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#2216254 - 01/17/14 02:29 PM Considering Taking Lessons.....
newbert Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 615
Loc: Upstate New York, USA
I am an adult (61 years old) "re-beginner" - that is, I took piano lessons as a child, then gave up piano for about 45 years before picking it up again (on my own) about a year ago. I live in a small town and didn't know of any local piano instructors. But I now see that there is one in town that has advertised in the local paper.

So....I'm considering whether to give him a try. However, I really don't want to get involved with lessons from someone who isn't a good match for what I'm looking for. As a child, I was taught classically - in other words to read music and play from a piano score. As a result, I learned very little music theory. Almost all of the music in those lessons was classical, which I hated. Since I wasn't playing music I liked, I gave it up.

Jump ahead 45 years or so - Now I've been trying to regain whatever skills I had, and I think that I've gotten MOST of them back, not all. I can still play from sheet music (with lots of practice, of course), but not at a high level. That's OK because I'm much more interested in learning to play pop music and blues from leadsheets/fakebooks and I would love to be able to "Play by Ear". I have viewed countless videos on Youtube, etc and have legitimately picked up some knowledge there - but it's haphazard at best. I have both a DP and an upright acoustic (which needs tuning and maintenance) available to me.

I'm considering inquiring about lessons with this local teacher, but don't quite know what to ask in terms of the type of lessons he teaches (ie classical vs "non-classical", etc). I'm not one who enjoys a lot of regimentation (ie - scales, arpeggios, Hanon exercises, etc). In fact I feel that perhaps I just need some guidance on what to practice and how to practice to learn to "Play By Ear". The main thing that I don't want is to get tied down to an open-ended series of lessons. My piano playing is just one of many hobbies that occupy my time, so even once per week for lessons might be too frequent. I just want to be able to play the music that I enjoy for myself, and have it sound the best that I can make it. Provide me some guidance for a finite time period, and I'll take it from there.

So, I would appreciate any guidance on how to approach this teacher and what to specifically ask to determine whether he'd be a good match for me. Is what I'm looking for generally even offered by piano teachers? Or should I not even bother with this?


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#2216256 - 01/17/14 02:39 PM Re: Considering Taking Lessons..... [Re: newbert]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1064
Loc: Irvine, CA
Hi Bert
I would copy and paste what you wrote here into an email and email him about what you are looking for and see how he response.
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123
Follow my 4YO student here: http://bit.ly/FollowMeiY

#2216260 - 01/17/14 02:42 PM Re: Considering Taking Lessons..... [Re: newbert]
anrpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 174
Loc: Chicago

I think you did a pretty good job a summarizing your needs which what you said here. Give him a call, share what you shared with us, and ask him if he thinks he can accommodate your needs.

There are as many different teaching styles and teaching strengths as there are teachers so there is no way for us to know if this particular teacher can meet you needs.

You could even give it a couple months worth of lessons to see how things work out.
Andrew Remillard
Downers Grove, IL 60515

#2216398 - 01/17/14 09:08 PM Re: Considering Taking Lessons..... [Re: newbert]
DinaP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 152
I would call or arrange to meet with the teacher and when you do have your goals ready as you have stated them and see if the teacher is willing to meet these goals. That's what I did when I interviewed my current teacher.

If the teacher is able and willing to help you meet your goals then it becomes a matter of how the teacher is going to help you do that -- what resources, books, methods, etc. would be appropriate -- you may have some resources in mind and hopefully the teacher will also have suggestions.

I take an hour every two weeks rather than a weekly lesson and this is fine with my teacher because we both recognize this is better for me.

#2216941 - 01/18/14 11:42 PM Re: Considering Taking Lessons..... [Re: newbert]
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 919
Rather than ask potential teachers how they would plan to teach you, why not start with a conversation about the teacher. If you can get him/her to open up about what they like to play, you may find one who happens to enjoy improvising and playing pop music and blues. In my view, this will result in the best match.


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