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#2000656 - 12/17/12 11:18 AM Some thoughts this morning
pianogirl87 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 107
Loc: New Jersey
As I'm reading through many of these threads, it got me thinking about something.

How long should a student stay with a teacher before contemplating moving along? I feel that there are some out there who switch pretty early into lessons, especially if they're transferring from another studio. It doesn't give adequate enough time for the student to get accustomed to the teacher's methodology. The continual switching seems pretty detrimental to the overall education process.

I'm sure this is hard to answer, given the many opinions and situations out there. However, I wanted to hear other opinions on this.
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#2000688 - 12/17/12 01:05 PM Re: Some thoughts this morning [Re: pianogirl87]
MaggieGirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 482
How long should a student stay with a teacher before contemplating moving along?

I don't think students should contemplate moving unless there is a "good" reason.

Reasons I would consider a change in teachers:
affordability (change in my income or cost or if my daughter quit her sport and wanted to focus on piano only)
the teacher has no interest in my child
her lessons/practices become stagnant
the teacher is indifferent
the teacher is abusive
unwillingness to communicate (we had some rough patches due to language and me being a little timid but her teacher was always willing)
if the teacher suggested a change

I don't think teachers should be changed like pants! There has to be a lot of care and thought.

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#2000725 - 12/17/12 02:50 PM Re: Some thoughts this morning [Re: pianogirl87]
Bluoh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 421
Loc: Canada
I agree with the above.

Also, most teachers only teach a certain range of levels, so that would be a good time to switch, especially if the teacher recommends it.

Sometimes it takes a while to find the right teacher for the student. The teacher-student relationship is much more than just 'methodology', and when it doesn't work, then it's time to switch.

Yes, it does take time for the student to get used to the teacher's methodology, but most of the time there's more to it.

I know teachers who are more geared towards business (very 'on-the-ball', financially literate: read money-conscious) and others who are more compassionate and not so calculating.

It depends on what kind of person you're more comfortable with.

And teachers expect some switching around anyways; when it doesn't work, there's no use forcing it.

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#2000783 - 12/17/12 05:22 PM Re: Some thoughts this morning [Re: pianogirl87]
casinitaly Offline

Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5023
Loc: Italy
My first teacher fully expected me to move to another teacher after 3-5 years. In her opinion things get stale with the same teacher (in fact I would agree, speaking as a teacher - albeit a different subject).

I spent 3 years with her and probably would have done more, but this year our schedules didn't match so if I wanted lessons I had to find another teacher.

As it happens the new teacher's approach is different and I'm thrilled with the change.
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Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2001086 - 12/18/12 10:15 AM Re: Some thoughts this morning [Re: pianogirl87]
pianogirl87 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 107
Loc: New Jersey
I do encourage change after a certain number of years. When I was a student, I changed every few years or so and it was highly beneficial.

However, I was thinking about the ones who stick around for maybe a few months, then switch. Sometimes even less. It seems that continually switching teachers hurts in the long run.

There are definitely good reasons for switching, as you all have pointed out. What confuses me are the ones who switch teachers not for a good reason.
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#2001136 - 12/18/12 12:04 PM Re: Some thoughts this morning [Re: pianogirl87]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
In Germany, a class begins 1st grade with teacher X, and then that teacher remains with the class for six years. The students then move on to the Gymnasium or Realschule.

