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Topic Options
#933729 - 05/01/08 07:57 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
AZNpiano Online   happy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5598
Loc: Orange County, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Diane...:
Just found out, by accident, that one of my students has been playing in another teacher's recitals for the last 3 years! [/b]
That's a rather long period of deception. I'm glad the student finally came clean with it. Hopefully you have resolved the situation in a positive and professional manner.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#933730 - 05/01/08 08:08 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11857
Loc: Canada
Thank you, AZN, for your explanation.

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#933731 - 05/01/08 08:08 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
billyshears66 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/25/08
Posts: 84
Loc: Dracut, MA
I'm sure I'm gonna get a ton of people mad at me, but...

I really don't see the issue. I'm neither a student or a teacher, but if I had a teacher, it is just that... a teacher. I pay for lessons, and that is all. If my teacher ever had an issue with me playing or taking lessons from someone else, I would most likely get another teacher... I also wouldn't feel I had to tell them any of it... it's my business.

That being said, I wouldn't feel bad if my teacher had an issue with it, and decided to leave me.

Ok, scream away
_________________________
1905 Geo P. Bent Orchestral Grand Upright "Crown" 35415

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#933732 - 05/01/08 08:14 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
miaeih Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 267
Loc: SF Bay Area, CA
Deception is tricking another or lying. Unless the student was asked if they ever preform elsewhere, how was the student deceiving?

On most issues, people usually obtain second opinions. On this board, people post questions or ask feedback on their music assignment, performance, etc. Isn't this the same? Asking the opinion of people here on the board as opposed to asking another teacher for feedback?

I agree this is probably a poor choice by a student because teachers usually have a plan and need to be fully informed to plan properly but to reject a student for this? Also, most would not even understand why this may be a harmful idea and could do this earnestly to improve.

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#933733 - 05/01/08 08:18 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11857
Loc: Canada
[Billyshears] Before making such a statement, get to know what good private music teaching entails and what kind of work gets carried out with what kind of interaction between student and teacher. I have been self taught, I have been taught, and I have taught one on one. There is such a thing as "just a teacher" ... unfortunately.

Music teaching is more than getting the hang of things. Knowledge and skills are developed and this is a process. That process can be interfered with by the student himself. A second teacher, especially in the early stages, can undo or interfere with what the main teacher is trying to accomplish. There is good reason for some of these objections.

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#933734 - 05/01/08 08:43 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Believe it or not, I was not angry in my last post. I am affirmative for what I do at piano lessons. Piano lessons can change our lives - in incredible ways. It's education and learning skills that transfers to other academics.

Music makes demands of us. Relationships do too.

If I thought I was so unimportant to my students that they thought what I want from them in return for our collaboration together is to take the study of music seriously, agree to the policy I have, and when terminating, let's say good bye with pleasure and gratitude for our times together.

Let's not drop the teacher on her head. It's that simple. It went on when I became a piano teacher in 1971, and it still goes on in 2008.

I would like to see more respect for piano teachers in private music teaching. I insist on it in my studio, I groom it, I say thank you for it. Anyone not getting that message needs to be elsewhere.

Music study and music making is life forming. Read Plato - the Universe! Music and the Universe!

Betty

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#933735 - 05/01/08 10:19 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11857
Loc: Canada
.

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#933736 - 05/01/08 10:57 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
I'm not sure what was going on today in this thread.

I responded to things that I saw or felt about the topic and the problems of expectations and the discussion of what teachers of MTNA would call "ethics".

I am maintaining that being responsible for helping someone reach their path to musicianship is a huge pledge on the part of the teacher.

If I think of an example to explain what I think my role is, I would say that it's like being the captain of the ship, the principal of the high school, the chief of the department at the hospital. In many areas of professionalism there are standards and meters of evaluation. I subscribe to standards. The military certainly has accountability in it's system.

If piano lessons fall only into the realm of socialization and entertainment, it becomes all about the student and his preferences, and what he wants to buy.

I am saying that on the other hand, teachers have a bigger thing to offer according to their capacities and specializations. We certainly need to be aware of what the students interests are and what they are bringing to us when they "apply" to our music studios.

