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#933699 - 05/01/08 12:50 PM Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3443
Loc: Western Canada
Just found out, by accident, that one of my students has been playing in another teacher's recitals for the last 3 years! Just to clarify, my student gets absolutely no instruction from this other piano teacher whatsoever!

Also, there's no recognition that he's not his student. No announcement at his recitals that he's a guest! Nothing!

Maybe I should be please that my student gets an extra opportunity to perform publicly, which he loves doing? Maybe I should be flattered. But I have just never heard of this ever.

Totally confused about the whole thing at this point! And I'm speechless!

Any of your thoughts about what you would do in this situation would be very much appreciated.
_________________________
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/goldsparkledress.jpg
Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


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#933700 - 05/01/08 01:22 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 would have a "conniption" and in fact I'm having one right this minute in your behalf!

I'm amazed that this is a 3 year old happening and they - the other teacher - the parent - the student - have not thought that you would want to know about this - and should know.

The issue is ethics on the other teacher's part.

I would feel "ill" from discovering this as well as not understanding the secrecy of it.

Do you know the other teacher? Are you both MTNA members? Does it happen in her private studio, or through MTNA recitals? This could be grounds upon which acomplaint to the "ethics" chair could be made.

I'm speechless too. It makes me feel crazy imagining how ever do you work this out without fracturing your own integrity. The angry words inside block my ability to speak.

I, the advocate of a quiet mind, am sizzling at each person involved in this and consider it to be a gross problem. Obviously, they haven't seen it from your perspective. I would be offended and I would suppose that it might not be able to be worked out since it's some kind of a relationship to the other studio.

How did you find out about it?

What are you going to do?

In my book, this is pretty outrageous!

And, it would make me wonder what else I don't know.

Breathe deeply! Restore yourself to calm.

(Betty take your own advice!)

With best wishes, Diane!

Betty

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#933701 - 05/01/08 01:28 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11572
Loc: Canada
My reaction as student did not go beyond Is it possible at all that this teacher thinks she has a guest student who has no teacher and is teaching himself? Is it possible at all that he may also be taking (occasional) lessons from this teacher? How utterly strange! If one "guest student" is there, might there be other students of other teachers appearing as unannounced guests too?

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#933702 - 05/01/08 01:45 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
funburger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 1417
Diane, honestly my reaction is, if he didnt tell you that he was performing for 3 years what else dont ya know? he could very well be taking lessons from the other teacher also, so you cant jump to conclusions of the other teachers ethics. the kid obviously loves piano which is a plus, the parents probably thought nothing of it. the other teacher might not even know about you, if you didnt know about him/her. so i wouldnt jump to conclusions about the other teachers ethics until you actually talk to the other teacher and find out whats really going on if it is bothering you. just my 2 cents:)
_________________________
If it ain't fun I ain't doin' it:)

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#933703 - 05/01/08 01:54 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
tenders Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 73
Loc: Westchester, NY
It is certainly a compliment to you...and to your student. However, depending on how the other concert is billed, it is potentially misrepresenting the other teacher's abilities and roster. Not your problem, perhaps not in your student's best interests to halt it, and almost certainly not worth a confrontation with him, his family--all willing participants.

Why not stop by one of these concerts someday and compliment him?

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#933704 - 05/01/08 01:57 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5421
Loc: Orange County, CA
Wow! I'm shocked, too.

Is this other teacher "claiming" your student as his/her own? And the parents let this happen? That is so unprofessional.

Some suggestions--

1) Dump the student. Now.

2) Complain to your chapter of MTNA or whatever professional association you've joined. Over here in California we can file a written grievance to the State Board of Directors. If found to be unethical, a teacher can be dismissed for violating the Code of Ethics. No more state-sponsored programs for that unethical teacher.

3) Call up this other teacher and interrogate over the phone.

4) If nothing else provides you with a clear answer, sue. (Just kidding) But seriously, you should publicize the incident and let other people know what has happened.

I've encountered some "cloudy" people in our line of business. Whatever you do, stick with the bylaws and rules of your professional association. Do not associate yourself with people who engage in unethical behavior.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#933705 - 05/01/08 02:00 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5421
Loc: Orange County, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by tenders:
Why not stop by one of these concerts someday and compliment him? [/b]
:p

Great idea! There's this music school that stole two of my students. I'll just show up at their next recital and make everybody feel uncomfortable.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#933706 - 05/01/08 02:12 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
miaeih Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 267
Loc: SF Bay Area, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by tenders:
It is certainly a compliment to you...and to your student. However, depending on how the other concert is billed, it is potentially misrepresenting the other teacher's abilities and roster.[/b]
My thoughts exactly. I'm surprised so many here are immediately taking offense and jumping to conclusions about this.

Maybe the student just wants to be in a recital with their friends. Their family could know the other teacher and want to socialize together. The student may want more performing opportunities. Maybe the teacher has already informed the other students/families that someone they do not teach will be preforming. There are many possibilities that could explain this without negative thinking and most would be compliments.

Unless the student signed a contract stating that they would not perform without their teacher's permission and that they could not seek out a second teacher whether for lessons, feedback, etc, I'm not sure what the problem is.

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#933707 - 05/01/08 02:12 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7305
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Whoa!

First, I would contact the parents and student and confirm whether any instruction had been received by this teacher, and if the teacher knew the student was studying with you.

I would also pointedly ask if, somewhere in the recital, the student's teacher was acknowledged.

Then, as AZN has stated, I would cancel lessons immediately, explaining to the parent that this behavior is unethical, and hurts both teachers, not just you. It unfairly represents the other teacher as well, good or bad (we hope good!).

I would do all this first, before contacting the other teacher, because I have known students and parents who have been extremely deceptive about this and both teachers were totally ignorant about what was going on.

John
_________________________
"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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#933708 - 05/01/08 02:29 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11572
Loc: Canada
Is it possible at all that the student doesn't know the ins and outs of these kinds of ethics. I would not think of doing such a thing, but I know that over the last few years I have discovered a few things that were expected or taken for granted that I would not have thought of. I would explore this in a neutral way at first with the student - parents if they're involved and depending on the student's age, to find out what the thoughts were. What was his thinking and why?

The teacher is another matter. Wouldn't this teacher wonder where the student's skills were coming from? But again the prudent thing would be to find out exactly what has been going on.

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#933709 - 05/01/08 02:58 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5421
Loc: Orange County, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by miaeih:
Unless the student signed a contract stating that they would not perform without their teacher's permission and that they could not seek out a second teacher whether for lessons, feedback, etc, I'm not sure what the problem is. [/b]
Good point! I need to add that to my September contract update. Thanks for filling that loophole.

However, the Code of Ethics in our state's association states that a teacher cannot claim another teacher's student as his own, not even for the first six months since the transfer. Some cloudy teachers don't bother following this rule.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#933710 - 05/01/08 02:59 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11425
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I second John's advice about talking to the parents first. You need to get your facts straight. Kids sometimes don't really have it all straight in their minds. First talk with the parents (face to face if at all possible) and simply say that this was brought to your attention, and that you need to know if the child is taking lessons from this other teacher, and why they are performing in this other recital. Then I would call the teacher in question and ask them the same thing. Do all this without any accusations or anger, as you really don't know if there's any wrong doing at this point.

Then when you have a better idea of what's going on, you can decide if you should stop teaching this student and raise ethical questions about the teacher.
_________________________
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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#933711 - 05/01/08 02:59 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3443
Loc: Western Canada
Thanks everyone!

How I found out about this was he brought me a DVD that I could keep of him playing the piano at this teacher's recital. Pieces, I taught him. When I asked him where this was, cause he was dressed up and everything, he said a family friend (the other piano teacher) of theirs always invites him to play at his recitals.

This other piano teacher was his piano teacher before me, but he transerred to me 4 years ago. I know for sure that this other teacher is not teaching him now. So maybe because he is a family friend, I just keep quiet and let this go.

