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#931127 - 06/13/08 09:10 AM Re: Teacher problems
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11803
Loc: Canada
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#931128 - 06/14/08 08:16 AM Re: Teacher problems
Elise_B Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/08
Posts: 81
Loc: nyc
Thanks very much Keystring. I have a lot to think about.

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#931129 - 06/14/08 08:54 AM Re: Teacher problems
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11803
Loc: Canada
Wishing you the very best, Elise. I see very positive things that can come out of this. It is not easy for a student, a parent, or a teacher - and I have been all three, sometimes all at once ;\)

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#931130 - 06/15/08 01:47 PM Re: Teacher problems
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17809
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by Elise_B:
Anyway I am supposed to decide by monday if I want to go back to piano with teh same teacher ("if he agrees to take me back and if I apologize"--ouch!) or give up piano. Dad will not allow another teacher. [/b]
Elise, I can't tell you how sorry I am to hear that your dilemma has gotten to this point. This is no longer only about piano or your teacher's style; it appears to have become a question of control and who makes the major decisions in your life. My advice (which you should take as seriously as any advice from a stranger on an internet forum ;\) ) would be to keep telling your father that you love piano, wish to keep playing and continuing with your studies, but you are not willing to continue lessons with this teacher.

Adolescence is the time of transition between having your parents make all the decisions in your life and becoming an independent adult and making your own decisions. I think this is a situation where you need to decide for yourself how important this decision is to you, and to consider the ramifications of either acceding to your father's wishes or standing firm in your decision to no longer work with this teacher. Please let us know what you decide to do.

p.s. I hope that if you decide not to go back to the teacher that it does *not* mean you "give up" piano. Even if you encounter difficulties in self-teaching, I hope you would continue to play the piano for enjoyment and try to maintain your current level.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#931131 - 06/15/08 02:08 PM Re: Teacher problems
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11803
Loc: Canada
I think the decision is what is the best course of action for the goals, and what those goals are.

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#931132 - 06/15/08 03:51 PM Re: Teacher problems
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17809
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
I agree... and only Elise can decide what the goals are, bearing in mind that there are probably multiple potential goals at work here and some of them will be conflicting.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#931133 - 06/15/08 04:16 PM Re: Teacher problems
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11803
Loc: Canada
At the very bottom there may be no conflict at all.

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#931134 - 06/16/08 01:32 AM Re: Teacher problems
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
In crisis sometimes new opportunities appear.

I'm so sorry this has been so difficult for you, Elise. There is a lesson to be learned from the people dynamics and the taken bottom line, however everyone does not learn the lesson at the same time. Some arrive later.

In life you can choose what you want to remember about people and situations. Find something to be grateful for in each person and situation, it is there, along with the disappointment and other complex emotions.

I learned these things at an early age, around 15, and only after getting beyond some things was I able to forgive and forget having found things that were considerate, helpful, and loving about my family to replace the conflicts. The disturbing things that happened unexpectedly were always hardest because they take you by surprize.

I've also been a believer in my older years that "everyone is doing the best they can in their circumstances and the best of their insight and maturity." I would like to believe that anyway. It takes the burden away from me to have to do something about it to fix it, or to continue to interface with it. We have choices - well planned ones are best - the reactionary kinds have always taken much more time and effort on my part.

Good luck to you!

Betty

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#931135 - 06/16/08 01:36 AM Re: Teacher problems
faucon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 285
Loc: Missouri USA
Elise, I agree with Monica K. that it seems like your dad is determined to enforce his will. He may really believe that your teacher is the best one for you, but you're so unhappy with this teacher that I think your dad is mistaken.

In my opinion, your dad is being punitive to threaten you with no piano lessons at all. I hope that with time your dad will realize that he cares about your happiness and pianistic progress more than he cares about 'being right' or making you do as he says regardless of how bad you feel. If this happens, he may eventually relent and allow you to explore other teachers. In the meantime, as Monica says, please practice what you love on your own. I'm really pulling for you.

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#931136 - 06/16/08 01:52 AM Re: Teacher problems
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Sounds like you may have to swallow your pride. Couldn't you keep your fingers crossed though? There are times in life when sincerity just isn't worth it.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#931137 - 06/16/08 04:13 PM Re: Teacher problems
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
Elise - the soreness in your hand is probably because you've suddenly started practicing four hours at a whack. Be careful, please, not to overdo this. If it hurts, something is wrong. Too many pianists - even young ones - have developed significant physical problems because of repetitive use injuries. I guess on the one hand (excuse pun), this begs the question of needing a teacher to make sure you are using correct technique so you will not develop an injury. On the other, it makes me wonder if you were not trained in such a way that your technique is causing the problem, and a new teacher might be physically called for, instead of the old one. No advice here as to what to do beyond NOT allowing yourself to keep playing if it hurts. No, no, no.
_________________________
SantaFe_Player