I feel that I have to defend the attributes of quality teaching here in Piano World. Isn't that ridiculous!

I am not concerned how it looked. While composing a posting, it is possible that others post during the time my posting is being written. This makes it appear that a person is missing the point. Maybe the point had not been made yet. I don't know what the problem is.

I an not being hostile, I am representing myself as I said before.

Betty

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#933737 - 05/01/08 11:12 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11857
Loc: Canada
Betty, I erased my post because things were getting too tangled up, but now I see you are responding to what I wrote.

"How it looked" does not refer to your post:

1. Threads are dialogues. What a person posts is assumed to be a response to what the people before wrote.

2. Before your post, other people wrote about things. One wondered whether volunteering to perform in an old age home, and the question of being free to gain performance experience was put on the table. I also had some thoughts.

3. Your post, which you explain was a general sentiment about roles & responsibilities of teachers IN GENERAL followed these first posts.

4. Therefore in seemed as though what you were writing was in response to what others had written. That is how ** it looked **, because your post was placed right after the previous posts.

Your post painted a portrait of students angry at teachers and deliberately walking out on them or doing things with other teacher, not doing the work they were asked to do. You proposed non-communication, non-cooperation and other unhappy things. However, you were writing about the GENERAL SCENE.

Yet realize that since your post followed the post of two students who presented their thoughts, it would seem that you were responding to what they were saying. Thus, somebody saying "surely it's ok to volunteer in a hospital" was followed by this disastrous scene, as though the mere wish to volunteer in a hospital, and even daring to ask that question, meant all thos horrid things you wrote about.

Can you follow? Your post was not in isolation. It is seen as part of a dialogue. But you did not mean it as a dialogue. You meant it as a general statement. Its position confused people.

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#933738 - 05/01/08 11:34 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: Western Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by lalakeys:
I would definitely NOT drop the student--the student did nothing wrong (in fact, the student may have thought that you would approve of him finding outside performance opportunities!).

What I think I would do is send an e-mail to the other teacher if possible (I'd prefer an e-mail to a phone call so that there would be a record of exactly what was said). I would tell him or her that while I appreciated my student's having had the opportunity to participate in another teacher's recitals, I believe that it's in everyone's best interests if an acknowledgement is made clarifying that you are his regular teacher. And I would mention that should one of his/her students wish to perform on your recital, his/her name will be listed as the teacher.

Since the other teacher is a family friend, I wouldn't necessarily assume that the students' parents knew there was something "fishy" going on. But after e-mailing the teacher and explaining your position, there should be no doubt in that teacher's mind what your expectations are--and if your student performs again without an acknowledgement that YOU are his teacher, I would consider a direct confrontation with the other teacher (possibly with another teacher for reinforcement or "backup"!). [/b]
Thanks everyone for all your input!

lalakeys, I especially liked your advice!

My point is this. Please feel free to include my student in your recital to give him/her more exposure to performing. But have the courtesy to announce that this student is a "guest" and name me as his teacher. Otherwise, you are claiming that student as your own, and that is not fair play!

I have never been good with confrontation, but I agree with lalakeys, and think I will send an email.

Will send the email now just after I have a cigarette. (And I don't even smoke!) . . . Yet! \:D
_________________________
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/goldsparkledress.jpg
Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


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#933739 - 05/02/08 01:09 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
Diane,

I agree.

I think it is good for this student to play at another recital and for me would be no big deal. I would be flattered and I know it would be good for the student. But by all means the teacher should announce him as a guest and not make him look as if he is her student.

Is he in the program?

If so it should be written "guest performer" alongside his name.

Keep us posted.

Hope the teacher is receptive to this.

Boy, how inconsiderate to not introduce him as a guest performer.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation

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#933740 - 05/02/08 03:12 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5431
Loc: Europe
First of all,

While I realise the loyalty issue between a student and a teacher, it could be for the best interest of the student to move further.

It's happened to me a couple of times, if not 3, in ,my life and all for the best I find!