My student gets lots of positive feed back from performing there, which I'm grateful for, but I still just don't think this is right!
_________________________
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/goldsparkledress.jpg
Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


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#933712 - 05/01/08 03:25 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11572
Loc: Canada
It sounds like he wasn't being devious since he gave you the CD and even expected you to be please. Could this first piano teacher be more the casual sort, the kind that knows how to play piano and so teaches a couple of kids but isn't into the formality of the situation? If it is known that he is no longer her student, is it possible that people might ask him "Who is your piano teacher?" If your teaching is superior, then his playing would stand out by contrast, and that is an advertisement in your favour (and not in the other teacher's favour). Those are a lot of ifs.

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#933713 - 05/01/08 03:35 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Courtesy is still courtesy to the teacher.

Let the teacher know your plans to perform elsewhere.

The other teacher should have called and express their interest in welcoming him to perform there as a "graduate" of his studio, and now a student of __________Diane...

They might even have invited you.

I am still strong on ethics.

However, I always hope not to embarrass anyone on problems like this. It is hard to remain cool when you hear or see something and it's an absolute surprize to you.

Communicate with them.

My fit lasted only until the next subject came to my attention, and life has gone on. However, I did find it upsetting that this would happen to any piano teacher.

Betty

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#933714 - 05/01/08 03:40 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
lalakeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 286
Loc: Chicago 'burbs
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"!).
_________________________
Private piano & voice teacher for over 20 years; currently also working as a pipe organist for 3 area churches; sing in a Chicago-area acappella chamber choir

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#933715 - 05/01/08 03:49 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1785
Loc: Central TX
 Quote:
Originally posted by AZNpiano:
 Quote:
Originally posted by miaeih:
Unless the student signed a contract stating that they would not perform without their teacher's permission and that they could not seek out a second teacher whether for lessons, feedback, etc, I'm not sure what the problem is. [/b]
Good point! I need to add that to my September contract update. Thanks for filling that loophole.

However, the Code of Ethics in our state's association states that a teacher cannot claim another teacher's student as his own, not even for the first six months since the transfer. Some cloudy teachers don't bother following this rule. [/b]
I'd be a bit careful about putting that type of verbiage in the contract. I'd be very disinclined to go with a teacher whose contract had that type of language. Seems to me that this oversteps boundaries (e.g. I can't even get someone elses opinion, hmmm).

I do understand the issue here first hand. My wife and my kids have two different teachers, my kids were invited to play at my wifes first recital (her teacher is new to the area and her studio is still small). We did indeed let our kids teacher know that we were doing this (not to get permission, but as a courtesy), even though the two teachers actually know each other personally. I'm not sure exactly how we'd react if the kids teacher had some type of problem with this.

I completely understand the courtesy and respect issue involved here (from a parents/students POV, I won't speak to the teachers ethics POV), but putting official language in a contract takes it to a completely different level. Having language that _asks_ that the teacher be told of these events makes complete sense to me, but dictating what the student can/can't do outside the lesson times (other than requiring some minimum amount of practice time) seems to me outside the scope of such an agreement.

Of course this is just my opinion and there are probably plenty of teachers that can and do have clauses like that in their contracts and have nice full studios so YMMV.

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#933716 - 05/01/08 03:52 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11572
Loc: Canada
The only one in error was the original teacher, who probably is the bumbling more casual sort for whom these recitals are happy occasions and nothing more. Stupidity and lack of awareness does abound in the strangest corners. If no deviousness was intended, warm emotions of friendship the motivator then nothing was "done" to anyone. Just a breach of etiquette.

The child's gesture of handing the DVD to his teacher speaks of inclusion, not exclusion. I would see his attitude as being something like pride of representing his teacher in this other place. He might be proud of his present teacher and what she has given him, which he wants to show off. Misguided, sure. Perhaps you could invite the other teacher to one of your recitals. Get to know her.

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#933717 - 05/01/08 04:16 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by bitWrangler:
 Quote:
Originally posted by AZNpiano:
 Quote:
Originally posted by miaeih:
Unless the student signed a contract stating that they would not perform without their teacher's permission and that they could not seek out a second teacher whether for lessons, feedback, etc, I'm not sure what the problem is. [/b]
Good point! I need to add that to my September contract update. Thanks for filling that loophole.
[/b]
I'd be a bit careful about putting that type of verbiage in the contract. I'd be very disinclined to go with a teacher whose contract had that type of language. Seems to me that this oversteps boundaries (e.g. I can't even get someone elses opinion, hmmm).[/b]
Ditto here. In my mind, the larger "ethical violation" is a teacher who attempts to control the student's playing to the extent of making the student ask permission before playing in public anywhere.

I'm still gobsmacked over that concept.

I personally don't see anything wrong in a student playing in another recital. Yes, it would be nice for the student and other teacher to acknowledge the hard work and good training provided by the real teacher. But if you believe that playing in recitals is a good experience for a piano student (you do, don't you?) then surely it's a good thing for a student to get as much experience playing publicly as possible?
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#933718 - 05/01/08 04:37 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
tickler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 371
Loc: Chicagoland
I agree that the recital handout should list the student's teacher -- so that the wrong assumptions aren't made.

But, it seems VERY wrong to not allow a student to perform without their teacher's permission. Does that mean the student can't play the piano for a school play? Or perform at a hospital or nursing home?

Not being able to contact another teacher for lessons is also wrong. What if a family friend is a teacher and offers a lesson while visiting? Does this mean the student can't take master classes elsewhere?

Personally, I wouldn't sign a contract with clauses like that. I'd find another teacher.

Mary
_________________________
Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman. -- Beethoven
1911 Steinway A-II (2007 Rebuild)

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#933719 - 05/01/08 04:44 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7305
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Isn't it amazing how amplifying details can completely change the situation?

Many of us would have responded quite differently had we known more initially. Of course, the amplifying material does change the response.

At this point in the discussion, I'd probably just call the other teacher, tell her how much I appreciated the DVD and my student's opportunity to perform, but add, that I would have liked to attend if at all possible, so in the future, could she include me in the loop. And, oh, by the way, it would also be appreciated if the program would indicate that Arthur's teacher is so and so, and probably she should extend that courtesy to any other teacher whose student is performing.
_________________________
"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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#933720 - 05/01/08 04:56 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7305
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Mary (tickler), you make some interesting points. When one of my students perform publicly, they are, for better or worse, representing my studio and my teaching. Naturally, I'd rather them be well prepared and make a strong impression. I can help them! This is my job!

I am not quite to the point where I would "prohibit" a student from playing a venue, but on the other hand, most teachers know whether the student is well matched to the venue being considered.

Generally speaking, we engage masterclasses for our students, and make sure the teacher knows the material the student will be presenting.

Better teachers are leading students down a path of discovery, learning, and mastery. Occasional detours can be invigorating, but they can also be devestating or have negative results. Masterclasses can be very tough on a student's ego. And sometimes, the masterclass teacher may be teaching or approving a technique you want your student to avoid until they are more mature. Thus, caution is indicated.
_________________________
"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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#933721 - 05/01/08 04:58 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11572
Loc: Canada
This story has put some interesting things on the forefront that we usually don't think about.

Recitals have two roles. It is important for the student's sake to have recitals, and as many as possible. Musicianship is about performing, and a musician who can't performing through inexperience is missing something. So recitals are necessary for the student's sake.

However, recitals are also a form of advertisement. If a student plays badly then it's negative advertisement and if a student plays well everyone will assume that he is playing well becuase of his hard work and the guidance of his teacher.

In regards to taking lessons with other teachers - it is not advisable as a beginner because you don't now when different approaches and methods could clash and confuse. However, opportunities such as masterclasses come up, and it can happen that a teacher is weak in some area as the student progresses which a consulting teacher or similar can help with in which case you have a delicate situation. Or you may have a teacher who is more performance oriented, another who is technically oriented and the combination may work well. I have heard of advanced students studying with two teachers for that reason, but both teachers knowing about each other and approving. Then, I hear that there are camps and masterclasses. I'd be cautious on the premise that too many cooks spoil the broth, however.

