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#2184046 - 11/17/13 05:00 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Ben Crosland]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7598
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Ben Crosland
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist

And I don't like that way of running it.


Well, since you're not a music teacher involved in the system...

Did I say I was?
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#2184047 - 11/17/13 05:04 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: AZNpiano]
Ben Crosland Online   content
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No.

But anyway, since I can drive a car, I think I should find a driving instructor forum and start ranting on there about how inadequate the driving examination system is wink
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#2184049 - 11/17/13 05:13 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Ben Crosland]
Polyphonist Offline
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You do that. Meanwhile, I am going to listen to Beethoven's wonderful 6th Symphony, conducted by Leonard Bernstein.
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#2184050 - 11/17/13 05:17 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: AZNpiano]
Ben Crosland Online   content
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smile
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#2184123 - 11/17/13 07:18 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: AZNpiano]
ezpiano.org Offline
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Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1005
Loc: Irvine, CA
Originally Posted By: Poly
The way they should run it: You need to achieve a certain (fairly high) score on EACH PART OF THE TEST SEPARATELY. Then, if you pass each section separately, you pass the whole test. If you fail one of the sections, you have to retake the whole test. That's the way it should work. That's what will pass more well-rounded musicians, and fail the incompetent ones, rather than just trying to get everyone through.


I agree with you that this should be the way they run it. I am totally into producing well-rounded musician with holistic approach!!

In CM test there are two parts:
Theory/ Ear Training in one day and
Performance(repertoire)/ Technique (scales)/ Sight-reading in another day

According to my understanding that if a student fail theory (passing mark is 70%) and pass the performance part, they would considered fail and have to retake the same level next year again.

However, if a student fail Sight-reading but get very high rank for repertoire and technique, depends on the evaluator, he would still pass the performance part of the test.
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#2184239 - 11/17/13 11:30 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Ben Crosland]
Alan Lai Offline
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Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 309
Loc: USA/Hong Kong
Originally Posted By: Ben Crosland
Well, like it or not, it's the system that's been accepted by all the major examination boards (each of which is an extension of the academies) for at least the last few decades. The syllabuses have also been approved by the QCA and others, or at least the ones worth using have.

Anyhow - I, for one, would not like to see a change in the direction you propose, polyphonist. I think it would have a negative impact on both the students and the examination system.



As a result, we have tons of kids who knows how to "copy" performances from recordings, but when you ask them to improvise, listen, and sight-read, they are all clueless. As contrary to examiners' belief, those three areas are more important than the prepared pieces.

Of course it will have a negative impact on the examination system, because if the examination is so difficult to pass, why would people pay to take it? Catering to the mass is the ultimate failure of ABRSM and Trinity examination body. The system is been accepted by all major exam boards doesn't mean it is good and balanced, sometimes it simply because there's no alternative which doesn't affect the profitability of the current system.

Defend it in any way you like, please. And please stop this BS "you are not a teacher in the system." Tell you what, I TOOK the ABRSM exams (both grades and diplomas), and I am ACTIVELY teaching students who's preparing for both grades and diploma exams. Seeing how their repertoire list for diploma remain virtually unchanged for the last decade is already an indication that it's not an examination system, it's a money grab system.

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#2184319 - 11/18/13 04:44 AM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: AZNpiano]
Ben Crosland Online   content
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Posts: 420
Loc: Worcester, UK
I stand by my assertion that to criticise something, a little experience and involvement in it is prerequisite to a sensible discussion.

Anyway - it is not such a good idea to insist upon a minimum standard of achievement across multiple sections of a *single* examination.

What you, Alan, and ezpiano and polyphonist are suggesting, is the equivalent to making it compulsory that all sections within the theory exam be passed.

Total score 75%? Sorry, but because you scored 3 out of 10 in the intervals question, you fail the exam. Your theory knowledge isn't balanced enough, you see.

Or, how about within each section of the exam itself? Aural skills should be just as balanced, right? So, yes you may have scored 12/18, but because you achieved this by getting all the listening and analysis bits perfect, unfortunately, you sang like one of those "crazy" American Idol auditions, so we have to fail you on that section, and consequently, I'm sorry to say, the whole exam.

I also dont think there's anything wrong with an examination system which caters to the masses. That's not to say I think it's perfect as it is, but the fact is it needs to serve many purposes, not least of which is encouragement.

