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

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

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

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

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#1435547 - 05/13/10 04:49 AM Too much focus on technique?
debussyfan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 36
I just started lessons with a new piano teacher, and she corrects my hand position every time I touch the piano. I'm grateful for the correction, but it seems excessive to be corrected constantly throughout the entire lesson. The changes are usually relatively minuscule. She wants my technique to be like a concert pianist's (I'm in grade 6, out of 8 grades = intermediate). The most I played was one bar from a piece I'm learning.

Is this normal, or too much focus on technique?

Top
(ad) My Music Staff
Check out the new way to manage your music studio
#1435548 - 05/13/10 04:53 AM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: debussyfan]
LimeFriday Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 303
Loc: Australia
When I first began with a new teacher she would do the same thing with me... she'd stop me and draw my attention to the error or the effect of tension... have me relax - and then start again.

I found that within a few weeks I was playing so much better... I was able to play the music the way I heard it in my head - without errors in technique getting in the way.

Bear with it... and I'm sure you'll find that you'll benefit from the attention to technique - and will make you progress through 7th and 8th Grades much quicker - and possibly more enjoyable.

Top
#1435618 - 05/13/10 08:30 AM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: LimeFriday]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11940
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Since you just started and you're already at an intermediate level, I would say no, this is not excessive. There are possibly some bad habits you have in your playing from prior to taking lessons with her that need to be corrected in order for you to advance without injury. She has your best interests at heart. The best way to get her to stop is to correct yourself whenever you play until it becomes a habit. The sooner you do as she says, the sooner you can move onto other aspects of playing. However, technique is always at the heart of things (technique before art), so you will probably be addressing technique in particular passages of music each time you learn a new piece. Then once you "get it" for that passage, then you work on making it music.

For example, let's say you are learning a Chopin Nocturne, and you encounter one of his infamous fiorituras (this is where you have a series of 8th notes connected together with the intention of all of them being played within one beat, all over a steady LH pattern that doesn't seem to match the RH at all). Since that may be one of the harder measures of the piece, of course time would be focused on technique with the goal of being able to do so without pain or fatigue. It makes sense that you would be working on how to play and practice this passage, even if your general technique has been corrected, simply because you've never encountered something like this before.

You mention the most you've done it one bar of music. Do be sure that you apply what she teaches you in the lesson to the rest of the music when you practice. I'm sure time constraints make it impossible to address each and every measure. So do that work on your own.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#1435653 - 05/13/10 09:37 AM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: Morodiene]
debussyfan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 36
Thanks for the insight smile
I'm relieved, because I don't want to have to look for a new teacher. My last never focused on hand position, so I guess that's why it's so bad.

Top
#1435744 - 05/13/10 12:06 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: debussyfan]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5486
Loc: Orange County, CA
You should be thankful that your new teacher is focusing on your weakness! Most transfer students come with a bunch of technical issues. My most recent transfer student came with excellent hand shape, but her fingering is crazy...she does 1-2-3-4-5-5-5-5 on her scale passages, and never learned the proper fingering for chromatic scales. And don't get me started on her completely WRONG pedaling technique.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1435776 - 05/13/10 01:01 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: AZNpiano]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Constant, vigilant attention is the only way to build a habit. Once better habits are established, your teacher will move on to other things.
_________________________
"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

Top
#1435822 - 05/13/10 02:27 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: Kreisler]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Yeh, be grateful you've found a good teacher.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#1435834 - 05/13/10 02:38 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Smallpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/10
Posts: 270
Loc: California
I do not think it is too much. However in my opinion, playing only one bar for the whole lesson will be too overdo. (Do I understand you correctly on this part?)
I had transfer student with sloppy technique too. I have to constantly correct their hand position, but I still allowed them to finish their pieces (they are lower level than you).
_________________________
English is my 4th languages, please excuse my grammar. Thanks

Top
#1435840 - 05/13/10 02:49 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: AZNpiano]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3200
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
My most recent transfer student came with excellent hand shape, but her fingering is crazy...she does 1-2-3-4-5-5-5-5 on her scale passages,


Smart. Most people's 5th finger starts out weak, and remains so because it is less used than the others.

Fingering like this develops it at an early age, eliminating decades of frustration later when she's forced to do things like trill 4-5.