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#933722 - 05/01/08 05:00 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11572
Loc: Canada
John, we posted at the same time.
 Quote:
Better teachers are leading students down a path of discovery, learning, and mastery. Occasional detours can be invigorating, but they can also be devestating or have negative results. Masterclasses can be very tough on a student's ego. And sometimes, the masterclass teacher may be teaching or approving a technique you want your student to avoid until they are more mature. Thus, caution is indicated
Thank you for that insight.

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#933723 - 05/01/08 05:08 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
We as teachers need to keep awareness of those students who are capable of making the long term grade through the study of music and work diligently with them, guiding in many ways besides where the music carries the interest.

We have a musical family in our studios, our students, their families, and the teacher.

We are also like mentors to the student. We are responsible for what we do. In return for I offer music education, artistry preparation, and theoretical insight, music appreciation, music history in my teaching. In depth education.

If you want casual lessons that you control so I make no demands on you, have no input on expressing what I want, and you vote with your feet with any and all of your teachers when you were tweaked with me, I frankly, do not want to have you in my studio. In my experience, with these situations, no one gains a thing. There is no responsibility to each other, there is no communication between us, there is no relationship being created.

If I can't give my being to you, and you are not willing to receive it, and you want only what you want to do, please see the nearest music store where they will agreeably meet your needs to the best of their ability for a price.

My time is valuable, and I choose to spend it with people who have an appreciation of the continuance of the art form of being a musician, and all things that it demands.

If this is offending someone, good. I am as offended as you, but I'm offended about what you think piano lessons are about.

This is education and art at it's best - regardless of the kind of music we choose to play. I like and teach all kinds of music, with a few exceptions.

Be careful in shopping for your teacher in the first place, so all of this potential conflict comes out before you get started. I want to spare you the problems we will have together, and I want to spare myself, too.

I'm not being a smart a** here, this is my basic stance, and has been for a very long time, about teaching music.

Opinions differ among us because of the role we play in it. Each person must search and find their own place of comfort.

As to why we would be difficult about having our students performing somewhere, I'll just say I have reasons that many people would not understand, saying: "What's the big deal?"

If someone wants not to sign my contract, I'm glad they are able to refuse and find the circumstances they need. I will trust their judgment that it's not right for them. We are actually helping each other out arriving at that conclusion.

What might have been our cooperation and respect between each other has been sacrificed, and we will never know, what "the road less traveled" might have brought to us.

This is a piano teacher's forum that this is being posted into. I would like to feel understood in what I post about my philosophies concerning what the piano lesson experience involves. This is who I am, and what I believe, and it's my responsibility to keep this "oath" or "credo" to myself during my lifetime.

Betty

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#933724 - 05/01/08 05:35 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
tickler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 371
Loc: Chicagoland
Here's another situation where a student might want to take lessons from 2 different teachers.

Student #1 has teacher #1 for their regular lessons.

But then student #1 starts playing duets -- outside of their lessons -- with another player, student #2. This student #2 takes lessons from teacher #2.

The 2 students decide that they need an occasional lesson specifically for their duet playing, independent of their other studies. So they schedule a lesson with one of the teachers. Does the other teacher have grounds for complaint?

This is an actual example. I'm doing this currently -- playing duets with a friend and taking an occasional lesson with someone other than my primary piano teacher.

My teacher knows about the situation and duet the lessons. I've kept her fully informed about the duets and duet lessons. But I can imagine that others might not feel the need to do so.


Mary
_________________________
Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman. -- Beethoven
1911 Steinway A-II (2007 Rebuild)

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#933725 - 05/01/08 07:31 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11572
Loc: Canada
Betty, I have read your post over and over, and I am in confusion. I have even parsed it and I can't make sense of it. You seem to be so angry about something.

I thought that maybe it was the reaction to the "do not perform" contract that people reacted to, but you didn't even author that part.

There's a scenario of students being angry with teachers, doing whatever they want ... tons of stuff, and I see no signs of any of that in anything that has been written.

The non-performance clause is not yours, so I cannot ask you about it. It is possible that "performance" is understood differently by different people.

I visited elderly mother at Christmas and acquaintances asked for a musical evening. I ended up rehearsing and performing. There was a Haendel duet, Bach Ciaconne, piano performance by someone, violin solo. It was fairly formal affair so it was a performance.

Many people who take up music are by nature performers. Some of us already do perform. To suggest that for the years that they study with a particular teacher they would be forbidden to perform anywhere sets up a combination of panic and suffocation. You cannot have meant that.

Betty, nobody can be rejecting your policies because they are not sufficiently known. A potential student would have to be in your studio, discussing every item carefully with you - not reading a quick sketch over the Internet.

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#933726 - 05/01/08 07:47 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
tickler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 371
Loc: Chicagoland
Betty,

I, too, don't understand the thrust of your latest post. It sounds like you're angry, but I'm not sure about what.

I'd appreciate it if you'd clarify.


Mary
_________________________
Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman. -- Beethoven
1911 Steinway A-II (2007 Rebuild)

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#933727 - 05/01/08 07:48 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5421
Loc: Orange County, CA
I think what Betty was reacting to was the sheer lack of loyalty and dedication some piano students (or parents) exhibit. She was probably connecting with some personal experience. I know I had dealt with it before.

I know I have high expectations from my students because I expect that much from myself as a teacher. If I put in all this effort, only to find out the student has been seeing another teacher and/or performing in a venue where he could be mistaken as another teacher's student (all done without my knowledge), I'd be angry, too.

Note--I use the phrase "without my knowledge," not "without my permission." I'm sure if one of my students lets me know he's going to play at a talent show or another public performance, I'd be thrilled. But first I'd make sure he's ready to play that piece. Then I'd send him my blessings. Permission was never really the issue; it's knowledge.
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Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#933728 - 05/01/08 07:54 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5421
Loc: Orange County, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Betty Patnude:
If I can't give my being to you, and you are not willing to receive it, and you want only what you want to do, please see the nearest music store where they will agreeably meet your needs to the best of their ability for a price.
[/b]
O 'tis true, 'tis true.

One of my colleagues (who thinks and teaches like I do) once said there's a piano teacher for everyone. If the student doesn't follow her demanding instructions, she drops the student from her studio.
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#933729 - 05/01/08 07:57 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5421
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 Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11572
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
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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 Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11572
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 Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11572
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 Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11572
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: 3443
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
_________________________
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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: 5220
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! :-(
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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......
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#933743 - 05/02/08 08:48 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11572
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: 7305
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: 17746
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.
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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   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5421
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.
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#933749 - 05/02/08 01:18 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Online   content
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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 Online   content
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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
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Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1785
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
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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 Online   content
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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
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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...
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#933755 - 05/02/08 03:58 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Betty Patnude Offline
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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
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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)
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#933757 - 05/02/08 04:53 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
John v.d.Brook Offline
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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.
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#933758 - 05/02/08 10:38 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Morodiene Online   content
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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. ;\)
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#933759 - 05/03/08 12:33 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
SAnnM AB-2001 Offline
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Loc: Canada
Until this topic, I hadn't thought about how teachers might feel about their students performing in other recitals. I've been thinking a lot about my own opportunity to perform in one. I'm having second thoughts and will certainly ask my teacher how he feels about it before I decide.
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#933760 - 05/03/08 10:27 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Wombat66 Offline
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Registered: 03/31/05
Posts: 262
Loc: Cornwall UK
I am completely speechless,,,,,as I sit here eating a doughnut not wanting to spit crumbs over the screen, and I’ve no one to talk to anyway.
Hey guys isn’t it a little dark up there inside your colons?
Time to crawl out of your ********* and take a little breath of reality.
A child plays at a family friend’s piano recital for his own pleasure and the pleasure of the other people attending. He is rewarded for his efforts with a DVD of his performance – and is proud enough of it to share it with you.
Suddenly you’re all talking about codes of ethics, piano recitals as “advertisements” possible legal action and getting pupils to sign contracts.
You seem to have forgotten that you are teaching little children to play a musical instrument (something that in many cases the child in question finds unbelievably tedious). You are NOT managing Elton Bloody John.
You are all so far up there that you cannot take pride that you have helped produce someone who actually enjoys his instrument and is capable of performing in front of others for both party’s enjoyment. You have absolutely no rights over what he plays or where he performs no matter how insignificant or otherwise the role you took in the learning process. None of you has any right to make your pupils parade up and down the main street wearing a sandwich board with the name of their piano teacher on or make them tattoo their chest with the name of your favourite composer. I find the thought that you somehow feel you have an artistic ownership over your pupils rights to public performance just as repulsive.
The pupil in question clearly saw nothing wrong with their actions and were proud of their performance or they wouldn’t have shown you the DVD.
They were presumably hoping for praise, encouragement and constructive critique. Instead I suspect they learnt a lesson in jealousy and paranoia. I doubt very much if you’ll need to get rid of this student as some equally jealous and paranoid posters suggest, since if their parents have any sense they’ll do it for you.

