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#2071105 - 04/25/13 11:50 PM Help me read my teachers mind.
Musiqientist Offline
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Registered: 04/25/13
Posts: 94
View the thread, I really am anxious about getting some responses. This problem ceases to go away and I want it solved. Thank you for your time. frown

http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=50863.0
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#2071115 - 04/26/13 12:07 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Musiqientist]
Polyphonist Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7509
Loc: New York City
I can't view the thread...
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Polyphonist

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#2071131 - 04/26/13 12:35 AM Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Musiqientist]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Post your questions or comments here. In that way, you might get someone to take you seriously.
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#2071135 - 04/26/13 12:36 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Polyphonist]
Musiqientist Offline
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Registered: 04/25/13
Posts: 94
Ok I don't know why.

EVERYBODY

go to piano street then click on piano forums then go to the teachers forum like on this site. There, you should see a title called Inconsistent relationship with piano teacher, my name there is also musiqientist

Please help!!!!
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#2071137 - 04/26/13 12:37 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: LoPresti]
Musiqientist Offline
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Registered: 04/25/13
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#2071143 - 04/26/13 12:56 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Musiqientist]
Whizbang Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 735
Originally Posted By: Musiqientist
Here, trying again.


Wow.

Okay.

I'm a non-teacher crashing this forum.

I fall apart playing in front of my teacher. That's okay. He realizes it.

I'm not performing for him. His -job- is to nitpick my playing. I still fall apart, but his advice is great.

A teacher-student relationship is an alchemical relationship. The teacher can be great. Alternatively, the student can be great. But a great student and a great teacher might not necessarily be a great team. At that point in time and space.

I had a lot of teachers as a kid (frequent moves). I had a few as an adult.

I finally found a teacher who I really, really connect with and who I think is really helping me. I feel really fortunate.

In short:

* It's completely natural to feel a nervous wreck in front of your teacher.
* It's completely natural to perform terribly in front of your teacher.
* It's probably wrong to try to 'perform' for your teacher.
* You want your teacher to be extremely picky and discriminating.
* You also want to feel your teacher supporting you and also pushing you.
* Even if everything is right on paper, if the chemistry isn't working, it isn't right.

Don't panic, yet listen to your gut.
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Whizbang
amateur ragtime pianist

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#2071146 - 04/26/13 01:00 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Whizbang]
Polyphonist Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7509
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Whizbang
* It's completely natural to feel a nervous wreck in front of your teacher.

Wrong. You should NEVER feel that way with your teacher. If you have a good relationship with them you should be very comfortable around them.
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Polyphonist

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#2071148 - 04/26/13 01:02 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Musiqientist]
Polyphonist Online   content
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7509
Loc: New York City
For the OP: Don't link us off to other sites. If you want advice, post your question HERE. Copy and paste the material you want us to read into a post-that's it.
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Polyphonist

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#2071156 - 04/26/13 01:12 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Polyphonist]
Musiqientist Offline
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Registered: 04/25/13
Posts: 94
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
For the OP: Don't link us off to other sites. If you want advice, post your question HERE. Copy and paste the material you want us to read into a post-that's it.
.

Why not? Alright that's fine but....how would that work with all the replies on there? Just paste it all? I want the whole thread looked at.
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#2071157 - 04/26/13 01:13 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Musiqientist]
Polyphonist Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7509
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Musiqientist
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
For the OP: Don't link us off to other sites. If you want advice, post your question HERE. Copy and paste the material you want us to read into a post-that's it.
.

Why not? Alright that's fine but....how would that work with all the replies on there? Just paste it all? I want the whole thread looked at.

Do whatever you have to do.
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Polyphonist

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#2071159 - 04/26/13 01:23 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Whizbang]
Musiqientist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/25/13
Posts: 94
Originally Posted By: Whizbang
Originally Posted By: Musiqientist
Here, trying again.


Wow.

Okay.

I'm a non-teacher crashing this forum.

I fall apart playing in front of my teacher. That's okay. He realizes it.

I'm not performing for him. His -job- is to nitpick my playing. I still fall apart, but his advice is great.

A teacher-student relationship is an alchemical relationship. The teacher can be great. Alternatively, the student can be great. But a great student and a great teacher might not necessarily be a great team. At that point in time and space.

I had a lot of teachers as a kid (frequent moves). I had a few as an adult.

I finally found a teacher who I really, really connect with and who I think is really helping me. I feel really fortunate.

In short:

* It's completely natural to feel a nervous wreck in front of your teacher.
* It's completely natural to perform terribly in front of your teacher.
* It's probably wrong to try to 'perform' for your teacher.
* You want your teacher to be extremely picky and discriminating.
* You also want to feel your teacher supporting you and also pushing you.
* Even if everything is right on paper, if the chemistry isn't working, it isn't right.

Don't panic, yet listen to your gut.


But I need to know if I can make it!!!! Instead I'm scared of her and don't know if she knows anything and if she doesn't then she doesn't care but i don't know that either! Do you think the chemistry is wrong? The only thing that would say that the chemistry is wrong is that I'm nervous. That's all. I think it's me. There's no apparent reason for me to be like this around her. I think it's the cutting things she's said, they say all the best teachers in a conservatory say such things anyways. I don't know if she supports me. That's what I'm trying to figure out.

Thanks for the encouragement. Did you look at the whole thread, surely there's more to say!!!!
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#2071160 - 04/26/13 01:24 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Polyphonist]
Musiqientist Offline
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Registered: 04/25/13
Posts: 94
Why? Is it against the rules?


Edited by Musiqientist (04/26/13 01:24 AM)
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#2071161 - 04/26/13 01:26 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Musiqientist]
Polyphonist Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7509
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Musiqientist
Why? Is it against the rules?

No, but people don't like to have to go and look in another website for the thread.
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Polyphonist

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#2071168 - 04/26/13 01:40 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Polyphonist]
Musiqientist Offline
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Registered: 04/25/13
Posts: 94
Oh ok I guess.. I think it'll look like a mess when I paste it here.
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#2071169 - 04/26/13 01:44 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Polyphonist]
Musiqientist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/25/13
Posts: 94
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Musiqientist
Why? Is it against the rules?