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#931138 - 06/18/08 02:43 PM Re: Teacher problems
Elise_B Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/08
Posts: 81
Loc: nyc
So I decided that I should resume lessons. It was not a very easy decision. On one hand I enjoyed being free of pressure and anxiety and would very much have wanted that to last. On the other hand, I clealry want music and piano in my life, and I want to develop it to a more complex stage not just on the side. In a strange way, I kind of missed my teacher. I am all over the piano and cannot stay focused on refining one piece even when I know that I can play it better. He definitely kept me focused and clear.. even though I do not miss the way he got my attention.I also feel bad that I just walked out.. My friend says it is Stockholm syndrome. I had to google that one: but I don't think taht is the case..
Anyway I can still change my mind.. I am going to meet with him and "explain myself" tomorrow. Parents will not be there. They want me to handle it on my own as this whole mess was my doing and resuming lessons was my decision. (I don't think this was as "free" a choice as they like to think.. since the other choice was nothing.. but parents live in their own sphere and you can't always get them to see your part of the galaxy)..
The question now is how will he react and what should I say, assuming I get that far..
Any guesses? suggestions?

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#931139 - 06/18/08 02:56 PM Re: Teacher problems
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
If I were your teacher I would be glad that you have come to the decision to resume lessons by yourself. It's important that it is your choice and you are not under any pressure from your parents. It tells me how important piano is in your life and shows a good deal of commitment and dedication as well as maturity. I would also be very sorry that my actions caused you to withdraw from lessons in the first place. Perhaps now you can have a more open, adult relationship with your teacher?

What should you say?

You need to make it very clear that you appreciate all he has done for you musically. You understand that if you are to take your playing to the next level you need his help and guidance. However, you also need to get him to understand how upset you have been and why otherwise nothing will change.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#931140 - 06/18/08 03:10 PM Re: Teacher problems
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11803
Loc: Canada

Best wishes!

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#931141 - 06/18/08 03:42 PM Re: Teacher problems
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7407
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Elise, I am posting this comment for the benefit of non-teachers, as well as for you.

Many, many teachers, especially those of the highest rank, will not readmit a student who has quit - unless it is for the most exceptional of reasons, such as severe medical problems.

That your teacher is allowing you to return, speaks volumes. Be thankful and work hard!
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#931142 - 06/18/08 04:05 PM Re: Teacher problems
the nosy ape Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/10/08
Posts: 719
Loc: Westford, MA
"but parents live in their own sphere and you can't always get them to see your part of the galaxy"

I felt the same way about my parents when I was a teenager, but I eventually came to realize that they could see my part of the galaxy only too well. It was I who could not see the vast universe that was their sphere. Just something to think about.

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#931143 - 06/18/08 04:23 PM Re: Teacher problems
Elise_B Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/08
Posts: 81
Loc: nyc
I know Mr. v d Brook. One of his rules is that you are out if you skip lessons. He has not said that I can go back. Just meeting tomorrow..
I just wish he could be a little nicer..

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#931144 - 06/18/08 04:33 PM Re: Teacher problems
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7407
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Elise, niceness has nothing to do with it! There are many hard working, highly dedicated students who are competing for a few top teachers. If you want his skills and knowledge, you have to take him as he is. Please understand, this is your problem, not his.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#931145 - 06/18/08 07:39 PM Re: Teacher problems
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
It occurs to me that his "you're out if you skip lessons" should also hold for skipping recitals, which clearly was not the case for you....so his "rules" may be more flexible and custom-tailored for individual students than you think, Elise.
_________________________
SantaFe_Player

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#931146 - 06/18/08 07:47 PM Re: Teacher problems
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11803
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by SantaFe_Player:
It occurs to me that his "you're out if you skip lessons" should also hold for skipping recitals, which clearly was not the case for you....so his "rules" may be more flexible and custom-tailored for individual students than you think, Elise. [/b]
What kind of advice is that? It is not something I would want to test at this time.

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#931147 - 06/18/08 08:19 PM Re: Teacher problems
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
Oh, I earned yet another slap from you. The point is that the guy might be more caring about his students than about his "rules," Keystring. The point is that she might have better reason to hope that he will take her back than she thinks. I hardly think that is an inappropriate message for me to offer.
_________________________
SantaFe_Player

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#931148 - 06/18/08 09:08 PM Re: Teacher problems
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11803
Loc: Canada
Sorry, SantaFe, no slap intended. Your message seemed to be that it would be ok to skip lessons again. That made me nervous. But I agree that it is quite possible that he will take her back - all his actions are because he is taking an interest in this student and cares, though some may question his manner.