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#933761 - 05/03/08 12:14 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Betty Patnude Offline
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Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Dear Wombat 66,

1) Ouch!
2) What kind of donut are you eating?
3) Your profile says "Doctor". Are you also an adult student or a teacher? I don't believe I've "met" you before in PWF.
4) Good morning to you!

Betty

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#933762 - 05/03/08 03:03 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Nikolas Offline
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Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5220
Loc: Europe
Wombat66: Ouch indeed! There are SO many different ways for one to express himself and yet you had to pick the most insulting! Well done!
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#933763 - 05/03/08 04:26 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Greg Howlett Offline
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Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 79
Loc: Monroe, GA
What an interesting thread. As a teacher and a student for thirty years, I am speechless.

First, I would be careful about throwing around the unethical label and making other comments that seem very judgmental and off base.

Second, I think it is fine to think what we do is important, but we also need to be realistic about what we really are doing--teaching average musicians a skill.

I remember when I was 16 and took from a classical teacher. Every year, I also participated in a sacred contest through my school. I never went over the music for that contest with my teacher. I remember that she found out about it and got offended. I simply wanted to keep the focus during the lesson on classical music and did not want to bother her with my sacred music. I now know at least why she got offended.

On the other hand, a student of mine recently partipated in another recital. I never once considered the ethics or wondered if I should get credit in the program.

The point is that there are many people who just do these things and never think twice about it. Getting upset and calling them unethical is not wise.

Also, I cannot say how unappetizing I find the idea that a student has to get permission from a teacher before performing or cannot take from multiple teachers at once. There are good reasons why someone might study with multiple teachers at the same time.

Teaching is not supposed to be about us. It is supposed to be about others. So, I am a little disturbed by all the self focus here.
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#933764 - 05/03/08 04:49 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Online   content
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#933765 - 05/03/08 09:14 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7305
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Until now, I thought the Rev. Wright was the best demagogue around. I stand corrected!
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#933766 - 05/03/08 09:51 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Roger Ransom Online   content
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Registered: 01/19/05
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I agree that it is actually none of the teachers business where and when a student plays unless the student chooses to share the information.

When I was taking lessons as a teenager I played in numerous contexts - accompanied other students, played for singalongs at the Kiwanis club once a week, participated in a string trio, played for a male glee club and other things. I never once thought of telling my teacher or not telling her. It was my fingers, my talent (such as it was)and my business. I also took additional lessons from a teacher who was willing to teach me improvisation (she would only teach classics).

I honestly have no idea to this day if she knew any of this was going on. It wasn't a secret, I just never considered telling her.

She gave me some valuable guidance once a week but all the effort, achievement and practicing was mine.
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#933767 - 05/03/08 10:26 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Diane... Offline
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Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3443
Loc: Western Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:

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. [/b]
Exactly John, thank you!

A recital is really your "report card". Report cards should only have your marks in it, not anyone else's marks!
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#933768 - 05/03/08 10:31 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7305
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Roger, most teachers are thrilled when students get out and perform. And they don't ask that the student post the name of the teacher every time they do so. That, of course, is not what we were talking about. We were discussing a specific situation where one teacher was presenting a student at an annual recital - for several years, without indicating that the student was not her's but was being taught by another teacher. It is a form of false advertising, because the parents attending are given expectations that their student will achieve the same level, if they continue on with the teacher in question.

There's a world of difference between the two.
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#933769 - 05/03/08 11:29 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
saerra Offline
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Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 842
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Hi everyone,

I've been following this thread, and found it really interesting. I have to admit, as a student - my first reaction was pretty much in line with the other students who have posted, a bit incredulous!

I think there are a couple things being missed on both sides - everyone is coming at it from a different context.

From the context of the posting students - I think most of us (certainly me!) read most of the original comments as saying that students should not perform anywhere, anytime without getting permission from their teachers. But - as John clarified - that's not really what you guys are saying, right? You're really talking very specifically about performing in another teachers recital, which has a very specific implication that the performers are students of the teacher hosting the recital, unless otherwise noted.

For the teachers - a couple thoughts, if you don't mind...

- I noticed on page 1, Diane said that "This other piano teacher was his piano teacher before me, but he transerred to me 4 years ago." -- NOBODY had mentioned that... does it make a difference? I've read several times here about how critical one's first teacher is, and how they set up all your foundations - does it change the situation at all that this teacher DID teach him, at one point, so he was her student and might attribute some of his skills to what he learned from her (this is NOT at all meant to discount that Diane has taught him for the last four years, which is a significant period of time.)

- I think there are issues of context here - what I mean is - it felt like to me, that maybe the teachers here were a bit offended by the students posting, or at least surprised that the students didn't see/understand why this is a big deal.

But - we are in very different contexts. I don't teach music (or anything else!), I don't run my own business, I think there's alot of "behind the scenes" stuff that you know, and maybe it's so obvious when you're immersed in it that you forget that not everyone knows that!

For example - one of the points that was raised was a recital ALSO acts as a type of advertisement for the teacher.

Honestly, that thought never would have crossed my mind. I think it's something that's just basic, accepted knowledge to music teachers, but maybe those of us not in the industry wouldn't even consider when we read the scenario.

I also wonder about how that works! When I watch the students at my teachers recital - again - it has simply never occurred to me to judge my teacher by their performance. More often, I am thinking - either that they must be a beginner (between the nerves and the piece!) or possibly evaluating them ("wow, he's awesome, he must practice alot! i bet he's been taking lessons forever!") But I am honestly (sorry, but true) usually evaluating the student in terms of their hard work, their practice, their nerves - not thinking of the student as a reflection of the teacher (sorry, but this is an honest reflection of my thinking.)

Perhaps because I already know the teacher, it doesn't enter into the equation, but... I don't know if I saw someone elses' recital whether or not I'd evaluate the teacher based on performances.

And, I'm sorry if this is offensive... I don't mean it to be, or if it overly discounts what teachers do. But as an adult student, I don't know how comfortable I am with someone listening to me play and saying, "wow you must have an awesome teacher" - as opposed to recognizing my hard work and studies and hours of practicing! I don't want to discount teachers at all - my teacher is brilliant, but at the end of the day, his brilliance is useless if *I* don't actually ask questions, clarify things, study, practice, and do the "learning".

Finally - I do wonder if this information (the fact that, at least for adult students, it's surprising and to some offensive, that a teacher would be hurt/offended/upset by us performing without them knowing) - can be at all useful? What I mean is, it's not just one or two people being mildly surprised, it's quite a few people being pretty vocal - rather than defend the position, maybe it's good to be aware of it, so you know what to expect (i.e. so you don't expect your students will automatically know that this is upsetting to you). Does that make sense? Just from an information point - if it's something you as a teacher take for granted that common decency or loyalty would prevent your students from doing this, but you can see that your students might not actually know that you think that or understand you might be upset - you may be setting yourself up for needless upset ;\)

Anyway, just some thoughts.

