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#2183154 - 11/16/13 12:31 AM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Nikolas]
AZNpiano Offline
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Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5558
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
I'm going to go the opposite way of AZPiano!

This year I got around 6 transfer students. And they all come from the same teacher. Well, she did an awesome job for the past couple of years (they all started together) and I'm pretty happy to have them as my students! smile

Hey, I got those students, too! But the good transfers are hard to come by. For every good transfer student, I get 20 dubious ones.
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#2183159 - 11/16/13 12:52 AM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Opus_Maximus]
AZNpiano Offline
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Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5558
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Opus_Maximus
So my point is there are really too many factors at play to judge the quality of previous teaching, in my opinion.

Yes and no. I agree there are some awful students who are just awful because they can't learn and/or their parents don't want to be involved in the learning process. Or the kids are just being forced to take piano lessons against their will.

But there are some telltale signs of incompetent teaching:

1) Skipping ahead in the method books, not covering everything

2) Leaving wrong answers in workbooks uncorrected

3) Spending months and months on the 4 CM pieces and nothing else

4) The student is at "level 8" while sight reading is at level 1

etc. etc. etc.

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#2183274 - 11/16/13 09:07 AM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: AZNpiano]
nyke Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/13
Posts: 49
Yet ur still blaming the teacher..., what about the parent who want committed to lessons and allowed the child to not practice, or didn't increase lesson time or everytime you suggested something the parent wanted something different.
Unless you are teaching right along side someone you can't tell if the are horrible or not .
Also the grading events seem to mate not only to parents but universities too so there's nothing wrong with preparing students for those events even though that may consume most of your lesson time.
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#2183282 - 11/16/13 09:36 AM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: AZNpiano]
Nikolas Offline
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Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5368
Loc: Europe
But AZPiano is very clear on the reasons: If there's a clear reason (missed method books, jumping anywhere in the book, not training the kid to read properly, no sight reading practice, etc), then this IS the teachers fault. I mean even if the parent doesn't care, the books/scores should be filled with notes, drafts, comments, etc... with pencil or whatever else you may think necessary.

For the students that AZ is talking about, this doesn't seem the case. Plus I think he's had the students enough time to tell if some students are static, because of their being lazy, or the parents not caring, or because they lack the actual knowledge of what to do when practising the piano...
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#2183311 - 11/16/13 11:20 AM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: AZNpiano]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13812
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I've never understood complaints about transfer students. Of course they've been poorly trained, that's why they're transferring!
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#2183316 - 11/16/13 11:28 AM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: AZNpiano]
nyke Offline
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Posts: 49
So true! !
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#2183318 - 11/16/13 11:29 AM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Kreisler]
nyke Offline
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Registered: 08/17/13
Posts: 49
So true!
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#2183459 - 11/16/13 04:08 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Kreisler]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
I've never understood complaints about transfer students. Of course they've been poorly trained, that's why they're transferring!

They also transfer because teachers move, or they move. There are a lot of reasons why students switch teachers.
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#2183468 - 11/16/13 04:31 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: AZNpiano]
childofparadise2002 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 542
One of my children's friends transferred because the first teacher was very severe during lessons and scolded the student a lot and the student got very scared of piano lessons.

One story that my son's first teacher told us was that a parent transferred her kid to our teacher because the previous teacher didn't want the kid to take exams just yet and our teacher had the reputation of getting lots of kids through exams. Then our teacher told the parent that he agreed with the previous teacher that this kid simply wasn't ready. So soon enough the parent transferred the kid to yet another teacher...

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#2183473 - 11/16/13 04:46 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: AZNpiano]
Jean Claude Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 390
Loc: France


There are no bad piano teachers, only bad pupils. They need to be caned at least once a month, more often in bad cases. Once they have learned that the ability to sit without severe discomfort is a privilege to be earned rather than a right their progress is sure to be rapid.

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#2183475 - 11/16/13 04:49 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Jean Claude]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7709
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Jean Claude


There are no bad piano teachers, only bad pupils. They need to be caned at least once a month, more often in bad cases. Once they have learned that the ability to sit without severe discomfort is a privilege to be earned rather than a right their progress is sure to be rapid.

I sure hope you're joking.
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#2183710 - 11/17/13 12:21 AM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Kreisler]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5558
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
I've never understood complaints about transfer students. Of course they've been poorly trained, that's why they're transferring!

I'm not complaining about transfer students. I'm complaining about bad teachers, hence the title of this thread.
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#2183734 - 11/17/13 02:52 AM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: AZNpiano]
The Monkeys Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 438
Loc: Vancouver BC
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

3) Spending months and months on the 4 CM pieces and nothing else
4) The student is at "level 8" while sight reading is at level 1


Just curious, how did the student pass the sight reading section of the tests?

