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#1604724 - 01/24/11 03:48 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: Elysia]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3179
Originally Posted By: Elysia
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.


A degree is no guarantee that the teacher has the gift of teaching. Degrees mean that they have studied music, so at least you know that they know music. But the ability to teach it is something else altogether.

Choosing a teacher by their degree is like looking for someone to build you a house, and only looking at their degrees from construction school (if there is such a school...this in an analogy).

Also, how many years teaching does not mean a lot. Shoddy contractors can be in business for quite a while.

What is important is to look at their students, and see how they play.

Looking at their students is like looking at the houses that the contractor has already built. That is solid evidence.

Also, what kind of reputation the teacher has in the community from parents or previous students.

And yes, you should meet and see how you connect with the teacher. All that is important.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1604772 - 01/24/11 05:06 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: 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


well gee, I always try to stay posative about life, but your right. that darn sticker thing is probably going to be the first of many dissapointments isnt it.
_________________________
Follow me on twitter, @elysia3012

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#1604849 - 01/24/11 07:23 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: rocket88]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11810
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: rocket88

What is important is to look at their students, and see how they play.

If I got to a recital, and most of the students play well (assuming that I know what "well" means), will this tell me whether those students can read notes? If they are advanced, did they have a hand in interpreting the music, and have they learned how? Can I tell whether their teacher drilled that one piece into them for six months, choreographing every motion and every sound, so that the recital will be impressive? Have those students been given knowledge and skills which will allow them one day to approach pieces independently, and continue growing?

If some of the students are not playing impressive, is it because they are poorly taught, or because they were allowed to take risks and dared take them?

I don't know if I care about a degree. But I do want the teacher to know enough, and to know how to teach, as well as being interested in teaching. I also want to know what he intends to teach me, and what kinds of things he finds important. I cannot get that by watching students perform.

Recently I watched an introductory demo on the site of a PW teacher here. She talked of her teaching philosophy and goals, and at the same time we saw scenes from actual lessons. I don't think there was a polished recital piece in the whole demo and that suited me fine. There were ideas of how this person might teach, and how students interact. This is much more important to me than the end product of a finished piece, whether I am a parent or an adult student.

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#1604930 - 01/24/11 09:19 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: Elysia]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2386
Loc: SoCal
Originally Posted By: Elysia
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


well gee, I always try to stay posative about life, but your right. that darn sticker thing is probably going to be the first of many dissapointments isnt it.


Actually, no! Life only gets better. But the lack of stickers and lollipops can psychologically scar you for life! laugh
_________________________
Gary

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#1605925 - 01/26/11 11:25 AM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: findingnemo2010]
Stanza Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1458
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
You can learn to cut hair from a book. Would you cut your own hair?...no because you can't see what you are doing!

A teacher:

Gives you important feedback.
Keeps you progressing (long and short term)
Helps you deal with technical difficulties
Recommends appropriate pieces to play to meet your needs
Answers questions you might have

You just can't get this from a book.
_________________________
Estonia L190 #7004
Casio PX 310
Yamaha NP 30

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#1605928 - 01/26/11 11:27 AM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: findingnemo2010]
Akira Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 1645
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
I think this is a question only you can answer.

Is it worth the money? It depends on how you value money. If you've got millions, $50 a week means nothing to you. If you're a starving college student, it means a lot.

Is having a teacher better than not having one (money issues aside)? I would think the answer to that question would be obvious. A self study book will not answer any of your unanswered questions, give you feedback on your playing, posture, hand positions, timing or the like. A self study book will not motivate you or inspire you in any way, or to give you encouragement when you need it the most (there will be many ups and downs in your piano studies).

I cannot imagine my piano studies without a teacher and, if I were to take an educated guess, would eventually quit out of sheer frustration (even though I don't like to think of myself as a quitter) at my lack of progress.

It's really a question you must decide for yourself if its worth the money "for you."

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#1606258 - 01/26/11 07:01 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: Stanza]
Canonie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 1941
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: Stanza
You can learn to cut hair from a book. Would you cut your own hair?...no because you can't see what you are doing!
<...>
You just can't get this from a book.

I just had to laugh at this! I woke up this morning and cut my own hair - lots of it, front and back. Not talking just a trim here*

Does this explain why I can't commit to regular piano lessons!!! Am coming up to my third lesson in a row this Friday. I think my record for weekly lessons is probably about 6. Wish me luck!

As to whether lessons are worth doing, I think it depends on the students. For some people I suppose it probably isn't worth it much of the time. A useful lesson is comprised of 2 components: student + teacher. As an adult you can teach yourself as much as possible and then let the teacher do the work that you can't (e.g. the physical way to play this bit, or the most useful piece for you next taking into consideration your long term development).

I would pay my teacher 3 times the rate I do (in fact I often try to give her more per lesson but she won't let me... another story). She does 2 main things for me: increases my rate of improvement by a rate of about 3 times, and lifts the ceiling of my ultimate "level", considerably - and this is the most valuable. It's not that she actually does this, it's that with her as my coach I can learn faster and achieve a higher level. I love working on my own and am very committed to it, so I am lucky to have a teacher that is perfect for me, and allows me to have lessons on a casual basis.

Oh and cycling to lessons makes me fit! BIG hill!! Wow, bonus gym class - yes lessons are worth it for me.

Can (fitter, and with shorter hair)*no i will not post a photo wink

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#1608473 - 01/29/11 09:37 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: Minniemay]
casi Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 1
Any particular set of books you would recommend for an adult beginner?

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#1608953 - 01/30/11 04:40 PM Re: are lessons worth the money? [Re: findingnemo2010]
RayE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/10
Posts: 163
Loc: Rochester, NY, USA
Without going into lengthy details about the merits of lessons which there are many, I will just tell you from my own experience the following: I've played piano since I was 8 years old, and I'm now 50. Over those 42 years I've had long periods of taking lessons, and long periods of not taking lessons. I've found that when I'm taking lessons with the right teacher my playing improves dramatically faster than the slow progress I make on my own.
_________________________
Retired Army reserve Bandsman who now plays for the Joy of Music!!

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