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#2011014 - 01/08/13 06:08 AM why won't students ask their teachers?
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
It seems to happen time and time again here, a student who has a piano teacher and takes regular lessons, posts a question online, wanting input from teachers here. I don't get it, why do they do it?

I would understand if they had asked their own teacher, the teacher replies sternly, "Though shalt not foray into such and such a style!" and they want a second opinion. But, no, they just don't want to ask.

Are they embarrassed? Shy? Do they want to prove they can do it alone (in which case, why ask here?) These are adults who have gone out of their way to organize lessons for themselves, so they must have some ability to communicate.
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#2011017 - 01/08/13 06:36 AM Re: why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1742
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Maybe because they already know their teacher's answer and would like a second opinion from those reading this forum who are accomplished, professional teachers?

Why would anyone seek a second opinion from a doctor, lawyer, or financial advisor?

Reasonable teachers can have different views and generally know more than students. Students sometimes want to know the different -- but reasonable -- approaches taken by teachers other than their own. That's part of how an adult endeavors to "organize lessons for (him)self", as you put it.


Edited by ClsscLib (01/08/13 06:38 AM)
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#2011056 - 01/08/13 08:25 AM Re: why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
Morodiene Online   content
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Registered: 04/06/07
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But I get what tlt is saying, many of these students don't even give their teachers a chance at a first opinion before seeking a 2nd. And I'm sure every teacher wonders if their students are doing the same - no tasking them something that they can certainly help them with if they knew it was something the student wanted.

I often will go out of my way with adult students especially and ask them if there's something specific they'd like to work on, perhaps in a different style just to be sure. A lot of times we teachers are left without any direction from the student as far as interests are concerned and so we just proceed with what we feel is necessary.

Getting feedback from a student is crucial and desired, however, at least from the good teachers I know.
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#2011066 - 01/08/13 08:38 AM Re: why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
If I thought they had really asked, then I would be fine with them asking here. Maybe they have already picked up negative vibes and decided it isn't safe to ask. Again, this makes sense.

What I worry about is that they may simply assume (that a teacher who teaches classical isn't interested in jazz, or vice versa) and assume wrongly.

There are lots of things I'm interested in that I don't routinely bring up in lessons, but we could take a digression into.
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#2011068 - 01/08/13 08:42 AM Re: why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
TimR Offline
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Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3187
Loc: Virginia, USA
Not every adult has access to master teachers (such as are found on this forum!) <g>

Adults may be satisfied with some but not all of their teacher's abilities. Or the teacher might have convenient hours or prices, or just be likable. Rather than change teachers, they may just attempt to supplement what they fear is missing.
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#2011070 - 01/08/13 08:45 AM Re: why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
casinitaly Offline

Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4937
Loc: Italy
Well, I don't really ask for advice from the teachers here, but I do ask questions in ABF that I could ask my teacher.

I have different reasons and I can imagine others

1. The first reason for me would be that I've just finished my lesson and I've thought of a question, I am dying to get an answer asap (even though, really, it could wait).... and I don't want to call or email my teacher about it - it isn't worth disturbing him. So I post.

2. Just to see what other people think - a sort of "reality check" before bringing it up with the teacher.
There is a fear of being in "unknown territory" and not wanting to appear foolish or unknowledgeable in front of THE TEACHER! Even though I know that my teacher would behave respectfully and kindly, we all deal with different levels of how much we're willing to put ourselves "out there" and show our ignorance.

3. To find out if we are different or the same - is my question a common one? Do other people want to do xyz too, or is it just me?

That's just off the top of my head.
Sure, I think it is better to talk in person rather than speak to anonymous folks on the net - but sometimes the folks we have not met in person can help us get over something that we're not sure how to handle, help us to find a better way of expressing our ideas - or even of figuring out what exactly needs to be expressed. A testing ground, role-playing practice run so to speak.
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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
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#2011097 - 01/08/13 09:58 AM Re: why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
I would be so very happy if my students would call me with any questions they have, especially if they have just had their lesson! That tells me a great deal about what I need to be doing as a teacher and what they need as students.
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#2011133 - 01/08/13 11:26 AM Re: why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
MaggieGirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 477
because I find it easier to as a room of strangers a "dumb" question than someone I see for 60 seconds a week. But when I figure out what I'm asking (by asking someplace like here)and get input I feel like I have a less dumb question and some ideas.

Also the first couple of months it felt...intimidating.

I guess that I am naturally a shy person doesn't help.

I am also the kind of person who doesn't like one answer - I like to see all the different thoughts and ideas.

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#2011258 - 01/08/13 03:41 PM Re: why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 425
Loc: Vancouver BC
First, this seems to be a very friendly forum. Questions, dumb or not, got answers. Not just a standard answers, but answers from different angles and levels. The collective wisdom presented here is probably well beyond any single teacher out there. And that invites new questions.

Second, many teachers have back to back lessons, there is simply no room for a student/parents to ask questions between lessons. And the student/parent does not want to spend half of the lesson time to discuss questions that are not critical enough.

Third, the anonymous nature of an internet forum makes people far more open. People asked thing here that they will never ask a teacher in person, and teachers have said things here that they would never say directly to students/parents.

Of course discussions here does not replace the communication with teachers. However, it can be a great supplement to a healthy student/parent/teacher relationship.

And I really appreciate everyone here that cared to answer the questions.


Edited by The Monkeys (01/08/13 03:42 PM)

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#2011270 - 01/08/13 03:56 PM Re: why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: The Monkeys]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3161
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: The Monkeys
Second, many teachers have back to back lessons, there is simply no room for a student/parents to ask questions between lessons. And the student/parent does not want to spend half of the lesson time to discuss questions that are not critical enough.

I am very grateful for the teachers who do share their expertise with students here on this forum, and have asked for advice several times, but this reason seems odd. Teachers have limited time all around (as do we all), so why do you feel that you don't want to infringe on the lesson time, where you are paying the teacher to pay attention to all the issues surrounding your or your child's learning, including the perhaps less-than-critical issues -- but feel that it's OK to ask teachers here to take out time from what they might primarily be using the forum for (perhaps, to learn to teach better or share their experience to help other teachers teach better), and answer your questions for free?
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#2011277 - 01/08/13 04:11 PM Re: why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: PianoStudent88]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 425
Loc: Vancouver BC
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
Originally Posted By: The Monkeys
Second, many teachers have back to back lessons, there is simply no room for a student/parents to ask questions between lessons. And the student/parent does not want to spend half of the lesson time to discuss questions that are not critical enough.