(I'm trying to channel you-know-who.)
_________________________
gotta go practice

Top
#1435843 - 05/13/10 02:56 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: TimR]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Some of my voice students are lucky if they get to sing more than one syllable for weeks.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#1436077 - 05/13/10 08:34 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: keyboardklutz]
RayE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/10
Posts: 163
Loc: Rochester, NY, USA
Sounds like you have an issue with hand position that really needs the correction. Best way to get past this is to work on doing it the teachers way. I wish I had a teacher years ago that had corrected this problem for me, because now I have issues with finger joint pain that I believe are attributed to many years of playing with poor technique.
_________________________
Retired Army reserve Bandsman who now plays for the Joy of Music!!

Top
#1436211 - 05/14/10 01:57 AM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: RayE]
debussyfan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 36
This is some of what she's been teaching me (she sent me an email after my lesson):

Quote:
For a little while, please keep turning the hand upside down to feel the natural hand shape and the 'bridge', which is like a fulcrum (like mid-point of a see-saw) when hand is turned right side up, and the little bone swings from this fulcrum.

Scales - just do one octave pausing on each finger, and check the fulcrum/bridge/finger curve and if the finger is playing closer to the nail, so less surface area than how you have been playing on the 'flatter' part of the fingers.

CHORDS - remember to check
1. shape of the hand
2. letting the wrist do the 'follow through' movement downwards to release arm tension.
3. start keeping 'dead still' on the 'stilts' , take a breath, thethe arm sinks the fingers into keys, wrist follows through.

baseball - volley ball - basketball - beach ball - big beach ball
keeping the bridge i.e. don't let the 'landing lights' cave in at any time.[I think she teaches children as well]


That sounds normal, right?

Top
#1436305 - 05/14/10 08:08 AM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: debussyfan]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Yep.
_________________________
"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

Top
#1436336 - 05/14/10 09:18 AM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: Kreisler]
danshure Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 347
Loc: Massachusetts
Your teacher sounds excellent.

The only thing I can add is...

With this technique stuff, you're ultimately not trying to externally copy how it should look (although how you look is a good indicator of where you're at). You're trying to build an awareness of the internal physical/intellectual/emotional sense of how it feels to play with good technique (or not).

Think of it like Yoga. You're not trying to copy how the instructor looks, you're using their demonstrations to act as a spring board to come to an awareness of what it feels like to move properly for you.

The external look your teacher is describing is right on the money, and it's the RESULT of an internal awareness.
_________________________
Go here ---> Piano Teaching Blog

Top
#1436343 - 05/14/10 09:31 AM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: danshure]
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
Neither the knuckle bridge or the nail joint should 'cave in' as it were. Basic hand position is important tho other shapes will be necessary as the music score dictates.

In playing a Haydn Sonata in HS I never got past the first chord during one lesson. I finally satisfied my teacher but it took almost an hour.

R.

Top
#1436365 - 05/14/10 10:07 AM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: Varcon]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Just to offer somewhat of a contrarian viewpoint here: I feel teachers must also assess the intellectual and emotional readiness of the student to focus on just one problem to the exclusion of all others. I have a student, a rather wonderful student at this point, who came to me two years ago with MAJOR, MAJOR problems. One of them was real problems with hand positions, similar to the OPs. It became quite obvious within minutes that he was neither intellectually nor emotionally ready for intense, specific work, so my game plan changed to one of "nudging" him closer and closer to what is necessary, while allowing the reward of working on more repertoire. Had I taken the OPs teacher's approach, I would have lost him at the end of the trial lesson period. This way, he's still improving, but really thrilled with his music.

Peoples egos can be bruised, even with the best of intentions, but it sounds to me like the OP's teacher has done the correct thing, and in fact, the email reminder is a great idea. It will be interesting to learn how future lessons unfold.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#1436373 - 05/14/10 10:13 AM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: Varcon]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
If you were going to teach someone how to build a brick wall, you'd spend an hour getting the first brick right and then let them finish it.

You probably wouldn't spend 2 minutes doing a mediocre job on the first brick and then repeat that 30 times.

Your teacher isn't teaching you the piece, he's teaching you how to practice. It's your job to figure out how to apply that attitude, knowledge and skill to the next 100 measures.
_________________________
"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

Top
#1436396 - 05/14/10 10:38 AM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: Kreisler]
debussyfan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 36
Wow, I'm so surprised. Thanks everyone smile
Now I feel much more positive about the next lesson wink

Top
#1436423 - 05/14/10 11:38 AM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: debussyfan]
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
As for practice/practise one should look up the definition in a dictionary and understand that it means repetition after repetition and each repetition should be accurate and , hopefully, an improvement with continued application. There is a distinct difference between practice and playing. Exercises are just that--tools to improve playing. Hanon is only one of those tools.