No, but people don't like to have to go and look in another website for the thread.


Erm you were gonna look at it so can you give me a response?
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#2071173 - 04/26/13 01:50 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Musiqientist]
Polyphonist Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7509
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Musiqientist
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Musiqientist
Why? Is it against the rules?

No, but people don't like to have to go and look in another website for the thread.


Erm you were gonna look at it so can you give me a response?

Yes...why else would I be bothering to keep posting on this thread?
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Polyphonist

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#2071176 - 04/26/13 01:55 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Polyphonist]
Musiqientist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/25/13
Posts: 94
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Musiqientist
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Musiqientist
Why? Is it against the rules?

No, but people don't like to have to go and look in another website for the thread.


Erm you were gonna look at it so can you give me a response?

Yes...why else would I be bothering to keep posting on this thread?


So you working on one? Sorry about that.
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#2071178 - 04/26/13 01:56 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: LoPresti]
Musiqientist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/25/13
Posts: 94
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Post your questions or comments here. In that way, you might get someone to take you seriously.


Huh?
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#2071180 - 04/26/13 01:58 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Musiqientist]
Polyphonist Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7509
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Musiqientist
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Musiqientist
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Musiqientist
Why? Is it against the rules?

No, but people don't like to have to go and look in another website for the thread.


Erm you were gonna look at it so can you give me a response?

Yes...why else would I be bothering to keep posting on this thread?


So you working on one? Sorry about that.

No, I told you that I cannot access it unless you paste it here. I cannot get onto that site now, for whatever reason. That is why you should always paste it into PW.
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Polyphonist

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#2071181 - 04/26/13 01:59 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Musiqientist]
Polyphonist Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7509
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Musiqientist
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Post your questions or comments here. In that way, you might get someone to take you seriously.


Huh?

Are we seeing a connection here?
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Polyphonist

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#2071183 - 04/26/13 02:02 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Polyphonist]
Musiqientist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/25/13
Posts: 94
Oh sorry I'm sleepy 12 hours school today. :pp I'm on an iPad give me a sec.
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#2071185 - 04/26/13 02:06 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Musiqientist]
Musiqientist Offline
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Registered: 04/25/13
Posts: 94

musiqientist
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Inconsitent Relationship with Teacher
« on: April 23, 2013, 06:37:04 PM »
Quote Modify
Hello Piano Street! This is my first post but I have been doing a lot of browsing on the forums, particularly in the teaching forum and think it's safe to post my thoughts on this site so I'll probably be around from time to time. I'm a piano student, 17 years old. Nice to meet you! ^^
*bows*

---------------

So the concern I have at the moment us that I feel very distant from my piano teacher as my interaction with her is very important to me as somebody who started late on the piano but absolutely loves it and will inevitably study it sometime in the not so distant future.

I feel nervous to play in front of her and never able to play nearly as good as when I'm at home. The difference is really significant; I'm just afraid to play in front of her and very scared of making small changes to the music for the first time in front of her. Like if she tells me to add a trill, I'll want to do it at home first multiple times on my own before showing her, it feel scary to do otherwise somehow. I'm afraid to make that kind of mistake in front of her because it shows incompetency and her personality is quite elitist. This all feels foreign to me because these kinds of things would never have been a problem for me just a couple years ago.

I care very much for the piano and I am not sure if she knows or cares, her response shows mixed opinions and I'm not sure what she actually thinks of me. I wonder if she knows that I am doing my best to progress very fast and I would never mention such a thing to her but I think I'm doing well! At the moment I've been playing for about a year solid and am currently working on a Mozart Concerto, 2 grade 9 solos, 2 Chopin etudes, and an easier piece by Bach. I love these pieces I'm playing and I think that they are... hard! I have no problem with this but she doesn't take that into consideration period. I'm not sure but I think she might think I have too much ego, that's not how I feel about myself however.

I care very much for the piano and I am not sure if she knows or cares, her responses show mixed opinions and the logic doesn't add up. She seems to be good at reading me though which is somewhat disturbing, seeing as how I am purposefully difficult to read. This is all really depressing for me because music is always on mind and I am extremely interesting and always thirsty to learn more. I can research and learn about classical music history all day, I can listen all day, play all day. Most of the time I'd describe her as stoic, unyielding, and criticizing. I want to get really good and I know that's difficult, so I need to know whether or not that's possible. I want to know what my potential is. Wish she was warmer and more approachable, I'm jealous of the idea that somebody has a more mentoring figure as a teacher. What's more frustrating is that on the outside she is really hospitable and motherly but I know that is you were to approach her directly with an issue she would instantly put on another face. I feel that if she is doing this on purpose that it's all really unnecessary because I'm not a 10 year old being forced to take lessons. I wonder why she does what she does; in the end I'm afraid to tell her my thoughts.

Anyways, in case somebody was going to suggest that I find somebody else I'll go ahead and say that I cannot leave this teacher. I want things to get better with her because I know that if they do, it will be worth it! She inspires my very much. She has a PH.D from Juilliard; she is an authentic musician who had a musical family. She was a prodigy and started at age 2 and has perfect pitch, she can instantly memorize any piece of music and play it by ear. I always feel like I very much want to impress her.

So, I hope I get some replies on your thoughts and what anybody thinks I should do. Any advice is appreciated. I think the writing in this post might be to general and confusing, I was going to make a longer and more concise post but I couldn't wait any longer, these things have been on my mind for a while. I have a lot of other posts to make so you might see some things later on that are related to this. If you PM me, I'll have more specific things to say on the matter and can answer questions. That would be appreciated; I don't want to list specifics in case she sees this.

Thanks for reading. I hope this post isn't offensive, I feel like a whiner.

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bernadette60614
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Re: Inconsitent Relationship with Teacher
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2013, 07:18:54 PM »
Quote
And, hello to you...equally deep bow.

