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#2108856 - 06/27/13 02:39 AM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Cardinal201]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5271
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Cardinal201
Teacher #1 is $50/hour, #2 is $80/hour, and #3 is $110/hour...

I won't be interviewing any more teachers, as #2 and #3 already seem good choices. I just need to decide between the two!

Those are very high rates ($80 and $110), but definitely not unheard of. Anything above $100/hour is usually reserved for piano professors or folks with DMA in piano performance.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2109262 - 06/27/13 07:49 PM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Cardinal201]
Cardinal201 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 80
Thank you for your continued input and for being my online support group!

Both Teacher #2 and Teacher #3 are about to leave on their respective summer vacations, so my spouse and I do have more time to deliberate. I think, though, that we will most likely end up going with Teacher #3. Accordingly, we think we should probably follow her suggestion of working this summer with her colleague who shares the same technique. I know the consensus here was to defer lessons until the teacher's return, but apparently she thinks the situation is pretty dire with the kiddo's (lack of) technique and needs to begin to be addressed immediately. I figure the lessons will also give us some insight into #3's teaching style, as she recommended this colleague expressly for their similarities, and so whether it's a good or bad fit, that would be good information to have.

What do you all think?

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#2109266 - 06/27/13 07:56 PM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Cardinal201]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 399
Loc: Vancouver BC
Doesn't the kiddo want a summer vacation too wink

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#2109269 - 06/27/13 07:59 PM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Cardinal201]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11157
Loc: Canada
Did I calculate right that the child is 5 years old and has had lessons for about 9 months?

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#2109275 - 06/27/13 08:14 PM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Cardinal201]
Cardinal201 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 80
The Monkeys, the kiddo has been asking continuously when lessons will resume, so I don't think he considers it anti-summer vacation. smile

keystring, he's almost 6 now. He started playing piano 9 months ago, shortly after he turned 5.

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#2109392 - 06/28/13 12:49 AM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Cardinal201]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1241
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Cardinal, your son has already been abandoned by one piano teacher. A teacher he adored. We'll never understand why. I figure there's more to the story, which you elected not to tell us.

Now you'd like him to embark on a new teacher-student relationship that is guaranteed to end in abandonment two months from now. So that in September he can commence a third relationship, with still another piano teacher, at an astonishing $110 per hour. He is all of five years old, will have had 3 piano teachers in his first 12 months at the piano, and you are worried about the "dire situation" of his keyboard technique.

You figure that a good way to judge new-next-September teacher #3 is by your child now spending a summer with teacher #4! Or perhaps we should call her teacher #2A.

All I can say is that my heart goes out to your son. I hope he has a loving pet, and a babysitter who sings with him.

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#2109418 - 06/28/13 01:56 AM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Cardinal201]
Whizbang Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 657
Originally Posted By: Cardinal201
I know the consensus here was to defer lessons until the teacher's return, but apparently she thinks the situation is pretty dire with the kiddo's (lack of) technique and needs to begin to be addressed immediately.

...

What do you all think?


A five year old's lack of technique is "dire"?!
_________________________
Whizbang
amateur ragtime pianist

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#2109430 - 06/28/13 02:25 AM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Cardinal201]
Cardinal201 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 80
Peter K. Mose, there's nothing more to the transfer story, at least not on my end. I have been just as bewildered as everyone else throughout this whole process. Given my anonymity on this forum, I am confused as to why you think I would bother hiding anything.

Also, it is not I who is worried about my son's technique but his future teacher. If my intention is to hire her for her professional expertise, should I not try to respect her wishes which presumably are based on said professional expertise? I don't ask this question facetiously, but in all sincerity. That said, if I were to have even a suspicion that my son is suffering some trauma or other negative effect due to the summer lessons, I would pull him out immediately.

It sounds as though you think I'm a terrible parent, which unfortunately for me stings even though I don't know you. As my son's primary caregiver, I often struggle with insecurity and self-doubt as to whether I'm doing right by him, and your words strike right at the heart of that. Clearly, I need to toughen up when sharing on a public forum...

Anyway, it's getting late and I'd better sign off. Thank you again to everyone, including Peter, who has followed my story over the past 9 months and offered words of wisdom and helpful advice!

