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#2310424 - 08/02/14 11:07 PM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: bennevis]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5500
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: bennevis
How about your doctor telling you that you're too old/fat/whatever and doesn't want to have you as a patient, because you'll be too much trouble?

Then you take your business elsewhere.

Any working professional has the right to draw the line for him/herself.
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#2310438 - 08/02/14 11:30 PM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: bennevis]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11967
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: malkin


I don't really see the difference between choosing to select "promising students" and a health care practitioner choosing a specialty, say a speech therapist who wanted a practice specializing in kids with autism who picked up some stutterers while trying to grow a caseload.

You really don't??

How about your doctor telling you that you're too old/fat/whatever and doesn't want to have you as a patient, because you'll be too much trouble?

That would be the doctor's prerogative.

Not where I come from.

Actually, smokers, heavy drinkers, hypertensives, diabetics...(the list goes on ad infinitum) could also be on the hit list......
You have it backwards...these are exactly the kinds of patients a doctor wants!

As for teachers choosing which students they teach, I think that is completely OK. Doctors choosing not to treat a patient in need is unethical because a person's well-being or even life is on the line. Not so with piano. In fact, if a teacher takes on a student whom they don't really want to teach, you end up with the OP's scenario, I think, or something very similar. Best to have a teacher be upfront in the beginning as to which kind of student they work best with, and free up the student (and their money) to go elsewhere.


Edited by Morodiene (08/02/14 11:30 PM)
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#2310451 - 08/02/14 11:59 PM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: keystring]
Starr Keys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 1010
Loc: california
Originally Posted By: keystring
I've seen a lot of references to things like PhD's. If you're at the beginning, you need someone who knows how to teach and give you the fundamentals - not a great performer or someone with tons of head knowledge...Otoh, in the present context there is some pertinence as follows:

If a student is being "taught" in the haphazard way that is being described here, then that student will end up having weaknesses and problems. He will come to the next teacher with those problems.


It all depends on whether the so called "head knowledge" is not confined to a practical ability to play and convey it to someone else or not. There are schools that put an emphasis on theory and academic knowledge like Berkeley (not Berklee) which was recently rated the top school in the country and schools like San Francisco State (not even close to a top school) that put an emphasis on performance. I know a teacher who got their Masters from the former who can't play piano worth a damn and another with a Masters from the latter who is fantastically accomplished in both classical and jazz. Then there are schools that are good at both and also emphasize piano pedagogy like Juliard. Similarly, there are Music Ph.D's and there are Doctor's of Piano Performance.

Succeeding, even to Advanced Beginner requires a certain amount of organized and conceptional thinking, the lack of which my friend who teaches at the Yamaha Schools has seen the evidence of in many of the students that come to her in their having "[been] 'taught' in the haphazard way .....[and resulting] in their having weaknesses and problems."

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#2310458 - 08/03/14 12:10 AM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: AZNpiano]
outo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/12
Posts: 696
Loc: Finland
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

Any working professional has the right to draw the line for him/herself.


Not where I come from actually. MOST working professionals do not have the pleasure of choosing their patients/clients/students...

When it comes to private piano teaching, surely the teachers are allowed to choose who they teach. But if they do a heavy selection, I don't think their quality as a teacher can be very well assessed by the results. If they can only make those students progress/excel that are easy to teach, I wouldnt say they are necessarily very good teachers.

Also, even though I am convinced that there are many natural aptitudes and traits that will be important in becoming a really good pianist, I also think these may be complete unnoticeable in the student due to inability to make use of them. This could be because of problems in other life areas, bad teaching, mental stress... Even after some time teaching the student, the teacher may not be able to reliably assess which problems are directly caused by lack of talents. The student may not respond to the teacher's teaching style at all and still not be able to bring out whatever talents he actually has. Same if the student is not able to come up with a working style that is suitable for his personal make up and the teacher cannot help.