I am very grateful for the teachers who do share their expertise with students here on this forum, and have asked for advice several times, but this reason seems odd. Teachers have limited time all around (as do we all), so why do you feel that you don't want to infringe on the lesson time, where you are paying the teacher to pay attention to all the issues surrounding your or your child's learning, including the perhaps less-than-critical issues -- but feel that it's OK to ask teachers here to take out time from what they might primarily be using the forum for (perhaps, to learn to teach better or share their experience to help other teachers teach better), and answer your questions for free?


This is an observation, not saying this is a right thing to do, but people do that anyways. There were similar discussions in this forum about this behaviour.

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#2011279 - 01/08/13 04:13 PM Re: why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3161
Loc: Maine
Having said that, I feel I need to try to be introspective about the reasons why I have sometimes posted questions here.

What I have asked the most are questions where aspects of how my then-teacher was teaching didn't match up with ideas I was gaining from reading this and other forums, and I wanted to check if I was on target with questioning my lessons, before raising the matter with my teacher. Primarily what I got in reply was the advice to speak to my teacher, but no clear response on "that sounds off to me" or "that's actually perfectly fine".

The end result after posting here and receiving that advice was that I raised the issues in various ways with my teacher -- obliquely in a way though, because I wasn't going to flat-out say "I don't like the way you're teaching me, please change." And also without feeling necessarily that I was justified in wanting some things to be different. Ultimately they all remained issues for me, and other issues arose, and her teaching didn't change, and it wasn't providing me things I was increasingly wanting from my lessons no matter how much I asked for them, and I became more confident in thinking that one could expect to get these other things in lessons from the proper teacher and that I wasn't being unreasonable, so although the proximate cause of my ending lessons was financial, if I do get enough money again for lessons I will find a different teacher.
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#2011359 - 01/08/13 05:31 PM Re: why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3161
Loc: Maine
I was thinking about playing the piano, and felt I should add, to be fair, that I learned some very useful things from my teacher also. Also it was by taking lessons with her that I was able to get unstuck from the level I was at before the lessons. (I was self-taught as a child; music lessons were never an option then.)
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#2011404 - 01/08/13 07:25 PM Re: why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
MaggieGirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 477
"but feel that it's OK to ask teachers here to take out time from what they might primarily be using the forum for (perhaps, to learn to teach better or share their experience to help other teachers teach better), and answer your questions for free?"

I think some people are kind, they might have a moment and if not, no response is not rudeness but shows a lack of time/interest/desire to respond. I have searched and there have been requests for a parent forum but none was created (probably blind parents leading blind parents creates a different set of issues).

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#2011435 - 01/08/13 08:55 PM Re: why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2494
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Why ask here?

Because they can!
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#2011500 - 01/09/13 12:11 AM Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
We have heard from many individuals, whose opinions I respect, on why THEY might ask questions on the Forums, INSTEAD of asking their own teachers essentially the same questions. Here might be a compelling reason to NOT ask such questions on the Forums: WRONG ANSWERS

There is the classically ludicrous level of WRONG ANSWERS, typically happening more often on the Non-Classical Pianist Forum than with the Teachers’ Forum. A “student” asks something like, “How do you play a Db9 chord?”
The first person to answer is anxious to demonstrate how smart s/he is, and writes, “ D and F# and A and C and Eb, but if you want it to sound really cool, leave out the D, and try adding the #11th and the 13th. Then, play the Aeolean mode on B in your right hand. Change inversions frequently. Really a ‘happening’ sound.” Someone else argues with this. By the fifth or sixth post, an intelligent individual has chimed in, and is inquiring of the OP if the Db9 is a D-chord with a flatted ninth, or a Db chord with a major ninth. Of course, this critical question gets obliterated in the chatter.

The other aspect of WRONG ANSWERS from the Forums has to do with the student’s level of preparedness. If the individual asking the question(s) is a beginner, s/he will require a completely different level and depth of explanation, than if s/he is an advanced student. Here, THE teacher of this student is fully aware of which explanation to give, and why. The rest of us are taking a “stab in the dark”.

OR, better yet, I could use this precise, current thread as an example of BOTH:
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post2009745

So, for those of you inclined to tap into this vast storehouse of wisdom and knowledge that we call the Forums, I certainly agree that you will get a much BROADER RANGE of answers to your questions. Equally, many of you also have enough knowledge to filter through the pile of answers - right and not-so-right - and sift out the garbage. But what about those who are asking questions WITHOUT enough knowledge? Without the ability of sift?

Ed
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#2011537 - 01/09/13 02:56 AM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Ed's just taken the words right out of my mouth.
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


www.justfingers.co.uk
www.babysinging.co.uk

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#2011606 - 01/09/13 08:29 AM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: LoPresti]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11699
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
We have heard from many individuals, whose opinions I respect, on why THEY might ask questions on the Forums, INSTEAD of asking their own teachers essentially the same questions. Here might be a compelling reason to NOT ask such questions on the Forums: WRONG ANSWERS

There is the classically ludicrous level of WRONG ANSWERS, typically happening more often on the Non-Classical Pianist Forum than with the Teachers’ Forum. A “student” asks something like, “How do you play a Db9 chord?”
The first person to answer is anxious to demonstrate how smart s/he is, and writes, “ D and F# and A and C and Eb, but if you want it to sound really cool, leave out the D, and try adding the #11th and the 13th. Then, play the Aeolean mode on B in your right hand. Change inversions frequently. Really a ‘happening’ sound.” Someone else argues with this. By the fifth or sixth post, an intelligent individual has chimed in, and is inquiring of the OP if the Db9 is a D-chord with a flatted ninth, or a Db chord with a major ninth. Of course, this critical question gets obliterated in the chatter.

The other aspect of WRONG ANSWERS from the Forums has to do with the student’s level of preparedness. If the individual asking the question(s) is a beginner, s/he will require a completely different level and depth of explanation, than if s/he is an advanced student. Here, THE teacher of this student is fully aware of which explanation to give, and why. The rest of us are taking a “stab in the dark”.

OR, better yet, I could use this precise, current thread as an example of BOTH:
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post2009745

So, for those of you inclined to tap into this vast storehouse of wisdom and knowledge that we call the Forums, I certainly agree that you will get a much BROADER RANGE of answers to your questions. Equally, many of you also have enough knowledge to filter through the pile of answers - right and not-so-right - and sift out the garbage. But what about those who are asking questions WITHOUT enough knowledge? Without the ability of sift?