I fully expect my beginners to stick with me through HS graduation. I suspect many teachers feel the same way.
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"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
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#2001150 - 12/18/12 12:37 PM Re: Some thoughts this morning [Re: pianogirl87]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1010
Loc: Irvine, CA
John's comment reminded me that in my home country, I stay with my school teacher for 6 years (1st to 6th Grade) then move to another teacher another 6 years (7th to 12th Grade). I appreciate that the education ministry designing it this way. We also stay with same classmate through out six years.
I think it is important for us to develop deep and good relationship with teachers and classmate.
I think for those value relationship with stay with a teacher for a long time, in contrast, for those value "result" will move on to a better teacher (no one can really proof it though).
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#2001159 - 12/18/12 12:49 PM Re: Some thoughts this morning [Re: pianogirl87]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
I would never expect a beginner to stay with me through high school. While I am fully capable of teaching that entire stretch, I would want them exposed to other ideas and ways of doing things. They have to learn to be adaptable in this world.
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#2001188 - 12/18/12 01:51 PM Re: Some thoughts this morning [Re: Minniemay]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
That's one major reason for master classes/lessons and summer camps.
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"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2001195 - 12/18/12 02:03 PM Re: Some thoughts this morning [Re: pianogirl87]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5486
Loc: Orange County, CA
I expect the student to continue lessons with me until I have nothing else to offer. Then I will make the appropriate recommendation for the next teacher.
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#2001213 - 12/18/12 02:41 PM Re: Some thoughts this morning [Re: pianogirl87]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5261
Loc: Europe
In Greece most teachers think they can take a kid from kindergarden and bring it up to a performance diploma level! Most can't fully do that.

I can! grin

Honestly though it takes away they pride of a teacher when they are forced to allow their students to move on... In my case, in all honest, I think I'm much better at teaching older and more advanced students rather than beginners and young children (even if I have young children of my own). So not sure...
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#2001256 - 12/18/12 04:06 PM Re: Some thoughts this morning [Re: AZNpiano]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
I expect the student to continue lessons with me until I have nothing else to offer. Then I will make the appropriate recommendation for the next teacher.


+1
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#2001260 - 12/18/12 04:22 PM Re: Some thoughts this morning [Re: pianogirl87]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
It would be nice if students went to summer camps and masterclasses, but few do.
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B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#2001284 - 12/18/12 05:14 PM Re: Some thoughts this morning [Re: Minniemay]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5486
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Minniemay
It would be nice if students went to summer camps and masterclasses, but few do.

You can always do an in-studio master class, or pool together the top students from several studios and do a master class.
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Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2001296 - 12/18/12 05:40 PM Re: Some thoughts this morning [Re: pianogirl87]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
Yes, I already do that, but I still think that is only of temporary or minimal benefit.

I think the greater benefit is long-term exposure to a teacher's ideas. I am not omniscient and neither is anyone else. I studied with one of the best teachers in the country for 4.5 years, but by the end of that time, I was ready to move on. I studied for two years with the next person and learned a great deal from his perspective (which was very different from the previous teacher).

I don't think masterclasses or camps offer that kind of development. There is value, of course, but not of the influence of an established relationship. They all run their course.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#2001452 - 12/18/12 11:15 PM Re: Some thoughts this morning [Re: pianogirl87]
Peter K. Mose Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1351
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
I think there is far more teacher switching among kids, whose parents are controlling the decision-making and finances, than there is among adult piano students.

I feel one has to give any piano teacher at least a year of commitment, and preferably two years. Even if you're a flaky kid or parent. Or even if the piano teacher proves a flake.

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#2001485 - 12/19/12 12:26 AM Re: Some thoughts this morning [Re: Peter K. Mose]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose

I feel one has to give any piano teacher at least a year of commitment, and preferably two years. Even if you're a flaky kid or parent. Or even if the piano teacher proves a flake.


+1.

However, not if they're a bad fit.
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#2001996 - 12/20/12 05:36 AM Re: Some thoughts this morning [Re: pianogirl87]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
I had the same teacher from age 8-18, at which time I moved to the University and studied with a professor there. If my student is working well with me and progressing at a rate they are comfortable with, I am happy to keep them. Otherwise, I will refer them to another teacher.
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Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

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#2002055 - 12/20/12 08:57 AM Re: Some thoughts this morning [Re: ten left thumbs]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2543
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose

I feel one has to give any piano teacher at least a year of commitment, and preferably two years. Even if you're a flaky kid or parent. Or even if the piano teacher proves a flake.


+1.

However, not if they're a bad fit.


Or a train wreck.
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A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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