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#924568 - 06/25/05 12:01 PM How would you respond to this music teacher?
newstead Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/05
Posts: 117
Dear Folks,

I am looking for a instructor who teacher theory.

I checked with our state Music Teacher's Association and found a teacher listed who lived nearby.

I e mail and asked if she could teach me theory.

She responded that she had an opening for a half hour lesson four times per month and stated that the monthly fee would be expected in advance. She instructed me to come on a particular morning at a fixed time.

I am also considering a teacher who is associated with the university in a nearby town.

As I am considering several teachers, I asked to meet with the teacher who is just up the road from me before making a decision.

Here is her response:

"I don't have time for meetings. If you want to study with me show up for a lesson first wednesday of July otherwise study with someone else.

I really don't know how to respond.....or what to think.

Any suggestions?


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#924569 - 06/25/05 12:08 PM Re: How would you respond to this music teacher?
ipgrunt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 419
Loc: Western US
I can understand your consternation but I can also see the teacher's point. You can always decide after one lesson whether or not you wish to return. After all, how else would you evaluate her teaching if not with a lesson?

Advice for you? Well, if you are not put off by her abrupt (but painfully honest) attitude, show up. If you are put off by her manner, go elsewhere. Why see a teacher that you don't like?

Good luck, whatever you decide.
-- ipgrunt
Amateur pianist, Son of a Pro

#924570 - 06/25/05 12:30 PM Re: How would you respond to this music teacher?
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4683
Loc: San Francisco

You don't a teacher, to learn basic theory.

Try "Practical Theory Complete, a self-instruction music theory course," by Sandy Feldstein. Here's a link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-form/104-7547195-5503914

You may also want to look at Chord Wheel, by fleser. Rotate the plastic wheel and you'll see the basic chords for any key. Here's a link: http://www.chordprogression.com/

For advanced chord structures, try http://www.apassion4jazz.net/keys.html

Thirty bucks will get the first two delivered. The third is free. Everything you need to get started---without the attitude.

All the best,


#924571 - 06/25/05 07:46 PM Re: How would you respond to this music teacher?
TheAsianPianist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/17/05
Posts: 129
Loc: Michigan
that last teacher sounds like a person who needs to be slapped. her "sincerely" at the end just brings out how much she doesnt care, so i would just suggest that you learn from a teacher who can teach you theory and about anything else
Asian Invasion

#924572 - 06/26/05 03:39 AM Re: How would you respond to this music teacher?
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
If you have the time why not take a class at the university near you and get the interplay of others in the class. You would get to see the corrections of their work as well as yours, hear questions you might not have thought to ask, etc. And overall, it might be cheaper than private lessons.

Studying theory by yourself can be quite effective tho you might run into areas where the explanations are not as clear to you as you would like.

The lady seemed to have an attitude which suggested she wasn't very interested and certainly not personable. I would bypass her for someone else if I had a response like that.

#924573 - 06/27/05 06:03 AM Re: How would you respond to this music teacher?
newstead Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/05
Posts: 117
Dear Teachers,

First let me apologize for the quality of my proof reading in my first post! My computer kept going off line and I just hit the send button too soon!

Thank you for your responses.

I too think that this person shows a lack of caring about her students. She also wanted payment for the month in advance. So I would have paid $80 for 30 minutes of her time if I never came back.

Also, I know that theory is a huge subject. Someone with a desire to evaluate my level and target my weakness areas is what is needed.

Thank you too for the self-teaching recommendations. I will follow up on that.

Also will continue seeking a new instructor. My plan is to meet and talk with each teacher asking about their curriculum and follow up with telephone calls to students he/she provides as references.

Thanks again for all your input.


#924574 - 06/27/05 12:48 PM Re: How would you respond to this music teacher?
princessclara2005 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/05
Posts: 429
Loc: Dallas, Texas
If she replied as no time, then she doesn't have time, she probably is full and aren't interested in taking new students.

I think your best bet is to sign up for a theory class at local university or community college, if you just want to learn the basic, there are no needs to be taught privatly, also do you play an instrument? I think theory works the best when you have a chance to apply, becuase music theory doesn't mean anything if you don't see them are exercised in compositions.

I think set up a meeting and ask for teacher's curriculum is a good idea, but I think most teacher may not be so willing to give a free consultation, unless they are looking for recuiting new students. I think asking for references are a bit overboard, even if the teacher is willing to let you have the reference, other students may not prefer a stranger happen to have their phone numbers.

I think you should sign up for a 4-8 weeks class to see how things are going for you, then decide to sign up for longer term.

I know you want to know if you are paying this amount of money, you need to know if it's a good result, but on the other hand, there isn't really a way to know if the result is good until a period of time goes by, like at colleges, you won't know if the teacher is going to make you learn a lot, till the semester is over, and you have to pay your tuition up front, then you have an option to withdraw in the first 6 weeks or so in order to get your money back. I think that's more fair for the teacher and students if that's one of your concern, but I guess you will have to pay the entire tuition all up front if any teacher have that policy.

#924575 - 08/25/05 01:20 AM Re: How would you respond to this music teacher?
Surendipity Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 129
I personally would allow any person interested in music or any type of learning a close ear.
I just wouldn't hire a baby sitter over the phone.
I would however, allow them to come over for a visit and pay them for it.
You should offer their 1/2 hour price for a consultation. Then no one is offened.

Do that with the next teachers you wish to meet.

But for the current situation which has probably resolved itself my this time.
I would persue another teacher. This person seems moody if not just too busy for anyones benefit.


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