I was 16 years old and the school decided to have a concert. The normal lycion, the school! I told my teacher and the conservatory (not the teacher), forbid me to go. In that case, I was going to move out of Athens and into another city in a few months, so I simply quit the conservatory. Why hold me back, when all the students were from various places and preparing for the concert by their teachers?

Then at 23, I have been with a GREAT teacher, in this other city! 5 years of learning together! I had been teaching her son maths for the past 16 months or so, and I was 2 years to get my diploma. So one day she comes and tells me that she can't keep having me as her student! Laws changed, and money wise it didn't make any sense any more! She could still teach me privately but I would also have to have another teacher. I just droped everything, followed a composition teacher I had at that time (and I am a composer, not a pianist), and moved back to Greece, to yet another piano teacher.

Stayed there 2 years, got my diploma. Talked to my composition teacher. I wanted to leave Greece. He didn't like it! He discouraged me. Dispite his talks, I went ahead got into the exams for a scholarship, got a scholarship worth a total of $65,000 to study abroad, took my wife and my kid (at the time, now I have two), and left the country to come to the UK.

In all 3 cases, me and my teachers didn't see eye to eye. I find that since I have a diploma in piano, I have given various recitals, Greece, UK, Syria, I'm finishing my PhD in composition, and generally I like who I am, it seems to me that I was right and they were wrong!

____________________________

There is no loytalty issue, as far as I'm concerned, even if I'm talking as a teacher. I know it would **** me off, I know it would, but still...

The bad thing happening here is the lack of recognision about Diane's hard work! She is the students teacher and she's "struggled" to make the student a better pianist. Someone IS taking advantage of that, and is lacking all courtesy to acknoledge that! This is a shame really! :-(
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#933741 - 05/02/08 04:02 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Akira Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 1645
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Warning: Unpopular (non-student) opinion to follow

I'll have to admit, it does seem odd your student (which I am assuming is not an adult [you don't say one way or the other]) never mentioned it to you. This would seem to suggest secrecy or deception. However, the student did present the DVD to you, which dispells that possible scenario. It seems you are not very close to your student or he/she would have certainly previously mentioned the performance. Talks of dropping the student seem unfairly harsh, as if this is a punishment for the deception. If you had a contract with the student specifying he/she was forbidden from this type of activity, I'd say you have a leg to stand on, but would guess that no such prearrangement exists.

Other talks of unethical professional behavior would suggest not compliance to approved written standards by a regulating body. Does such a document exist? Does such a regulatory body exist, such as the ones that regulate professional standards of conduct and ethics for accountants, lawyers and doctors?

I can clearly see your surprise, but it is unclear who you are more angry with - the teacher or the student? Or are you angry you did not receive the due credit you thought was appropriate?

In any event, the fact the teacher is a family friend, I think, gives light to the situation as being innocent and free from deception. I'd be surprised if the child even understands what the issue is. Although I think a little professional courtesy from the other teacher would have been appropriate, I don't think he/she did anything that broken any ethical principles you can point out in a document.

I think you already have stated the right course of action, to simply let it go.

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#933742 - 05/02/08 08:00 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
SAnnM AB-2001 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 2022
Loc: Canada
Wow this post is timely..

I've been taking lessons privately for 6 years. I'm an adult beginner at an intermediate level. My teacher (who is wonderful and I'm completely satisfied with) only has a couple of private students and doesn't hold recitals. I've recently contacted a local music store to see if I could be a 'guest' in one of their recital - for experience. I wouldn't think of taking lessons 'secretly' with anyone else and if I choose to participate would definitely tell my teacher - but now I'm wondering if he would be offended......
_________________________
It's the journey not the destination..

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#933743 - 05/02/08 08:48 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11857
Loc: Canada
"OK.Ididn't, you have isolated something important. This thread has a second issue running through it, which is not the main point of this thread. At the end of this typical ramble I propose a new thread.

The main point of this thread involves one of the two aspects of recitals. The one aspect of recitals is that they are a necessary part of a student's growth and to the student's benefit.