If you look for my posts (and there are way too many) you'll see that the majority are about what you describe...a teacher who is intimidating to me and who seems to be constantly criticizing me.

I tried to "break up" with her and at what I thought would be my final lesson she told me that I was one of the 4 or 5 students of her 50 who actually cared about the piano. I also learned from the Director of the program that she (my teacher) was so pleased by my progress that she thanks the Director for assigning me to her.

Unless everyone is blowing smoke up my a*s..(which is ample and hard to miss), I took away from this: If you care, you are going to be nervous. If she cares, she is going to be critical..because she feels you are capable of learning more and caring enough to work hard to achieve more.
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j_menz
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Re: Inconsitent Relationship with Teacher
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2013, 11:16:50 PM »
Quote
Are you treating her as a teacher, from whom you learn things, or as an audience who you are trying to impress.

If the former, then it is your weaknesses and failings that you should be showing her.

If the latter, you're wasting your money.
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quantum
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Re: Inconsitent Relationship with Teacher
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2013, 05:23:39 AM »
Quote
If you want things to get better, you will need to accept that change needs to happen. Part of that change will come from you. With change also may come doubt, uncertainty, loss of a sense of custom, questions. Not at all bad things if they are put in the context of growth.

Do you consider yourself to be a sensitive person? In general, do you deal well with criticism?

What is puzzling to me is that many of the arguments you make suggest a degree of incompatibility between student and teacher. Yet you are very ardently insistent on continuing on with this teacher. Are you in any way related to this teacher?

Learning involves an element of vulnerability. The more vulnerable you avail yourself to your teacher, the more willing you are to express your weaknesses, the more you will be able to benefit from the teaching. If you feel an inadequacy in playing something your teacher asks of you, you need to bring that into the open not sweep it under the rug. Your teacher can help you better if you openly admit to that inadequacy and nervousness in playing. A good teacher will not shame or belittle you for doing so, but show you how to overcome your inadequacy.

You don't go to lessons just to have your teacher constantly say you are doing a great job without need for further comment. You go to lessons to learn. You may learn things that seem foreign, things that make you feel uncomfortable, and things that you absolutely disagree with, and you may also have "light bulb" moments when your teacher says something and the puzzle comes together all at once. You go to lessons to learn. You are not under any obligation to agree with everything your teacher says, or do everything your teacher asks of you, but you must take it all into thought.

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Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach
virtuoso80
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Re: Inconsitent Relationship with Teacher
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2013, 06:54:52 PM »
Quote
Quote from: musiqientist on April 23, 2013, 06:37:04 PM


I feel nervous to play in front of her and never able to play nearly as good as when I'm at home. The difference is really significant; I'm just afraid to play in front of her and very scared of making small changes to the music for the first time in front of her. ...


Boy, if I had a nickel for every student who's said that to me, and every time I've felt it in front of my teacher!

In all seriousness, though, I think you need a new teacher.

I'm was always sensitive to criticism, and I always want to impress. I recognize some of myself in you. What worked for me is finding the right teacher who put me at ease, took the pressure away, and made me feel like we were working 'on the same side'. It's also true that my time in the classical-training grinder desensitized me to criticism somewhat, but I'm not a fan of that approach. When I finally found a teacher who didn't put me ill-at-ease, I got better FASTER, not slower.

The world is FULL of self-taught musicians who rejected teachers because they hated how it made them feel. I'm was one of them for a long time. Thing is, in the classical world it's nearly impossible to know what to do without feedback. I see that you have the desire, so a decent teacher (not just player, but teacher) should be able to help you. Conversely, I fear that sticking with this regimen may make you hate playing, which IMO is both tragedy and travesty when committed by the music education profession.

So, in short, don't let your natural desire be stifled, and find someone who can help you achieve your goals with joy. This does NOT mean someone who praises everything you do as perfect, but someone who lets you know the deal without grinding it too deep.
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musiqientist
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Re: Inconsitent Relationship with Teacher
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2013, 09:38:09 PM »
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Quote
If you look for my posts (and there are way too many) you'll see that the majority are about what you describe...a teacher who is intimidating to me and who seems to be constantly criticizing me.

Yeah, I think it's a bit different between us though. It's not that open and she doesn't constantly criticize me but there's quite a bit of that and a lack of praise at what I think would make most teachers very happy. I cannot satisfy her, this is all fine with me but I do need to know where I stand. I also think I am intimidating to her as well but that doesn't seem to bother her as much, I wish it did. I often feel that we are playing a mind game but I am not sure. Nothing would suggest so but things spon that are logically inconsistent to what things appear to be. That's what I'm trying to figure out here.

Quote
I tried to "break up" with her and at what I thought would be my final lesson she told me that I was one of the 4 or 5 students of her 50 who actually cared about the piano. I also learned from the Director of the program that she (my teacher) was so pleased by my progress that she thanks the Director for assigning me to her.
My piano teacher would never offer up a thing, though when I tell others about my progress they are very surprised. I would ask her if this is hard and she would say no, because she could do it at 9 years old, contrary to such statements however, when I make her happy she says "good (my name) and then cuts it off before she finishes and says "finally" instead. Then she starts getting energized and very pushy, beyond my limts. When I say I can't do something as in, we'll never be able to get it up to tempo, she simply says "you have to" and forces me to play. When I already have a lot she says "We need something else." And I say that I was thinking of doing this etude and then she says "I wanna see it." Then I tell her I haven't practiced it and don't like sight reading in front of people and she makes me play it anyways, then she says "your suppose to practice it" when she never assigned it to begin with. I tell her 5 pieces at once is a lot and she says "your lucky" than I say, "I'm not a concert pianist!" and she said "I'm training you to be an excellent student."