I am not a teacher but am a member in a small theory study group. All of the members take piano lessons. While in the group some have been able to understand and learn things that they thought were just too difficult because their teachers couldn't make them understand. They were given exercises that were supposed to help and told to do them in a specific way. But in the end it was a matter of HOW to approach those problems intellectually in one's own natural learning style, not how difficult they were. The group helped because someone had gone through this already and could give suggestions different to the teacher's. This said I wouldn't even expect a teacher to be completely comfortable with any student who does not learn in the conventional style or the way they themselves did. But it would be good to realize this, instead of just assuming the student has no talent.


Edited by outo (08/03/14 06:18 AM)

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#2310460 - 08/03/14 12:19 AM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: alans]
keystring Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11707
Loc: Canada
When I referred to (exclusive) head knowledge, I was talking about a teacher's ability to teach fundamental skills to a beginner - not a student's need to also learn the knowledge side of music. If your performance major or brilliant performer does not know how to build a groundwork, then his brilliance will not help the student. That's what I meant.

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#2310484 - 08/03/14 01:53 AM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: alans]
Starr Keys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 1010
Loc: california
I didn't misinterpret you, Keystring, but a person needs head knowledge to organize the information regarding how he acquired his piano performance skills. We are in agreement about a "performance major or brilliant's performers" need to know how to build the ground work." But there are many great players(especially in jazz) who can't explain how the learned to do what they do and can't teach it -- I know because I tried taking lessons from them. My current teacher is both a performance major (Doctor of Piano Performance) and a brilliant performer. He is also a person who knows how to build the ground work and communicate this knowledge to me in a way I can understand.

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#2310486 - 08/03/14 01:58 AM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: alans]
Jeremy SA Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/22/14
Posts: 23
Loc: Durban, South Africa
Why don't you consider asking staff at your local music store who a good teacher is? Most of them play piano themselves. I then checked their suggestions by checking the teacher's qualifications on the national music registration's website, That is how I found my teacher.

My lessons with her often go over an hour as we both have a passion. She has never taught from the Alfred's adult series before as she mainly taught kids but after a few lessons she saw the benefit of the books and we are continuing with that now. She often gives me many technical critiques not mentioned in the books. So that means she can apply her knowledge to another method.

I mention this in the hope you can find someone similar as my teacher has been a great asset in the short time I have been learning. And she isn't even expensive.
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Started learning in March 2014
Alfred's Basic Adult All-in-one Book 1

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#2310507 - 08/03/14 05:21 AM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: Morodiene]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5155
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: malkin


I don't really see the difference between choosing to select "promising students" and a health care practitioner choosing a specialty, say a speech therapist who wanted a practice specializing in kids with autism who picked up some stutterers while trying to grow a caseload.

You really don't??

How about your doctor telling you that you're too old/fat/whatever and doesn't want to have you as a patient, because you'll be too much trouble?

That would be the doctor's prerogative.

Not where I come from.

Actually, smokers, heavy drinkers, hypertensives, diabetics...(the list goes on ad infinitum) could also be on the hit list......
You have it backwards...these are exactly the kinds of patients a doctor wants!

Yes, if the doctor is paid for each consultation, each test he orders, each prescription he gives, which is the case in USA. There, he'll want the patients with the greatest number of chronic diseases....

Not so in the UK, with the National Health Service, where all consultations, tests and treatments are free at source. The 'best' patients are those who register with you and never see you for any ailments thumb.

Incidentally, I have no issue with teachers not taking on specific students because they deem them to be too untalented, or whatever.

What I do have an issue with are those teachers who sack their students when they discover, after many lessons, that their students are untalented. If those students persistently don't 'do their homework', that's another matter. But that is not the same as dropping a student - especially an adult student - simply because he's not 'good enough'.