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#933770 - 05/03/08 11:49 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Online   content
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I must say that for quite a few years it never dawned on me that a teacher would be judged by his student's performances. but now, if I were to imagine changing teachers or trying a new instrument I probably would attend recitals to get a feeling for how he teaches. If every single student has the same problem, or the same unusual skill, that probably has to do with the teacher.

But it first dawned on me the year I was part of two choirs, and we also performed in conjunction with another choir. In intermission you would hear people talk, and they would be criticizing the choirmaster for the performance of his choir. We were amateurs and could be forgiven. But he was a professional and was expected to have skills and judgement, and he was judged on that by the audience, and by the other choirs.

It came to me that with the way we are still unstable and unpredictable as students, presenting a formal recital as opposed to directing trained musicians must feel a bit like juggling live grenades, wondering when one is going to go off. Who is more nervous - the student or the teacher? Sometimes I wonder.

HOWEVER - teachers - when I sit in intermission munching goodies with the audience of family members and guest, their interest is NOT in how well the students perform. They are concerned about the well-being of the performers. Do they feel safe? Do they look stressed? Are they scared? Is this too much for them? The audeince in the recitals were I have been form a cohesive protective blanket around each and every performer, encouraging them, wishing them well. You can feel the warmth. They do not expect professional entertainment. The judgement of a teacher who made a student feel uncomfortable would be harsher than if a student played badly, which would be seen as nerves and inexperience. This is what I have seen in my neck of the woods, anyway.

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#933771 - 05/03/08 11:52 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Greg Howlett Offline
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Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 79
Loc: Monroe, GA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Diane...:
Exactly John, thank you!

A recital is really your "report card". Report cards should only have your marks in it, not anyone else's marks! [/b]
I think this is what sort of bothers me. A teacher that sees a recital as their report card. Just seems like the focus is a bit too much on yourself. At best, a teacher can take only part of the credit for a student's success and should take only part of the blame for a failure.

From a business perspective (because I am primarily a business owner), I am even more bothered. Students are customers, and some of the rhetoric here just does not seem very customer friendly.
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#933772 - 05/03/08 11:56 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7305
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
As saerra stated:

 Quote:
And, I'm sorry if this is offensive... I don't mean it to be, or if it overly discounts what teachers do. But as an adult student, I don't know how comfortable I am with someone listening to me play and saying, "wow you must have an awesome teacher" - as opposed to recognizing my hard work and studies and hours of practicing! I don't want to discount teachers at all - my teacher is brilliant, but at the end of the day, his brilliance is useless if *I* don't actually ask questions, clarify things, study, practice, and do the "learning".
It's not offensive at all. It's not an either/or proposition. In serious music circles, students do evaluate teachers by how other students do. It's a given that students are working hard.[/b] The edge goes to the students with the best teachers. Adult students may not be aware of this, but I assure you, serious music students are very much in tune with the quality of various teachers. Students pick music schools and conservatories based solely on the teachers there. Parents of young students check all the time. Most of my referals start out, "We're new to town, and when we were asking around, you're name came up - do you have any openings? Can you audition our child?"

 Quote:
- does it change the situation at all that this teacher DID teach him, at one point, so he was her student and might attribute some of his skills to what he learned from her (this is NOT at all meant to discount that Diane has taught him for the last four years, which is a significant period of time.)
Very much so - Four years in the life of a student is an eternity! Huge amounts of growth occure. Four years is the period students spend at the conservatory earning their degree!

I'll give you one example - a 9th grader who came to me 4 years ago playing only the allegro movement of a Clementi sonatina. His current repertoire includes the Haydn D major concerto (which he has performed in public), the complete Bach French Suite #5 in G; the Eb Impromtu by Schubert; the complete Kinderszenen by Schumann, two works by Debussy - the Arabesque and Golliwogg, and the Rustles of Spring by Sinding. He played the program (not the concerto) this afternoon for a small recital. I'm sure that whatever profession various adult students are in, you'd be livid if someone else was taking credit, real or implied, for you efforts.

Keystring wrote:

 Quote:
Who is more nervous - the student or the teacher? Sometimes I wonder.
Let me remove all doubts, students don't know half the nerves teachers face!

My edit was to add the Schubert, which I left out of his repertoire!
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#933773 - 05/04/08 12:19 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Online   content
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 Quote:
Let me remove all doubts, students don't know half the nerves teachers face!
Would it be unnerving to say that some of us have guessed? ;\)

John, what you are saying is well understood by now. That is what the issue in this thread is about. Personally I consider it a courtesy to the teacher as well as to the audience to arrive at a recital well prepared; but the first is because of an awareness of this matter.

However, this thread has split into two issues. I believe the second should be completely understood. When it came to the suggestion of contracts forbidding students performing anything anywhere without prior permission, a different world was encroached upon. This world is far removed from such formalities. What that clause seemed to imply encroached upon every sense of privacy, freedom and spontaneity. It seemed to meean that at family gatherings, neighbourhood picnics, a student could not let go, be spontaneous, and play in front of others. The inhibition that this would engender would be counter-productive. Musicianship requires nerves, and you can't develop those if you have the feeling of being on an invisible leash all the time with no trust that you can take risks safely. Every performance is a risk, and we must learn to be judicious risk takers. People are reading into this the control of their lives to the smallest degree, for the simplest little performance, and the removal of all spontaneity. This is where the reaction is coming from.

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#933774 - 05/04/08 12:24 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
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Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5421
Loc: Orange County, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Roger Ransom:
I agree that it is actually none of the teachers business where and when a student plays unless the student chooses to share the information. [/b]
That's what I thought when I was a naive 8th grader. I was playing Mozart's "Rondo alla Turka." I really liked the piece, but my teacher at that time didn't think I was ready for it. I practiced for hours and hours, listened to the recording dozens of times, and took copious notes in the score. I basically taught the piece to myself. I played it at the talent show without first telling my teacher. Then, after the concert, I told my teacher. At the time I thought I did well, and I told my teacher because I was looking for some reassuring, positive feedback. Boy, was I wrong. She was vastly disappointed and told me I shouldn't have done that.

At that time I didn't understand why. Now, as a piano teacher, I can see exactly why. Here are some reasons--

1) Whether you like it or not, every public performance is judged. Depending on the audience, some performances are judged more critically than others. If the student performs well, people tend to credit the teacher. If the student doesn't, people blame the teacher. This is especially true when you have parents in the audience who know a thing or two about music. They keep us teachers on our toes!!

2) Teachers feel the moral/ethical/professional responsibility for the product of their studio. Obviously, when the student is not ready to be presented in front of an audience, the teacher needs to stop it before it happens. Then, the teacher should select something that the student can play well and guide the student toward that direction. I think all responsible teachers feel this way.

3) Worst case scenario--the student plays absolutely horribly at the public event. Some parents in the audience "pretend to congratulate" the student and ask who the teacher is. The student gives the information. Then, some negative word-of-mouth begin to spread about the teacher ("Oh, have you heard so-and-so's students? They are horrible!!!!"), and the teacher doesn't even know about it.

As a working piano teacher, I know it takes years to establish a good reputation. Good reputation draws good students. All it takes is one bad public performance to ruin that reputation. I know this sounds extreme, but it _can_ happen. All established piano teachers are wary of that possibility.