I know now you'd think that the answer to this thread is all clear but, this is a really good event that occurred in a lesson, sometimes things don't appear this way at all. Her mood seems to fluctuate with it too but I'm not sure it's her mood because that doesn't make sense either.
I tried to break up with her once because my parents were causing me stress and I told her that if I quit for just 2 months can she take me back and she said. "Sorry can't play games with you. No won't take you back. sorry you have issues whatever they are..." Goodbye (my name) ... I answered her back saying I'm not playing games and that I was serious and if I could come the following week, she said "Well I hope so." Then I asked her if I'd done anything wrong and she said "Em, I love you very much and want you to be happy." When I saw her that week and asked her about she said because she'll fill my spot and to let me know if I wanna quit. It was so cold but...it doesn't add up. She just changed my lesson time to an hour and can't I be put back on the waiting list? If she was playing a trick it would be an easy one to do because it's obvious in the first e-mail that I won't quit if I can't come back. She also tricked me once saying she was gonna move so she's capable of it. Her schedule seems very flexible and don't students go on vacation? 2 months? She won't get another student?? There were also other things that were logically inconsistent with this but I can't remember...there are too many things and I see her every week.

Quote
Unless everyone is blowing smoke up my a*s..(which is ample and hard to miss), I took away from this: If you care, you are going to be nervous. If she cares, she is going to be critical..because she feels you are capable of learning more and caring enough to work hard to achieve more.

I am nervous and I don’t know if she can sense it. But she is the type that would think you should be. I don’t like how part of this is because her other students aren’t serious at all, though it only bothers me because she should know it’s not like that with me. She shows mixed signals once again, of knowing and not knowing this… I have listed specific examples above and really would prefer not to as the above is quite obviously us but it doesn’t look like the thread will go anywhere if I don’t which is why I like PM. )))))) Nobody has done it yet. I have 10 pages of things I've remembered up that hold value.

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musiqientist
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Re: Inconsitent Relationship with Teacher
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2013, 10:11:57 PM »
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Quote
What is puzzling to me is that many of the arguments you make suggest a degree of incompatibility between student and teacher. Yet you are very ardently insistent on continuing on with this teacher. Are you in any way related to this teacher?

She has been teaching since she was 11, she is a renowned professor at has been on the faculty for nearly all the Universities in my region, she has also been the principal pianist for most of the local orchestras. Everybody knows her as a teacher and would say that you are ultimately blessed to have such a teacher, she is one with the caliber that has the ability to help you enter one of the best conservatories, there’s nothing she cannot teach you. She seems to be the type of teacher that most successful classical musician had, I think my first post was too emotional and gave off the wrong idea. I really adore her. I think she might be trying to teach me humility now because she’s under the false impressions that I need it. == She might think all people need it and perhaps even she did when she was young but doesn’t recognize that I am in the minority. She is a go getter, if something stands in her way she pushes harder, that’s the way she is. She doesn’t soften. I’m scared to give her info. I feel she might get invasive but…shouldn’t I let that occur??? I don’t know….
I think the incompatibility is mainly my problem and a misunderstanding. She is a sweet person on the inside and very charming, just quite self-preservative I think. I can’t think of a specific personality that would do better than what I have now, it’s not anything that..concrete. I’m excited to see her every week. I count down the days until it’s time for our lesson, I want it to come but also dread it because after it’s over I have another week to wait.
I think she may just be expecting me to take the mixed signs that she gives me to be positives and demands for improvement like a machine. She doesn’t mind that I’m blind… I think she might be thinking "just listen to me and be grateful for anything that apparently sounds like a good thing." Either I let it all into the open or it stays this way… ehhh is anybody still following me?
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Learning involves an element of vulnerability. The more vulnerable you avail yourself to your teacher, the more willing you are to express your weaknesses, the more you will be able to benefit from the teaching.
There’s just something about her though… It’s so mushy if I let her in like that. Yet, I want the challenge of managing to stand up to her so I don’t want to switch because I know staying with her will end up being more rewarding. I sometimes think I admire her for not getting drawn in.

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If you feel an inadequacy in playing something your teacher asks of you, you need to bring that into the open not sweep it under the rug. Your teacher can help you better if you openly admit to that inadequacy and nervousness in playing. A good teacher will not shame or belittle you for doing so, but show you how to overcome your inadequacy.
That will reveal my secrets, I’m not willing to do that yet somehow, I think for fear that I cannot become a great pianist and incorporate it in my career. I feel like….she did all these great things and made it, but I’m not even close. So why would it happen for me? She speaks a lot of achievements and is elitist as I said. I’m already in a sensitive spot and just the idea that she won’t be gentle is really scary. Sometimes she is when I’ve done really well but I’m not sure how harsh she’ll get if I let her know. I mean she’s already so… but the again that’s only sometimes.

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You don't go to lessons just to have your teacher constantly say you are doing a great job without need for further comment. You go to lessons to learn. You may learn things that seem foreign, things that make you feel uncomfortable, and things that you absolutely disagree with, and you may also have "light bulb" moments when your teacher says something and the puzzle comes together all at once. You go to lessons to learn. You are not under any obligation to agree with everything your teacher says, or do everything your teacher asks of you, but you must take it all into thought.
I have all those moments of course but I would never have any problem doing anything she told me to do deep down anyways. Although sometimes I ask a question and she tells me not to argue, though on occasion I stump her with a new idea and get her to smile at me. Then she peeks looks at me for the rest of the lesson.

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musiqientist
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Re: Inconsitent Relationship with Teacher
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2013, 10:31:27 PM »
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Boy, if I had a nickel for every student who's said that to me, and every time I've felt it in front of my teacher!
I never felt this way in front of my previous violin teacher. I was perfectly comfortable. I study violin as well. I am the very conscientious type but when I have prepared something well it’s usually hard for emotions like that to get past my barriers…much less affect me this bad. Things that I have perfected have become shreds in front her before. Surely even an audience….is not that scary?
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I'm was always sensitive to criticism, and I always want to impress. I recognize some of myself in you. What worked for me is finding the right teacher who put me at ease, took the pressure away, and made me feel like we were working 'on the same side'.
I want both I feel something would be missing if I had that kind of teacher, a bit too casual somehow. If I found a teacher who has been through it all like her and acquired the same qualities she has gotten through that experience AND puts you at ease than I might consider. It’s very unlikely. She also happens to be 10 minutes away from my house.
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It's also true that my time in the classical-training grinder desensitized me to criticism somewhat, but I'm not a fan of that approach. When I finally found a teacher who didn't put me ill-at-ease, I got better FASTER, not slower.
She’s not TOO into criticism either! Well…maybe because I don’t let it happen. And it’s just…my progress maximized when I started with her. She’s the type that makes you want to impress her, especially if you’re interested. She’s quite motherly too.