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#2109443 - 06/28/13 03:01 AM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Cardinal201]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11157
Loc: Canada
Cardinal201, something is off, but I don't think it necessarily has to do with you. This first teacher being convinced that she is not good enough for your son, when he is THRIVING under her teaching - it's puzzled you from the beginning and left you ill at ease. When I read that the 2nd teacher verbalized disapproval of the first teacher in front of you, it made me wonder whether the first lacked confidence in her teaching and deferred to number 1 because that confidence was taken away. I didn't voice it, because that kind of speculation is badly placed.

Should technique be "perfect" from day 1, or is technique something that develops over time? Our children begin by stumbling about, falling over, talking funny, and over time they become well coordinated individuals who walk well, dance, sing, give orations -- but they started off "with poor technique". It's the adult student who typically has problems by trying to be perfect and not being able to let go and allow things to develop naturally. And what has your son done.... just that?

So is he really in such a terrible shape technique-wise..... being 5 years old still, only playing for 9 months? None of us can tell here.

Peter Moses is also talking about something else. Small children get attached to their teachers because they are small children. It is their security because young kids need that feeling of steady adult guidance. I taught grade 2 years ago --- so children who were 7 going on 8. You see that. If you're absent for a few weeks, the kids show this kind of relief, which is startling.

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#2109477 - 06/28/13 05:54 AM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Cardinal201]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1368
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: Cardinal201
It sounds as though you think I'm a terrible parent, which unfortunately for me stings even though I don't know you. As my son's primary caregiver, I often struggle with insecurity and self-doubt as to whether I'm doing right by him, and your words strike right at the heart of that. Clearly, I need to toughen up when sharing on a public forum...


I didn't get this from what anyone was saying. The fact that you work hard enough to be able to afford lessons and what you clearly want to be a quality education for your son says a lot about your capability as the boy's father. When you add to this that there's little hesitation in spending said hard-earned funds on the boy - other than wanting them to go to the best match, obviously - says even more as far as I'm concerned.

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#2109568 - 06/28/13 10:08 AM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Cardinal201]
jdw Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 796
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
I think Cardinal's son is a very lucky child: first, to have a parent investing so much care in his musical education (and I'm sure in other aspects of his life as well); and second, to have a first piano teacher who has focused solely on his well-being and development, putting aside her own ego and interests. His musical gift is a special bonus, and I'm sure that with Cardinal's guidance it will be a blessing to him.

I don't find it at all strange (though admirable!) that the first teacher suggested a change when she found him outrunning her limits as a teacher. When I started flute lessons as a teenager, with a teacher at a music store, she made a similar suggestion within a few lessons--and I was no prodigy, as this boy seems to be. With decades of hindsight and some RSI behind me, I realize that I would have benefited from an early teacher with better understanding of healthy technique.

Recalling the fact that Teacher #1 suggested consulting Edna Golandsky, it seems to me that she may have noticed some of the technique issues the other teachers have identified, and she believes he needs a teacher with more knowledge to fix them and take him further. Golandsky's claim to fame is her expertise in technique that is ergonomic as well as virtuosic. I think the concern sometimes with young prodigies is that their dexterity will outpace their technique and lead them to do things that sound great but aren't necessarily good for them.

Best of luck with the decision!
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R

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#2109633 - 06/28/13 12:12 PM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: jdw]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3328
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: jdw

I don't find it at all strange (though admirable!) that the first teacher suggested a change when she found him outrunning her limits as a teacher.


I do. I find it very strange. I think it's fine to say 'I teach beginners' or 'I teach advanced' but I don't see any point in teaching beginners unless you can take them at least to intermediate, which is going to take some time, even in the case of a prodigy.
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


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

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#2109668 - 06/28/13 12:51 PM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Cardinal201]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 399
Loc: Vancouver BC
Cardinal201, please don't think that way, you seem a wonderful parent to me.

The fact that you are here listening to whole bunch people in the past 9 months tells how much effort you have put into your son's education and clearly you are open minded.

This is a public forum, it is NOT a place to seek consensus or approvals, you are here for a variety of vastly different opinions from very different angles, for YOU to make YOUR decisions.