The second aspect of recitals is how they affect teachers. This has never been stated but it exists and as students we should be aware of it. Teachers who are not consciously be aware of it should be:

Recitals are an acknowledgement of a teacher and his/her work. They also constitute advertisement. If a bunch of students all play well, cleanly, some managing to move the audience with their playing, and there is a certain common good something there, then people will want to study with that teacher. Guest musicians or teachers that might be there (you never know) will have an idea of their colleague's worth by how their students perform. (The latter is probably much more true in competitions). This involves the needs of the teacher. These needs are valid and legitimate. It is important for us students to recognize these needs and be aware of the role that our performances in their studios.

As such, the recital in the other teacher's venu is outrageous because of how it impacts on the teacher, not how it impacts on the student.

There is another aspect from the teacher side which I can understand because I teach. You are creating and forming, shaping over a long period of time. Students are not the object of anyone's creation: they are individuals with their own personality, ability, and vision. However, something is being created, and there is an artistic element to teaching. After all, the person doing this teaching is himself an artist. Going off into another teacher's concert with people believing that you are their student, is like a Rembrandt unhanging itself from the wall and then hanging in the art display of Painter X, with everyone admiring Painter X's vision. Um, Diane, did I just call you Rembrandt?

Anyway, THAT is what the teachers are concerned about. But something else has cropped up which does not involve recognition of a teacher's work and worth, which has been highlighted by "OK" which involves the role of performance for the sake of getting experience, and because it is a joy for some to perform, and things that have been said about this student activity. That merits a separate thread and topic.

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#933744 - 05/02/08 10:15 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
BlahBlahBlahh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/08
Posts: 44
Loc: New York, New York
I'm sure any good teacher invests in his/her students and naturally feels hurt when a student has been participating in another teacher's recitals without proper acknowledgement of the student's regular teacher.

I agree with Diane's appropach. This is the classy way to go. Anything else just gives people the impression that the regular teacher is petty. If the student is dropped because of this, you can be pretty sure that word gets around and you will get a bad rep.

Take a deep breath and just let this one go!

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#933745 - 05/02/08 10:38 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7418
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Exactly so, keystring. For better or worse, we teachers are involved in a business activity, generating livelihood for ourselves and our families. You note that teachers always say, "My students . . " or "Our students . . ." We don't possess them, but there's an implied ownership, isn't there? Activities we and our students are involved in are always reflective of our business as well as our artistic nature.

In the USA, people/families relocate frequently. When doing so, and selecting a residence within the new community, extremely high on the list of selection criteria are the quality of the schools. How do they know which school is the "best?" By student performance, of course.

You frequently hear the canard of "non-judgementalism" but in reality, we all constantly evaluate and judge situations, people, ideas, things, as to their value and worth. In a recital, the audience is judging each student AND the teacher. What was unfair about Diane's situation, whether intended or not, was the lack of recognition by the host teacher that there were students presenting not her own. Parents, who were none the wiser, were receiving false impressions about the teacher; they were also making false judgements about the other students.

It is entirely understandable that the student and family were not sensitive to this. I have had students tell me after the fact that, oh, by the way, I played in class today. Oh, I say, did you know in advance that you were going to play today? Yes! Well, in the future, if you tell me, I can help you prepare better for the occasion. You do want to play your best, don't you? Of course! But I'll bet you really wowwed your classmates! Good for you.

By the way, this is an excellent reason for teachers to make sure students have and maintain a repertoire of performance ready pieces.

The deficiency in Diane's situation really belongs to the hosting teacher. She is the one who must become sensitive to the other teachers in her community and that her activity is, while admirable, on the edge of fraud.

Now, to solutions. Diane, does your community have a chapter of MTNA? If so, take the bull by the horns and propose chapter recitals which will provide students additional performing opportunities. We have three such "general" recitals through the year. A Fall, Autumn Harvest, a mid-winter Festival, generally focused on sonatinas, and a Spring pop/jazz festival. In each program, all the teachers are listed, but not by student, so it doesn't turn into an advertising situation. Although, a parent is certainly free to go up to an individual student after the recital and enquire about the student's teacher, I've actually never heard of any teacher changes as a result. Our chapter has a very strong policy in this regard. We simply do not accept transfers from other members without first discussing it with the other teacher, and probably not until the beginning of the next school year.
_________________________
"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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#933746 - 05/02/08 12:08 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17815
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
The main point of this thread involves one of the two aspects of recitals. The one aspect of recitals is that they are a necessary part of a student's growth and to the student's benefit.