If any teacher can't understand why such an act could have consequences for the rest of the student's life, that teacher, IMO, has no business being a teacher. Reading through posts here and in the Piano Teacher's forum, I know there is one teacher for whom I'd discourage any potential student from going to.
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2310519 - 08/03/14 06:59 AM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: alans]
MandyD Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/14
Posts: 109
Loc: Australia
Thank you for the explanation fizikisto, that does make perfect sense. I think it was the original use of the word "awful" that jolted me into commenting. Bennevis, I agree with your last comment too, I really agree that if a teacher can't see the consequences of their decisions then they shouldn't teach at all.
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#2310534 - 08/03/14 08:23 AM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: bennevis]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11967
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: bennevis

What I do have an issue with are those teachers who sack their students when they discover, after many lessons, that their students are untalented. If those students persistently don't 'do their homework', that's another matter. But that is not the same as dropping a student - especially an adult student - simply because he's not 'good enough'.

If any teacher can't understand why such an act could have consequences for the rest of the student's life, that teacher, IMO, has no business being a teacher. Reading through posts here and in the Piano Teacher's forum, I know there is one teacher for whom I'd discourage any potential student from going to.
This is why the initial interview is so important. It is for me as well as the new student to hopefully determine if it's worth trying. I also have a trial period for most students so that after 8 weeks we both can decide to continue or part ways. After that, I tend to let the student decide when they should stop. I have only dismissed myself as a teacher a few times as it was necessary.Being "dumped" by a teacher can be an awful experience for a student, even if they aren't practicing or trying to improve.
_________________________
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www.valeoconservatory.com
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#2310535 - 08/03/14 08:24 AM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: outo]
Ataru074 Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 324
Loc: Houston, TX
Originally Posted By: outo
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

Any working professional has the right to draw the line for him/herself.


Not where I come from actually. MOST working professionals do not have the pleasure of choosing their patients/clients/students...

When it comes to private piano teaching, surely the teachers are allowed to choose who they teach. But if they do a heavy selection, I don't think their quality as a teacher can be very well assessed by the results. If they can only make those students progress/excel that are easy to teach, I wouldnt say they are necessarily very good teachers.


In college my "calculus" professor was used to say that the measure of his skills was to get as many students to pass at the first exam, and his biggest challenge was to involve everybody to study consistently, while keeping the level of the class pretty high. We did have a lot of professor that tried to demotivate students, flunk them for any silly reason just to keep the name of being the "hard" one...
Teaching only to prodigy and geniuses is just proof of being a very poor teacher... exceptionally skilled persons will find their way with minimal instruction and a whole lot of instinct no matter what. Getting the challenging one to acceptable results is the real deal in teaching.
Unless your name is Haydn and you are trying to teach Beethoven... but I haven't seen any Haydn on this board yet ;-)
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#2310540 - 08/03/14 08:45 AM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: bennevis]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2106
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted By: bennevis

If any teacher can't understand why such an act could have consequences for the rest of the student's life, that teacher, IMO, has no business being a teacher.


I have seen this same thing in so many endeavors. Physical training, Golf, Running. I myself, am finding the best are those who teach teachers. The greatest understanding is there. They are also the ones who come up with a way to teach everyone, regardless. The "untalented" need the best information as much as the most talented. Many are headed in a dead end without that input.

Just an example: A guy named Jack Daniels (no joke). He's a famous running trainer. Has written books. He talked about bad training out there for runners. He called it: "egg on the wall training". You take a bunch of eggs in your hand (the eggs are your runners) and you throw them up against a wall. The one you find on the ground that hasn't broken. That's your good one.

Does anyone think that egg on the wall training hasn't been practiced elsewhere? That it doesn't effect the student's life?

There is another guy who trains dogs. Brittany's. He has won several national titles with his dogs. He always trains "leftover" dogs. The last of the litter that all the "wise" people have passed over. And again.... he wins national titles with these dogs. His training is quite the opposite of 'egg on the wall' training.