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The world is FULL of self-taught musicians who rejected teachers because they hated how it made them feel. I'm was one of them for a long time. Thing is, in the classical world it's nearly impossible to know what to do without feedback. I see that you have the desire, so a decent teacher (not just player, but teacher) should be able to help you. Conversely, I fear that sticking with this regimen may make you hate playing, which IMO is both tragedy and travesty when committed by the music education profession.

So, in short, don't let your natural desire be stifled, and find someone who can help you achieve your goals with joy. This does NOT mean someone who praises everything you do as perfect, but someone who lets you know the deal without grinding it too deep.
I don’t like the feelings I get sometimes, but I think it’s generated from my own discontent and I can’t find the source. (not going to a therapist) She says things that sting sometimes but it’s very clear that I derive happiness from lessons. She’s like my idol! And she’s a top teacher with a huge studio of University and private students.
I really could never hate playing….maybe bitter sometimes but not give up… I just feel like I have to face everything if I want answers and stuff not just slip away. Ermmm ok yeah I’m weird, get used to it ok?

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Re: Inconsitent Relationship with Teacher
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2013, 10:46:14 PM »
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Are you treating her as a teacher, from whom you learn things, or as an audience who you are trying to impress.

If the former, then it is your weaknesses and failings that you should be showing her.

If the latter, you're wasting your money.

Well I want to get good and tend to use her as a guide to whether or not I will make it. I want to be her star students in a sense because it means I have a chance. So I very much want to impress her but mustn’t you learn a lot and indefinitely everything she has to offer you in order to do that? Through her behavior towards me, it doesn’t appear as if she supports making more mistakes, she wants it to get perfect asap and nailed that way. She gets really serious when you make the same mistake the following week. Don’t you need the pressure to be able to perform perfect in order to succeed? I would think that it’s only beneficial to make a mistake in front of her if it’s a new one that you can’t fix yourself.
Bottom line is, it not her that I am trying to please in the end. She’s not the ultimate goal and a stepping stone, I may as well do it as I do feel close to her anyways.

If only she knew…I think she’d be happy. I guess I just think I’m not worth it.

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#2071187 - 04/26/13 02:09 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Polyphonist]
Musiqientist Offline
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Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Musiqientist
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Musiqientist
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Musiqientist
Why? Is it against the rules?

No, but people don't like to have to go and look in another website for the thread.


Erm you were gonna look at it so can you give me a response?

Yes...why else would I be bothering to keep posting on this thread?


So you working on one? Sorry about that.

No, I told you that I cannot access it unless you paste it here. I cannot get onto that site now, for whatever reason. That is why you should always paste it into PW.


Ohhhh, I thought the problem got solved after I reposted it + gave the instructions...sorry. Cuz the other guy immediately got in. Erm it's there hope it's not too messy.


Edited by Musiqientist (04/26/13 02:09 AM)
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#2071188 - 04/26/13 02:17 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Musiqientist]
Polyphonist Online   content
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Christ, that's going to take me until tomorrow to read...I better get started. I may not finish tonight. smile
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#2071190 - 04/26/13 02:33 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Musiqientist]
keystring Offline
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Well, you asked for it to be posted here. wink It's much easier to read in the original link.

Musiquentist, could you go back and edit the first of your quoting posts to make it more reasonable? If you click "Switch to Full Reply Screen" you will get options such as bolding, italics, and even colour. You could replace the words "quote" by creating actual quotes etc. As it is, it's close to unreadable.

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#2071194 - 04/26/13 02:57 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Musiqientist]
keystring Offline
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Here's the gist of what I'm getting. That:

You are a youngish student (not yet adult) since you refer to your parents' wishes. You also take violin lessons and you are comfortable with that teacher, but not with this piano teacher. Your teacher seems to be one of those that have a kind of "prestige": (there seems to be a kind of formula going around - teaching in an institution that has clout such as conservatories, being a performer, everyone seems to think highly of them again with this prestige idea). You seem to have a very high regard for this teacher which places her really high, and you very low in value - one form that respect can take. Your main problem is that you are intimidated by this teacher. You want very badly to gain her approval, but when there is any positive word it is mitigated by things like "finally" which suggest a criticism. So you can't get the approval, and it keeps you on edge. You try to play perfectly in front of her, not show mistakes. You will also not open up to this teacher and talk about what is bothering you, because of the risk of disapproval - which is what you are avoiding everywhere in the first place.

Is that a correct summary?

Since you wrote that you have improved a lot since going to her, did you study with another teacher before? So you are not a beginner, but more like an intermediate student or beyond? How many years have you studied piano - what kinds of things have you reached, and what kinds of things does this teacher want of you?

The first thing you have to do is to stop revering this teacher in the manner that you do because this kind of respect is messing things up for you. Change your goal from trying to please the teacher, to trying to grow as a musician. This does two things. It changes your relationship with this teacher instantly. It means you are working on the same thing (your progress), collaborating, and she is essentially working for you. It also means you have aligned your goals: her goal is to raise your playing abilities, and yours is too. It also changes this feeling of being judged and falling short. This is also the attitude that most good teachers are looking for. They don't want their students to "please" them. They want their students to take their studies seriously. (Which you do - but the wanting to please is getting in the way).