Edited by Varcon (05/14/10 11:39 AM)

Top
#1436452 - 05/14/10 12:20 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: Kreisler]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
If you were going to teach someone how to build a brick wall, you'd spend an hour getting the first brick right and then let them finish it.
Curious analogy. Surely the point of a wall is to get all the bricks in the right place?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#1436465 - 05/14/10 12:46 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: keyboardklutz]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
The analogy might be more that playing scales is like laying the first course properly. All bricks must be equally spaced, eg the pulse of the scale, and of even height, eg the intensity of each note in the scale.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#1436467 - 05/14/10 12:48 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
danshure Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 347
Loc: Massachusetts
Yes - it was a quality vs quantity analogy. I didn't find it curious.
_________________________
Go here ---> Piano Teaching Blog

Top
#1436469 - 05/14/10 12:51 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
The analogy might be more that playing scales is like laying the first course properly. All bricks must be equally spaced, eg the pulse of the scale, and of even height, eg the intensity of each note in the scale.
That's better, but it still needs to go up straight as a plum line.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#1436470 - 05/14/10 12:51 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: danshure]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
You can't build the wall for the student. You have to show them how to build it themselves.
_________________________
"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

Top
#1436471 - 05/14/10 12:52 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: Kreisler]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
You can't build the wall for the student. You have to show them how to build it themselves.
Yeh, but wander off after the first brick?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#1436479 - 05/14/10 01:03 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: keyboardklutz]
danshure Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 347
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
You can't build the wall for the student. You have to show them how to build it themselves.
Yeh, but wander off after the first brick?


You show the student how to learn, how to self teach, how to problem solve, how to be accountable, and how to be independent.

You only "wander off" figuratively as to say you don't leave yourself as an emotional crutch or dependency.
_________________________
Go here ---> Piano Teaching Blog

Top
#1436485 - 05/14/10 01:10 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: danshure]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
That seems a helluva lot more involved that laying one brick.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#1436501 - 05/14/10 01:31 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: Kreisler]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2469
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
You can't build the wall for the student. You have to show them how to build it themselves.


You can show them how, but they will not be able to. An hour on one brick, a day on one brick, isn't enough. It doesn't work that way.

Top
#1436506 - 05/14/10 01:40 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: keyboardklutz]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11688
Loc: Canada
There was nothing puzzling about the analogy. A particular actn or thing that you learn to do. You apply it to the first note. Then you apply it to the next note. Then you apply it to the third note, then the fourth and fifth. You stop before you lose concentration. But before being able to do any of that in practising, you first have to know how to do it. If it takes half an hour of lesson time, then it takes half an hour. I assume that this is set up in lesson, to be applied in practising afterward. It is easier to remember how to do one thing, and then work on it, than to try to remember a number of things.

Top
#1436511 - 05/14/10 01:50 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: keystring]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2469
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: keystring
There was nothing puzzling about the analogy. A particular actn or thing that you learn to do. You apply it to the first note. Then you apply it to the next note. Then you apply it to the third note, then the fourth and fifth. You stop before you lose concentration.


If you don't know how to build a brick wall, or more to the point if you have never taught someone how, then there is nothing puzzling about the analogy.

If you know how to build a brick wall, and if you know how to teach someone how to build a brick wall, then the analogy with building a brick wall leads to the conclusion that spending an hour on hand position is a waste of time.

A brick wall is not built, one brick well done, then the next, then the next.

Top
#1436513 - 05/14/10 01:52 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: keystring]
Smallpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/10
Posts: 270
Loc: California
Quote:
[/quote]It became quite obvious within minutes that he was neither intellectually nor emotionally ready for intense, specific work[quote]


Agree with John. Most of my students are not ready for intense correction. Making a lesson fun for my younger student while correcting their technical mistakes is my main goals now. Not the other way around.

You have a good teacher, and I think you are able to manage the heavy instruction from your teacher, that is a good fit!
_________________________
English is my 4th languages, please excuse my grammar. Thanks

Top
#1436522 - 05/14/10 02:07 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: landorrano]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11688
Loc: Canada
I have not built brick walls, but a higher level in my instrumen of instruction I had that kind of lesson which I could apply in my practising. It is highly effective. It is because of experience, not inexperience, that it makes sense to me.

