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#1603439 - 01/23/11 02:54 AM are lessons worth the money?
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1491
Kind of blunt but...I was looking into getting a teacher for the new year. I've only had one lesson ever before and thought to myself what she just taught me out of that book, I could just buy the book and teach myself. I think I just expect everything to be instant knowing it doesn't work like that. But I also have a tendency to not commit or stick to anything, so I don't know what I should do? confused
_________________________
music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain

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#1603448 - 01/23/11 03:08 AM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: findingnemo2010]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5414
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: joeb84
I could just buy the book and teach myself. I think I just expect everything to be instant knowing it doesn't work like that. But I also have a tendency to not commit or stick to anything


I think you've already answered your own question.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1603452 - 01/23/11 03:17 AM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: findingnemo2010]
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
What a book can say once, a teacher can say many times in many different ways.

And yes, that with more than just words.

It's only worth as much as what you do with what you're taught and how you practice it.
_________________________
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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#1603544 - 01/23/11 08:33 AM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: findingnemo2010]
Tubbie0075 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 544
I guess each person has to find their best ways to learn. And to do that, you'll have to try those different ways. So why not give both a go, with and without teacher.

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#1603560 - 01/23/11 09:28 AM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: findingnemo2010]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1194
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: joeb84
Kind of blunt but...I was looking into getting a teacher for the new year. I've only had one lesson ever before and thought to myself what she just taught me out of that book, I could just buy the book and teach myself. I think I just expect everything to be instant knowing it doesn't work like that. But I also have a tendency to not commit or stick to anything, so I don't know what I should do? confused


Of course, she didn't teach you "out of that book", she taught you to play piano, using the material in that book.

Shall we just forget about your final statement? If you want to do it - do it. What do you want? Sympathy for your lack of application and a special easy, dumbed-down method that will give instant gratification? You'll find plenty of people eager to sell you those, and you'll learn some tricks. But you won't learn music, or how to play the piano.

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#1603586 - 01/23/11 10:13 AM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: findingnemo2010]
nipo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/05/10
Posts: 63
Originally Posted By: joeb84
Kind of blunt but...I was looking into getting a teacher for the new year. I've only had one lesson ever before and thought to myself what she just taught me out of that book, I could just buy the book and teach myself. I think I just expect everything to be instant knowing it doesn't work like that. But I also have a tendency to not commit or stick to anything, so I don't know what I should do? confused


I think a person can become a decent pianist without a teacher: but you'll never reach your full potential.

I went to my teacher with Aflred's adult course in hand, a book I bought before meeting her. After talking to her about my goals she hesitantly agreed to help me work through it.

Five weeks later we're finishing it up and she has corrected many mistakes I didn't even notice including my timing, shown me more effective ways of pedaling and helped me understand that the fingering in the book is not set in stone for those of us with larger or smaller hands. Also, when she noticed I made a mistake it was great she was able to assign me an additional piece just to work on that skill for next week.

I'm a much better pianist now than I would be if I never took a lesson.

Most importantly over the past few weeks she has helped me develop a path to improve my playing. No more Alfred after this book is over. My goal is play classical music with a few pop songs. We've decided to move over to conservatory materials, which she will supplement with one or two pop songs every month. If I didn't have a teacher I'd likely just start with the next book and work through it not knowing the hundreds of other possibilities.

Yes, I could work through conservatory books on my own as well, but where would I start? Having a teacher allowed us to look at the various grades and try pieces from them to determine which book would be best to begin.

I know you asked what other teachers thought (sorry again to all of you for invading your form). I've never met someone who thought their trade or profession wasn't worth the money but in this case listen to all the music teachers and students tell you how important a good teacher is.

