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#1809414 - 12/20/11 04:45 PM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Piano*Dad]
Happy Birthday Tararex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 408
Loc: Middle Georgia, USA
Gary D's whine was also pitiful, but for heaven's sake if you don't care for the discussion perhaps not participating is the correct answer. If not moderating for reason, participating only to kill further commenting promotes what common good? With the current dearth of PW comments perhaps this isn't the time to pronounce "last word on a subject" in disregard of others wishing to continue.

As someone soon in search of piano teacher I've learned here that I should both review more than one possibility but keep what I'm doing to myself. I probably would have been a member of the "I'm interviewing a number of teachers" camp , thinking a teacher would interpret this as a student practicing due diligence - hence someone likely to take their piano instruction seriously. How wrong I would have been!

The hugely differing opinions are precisely what makes this thread important and interesting. Too often we forget the human foibles we all bring to the table. A healthy ego is a good thing and this type of give and take is how we learn to moderate our activities to prevent harming others. Or take over the universe. It works both ways.

Piano*Dad & Gary D., I totally enjoy the great majority of your forum contributions. However, a bit more restraint in the lightning-from-heaven thread blasts for those of us interested in a conversation would be appreciated. Both of you are better than that.

To put it another way: If you've heard the joke before either smile and hold your tongue or or move on to another more interesting thread. Please don't ruin the punchline for the rest of us!
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#1809433 - 12/20/11 05:04 PM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Dark Dragon]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11579
Loc: Canada
Tararex, finding a teacher is a side issue. The main topic in this thread involves teachers "stealing" students from other teachers. I rather like the advice of looking for self-improvement rather than complaining about students, and would reverse it as a student to include self-improvement rather than complaining about teachers.

Have you actually slogged through those 171 posts? It's a miserable trip and those of us who went through it are not all too thrilled to see it resurrected.

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#1809443 - 12/20/11 05:12 PM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Dark Dragon]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Tararex, like you, I would have thought that teachers would interpret this as a student practicing due diligence. I also know for a fact that my current teacher (a professor of piano at a big state university here) would agree with me (he pretty much made sure that I didn't feel compelled to study with him just because he agreed to teach me). So don't let certain opinions on this forum keep you from being frank with the teachers that you plan to interview. I favor the transparency route over anything else almost all the time and it has worked well for me so far. I hope it does for you too if you do decide to go that route. I was completely frank with my previous teacher when I decided to leave her and go to this new teacher. The reasons had to do with frequency of lessons that were possible with her and she was completely understanding. We are still in touch by email (I even entered a masterclass on her recommendation AFTER I had left her for a new teacher). So being honest has worked really well for me!
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

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#1809451 - 12/20/11 05:25 PM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: keystring]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4750
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: keystring
Tararex, finding a teacher is a side issue.

Exactly. As I have said many times before, getting that near-perfect "fit" between student and teacher is VERY difficult. I would want any student of mine to feel comfortable with me both as a human being and a teacher. If a student of mine does not feel I am the best teacher s/he can find, at the moment, then there is a poor fit. And if that changes in the future, I have no right to feel injured, cheated, slighted, insulted, etc.
Originally Posted By: keystring

The main topic in this thread involves teachers "stealing" students from other teachers.

Exactly.
Originally Posted By: keystring

I rather like the advice of looking for self-improvement rather than complaining about students, and would reverse it as a student to include self-improvement rather than complaining about teachers.

Wise words. smile
Originally Posted By: keystring

Have you actually slogged through those 171 posts? It's a miserable trip and those of us who went through it are not all too thrilled to see it resurrected.

Not only is it a miserable "trip", it is also an endless round-and-round debate with nothing agreed upon...
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#1809460 - 12/20/11 05:34 PM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Dark Dragon]
BeccaBb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/11
Posts: 905
Loc: Thunder Bay, On Canada
I have, insanely, read every single post in this thread. It was very informative. I liked that I got both sides to the issues of stealing or not stealing a student, governing bodies of piano teachers, different attitudes and approaches from teachers and to interview or not to interview and whether or not to tell a teacher that is what students are doing. That's quite the list!