I used to teach a student who would play in front of others without telling me. He actually enjoyed playing in front of people, which should be a good thing. I've told him many many many times to stop performing pieces that are not ready. It's one thing to play for fun in front of his schoolmates; it's another thing to play absolutely terribly at a recital or public concert. He refused to follow my fingering indications, and his rhythm was all over the place. He also accompanies his school's chorus--and I teach other students from his school! Finally I had to cut him loose from my studio. I cannot be held responsible for his reckless public performances anymore.
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#933775 - 05/04/08 12:46 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7305
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
keystring - needless to say, you are quite perceptive. But I gathered from a few recent posts that some still don't get it. I wanted to amplify a bit.

Actually, there is a hint of a 3rd issue here. For the most part, adult students come to piano lessons with a different agenda than students in school. Oh, yes, both are wanting to learn to play the piano. But it is my impression that parents are engaging piano lessons as part of their student's education, where as we adults, when we take classes, are more focused on skills. I'm not sure how to say this exactly, so please forgive my stumbling. When I took ski lessons, it was for the pleasure of being able to ski past the bunny runs, not to become an olympic athelete. When I took Italian classes, it was so I could order meals in Italy, not to become an Italian novelist, translator, etc.

I'm still not clearly stating what I'm getting at, but my sense is that most adult students treat piano lessons like a commodity, where as, parents of young children are investing in developing their children's minds.

The reaction of many adult students, "I paid for it, I can darn well play where I want" would be typical of any commodity you've purchased. Where as, if you sought out a specific individual to guide your development, such a thought would never cross your mind.

Does any of this make any sense?
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
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#933776 - 05/04/08 01:42 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Online   content
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I want to be careful not to confuse two issues, John. The commodity attitude comes across often enough, and its effect lingers like a discordant tone ringing in your ears when you hear reactions. How the "contract forbidding unauthorized performances" sounded would not seem to reflect the attitude of most teachers. The advice by teachers generally is to get performance experience as much as possible, and so people believe they are being responsible and doing something teachers would approve of by volunteering at hospitals etc. Would you care to confirm that most teachers would not object, or expect to be asked permission, for their student to play at grandmother's 80th birthday? People are envisioning this kind of thing as being included as a forbidden activity. There is an emotional, private, delicately personal aspect to some kinds of performances, and also relationships to family members. This is what seems invaded. I suspect that the outrage and concern is misplaced, because this would not be any teacher's intent. Am I correct?

Your issue # 3 is the source of personal frustration both for me, because some of us have different goals. I have edited this for brevity because I have written about this before. It is the reason why I advocate communication, because teachers cannot guess about their students' aspirations, especially those of adults.

 Quote:
But it is my impression that parents are engaging piano lessons as part of their student's education
This is an interesting idea. I raised my sons sort of along the John Holt idea (What Danny Boy was after.) and so I had self-actualized young people and I didn't really "form" their education that way, even though we homeschooled for close to a decade. My younger son and I both began music lessons - at different times (I was later) - for the same reasons. We each wanted to learn to play the instrument well. The experiences were different in some ways, because as a late starter at almost 13 he was under a time pressure that I was not. You must be in shape for auditioning by mid-grade 12. The clock started ticking for him before he had even finished his first year. I was a very uninvolved, undirecting parent becuase I had very involved self-motivated children.
 Quote:
... where as we adults, when we take classes, are more focused on skills.
Forgive me, but I would not call those skills. I would call them musical bags of tricks and quick fixes. This involves wanting to play certain beloved pieces to sound as one has heard they are supposed to sound, or to be able to play certain music well enough to be able to enjoy it. Whatever technique is needed is taken immediately at face value as it appears - you may know what I mean.

Skill, to me, is something that resides in something much deeper and involved. I seek skill but it is not that. I would like one day to call myself a musician, and to me that is an honoured and earned title with a specific meaning. Am I wrong?

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#933777 - 05/04/08 03:14 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Online   content
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Having thought about this, I did not understand the "commodity" part - I tend to be hung up on "nature and purpose of lessons". I think in terms that would say that if you hire an expert, you will benefit from that if you allow him to guide along his line of expertise. If a teacher does what I want him to do, that may not be to my advantage.

But "commodity" is more in the sense that a teacher is a replaceable toothbrush. It still comes down to the same thing.

We just had that argument in the translators forum. We are getting a kind of agency-client that wants to dictate how we work: cheap rates, fast turnaround, specialized text by cheap non-specialists. The one camp is saying that the customer pays so the customer gets what he wants, and if what he dictates produces garbage, so be it. I am of the camp that since I have the expertise I am responsible, including protecting the client against himself for the sake of his best interest. that includes risking losing that client.

But closer to home,many years ago I tutored a 12 year old girl who was identified as learning disabled. She could barely read or write. I traced her disability down to trying to do everything at once. We began with low grade Peter and Jane readers, and when the structure became more complicated, we traded voices back and forth, acted out characters with squeaky voices. One day she skipped happily upstairs telling me she could read every book in the classroom (grade 6). She was encouraged to be playful with written words in colour and shape, and she began to enjoy writing. Every time this girl succeeded, her mother became depressed, "worried", and told me how bad her daughter was at learning. The last time this happened was at the library, where the girl learned to research books, mother predicting she couldn't - girl did splendidly well.

Shortly thereafter the mother tried to dictate how I should teach. Learning was supposed to be difficult and tedious as it had been for her. Her daughter was having too much fun. She wanted me to force her daughter to copy out the words of a novel she had brought, turning all present tense sentences into the past tense. I told her that if I did as she said, it would ruin every bit of progress we had made. The girl had advanced 4 grades in reading in 3 months! I lost the student as client. She ended up in a "learning centre" where they make kids slog through workbooks. I thought I was diplomatic that day. My sons, preschoolers, told me that I had a murderous look in my eye. That poor girl! I will not harm a student, nor a client, regardless of wishes or the exchange of money.

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#933778 - 05/04/08 03:42 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
btb Offline
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Registered: 01/21/04
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Loc: Pretoria South Africa
The clamour of affronted piano teachers crackles with self-indulgent wounded pride ... a litany of shocked egos humiliated at the thought of an enterprising fellow teacher having stolen a concert march ... and no insightful thought of the plucky lad who now has a proud confidence-boosting DVD of himself performing in public.

The true value of a piano teacher lies in the ability to inspire the student to master the playing of the piano ... sounds all too obvious ... but so often the mission degenerates into a bitty catalogue of theoretical padding.

IMHO give the lad every support for his extra- mural adventure ... wonder how many piano teachers have ever shared the magical pupil metamorphosis ... in the Gershwin "Summertime" words ...

"One of these mornin’s
You goin’ to rise ... up singin’
Then you’ll spread yo’ wings ...
An’ you’ll take ... the sky."

Hi Wombat,
In reading up on the past two days of bleat I see
we're playing the the same fourball... regards.

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#933779 - 05/04/08 09:14 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7305
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
No, btb, it's not self-indulgent wounded pride, but economic reality. For 99.99% of families, music instruction is the first item to go when the purse is lean. Just as when school districts find their funding is short, music programs and libraries are cut. The public view these items as luxuries, not necessities. If your livelihood depended on teaching, you'd be singing a different tune than Summertime!
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
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#933780 - 05/04/08 09:31 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
keystring, your experience with the young lady is an excellent parallel to what Diane and others were reacting to.

As for: Would you care to confirm that most teachers would not object, or expect to be asked permission, for their student to play at grandmother's 80th birthday?[/b] I seriously doubt any of the teachers on this forum were discussing this type of performance.

Let's expand on this a bit. Student A is in 3rd grade, and teacher asks if any one is taking music lessons and would like to play for the class. Student A enthusiastically raises his hand and gets up an stumbles through Wanda, the Magic Rabbit. Latter, at his lesson, he tells his teacher about it. Teacher smiles, and says, That's great. Did you enjoy playing?

Student B is in 6th grade, and has been asked by the teacher to play along with the student choir. She gives the student the music, which in turn is shown to the piano teacher. The piano teacher immediately recognized that this music is several years beyond the current skill level of the student, and strongly recommends to the student that they decline.