Remember your time not the weekly lesson fee is the most expensive thing you'll spend learning piano you'll never get it back and if you waste it you're not going to improve.
_________________________
My Practice Journal

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#1603721 - 01/23/11 01:03 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: findingnemo2010]
survivordan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/09
Posts: 844
Loc: Ohio
A great teacher is always worth the money.
_________________________
Working On:

BACH: Invention No. 13 in a min.
GRIEG: Notturno Op. 54 No. 4
VILLA-LOBOS: O Polichinelo

Next Up:

BACH: Keyboard Concerto in f minor

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#1603833 - 01/23/11 02:31 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: findingnemo2010]
SueKZ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/17/09
Posts: 97
Loc: Colorado
Let's face it, human nature is such that being held accountable by another, usually makes one do a better job.


Edited by SueKZ (01/23/11 02:31 PM)
Edit Reason: typo
_________________________
Sue
Private Piano Teacher since 2009

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#1603861 - 01/23/11 02:49 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: findingnemo2010]
Dror Perl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/20/10
Posts: 272
Loc: NY
Getting a good and experienced teacher to work with you and inspire you and help you thoroughly understand points in the books that you might skim through otherwise...not to mention help you to recognize your strengths and weaknesses (and give you solutions)and define your goals is definitely worth it !

Just make sure that you find the teacher that is right for you...as far as style & personality (I think that experience is a very important factor as well when choosing a teacher)


good luck
_________________________
Dror Perl. Pianist, Composer, Teacher.

http://www.sheerpiano.com/

Sheer Piano: The First Full Color Piano Music Books





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#1603944 - 01/23/11 04:20 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: findingnemo2010]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2401
Loc: Olympia, WA
A major problem as I see it is a lack of competent professional piano teachers. As a piano technician I get asked regularly for teacher referrals. The problem is, the teachers who I know are excellent are usually full and only taking students on a waiting list.

I do know quite a few teachers who "teach from the book" and their students are not really progressing. The best teachers' students progress much more rapidly and that goes a long way in keeping up motivation and interest.

I think learning to play piano from a book is like learning to become a piano technician through books. It is possible, with a lot of perseverance and discipline. However, most likely many mistakes and bad habits will become ingrained that will be difficult to overcome later, causing limitations and stumbling blocks that impede progress.
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1604027 - 01/23/11 06:07 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: survivordan]
malkin Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2406
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: survivordan
A great teacher is always worth the money.


OTOH a lousy, incompetent or abusive teacher who overcharges probably isn't.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#1604035 - 01/23/11 06:16 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: findingnemo2010]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1194
Loc: London UK
"Probably"? :-)

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#1604093 - 01/23/11 08:12 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: malkin]
survivordan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/09
Posts: 844
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: malkin
Originally Posted By: survivordan
A great teacher is always worth the money.


OTOH a lousy, incompetent or abusive teacher who overcharges probably isn't.


I know. That's why I didn't just say "A teacher...". I though that putting a positive adjective (great) in there would make my meaning clear.
_________________________
Working On:

BACH: Invention No. 13 in a min.
GRIEG: Notturno Op. 54 No. 4
VILLA-LOBOS: O Polichinelo

Next Up:

BACH: Keyboard Concerto in f minor

Top
#1604120 - 01/23/11 08:37 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: findingnemo2010]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
Lessons will only be worth what both people bring to the table. A good teacher with a committed, hard-working student is the best of all possible worlds.

If the student isn't able to commit to the process, then lessons will not be of any value and will be a waste of time and energy for all involved.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#1604134 - 01/23/11 08:50 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: Minniemay]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1491
Originally Posted By: Minniemay
Lessons will only be worth what both people bring to the table. A good teacher with a committed, hard-working student is the best of all possible worlds.

If the student isn't able to commit to the process, then lessons will not be of any value and will be a waste of time and energy for all involved.

I'm willing to commit. I just feel my biggest problem will be finding the right teacher that will be able to help me reach my goals. Also, I think I need to learn to have the patience and realize that in one lesson or a couple, I'm not going to become a virtuoso pianist.