I could keep giving examples.
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Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2310543 - 08/03/14 09:01 AM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: Morodiene]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5155
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Being "dumped" by a teacher can be an awful experience for a student, even if they aren't practicing or trying to improve.

I have a friend who started learning the piano about 10 years ago, after he retired.

He'd been interested in classical music and the piano all his life - he attends more piano recitals than I can manage - but never had the time to learn, until he retired. He started off with a cheap digital, and hired a teacher who specializes in teaching adults. Within a few weeks, he'd upgraded to a much better digital. Another couple of months, and he'd gone the whole hog - buying a Steinway upright (there was no space for a grand).

He started off with high hopes, intending to go through the ABRSM exams grade by grade. After six months, he and his teacher realized that his progress was very slow - his coordination was pretty poor, as was his sense of rhythm and pitch, and playing anything using two hands was a stop-start affair. They agreed that he'd just set his sights on eventually being able to play Chopin's Op.9/2 in a few years' time, and forget about exams.

He lives for his piano-playing: I'd guess that he spends most of his waking hours at his piano. I can just imagine how devastated he'd be if his teacher, who he now regards as his friend, dumped him......
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2310545 - 08/03/14 09:13 AM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: bennevis]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11967
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Being "dumped" by a teacher can be an awful experience for a student, even if they aren't practicing or trying to improve.

He lives for his piano-playing: I'd guess that he spends most of his waking hours at his piano. I can just imagine how devastated he'd be if his teacher, who he now regards as his friend, dumped him......


The same goes for teachers who get "dumped" by their students. We invest far more into students than just showing up prepared to teach. I think of my student throughout the week, trying to think of a way to explain something in a manner they'll understand, or thinking of that perfect piece for them to work on next to further their progress, or what that next issue to tackle might be. Not every teacher is like this, but I think the good ones are. So it does hurt when a student decides to leave us. Still, I'd much rather it be that way than me doing the dismissing.
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#2310556 - 08/03/14 09:39 AM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: rnaple]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5155
Originally Posted By: rnaple

A guy named Jack Daniels (no joke). He's a famous running trainer. Has written books. He talked about bad training out there for runners.


Jack Daniels's running books were my bible when I started running some 15 years ago - I learnt everything from fartlek to interval training to lactate threshold from him.

I was (and still am) a mediocre runner who'd never been sporty, until I decided I wanted to run the marathon in my late thirties. I bought many books, read up all about how to train, how to find the right kind of shoes, nutrition, the lot.

And I even had a coach, Frank Horwill, who trained elite athletes for national teams. Giving free advice to rank amateurs like myself was a sideline for him, but one he took seriously. We never met because he lived several hundred miles away, but we wrote to each other (or rather, I'd write to him with a query, and he'd reply by return post - but he refused to accept any payment, not even for expenses: this was before the advent of the internet).

In effect, he was my teacher, taking me through one race after another, one PR (=PB) after another in 5K, 10K, half-marathon, marathon, and shared in my joy when I achieved another PR. A PR that, by the standards of the athletes he normally coached, is simply laughably poor.

This is what comes to my mind when I read about piano teachers who discard students who have no musical talent, and/or don't reach the ideals of said teachers.......

_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2310558 - 08/03/14 09:55 AM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: Morodiene]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5155
Originally Posted By: Morodiene


The same goes for teachers who get "dumped" by their students. We invest far more into students than just showing up prepared to teach.

I certainly agree that the teacher-student relationship is a two-way affair, especially when it comes to adult students.

Unless there's a really good reason, I believe that a student should stay with the same teacher.

Evgeny Kissin, one of today's foremost virtuosi, has had the same teacher since he was six....... thumb
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2310567 - 08/03/14 10:21 AM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: bennevis]
BrianDX Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 710
Loc: Lewes DE
Originally Posted By: benevis

If any teacher can't understand why such an act could have consequences for the rest of the student's life, that teacher, IMO, has no business being a teacher. Reading through posts here and in the Piano Teacher's forum, I know there is one teacher for whom I'd discourage any potential student from going to.