It's actually given me a very good idea of what type of teacher I would be looking for and what to look for. I do prefer to read the more informative posts versus the finger pointing ones or grand exclamations of whatever point of view. To each their own I guess.
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Becca
Began: 01-12-11


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#1809502 - 12/20/11 06:29 PM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Gary D.]
Happy Birthday Tararex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 408
Loc: Middle Georgia, USA
There is always more than one level of interaction in any conversation.

Stealing a student may have been the overt opening topic but it wasn't the underlying reason for the original post. The OP provided an emotionally driven response to a situation that was not parsed using reason. As such, the various responses to the OP are extremely valuable in that they likely reflect thoughts from a similar emotional level. Humans tend to respond in emotional kind.

Yes, I read through the entire thread. After 30+ years experience in IT research including 15 deconstructing engineering papers to develop educational systems this sort of review barely registers as more than a trivial skim. Just because one person doesn't find bungee jumping fun doesn't mean all bungee cords must be cut to prevent use by others!
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#1809509 - 12/20/11 06:39 PM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: liszt85]
Happy Birthday Tararex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 408
Loc: Middle Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: liszt85
Tararex, like you, I would have thought that teachers would interpret this as a student practicing due diligence. I also know for a fact that my current teacher (a professor of piano at a big state university here) would agree with me (he pretty much made sure that I didn't feel compelled to study with him just because he agreed to teach me). So don't let certain opinions on this forum keep you from being frank with the teachers that you plan to interview. I favor the transparency route over anything else almost all the time and it has worked well for me so far. I hope it does for you too if you do decide to go that route. I was completely frank with my previous teacher when I decided to leave her and go to this new teacher. The reasons had to do with frequency of lessons that were possible with her and she was completely understanding. We are still in touch by email (I even entered a masterclass on her recommendation AFTER I had left her for a new teacher). So being honest has worked really well for me!


Liszt85, that's good to know. I will be open in interviews, but also now realize there is an underlying "maestro" psychology that could occasionally rear up without warning.

(Note to those identifying as "maestros", I'm not judging this point of view as positive or negative.)
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#1809533 - 12/20/11 07:24 PM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Dark Dragon]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Tararex, I would very much welcome the "maestro" psychology to show up if it is present because I would certainly not study with someone who's got the maestro complex and believes in unequal rights. I certainly view it as a negative. This is subjective though because I just don't work well with that type. Some others might work well with this group of people, I don't know.
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

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#1809543 - 12/20/11 07:50 PM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: liszt85]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11579
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: liszt85
Tararex, like you, I would have thought that teachers would interpret this as a student practicing due diligence.

Which almost every single teacher has.

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#1809739 - 12/21/11 01:16 AM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: liszt85]
Happy Birthday Tararex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 408
Loc: Middle Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: liszt85
Tararex, I would very much welcome the "maestro" psychology to show up if it is present because I would certainly not study with someone who's got the maestro complex and believes in unequal rights. I certainly view it as a negative. This is subjective though because I just don't work well with that type. Some others might work well with this group of people, I don't know.


Exactly. We're all different. I wouldn't have a problem working with that sort of personality. In addition to an expected level of expertise my main concern is finding a teacher I won't eventually make cry. This thread has added perspective and proper approach guidance for interviewing the various piano-teaching types.
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#1809745 - 12/21/11 01:24 AM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Tararex]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: Tararex
my main concern is finding a teacher I won't eventually make cry.


Hahahaha! smile I don't think a student has ever made me cry (out of frustration). Pull out some of my hair, maybe . . .
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#1809790 - 12/21/11 04:09 AM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Gary D.]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5422
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
As I have said many times before, getting that near-perfect "fit" between student and teacher is VERY difficult. I would want any student of mine to feel comfortable with me both as a human being and a teacher. If a student of mine does not feel I am the best teacher s/he can find, at the moment, then there is a poor fit. And if that changes in the future, I have no right to feel injured, cheated, slighted, insulted, etc.


I think part of problem is that teachers are probably better equipped than beginners or parents of beginners to form a decision, simply because the teacher has more experience in dealing with this, and most beginners are doing this for the first time.

Another problem is that some teachers may feel "cheated" by being evaluated after one interview-lesson. Without an extended trial period, the teacher won't get a good feel for the student, and the student won't get a good feel for the teacher.