Edited by joeb84 (01/23/11 08:55 PM)
_________________________
music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain

Top
#1604140 - 01/23/11 09:04 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: findingnemo2010]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1194
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: joeb84
I'm willing to commit. I just feel my biggest problem will be finding the right teacher that will be able to help me reach my goals. Also, I think I need to learn to have the patience and realize that in one lesson or a couple, I'm not going to become a virtuoso pianist.


Well, d'oh! We do seem to spend a lot of time on this forum repeating truisms :-) Like we were all brought up to think we SHOULD be entitled to instant gratification, and it's alway's someone else's fault if we don't get it!

Go easy on your teacher. You get to provide commitment and work hard. You get a say in defining goals, but you don't get to define HOW they're achieved or what the time-scale is. And, unless you're under school age, don't keep expecting the teacher to give you lollipops!

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#1604160 - 01/23/11 09:37 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: Exalted Wombat]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1491
Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat
Originally Posted By: joeb84
I'm willing to commit. I just feel my biggest problem will be finding the right teacher that will be able to help me reach my goals. Also, I think I need to learn to have the patience and realize that in one lesson or a couple, I'm not going to become a virtuoso pianist.


Well, d'oh! We do seem to spend a lot of time on this forum repeating truisms :-) Like we were all brought up to think we SHOULD be entitled to instant gratification, and it's alway's someone else's fault if we don't get it!

Go easy on your teacher. You get to provide commitment and work hard. You get a say in defining goals, but you don't get to define HOW they're achieved or what the time-scale is. And, unless you're under school age, don't keep expecting the teacher to give you lollipops!


No gold stars on the board?
_________________________
music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain

Top
#1604162 - 01/23/11 09:42 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: findingnemo2010]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: joeb84
But I also have a tendency to not commit or stick to anything


Just sayin' . . .

You're going to have to be a bit more mature if you want any results.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#1604165 - 01/23/11 09:45 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: Minniemay]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1491
Originally Posted By: Minniemay
Originally Posted By: joeb84
But I also have a tendency to not commit or stick to anything


Just sayin' . . .

You're going to have to be a bit more mature if you want any results.


This I know...I do it in all aspects of my life, not only my piano studies. That is why I don't make it very far. It's hard to help, it's the way I was raised. I'm used to teaching myself everything.


Edited by joeb84 (01/23/11 09:48 PM)
_________________________
music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain

Top
#1604174 - 01/23/11 09:55 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: findingnemo2010]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
I caught hell on these forums for this before, a few years ago, but the truth is that taking Piano lessons often brings up a variety of issues that seem unrelated to Piano lessons, but are very related.

A big one is self-discipline.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1604186 - 01/23/11 10:11 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: findingnemo2010]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1194
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: joeb84
Originally Posted By: Minniemay
Originally Posted By: joeb84
But I also have a tendency to not commit or stick to anything


Just sayin' . . .

You're going to have to be a bit more mature if you want any results.


This I know...I do it in all aspects of my life, not only my piano studies. That is why I don't make it very far. It's hard to help, it's the way I was raised. I'm used to teaching myself everything.


I really HOPE you're jesting with us!

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#1604195 - 01/23/11 10:18 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: findingnemo2010]
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
I really don't think it's right for people to judge and act like it's such a simple thing to solve.

Just because he knows he has that problem, doesn't mean he can necessarily fix it just as easily. Being 'more mature' wouldn't solve it either.

It takes a lot of time and hard work to break a pattern like that. I know a lot of people who are smart and capable, and it's not just because they are lazy that they don't stick with things or know more than they do.
_________________________
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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#1604197 - 01/23/11 10:25 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: ll]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1491
Originally Posted By: ll
I really don't think it's right for people to judge and act like it's such a simple thing to solve.

Just because he knows he has that problem, doesn't mean he can necessarily fix it just as easily. Being 'more mature' wouldn't solve it either.

It takes a lot of time and hard work to break a pattern like that. I know a lot of people who are smart and capable, and it's not just because they are lazy that they don't stick with things or know more than they do.


