10 08:45 PM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: -Frycek]
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3407
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Frycek, so sorry to hear you are having this trouble!!

First and most important question (most important only because you haven't told us): How long have you been taking lessons with this person?

Oh, also, does she have other adult students?

Ok, I am going to respond to your comments little by little...


Quote:
The trouble is lessons haven't been what I expected or rather my reaction to them hasn't been.

As others have said, we can't help you, and you probably can't help yourself, without articulating very clearly what it was you had expected, what you're getting in reality, and what reaction you had hoped for, and what you're actually finding.



Quote:
I feel guilty at my lack of preparation though some days I practice as much as four hours. I feel guilty at not having time to keep up the pieces I've left in limbo to study the pieces my teacher wants me to study.


Could it be that you are practicing too much, or practicing the wrong things?

You have heard me rant and rave about practice menus before, and I think you use one yourself? You should be able to make a menu that allows you to work on lesson pieces and repertoire pieces. But make sure you discuss this with your teacher, so that she knows how you're spending your practice sessions.

By the way, what are these "pieces she wants you to study?" Did you pick them out together, or did she pick them out for you? Do you like them?

Even if you are working on something only for learning purposes, you should like it. There's too much piano literature available at all levels to play something you don't like.

You (and I mean you, Frycek, not the generic you) should have a big role in determining what you work on. If the teacher doesn't allow this, she may not be the right teacher for you.



Quote:
Right now I'm not enjoying practicing much (I used to) and am actually avoiding it which isn't like me.


This is troublesome... but I suspect if you can figure out the other problems, this one will solve itself. Until then, pick some goals for yourself, small ones. For example: 30 minutes on lesson piece, 30 minutes on repertoire/upkeep piece. Whatever you do, don't stay away from the piano, you'll only regret.



Quote:
I feel I'm learning from my teacher but perhaps not as much as I'd hoped.


Learning is a funny thing. It comes in fits and starts, and sometimes I think we cannot learn from others, that we look at others but are really learning from ourselves. Other times, I disagree with myself! Here is where the question of how long you've been with this teacher becomes very relevant. Could it be that you haven't figured out how to learn from her yet, or she hasn't figured out how best to teach you yet?



Quote:
I don't feel we've formed any kind of personal bond. ... I don't feel I'd miss my teacher if I left - I do feel mild regret as what might be if I continue with her.


Hmm, again, how long have you been taking lessons with her?

I think it's important to have a good connection to one's teacher, so this is a big thing. Is she condescending at all or negative? If so, leave right away. If not, see if there's anything you're missing, and maybe try to open yourself up and see if she responds.

I can see how torn you are. But with regard to the last statement I quoted here, "what might be" will only be if you benefit from the lessons and feel motivated to practice. If being with this teacher makes you want to stay away from the piano, then clearly leaving this teacher is the best option.

But, if you may go through this thread and answer everyone's questions (even if only to yourself) and decide you want to try a little more with this teacher. If you do, consider giving a time limit, say "I'll try it for 4 more lessons" or maybe 8? and then decide. During that time (if you decide to try this) tell yourself that you will follow all the teacher's instructions, try it her way, and put 100% effort into that. At the end of whatever time you set for yourself, reassess, and if it's just not working out, quit with no regrets.

Best of luck to you!!!

And a big hug (((((((((FRYCEK)))))))))))


Edited by ShiroKuro (05/11/10 08:47 PM)
Edit Reason: clarity
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
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#1434761 - 05/11/10 08:59 PM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: -Frycek]
Sam S Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 1407
Loc: Georgia, USA
Frycek, I'm 56, so I'm right there with you. In my case I am self-directing because of the expense of lessons.

Sometimes I think we forget that the teacher is working for us. It would be great if we could have the relationship with the teacher that we want, whether that is coach or mentor or friend, especially since we are sharing something so personal as making music, but I don't think it happens that often. If we go into the lesson feeling that we have to impress the teacher, or fearing that we are letting the teacher down, then that's probably the wrong attitude. The lesson is about you and for you and not about performing for the teacher. I kind of feel that what is really important is what happens when we practice, not when we take the lesson.

After all, you are paying for the lessons, not the other way around. If you are not getting what you want then have a talk with the teacher and ask for a change.

Sam

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#1434766 - 05/11/10 09:08 PM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: Sam S]
QUAVERMAN Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 16
Loc: new york-florida
possibly you could work it out where you can take a lesson every other week or once a month.

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#1434786 - 05/11/10 09:30 PM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: ShiroKuro]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: ShiroKuro
By the way, what are these "pieces she wants you to study?" Did you pick them out together, or did she pick them out for you? Do you like them?