Ed


+1.

Most often, the teacher who knows what their student has learned and what they're capable of are the best ones to answer their questions, no matter how "dumb" they may seem. Most teachers are delighted when a student is asking questions, because it usually means they're thinking about what is being taught, or it gives us insight into the student's interests, thought-process, and most importantly, understanding of what was taught. The latter is really important because if the student asks a question that clearly shows they did not understand what was taught, then the teacher knows they were not veyr good at explaining it for them. It gives us another chance to explain it differently.

Yes, that takes up lesson time. But isn't that what the lesson is for? To learn how to play piano better?
_________________________
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Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2011610 - 01/09/13 08:44 AM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
wouter79 Offline
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Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3493
1. My teacher takes more time to respond than here. Particularly if he's on holidays for a few weeks

2. Teacher's time is expensive, so it's better if I am far prepared as possible before going to lesson.

3. It's good to hear other than the teacher's ideas and make up my own mind.
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#2011617 - 01/09/13 09:04 AM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: wouter79]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11699
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: wouter79
1. My teacher takes more time to respond than here. Particularly if he's on holidays for a few weeks

2. Teacher's time is expensive, so it's better if I am far prepared as possible before going to lesson.

3. It's good to hear other than the teacher's ideas and make up my own mind.


I think the question is more rather than asking your teacher, you ask here. So it's not asking your teacher and other teachers, it's instead of asking your teacher that is the issue.
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#2011636 - 01/09/13 10:01 AM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: wouter79]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11648
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: wouter79
1. My teacher takes more time to respond than here. Particularly if he's on holidays for a few weeks

2. Teacher's time is expensive, so it's better if I am far prepared as possible before going to lesson.

3. It's good to hear other than the teacher's ideas and make up my own mind.

The holidays for a few weeks is indeed a problem. But I see a hiccup in 2 and 3. I don't know if your teacher is forming you as a pianist (technique etc.) or just advising you on how to interpret pieces. If it is the former, then your teacher is advising you, expecting you to be doing that at home, and then in the next lesson will see how that advice works. If you have practised something that someone else has told you, that puts a spanner into it.

The idea of "being prepared" is not that of playing a piece very well. It means having done what was suggested to the best of your ability, so that whatever it is that a teacher wants to bring it can start growing. Again, that is with the assumption that the teacher is shaping the student rather than working on interpreting pieces alone.

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#2011643 - 01/09/13 10:25 AM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: wouter79]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: wouter79
1. . . .
2. . . .
3. It's good to hear other than the teacher's ideas and make up my own mind.

To add to KeyString's very diplomatic response, this idea will NOT WORK if your teacher is a good one, AND you wish to continue with her/him for very long.

Most teachers have well developed teaching philosophies, involving certain approaches to subjects, and a defined order of presentation. In the end, everything will be covered, learned, and complete. When one goes off on his own, he breaks out of that nicely structured environment. We wish you well . . .
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#2011645 - 01/09/13 10:30 AM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: keystring]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11699
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: keystring

The idea of "being prepared" is not that of playing a piece very well. It means having done what was suggested to the best of your ability, so that whatever it is that a teacher wants to bring it can start growing. Again, that is with the assumption that the teacher is shaping the student rather than working on interpreting pieces alone.


I really like how you said this. It does involve a great deal of trust in the abilities of your teacher to simply do what is asked and not add to it, embellish it, and interpret it. Often it's these latter additions to a task that cause a student to slow their progress and self-destruct. I'm speaking in terms of technique, not in terms of a student adding their own musical interpretations - this I encourage and love to hear from students.
_________________________
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MTNA member
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#2011646 - 01/09/13 10:32 AM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11648
Loc: Canada
The reasons for students posting in the teacher forum are varied. If a student has a teacher, and as soon as the teacher advises something the student asks here what he could be doing instead, that is unfair to the teacher, shows a lack of trust and respect. It also undermines the learning process. So that's one scenario.

Student has teacher, cannot understand instructions, and has tried asking many times. Sometimes getting it from a different angle can break the impasse. If it happens constantly then there is more wrong and maybe the student should look for a different teacher.

Students can also be timid and not know what's ok to ask. I think the teacher reaction here is loud and clear, saying "We want to be asked, and feel bad if you ask strangers rather than your own teacher."

That said, there are other situations. You go to your lesson every week, there's a routine, everyone plays his role. Somehow in that routine you feel you don't really know what's ok or expected and there seems to be no way of finding out - you don't quite know what to ask or how to ask it. If you do try to say anything you come out as a blithering idiot, confusing and worrying your teacher. Anyone who has been there will recognize it. If you started lessons as a kid, your parent took care of that. (Parent might be in that situation, though). .... better to have the initial long rambly confusing paragraphs here, and get it sorted out, than getting stuck "out there". In that case the advice a student gets might go far in lessons afterward. If students understand the teacher world, and vice versa, it makes for better communication in the long run.

There is also inept teaching, misguided teaching, harmful teaching, and misteaching. Being in unfamiliar territory in the first place, a student or parent only has a vague feeling that "something seems to be wrong here". Most of the time it starts with "what is wrong with me" and what am I doing wrong". There is a need for information and perspective in order to sort it out.

The teacher-student world also has a history that students won't know about. Thus we get the student planning to become an organist of Baroque music who got advice from organists, joined their guild, followed that advice with a teacher for several years and then had to stop. When he tried to resume, no teacher would take him. He had no idea of the negative experiences teachers have with adults, how his legitimate requests would be interpreted. That had to be found out in a forum, i.e. here.

But for what tenleftthumbs was talking about, ..... well actually tlt, if you are accessible and open to your students as you seem to be, the chances are low that your students wouldn't ask you. Or how about inviting older students or parents to ask things they might have been shy to ask, so they know the door is open.

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#2011652 - 01/09/13 10:40 AM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: wouter79]
casinitaly Offline

Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4937
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: wouter79


2. Teacher's time is expensive, so it's better if I am far prepared as possible before going to lesson.


I see this as also being as informed as possible on the question I want to ask, not just practicing what I understand the instructions to be - those are 2 very different things.

For example, if I'm going to consult with someone to replace my windows, I want to learn something so I can ask intelligent questions and understand the replies.
I do homework and research on the topic.

Sometimes that's what I'm doing in PW, for things I will later discuss with my teacher.

