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#1954337 - 09/05/12 03:33 PM Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far
nancyzpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 44
Hello PW!

It has been a while since I posted, but I am still at it. Now that I have been self-teaching for a year I decided I was brave enough to take lessons at the community college. While I am still unable to afford the $100+ a month for lessons, I can swing the $100 in tution for 16 weeks at the college. I thought I would share my experiences here. What prompted me to seek lessons is that I feel I was floundering over the summer in motivation and can't seem to polish anything, so I figured some expert advice couldn't hurt.

First Lesson:
I attended my 1st lesson last week and brought my latest books (Snell Rep series Level 2 and ABRSM Grade 2 & 3). She interviewed me about what I had covered so far then had me play some stuff I was working on. I butchered everything-lol! First, I was playing on a nice Yamaha grand that required more umph to play and that threw me, not to mention playing in front of a live person instead of a video camera. She suggested we start with Alfred Adult All in One level 1, the school's class piano 1 text, which disheartened me because I thought I was past that (It was the department secretary who suggested private instead of class piano since that is geared to absolute beginners and generally two semesters is required before private). She said I could start at the middle of book - yeah. Anyways, I spent the week practicing and made it to page 96 comfortably as well as practicing "my" stuff. She expects 5 hours a week of practice which I document on a form she provides.

2nd Lesson:
Today was my second lesson. We opened the Alfred book and began on page one. Her rationale is to spot and cover any holes in my musical education. She went over the theory bits (which I already knew) grading my answers (glad I did those - she didn't assign them, per se). Then we played each piece - I did the music and she played an accompanment. We got to page 31 in the half hour and I felt good. I hadn't looked at those pieces since last week so I basically sight read and did alright. She didn't correct me on anything so I guess I am right on track. Next week I'll pick up on page 31 and go from there. Gives me plenty of time to polish what I worked on last week since it should be a couple of weeks to get there.
She also assigned scales (did not define which ones - I'll play the keys I already know) from a Bastien Scales book and the first 8 preparatory exercises from Schmitt.

The class is 15- 30 min lessons requiring a minimum of 5 hours practice a week and the 'final' is memorized pieces for a jury.

At this pace, I recon the course will cover Alfred books 1 & 2 and then assigned jury pieces. So Class piano 1&2 in 1 semester.

Thanks for reading and I'll update the thread if anyone is interested.

On a side note: She knows about this site, but was poo-pooing it a little (what!). She also said the testing was a money making scheme. Oh well, as long as I learn something I'll do alright and fully plan on continuing my exam/rep prep in addition to her assignments. Me + piano for 2 hours daily!


Edited by nancyzpiano (09/05/12 03:41 PM)
_________________________
Adult Beginner starting August 2011.
Self taught 1 year, College 1 year, private lessons currently
Completed: Snell Rep Series Preparatory, 1, 2, 3, Alfred AIO Book 1.
Working on: Snell Rep Series 4: Clementi Sonatina Op. 36. No. 2

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#1954347 - 09/05/12 03:56 PM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: nancyzpiano]
Para Otras Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/12
Posts: 309
Congrats on private lessons finally!

I teach at a community college but our private lessons are only for people who audition to be music majors. You should be happy yours allows you to take them without this requirement! smile

I hope this works out well for you. It sounds to me as though you are trying to jump ahead faster than the teacher wants. Make sure to remember that she is trying to see what you can do - and that isn't going to happen after two lessons. The pace may pick up down the road or it may slow down.

From the progress in your signature, it looks (to me!) that you flew through a lot of material very quickly. Doing two levels of a method book + 2 levels of piano repertoire + other work in just a year is a lot! You will now have to perform pieces up to someone else's standards of completion, and students rarely have the same standards as their teachers smile That said, don't be discouraged. In the end, even if you don't finish book 2 of Alfred (which I personally don't think you will - as things get harder, they take longer! but that's a good thing, means you're playing with depth!), you will have gained a lot from this experience.