Student C is in 8th grade, and the class is putting on a talent show. She and a friend are going to do a musical number together. It's a bit challenging, but the piano teacher says, "Go for it."

Student D is in 11th grade, and learns of a musical contests and wants to enter. The criteria suggest that rather advanced students will be playing. Teacher suggests that the student is not yet ready for such a venue.

Student A and student C are performing in front of non-critical audiences in social situations, where musical excellence isn't being evaluated. In students B's and D's case, the opposite is true.

By the way, we have a major retirement center here in Olympia, and I often mention to my students that it is a great place to go and perform. Why, because the audience is non-critical and yet gives the student the opportunity to play in front of large numbers of strangers.

Back to my examples: if student B absolutely insisted on playing with the choir, the first thing I would do is to then divert the lessons to teaching the student some accompaniment tricks, such as skeletonizing the score, so that they could keep the beat without hesitating, and keep the music flowing.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
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Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#933781 - 05/04/08 10:43 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Online   content
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Thank you, John, for your explanation. I framed my question in the manner that I did because I was seeing how the "non performance clause" was being perceived: Student A plays in an old age home where a relative resides and granny beams "That's my Johnny!", or a number of other hypothetical relatively informal occasions. It is the perception (probably correct) that informal playing in front of others should not be discouraged, but rather encouraged. Your non-teacher population was seeing such non-formal events as being frowned upon and even regulate by formal contract, and were gobsmacked. Forgive my tenacity: When I see folk don't get each other I tended to plow away until they do. Misunderstandings bug the heck out of me.

I have tried to get performance experience outside of violin. When I joined my first choir I learned how to work in a group, pace myself with the choirmaster, what kinds of interactions (good and bad) exist, how to prepare for a performance in a group, how to handle timing when I was not a soloist etc. If I ever make it into a decent orchestra or ensemble, or even get to solo, that experience will help. Eventually I moved up to a choir with a choirmaster who was also a conductor, a voice expert, and had built a reputation for bringing professional level music out of his selected amateurs. He was starting a new choir in my city at the time. I got to see how sections worked, the ideals he was looking for (memorization - few did so), how he developed the phrasing from note to note and within the note.

When I had these experiences I shared them with my teacher even though it did not involve the instrument of instruction. He could advise me and give me further insight. In the case of the first choir, he told me I was wasting my time. In another, a non-vocalist choirmaster was inducing harmful "voice training" and it was a relief to run this by my teacher, who did have voice training.

Individual situations differ. My son entered the arts magnet school after barely a year of violin. Performance experiences were heavily emphasized: ensemble, trio, quartet, orchestra, orchestra pit, Kiwanis festival. The music teachers had to be active professional performers: there was one for each category. My son was under the supervision of one strings teacher for the full four years. There is no way that his private teacher could have stayed on top of everything that my son had to prepare for the various things they were involved in. The student, himself, had to know how to organize his priorities. Of those admitted to the program, selected by audition, only about 30% graduated within the program.

In this secondary program, a student had two solo exams per year, and a monthly etude. The private teacher was expected to prepare his student for the exam and studies that would happen in the secondary school. Meanwhile the private teacher had his own program. It happened that the strings ensemble had performed a very racy and intense rendition of Country Dance with very expressive bowings, which was the hallmark of the strings teacher. That piece was also in the RCM repertoire. My son's teacher did not know what had been performed in school, and introduced a standard rendition of the piece as per grade level and expectation, and then asked my son to try playing it. Obviously, having rehearsed it for 6 months and performed it, he played it as a well developed piece, minus the raciness of the ensemble version. The piece was not pursued, I assume because nothing more could be developed in it. My son did not explain that he had learned it in school. I later gave the private teacher a CD of strings repertoire as a gift. Several of his students were in that school.

The situation is a little bit different. Also, select students from a large geographic area would chat comparing teacher experiences, would see each other's areas of strengths and weaknesses. The strings teacher probably saw trends if several students came from a particular teacher. Meanwhile his teaching left a mark on the students. At festivals, regardless of the private teacher, they stood out for a particular kind of articulate bowing, which he stressed. At recitals of private teachers, the three or four students in the arts program had something that was different in their bowing. On the other hand, the fact that two or three students had made it to this school was also a noted plus for the teacher. I had never viewed it from that perspective before.

A great deal of independence and judgement was fostered in the arts program. This was driven home during the gala fundraiser. Select strings students served in the orchestra pit to support professional performing alumni who flew in for the occasion, to which top dignitaries were invited in an effort to keep the school afloat. An unavoidable event forced the strings teacher to be absent during this crucial time so he fired off a spate of e-mail instructions with rehearsal directives for the next few weeks, material to be rehearsed, and the kids mostly had to govern themselves with, I think, the choir teacher directing the last dress rehearsal and actual performance. The had the discipline and discernment to pull through.

On the same note, alumni at university wherever they are receive the score of Gala material via e-mail, and in between doing their own university work and rehearsals, prepare the material and many then return to their home town on a Friday, do one dress rehearsal side by side with students still in the school, the alumni professional performers doing a one-time only dress rehearsal as they have flown in, another morning rehearsal, and then on to two 3-hour evening shows Sat. & Sun. after which the university students rush back to their universities and catch up to work there.

This is the kind of world I have inhabited. It is good to get perspective of what I guess is a more normal music environment.

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#933782 - 05/04/08 02:25 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Wombat66 Offline
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Registered: 03/31/05
Posts: 262
Loc: Cornwall UK
Many thanks for your support BTB, it is heartening to have a nod of agreement rather than be dismissed as an insulting demagogue.
Accusations of paranoia seem wholly justified when contributors delude themselves that after a child has bombed in public performance some parents pretend to congratulate them (??surely console) simply to find out who their teacher is.
If a teachers reputation is so fragile that all it takes is a single pupils poor public performance to ruin it the teacher in question may be better served training to become a bus driver instead.
Criticism is richly deserved when, for some teachers at least, the sole purpose of hosting a recital is to advertise their own teaching abilities. To me such a teachers attitude is manifest child exploitation and the perpetrators of that exploitation deserve every insult they receive.
It is clear from my own experience that these attitudes are rare in piano teachers and perhaps if Jesus had waited until the modern era to be born maybe God would have picked a piano teacher to be Joseph – I certainly am under no illusion that He would have chosen a doctor (and still less a lawyer or politician!).
I had always thought that you had chosen your career for the love of art (it clearly wasn’t for the money) so it is all the more appalling to read the cynical and possessive way in which a minority of teachers view their pupils achievements. I am profoundly depressed that some teachers hope to avert a less able pupils public performance, not for the love of the pupils artistic development and adverse effect that a disastrous performance would have on it, but to protect their own pathetic reputation.

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#933783 - 05/04/08 02:47 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Online   content
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Wombat, I have been in such surroundings and no, it is not paranoia. The ambitious crowd does "critique & seek". As a parent, I've heard it. Fwiw I'm not part of the ambitious crowd.

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#933784 - 05/04/08 02:51 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
lalakeys Offline
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Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 286
Loc: Chicago 'burbs
I've dealt with many of John's "Student B" situations, and have done exactly what he suggests: teach the student some accompanying tricks and "skeletonize"the score to "keep the music flowing". This is almost always a "win-win" outcome, because the choir director's needs are satisfied and the student feels great about being able to play like the "pros".

Unfortunately, though, too many piano teachers seem to have a negative attitude about accompanying in general, maybe because it would divert precious practice time away from solo piano literature. I remember "forgetting" to mention to my college piano teacher that I would be playing Brahms' Liebeslieder Waltzes (for piano duet--I was the "primo" part) for the concert choir. He was not pleased when he found out, because I hadn't had time to prepare my lesson that week. It didn't seem to matter to him that my emphasis was in chamber music & accompanying (now called "collaborative piano" by most universities), or that I was being paid to play for the choir. This incident taught me to be upfront with teachers about whatever performing I chose to do, and if a teacher had an issue with it I could find a teacher who better suited my ultimate goal to become a well-rounded, employable musician.
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#933785 - 05/04/08 02:56 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Online   content
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 Quote:
It didn't seem to matter to him that my emphasis was in chamber music & accompanying (now called "collaborative piano" by most universities), or that I was being paid to play for the choir
Lalakeys, what would the reasoning be for this, would you know? Is it the personal taste of the teacher, or the excitement of producing a soloist, or a general emphasis in classical musical education on solo works?