The second aspect of recitals is how they affect teachers. This has never been stated but it exists and as students we should be aware of it.[/b]
There is a third aspect to this thread, too, keystring, and that is the issue of whether teachers have the right to insist that students ask their permission before playing publicly for others. That's the point that attracted the most incredulous reaction from the non-teachers. I still feel very strongly that incorporating such a restriction either explicitly into a studio contract or implicitly as part of an authoritarian teacher-student relationship is over-controlling, just plain wrong, and antithetical to the whole goal of creating musicianship in your student, one aspect of which is playing for others. I would want a teacher who encourages his or her students to play at every opportunity, rather than discourage.

To have such a restriction is to make a mockery of the 10 pieces AAA goal many of you strive for in your students. Instead it becomes "10 pieces, but only when and where I let you play." \:\(

I can understand not wanting students to participate in formal recitals without the knowledge of the teacher (even then, I personally would phrase it as a request not a requirement), but it sounds like at least some of the teachers here were supportive of more draconian restrictions.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#933747 - 05/02/08 12:47 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Monica,

Please explain draconian restrictions, as I have not heard that phrase before. I am probably the perfect example of that because it was used here in this "Speechless" thread. I need to know because I want to understand how I am being identified.

If I'm draconian, which I suspect is what you are saying, then it is working for someone besides me, I have long term students, many have paid me by the half year, or year, in advance. My students learn quickly and they play well. They follow instructions well, they listen well.

I don't think they all came to me sat on the bench and were immediately musicians....I think we are products of our interactions together. The student and I share integrity of the lesson preparation and lesson time. What is seen as 'control' by many is "supervision", "establishing standards", "intentions", "teaching to capacity".

What I have to give as a piano teacher is valuable. Not for everyone, maybe, granted, but I lead, they follow. I teach, they learn.

My students give me allegiance and respect because I earned it.

Our differences of opinions here are representative of our roles in music, previous experiences, and sense of how each of us would see this as a problem or no problem. It's representative of ourselves, our perspective, and our vision for the future, and our respect of music as an art and education and empowerment of the musician.

Respectfully,

Betty

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#933748 - 05/02/08 01:10 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
AZNpiano Online   happy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5598
Loc: Orange County, CA
Monica:

I think there is a lot of assumptions being made about what the "role" of a piano teacher is.

There are all kinds of piano teachers. There are some of us (speaking as a serious piano teacher) who join professional associations and try to abide by their rules and bylaws. We do our best work when students and parents agree to demonstrate dedication and loyalty. There are, of course, those teachers who willingly settle for less.

The original post describes a situation that, according to the MTA bylaws, can be _construed_ as a teacher's misrepresenting another teacher's student as her own. That, by itself, is deceptive and unethical (especially since it's been happening for THREE years!!). The host teacher may or may not have intended to deceive or to act in an unethical way--I'm not even sure if the idea of misrepresentation was ever present. But the very ACT of it happening is deceptive and unethical according to the high standards of teachers' associations.

Hence, you got the rather "draconian" posts you've seen in this thread. You are absolutely correct--there are some teachers who are more "draconian" than the others. Like what one of my colleagues said, there's a piano teacher for everyone. I choose not to teach students who are not dedicated and/or not loyal. Those are two traits I look for in students.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#933749 - 05/02/08 01:18 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11857
Loc: Canada
Ladies, I strongly suggest that this issue be moved to a new thread for that purpose. I tried to set something up this morning but don't have the head for it.