The tone I'm picking up from those who complain about everything being "too easy" is one that, to me, smacks of wanting to belong to a more exclusive club.
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#2184320 - 11/18/13 05:03 AM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Ben Crosland]
Ben Crosland Online   content
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Loc: Worcester, UK
I should also add that, if you wanted to place more importance on skills such as listening and sight-reading, wouldn't the intelligent solution simply be to rebalance the marks awarded to each section? If fewer marks were allocated to the performance elements, then this would make passing on pieces alone much harder.
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#2184372 - 11/18/13 08:10 AM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Alan Lai]
Polyphonist Offline
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Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Alan Lai

As a result, we have tons of kids who knows how to "copy" performances from recordings, but when you ask them to improvise, listen, and sight-read, they are all clueless. As contrary to examiners' belief, those three areas are much more important than the prepared pieces.

Finally someone gets it.
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#2184377 - 11/18/13 08:23 AM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Alan Lai]
TimR Offline
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Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3199
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Alan Lai
Originally Posted By: Ben Crosland
Well, like it or not, it's the system that's been accepted by all the major examination boards (each of which is an extension of the academies) for at least the last few decades. The syllabuses have also been approved by the QCA and others, or at least the ones worth using have.

Anyhow - I, for one, would not like to see a change in the direction you propose, polyphonist. I think it would have a negative impact on both the students and the examination system.



As a result, we have tons of kids who knows how to "copy" performances from recordings, but when you ask them to improvise, listen, and sight-read, they are all clueless. As contrary to examiners' belief, those three areas are more important than the prepared pieces.

.


But the title of this thread is Bad Teachers.

If we really have tons of kids who play well but lack other skills, is that evidence for bad teachers? Or just teachers doing a good job of meeting current goals?

Given that almost none of those kids will go on to become working musicians, are those additional skills so important the system needs to be revised?
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#2184380 - 11/18/13 08:32 AM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: TimR]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7598
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: Alan Lai
Originally Posted By: Ben Crosland
Well, like it or not, it's the system that's been accepted by all the major examination boards (each of which is an extension of the academies) for at least the last few decades. The syllabuses have also been approved by the QCA and others, or at least the ones worth using have.

Anyhow - I, for one, would not like to see a change in the direction you propose, polyphonist. I think it would have a negative impact on both the students and the examination system.



As a result, we have tons of kids who knows how to "copy" performances from recordings, but when you ask them to improvise, listen, and sight-read, they are all clueless. As contrary to examiners' belief, those three areas are more important than the prepared pieces.

.


But the title of this thread is Bad Teachers.

If we really have tons of kids who play well but lack other skills, is that evidence for bad teachers?

Yes. At least for incompetent teachers. Usually the problem is that the teacher can barely sightread themselves, so they are uncomfortable teaching it to the student. bah
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#2184404 - 11/18/13 09:25 AM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Polyphonist]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
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Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: TimR

But the title of this thread is Bad Teachers.

If we really have tons of kids who play well but lack other skills, is that evidence for bad teachers?

Yes. At least for incompetent teachers. Usually the problem is that the teacher can barely sightread themselves, so they are uncomfortable teaching it to the student. bah


I think it can imply bad teaching, but not necessarily. I'd hate for people to assume that since I have some students who choose not to practice that they reflect on me as a teacher and pianist.

Personally, if I know a student needs to learn something, I have to make sure I know it first before I can teach it! Ignoring the fact they need it is not an option. In the past, this has meant I need to learn more about playing jazz from lead sheets or jazz improv, for example. I'm not a "pro" at these things, but enough to help a student get started, and then send them on to someone who is more advanced if the student wants to go further in this direction.
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#2184411 - 11/18/13 09:46 AM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: TimR]
Alan Lai Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 309
Loc: USA/Hong Kong
Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: Alan Lai
Originally Posted By: Ben Crosland
Well, like it or not, it's the system that's been accepted by all the major examination boards (each of which is an extension of the academies) for at least the last few decades. The syllabuses have also been approved by the QCA and others, or at least the ones worth using have.

Anyhow - I, for one, would not like to see a change in the direction you propose, polyphonist. I think it would have a negative impact on both the students and the examination system.



As a result, we have tons of kids who knows how to "copy" performances from recordings, but when you ask them to improvise, listen, and sight-read, they are all clueless. As contrary to examiners' belief, those three areas are more important than the prepared pieces.