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#2109738 - 06/28/13 03:12 PM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: ten left thumbs]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 399
Loc: Vancouver BC
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
Originally Posted By: jdw

I don't find it at all strange (though admirable!) that the first teacher suggested a change when she found him outrunning her limits as a teacher.


I do. I find it very strange. I think it's fine to say 'I teach beginners' or 'I teach advanced' but I don't see any point in teaching beginners unless you can take them at least to intermediate, which is going to take some time, even in the case of a prodigy.


The teacher at the early stage of the development does make differences, just listen to AZP's rant of the transfer students.

For the vast majority, you are probably right, every teacher can take them to at least the intermediate level, how good or how bad they teach perhaps doesn't matter much as the students won't go anywhere anyways. The ability to enjoy music is more import than the skills.

For a few gifted, it could make a deciding difference.

I have the pleasure to personally know a couple gifted kids, one made his orchestral debut at the age of 9. Their early teachers also selflessly referred them to another teacher just after short period of time, then another teacher. Through different paths, both end up with the same teacher after a couple of years (whose fee almost doubles the expensive teacher we were talking about here, by the way).

The path to pursue excellence in classical music, however, even for the gifted, is a long and difficult journey, especially for the parents. Some of these parents face a different dilemma, they feel obligated to support and provide the best, and at the same time, hope their child not to go the professional route (as they see the music industry, especially in the the field of classical music, is not the easiest place to make a good living).

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#2109741 - 06/28/13 03:16 PM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Cardinal201]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11157
Loc: Canada
Somehow, if an experienced teacher -- and experienced teachers -- are expressing concerns, this holds weight for me.

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#2109751 - 06/28/13 03:32 PM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Cardinal201]
PianoStudent88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 2975
Loc: Maine
And yet: the experienced teacher who Cardinal met in person, did not express concerns about the summer plan. Might that hold some weight?
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#2109835 - 06/28/13 05:53 PM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Cardinal201]
Cardinal201 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 80
Thank you all! Feeling more resolve today, I took the kiddo to meet with Teacher #3's recommended colleague (let's call her #2.5 for continuity smile. She reiterated what Teachers #1, #2, and #3 have all said in varying ways and degrees, which I'm finally starting to put together and understand--simply put, the kid needs to fix his hands before he hurts himself. It is not merely a lack of technique as I originally assumed, but an increasingly dangerous, injury-prone one. Given the little guy's musical compulsion/inability to stay away from the piano, which apparently is glaringly obvious to everyone, time is of the essence, which explains Teacher #1 suggesting a transfer after just a short time, Teacher #2 wanting to fit in 4 lessons within a 2 week span before her month-long break, and Teacher #3 sending him to Teacher #2.5 before her two month one.

jdw, I think you may have just hit the nail on the head--I was so focused and weirded out regarding the "prodigy" angle of things, to The Monkeys' point, that I missed it.

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#2109839 - 06/28/13 06:03 PM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Cardinal201]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11157
Loc: Canada
Cardinal201, thank you for your explanation. It makes sense now.

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#2110213 - 06/29/13 03:04 PM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Cardinal201]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1241
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
An "increasingly dangerous" situation, a five-year-old who loves playing the piano incorrectly.

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#2110236 - 06/29/13 03:37 PM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Cardinal201]
kck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 261
Originally Posted By: Cardinal201
Thank you all! Feeling more resolve today, I took the kiddo to meet with Teacher #3's recommended colleague (let's call her #2.5 for continuity smile. She reiterated what Teachers #1, #2, and #3 have all said in varying ways and degrees, which I'm finally starting to put together and understand--simply put, the kid needs to fix his hands before he hurts himself. It is not merely a lack of technique as I originally assumed, but an increasingly dangerous, injury-prone one. Given the little guy's musical compulsion/inability to stay away from the piano, which apparently is glaringly obvious to everyone, time is of the essence, which explains Teacher #1 suggesting a transfer after just a short time, Teacher #2 wanting to fit in 4 lessons within a 2 week span before her month-long break, and Teacher #3 sending him to Teacher #2.5 before her two month one.

jdw, I think you may have just hit the nail on the head--I was so focused and weirded out regarding the "prodigy" angle of things, to The Monkeys' point, that I missed it.