Wow, what a great summary of my thoughts! smile
_________________________
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2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F .
Almost done: Diabelli - Allegretto | Schein - Allemande
Working on: Faber - Cossack Ride & Vivace

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#2310570 - 08/03/14 10:27 AM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: bennevis]
BrianDX Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 710
Loc: Lewes DE
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Being "dumped" by a teacher can be an awful experience for a student, even if they aren't practicing or trying to improve.

I have a friend who started learning the piano about 10 years ago, after he retired.

He'd been interested in classical music and the piano all his life - he attends more piano recitals than I can manage - but never had the time to learn, until he retired. He started off with a cheap digital, and hired a teacher who specialises in teaching adults. Within a few weeks, he'd upgraded to a much better digital. Another couple of months, and he'd gone the whole hog - buying a Steinway upright (there was no space for a grand).

He started off with high hopes, intending to go through the ABRSM exams grade by grade. After six months, he and his teacher realized that his progress was very slow - his coordination was pretty poor, as was his sense of rhythm and pitch, and playing anything using two hands was a stop-start affair. They agreed that he'd just set his sights on eventually being able to play Chopin's Op.9/2 in a few years' time, and forget about exams.

He lives for his piano-playing: I'd guess that he spends most of his waking hours at his piano. I can just imagine how devastated he'd be if his teacher, who he now regards as his friend, dumped him......

My definition of a truly great teacher!
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F .
Almost done: Diabelli - Allegretto | Schein - Allemande
Working on: Faber - Cossack Ride & Vivace

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#2310628 - 08/03/14 01:46 PM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: alans]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4795
Loc: Seattle area, WA
In the past 10 years, I've left 2 teachers. Both situations were awkward.

I left the first after 4 wonderful years because I outgrew him. My questions were either deflected or were left unanswered. I respected him a great deal so I was very anxious to part in a sensitive way. I set up an appointment out of lesson time, spoke to him and brought a gift. I gently told him I wanted a new perspective. I was extremely fond of him so I was very disappointed when he refused to maintain contact.

For the second teacher, the word "fired" applies. She was awful. I stuck it out for 10 months by telling myself she had a lot to teach me. She was regimental, inflexible and dictated exactly how everything must be played. Her entire focus was on how her competing youngsters reflected on her reputation. As an adult, I was given last choice on pieces to play and was reluctantly included in master classes. Firing her was a pleasure and a relief. I was too polite to tell her to her face that I couldn't stand her so I told her our goals were too different.

I've been with my current teacher for 4 years and am only mining the surface of what he has to offer. He's the best teacher I've ever had and I see no end in sight.

So, leaving a teacher for the right reasons is usually the best decision once you get past the awkwardness.
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Deborah

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#2310630 - 08/03/14 01:49 PM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: gooddog]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11967
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: gooddog
In the past 10 years, I've left 2 teachers. Both situations were awkward.

I left the first after 4 wonderful years because I outgrew him. My questions were either deflected or were left unanswered. I respected him a great deal so I was very anxious to part in a sensitive way. I set up an appointment out of lesson time, spoke to him and brought a gift. I gently told him I wanted a new perspective. I was extremely fond of him so I was very disappointed when he refused to maintain contact.

For the second teacher, the word "fired" applies. She was awful. I stuck it out for 10 months telling myself she had a lot to teach me. She was regimental, inflexible and dictated exactly how everything must be played. Her entire focus was on how her competing youngsters reflected on her reputation. As an adult, I was given last choice on pieces to play and was reluctantly included in master classes. Firing her was a pleasure and a relief.

I've been with my current teacher for 4 years and am only mining the surface of what he has to offer. He's the best teacher I've ever had and I see no end in sight.