.


But the title of this thread is Bad Teachers.

If we really have tons of kids who play well but lack other skills, is that evidence for bad teachers? Or just teachers doing a good job of meeting current goals?

Given that almost none of those kids will go on to become working musicians, are those additional skills so important the system needs to be revised?

It doesn't really matter whether those kids will go for music major or not, you simply cannot deny that these musicianship skills are essential for life long appreciation and enjoyment of making music as their hobby.

Don't you love the ability that you can simply pull some music books from the shelf at your spare time and start sight read some cute little pieces? Don't you love the ability that you can improvise and use music to express your own story?

Talking about teachers, there are, at least in Hong Kong, a large number of them specialized in getting kids passing grade exams, without teaching them anything else. Imagine a kid learned nothing besides the required piece for exam, scales and arpeggios, do you seriously think they will grow to appreciate and enjoy music? These are bad teachers, but they are promoted by a flawed music grade exam system, and further encouraged by the competing nature of Asian style kids upbringing.

I am sure your tone will change when your kids gets these kind of teachers.

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#2184414 - 11/18/13 09:48 AM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Ben Crosland]
Alan Lai Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 309
Loc: USA/Hong Kong
Originally Posted By: Ben Crosland
I stand by my assertion that to criticise something, a little experience and involvement in it is prerequisite to a sensible discussion.

Anyway - it is not such a good idea to insist upon a minimum standard of achievement across multiple sections of a *single* examination.

What you, Alan, and ezpiano and polyphonist are suggesting, is the equivalent to making it compulsory that all sections within the theory exam be passed.

Total score 75%? Sorry, but because you scored 3 out of 10 in the intervals question, you fail the exam. Your theory knowledge isn't balanced enough, you see.

Or, how about within each section of the exam itself? Aural skills should be just as balanced, right? So, yes you may have scored 12/18, but because you achieved this by getting all the listening and analysis bits perfect, unfortunately, you sang like one of those "crazy" American Idol auditions, so we have to fail you on that section, and consequently, I'm sorry to say, the whole exam.

I also dont think there's anything wrong with an examination system which caters to the masses. That's not to say I think it's perfect as it is, but the fact is it needs to serve many purposes, not least of which is encouragement.

The tone I'm picking up from those who complain about everything being "too easy" is one that, to me, smacks of wanting to belong to a more exclusive club.

Your analysis is fine and dandy provided the ABRSM and Trinity revised their scoring system in the pass decade, which, unfortunately did not happen. What they have done is just rotating grade 1-8 repertoire pieces once in a while. Hence, it's a money grab system.

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#2184427 - 11/18/13 10:22 AM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Alan Lai]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11891
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Alan Lai
Originally Posted By: Ben Crosland
I stand by my assertion that to criticise something, a little experience and involvement in it is prerequisite to a sensible discussion.

Anyway - it is not such a good idea to insist upon a minimum standard of achievement across multiple sections of a *single* examination.

What you, Alan, and ezpiano and polyphonist are suggesting, is the equivalent to making it compulsory that all sections within the theory exam be passed.

Total score 75%? Sorry, but because you scored 3 out of 10 in the intervals question, you fail the exam. Your theory knowledge isn't balanced enough, you see.

Or, how about within each section of the exam itself? Aural skills should be just as balanced, right? So, yes you may have scored 12/18, but because you achieved this by getting all the listening and analysis bits perfect, unfortunately, you sang like one of those "crazy" American Idol auditions, so we have to fail you on that section, and consequently, I'm sorry to say, the whole exam.

I also dont think there's anything wrong with an examination system which caters to the masses. That's not to say I think it's perfect as it is, but the fact is it needs to serve many purposes, not least of which is encouragement.

The tone I'm picking up from those who complain about everything being "too easy" is one that, to me, smacks of wanting to belong to a more exclusive club.

Your analysis is fine and dandy provided the ABRSM and Trinity revised their scoring system in the pass decade, which, unfortunately did not happen. What they have done is just rotating grade 1-8 repertoire pieces once in a while. Hence, it's a money grab system.
Perhaps this is a bit OT, but exams are a means to an end, and not the end in itself. A teacher who can't see this will find something else to grab onto. However, there are many good teachers out there who use these things as a goal for students, yes, but not the primary focus of their teaching.