Top
#1436604 - 05/14/10 03:58 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: keystring]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
(not aimed specifically at keystring)

Rather than scrutinishing the correct techniques for building a literal brick wall, shouldn't we stick to that which is was intended to be analagous to?
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

Top
#1436611 - 05/14/10 04:04 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
You can't build the wall for the student. You have to show them how to build it themselves.
Yeh, but wander off after the first brick?


We always wander off. We see students once, maybe twice a week. Most of the work is done without us, so it's important we set them on the right path.

Next week, we can check the plum line.
_________________________
"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

Top
#1437365 - 05/15/10 05:09 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: landorrano]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11688
Loc: Canada
Back to brick walls. The OP is at the intermediate level and will have been playing for a number of years. Supposing that you know the keyboard, notes, key signatures, and you've playing scales for years (to keep it to scales). But the way you shape and use your hands is wrong and hampers you, or you never learned to listen to youself in order to get control of the notes. It is not enough to be able to hear in your mind what you want to produce - you can be prevented physically from producing it through these things. Ideally a student would not come into such a position! There may be a particular "simple" motion that you are doing in a clumsy way, or something you never listened for. A teacher may spend half an hour on that one thing until you are able to do it. To undo a habit and replace with a new habit that you have never experienced is tricky business.

What happens next is that you go home, and you play that scale that you have played for years, but you put that new thing into every single note. It is one thing that you have worked on, which you then try to apply everywhere. If you start getting this, then your playing will no longer be hampered the same way. However, a student cannot even start until they know what to do. It is not that easy to pick up a new physical action and it can indeed take half an hour or more. The focus is no longer on the piece, but the action (or whatever) that you will be putting into the piece(s). It is not about the brick, but how to place a brick.

As John wrote, this is tedious for a student so some teachers sneak the corrections in more gradually. I have been in that position and it is not fun. It is even less fun to be perpetually clumsy because something is missing or wrong. If you have better technique, things are no longer a struggle. But as a student you don't know what that feels like until you get there. Provided that you have a good teacher as a guide it is worth it if you can push through.

Top
#1437780 - 05/16/10 12:48 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: Kreisler]
danshure Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 347
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
If you were going to teach someone how to build a brick wall, you'd spend an hour getting the first brick right and then let them finish it.

You probably wouldn't spend 2 minutes doing a mediocre job on the first brick and then repeat that 30 times.

Your teacher isn't teaching you the piece, he's teaching you how to practice. It's your job to figure out how to apply that attitude, knowledge and skill to the next 100 measures.

Well, I have to say, this analogy and people's reactions (ahem, unusual interpretations and confusions) to it inspired the latest post on my blog. (Kreisler, hope you don't mind, I took your analogy and ran with it - I'll pay royalties, I promise!) smile
_________________________
Go here ---> Piano Teaching Blog

Top
#1437793 - 05/16/10 01:26 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: danshure]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2469
Loc: France
Although I don't take any offense at the "unusual interpretations and confusions" thing, I just wanted to remark that your article is ... like ... well ... how can I say it ... you know ... kinda ... sorta ... ahem ... well, let me just blurt it out ...


BORING.


I like the image of the wall falling down, though.

Top
#1437797 - 05/16/10 01:34 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: danshure]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: danshure

Well, I have to say, this analogy and people's reactions (ahem, unusual interpretations and confusions) to it inspired the latest post on my blog.
Another poster with no idea of the complexity involved in building a brick wall. You folks do realize it's a highly skilled trade?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#1437808 - 05/16/10 01:52 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: danshure]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11688
Loc: Canada
Dan, as a student there are particular reasons why the "one brick" idea appealed to me, due to certain experiences. I thought however that a previous entry in your blog captures it, at least for me. There is the "one beat too early" along with a video. I assume that the student could then go home and practice using what you had managed to capture together. That to me is the "learning how to lay a brick, and applying it to all bricks". My interest as a student is what we do 6/7 of the week, i.e. practising.

Top
#1453688 - 06/09/10 09:45 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: keystring]
debussyfan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 36
Update: Every lesson is still really focused on technique... A month has passed now, so is that still normal? I don't understand how my technique can be so bad... Also, often the intructions/rationale behind the corrections aren't given in a clear way. I' m the highest level student she has, maybe she's not used to teaching intermediate level. I'm beginning to dread lessons, whereas before I always enjoyed them. I don't know if I'm being too negative though.