When I was teaching at the school district, I was evaluated formally three times a year and informally throughout the year at random times. Unless the teacher is totally inept (non-tenured teachers can be fired at any time without cause), it takes an entire year to evaluate one teacher. Now, that's an extended trial period we don't ever get with piano students.
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Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1809847 - 12/21/11 09:20 AM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: AZNpiano]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11579
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
[quote=Gary D.]
I think part of problem is that teachers are probably better equipped than beginners or parents of beginners to form a decision, simply because the teacher has more experience in dealing with this, and most beginners are doing this for the first time.


That does not help with the problem of a parent or older beginner needing to choose a teacher.

I see no other way than to start of by becoming informed and, while becoming informed, getting a first idea of goals. By goals I don't mean favorite pieces, but things like acquiring skills at the piano. For example, because of what I know, if I were to start piano for the first time with a new teacher I'd want:

- technical instruction on how to play, like how to sit, use my body efficiently at the piano
- learn to read music
- gradually get understanding of music so that eventually I can develop a piece on my own and turn it into music

If a teacher promised to advance me or my child umpteen grades in one year, play impressive sounding pieces, and not be concerned about reading at all, I might be impressed at this fast advancing and grandiose music. My ego might be flattered. But if I know something I would have another view. Likewise if kids are playing impressively at a recital, but it is their one and only piece and they can't read, then that's a minus. We don't need to have taken lessons for an entire year to see this. In fact, you don't want to take lessons for an entire year and then have you or your child become the dread transfer student.

There is a danger of going overboard. We can go into it with a list of rules of "what they say at PianoWorld", and if a teacher doesn't do the same thing then he must be wrong. If your particular child happens to sit naturally at the piano and is forming a decent hand in the teacher's eyes, then maybe what a competent new teacher sees shouldn't be interfered with. Then you don't go "Gasp! He didn't talk about posture at the piano!"

I think that what a teacher does at an interview or first sample lesson can tell you a lot. Whether you or your child feel comfortable with this person may also be a factor. If there is a poorly maintained piano, no means of adjusting the stool to a proper height - that tells important things.

My contention is that if you go to an interview or first lesson informed, then it will be more than seeing if this teacher seems nice. I've never quite gotten the "good fit" idea. Teachers are not socks. It has to do with their teaching and what needs to be learned.

And if we're informed maybe teachers will be under less pressure to compete under such things as being the fastest to "advance" students up the grades and win loads of competitions at the expense of other things.

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#1809874 - 12/21/11 10:27 AM Re: Polish teacher stealing my student - UPDATE [Re: Dark Dragon]
childofparadise2002 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 540
The best anyone can do is to make “the best decision under the circumstances”, with “circumstances” in the case of choosing piano teachers being parents’ own background and what teachers are available. Parents of beginning piano students may not have much knowledge about piano study, they may not know how to identify a good teacher, but they need to choose a teacher nonetheless. Whatever criteria they CAN use, be it friendliness, convenience, promises that a teacher makes, would still be better than randomly choosing a name from a list. It is quite possible that they become more educated about piano study later and realize that the choice of the first teacher is not the right one. In that case they have every right to switch to a different teacher. Parents and students don’t need to be loyal to a teacher. Instead, parents, students and teachers should all be loyal to the student’s development.

(Interviewing multiple teachers does seem to be the standard advice that I have seen on websites and parenting books.)

Should parents tell teachers that they are interviewing more than one teacher? I think it’s a rather personal decision. Some parents think it’s good not to keep teachers in the dark, others don’t think it’s the teacher’s business. Some teachers want to know about this because they want to know what to expect; others would rather not know that they are being compared with others. I don’t think there is right or wrong in this. But it is important to find “the right match”. If the parent thinks it is important to keep the teacher “in the loop” but the teacher thinks it is offensive, then it probably means that a working relationship between these two parties will be hard to come by anyways, and it might be better that the parent picks a different teacher.

I completely agree with Gary D.’s comments. Parents have the right to choose; teachers also have the right to choose. There are so many teachers and so many piano students out there, hopefully everyone will find a good match!

As for “stealing” students. As long as “the other teacher” does not actively solicit other teachers’ students, then it will simply be “teacher switching”. Parents do have the right to do so.

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