I had a very similar situation with my son who started at 5. It took a special teacher and a bunch of patience and hard work to get through it. My kid had to spin his wheels at repertoire level several times. We had about 9 months where I wasn't sure we were all going to make it through when we found the right teacher, but we did!
_________________________
Amateur musician, piano and violin parent

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#2110429 - 06/30/13 02:56 AM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Peter K. Mose]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3328
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
An "increasingly dangerous" situation, a five-year-old who loves playing the piano incorrectly.


Peter, maybe you could tell us what you think is happening?
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


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

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#2110440 - 06/30/13 03:40 AM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Cardinal201]
Allan W. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/03/12
Posts: 369
Loc: Michigan
Maybe you can record a video of your child so we can see exactly what's going on?
_________________________
Recent adult re-starter... http://www.youtube.com/user/allanw
Kawai MP-10 + Ivory II (pic), Young Chang Y175, 2012 (renting) (pic)

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#2110508 - 06/30/13 08:01 AM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Cardinal201]
jdw Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 796
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Cardinal, I'm glad you seem to be finding some consensus among the teachers and a good path forward. Hope your son continues to love his music!
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R

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#2110595 - 06/30/13 12:44 PM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: ten left thumbs]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1241
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
An "increasingly dangerous" situation, a five-year-old who loves playing the piano incorrectly.


Peter, maybe you could tell us what you think is happening?


No, I can't. I am in full agreement with you that teacher #1 should still be this boy's teacher, and this lengthy thread has smelled off from the start.

My suspicion is that Cardinal has been pranking us all along, and we fell for it. This happens on the Internet.

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#2110677 - 06/30/13 03:44 PM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Peter K. Mose]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3328
Loc: Scotland
OK, at least now I understand you! laugh
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


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

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#2110685 - 06/30/13 04:05 PM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Cardinal201]
Cardinal201 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 80
Wow, ok... I'm sorry you feel that way, Peter.

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#2110734 - 06/30/13 05:36 PM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Cardinal201]
jdw Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 796
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Originally Posted By: Cardinal201
Wow, ok... I'm sorry you feel that way, Peter.


A gracious reply if I ever saw one.
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R

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#2110739 - 06/30/13 05:45 PM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Cardinal201]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3328
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: Cardinal201
Wow, ok... I'm sorry you that way, Peter.


Thing is Cardinal, if you are genuine, then you know that you are genuine, and hopefully the doubt of a person online (who has obviously seen a lot of chancers on this forum) won't cause you to lose sleep?

Again if you are genuine, then I wish you and your son the very best!
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


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

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#2110903 - 06/30/13 11:43 PM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Cardinal201]
Cardinal201 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 80
jdw, thank you, once again. ten left thumbs, I also appreciate your words, but it's BECAUSE I'm genuinely seeking help/advice that it's worrisome if folks think I'm making up a story, especially someone as well-respected on this forum as Peter K. Mose. If I were just trolling, I wouldn't care, because I wouldn't have an actual situation with which I needed actual help. Thankfully, enough people have given me the benefit of a doubt and offered many useful insights, and consequently I now have a better handle on my son's situation and more confidence moving forward with the teacher transfer. Thank you one and all for that. I hope I am still welcome to post questions I might have in the future, and continue to receive the same benefit of the doubt.

I won't lose sleep, but am curious--are there others beside Peter who think I'm pranking them? And by "all along", do you mean making up everything I've written since August when I joined the forum (my first posts were about piano shopping)? Does anyone disbelieve that I even have a child who plays the piano?

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#2110957 - 07/01/13 02:37 AM Re: Transfer etiquette [Re: Cardinal201]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 399
Loc: Vancouver BC
Cardinal, an internet forum, even the ones that is generally friendly like this, is a still wild place.

I think the high fee you are paying for a 6 year old set some people off. Noticed the sharp turn from there? While not unheard of, it was indeed unusual. Many teachers with many years of experiences don't charge that kind of fee, many not even close. Some knee jerk reactions, even from nice people, is quite natural. And teachers who charges significantly below the level you are paying, will probably go quiet for obvious reasons.

I have no reason to doubt you, but after all this is not an everyday story, and you should expect different reactions. Good luck with the journey, and enjoy him as much as you can.

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