Even if you are working on something only for learning purposes, you should like it. There's too much piano literature available at all levels to play something you don't like.


+1 million.

Great post, Shiro. smile
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1434805 - 05/11/10 09:59 PM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: Monica K.]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4777
Loc: Seattle area, WA
-Frycek you sound just like I did 6 weeks ago when I split with my newish teacher of 10 months. I had hoped for the excitement and depth of learning I had gotten from my previous teacher. I was learning a decent amount from her even though her personality and mine didn't mesh. I kept saying to myself that I needed to work harder and that I was just being the spoiled child for not enjoying my lessons and my work at the piano. I talked myself into sticking with it even though I was becoming progressively more miserable. And like you, I was beginning (for the first time in my life) to loath practicing. That was when the warning bells went off in my head. I have always loved to practice. Once I quit, I felt a huge sense of relief. Within 2 days, I was hungrily practicing like I always had. I am enjoying my hiatus from lessons but I plan to hook up with another teacher soon.

Don't be discouraged about taking lessons. You just need to find the right teacher, someone who understands what you want and whose style is encouraging and makes you happy. Keep looking and sampling until you do. You will be very glad you did.


Edited by gooddog (05/11/10 10:03 PM)
_________________________
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Deborah

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#1434831 - 05/11/10 10:53 PM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: landorrano]
TX-Dennis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/05
Posts: 4126
Loc: Texas
Nevermind . . . Rickster beat me to it.


Edited by TX-Dennis (05/11/10 10:54 PM)
_________________________
Dennis

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#1434834 - 05/11/10 11:00 PM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: TX-Dennis]
TX-Dennis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/05
Posts: 4126
Loc: Texas
I don't really have any advice, but I will say that I'm pulling for you. I'm over 50 (barely) and utterly devoid of talent myself. No teacher, though. When I don't want to play something I don't. I only play pieces I enjoy listening to. Of course, I'm not getting better, either, without a teacher to challenge me. You just have to decide if you want to be lazy like me and never get any better or continue with a teacher and make at least some progress in your playing. If the lessons are a financial stretch, perhaps your teacher would be open to reducing their frequency to save you some money.
_________________________
Dennis

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#1434839 - 05/11/10 11:08 PM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: gooddog]
al-mahed Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/09
Posts: 769
Loc: Rio de Janeiro
Hi Frycek, I understand you. I passed thru a similar situation last year. The first teacher I had was pretty good, I started lessons with her in my former town. Later, because work, I moved to a new city and a new teacher. And he was totally nuts (the new teacher), old fashined (coins on the hands like), changed absolute everything my former teacher was doing, gave me terrible stuff to work on, and the lessons were terrible... the thing just didn't work (and he was the most expensive of all).

So I didn't think twice, I just changed teachers, and this was one of the best decisions I made recently. My new teacher is awesome! Amongst the 3 teachers I had, she cares less with stupid details (like if my mouth is half opened of closed when I play) and more in technique and good taste.

Don't be afraid, be honest with yourself, if you are not linking to the point you are even posting this here, so I think is time to change teachers!


cheers
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Learning since ~ JUN/JUL-2009

Working on: music

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#1434885 - 05/12/10 12:25 AM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: al-mahed]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
OK, I've studied with her for five months. It's not so much a matter of my rising to her challenges as feeling that I'm spending an awful lot of time rapidly gathering low hanging fruit -in other words being made to learn the first movement of a Beethoven sonata in a week when I'd be a lot more satisfied and challenged spending a month on the first page of a Chopin etude. As for the lack of personal bond -it's just that, not a dislike - just an indifference on her part. I feel like I could fall of the earth tomorrow and not elicit so much as a casual sigh. That would be beside the point if I were otherwise satsified but it's a factor that would make leaving easier. If there were any sort of bond forming I might feel more comfortable with challeneging her "program" for me. As it is I feel her attitude is this his how I teach, take it or leave it.
_________________________
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#1434890 - 05/12/10 12:37 AM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: -Frycek]
jazzyprof Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2621
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
I know how you love those challenging Chopin pieces! Perhaps you should simply tell your teacher you prefer to work on those pieces and that you would like her to help you master them.
_________________________
"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP

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#1434892 - 05/12/10 12:43 AM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: -Frycek]
chiyosdad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/08
Posts: 27
Hi Frycek, life is too short to waste. The most important thing is to have fun. If you don't enjoy what you are doing, then change it. Good luck!

