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#2243782 - 03/09/14 06:08 PM Would You Ever Want a 2nd Opinion on Your Progress?
ClsscLib Online   content

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1836
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
I have a teacher I like a lot, but some frustrations about areas where I'm not improving quickly and as to which my teacher doesn't seem to respond when I raise those issues.

Does it ever make sense to go to a different teacher to get an objective take on what you might be doing differently?
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2243817 - 03/09/14 07:17 PM Re: Would You Ever Want a 2nd Opinion on Your Progress? [Re: ClsscLib]
ShiverMeTimbres Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/08/14
Posts: 208
What does the teacher say?

"Yeah, we'll get to that" or just "Don't worry about it?"

If it's "Don't worry about it", then I'd be a little irritated and yes, start thinking of getting a second opinion.

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#2243818 - 03/09/14 07:17 PM Re: Would You Ever Want a 2nd Opinion on Your Progress? [Re: ClsscLib]
ShiverMeTimbres Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/08/14
Posts: 208
I'd prefer "Don't worry about it, and here are the reasons why".

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#2243838 - 03/09/14 07:49 PM Re: Would You Ever Want a 2nd Opinion on Your Progress? [Re: ClsscLib]
Stubbie Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 510
Loc: Midwest USA
I think it would make sense, with certain caveats: (1) You've been with the teacher long enough that you're still not in the getting to know each other phase and (2) you've mentioned your concerns and gotten no cogent response.

Many adult students have had only one or two teachers, and those students don't have wide enough experience to know where the teacher falls on the bad-okay-good spectrum. By the same token, teachers--good or not so good--can disagree on what is appropriate for their students to learn.
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.


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#2243860 - 03/09/14 08:13 PM Re: Would You Ever Want a 2nd Opinion on Your Progress? [Re: ClsscLib]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1777
Loc: Australia
It can be several things:

a) your teacher is not in tune with you as to your ambitions and worries. This can be due to a little bit of laziness by the teacher or other students that get more focus. Not knowing your teacher it is hard to say but for us adults it is almost expected we will self diagnose and repair.

b) you just have an average teacher

c)"not improving quickly" seems to be a problem we are all worried about. Perhaps your teacher does not want to talk about this for the truth can be painful at worst or disheartening at best.

d) perhaps you are improving fine and your teacher does not feel the need to go deeper.

You are not alone, this is exactly the sort of thing I struggle with. Successful adults want to manage and optimise their learning which is understandable. We need feedback from more than one source in order to do this but be careful you don't fall into comparing yourself with others or what is "normal" progress. No matter what your think your deficiencies, it is unlikely you can do a lot about it as you will well understand there is no quick or easy fix.
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2243937 - 03/09/14 10:13 PM Re: Would You Ever Want a 2nd Opinion on Your Progress? [Re: ClsscLib]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1955
Loc: Pennsylvania
If you are not satisfied with how things are going with a particular teacher then you should get a different teacher.

After you go through a few teachers you will have a better idea of what the problem is. It may be you !!!

Or you may find someone that you relate to really well and can then forget about questioning things like that and just concentrate on practicing what your teacher suggests. Then, you will be making maximum progress.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq 5

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#2244821 - 03/11/14 04:16 PM Re: Would You Ever Want a 2nd Opinion on Your Progress? [Re: ClsscLib]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
I have a teacher I like a lot, but some frustrations about areas where I'm not improving quickly and as to which my teacher doesn't seem to respond when I raise those issues.

Does it ever make sense to go to a different teacher to get an objective take on what you might be doing differently?


Of course. Look at this less from a relationship perspective and more from a business one. Obviously a consumer wants to purchase the greatest goods at the least expense that will take the least amount of time to arrive. If you're asking this then there's question of the quality and delivery-time of the goods. You're options are to re-assess the capabilities of your current supplier and/or to (simultaneously) look elsewhere for improvements. It's just business.

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#2246309 - 03/14/14 02:00 AM Re: Would You Ever Want a 2nd Opinion on Your Progress? [Re: ClsscLib]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
I suppose it depends on whether you consider yourself elementary, intermediate, or advanced. If you're elementary or intermediate, I wouldn't worry too much. So many skills are impossible to master in a short time. You have to accept it's one big work in progress. We have to learn skills over many pieces. If you're advanced, then I would have a talk with the teacher about your frustrations, and bring it up exactly as that, your frustrations. Your teacher may not know unless you bring it up in a more direct way.