You may also have a wrong idea about what lessons are about. They are not about producing a perfect work. They are about shaping your skills, which by definition must be imperfect, because you are a student. Piano is a physical activity, and the body and senses have to grow into skills. It's no like math. where there is a right answer that you "should" have if you've studied: 1+2=3, and there is no reason why you should come up with the wrong answer. But in piano, you can miss the trill or flub the note regardless of how hard you practised. And that is expected.

Again, if you shift your purpose from pleasing the teacher to perfecting the skill, then your attention will be 100% on the task which will automatically improve your playing. You almost have to "ignore" the teacher as if she were not important, in order to achieve what you both want - better playing.

Your teacher's apparent dissatisfaction may reflect how she works on music herself, if she is a good musician. No matter how well you bring your music, you can always bring it a bit higher, and she may have that attitude toward her other music project - your growth. Of course there is another principle: you can "perfect" things too much and spoil them - know when to stop. Like, you can intimidate your student by going too far. But in some teaching philosophies, keeping a student on edge and slightly scared of not being good enough might actually be a strategy to get them to do especially well and thank the teacher later in hindsight. I don't know if I agree with that, but it does exist.

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#2071199 - 04/26/13 03:30 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Musiqientist]
Musiqientist Offline
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My editing will be within several posts, the site won't let me do otherwise.

Inconsitent Relationship with Teacher

Hello Piano Street! This is my first post but I have been doing a lot of browsing on the forums, particularly in the teaching forum and think it's safe to post my thoughts on this site so I'll probably be around from time to time. I'm a piano student, 17 years old. Nice to meet you! ^^
*bows*

---------------

So the concern I have at the moment us that I feel very distant from my piano teacher as my interaction with her is very important to me as somebody who started late on the piano but absolutely loves it and will inevitably study it sometime in the not so distant future.

I feel nervous to play in front of her and never able to play nearly as good as when I'm at home. The difference is really significant; I'm just afraid to play in front of her and very scared of making small changes to the music for the first time in front of her. Like if she tells me to add a trill, I'll want to do it at home first multiple times on my own before showing her, it feel scary to do otherwise somehow. I'm afraid to make that kind of mistake in front of her because it shows incompetency and her personality is quite elitist. This all feels foreign to me because these kinds of things would never have been a problem for me just a couple years ago.

I care very much for the piano and I am not sure if she knows or cares, her response shows mixed opinions and I'm not sure what she actually thinks of me. I wonder if she knows that I am doing my best to progress very fast and I would never mention such a thing to her but I think I'm doing well! At the moment I've been playing for about a year solid and am currently working on a Mozart Concerto, 2 grade 9 solos, 2 Chopin etudes, and an easier piece by Bach. I love these pieces I'm playing and I think that they are... hard! I have no problem with this but she doesn't take that into consideration period. I'm not sure but I think she might think I have too much ego, that's not how I feel about myself however.

I care very much for the piano and I am not sure if she knows or cares, her responses show mixed opinions and the logic doesn't add up. She seems to be good at reading me though which is somewhat disturbing, seeing as how I am purposefully difficult to read. This is all really depressing for me because music is always on mind and I am extremely interesting and always thirsty to learn more. I can research and learn about classical music history all day, I can listen all day, play all day. Most of the time I'd describe her as stoic, unyielding, and criticizing. I want to get really good and I know that's difficult, so I need to know whether or not that's possible. I want to know what my potential is. Wish she was warmer and more approachable, I'm jealous of the idea that somebody has a more mentoring figure as a teacher. What's more frustrating is that on the outside she is really hospitable and motherly but I know that is you were to approach her directly with an issue she would instantly put on another face. I feel that if she is doing this on purpose that it's all really unnecessary because I'm not a 10 year old being forced to take lessons. I wonder why she does what she does; in the end I'm afraid to tell her my thoughts.

Anyways, in case somebody was going to suggest that I find somebody else I'll go ahead and say that I cannot leave this teacher. I want things to get better with her because I know that if they do, it will be worth it! She inspires my very much. She has a PH.D from Juilliard; she is an authentic musician who had a musical family. She was a prodigy and started at age 2 and has perfect pitch, she can instantly memorize any piece of music and play it by ear. I always feel like I very much want to impress her.

So, I hope I get some replies on your thoughts and what anybody thinks I should do. Any advice is appreciated. I think the writing in this post might be to general and confusing, I was going to make a longer and more concise post but I couldn't wait any longer, these things have been on my mind for a while. I have a lot of other posts to make so you might see some things later on that are related to this. If you PM me, I'll have more specific things to say on the matter and can answer questions. That would be appreciated; I don't want to list specifics in case she sees this.

Thanks for reading. I hope this post isn't offensive, I feel like a whiner.

And, hello to you...equally deep bow.

If you look for my posts (and there are way too many) you'll see that the majority are about what you describe...a teacher who is intimidating to me and who seems to be constantly criticizing me.

I tried to "break up" with her and at what I thought would be my final lesson she told me that I was one of the 4 or 5 students of her 50 who actually cared about the piano. I also learned from the Director of the program that she (my teacher) was so pleased by my progress that she thanks the Director for assigning me to her.

Unless everyone is blowing smoke up my a*s..(which is ample and hard to miss), I took away from this: If you care, you are going to be nervous. If she cares, she is going to be critical..because she feels you are capable of learning more and caring enough to work hard to achieve more.


Are you treating her as a teacher, from whom you learn things, or as an audience who you are trying to impress.

If the former, then it is your weaknesses and failings that you should be showing her.

If the latter, you're wasting your money.


If you want things to get better, you will need to accept that change needs to happen. Part of that change will come from you. With change also may come doubt, uncertainty, loss of a sense of custom, questions. Not at all bad things if they are put in the context of growth.

Do you consider yourself to be a sensitive person? In general, do you deal well with criticism?

What is puzzling to me is that many of the arguments you make suggest a degree of incompatibility between student and teacher. Yet you are very ardently insistent on continuing on with this teacher. Are you in any way related to this teacher?