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#1954377 - 09/05/12 04:45 PM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: Para Otras]
nancyzpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 44
Thanks for replying. I guess our school is hard up for students, lol. There are two categories of private lessons - one for music majors and one for everyone else and then either 30 minitues for 1 credit or 1 hour for 2 credits. You can repeat any one for 4 semesters so I can essentially take lessons for 4 years this way before declaring a music major. Hopefully I can play by then smile I am taking things out of sequence though as most students (majors or not) are to take both semesters of Class Piano (Alfred 1 & 2) before going private, but like I said, the secretary thought I was advanced enough and I think I'll catch up quick. I am sure my teacher will pace me appropriately - I am very dedicated smile


Edited by nancyzpiano (09/05/12 04:50 PM)
_________________________
Adult Beginner starting August 2011.
Self taught 1 year, College 1 year, private lessons currently
Completed: Snell Rep Series Preparatory, 1, 2, 3, Alfred AIO Book 1.
Working on: Snell Rep Series 4: Clementi Sonatina Op. 36. No. 2

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#1954387 - 09/05/12 05:10 PM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: Para Otras]
Playagain Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 239
I take lessons also at a community college, and I love it. I'm an adult re-learner, and I've taken 2 1/2 years there of private lessons from one of their newer teachers through the adult ed. program, but that teacher has just moved.

So, now I'm taking the private lessons from one of the main teachers, and most of her students are music majors. The head of the department has to give approval for the private lessons, and my previous teacher also gave her recommendation.

It sounds like the same format--1 credit hour for 1/2 hour of lessons, but I'm not taking it for a grade since it's just for fun. I do practice usually 1-2 hours a day. When I first played for my new teacher, she said I could be a music major there, which was nice. I have a difficult time memorizing music, though--I need to work on that!

I think lessons at a community college are a great idea for busy adults because I get a break between semesters to catch up on work and other activities, and it's a little more affordable for lessons, although more expensive here. The teachers are wonderful, too, and very knowledgeable here.

Have fun, NancyZPiano!

Kathy
_________________________
""

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#1954821 - 09/06/12 01:07 PM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: nancyzpiano]
MaryBee Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 1212
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Originally Posted By: nancyzpiano
While I am still unable to afford the $100+ a month for lessons, I can swing the $100 in tution for 16 weeks at the college.
Are you saying it's costing you $100 for 8 hours of lessons over the course of the semester? That's $12.50 an hour. What a deal! (But I hope the teacher is getting paid more than that.) So how is this different than regular private lessons? Just that it's subsidized by the college and you get a grade for it?

Quote:
What prompted me to seek lessons is that I feel I was floundering over the summer in motivation and can't seem to polish anything, so I figured some expert advice couldn't hurt.
This is one of the great benefits of lessons.

Quote:
On a side note: She knows about this site, but was poo-pooing it a little (what!).
That's funny. I wonder why. I've told my teacher about this site, and he thinks it's a great way to share ideas and get support from other piano students. He is also enthusiastic about the quarterly recitals opportunities here.
_________________________
Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
XVI-XXXIV

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#1955093 - 09/06/12 09:46 PM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: MaryBee]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: MaryBee
Originally Posted By: nancyzpiano
While I am still unable to afford the $100+ a month for lessons, I can swing the $100 in tution for 16 weeks at the college.
Are you saying it's costing you $100 for 8 hours of lessons over the course of the semester? That's $12.50 an hour. What a deal! (But I hope the teacher is getting paid more than that.) So how is this different than regular private lessons? Just that it's subsidized by the college and you get a grade for it?


I do believe its subsidized, yes. Even at top university levels, "applied" lessons such as these are reasonable in expense (though concurrent tuition to such schools is another question); at any rate, such lessons are very valuable because of the cost and the quality of teachers


Edited by Bobpickle (09/06/12 09:58 PM)

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#1955106 - 09/06/12 10:10 PM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: nancyzpiano]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17777
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: nancyzpiano
We got to page 31 in the half hour and I felt good. I hadn't looked at those pieces since last week so I basically sight read and did alright. She didn't correct me on anything so I guess I am right on track.


This concerned me a bit. It is possible that you played all 31 pages flawlessly, but not likely. Especially since us self-teachers are notorious for picking up sloppy and/or bad technique. whome

If your next lesson proceeds similarly, with no suggestions for improving your technique at all, I'd suggest saying something like "One of the reasons I started these lessons is because I was worried about my technique self-teaching. Is there anything in my playing--hand positioning, arm/wrist tension, etc.--that I should be working on?"
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1955108 - 09/06/12 10:16 PM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: nancyzpiano]
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3483
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Yay for Community College, boo for poo-pooing this site. frown
I wonder what that's about? Anyone who is involved in the piano business should be very happy that this site is here, because it gets more people (esp. adults) starting and continuing with piano than otherwise. I suppose some teachers are concerned about people self-teaching and learning all kinds of bad habits, and that is definitely a reasonable concern. But any "damage" done is far outweighted by the benefits we all get, that the world of piano gets, from this site.