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#2183736 - 11/17/13 03:06 AM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: The Monkeys]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5558
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: The Monkeys
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

3) Spending months and months on the 4 CM pieces and nothing else
4) The student is at "level 8" while sight reading is at level 1


Just curious, how did the student pass the sight reading section of the tests?

You don't have to pass the sight reading portion of the test. You can fail, fall on your face, during the SR portion of the test, and you'll still "pass" if everything else is okay.
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#2183929 - 11/17/13 01:46 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: AZNpiano]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7709
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: The Monkeys
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

3) Spending months and months on the 4 CM pieces and nothing else
4) The student is at "level 8" while sight reading is at level 1


Just curious, how did the student pass the sight reading section of the tests?

You don't have to pass the sight reading portion of the test. You can fail, fall on your face, during the SR portion of the test, and you'll still "pass" if everything else is okay.

That's pretty stupid. What's the point of including sight-reading then? They need to change that policy. There are too many students that cannot sight-read a note to save their lives.
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#2183958 - 11/17/13 02:51 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Polyphonist]
Ben Crosland Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 421
Loc: Worcester, UK
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

You don't have to pass the sight reading portion of the test. You can fail, fall on your face, during the SR portion of the test, and you'll still "pass" if everything else is okay.

That's pretty stupid. What's the point of including sight-reading then? They need to change that policy. There are too many students that cannot sight-read a note to save their lives.


Not stupid at all. If it's anything like the UK exam boards, it is an exam of many parts, for instance the ABRSM marking scheme is as follows:

Piece 1 30 marks (20)
Piece 2 30 marks (20)
Piece 3 30 marks (20)

Scales and Arpeggios 21 marks (14)
Sight Reading 21 marks (14)
Aural tests 18 marks (12)

Total = 150

Pass = 100
Merit = 120
Distinction = 130

Marks in brackets indicate pass mark, but it is not necessary to achieve this mark in all sections.

The above is true for grades 1 through 8. Diplomas are different - all sections must be passed. If you fail a section, for instance the Quick Study (which replaces sight reading), you can retake just that section at a later date.

So, according to your philosophy, polyphonist, the same should be true of the lower exams, am I correct? After all, it wouldn't make sense to single out sight-reading as being the only part of the exam in which a pass is compulsory.

This would not be a good idea, IMO.



Edited by Ben Crosland (11/17/13 03:19 PM)
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#2183962 - 11/17/13 02:57 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Ben Crosland]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7709
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Ben Crosland
Piece 1 30 marks (20)
Piece 2 30 marks (20)
Piece 3 30 marks (20)

Scales and Arpeggios 21 marks (14)
Sight Reading 21 marks (14)
Aural tests 21 marks (14)

Total = 150

That doesn't even add up to 150...

Originally Posted By: Ben Crosland
So, according to your philosophy, polyphonist, the same should be true of the lower exams, am I correct? After all, it wouldn't make sense to single out sight-reading as being the only part of the exam in which a pass is compulsory.

No - you should have to pass everything. That's my point.

And sight-reading and aural tests (I assume that's dictation) are weighted FAR too little. No wonder so many students are clueless in these two areas.
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#2183981 - 11/17/13 03:27 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: AZNpiano]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1027
Loc: Irvine, CA
I think Ben means three pieces add up to 90 points, and each other categories is 20 points, so, it add up to 150 points. 150 is the maximum point you can get and 100 is the passing point.

I think Poly means that even though the passing point is 100, the policy should make it to students should pass in every single category to be pass instead of getting points like this and still pass:

Piece 1--30 points
Piece 2--28 points
Piece 3--28 points
Scales and Arpeggios 20 points
Sight Reading 0 points
Aural tests 0 points

If a student has the above result of total 106, he still pass the test even his sight-reading and aural test are only 0 point. That would be unbalance.
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#2183985 - 11/17/13 03:32 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Polyphonist]
Ben Crosland Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 421
Loc: Worcester, UK
Thanks for the maths wink Corrected!

So, despite having practised adequately for their exam, a problem on the day with in one section out of six means a little kid doesn't pass their exam?

I'm not sure you'd find too many teachers agreeing with you on that one.

Sight-reading is a compulsory test in that particular board - there are others in which it's not. Trinity, for instance, give you the option to choose Musical Knowledge instead.

Does this invalidate the whole qualification? The QCA people certainly don't think so.
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#2183994 - 11/17/13 03:47 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Ben Crosland]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7709
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Ben Crosland
So, despite having practised adequately for their exam, a problem on the day with in one section out of six means a little kid doesn't pass their exam?