I'm starting to wonder though, if the teachers here would prefer to not have questions from other forum members?

Do you see it as an infringement of your time here? Or do you see it as somehow possibly "undermining" colleagues? Would you be upset if your students were asking questions here before approaching you / instead of approaching you? I can see that "instead of" could be frustrating and disappointing - but as well as?

On the other hand - no one is obliged to respond to a post if they don't want to.....

I agree with LoPresti that sometimes the depth of detail in a set of replies can be more confusing that helpful - and in part that's due to a lack of understanding about how much the OP in the case has as background support information, and in part because sometimes OPs don't actually know how to phrase their questions.

There's another reason it can be helpful to ask questions here - (or in another PW forum) - it can clarify our ideas and help us understand WHAT we have to ask, to get the right words.
A number of folks have lessons which are not taught in English - could be Italian, French, German, Russian even Japanese.....and that adds a whole new set of complications to an already challenging activity!
_________________________
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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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#2011683 - 01/09/13 12:14 PM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: LoPresti]
wouter79 Offline
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Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3493
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Originally Posted By: wouter79
1. . . .
2. . . .
3. It's good to hear other than the teacher's ideas and make up my own mind.

To add to KeyString's very diplomatic response, this idea will NOT WORK if your teacher is a good one, AND you wish to continue with her/him for very long.

Most teachers have well developed teaching philosophies, involving certain approaches to subjects, and a defined order of presentation. In the end, everything will be covered, learned, and complete. When one goes off on his own, he breaks out of that nicely structured environment. We wish you well . . .


I'm adult, not a kid that needs or even accepts everything spoon fed. On the contrary, a good teacher must be prepared to defend his position and philosophies, and to compare it with other approaches. Also, this may involve me trying things that the teacher would not advocate but can be learned only by trying. We (teacher and me) sometimes have a good discussion about technique, interpretation etc. I highly value these discussions, they learn me more than just his philosophy but also the foundations behind it and the goals he is aiming at. And my teacher in fact is very happy to do this.
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#2011685 - 01/09/13 12:20 PM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: keystring]
wouter79 Offline
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Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3493
Originally Posted By: keystring

I don't know if your teacher is forming you as a pianist (technique etc.) or just advising you on how to interpret pieces. If it is the former, then your teacher is advising you, expecting you to be doing that at home, and then in the next lesson will see how that advice works. If you have practised something that someone else has told you, that puts a spanner into it.

The idea of "being prepared" is not that of playing a piece very well. It means having done what was suggested to the best of your ability, so that whatever it is that a teacher wants to bring it can start growing. Again, that is with the assumption that the teacher is shaping the student rather than working on interpreting pieces alone.


Of course I'm not ignoring the teacher's suggestions. What I'm saying is that (1) I'm also trying alternative solutions and interpretations (2) I'm doing a lot more in a week than we can go through in an hour.
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#2011718 - 01/09/13 02:00 PM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: casinitaly]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: casinitaly

I'm starting to wonder though, if the teachers here would prefer to not have questions from other forum members?

Do you see it as an infringement of your time here? Or do you see it as somehow possibly "undermining" colleagues? Would you be upset if your students were asking questions here before approaching you / instead of approaching you? I can see that "instead of" could be frustrating and disappointing - but as well as?


Questions are the nature of the forum. If I choose to answer, then I am happy to answer. smile It's certainly not an infringement of my time.

I would hope if a student of mine had a question they would ask me first, and not worry that I would laugh if they express themselves inexpertly. I know what their 'plan' is, and how something else might fit into it.

Yes I am a little bit worried about undermining or criticising a teacher who is, after all, my colleague.

Mostly, I get worried when a question receives answers which are unhelpful. Mostly, they are not wrong, but often they are fuelled by the poster's desire to look clever.

I do appreciate some students will want to check that what is happening is normal, and every now and then someone will spot that they are not getting a good deal with their teacher.

I did once ask a guitar-related question on an international guitar forum, just two days after a lesson. I didn't ask my teacher because I wasn't a regular student, it was just a one-off lesson. There was a mis-print in the book, in the page just beyond what we had covered in the lesson, and I was confused. You'll never guess who answered - my teacher! crazy
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www.babysinging.co.uk

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#2011824 - 01/09/13 05:30 PM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
casinitaly Offline

Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4937
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs

I would hope if a student of mine had a question they would ask me first, and not worry that I would laugh if they express themselves inexpertly. I know what their 'plan' is, and how something else might fit into it.


I liked all your reply TLT, (especially the coincidence of your teacher answering your question on the forum!) so forgive me for just chopping this bit out, but it really caught my attention.

Even though I know my teacher would never laugh at me - and I know, that as a teacher I don't laugh at my students, and I encourage them to ask lots of questions --- I still very much understand their fears of looking silly and their discomfort, as much as I recognize my own hesitation to "put myself out there" as someone who is just "not getting it". (whatever the "it" might be at the moment).

What's a bit funny, considering our discusison, is that I have actually hesitated or avoided posting in the forums for the same reason - I sometimes fear my question is just too basic for folks to bother with. It isn't a rational fear, it is purely emotional and ego, but there you go. Human nature.
Thank goodness for search engines! Someone has almost always asked the same question I wanted to. More power to them!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
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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#2011915 - 01/09/13 08:59 PM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: keystring]
malkin Offline
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Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2494
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: keystring

...If you do try to say anything you come out as a blithering idiot, confusing and worrying your teacher...


Was that you I heard in the hall outside my lesson?
I don't think my teacher is worried though, he's used to it.
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A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2011929 - 01/09/13 09:23 PM Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: wouter79]
LoPresti Offline
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Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: wouter79
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Originally Posted By: wouter79

3. It's good to hear other than the teacher's ideas and make up my own mind.

. . . this idea will NOT WORK if your teacher is a good one, AND you wish to continue with her/him for very long. . . Most teachers have well developed teaching philosophies, involving certain approaches to subjects, and a defined order of presentation. . .

I'm adult, not a kid that needs or even accepts everything spoon fed. On the contrary, a good teacher must be prepared to defend his position and philosophies, and to compare it with other approaches.

OK. Following is an adult-style example - advanced student, competent teacher:
Key signatures, scales, intervals, and chord construction are all very closely related topics in the muscial cocktail.