Sorry, don't mean to rant. I'm just very pro-PW and ABF. smile
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#1955411 - 09/07/12 12:36 PM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: nancyzpiano]
nancyzpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 44
OP here,

Yes, it is a great value and that's why I am doing it,lol. My college costs $52 a credit hour and then charges a $50 applied music fee for a grand total of $102 for 8 hours of instruction - can't beat that.
About PW, she suggested that that while there are many talented here, it is a case of the blind leading the blind. As a piano teacher, I would assume her bias would be towards professional lessons as opposed to self-teaching. This site has been invaluable to me over that past year which I credit for my ability thus far!
In regards to the pace - it could be 1 of 3 things: 1) I might just be that good, lol 2) She is having me cover lots of ground to get to my 'stuck' point while noting areas to be improved then return to correct, ie, she is still evaluating me. or 3) this is college - the professors don't slow down because you don't understand. It's up to you to keep up. I don't know which it is yet as it's only 2 lessons, but I'll keep in touch.
I have worked to page 120 - played all pieces through. Now going for the spit and polish. It'll probably be 4 weeks before I get here in class and they should shine by then. As far as scales, ABRSM gives the student the choice of harmonic or melodic minors and I played medolic. Well, the books covers harmonic first so got some work to do there. Also, it has candances. I know some of the chords already, but gotta work out the rest.
Thanks for the replies!


Edited by nancyzpiano (09/07/12 12:37 PM)
_________________________
Adult Beginner starting August 2011.
Self taught 1 year, College 1 year, private lessons currently
Completed: Snell Rep Series Preparatory, 1, 2, 3, Alfred AIO Book 1.
Working on: Snell Rep Series 4: Clementi Sonatina Op. 36. No. 2

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#1955704 - 09/08/12 12:17 AM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: nancyzpiano]
Playagain Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 239
The community college where I'm taking piano charges $80 per credit hour (including fees) plus $225 for the applied piano lessons for one credit hour. Yours is a very good deal!

Kathy
_________________________
""

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#1957967 - 09/12/12 05:11 PM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: nancyzpiano]
nancyzpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 44
OP here,
Another lesson today. She was stuck in traffic so our lesson was late and would have run into another teachers lesson in our usual room so we used the piano lab room. She gave me quick tour of the digital pianos and the neat light up board where she presses a key on the main piano and it lights up the keyboard screen and staff above the white board in the front of the room. So she had me do some note calling, too so it was 15 minutes into the lesson before we started on the book. I got to page 41 today before we worked on scales. She was impressed that I could already do 2 octave scales in most major keys and double checked my fingering which was correct. She suggested I improve my hand position by raising the hand (not the wrist) and suggested using golf wiffle balls while doing exercises. I had her give me a brief tutorial on the pedal as many pieces in Alfred all in one book use it (much later than we are now) and I wanted to be sure I wasn't practicing wrong as I haven't had to use a pedal in the ABRSM program yet. So far so good.
_________________________
Adult Beginner starting August 2011.
Self taught 1 year, College 1 year, private lessons currently
Completed: Snell Rep Series Preparatory, 1, 2, 3, Alfred AIO Book 1.
Working on: Snell Rep Series 4: Clementi Sonatina Op. 36. No. 2

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#1958172 - 09/13/12 08:00 AM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: nancyzpiano]
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3574
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
Originally Posted By: Monica K.
...
Especially since us self-teachers are notorious for picking up sloppy and/or bad technique. whome



Originally Posted By: ShiroKuro
...I suppose some teachers are concerned about people self-teaching and learning all kinds of bad habits, and that is definitely a reasonable concern.



Well, actually it may not be a "reasonable" concern after all - one of the most persistent myths surrounding self-instruction on the piano (or just about any instrument or hobby or occupational pursuit) is that it leads to and instills "bad habits"...