Please note that MUCH CAN BE LOST IN TRANSLATION: WHAT WE THINK WE HEAR, AND WHAT WE THINK WE ARE SAYING, IS NOT NECESSARILY WHAT IS HEARD AND SAID. WE ARE LIVING DIFFERENT CONTEXTS.

I work as a translator and interpreter, and I also work as a teacher which is my first trained profession. In all three there is a question of communication. In the first two, you will soon see that people will not understand each other. One of my primary tasks is to not only translate the words that people say to teach other, but get in under their skin to see what their cultural, professional, social expectations to these words are. I am extremely aware of the weakness of language.

Everybody is talking past each other. To understand each other you MUST get out of your own contexts and think like the other without interpreting the other through any roles you know. Otherwise you will hear something different than what is being said.

Betty, what you say happens in your studio is coloured by your personal experience, and you know what that is. This does not necessarily come across through the Internet.

What you are saying about permission to perform may not be what others are hearing about it. For example, I was asked at the spur of a moment to perform at a Christmas gathering to surprise an elderly family member through a musical evening. It involved acquaintances and family, but it was relatively formal. I spent a whole afternoon rehearsing with my brother since neither of us had played that sonata together before, and even more polishing my violin piece. In the evening there was a performance of a Bach Ciaconne on viola, a Haendel Sonata, a violin piece, folk singing, guitar, sing alongs and some improv. It had all the markings of a performance.

I have my experience, you have yours, and I could easily misinterpret my experience and mix it with yours. I could imagine that "no performance without permission" means that I could not take part in that wonderful evening, and that I could not be spontaneous in my musicality. I could imagine that on Christmas eve you would expect me to phone you long distance in an emergency call asking you if it was ok for me to perform with my brother, whom I only get to see once a year, and give pleasure to the people who have uplifted my mother since my father passed away. Such a thing would be draconian, don't you think? That is not what you meant, I am sure. But without context, people will read all kinds of things into a statement.

I honestly don't know what the "no performance without permission" clause means. I don't have to worry about it, because such a policy - rather its opposite - does not exist with my own teacher.

Please, realize, people, that we are strangers to each other living very different and separate lives. When you present something you will be inserting a lifetime of experience to it. But that is not what people will see. They will see a sliver of what you are saying, adding a lot to it, and you, in turn, are in danger of doing the same to them.

Do not trust the communicative powers of the Internet.

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#933750 - 05/02/08 02:48 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11857
Loc: Canada
AZNpiano - No student is refuting what happened, teacher roles etc.

There is one, and only one, issue on the table which has disturbed the student population. I strongly suspect that this is a misunderstood one. If it is not understood, then I suspect that it is not a policy that each and every teacher holds.

At issue is the idea that a teacher will forbid his student in that student's free time to perform in any way, shape, or form anywhere in front of anyone unless they first go back to their teacher and ask for permission. Furthermore, that such a stipulation be placed in a legal document that must be signed.

The students have moved away from the original issue. The fact that what happened with Diane's student is wrong is a no-brainer.

What we tend to see is something that affects our private lives and personal being if things were really as extreme as they APPEAR to be. The first results are already in. A student whose teacher provides no performance opportunity whatsoever has found such an opportunity and is hesitating.

As I wrote before, a separate issue has cropped up, and it has to do with absolutely forbidding any student from performing anywhere unless that performance has been instituted by a teacher. I would hope that people would be entrusted with possessing common sense.

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#933751 - 05/02/08 03:00 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1789
Loc: Central TX
Wow, touchy subject \:\)

 Quote:
AZN said
I choose not to teach students who are not dedicated and/or not loyal.[/b]
AZN, the implication of that sentence in the context of this thread seems to be that anyone who doesn't subscribe to the "teachers permission required is a reasonable thing" way of thinking is not loyal? If that's not what you are saying, then feel free to simply skip the rest of this \:\) If it is, I'd have to greatly disagree with you. Betty has mentioned several times the very unique and important place that music teachers have in folks lives. This position is one that commands a level of respect from students and parents of students. I would also remind the teachers that it is equally important to treat the students (and parents of students) with respect as well. It's not so much the "draconian" nature of having such a clause, it's more the message of "I don't trust you to make a reasonable decision" aspect. Note that even in the case presented by the OP, it's really the other teacher that made the major faux paus of not acknowledging the students teacher.