Yes. What is a "problem on the day"?
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Polyphonist

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#2183995 - 11/17/13 03:48 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Ben Crosland]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7709
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Ben Crosland
Sight-reading is a compulsory test in that particular board - there are others in which it's not. Trinity, for instance, give you the option to choose Musical Knowledge instead.

It should be both, as a matter of fact.
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#2184000 - 11/17/13 03:51 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Polyphonist]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5368
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Ben Crosland
So, despite having practised adequately for their exam, a problem on the day with in one section out of six means a little kid doesn't pass their exam?

Yes. What is a "problem on the day"?
Let me give you an example of that myself! wink

You post in a piano related forum about exams. And you mix up a number! just out of random, on a Sunday evening!

Someone doesn't mind at all, and figures that it's ok. You mind! So, ok...

According to your thinking if this was a math exam, Ben should be disqualified because he mixed up a couple of numbers and failed to check on his math (or memory). According to me it should be fine and it's fairly obvious that it was a mishap, bound to happen in everyone, anyone and any time.

"Problem of a day"

grin

For the record, the National Scholarship Foundation of Greece has the same system: You are allowed to (slightly) not pass one of the four areas you are examined when trying to get a rich, nice, juicy scholarship! wink
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#2184003 - 11/17/13 03:54 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Nikolas]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7709
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
According to your thinking if this was a math exam, Ben should be disqualified because he mixed up a couple of numbers and failed to check on his math (or memory).

You are turning this into a fairly large straw man. I assume that the math exam would probably have more than one question. You're acting like I said one should have to do perfectly on everything. I didn't - I said everyone should need to PASS everything. If that means getting better than 67%, I'd say it's pretty generous.
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#2184028 - 11/17/13 04:33 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: AZNpiano]
Ben Crosland Offline
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Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 421
Loc: Worcester, UK
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.
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#2184032 - 11/17/13 04:37 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Ben Crosland]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7709
Loc: New York City
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.

Well, it's not really helpful to know a student's examination credentials right now, because the test is so easy to pass. So what's the point of giving it?
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#2184034 - 11/17/13 04:40 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: AZNpiano]
Ben Crosland Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 421
Loc: Worcester, UK
You are making a big assumption there. It's not easy to pass.

A lot of work is required to cover the requirements, and full marks are difficult to achieve.

I take it you're not a teacher?
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#2184036 - 11/17/13 04:42 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Ben Crosland]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7709
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Ben Crosland
You are making a big assumption there. It's not easy to pass.

A lot of work is required to cover the requirements, and full marks are difficult to achieve.

I take it you're not a teacher?

I'm not a teacher involved with this examination system, no.

Maybe a lot of work is required to cover the requirements, but from what you've told me, it's not even necessary to cover the requirements. And we're not talking about full marks; we're talking about just not failing.
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#2184041 - 11/17/13 04:50 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: AZNpiano]
Ben Crosland Offline
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Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 421
Loc: Worcester, UK
So you have no experience entering students for practical music exams?

Anyway, my comment about full marks was a lazy way of trying to communicate that in each section of the exam, marks are likely to be lost. It is amazing how easily this can bring the overall mark down to something pretty average, or even borderline.

The "pass" marks given for each section are for guidance only. The exam is taken as a whole.

Therefore, if someone has a dodgy sight-reading on the day, or maybe gets everything pretty good (including your precious sight-reading test) but has a wobbler on one of the pieces, they can still pass. This does not make it "easy" - it simply means that there is more than one way to achieve a certain result in a practical music exam.
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#2184043 - 11/17/13 04:53 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Ben Crosland]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7709
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Ben Crosland
So you have no experience entering students for practical music exams?

Anyway, my comment about full marks was a lazy way of trying to communicate that in each section of the exam, marks are likely to be lost. It is amazing how easily this can bring the overall mark down to something pretty average, or even borderline.

The "pass" marks given for each section are for guidance only. The exam is taken as a whole.

Therefore, if someone has a dodgy sight-reading on the day, or maybe gets everything pretty good (including your precious sight-reading test) but has a wobbler on one of the pieces, they can still pass. This does not make it "easy" - it simply means that there is more than one way to achieve a certain result in a practical music exam.

And I don't like that way of running it. Who cares if you have a "wobbler," or whatever? You get to take the test again. 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'm about finished with this argument.
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#2184045 - 11/17/13 04:59 PM Re: Bad Teachers [Re: Polyphonist]
Ben Crosland Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 421
Loc: Worcester, UK
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...
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