This has been said so often by so many people for so long that it has acquired the force of truth - but is it?

If what one teaches oneself "works", that is, if one finds oneself playing well as a beginner, or an intermediate, or an advanced level under one's own mentoring, then is it a bad habit simply because it may not conform to so-called standard practice or the book method?

As outstanding examples of what I say here I offer the many accomplished and delightful recordings of the two very talented individuals quoted above.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled discussion...

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

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.

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#1958202 - 09/13/12 09:25 AM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: nancyzpiano]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 752
Loc: Liverpool, England
That sounds great. Wish our community colleges here in Britain had one to one music courses like this- and what a price! We only get beginners keyboards for 10 weeks ( usually 10-15 students in a class)- plastic cheap keyboards on tables. Never a piano in sight.That's if you are lucky. Music teaching here for adults is generally private tutors who come to your home.


Edited by EdwardianPiano (09/13/12 09:27 AM)
_________________________
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."

"He who divines the secret of my music is delivered from the misery that haunts the world."


Ludwig Van Beethoven

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#1958235 - 09/13/12 10:52 AM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: nancyzpiano]
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8529
Loc: Georgia, USA
Well, I teach at a community technical college, but I do not teach piano… heck, I need to take a few piano lessons myself. We do have a baby grand piano at the college in a lecture-hall/commons area. I have been invited to the play the piano for several events here at the college and I like to sneak in there and play sometimes when I have a spare moment, and no one is using the lecture hall.

In terms of my own ability to play, it is rather primitive and basic, but most of what I play does follow some musical logic to an extent, as a general rule.

As a primarily self-taught, by-ear musician-wana-be, I started out learning to play in the key of C… I can think of most any tune or song I’ve ever hear and play it in the key of C. Of course, if one only played in C all the time, it would get rather boring. I can also play fairly well in F (my favorite singing key), and G. I’m learning to play in all the keys, including flats and sharps. I’m of the school of thought that if you can master the key of C, the fundamentals, concepts, hand-shapes and patterns can be transferred to other keys.

One of the things I love to do is listen and mimic… listen and mimic; I like to hear someone else play and then try to mimic their playing. Of course, in the process of self-teaching, (don’t know if I like that term or not… we all learn from others) we do develop our own styles, for better or worse.

Of course, when you like blues, rock, pop, jazz, country, and Gospel, it’s always good to learn a new blues lick or a catchy rift… smile

Wishing you all the best in your music education!

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

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#1958286 - 09/13/12 12:58 PM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: nancyzpiano]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 752
Loc: Liverpool, England
Sounds like you are having fun Rick! I did it- I just booked my first piano lesson ( in over a year- had a few lessons almost 2 years ago). Been looking at that card for months..
The fella rang me back after me ringing and hanging up instead of leaving him a message (felt a bit shy..).
He is up for teaching a fumbly fingered 44 year old and his fee is very good.
So 21st on Friday evening is the day! I am very excited but nervous- will have to practise like mad to improve The Swan! (He'd like to see what I'm currently working on)


Edited by EdwardianPiano (09/13/12 12:59 PM)
_________________________
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."

"He who divines the secret of my music is delivered from the misery that haunts the world."


Ludwig Van Beethoven

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#1958392 - 09/13/12 03:22 PM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: EdwardianPiano]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1849
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: EdwardianPiano
Sounds like you are having fun Rick! I did it- I just booked my first piano lesson ( in over a year- had a few lessons almost 2 years ago). Been looking at that card for months..
The fella rang me back after me ringing and hanging up instead of leaving him a message (felt a bit shy..).
He is up for teaching a fumbly fingered 44 year old and his fee is very good.
So 21st on Friday evening is the day! I am very excited but nervous- will have to practise like mad to improve The Swan! (He'd like to see what I'm currently working on)



Stop Right There!

You may be heading for trouble with that approach.

You appear to be considering a piano lesson as a performance.
Where you try to show the teacher how good you are.

That never works. It will only serve to make you extremely nervous and you will likely perform very badly and be devastated with the whole thing and may consider quitting.

Instead, I might suggest that you just let the instructor see (and hear) you play things without worrying about doing it perfectly. Just play it as best you can at the moment, mistakes and all.

That will enable the teacher to get a glimpse of your skill level and go from there.