Philosophical Question #1: Do I teach that the key signature dictates the steps in major scales and modes; OR should I teach that the order of steps in the major scale (say) creates the key signature?
?? Why is this important ??
Because the answer will govern whether I, the teacher, will first cover key signatures or scale (mode) construction.

Philosophical Question #2: Do I teach basic chord construction as stacks-of-thirds; OR as certain notes extracted from scales; OR as intervals above a common root?
?? Why is this important ?? _ _ _ hopefully, everyone now gets the idea. And from that, can we predict what will happen to our eclectic student, who likes to collect all points of view before deciding? It is a recipe for confusion, and probably failure.

Discussion of approach is fine if the student is up to it. Deciding for oneself on how to proceed in contrast to one’s teacher’s requests is historically one of those recipes.

Ed
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#2011953 - 01/09/13 10:18 PM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: LoPresti]
MaryBee Offline
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Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 1212
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Most teachers have well developed teaching philosophies, involving certain approaches to subjects, and a defined order of presentation. In the end, everything will be covered, learned, and complete. When one goes off on his own, he breaks out of that nicely structured environment. We wish you well . . .
I help out with teaching computer programming to a group of high school students every week. I've noticed over the years that the more involved and enthusiastic the students are, the more likely they are to do this: work on side problems that pique their interest, further investigate issues that were brought up in class, go down their own path of discovery. Maybe music requires a different sort of learning? But I'm pretty sure that if my teacher resented me going off on my own sometimes, I wouldn't be with him for very long.
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Current mantra: Play outside the box.
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#2011959 - 01/09/13 10:42 PM Re: why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
Michael_99 Offline
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Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
I can't say exactly when I learned, but as a dyslexic kid, I just kept my mouth shut and ran home and couldn't remember what was said so I failed few grades. I know by 40 I lerned to say, sorry, I am dyslexic and I can't remember what you are saying and could you write it down for me, please, be it a doctor, a judge, a boss, anybody in the world. Do you know how difficult that would be to most kids, most adults, most anybody. I do it all the time. But I am 63. I know how important it is to understand something and what a horrible lost to your life if you don't do what you have to do to survive. Most people don't want to look stupid at any cost to them, their family, their peers, their teachers, especially their boss who won't promote them, give them a raise, may fire them.

Quickly a story, I had an old harley motorcyle and a younger friend of mine said he knew somebody who get the old harley working. My young friend I quickly learned couldn't do anything with a screwdriver or wrench, but I was pretty good at that, so we would drive to the mechanic and my young friend would listen to the instructions by the mechanic and then when we would go to my garage. My friend would remember all the instuctions but I would do the work.

Bright people always ask questions because they want to look bright and are bright and usually know the answer. When was the last time a person asked you a stupid question - and what did you say or think?

Now you know: why won't students ask their teachers?

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#2011961 - 01/09/13 10:52 PM Re: why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
Michael_99 Offline
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Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
I can't say exactly when I learned, but as a dyslexic kid, I just kept my mouth shut and ran home and couldn't remember what was said so I failed few grades. I know by 40 I lerned to say, sorry, I am dyslexic and I can't remember what you are saying and could you write it down for me, please, be it a doctor, a judge, a boss, anybody in the world. Do you know how difficult that would be to most kids, most adults, most anybody. I do it all the time. But I am 63. I know how important it is to understand something and what a horrible lost to your life if you don't do what you have to do to survive. Most people don't want to look stupid at any cost to them, their family, their peers, their teachers, especially their boss who won't promote them, give them a raise, may fire them.

Quickly a story, I had an old harley motorcyle and a younger friend of mine said he knew somebody who get the old harley working. My young friend I quickly learned couldn't do anything with a screwdriver or wrench, but I was pretty good at that, so we would drive to the mechanic and my young friend would listen to the instructions by the mechanic and then when we would go to my garage. My friend would remember all the instuctions but I would do the work.

Bright people always ask questions because they want to look bright and are bright and usually know the answer. When was the last time a person asked you a stupid question - and what did you say or think?

Now you know: why won't students ask their teachers?

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#2011962 - 01/09/13 10:55 PM Re: why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
Michael_99 Offline
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Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
I can't say exactly when I learned, but as a dyslexic kid, I just kept my mouth shut and ran home and couldn't remember what was said so I failed few grades. I know by 40 I lerned to say, sorry, I am dyslexic and I can't remember what you are saying and could you write it down for me, please, be it a doctor, a judge, a boss, anybody in the world. Do you know how difficult that would be to most kids, most adults, most anybody. I do it all the time. But I am 63. I know how important it is to understand something and what a horrible lost to your life if you don't do what you have to do to survive. Most people don't want to look stupid at any cost to them, their family, their peers, their teachers, especially their boss who won't promote them, give them a raise, may fire them.

Quickly a story, I had an old harley motorcyle and a younger friend of mine said he knew somebody who get the old harley working. My young friend I quickly learned couldn't do anything with a screwdriver or wrench, but I was pretty good at that, so we would drive to the mechanic and my young friend would listen to the instructions by the mechanic and then when we would go to my garage. My friend would remember all the instuctions but I would do the work.

Bright people always ask questions because they want to look bright and are bright and usually know the answer. When was the last time a person asked you a stupid question - and what did you say or think?

Now you know: why won't students ask their teachers?

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#2011976 - 01/09/13 11:24 PM Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: MaryBee]
LoPresti Offline
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Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: MaryBee
I help out with teaching computer programming to a group of high school students every week. I've noticed over the years that the more involved and enthusiastic the students are, the more likely they are to do this: work on side problems that pique their interest, further investigate issues that were brought up in class, go down their own path of discovery.

I am a big fan of “discovery”, MaryBee. In fact, on the Forums here, when someone is approaching a problem, rather than lay out a complete solution, I prefer to give hints that lead that person to discovering their own solution.

But just for the sake of discussion, of those enthusiastic, budding programmers, when all the extra-curricular discovery is done, can they actually write a properly structured set of code? Can they construct a properly functioning loop? How about accurate “do whiles . . .”, and “IF . . . then, else . . . then, else . . . end if”? Can they handle the memory stack? Can they explain their algorithms in plain English?

For me, extra learning is fine -- it’s better than fine -- it is wonderful! But when (if) the “discovery” dilutes, confuses, gets in the way of, or replaces learning the BASICS, its net effect becomes negative
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In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#2011982 - 01/09/13 11:43 PM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: LoPresti]
malkin Offline
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Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2494
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: LoPresti

... an adult-style example - advanced student, competent teacher...