Learning involves an element of vulnerability. The more vulnerable you avail yourself to your teacher, the more willing you are to express your weaknesses, the more you will be able to benefit from the teaching. If you feel an inadequacy in playing something your teacher asks of you, you need to bring that into the open not sweep it under the rug. Your teacher can help you better if you openly admit to that inadequacy and nervousness in playing. A good teacher will not shame or belittle you for doing so, but show you how to overcome your inadequacy.

You don't go to lessons just to have your teacher constantly say you are doing a great job without need for further comment. You go to lessons to learn. You may learn things that seem foreign, things that make you feel uncomfortable, and things that you absolutely disagree with, and you may also have "light bulb" moments when your teacher says something and the puzzle comes together all at once. You go to lessons to learn. You are not under any obligation to agree with everything your teacher says, or do everything your teacher asks of you, but you must take it all into thought.


Quote:
I feel nervous to play in front of her and never able to play nearly as good as when I'm at home. The difference is really significant; I'm just afraid to play in front of her and very scared of making small changes to the music for the first time in front of her. ...


Boy, if I had a nickel for every student who's said that to me, and every time I've felt it in front of my teacher!

In all seriousness, though, I think you need a new teacher.

I'm was always sensitive to criticism, and I always want to impress. I recognize some of myself in you. What worked for me is finding the right teacher who put me at ease, took the pressure away, and made me feel like we were working 'on the same side'. It's also true that my time in the classical-training grinder desensitized me to criticism somewhat, but I'm not a fan of that approach. When I finally found a teacher who didn't put me ill-at-ease, I got better FASTER, not slower.

The world is FULL of self-taught musicians who rejected teachers because they hated how it made them feel. I'm was one of them for a long time. Thing is, in the classical world it's nearly impossible to know what to do without feedback. I see that you have the desire, so a decent teacher (not just player, but teacher) should be able to help you. Conversely, I fear that sticking with this regimen may make you hate playing, which IMO is both tragedy and travesty when committed by the music education profession.

So, in short, don't let your natural desire be stifled, and find someone who can help you achieve your goals with joy. This does NOT mean someone who praises everything you do as perfect, but someone who lets you know the deal without grinding it too deep.
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#2071201 - 04/26/13 03:35 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Musiqientist]
Musiqientist Offline
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Registered: 04/25/13
Posts: 94
Quote:
If you look for my posts (and there are way too many) you'll see that the majority are about what you describe...a teacher who is intimidating to me and who seems to be constantly criticizing me.


Yeah, I think it's a bit different between us though. It's not that open and she doesn't constantly criticize me but there's quite a bit of that and a lack of praise at what I think would make most teachers very happy. I cannot satisfy her, this is all fine with me but I do need to know where I stand. I also think I am intimidating to her as well but that doesn't seem to bother her as much, I wish it did. I often feel that we are playing a mind game but I am not sure. Nothing would suggest so but things spon that are logically inconsistent to what things appear to be. That's what I'm trying to figure out here.

Quote:
I tried to "break up" with her and at what I thought would be my final lesson she told me that I was one of the 4 or 5 students of her 50 who actually cared about the piano. I also learned from the Director of the program that she (my teacher) was so pleased by my progress that she thanks the Director for assigning me to her.

My piano teacher would never offer up a thing, though when I tell others about my progress they are very surprised. I would ask her if this is hard and she would say no, because she could do it at 9 years old, contrary to such statements however, when I make her happy she says "good (my name) and then cuts it off before she finishes and says "finally" instead. Then she starts getting energized and very pushy, beyond my limts. When I say I can't do something as in, we'll never be able to get it up to tempo, she simply says "you have to" and forces me to play. When I already have a lot she says "We need something else." And I say that I was thinking of doing this etude and then she says "I wanna see it." Then I tell her I haven't practiced it and don't like sight reading in front of people and she makes me play it anyways, then she says "your suppose to practice it" when she never assigned it to begin with. I tell her 5 pieces at once is a lot and she says "your lucky" than I say, "I'm not a concert pianist!" and she said "I'm training you to be an excellent student."

I know now you'd think that the answer to this thread is all clear but, this is a really good event that occurred in a lesson, sometimes things don't appear this way at all. Her mood seems to fluctuate with it too but I'm not sure it's her mood because that doesn't make sense either.
I tried to break up with her once because my parents were causing me stress and I told her that if I quit for just 2 months can she take me back and she said. "Sorry can't play games with you. No won't take you back. sorry you have issues whatever they are..." Goodbye (my name) ... I answered her back saying I'm not playing games and that I was serious and if I could come the following week, she said "Well I hope so." Then I asked her if I'd done anything wrong and she said "Em, I love you very much and want you to be happy." When I saw her that week and asked her about she said because she'll fill my spot and to let me know if I wanna quit. It was so cold but...it doesn't add up. She just changed my lesson time to an hour and can't I be put back on the waiting list? If she was playing a trick it would be an easy one to do because it's obvious in the first e-mail that I won't quit if I can't come back. She also tricked me once saying she was gonna move so she's capable of it. Her schedule seems very flexible and don't students go on vacation? 2 months? She won't get another student?? There were also other things that were logically inconsistent with this but I can't remember...there are too many things and I see her every week.

Quote:
Unless everyone is blowing smoke up my a*s..(which is ample and hard to miss), I took away from this: If you care, you are going to be nervous. If she cares, she is going to be critical..because she feels you are capable of learning more and caring enough to work hard to achieve more.


I am nervous and I don’t know if she can sense it. But she is the type that would think you should be. I don’t like how part of this is because her other students aren’t serious at all, though it only bothers me because she should know it’s not like that with me. She shows mixed signals once again, of knowing and not knowing this… I have listed specific examples above and really would prefer not to as the above is quite obviously us but it doesn’t look like the thread will go anywhere if I don’t which is why I like PM. )))))) Nobody has done it yet. I have 10 pages of things I've remembered up that hold value.
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#2071202 - 04/26/13 03:35 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Musiqientist]
Musiqientist Offline
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Registered: 04/25/13
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Quote:
What is puzzling to me is that many of the arguments you make suggest a degree of incompatibility between student and teacher. Yet you are very ardently insistent on continuing on with this teacher. Are you in any way related to this teacher?