I do not mean to rain on your parade (excitement about lessons) but I just thought I would try to help you avoid the disappointment that you are setting yourself up for by try to "practice like made to improve the swan".

Think of it this way ....

If you went to an eye doctor to have him fit you for glasses, would you try to show him you do not need glasses ? No, not if you knew you needed them.

Same thing with this. Do not try to fool the teacher into thinking you are better than you are. Just let him see exactly how you play ... not how you play when you play perfectly. That will relieve a lot of tension.

Good Luck




Edited by dmd (09/13/12 03:23 PM)
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D

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#1958433 - 09/13/12 04:28 PM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: nancyzpiano]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 752
Loc: Liverpool, England
Oh nah not trying to get perfect just keeping on with what I have been doing- been busy lately with my work so not had time to play every day- just want to have enough confidence not to make an entire fumble of it! He knows there will be zillions of mistakes- we spoke about them- told him where I struggle etc. He would like to see where I am at - told him I make up my own little pieces so he'd like to see how I do on that as well as sight reading ( which I am rubbish at).
He is experienced and said he knows adults tend to be nervous and embarrassed in music lessons. I suppose once one has got in the swing of it that lessens.


Edited by EdwardianPiano (09/13/12 04:34 PM)
_________________________
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."

"He who divines the secret of my music is delivered from the misery that haunts the world."


Ludwig Van Beethoven

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#1958553 - 09/13/12 09:29 PM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: nancyzpiano]
pckhdlr305 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 53
Nancy,(or anyone else who may know)how did you find out about these lessons? Did you just call your local colleges music department and ask about? I would like to try and maybe get a teacher this way.

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#1958636 - 09/14/12 12:54 AM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: pckhdlr305]
Playagain Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 239
I take private lessons at our local community college, but I started in the College Adult Education program, which is a separate department of the college (not college credit classes).

So, if your college has an Adult Ed. program, you can suggest that they add private piano lessons to their class offerings. At the college here, the Adult Ed. private piano lessons are taught by one of the newer college piano teachers, or by one of the music majors. The lessons are cheaper if you take them from one of the music majors.

But, at the college here, I was accepted into the regular college private piano lessons when my other piano teacher moved. So, the head of the music department had to approve my lessons with one of their regular teachers. I got a recommendation from my former teacher, and the head of the dept. had heard me play and knows me.

So, it's worth calling the music department at your local community college and ask if you can audit the piano lessons as a non-music major. If that option isn't available, you can find out if they have Adult Education classes, and if they will offer piano lessons through that department.

The adult ed. program at our community college is always looking for new classes to add and for new instructors. I'm teaching crochet through our adult ed. program, and they have many, many classes of all kinds--guitar lessons, voice lessons, piano, Spanish lessons, computer classes, etc.

Another option is to call the college and find out if any of the instructors teach private lessons in their own studio. My teacher also teaches in her own studio. Music majors often teach on the side, too.

Hope this helps!
Kathy
_________________________
""

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#1958780 - 09/14/12 09:54 AM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: pckhdlr305]
nancyzpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 44
Nancy, here.
I checked online in the music department under course listings for 'applied music'. Check the course description for music majors and non-music majors. Most of the schools I looked at had courses for both, but one poster here mentioned the lessons were only for auditioned music majors. You can always pick up the phone and ask smile Good luck!
_________________________
Adult Beginner starting August 2011.
Self taught 1 year, College 1 year, private lessons currently
Completed: Snell Rep Series Preparatory, 1, 2, 3, Alfred AIO Book 1.
Working on: Snell Rep Series 4: Clementi Sonatina Op. 36. No. 2

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#1971481 - 10/10/12 06:10 PM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: nancyzpiano]
nancyzpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 44
OP here.