I find 2nd opinion usually not helpful because every teacher has their own style and teachers often don't agree with each other to begin with. Also many teachers are quick to criticize another teacher's teaching methods. It's quite a competitive circle. It may not help you in the end.
_________________________
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#2246418 - 03/14/14 09:23 AM Re: Would You Ever Want a 2nd Opinion on Your Progress? [Re: 4evrBeginR]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1100
Loc: Southern California
A few thoughts: suppose a person asks a second teacher. Suppose the second teacher says, no, that is no good, but I can help you, just switch. Where does that leave a person? The first teacher is liked. Is the student telling the first teacher about this up front? The first teacher may argue against the second teacher, perhaps knowing them. What if the second teacher is worse, not better, but just says something to try and get another customer? I see a mixed bag at best. It is human nature for one teacher to criticize another, given the scenario.

A master class or a summer camp or similar might be an option. These are typically one time only, or one time a year, the first teacher is fully informed. The second teacher will have no motivation to try and pull the student away from the first teacher.

The other perspective is that piano is a long journey. A person might specify what kinds of things they are having trouble with in a separate post. Process might help some people improve, and others might suggest a process they found useful for that particular issue. Of course, a different process might not help at all, it might be a dark alley. There is plenty of conflicting advice out there on the Internet. Perhaps the teacher is teaching well and the process is already very good, but it is just a long slow road.
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my piano uploads

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#2246447 - 03/14/14 10:20 AM Re: Would You Ever Want a 2nd Opinion on Your Progress? [Re: ClsscLib]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3636
You also have the recitals here. What do the people here say? Is the playing good for tthe time you played?
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#2246561 - 03/14/14 02:38 PM Re: Would You Ever Want a 2nd Opinion on Your Progress? [Re: wouter79]
adultpianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 540
I went to a second teacher for a second opinion and he said I was playing ok but he pulled me up on posture and he was most unfriendly. I decided to return to my current teacher. The one who I sought for a second opinion from was way more qualified than my current teacher having been a cathedral organist with a music degree from University and had been an examiner. I figured that whilst I enjoy learning the piano, why would I want someone so qualified to teach me, after all, its only a hobby

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#2246596 - 03/14/14 03:49 PM Re: Would You Ever Want a 2nd Opinion on Your Progress? [Re: adultpianist]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1777
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: adultpianist
I went to a second teacher for a second opinion and he said I was playing ok but he pulled me up on posture and he was most unfriendly. I decided to return to my current teacher. The one who I sought for a second opinion from was way more qualified than my current teacher having been a cathedral organist with a music degree from University and had been an examiner. I figured that whilst I enjoy learning the piano, why would I want someone so qualified to teach me, after all, its only a hobby


A good reality check
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2246686 - 03/14/14 06:57 PM Re: Would You Ever Want a 2nd Opinion on Your Progress? [Re: ShiverMeTimbres]
Donzo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/04/14
Posts: 75
Loc: British Columbia
Originally Posted By: ShiverMeTimbres
I'd prefer "Don't worry about it, and here are the reasons why".


In my opinion, ShiverMeTimbres has it right.

If you can't discuss issues with your teacher and get satisfactory answers, then you have a problem and it is somewhat tangential to the question of are you making enough progress. That doesn't mean you should switch teachers now, but I think you should first work on solving the underlying communication issue. I'd just be open and discuss it.

I have no problem telling my teacher what I think. If I think what she is teaching me is lame, I tell her. And 9 times out of 10 she turns around and gives me an excellent reason why it is the right thing to learn at this stage. Then I learn 2 things... I learn what she is teaching and I learn why she is teaching it. I think this is important for an adult student.

Don

(woo hoo - coming out of lurking mode - first post!)
_________________________
Piano: 1905 Heintzman Upright
Time in: 18 months and counting

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#2246771 - 03/14/14 10:27 PM Re: Would You Ever Want a 2nd Opinion on Your Progress? [Re: Donzo]
MaryBee Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 1246
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Originally Posted By: Donzo
If you can't discuss issues with your teacher and get satisfactory answers, then you have a problem and it is somewhat tangential to the question of are you making enough progress. That doesn't mean you should switch teachers now, but I think you should first work on solving the underlying communication issue. I'd just be open and discuss it.

I have no problem telling my teacher what I think. If I think what she is teaching me is lame, I tell her. And 9 times out of 10 she turns around and gives me an excellent reason why it is the right thing to learn at this stage. Then I learn 2 things... I learn what she is teaching and I learn why she is teaching it. I think this is important for an adult student.

Don

(woo hoo - coming out of lurking mode - first post!)
And a very insightful first post. Welcome to the ABF, Don!
_________________________
Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
XVI-XXXVI

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