The same argument could be said for method books. Bad teachers use good method books in a bad way, "passing" students on to the next without ensuring the student has learned the skills necessary to play the music within them. It's not the fault of the method books.
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#2184440 - 11/18/13 10:39 AM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: AZNpiano]
keystring Offline
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I'd like to get back to the original topic, which imho is an extremely important one.

First item is the question when a transfer student comes in with difficulties: Is it due to the previous teacher? Might it not be due the student or family - not wanting to practice or listen, parents undermining progress, maybe a learning disability that hasn't been found? I think that is legitimate, and you can't always tell, especially right away. I think that AZNpiano is talking about the times when you can tell.

We've had stories of third year transfer students where every note has a finger number penciled in by the teacher, and the student can't read. Or what if a transfer student comes in clueless and lost, and is soon wowed by "how much she is learning" and makes tremendous progress and continues to do so. Things of that nature.

I believe strongly that musical ability is built on fundamental skills and knowledge, the kind which is transmitted in the first years. If any of those skills are missing, problems will crop up in weird areas and you may not know why. Take your transfer student with wonky timing. Is there weak understanding of note values, what counting means, understanding of pulse or meter, reading skills, or technique that makes movements jerky? You're at grade 7 but the problem may lie in something that the student didn't get at a preliminary level.

Would it make sense for transfer students to be given a review of the fundamentals, in the way the new teacher teaches them, to make sure there are no hidden holes?

I am in a transfer situation myself, and in addition as a teacher I have done remediation and troubleshooting with students outside the area of music. It almost always seems to come down to the core things.

That said, in reflection of AZNpiano's sentiment, if a person does not yet know enough, maybe they should hold off teaching - especially beginners who are getting the foundations - until they do. It's the student who suffers. Polyphonist expressed in his post that teachers would not want to teach students who began this way: that is not fair to the student. It's better if that situation is avoided in the first place.

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#2184450 - 11/18/13 10:52 AM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Morodiene]
childofparadise2002 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 542
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Perhaps this is a bit OT, but exams are a means to an end, and not the end in itself.


I can't agree more. If a teacher wants to teach to the exam, he/she can always do so no matter how the exams change. If a teacher understands what a student should really learn, he/she should teach the student accordingly and the student will have a solid foundation and consequently will score well in exams if he/she chooses to participate. Exams are meant to help students achieve a well-rounded education. If teachers/parents choose to view exams as hoops to let the students jump through, it's their own fault.

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#2184777 - 11/18/13 07:24 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: AZNpiano]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...At least for incompetent teachers. Usually the problem is that the teacher can barely sightread themselves, so they are uncomfortable teaching it to the student..."

How funny--- this is exactly what my brother (the high school band director) said about the teacher who 'didn't approve' of teaching students to play scales.

To the word.
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#2184779 - 11/18/13 07:27 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: keystring]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4800
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: keystring


We've had stories of third year transfer students where every note has a finger number penciled in by the teacher, and the student can't read.

Third year? How about any NUMBER of years of supposed teaching where reading was never covered and finger numbers becamse a lethal crutch?
Quote:

Or what if a transfer student comes in clueless and lost, and is soon wowed by "how much she is learning" and makes tremendous progress and continues to do so. Things of that nature.

That seldom happens until a faulty foundation is fixed, and that can take a long time, if it can even be done...
Quote:

Would it make sense for transfer students to be given a review of the fundamentals, in the way the new teacher teaches them, to make sure there are no hidden holes?

Yes, but it is not so simple, and there is no magic book or set of skills that can be checked in order unless you take each student back to zero, and many or even most transfers will get discouraged and quit before you can get the job done.
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#2184791 - 11/18/13 08:01 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: childofparadise2002]
ezpiano.org Offline
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Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1005
Loc: Irvine, CA
Originally Posted By: childofparadise2002
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Perhaps this is a bit OT, but exams are a means to an end, and not the end in itself.


I can't agree more. If a teacher wants to teach to the exam, he/she can always do so no matter how the exams change. If a teacher understands what a student should really learn, he/she should teach the student accordingly and the student will have a solid foundation and consequently will score well in exams if he/she chooses to participate. Exams are meant to help students achieve a well-rounded education. If teachers/parents choose to view exams as hoops to let the students jump through, it's their own fault.


I can't agree more with you too childparadise!