So, leaving a teacher for the right reasons is usually the best decision once you get past the awkwardness.
It's a shame that first teacher took it so badly. I can relate, but I always try to be understanding and keep the door open, even if I don't agree with the reasons for leaving.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
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#2310632 - 08/03/14 01:59 PM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: Morodiene]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4795
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
It's a shame that first teacher took it so badly. I can relate, but I always try to be understanding and keep the door open, even if I don't agree with the reasons for leaving.
It still hurts me and I miss him. I learned a tremendous amount from him and I liked him very much. Leaving him was definitely the right decision but I didn't want to hurt him. I think he had a very fragile ego and he took it as a personal rejection. I would have loved to share my progress with him and check in once or twice a year to see how he and his very nice wife are doing. Sigh.

Edit: this brings to mind a limitation of some piano teachers. When they have a talented student who is outgrowing them, they do not want to let them go because it is fun to teach an eager pupil. In my mind, this is quite selfish. It's important to know one's own limits and recognize when it's time to encourage a student to move to a higher level. I've had this happen to me with 2 important teachers and it greatly slowed my progress. I'm considering becoming a piano teacher when I retire, and I will always keep in mind that I shouldn't hold anyone back because I'm having fun.


Edited by gooddog (08/03/14 02:04 PM)
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#2310637 - 08/03/14 02:27 PM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: gooddog]
griffin2417 Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 2441
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
I bet you'd be a wonderful piano teacher, Deborah!! Especially given your background as an educator. However, you may find retirement will lead you to some surprising new directions you hadn't expected. For me returning to the piano was a totally unexpected and delightful surprise. smile



Edited by griffin2417 (08/03/14 02:32 PM)
_________________________
Carl


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#2310645 - 08/03/14 02:47 PM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: griffin2417]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4795
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: griffin2417
I bet you'd be a wonderful piano teacher, Deborah!! Especially given your background as an educator. However, you may find retirement will lead you to some surprising new directions you hadn't expected. For me returning to the piano was a totally unexpected and delightful surprise. smile

Hi Carl! It's nice to hear from you. I'm hoping to retire in about 4 years and the piano is going to be my main focus. (I never have enough time to practice while I'm working). I thought it would be fun to share my love of the instrument with others and earn a few extra dollars along the way but, per what you have said, I will keep my options open! Be well!
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#2310646 - 08/03/14 02:47 PM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: gooddog]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5155
I think I'd find it very difficult to 'fire' a teacher, unless he was truly so awful that I couldn't wait to be rid of him (in which case, I'd probably enjoy the process wink )....

Fortunately, I never had to do that, as I had no choice in the matter when I was learning. My first teacher (for whom I was her very first student) - who I'll always regard fondly for having introduced me to the joys of piano playing and classical music by the great composers, and weaning me off Love Story - left to continue her piano studies abroad after taking me to Grade 1 ABRSM. I hoped - actually, I know grin - that she enjoyed teaching me, a 10-year-old who initially knew as much about classical music as a gnat, but after a year, became totally hooked on it, thanks to her.

My second teacher was a lot more experienced and firmer (and I was more in awe of her), but she basically continued on where my first left off. Then I left home in my mid-teens to go to a boarding school abroad, where I lost no time in getting myself one of the peripatetic teachers who taught there. She, like my previous teachers, only taught students to Grade 8 ABRSM, but that was fine, because by the time I outgrew her, we had to part company because I'd finished with secondary school.

The university I went to found me a new teacher who took advanced students, and he was also a concert pianist himself. For the first time, I played a grand piano - he had two that he used for teaching.

Since leaving university, I haven't thought of having another teacher, but as I don't have any burning ambitions (other than to play Rach 3 with an orchestra wink ), I just continue learning new, more challenging pieces by myself, and presenting them in my monthly recitals for (non-musical) colleagues.

But if I was ever to lose motivation, or mad enough to think about entering myself for an amateur piano competition, I'd certainly find myself a teacher......
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2310683 - 08/03/14 04:27 PM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: bennevis]
malkin Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2563
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: bennevis

... if I was ever ...mad enough to think about entering myself for an amateur piano competition, I'd certainly find myself a teacher......