I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything, it's obvious that folks have their opinions on this matter and no amount of typing is likely going to change it. Again, I just consider myself a "reasonable" person who has nothing but massive amounts of respect for you teachers, and through deeds and words place the importance of music at the highest levels in our household. I would think that there would not be any question as to our families commitment to music and our loyalty to our teachers. Given all that, having such a clause is not something I would consider as having a positive influence in reaching our musical goals.

But has been said, "to each his/her own".

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#933752 - 05/02/08 03:11 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Keystring says: "...a separate issue has cropped up, and it has to do with absolutely forbidding any student from performing anywhere unless that performance has been instituted by a teacher. I would hope that people would be entrusted with possessing common sense."

It is not forbidding students to perform...it is the guidance part of being available as the teacher for when the student wishes to perform for others where there will be a formal audience of his/her musicianship.

At some point there is a strategy and "game plan" for advancing students that needs to be considered. One of the things that happens with my students in middle school (grades 6-8) is that they become jazz pianists with the band, great, so is the thought that they also play other instruments, wonderful. The problem is that by taking on extra music activities, even one performance, is that it takes a great deal of time away from the available time and energy a piano student has for preparing for their own lessons. When asked to accompany 5 vocalists in the solo contests, that is a great amount of work and time, and at a disadvantage to other current work. It needs to be strategized. For instance, I would recommend the student take on 2 - 3 accompaniments not 5 or more. I would remind the student that they have to be available for each time slot at the festival that their friend would be singing. I would remind my student that they can ask for "recompense" for their time involved and the practices, etc.

Wanting to know about other activities in music is important. Pacing and planning, being prepared for opportunities is important. Students must learn how to say "no" to some invitations that are not to any advantage for them. They can also say "yes" gleefully when they know they have time to meet deadlines, and be well prepared.

For younger students, this would apply to talent shows entered, my questions would be "What are you thinking of playing?" "When is your talent show?" Being interested, informed, and available for special activities is part of my job. And, there is no extra charges for that - it's among my services. If the student needs extra help I will give it.

Or, being asked to play at church would be something I would want to know about.

There might be some invitations or things the student is considering that do not work to his advantage - he and his parents may need to hear my viewpoint on something, or put another way, I might want to give my opinion.

I don't think those policies with stipulations about informing teacher of other music activities and invitationals said: "Under no circumstances, never without my permission, or I make the decisions." This is a worse case scenario.

It's part of teamwork between teacher - parent - student. When the student is an adult it becomes conversational and specific to the situation.

My efforts are always toward the highest good of all involved....I don't ignore the golden rule. But I do respond strongly at times, because the issue needs addressing, and I think my point of view is as valid as anyone elses.

Betty

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#933753 - 05/02/08 03:33 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11857
Loc: Canada
Thank you, Betty, for your answer. I deliberately put forth a deliberately exaggerated view of "absolutely forbidding" etc. in order to make you aware of the worst possible way in which your words might be interpreted. We needed a point of contrast to flesh out your words. Without that, what you write will be given form by our imaginations and personal circumstances.

You have now described the specific circumstances in your studio and your interactions with these students of different ages. It is one of mutual consultation, advice seeking and getting, and guidance. That is not the picture that emerged initially, and as we filled in the blanks the wrong picture emerged. I wanted to flesh this out so that everyone was standing on the right foot with each other. Thank you for taking the time to explain.

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#933754 - 05/02/08 03:45 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
ProdigalPianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 1049
Loc: Phoenix Metro, AZ
Worst case scenario - for student to be very excited about the possibility of taking part in a performance and the teacher 'forbidding' it because they don't like some aspect of it, speaks of a huge problem in the relationship between student and teacher and rubs many people the wrong way. I think both students and teachers here are taking offense to potential "worst case scenarios" that are highly unlikely to actually occur.