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#1434896 - 05/12/10 12:52 AM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: -Frycek]
HappyApple Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 254
Loc: Tennessee, USA
I took a dozen lessons. Totally bored. And my teacher would never 'show' me anything. I started 'self-teaching' in August of '09. I bought books and actually studied, took the tests, played everyday, studied on the internet, learned the keys, chords...I feel like I have learned more in 9 months than I could have learned in 5 years of lessons. There have been less than 5 days in 9 months that I don't sit at my piano.(until I just HAVE to get up!) It is one of the most enjoyable, fulfilling things in my life. And I see and feel growth every week. I would like to find a teacher that would show me the secrets, tricks, chord patterns... I'm almost 50 and am not going to be a concert pianist. But I can play just about any song in my church hymnal! And I am loving every minute of it. I guess I wanted a teacher that would show me more.
_________________________
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1970 Baldwin Hamilton

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#1434904 - 05/12/10 01:17 AM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: GlassLove]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: GlassLove
Gosh, I don't punch the air and shout yippee after each lesson,
That's what's wrong with the teaching/learning profession. Is delving into such a great mystery so bland?
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
I think that while not every lesson will be stellar, you should generally feel excited about the next time you get to practice when you leave. If you don't, (or worse, you feel like giving up after a lesson!) then you know it's not working out with this teacher.
More sober but very true.

She makes you play Beethoven!? Why would you play Beethoven when you can play Chopin?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1434918 - 05/12/10 02:24 AM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: keyboardklutz]
Ted Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 1503
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
You mustn't lose your delight in music whatever happens, Frycek. Work from that premise and do whatever has to be done. A bit of thought should tell you exactly what is causing this loss of interest. Examine your finest moments in music and understand how they came into being. Think about the precise origins of your previous musical pleasure. Think about why these occurrences are now absent. I doubt the answers will be complicated and they may or may not involve your new teacher.

Of course if the same negativity is permeating the rest of your life, then that is an altogether different problem.


Edited by Ted (05/12/10 02:26 AM)
_________________________
"It is inadvisable to decline a dinner invitation from a plump woman." - Fred Hollows

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#1434998 - 05/12/10 08:12 AM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: Ted]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Thanks everyone for your advice. I've cancelled my lessons for now, ending on a friendly note hinting that I might like to come back some time in the future.
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#1435001 - 05/12/10 08:21 AM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: Ted]
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3407
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Hmmm, 5 months, that is probably 20 lessons... I think you either need to talk to her, or tell her she's fired.

Why is she having you play the Beethoven piece? Do you know what her teaching philosophy is, and agree with it? She has to have a reason for what she's having you do, and you have to understand and agree with that reason. If not, time to go elsewhere.

Given your love of Chopin, I can see how there would be great benefit in having you play some things from the standard repertoire that are a little easier and would allow a focused attention on certain technical and or musical aspects. But that only works if she's clear about why she's having you play something and if you're clear on what you're supposed to be getting out of each piece.

I think you either need to have a serious talk with her about lessons goals, or maybe you should quit. 5 months is long enough for both of you to be used to each other etc.

When I go to my lessons , I am always excited about going. When I finish my lessons I always feel like I've benefited from the time spent. That doesn't mean that the lessons are never hard or never frustrating. And there are times when I didn't prepare as much as I'd like. But my teacher understands that I am a grad student and school has to come first. She is always only ever encouraging. These are things we should expect from our teachers. Do not settle. Talk to her. And don't let this experience keep you away from the music you love.

Please let us know what you decide. And don't be discouraged by this , if it doesn't work out, it is not your fault!
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#1435022 - 05/12/10 09:15 AM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: HappyApple]
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3550
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
Originally Posted By: HappyApple
I took a dozen lessons. Totally bored. And my teacher would never 'show' me anything. I started 'self-teaching' in August of '09. I bought books and actually studied, took the tests, played everyday, studied on the internet, learned the keys, chords...I feel like I have learned more in 9 months than I could have learned in 5 years of lessons. There have been less than 5 days in 9 months that I don't sit at my piano.(until I just HAVE to get up!) It is one of the most enjoyable, fulfilling things in my life. And I see and feel growth every week. I would like to find a teacher that would show me the secrets, tricks, chord patterns... I'm almost 50 and am not going to be a concert pianist. But I can play just about any song in my church hymnal! And I am loving every minute of it. I guess I wanted a teacher that would show me more.


One of the best (and most inspiring) posts I've read anywhere in the forums at any time - there is much wisdom in this for all us self-teachers - thanks HappyApple - you've made me a HappyCamper! thumb

JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.

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#1435032 - 05/12/10 09:39 AM Re: Torn in half - need advice [Re: TrapperJohn]
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3407
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Fyrcek, oops, you must have posted while I was typing.

Anyway,I am glad you came to a decision. Now, back to the keyboard and find your joy again!
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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