Decided to check in with my progress.
So far after 6 lessons (my son was sick one week) I have:
- progressed to page 80 in the Alfred Book so over 1/2 way through
- Played Major Sharp scales at least 2 octaves hands together to her satisfaction (quote "She knows them - don't ask to do them again"), C,G,D,A 4 octaves. Working on flat scales now.
- Up to excercise 28 in Schmitt.
She is happy with my scales progress, but I want to be finished with the Alfred book! We spend about 1/2 the lesson on scales and Schmitt which leaves about 15 minutes to pound out 15 pages of Alfred.
While I still need to polish some Alfred pieces, they are in the back of the book such as Chiapanecas (p. 120), O Sole Mio, (those 2 because I don't like them so they are about 70%), The Stranger is coming along, Scarbgorough Fair, Rasin and Almonds are about 90%. With Entertainer & Amazing Grace at about 50% (can play the notes, but s-l-o-w-ly), I hope to finish the book in the next 5 lessons or so then it will be time to select/practice my final jury pieces (8 weeks left in the semester). I hope she will let me use my Grade 3 exam pieces which are at about 70-75% right now smile
_________________________
Adult Beginner starting August 2011.
Self taught 1 year, College 1 year, private lessons currently
Completed: Snell Rep Series Preparatory, 1, 2, 3, Alfred AIO Book 1.
Working on: Snell Rep Series 4: Clementi Sonatina Op. 36. No. 2

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#1984562 - 11/09/12 09:27 AM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: nancyzpiano]
nancyzpiano Offline
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Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 44
OP Here with another update (as if anyone one was interested smile )

With only 2 lessons left before the jury I am
- page 115 in Alfred AIO Level 1
- Major Sharp Scales in 4 octaves and most flat scales in 2 octaves
- Schmitt to exercise 33
- Selected Jury Pieces.
On this I played what I had for my ABRSM 3 exam pieces, but she thinks that for the jury I should scale back a little. Ouch. But she did select 2 Snell Rep pieces in Grade 2 so she doesn't think I am a total beginner smile Most of her students in the Alfred book use the Alfred peices, but she was excited to use others to break up the monotony for herself and the jury. It has been slow going in Alfred because of repretiore work, scales and such.
I'll post one last time for Jury which is me performing my 2 pieces from memory for 3 faculty members of which my teacher is not one of them. Really don't care about the grade, but the experience should be good as I tried to simulate that for my 'exams' but now the real thing. I am not too worried - not sure if that is a good or bad thing, lol. We'll find out on Dec 6th smile
Thanks for reading!
_________________________
Adult Beginner starting August 2011.
Self taught 1 year, College 1 year, private lessons currently
Completed: Snell Rep Series Preparatory, 1, 2, 3, Alfred AIO Book 1.
Working on: Snell Rep Series 4: Clementi Sonatina Op. 36. No. 2

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#1984566 - 11/09/12 09:37 AM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: nancyzpiano]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11675
Loc: Canada
I am reading about material. By that I mean what pages you have been doing, what pieces, what scales. Are you getting feedback on technique, quality of the sound you are producing, (loud, soft, faded, overbearing), timing, and similar?

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#1984589 - 11/09/12 10:59 AM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: nancyzpiano]
jotur Offline
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Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5529
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Good luck, Nancy - knock it outta the park!

Cathy
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#1984701 - 11/09/12 03:48 PM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: keystring]
nancyzpiano Offline
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Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 44
Keystring - she doesn't pass me on a song until my timing, tone, dynamics, etc is of quality. If I stumble, she will explain and have me do it again. Only 1 song she had me work on another week because of timing issues.
I am sure with my jury pieces she will go over them with a fine tooth comb at my next lesson!
So far I am pleased with my experience and think I have grown.
OT - but I also participated in my first violin recital at the commuity college today (did I mention I started violin in September so I can teach my son?). I messed up a LOT but darn I looked good doing it - peopel commented that I didn't look nervous, but confident and I didnt' stop, but just kept going like you are supposed. I feel good! Unfortunately, I have a camping trip to go on with my boys just when i want to cozy up to the keys for the weekend *sigh*
Thanks for reading and responding - it's been a fun (and frustrating) journey smile


Edited by nancyzpiano (11/09/12 03:49 PM)
_________________________
Adult Beginner starting August 2011.
Self taught 1 year, College 1 year, private lessons currently
Completed: Snell Rep Series Preparatory, 1, 2, 3, Alfred AIO Book 1.
Working on: Snell Rep Series 4: Clementi Sonatina Op. 36. No. 2

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#1984706 - 11/09/12 04:18 PM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: nancyzpiano]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1849
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: nancyzpiano
Unfortunately, I have a camping trip to go on with my boys just when i want to cozy up to the keys for the weekend *sigh*


I know (hope) you didn't really mean that.