Don't most of the adult student questions in this forum come from beginning or intermediate students?

Maybe I just don't pay attention to the advanced ones, or maybe I don't know what they are talking about.
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A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2011994 - 01/10/13 12:10 AM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: malkin]
LoPresti Offline
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Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: malkin
Originally Posted By: LoPresti

... an adult-style example - advanced student, competent teacher...

Don't most of the adult student questions in this forum come from beginning or intermediate students?

Yes, absolutely. In the above quote, I was addressing Wouter's statement that he is an adult who does not enjoy being "spoon fed".
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In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#2012008 - 01/10/13 01:08 AM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: MaryBee]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5497
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Originally Posted By: MaryBee
I help out with teaching computer programming to a group of high school students every week. I've noticed over the years that the more involved and enthusiastic the students are, the more likely they are to do this: work on side problems that pique their interest, further investigate issues that were brought up in class, go down their own path of discovery. Maybe music requires a different sort of learning? But I'm pretty sure that if my teacher resented me going off on my own sometimes, I wouldn't be with him for very long.


Amen. I've done a lot of teaching of a lot of different topics, and I've found this to be true. No, I don't think it's different with music. Or dance. Or sports. Or math. Or composition. Or business. Or anything else I've ever taught.

And yeah, they learn how to actually do the stuff.

Cathy
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#2012014 - 01/10/13 01:22 AM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
Minniemay Offline
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Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
I think there is a difference in the kinds of help a student seeks. If a student is expanding their learning, that is one thing. However, if they are not understanding what was taught, that's another.

If my student doesn't understand what we worked on, I need to know that so that I can determine what the student needs not only now, but in the future. Otherwise, we get into this cycle of the teacher thinking everything is going along just fine, while the student is increasingly seeking outside intervention.

This sometimes happens with parents that are trying to be helpful, but end up impeding the entire process because I don't know the struggles the student had at home. For example, the parent just gives the student direct answers (like playing everything for them) and I hear them at the lesson and they sound just fine, but I don't know they didn't learn the piece by reading it. I need to know what the student isn't "getting" so I can find different ways for the student to learn and be independent in their practice.
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#2012119 - 01/10/13 07:46 AM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: Minniemay]
TimR Offline
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Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3187
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Minniemay
I think there is a difference in the kinds of help a student seeks. If a student is expanding their learning, that is one thing. However, if they are not understanding what was taught, that's another.

.


Or, the student liks the teacher, but recognizes a significant gap in the teacher's abilities, and attempts to supplement it elsewhere while carefully trying to avoid hurting the teacher's feelings. (might work, then again probably not, but seems worth trying)

Or, the student has started to wonder if the teacher is dead wrong about something major, and wants another opinion on it. (And very well could be right, given the wide range of teacher skills in an unregulated profession)
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#2012147 - 01/10/13 08:47 AM Re: why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: Michael_99]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: Michael_99
I can't say exactly when I learned, but as a dyslexic kid, I just kept my mouth shut and ran home and couldn't remember what was said so I failed few grades. I know by 40 I lerned to say, sorry, I am dyslexic and I can't remember what you are saying and could you write it down for me, please, be it a doctor, a judge, a boss, anybody in the world. Do you know how difficult that would be to most kids, most adults, most anybody. I do it all the time. But I am 63. I know how important it is to understand something and what a horrible lost to your life if you don't do what you have to do to survive. Most people don't want to look stupid at any cost to them, their family, their peers, their teachers, especially their boss who won't promote them, give them a raise, may fire them.


Thankyou for sharing your experiences.
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


www.justfingers.co.uk
www.babysinging.co.uk

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#2012174 - 01/10/13 09:40 AM Re: why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
mabraman Offline
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Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 321
Loc: Valencia, Spain
IMO The first reason to ask something here is, obviously, that communication lacks between teacher an pupil. Fear to be rude, little chance of finding another teacher that suits your convenience/budget...who knows.If you take just half an hour lesson a week, you can't grab it all: fingers, tone, rythm, reading, feedback. What to ask first? Maybe it's the same to the teacher: what to teach first? I won't ask any technical question here, I guess. I pay my teacher to solve them. But what if I don't understand where he/she is trying to get me? What about thinking the teacher is missing some crutial points that you read or watch everywhere? It is so easy to be offended!

The second is...that it takes some months to read every single thread here, so sometimes it is better to ask directly.

I'm an adult beginner, started on last September, and I already have some questions that I don't dare to ask to my teacher. I just don't want her to feel uncomfortable. We are doing well in some aspects, but I have an overall feeling of being...lost, or bewildered by her apparent lack of plannification. I know that one of these days I'll fix it, but meanwhile it would be nice to contrast my doubts with other teachers. I concentrate on reading you, so far, but who knows, perhaps some day I'll sin.


Edited by mabraman (01/10/13 09:40 AM)
_________________________
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
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#2012189 - 01/10/13 10:19 AM Re: why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: mabraman]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
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Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: mabraman
We are doing well in some aspects, but I have an overall feeling of being...lost, or bewildered by her apparent lack of plannification. I know that one of these days I'll fix it, but meanwhile it would be nice to contrast my doubts with other teachers.

The sense of lack of planning is something you might want to address in the ABF to get a clearer idea. This is too common, and a couple of things such as defining goals often help bring it into a better direction.

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#2012564 - 01/11/13 12:46 AM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
SoundThumb Offline
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Registered: 03/28/10
Posts: 339
Loc: San Diego, CA
Why not ask your teacher first? How about this as a possibility. As teachers, you have probably had many adult students, so there is nothing unusual about the relationship. For an adult beginner, however, this is a very unique situation. To be back in the position of being a child in terms of knowledge vs your teacher is so unusual, the relationship just seems very awkward and uncomfortable. I agree that it may not be logical, but from an emotional point of view, this information asymmetry is so threatening, a safer course is to anonymously post questions to PW.

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#2012922 - 01/11/13 04:11 PM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3161
Loc: Maine
Here is an example of why students might ask questions here, rather than asking their teacher first. The OP was about a parent wondering about volume discounts since only one hypothetical travel fee is incurred for teaching three siblings. She has discussed this with another parent, perhaps to see if she's thinking reasonably before raising it with the teacher. Getting confirmation that at least one other person thinks this is reasonable, she asks the teacher.

And it turns out that if the teacher is like the teacher who posted the post I linked to, that she would be offended by being asked this question, and by parents discussing her policies together.