Top
#1453786 - 06/10/10 01:42 AM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: debussyfan]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
There comes a point when you realize the student is not going to get it (because they don't have the right attitude at home) and you give up.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#1453800 - 06/10/10 02:18 AM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: keyboardklutz]
debussyfan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 36
Er... sorry, are you directing that to me? I'm perfectly willing to adapt my technique, it just seems a bit excessive to constantly focus on it in an unclear way.

Top
#1453821 - 06/10/10 03:56 AM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: debussyfan]
Peanuts Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 66
Loc: Singapore
Originally Posted By: debussyfan
Update: Every lesson is still really focused on technique... A month has passed now, so is that still normal? I don't understand how my technique can be so bad... Also, often the intructions/rationale behind the corrections aren't given in a clear way.


It's normal.
_________________________
Currently working on Comping and Improvisation

Top
#1453849 - 06/10/10 05:31 AM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: Peanuts]
debussyfan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 36
^ Thanks... How long should I expect all the focus on technique to go on for? A few more months?

Top
#1453857 - 06/10/10 05:50 AM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: debussyfan]
Peanuts Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 66
Loc: Singapore
It depends on how fast you are able to digest everything.

I switched to a good piano instructor at Grade 7. It took me months to change through intense correction because I accumulated the wrong habits for more than 7 years. Plus my ears were not developed enough to pick up the difference.
_________________________
Currently working on Comping and Improvisation

Top
#1453886 - 06/10/10 08:41 AM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: debussyfan]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3160
Originally Posted By: debussyfan
^ Thanks... How long should I expect all the focus on technique to go on for? A few more months?


Until it is fixed. How long is that? That is like asking "How long is a piece of string?" Each one is different.

Here is another analogy...(yikes!)

Lets say you are an auto mechanic, and work for a dealer who takes in trade a beautiful late model car that has a few minor things wrong, and one major thing. Lets say the major thing is that the transmission slips badly.

Your job is to get the car completely fixed up for resale.

You are going to spend much more time on the transmission than on the other small repairs.

However, to the untrained eye, a person walking by might say, "Gee, that car looks nice, paint is nice, the interior is nice, why are they still working on it?"

_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

Top
#1453924 - 06/10/10 10:41 AM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: debussyfan]
casinitaly Offline

Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5032
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: debussyfan
I'm perfectly willing to adapt my technique, it just seems a bit excessive to constantly focus on it in an unclear way.


My question would be "why is it unclear".
You say you are the highest level student your teacher has... I would like to think that if she is trying to help you with something she feels is fundamental to your progress that wouldn't matter - she's taking you back to basics.

If she can't explain clearly THAT'S a problem indeed!
I think you need to speak with her and get clarification.
From what the others have said, (bricks and all smile ) it seems to me that she is probably providing you with very useful corrections - you would be happier if you usnderstood better what you are aiming for and why. That isn't unreasonable.
Children (up to a point) will do things simply because you ask or tell them too. Adults want the whys and wherefores.

I suggest making time during your next lesson to talk about this. Be sure to say that you are willing - but you feel your aren't getting the point and ask for help in understanding what is being asked of you.
Good luck
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

Top
#1454010 - 06/10/10 01:57 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: debussyfan]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: debussyfan
Er... sorry, are you directing that to me? I'm perfectly willing to adapt my technique, it just seems a bit excessive to constantly focus on it in an unclear way.
I think what I'm saying is be worried when she stops!
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#1454022 - 06/10/10 02:17 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: debussyfan]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5486
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: debussyfan
^ Thanks... How long should I expect all the focus on technique to go on for? A few more months?


If you would rather do something else, then have a nice talk with your teacher about it. Personally, I see nothing wrong with focusing on technique for a long period of time.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1454046 - 06/10/10 03:06 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
There comes a point when you realize the student is not going to get it (because they don't have the right attitude at home) and you give up.



So it's jaw-droppingly rude response without provocation time is it? Well, if that's the case, perhaps it's time for someone to suggest that such giving up generally occurs when it finally becomes clear that the student just doesn't have the god-given talent to progress via hopeless instruction?