She has been teaching since she was 11, she is a renowned professor at has been on the faculty for nearly all the Universities in my region, she has also been the principal pianist for most of the local orchestras. Everybody knows her as a teacher and would say that you are ultimately blessed to have such a teacher, she is one with the caliber that has the ability to help you enter one of the best conservatories, there’s nothing she cannot teach you. She seems to be the type of teacher that most successful classical musician had, I think my first post was too emotional and gave off the wrong idea. I really adore her. I think she might be trying to teach me humility now because she’s under the false impressions that I need it. == She might think all people need it and perhaps even she did when she was young but doesn’t recognize that I am in the minority. She is a go getter, if something stands in her way she pushes harder, that’s the way she is. She doesn’t soften. I’m scared to give her info. I feel she might get invasive but…shouldn’t I let that occur??? I don’t know….
I think the incompatibility is mainly my problem and a misunderstanding. She is a sweet person on the inside and very charming, just quite self-preservative I think. I can’t think of a specific personality that would do better than what I have now, it’s not anything that..concrete. I’m excited to see her every week. I count down the days until it’s time for our lesson, I want it to come but also dread it because after it’s over I have another week to wait.
I think she may just be expecting me to take the mixed signs that she gives me to be positives and demands for improvement like a machine. She doesn’t mind that I’m blind… I think she might be thinking "just listen to me and be grateful for anything that apparently sounds like a good thing." Either I let it all into the open or it stays this way… ehhh is anybody still following me?

Quote:
Learning involves an element of vulnerability. The more vulnerable you avail yourself to your teacher, the more willing you are to express your weaknesses, the more you will be able to benefit from the teaching.

There’s just something about her though… It’s so mushy if I let her in like that. Yet, I want the challenge of managing to stand up to her so I don’t want to switch because I know staying with her will end up being more rewarding. I sometimes think I admire her for not getting drawn in.

Quote:
If you feel an inadequacy in playing something your teacher asks of you, you need to bring that into the open not sweep it under the rug. Your teacher can help you better if you openly admit to that inadequacy and nervousness in playing. A good teacher will not shame or belittle you for doing so, but show you how to overcome your inadequacy.

That will reveal my secrets, I’m not willing to do that yet somehow, I think for fear that I cannot become a great pianist and incorporate it in my career. I feel like….she did all these great things and made it, but I’m not even close. So why would it happen for me? She speaks a lot of achievements and is elitist as I said. I’m already in a sensitive spot and just the idea that she won’t be gentle is really scary. Sometimes she is when I’ve done really well but I’m not sure how harsh she’ll get if I let her know. I mean she’s already so… but the again that’s only sometimes.


Quote:
You don't go to lessons just to have your teacher constantly say you are doing a great job without need for further comment. You go to lessons to learn. You may learn things that seem foreign, things that make you feel uncomfortable, and things that you absolutely disagree with, and you may also have "light bulb" moments when your teacher says something and the puzzle comes together all at once. You go to lessons to learn. You are not under any obligation to agree with everything your teacher says, or do everything your teacher asks of you, but you must take it all into thought.

I have all those moments of course but I would never have any problem doing anything she told me to do deep down anyways. Although sometimes I ask a question and she tells me not to argue, though on occasion I stump her with a new idea and get her to smile at me. Then she peeks looks at me for the rest of the lesson.
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#2071203 - 04/26/13 03:37 AM Re: Help me read my teachers mind. [Re: Musiqientist]
Musiqientist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/25/13
Posts: 94
Quote:
Boy, if I had a nickel for every student who's said that to me, and every time I've felt it in front of my teacher!

I never felt this way in front of my previous violin teacher. I was perfectly comfortable. I study violin as well. I am the very conscientious type but when I have prepared something well it’s usually hard for emotions like that to get past my barriers…much less affect me this bad. Things that I have perfected have become shreds in front her before. Surely even an audience….is not that scary?

Quote:
I'm was always sensitive to criticism, and I always want to impress. I recognize some of myself in you. What worked for me is finding the right teacher who put me at ease, took the pressure away, and made me feel like we were working 'on the same side'.

I want both I feel something would be missing if I had that kind of teacher, a bit too casual somehow. If I found a teacher who has been through it all like her and acquired the same qualities she has gotten through that experience AND puts you at ease than I might consider. It’s very unlikely. She also happens to be 10 minutes away from my house.

Quote:

It's also true that my time in the classical-training grinder desensitized me to criticism somewhat, but I'm not a fan of that approach. When I finally found a teacher who didn't put me ill-at-ease, I got better FASTER, not slower.

She’s not TOO into criticism either! Well…maybe because I don’t let it happen. And it’s just…my progress maximized when I started with her. She’s the type that makes you want to impress her, especially if you’re interested. She’s quite motherly too.

Quote:

The world is FULL of self-taught musicians who rejected teachers because they hated how it made them feel. I'm was one of them for a long time. Thing is, in the classical world it's nearly impossible to know what to do without feedback. I see that you have the desire, so a decent teacher (not just player, but teacher) should be able to help you. Conversely, I fear that sticking with this regimen may make you hate playing, which IMO is both tragedy and travesty when committed by the music education profession.

So, in short, don't let your natural desire be stifled, and find someone who can help you achieve your goals with joy. This does NOT mean someone who praises everything you do as perfect, but someone who lets you know the deal without grinding it too deep.

I don’t like the feelings I get sometimes, but I think it’s generated from my own discontent and I can’t find the source. (not going to a therapist) She says things that sting sometimes but it’s very clear that I derive happiness from lessons. She’s like my idol! And she’s a top teacher with a huge studio of University and private students.
I really could never hate playing….maybe bitter sometimes but not give up… I just feel like I have to face everything if I want answers and stuff not just slip away. Ermmm ok yeah I’m weird, get used to it ok?


Edited by Musiqientist (04/26/13 03:37 AM)
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