Remembering what it was like to be a kid taking piano lessons with parents who had no clue about anything musically related....I used to HATE my mother's attitude, which was, "I paid for all those years of lessons, now if somebody wants to hear you play you should play!!" When she said this I felt like a performing animal that got trotted out to impress people. Not that I was anything great but in our small community my small abilities did impress people (they didn't know any better ;\) ).

Mom would have had a problem with the teacher having full and final authority in me playing anything because a) she paid for lessons and b) I was her kid. She was a public school teacher so the concept of teacher "ownership" of the student and the student's work was foreign...although teacher investment and effort wasn't.

Cut the kid some slack, s/he might get pushed to perform by the parent for other reasons...

Edited to add:
Now that I think about it, my school band and chorus teachers felt no qualms about 'requiring' me to play the piano and accompany groups and solos for state music contests. They were my classroom teachers and as such had the power to drop my grade for non-compliance (not that my parents would have allowed me to say no to classroom teachers). I hated a lot of the accompanying I did.

This is outside the bounds of the original discussion but I'm curious as to what the serious piano teachers have to say about requiring kids to accompany for school things...
_________________________
Adult Amateur Pianist

My only domestic quality is that I live in a house.

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#933755 - 05/02/08 03:58 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Prodigal Pianist,

I had one of those mothers too!

You said: "if somebody wants to hear you play you should play!!" When she said this I felt like a performing animal that got trotted out to impress people. Not that I was anything great but in our small community my small abilities did impress people (they didn't know any better )."

Precisely! I was 9-10-11 years old when my mother would force me on her visiting friends. One couple had come to visit for the afternoon from a distance, and the lady had filled her purse with candy bars for me, if I would play for her. Well, I played, but when she opened her purse to offer my choice of candy bar, I said "No, thank you!" That horrified the 3 adults in the room, "She doesn't want a candy bar?" "Betty, mind your manners and take the candy bar and say thank you." "No! Thank you!"

I was asserting myself in my small way because I had no control over whether I was to play or not. My mother insisted! I would have played joyfully for someone, if there had not been that "on demand" thing. And, the "reward".

I shot myself in the foot on that one.

I also like your signature here: "I used to be with it, then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it."

I think I can relate to that!

Betty

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#933756 - 05/02/08 04:47 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
ProdigalPianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 1049
Loc: Phoenix Metro, AZ
Oh I can go on about this subject!

There was the ever-popular: Mom arrives home and announces, "Oh, I told so-and-so that you would play such-and-such for some-thing-or-other." I was never consulted.

I hated, Hated, HATED the attitude (of the general public and my band and chorus teachers, not just my mom) that just because I had some amount of musical ability/skill/talent I was *obligated* to play for people who wanted to be entertained or needed an accompanist.

Like, *having* to 'take my turn' to play the hymns in church with the others who could play - worse yet, because I was better than a couple of them I had to play more often because 'it sounded nicer'!!

I haven't dealt with this since I've only recently started playing again but I swear I will kick my husband in the shins if he starts announcing to people that I play and pushes me to 'play something'! (I know he's just proud but I hate it)
_________________________
Adult Amateur Pianist

My only domestic quality is that I live in a house.

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#933757 - 05/02/08 04:53 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7418
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
That's exactly my point with parents asking me to play on command - at recitals, at lessons, etc. We've discussed this in other posts, but you've nicely reinforced my "problem" with non-player's attitudes.

Sorry for being so far off topic.
_________________________
"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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#933758 - 05/02/08 10:38 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12229
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Thankfully, my husband has never announced that I play piano (or sing, which is even worse. At least with piano you can excuse yourself if there's not an instrument around! Of course, since I sing opera, that usually scares them away.). I think since he's a computer expert that everyone asks him to fix their computer problem...for free, of course. And even if they offered to pay, he doesn't want to do that in his free time too! So he can relate to the same thing happening with piano and voice. Luckily, growing up my parents knew I was always nervous playing in front of people, even though they would ask me to play something for others every once in a while. I usually declined, and I still do, but for other reasons now. Unless I really need to test out a piece on an audience. ;\)
_________________________
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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