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#931149 - 06/18/08 09:23 PM Re: Teacher problems
Akira Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 1645
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
I cannot help but think that if you resume your lessons, you will be in the exact same position as you were during your first post, Elise.

Was anything really resolved at the meeting? Did you say what you wanted to say? Did the teacher explain himself and, if so, were you satisfied with the explanation?

I think now is the time to face and deal with the hard issues, if you want things to get better, that is. Don't allow your teacher to be dismissive toward your concerns and force him to address the issues (if you have to).

Best wishes for a successful meeting and I hope you're able to arrive a mutual understanding of one another.

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#931150 - 06/18/08 09:51 PM Re: Teacher problems
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Excellent, Akira! My concerns for Elise, too.

I was hoping to hear that she was heard and what she said was accepted and acknowledged.

It seems to me to be a risky environment to reenter into, and the power is in that the Dad says so, and the piano teaching expert, might be willing to continue.

Elise needs to remember that in her life she is her own Numero Uno, and the only person who can represent her own needs and preferences.

So many people are with you, Elise, you have much concerned attention directed to you.

Best wishes to you!

Betty

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#931151 - 06/18/08 10:15 PM Re: Teacher problems
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11803
Loc: Canada
.

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#931152 - 06/20/08 12:32 PM Re: Teacher problems
Elise_B Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/08
Posts: 81
Loc: nyc
The soap opera goes on..
SO I am "tolerated" back by my teacher. It was not a fun half hour. He actually did not even want to know why I quit. He just said that he had never taken back a 'quitter" before..After a lengthy prelude about (what else) discipline and and practice, he said I can come back but it would be a "probationary" time until the end of the summer. If I perform up to his standards then I can resume "for good" ; if not then I can leave for good. He can also send me packing anytime during the summer (or any other season). So I guess it is back to square one..
I know I was supposed to "talk" to him and figure out how to make things better but he is really just too condescending and thinks of me as a young child and is just not going to discuss "how he does things". Like someone said, I have to take it the way it is..I suppose I can practice phasing him out when he gets very angry.. He did put the pressure on.. it will be a hot summer with much french music which I am really bad at.. I don't get the rythm and feel like I do with the romantic music .. so I am supposed to be reading a bunch of books, essays and other stuff (there goes my allowance.. spent at the Juilliard bookstore). Anyway, I am ready to give it a shot.. twice a week is tough..but pagodes here I come. If I can't take it, I will have to wait for blessed eighteen!!
Thanks for all the encouraging and supportive advice. Enjoy your summer.

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#931153 - 06/20/08 12:37 PM Re: Teacher problems
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17809
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Good luck, Elise. \:\) If nothing else, all this angst has (hopefully) clarified your feelings about piano and your instructor. With any luck you will arrive at a resolution of the situation, one way or the other, by the end of the summer.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#931154 - 06/20/08 12:59 PM Re: Teacher problems
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
I wonder, Elise, if you ever attemped to "parrot" some of the things he says (little snippets) back to him to indicate that you 1) heard 2)agree or 3) question. I don't mean in a mimicing voice.

My thought is that 1)it shows you are listening and taking his words in, and 2) at the same time he gets to hear how those words sound in hearing them.

If you could show interest in French culture by watching videos and listening to the french composers, and then to mention what you had seen or learned this would be a pleasurable thing to do if you have not been to France yet, (I haven't, so I'll have to live with the travelogues, tasting french cooking, listening to French composers. And, a conversationalist entry to the language. This could be fun to do, and if he were to learn about your "research" and to see you working with the assigned music with interest, it might work for both of you.

Just thinking a little bit this morning about possibilities.....

Good luck to you in every way!

Betty

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#931155 - 06/20/08 01:10 PM Re: Teacher problems
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5551
Loc: Orange County, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Elise_B:
I suppose I can practice phasing him out when he gets very angry.. [/b]
That doesn't sound healthy. I think you are stuck in a lose-lose situation. You are not going to enjoy piano, and your teacher obviously doesn't enjoy teaching you. \:\(

If I were you I'd just quit altogether. Wait until college, then take lessons with the professors. Or wait until you graduate from college and get a good job. You'll enjoy learning piano more if it's completely on your own terms.

Good luck!
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#931156 - 06/20/08 01:36 PM Re: Teacher problems
Elise_B Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/08
Posts: 81
Loc: nyc
I enjoy piano all right. I also enjoy what I end up learning from him and that is why I am back. I just need to develop more adaptive skills at coping with his temper and control my reactions. I think this experience has taught me well that I cannot always have it my way..
and it also taught me taht piano teachers get away with EVERYTHING!!!

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