So it makes sense that we students ask our questions here, in order to get a broad range of teacher opinion in a forum where asking our question can't poison our real-life teacher-student relationship. Because who knows what inquiry that might seem innocuous to us will offend our teacher. Better to find out here before risking it in real life.
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#2012994 - 01/11/13 05:52 PM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: PianoStudent88]
LoPresti Offline
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Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
So it makes sense that we students ask our questions here, in order to get a broad range of teacher opinion in a forum where asking our question can't poison our real-life teacher-student relationship.

= OR = Instead, THINK about the situation, DECIDE upon what to do, and ACT upon your decision - all on one's own! Checking with others is seldom, if ever, necessary. (Well, maybe with surgery.)
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In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#2013006 - 01/11/13 06:19 PM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: LoPresti]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11648
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Originally Posted By: LoPresti

= OR = Instead, THINK about the situation, DECIDE upon what to do, and ACT upon your decision - all on one's own! Checking with others is seldom, if ever, necessary. (Well, maybe with surgery.)


If you think about things without having the information, then you think yourself in circles, and then act on poorly based decisions. You go from frying pan into fire over and over. There are numerous scenarios, which have been described before. Checking with others is often both necessary and recommended. If you do have the wherewithal, then obviously it is silly to seek information that you already have.

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#2013026 - 01/11/13 07:07 PM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Posts: 3161
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Ed, you may have all the answers for everything in your life, but others of us are not so omniscient. Hence, discussion forums.
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#2013063 - 01/11/13 08:05 PM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
malkin Offline
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Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2494
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
So--at my lesson, things are pretty structured and focused (well, the teacher is focused at least; I am scatterbrained as always). We both pay attention to my pieces, how I play, what's happening, what's not happening, what needs to happen, and what needs to stop happening.

When I'm home, goofing off on the internet, there is hardly any structure. The cat is in my lap; I'm drinking a beer. I might watch a little youtube, check email, read blogs, browse ebay, and read forums. My mind wanders. Maybe I'll have an idea. Maybe a question will percolate. If my teacher were sitting here, sure I'd ask him, but he's not. So I ask on the forum.

That's about how it would go down for me.
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A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2013182 - 01/12/13 02:10 AM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: PianoStudent88]
LoPresti Offline
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Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
PianoStudent88,

It has nothing to do with having all the answers, and I certainly do not pretend to any such loftiness. It does have to do with independent thinking, deciding, acting (or not), and then seeing where that leads. That is a great way to REALLY learn. Most of us would not fall out of KeyString's pan, and into her fire too many times before we would notice a pattern, and change our actions. After all, we are discussing getting a few music lessons here, not another moon shot, or solving world hunger.

I believe many on this thread remember those days BEFORE social and technical forums. How, Oh HOW, did we ever survive?
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#2013282 - 01/12/13 08:28 AM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: LoPresti]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: LoPresti


I believe many on this thread remember those days BEFORE social and technical forums. How, Oh HOW, did we ever survive?


I for one asked questions of my Magic 8 Ball.
Q. Does he like me?
A. My sources say no.

It could supplement for this forum when internet is down.
Q. Should I get a new teacher?
A. Signs point to yes.

Q. Is this the average song learning time?
A. Try again later.

laugh

But the answers that float up on this forum are more varied than the Magic 8 Ball answers (and sometimes they are more informative).
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#2013296 - 01/12/13 09:08 AM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
The internet is great for accessing all sorts of info.

But I really think that the parents who get together and decide to pressure the teacher into lowering their rates, would not especially come onto a teacher's forum. Their whole problem is that they don't want to see it from the teacher's point of view.

As for those who have a beer and wander round the internet while fondling the cat, honestly, I don't think they consider that they might be led up the garden path. And really, is it all that hard to ponder a question till lesson day?

I'm not against internet chat, of the forum, I just would like those with teachers to use them properly.
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#2013357 - 01/12/13 10:42 AM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2494
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Ann, Yes--definately! The Magic 8 Ball is brilliant.

You could make one with music specific answers.

Play again slowly
Play again and concentrate

Practice your scales
Tempo uneven, use a metronome

Yes! Time to practice
Use more feeling
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2013371 - 01/12/13 11:12 AM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: LoPresti]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11648
Loc: Canada
Ed, first, let's DEFINE what we are talking about. Your posts describe one kind of question, and then act as if all questions are of this nature. For example, someone asking a technical question about chord names, scales or similar which can be found out by research if a teacher's answer isn't understood. There are OTHER questions and scenarios. I and others took the time to outline this.

Originally Posted By: LoPresti

It does have to do with independent thinking, deciding, acting (or not), and then seeing where that leads. That is a great way to REALLY learn.

It depends on WHAT questions and issues are coming up. Supposing you have a student who is told to hold a pretend ball in his hands and only move his fingers, and when it hurts his teacher says that this is "normal"? Supposing that the student's practising is ineffective and his teacher can't tell him how to practise.... and no "thinking" alone won't do it. This is one issue that I pursued way back when, and some of the most powerful answers were nothing like what I would have come up with on my own. In fact, that's why people do better under good instruction than on their own.

Quote:

Most of us would not fall out of KeyString's pan, and into her fire too many times before we would notice a pattern, and change our actions.

Again, WHAT kinds of issues are we talking about? The question about a set of chords, or how to practice, what lessons might consist of, what a a teacher is really looking for but can't articulate. MANY of us, including people who are now professional musicians and teachers, can tell tales of "if only I had known". No, the student cannot change anything without answers, or if the issue is not with the student's actions. Floundering endlessly, trying every possible thing, when the problem may lie in the instruction, or in how the instruction is understood, that leads absolutely nowhere.

We are talking about different kinds of things. Instead of having a jolly old debate and making the "other side" seem silly or absurd, how about putting our heads together and seeing that different issues require different solutions.

Quote:

After all, we are discussing getting a few music lessons here, not another moon shot, or solving world hunger.

I figure that if it takes 5 years of lessons, that is some 3,650 hours of practice @ 2 hours/day. If done effectively, it can yield a lot. If ineffectively for any reason including wrong goals, poor instruction, poor understanding of instruction, etc. that is a lot of wasted time, and possibly heartache. This is worth spending time on properly, rather than saying it's not important enough.