If I were ever mad enough to think about entering a competition, I'd find a psychiatrist.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2310711 - 08/03/14 05:58 PM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: gooddog]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11967
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: gooddog


Edit: this brings to mind a limitation of some piano teachers. When they have a talented student who is outgrowing them, they do not want to let them go because it is fun to teach an eager pupil. In my mind, this is quite selfish. It's important to know one's own limits and recognize when it's time to encourage a student to move to a higher level. I've had this happen to me with 2 important teachers and it greatly slowed my progress. I'm considering becoming a piano teacher when I retire, and I will always keep in mind that I shouldn't hold anyone back because I'm having fun.


It's not easy to do, but I've always been of the mindset that if I can't help the student any longer, then I need to refer them elsewhere. Most of the time when I do this students will go with the person I select, because I know their personality and needs and I know what the teacher is like. Then I'm usually able to stay in touch with them and once in a while ask them to play me something they're working on. It's great to hear them progress and to know I was a part of that, and in a way, I still am. smile
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2310734 - 08/03/14 07:25 PM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: AZNpiano]
malkin Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2563
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: bennevis
How about your doctor telling you that you're too old/fat/whatever and doesn't want to have you as a patient, because you'll be too much trouble?

Then you take your business elsewhere.

Any working professional has the right to draw the line for him/herself.


This happened to me once, sort of. I was sick and and uninsured. I made some phone calls and one place told me "We are a well-woman clinic." So I hung up and found a place that treated sick people and I went there.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2310777 - 08/03/14 09:52 PM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: Morodiene]
BrianDX Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 710
Loc: Lewes DE
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
It's not easy to do, but I've always been of the mindset that if I can't help the student any longer, then I need to refer them elsewhere. Most of the time when I do this students will go with the person I select, because I know their personality and needs and I know what the teacher is like. Then I'm usually able to stay in touch with them and once in a while ask them to play me something they're working on. It's great to hear them progress and to know I was a part of that, and in a way, I still am. smile

I was curious; how often does something like this happen, where the student outgrows the teacher? I would think that for the (I'm guessing) rare occasions where this happens, this would be a source of great pride for the teacher.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F .
Almost done: Diabelli - Allegretto | Schein - Allemande
Working on: Faber - Cossack Ride & Vivace

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#2310798 - 08/03/14 11:01 PM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: alans]
hreichgott Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 1032
Loc: western MA, USA
Happens all the time. I've outgrown teachers and I've had students outgrow me. Other than university/conservatory professors and concert artists, most of us are not really qualified to teach all levels. We must all know our limits and be happy to see highly skilled students move on to someone with more knowledge and experience.
_________________________
Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com
Sounding the depths of small pieces: Beethoven Op. 33
Daily attempts at 16th notes: Chopin Op. 10 no. 4, Pischna
Totally loving Fauré/Barcarolles and Ravel/Tombeau de Couperin
I love Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and new music

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#2310916 - 08/04/14 08:51 AM Re: Have you had to fire your piano teacher? Why? [Re: BrianDX]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11967
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: BrianDX
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
It's not easy to do, but I've always been of the mindset that if I can't help the student any longer, then I need to refer them elsewhere. Most of the time when I do this students will go with the person I select, because I know their personality and needs and I know what the teacher is like. Then I'm usually able to stay in touch with them and once in a while ask them to play me something they're working on. It's great to hear them progress and to know I was a part of that, and in a way, I still am. smile

I was curious; how often does something like this happen, where the student outgrows the teacher? I would think that for the (I'm guessing) rare occasions where this happens, this would be a source of great pride for the teacher.
Every once in a while I get a student who is serious enough about their progress, but my piano students are largely not motivated to play such difficult repertoire. Usually those students end up going off to college and by that point we have reached the limits or close to it, so it works out pretty well.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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