Exams is a tool and depend on the teacher how to use it. Good teacher will use it in a nice and balance way. Bad teacher (just like the one in original post by ANZ) would use it badly. That is why when it comes to piano education, selecting a good teacher is more important than taking exams. Unfortunately a lot of parents being misinformed, they just want their children to pass the exams at whatever cost, even if it means the education is not well-round to a point of "malnutrition". Imagine a diet with only meat with no vege and fruit at all, it is only lead to self-destruction.
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#2184818 - 11/18/13 09:40 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: ezpiano.org]
AZNpiano Offline
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Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5478
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
However, if a student fail Sight-reading but get very high rank for repertoire and technique, depends on the evaluator, he would still pass the performance part of the test.

Is this what you tell your students?

If you fail sight reading, you can still "pass" CM if:
1) your technique is average,
2) your repertoire is average, and
3) you pass the theory/ear training test at 70% or higher.

Back in 2009 I got a truckload of these awful students transferring to me from three teachers. These students were passed along from level to level, scraping by at the bottom of the barrel. Alas, there are only so many miracles I can perform.
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#2185087 - 11/19/13 12:02 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: AZNpiano]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1005
Loc: Irvine, CA
Originally Posted By: ANZ
Is this what you tell your students?


No.

I tell my students:
What is the good for going to CM test and receive everything "Average" or less? So, we are going to focus for "Excellent" and "Good" in all areas. As far as theory test, anything less than 90% is considered "not good" in my standard. On the top of CM syllabus we also learn composition, reading sheet music, playing popular music etc as part of the curriculum.


Edited by ezpiano.org (11/19/13 12:03 PM)
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#2185148 - 11/19/13 01:52 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: keystring]
AZNpiano Offline
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Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5478
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: keystring
if a person does not yet know enough, maybe they should hold off teaching - especially beginners who are getting the foundations - until they do. It's the student who suffers.

The irony is that beginners are harder to teach than intermediate students. To a degree, the well-trained students at the early advanced level (easy sonatas, Bach Inventions) are probably even easier to teach.

But, of course, all teachers who start teaching inevitably start with a bunch of beginners.
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#2185157 - 11/19/13 02:03 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: AZNpiano]
keystring Offline
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Registered: 12/11/07
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Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: keystring
if a person does not yet know enough, maybe they should hold off teaching - especially beginners who are getting the foundations - until they do. It's the student who suffers.

The irony is that beginners are harder to teach than intermediate students. To a degree, the well-trained students at the early advanced level (easy sonatas, Bach Inventions) are probably even easier to teach.

But, of course, all teachers who start teaching inevitably start with a bunch of beginners.

I have seen the idea put forth in a number of music forums for new teachers to begin with intermediate students, and quite possibly apprentice with a teacher who mentors them into it. If a new teacher does start with beginners, that teacher should know enough, and also think it through.

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#2185228 - 11/19/13 03:52 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: AZNpiano]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4800
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

The irony is that beginners are harder to teach than intermediate students.

There is no irony there. That's where you set the foundation for everything that comes after.
Quote:

To a degree, the well-trained students at the early advanced level (easy sonatas, Bach Inventions) are probably even easier to teach.

Yes, but who does the "good training"? If you don't do it yourself, you are dependent on what has been taught by other teachers, and then it gets hard because you have to fix things.
Quote:

But, of course, all teachers who start teaching inevitably start with a bunch of beginners.

I WANT those beginners, because if they stick with me they are my best students.
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#2185247 - 11/19/13 04:25 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: ezpiano.org]
AZNpiano Offline
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Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5478
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
What is the good for going to CM test and receive everything "Average" or less? So, we are going to focus for "Excellent" and "Good" in all areas. As far as theory test, anything less than 90% is considered "not good" in my standard. On the top of CM syllabus we also learn composition, reading sheet music, playing popular music etc as part of the curriculum.

That's all well and good, but what incentive do kids have for getting better than average? They still get the same certificate. Branch Honors is a complete joke. Even Convention Honors is a joke nowadays. By the time kids get to Panel, they're so busy with high school, they stop lessons altogether, or they stop doing Panel.

After some consideration, I pulled a couple of my more talented students out of CM this year because the program doesn't foster excellence; it promotes "passing." I try to tell my students' parents that CM is aimed at the average student, so if your kids are clearly above-average, then why would they do CM? Passing Level 10 doesn't mean the student is playing at level 10. It just means the student passed a test.
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#2185257 - 11/19/13 04:36 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Gary D.]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5478
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Yes, but who does the "good training"? If you don't do it yourself, you are dependent on what has been taught by other teachers, and then it gets hard because you have to fix things.