Camping trip with your boys vs. cozying up to the keys ?

Not even close.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D

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#1984751 - 11/09/12 06:59 PM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: nancyzpiano]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11675
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: nancyzpiano
Keystring - she doesn't pass me on a song until my timing, tone, dynamics, etc is of quality. If I stumble, she will explain and have me do it again. Only 1 song she had me work on another week because of timing issues.

That sounds good then. smile

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#1984764 - 11/09/12 07:46 PM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: nancyzpiano]
Allard Offline
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Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 339
Loc: Netherlands
Last camping site I've been to had a piano bar. Why choose when you can have both? smile
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David Lanz - Where the Tall Tree Grows
Nobuo Uematsu - Aerith's Theme (Final Fantasy VII Piano Collections)

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#1984769 - 11/09/12 07:57 PM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: nancyzpiano]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3181
Loc: Maine
I wonder if, as students, we can always tell what are the skills we are learning. It may be natural as students to name the pieces rather than the skills.

When I took voice lessons with my second voice teacher, I could tell you the content of what we worked on in lessons: breathing exercises, vocalises, basic repertoire (24 Italian Songs). But I would have to think about it to tell you what the skills were I was learning. Let me try:

Breathing exercises: how to support my breath and make it last

Vocalises: some skills I think were how to warmup, how to project (though I was only at the very beginning of this), how to make my mouth open like an egg, but probably lots of other things that I don't know how to name, because I can think of various vocalises which I can tell were exercising various skills, but I don't have the terminology for what they were doing.

Repertoire: how to use the above skills while honing my interval accuracy (I suppose, although I never had a solid sense of intervals even while singing songs that pounded on a particular interval).

The teaching of how to sing correctly came throughout all of these things, as my teacher corrected me, gave me images to work with, asked me to adjust my singing this way or that. But she didn't tell me technically what the goal of each item was (maybe the goals seemed self-evident to her), and I didn't think of the lessons as organized by skills, but rather by a certain order to the lesson, so my description of what I learned to do, beyond "learning to sing" might mostly be about the material covered in the lesson, rather than the skills learned.

On the other hand, I had an excellent impression of her as having a very well-thought-out order for what she taught me, that gave me needed skills in a good order, and built more advanced things on top of simpler things. Even though I didn't think of the lesson as a progression of skills, she may have thought of it that way. Or maybe in her method, the materials and how she taught them were so perfectly connected to teaching skills that it didn't matter which way you thought of them: as skills or as material. So even though I can't name what her outline of skills was for teaching me, I'm sure I was learning the right things.

By contrast, in my piano lessons I ultimately felt frustrated in that I didn't sense any overarching design of skills from my piano teacher that was directing the choice of material, and those lessons did come to leave me feeling frustrated that they were just about learning pieces, with only minimal guidance on how to learn to play better. It may be that my teacher had such a plan, but couldn't communicate it; it may be that she has a different philosophy than what I wanted about how skills are acquired (I think she believed that I would learn what I needed in the course of broad playing in a variety of eras with suggestions from her for each piece, vs. what I wanted was a sense of a specific choice of pieces to teach certain skills in a thought-out order). In retrospect, I did learn a lot of things while taking piano lessons, but I got to a point where I felt the pace of learning had dwindled, and I wanted more of a specific plan.

Another contrast: my first voice teacher didn't seem to have the same kind of extended teaching plan as my second voice teacher, but I didn't realize that until after I started with my second voice teacher. But I was quite happy with my first voice teacher while I was with him; the main thing I learned from taking lessons with him was a crucial crucial crucial ability simply to sing in front of someone else (for about 6 months, about half of each hour lesson would typically go by before I would be brave enough to sing anything at all). And he also introduced me to the specifics of vowels, diphthongs, and varying emphasis, which I am very glad to have learned.

So I don't know the full answer, but I do think that even a student with a good teacher may think that what they are learning is pieces, even though the teacher is deliberately teaching skills.
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#1985045 - 11/10/12 01:19 PM Re: Private Lessons at Community College - experience thus far [Re: nancyzpiano]
MaryBee Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 1212
Loc: Cleveland, OH
PS88, it sounds like your experience with different types of teachers has given you some good insight into what you are looking for and what works well for you. That's useful knowledge to have!
_________________________
Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
XVI-XXXIV

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