Now what about moon shots and world hunger? Some of the issues involve learning, learning how to learn, working with teachers, defining good teaching and good learning, and other things. What about world hunger to learn? People with little or no access to teachers or resources can find them now. Any single person who begins to learn, especially in such areas, will affect others. Some of us teach what we know on the side pro bono. The person I taught theory a few years ago,started teaching sisters, brothers, parents, peers - enthusiastically, everywhere. How great a spin-off does even one person's learning have - how much of a possible snowball effect?

We can "do" little about world hunger and other big problem titles. That does not make our efforts trivial. I aim for microcosms more than macrocosms, because it's the little everyday things that affect the big things - collectively. Moon shots? How is that important in any universe? Has landing on the moon improved a single life anywhere?

Quote:

I believe many on this thread remember those days BEFORE social and technical forums. How, Oh HOW, did we ever survive?

Life should be about more than "survival". And I do remember those days, and not with fondness. I remember the 6 months of piano lessons I had at 16, where the teacher cooked in the kitchen while I played, and did not explain key signatures to me. I spent 30 years restricting myself to music that had less than 2 sharps or flats, and when I found out how logical it was, at first I was angry. Then the anger turned into determination that others should not be left floundering as in "the good old days".

By the way, I did find solutions through my ability to think. I got by on them, but in comparison to what I could have learned and used, they were relatively ineffective. I don't miss that era.

I do not for one second yearn for the days when we had to figure everything out without having access to any information, risked misguidance with no way out, and the rest of it. The ABILITY TO THINK .... yes, this is important. But it is not just about the questions you isolate in one small area.

This unfortunate negative turn takes us away from some important things that the opening post was about. There is no reason for that kind of conflict.

In fact ....... in the opening post, teachers WANT students to ask rather than just thinking for themselves.


Edited by keystring (01/12/13 11:21 AM)

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#2013397 - 01/12/13 11:51 AM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2494
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Nice post keystring.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2013414 - 01/12/13 12:28 PM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: malkin]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11648
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: malkin
Nice post keystring.

Not too much of a rant, then? blush smile whome

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#2013451 - 01/12/13 01:51 PM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: keystring]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2494
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Nothing wrong with a good rant now and then, to my way of thinking. This is the internet, afterall.

wink
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#2013632 - 01/12/13 07:38 PM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: LoPresti]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
= OR = Instead, THINK about the situation, DECIDE upon what to do, and ACT upon your decision - all on one's own!


I disagree because some people don't ever think like other people so they would never come to the same conclusion, but other people would come to same conclusion as everybody in the room.

Checking with others is seldom, if ever, necessary.

Well, I disagree, because, in some religions women must not hold a positiion of pastor and must only make sandwiches and coffee whereas in other religions women are equal.

(Well, maybe with surgery.)

Well, if you know a little bit about surgery, you know lots of the risk of infection, and lots of lawsuits stem from anesthetic.

And the best one of all is that as a young person, you generally don't think something will happen or you won't get caught. But if you are an old person you know that things happen all the time and the chances of getting caught no matter what you are doing is like 99 to 1 that it will happen.

A young fellow who came to the office said he wanted to be a soldier and go to a foreign country to fight. I asked him if he lost an arm or a leg how difficult it would be to find work or be able to meet and support a wife and family and he said he never thought about that. But I realized instantly that he hadn't realized that but now he had.



Edited by Michael_99 (01/12/13 07:46 PM)

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#2013645 - 01/12/13 08:19 PM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
Brinestone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 350
The discussion has moved on, but I wanted to address the original question. I would bet that a large part of it is that many students are at least somewhat intimidated by their teachers, especially young students. I know I was as a kid. I probably still would be now if I started lessons again, and I am a teacher. I can't tell you how many times I've heard from a parent that a student had a question or a concern, even about totally silly stuff, and I've said, "You know, she can tell me that. I don't mind."

Like, one student apparently hated the song she was preparing for the recital. She had another song perfect and played it all the time, but she'd passed it off a few weeks before the recital, and when I asked her if she was okay with the other song as her recital piece, she said yes. The day of the recital, Mom asks if it's okay if she plays this other song, and I was like, "Totally! If she can play it well, by all means she should play it at the recital!" And she did. I don't get why she didn't say so herself at her lesson a few weeks before, and the only conclusion I can come to is that she was intimidated by me. Which is weird because I totally don't see myself as an intimidating person.
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#2013748 - 01/13/13 12:59 AM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: keystring]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5454
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: keystring
I figure that if it takes 5 years of lessons, that is some 3,650 hours of practice @ 2 hours/day. If done effectively, it can yield a lot.

Don't we ALL wish every single one of our students could/should/would do that???????



Ha! crazy I'm lucky if they touched the piano at all during the week.
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Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2013753 - 01/13/13 01:23 AM Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: malkin]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: malkin
Nice post keystring.

Not too much of a rant, then?

I have to agree with Malkin: that WAS a very nice post, KeyString! I had started to react to other things that I believe do not work so well, and failed to stay with the original topic, about which I do have strong opinions.

I would like to comment upon the last part of that particular post, which holds a fairly common theme of yours -- That there was sort of a Dark Ages of Musical Information that existed prior to this wide-spread popularity of the Internet. Furthermore, your implications that discussion forums like this one, and search engines, somehow raised the veil of musical ignorance, and made it possible for amateur musicians, once again, to progress.

As well as I can remember, good, solid, reliable, valid information has been readily available since Guttenberg inked his typefaces. In fact, the QUALITY of the information available in the past through traditional printed matter, on average, was much higher, due to the fact that authors were held accountable for their facts, and publishers employed editors, whose job it was to weed-out stuff that was not correct. Before it was made public, written information was scrutinized, and reviewed, and revised, helping to ensure that mis-information never made it into print. There were lots of highly-trained, talented, and competent music teachers. There were fully functioning conservatories, graduating professors and teachers, as well as professional musicians. There was a recording industry that brought the sound of great music into every home that had a radio, or a television, or a record player.
In short, there was no dearth of excellent information, nor of musical talent, nor of great performances - all three have been there all along. The fact that you did not, or could not, avail yourself of some of those things does not mean they were missing.

Ed
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#2013772 - 01/13/13 04:09 AM Re: Why won't students ask their teachers? [Re: ten left thumbs]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
I've had similar situations, Brinestone, with children who are clearly terrified of me (though I can't see any reason why). Somehow I don't see them coming online to ask a question, at the tender age of 6. wink

For the grown-ups who are nervous about asking, honestly, they should just get over it. It does depend on the kind of question though.
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


www.justfingers.co.uk
www.babysinging.co.uk

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