True. But there are degrees of "damage" that need to be undone. Some kids just have a posture problem. Some don't know any theory. Some have very lousy scales and arpeggios. Some are slow readers of notes. Every transfer student is unique. Sometimes it doesn't take very long to fix the bad habits. In some cases, the damage is beyond repair.

That's the reason for this thread. It's an open letter to all those posers and incompetent piano teachers who OBVIOUSLY should stay out of the profession. Their gross incompetence is making other teachers' job that much more difficult.
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#2185279 - 11/19/13 05:00 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: AZNpiano]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11673
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

That's the reason for this thread. It's an open letter to all those posers and incompetent piano teachers who OBVIOUSLY should stay out of the profession. Their gross incompetence is making other teachers' job that much more difficult.


The person who understands what is involved in music and piano, what needs to be taught, what learning is about etc. - that person will also catch when these things are not present. But a person (teacher) who does not yet have these things will not know what it is that they are missing. Will they know they are doing harm, or that anything they are doing is wrong? Probably not. Whatever is their everyday reality with their students is "normal" to them. If a student is struggling, they may put it down to "poor student attitude" - maybe all of their students have "poor attitude".

What about the teacher who is extreme in teaching for exams or other papers of recognition - the ones who teach only three pieces a year, write in finger numbers, or heavily choreograph etc. That teacher will have all kinds of statistics about them being a "great teacher" - will that teacher be aware of their own lacks? Same thing.

They may tsk tsk along with you, and never realize that they are among those you are addressing.

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#2185435 - 11/19/13 11:29 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: AZNpiano]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5261
Loc: Europe
Now, I think, is the time to ask you guys...

I do private lessons only. Flourished with love of music, all kinds of games, to younger and older students and various programs. Still I allow my students to be quite free in their choice of repertoire up to a point. If they do not like Bach, let it be... no Bach. If they don't like Mozart either let it be... no Mozart either.

This has worked out fine, because there certainly comes a point when they are having trouble with all the Chopin they want to play and I go "Hem... try this one... It will help you out". But this may take years. Same with scales! In fact yesterday I had a lesson with a 16 year old, who's not doing scales (her choice). And we were doing the amazingly lovely Incognito (Jazz Nocturne) by our own [/b]Jason[/b] Kreisler. Well there's a part with a Gm harmonic scale and she was struggling a bit! laugh That was it. She's on several scales for next week!

I'm also composing for them on the fly, so sight reading is also prevailed...

However with this system, if Kreisler's piece hadn't arrived that student wouldn't have wanted to do scales. and that would be a huge loss and I a bad teacher???

AZ: She's the one I sent you the Chopin Prelude video in a PM...
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#2185462 - 11/20/13 01:22 AM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Nikolas]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4800
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Now, I think, is the time to ask you guys...

I do private lessons only. Flourished with love of music, all kinds of games, to younger and older students and various programs. Still I allow my students to be quite free in their choice of repertoire up to a point. If they do not like Bach, let it be... no Bach. If they don't like Mozart either let it be... no Mozart either.

This has worked out fine, because there certainly comes a point when they are having trouble with all the Chopin they want to play and I go "Hem... try this one... It will help you out". But this may take years. Same with scales! In fact yesterday I had a lesson with a 16 year old, who's not doing scales (her choice). And we were doing the amazingly lovely Incognito (Jazz Nocturne) by our own [/b]Jason[/b] Kreisler. Well there's a part with a Gm harmonic scale and she was struggling a bit! laugh That was it. She's on several scales for next week!

I'm also composing for them on the fly, so sight reading is also prevailed...

However with this system, if Kreisler's piece hadn't arrived that student wouldn't have wanted to do scales. and that would be a huge loss and I a bad teacher???

No. You're just not a perfect teacher. You have not yet found a way to be all things to all people. smile

If today you decide to stress scales more, you students probably will be better at those scales in the future - but something else will fall.

No one does everything equally well, and that includes both students and teachers.

The worst teachers are often those who DO think they can teach everything to everyone, and that there is nothing they could do better.

===================

By the way, every time I see this thread I am SO tempted to start a new thread: "Bad Santa mad " wink
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