Please ignore that stunningly idiotic and disrespectful response. I'd express your concerns to your teacher. Ask if it's possible to strike a balance between the tehnical work and other things.
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

Top
#1454068 - 06/10/10 03:42 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Ken Knapp Offline



Registered: 04/18/06
Posts: 2236
Loc: Pennsylvania
I'll echo what another moderator said in another forum. There are a lot of people on these forums. Not everyone is going to agree, many won't even like each other. That's fine. We can disagree as long as we don't resort to meanness and name calling.

Please disregard the tone of the above post. The author won't be around for a couple of weeks.

Ken
_________________________
Ken

Piano Organ Depot
http://www.pianoorgandepot.com
Hammond Organ Technician
http://www.tonewheeltech.com
Vice President - MITA, International
http://www.mitatechs.org
http://www.facebook.com/MITATechs

Top
#1454314 - 06/10/10 10:30 PM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: casinitaly]
debussyfan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 36
Originally Posted By: casinitaly

You say you are the highest level student your teacher has... I would like to think that if she is trying to help you with something she feels is fundamental to your progress that wouldn't matter - she's taking you back to basics.


Thanks, the reason I mentioned being the highest level student is that I'd have felt more confident if she had higher level students and probably wouldn't have asked here. The only reason I asked here is because I have no frame of reference. In the lessons she sometimes says 'I didn't learn this until I was 18 [and a con student]' or 'some concert pianists don't do this, but they should', so I was confused about whether the corrections were necessary or a bit ambitious, since I'm only in grade 6.
Anyway, I know now that it's normal, thanks everyone for the advice.

Top
#1454412 - 06/11/10 02:12 AM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
tdow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/13/10
Posts: 203
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Just to offer somewhat of a contrarian viewpoint here: I feel teachers must also assess the intellectual and emotional readiness of the student to focus on just one problem to the exclusion of all others. I have a student, a rather wonderful student at this point, who came to me two years ago with MAJOR, MAJOR problems. One of them was real problems with hand positions, similar to the OPs. It became quite obvious within minutes that he was neither intellectually nor emotionally ready for intense, specific work, so my game plan changed to one of "nudging" him closer and closer to what is necessary, while allowing the reward of working on more repertoire. Had I taken the OPs teacher's approach, I would have lost him at the end of the trial lesson period.

I'm in complete agreement. So much of teaching is being in tune all of the students needs.
_________________________
Piano Teaching Resources with Personality
www.teachpianotoday.com
http://www.pianogeekweek.com

Top
#1454912 - 06/12/10 12:15 AM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: tdow]
Amosquito Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/10
Posts: 39
Loc: Australia
My highest-level student is also my student with the worst technique. The reason for this is because she came from somewhere else and has learned some really bad habits. It takes longer to break a habit that has had years to concrete itself and then reteach and concrete the new, correct habit than it takes to teach it correctly in the first place. I've had her for a year and still won't let her do her exam that she wanted to do within six months because she's still not ready. She still has problems with her left hand that I have spent many entire lessons correcting. It's better - much better, in fact, but the root of the problem is still there. I'm so concerned that she's going to injure herself that I've been encouraging her to seek complementary help through Alexander Technique or other options. But that's by the by...

So my point is that it doesn't matter if you're her highest-level student. It's quite likely that you aren't the most advanced. The grade you're at is only an indicator of what grade you're doing right now, not how well you play. I think that your teacher has high standards, wants you to meet them, sees your potential and is continually trying to support you in order to reach those standards, which is excellent pedagogy.
_________________________
Amos

Facilitator of learning
Lover of pianos and singing
Wannabe singer/songwriter

Top
#1454934 - 06/12/10 01:28 AM Re: Too much focus on technique? [Re: Amosquito]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
This is a problem college profs face all the time. So many turn up with bad habits which will take years to eradicate - do you go back to basics? Take away their competency? With only three years to get them through, they don't, they can't.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

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

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
ad (Casio)
Celviano by Casio Rebate
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Kawai RX-2 and RX-2 BLAK
by myip
09/22/14 08:15 PM
UVi Grand Piano, cant get the MIDI Files help?
by JungleJim
09/22/14 06:23 PM
Sheet Music for "The Villain"
by johnbarnesiii
09/22/14 06:06 PM
measuring humidity for piano?
by pianomise
09/22/14 05:39 PM
52" Samick
by PaulBuck
09/22/14 04:56 PM
Who's Online
125 registered (accordeur, 36251, ando, AEMontoya, 42 invisible), 1278 Guests and 16 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76290 Members
42 Forums
157697 Topics
2316337 Posts

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

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

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

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


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