No, it's not easy. Breaking old habits or the way a person was taught something or the way their mind was trained is not an easy task at hand.
_________________________
music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain

Top
#1604232 - 01/23/11 11:14 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: findingnemo2010]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
And it will keep being hard if you allow yourself to blame your past. Been there, done that.

Recognize the past for what it was, but don't let it determine your future. That's called developing strength of character. It won't be easy, but you can do it if you really want to. My father did it, I did it. You can do it, too.

Best of luck to you!
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#1604590 - 01/24/11 12:59 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: findingnemo2010]
miaeih Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 267
Loc: SF Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: joeb84
This I know...I do it in all aspects of my life, not only my piano studies. That is why I don't make it very far. It's hard to help, it's the way I was raised. I'm used to teaching myself everything.


Regarding self study, interview with lots of teachers and be open. When I was looking for a teacher (for another instrument), I made sure to state that I would look elsewhere, such as videos and books, to compliment my lessons. Some teachers will take offense to this while others understand that some people are more resourceful and take initiative to find various methods and materials.

Being open about this will also help your teacher adjust to your style. You will find yourself advancing much faster in some areas where it's easier to research and study on your own, while needing improvement in others areas where the guidance from your teacher will help tremendously.

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#1604603 - 01/24/11 01:14 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: findingnemo2010]
Elysia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/28/10
Posts: 193
Loc: Canada
A teacher is worth the money plus some. I would give up the power bill before I gave up lessons with my teacher. a book does not teach you timing, how to fluently move your arms and wrists, how to appreciate the song, how to look for all the small details and apply them to the song. YES YES YES it is worth the money. At the same time you do not want to waist your money, look for a teacher with a degree, look at how many years they have been teaching, ask to meet with them and see how you 2 connect.
_________________________
Follow me on twitter, @elysia3012

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#1604674 - 01/24/11 02:38 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: findingnemo2010]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2269
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA
Originally Posted By: joeb84

No gold stars on the board?


My teacher NEVER gives me a gold star! All the little kids look down their noses at me, always flashing their stars at me as they leave class! :-)

To be serious, a teacher is well worth it. A book will teach you target practice and get you to hit the correct notes. A teacher will show you how to play musically, with proper rhythm and dynamics.

After a bit of time to get comfortable with each other (I'm a 54 year old geezer, she's a 20 year old college student) we work very well together. And she appreciates being able to have adult conversations about music!
_________________________
Gary Schenk

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#1604689 - 01/24/11 02:49 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: Plowboy]
Elysia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/28/10
Posts: 193
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Gary Schenk
Originally Posted By: joeb84

No gold stars on the board?


My teacher NEVER gives me a gold star! All the little kids look down their noses at me, always flashing their stars at me as they leave class! :-)

To be serious, a teacher is well worth it. A book will teach you target practice and get you to hit the correct notes. A teacher will show you how to play musically, with proper rhythm and dynamics.

After a bit of time to get comfortable with each other (I'm a 54 year old geezer, she's a 20 year old college student) we work very well together. And she appreciates being able to have adult conversations about music!


Very funny about the gold stars, I thought that was great. I was wondering last week why I did not get stickers anymore, I stopped getting stickers when I was 10 i think. I am 24 now.
_________________________
Follow me on twitter, @elysia3012

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#1604709 - 01/24/11 03:32 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: Elysia]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2269
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA
Originally Posted By: Elysia
I stopped getting stickers when I was 10 i think. I am 24 now.


Growing up is just one disappointment after another... It can get depressing! eek
_________________________
Gary Schenk

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#1604711 - 01/24/11 03:35 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: Plowboy]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1491
Originally Posted By: Gary Schenk
Originally Posted By: Elysia
I stopped getting stickers when I was 10 i think. I am 24 now.


Growing up is just one disappointment after another... It can get depressing! eek


Yeah, I noticed. It only gets worse too. Being a kid's the best times of your life.
_________________________
music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain

Top
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