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#933786 - 05/04/08 03:12 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
lalakeys Offline
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Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 286
Loc: Chicago 'burbs
Keystring, I call it the "ivory tower syndrome".

It seems to me that a lot of university professors are short-sighted and unrealistic about the employment possibilities available to their students after graduation. Actual paid performance opportunities for classical pianists (aside from presenting solo recitals as a college faculty member) seem to involve chamber music, accompanying, church work or a combination of the three. But many college piano professors I've known seem to consider non-solo piano literature as unworthy of students' time & attention, maybe because they just don't realize how few of their "star" students can make a living as soloists.
_________________________
Private piano & voice teacher for over 20 years; currently also working as a pipe organist for 3 area churches; sing in a Chicago-area acappella chamber choir

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#933787 - 05/04/08 03:18 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
Your non-teacher population was seeing such non-formal events as being frowned upon and even regulate by formal contract, and were gobsmacked. Forgive my tenacity: When I see folk don't get each other I tended to plow away until they do. Misunderstandings bug the heck out of me.
[/b]
keystring, you have done a yeoman's job of trying to negotiate a consensus here, but I can't help but think you're seeing more agreement than there really is. On several occasions throughout this thread a non-teacher has asked, with varying degrees of incredulity and politeness, a question to the effect of "surely you wouldn't insist on a student asking your permission before playing for others, would you?!?" John has addressed this question in a straightforward and reassuring manner. But I haven't heard a groundswell of similar assurances from the other teachers. Betty responded by saying that "she would want to be told" but she didn't specify what would happen if the student did not consult her or take her advice and she has stated before that "disloyal" students are released from her studio. And we also have teachers saying such things as:

 Quote:
Originally posted by AZNpiano:
Obviously, when the student is not ready to be presented in front of an audience, the teacher needs to stop it before it happens. [/b]
...which sends a very different message than your suggested compromise that you claim we all appear to be slouching toward.

I'm sorry, but I will continue to believe that the decision to accept an invitation to play in front of others, whatever the audience, belongs to the student and the student alone.

p.s. to Wombat: if you read my posts, you will see that I am in total agreement with the spirit of your remarks, only rather more politely phrased. ;\)
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Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
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#933788 - 05/04/08 03:33 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Online   content
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I do not care about compromises, Monika. Sensitivity and understanding, perhaps so each party can see where the other is coming from. People can talk and either listen to each other, or not. The bottom line is that we are not students and teachers of each other. I have my teacher, and am happy that I do. Each person has the job of communicating clearly with whoever they are working together with.

(edit: there's one too many withs - feel free to take out the one that doesn't belong, anybody ;\) )

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#933789 - 05/04/08 03:42 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Betty Patnude Offline
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Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Monica, you are quoting me, and I don't remember ever saying something like this. My philosophy is that as long as the student want's to be here I will teach them gladly.

Monida said: "Betty responded by saying that "she would want to be told" but she didn't specify what would happen if the student did not consult her or take her advice and she has stated before that "disloyal" students are released from her studio"

Those dismissals would be because (according to my policy) unresolved behavior problems, and lack of payment.

I do expect my parents and students to be contributing members to the overall family of piano students that I teach. We are the "studio" of people, not a studio of "real estate". Things go better where there is a democratic line to operating the studio for the highest goodness of all.

My students are expected as selected to participate in BPPS Recitals as well as MTNA - Mount Rainier Chapter Events. I help them prepare for other things they are doing, they have my support across the board. But, if they are taking on more than they can chew, or something that deviates from goals already established in lesson plans, we will not meet our goals for the year in the piano study. That is what I'm concerned about when they elect to do "extracurricular" things in piano.

All these suppositions and stabs are beginning to be outrageous ladies and gentlemen.

There is no polite phrasing going on as far as I can tell. I can feel the thumb to the noses of many people from here, saying "So, there!"

It's ridicule in my mind. Not just comment.

Betty Patnude

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#933790 - 05/04/08 03:49 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Monica K. Offline

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Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Betty, if you had a student who accepted invitations to play in a public situation against your advice, or without informing you at all, would you consider that an "unresolved behavior problem"? Would you dismiss such a student?

That was my understanding. I apologize if I am incorrect. I would appreciate a clear statement of your policy regarding that particular situation.
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#933791 - 05/04/08 03:55 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Roger Ransom Online   content
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With a few isolated anecdotes you are trying to prove that the student is better off asking permission from the teacher to perform in public. Even if this were true, it is certainly not a requirement

You are also making the assumption that the student is too stupid to know what his/her abilities are and would blindly go into an impossible situation and make 'the teacher' look bad. I believe that in the vast majority of cases the student knows his/her abilities and would not enter into situations that are over their heads.

I certainly turned down several invitations I wasn't comfortable with.

It's the students choice.
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#933792 - 05/04/08 04:02 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Betty Patnude Offline
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Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
No, differences of opinion, do not create a behavior problem.

Behavior problems are acting out without regard for others, being rude again and again, running around with lack of control, shouting, attention getting disruptive behavior. Behavior that could be seen an out of control anger. These things are accountable for and require intervention. There is a family of participants here.

Someone having an experience that is emotional or difficult will get all the sincere support they need.

I'm pleased that young musicians find ways to share their talents - it is not that at all. I celebrate that they elect to do this. I feel that a "discussion" about the pro's and con's of this is necessary between the student and the teacher and sometimes the parents.

In communication, I do not want to have unfinished issues - I want to know how much time they will have available to "do" lessons. I do sometimes here the "I haven't practiced" thing from students who are overloaded for one reason or another.

No one functions well when hitting overload. Learning to pace activities and what is agreed to is part of learning about your capacities and limitations. I "caution" to those.

Don't sports coaches and trainers have a lot of things they demand from their students? Why so much power in that realm, but totally out of the question for piano teachers to assert some conditions? I don't often have these problems - all of this thread seem suppositional. I don't have that much "drama" in my studio.

We are going off to a concert in a few minutes. I will try to find some of my personal writing about this "particular" situation from my philosophy of "What Music Education Is" or from my policy.

May I add that it appears to me that adult students seem to expect the worst possible situations from and with private teachers here in PWF.

Betty

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#933793 - 05/04/08 08:54 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Diane... Offline
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Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3443
Loc: Western Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
Recitals are an acknowledgement of a teacher and his/her work. They also constitute advertisement.

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?
[/b]
Okay, do I have to paint some of you all a picture? Do recall some referring me to Rembrandt, but we won't mention names, right keystring.

So just for fun, here's my take on the post.

Let's say that Teacher A has a teaching style that produces bottles of lemonaid, while Teacher B (that's me) produces students who are bottles of beer (cause my style of playing has a kick to it!) Teacher A advertises lemonaid, but when a bottle of beer is found at their recital and some present got a taste of it and rather like it, Teacher A has advertised beer, but can only produces lemonaid. Teacher B does not get credit for that bottle. Those present who enjoyed this taste are not going to get beer, but will unknowingly get lemonaid cause that's that teacher's style of teaching.

Moral of the story, "Don't advertise beer if you can only produce lemonaid"!

Okay, it's late and just for the record, feel free to replace the word beer with "long Island Ice Tea" cause I prefer it to beer and this thread just got way too long! \:D

Cheers!
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Diane
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#933794 - 05/04/08 09:13 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Online   content
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Diane, audiences are not that dense. If I am at a lemon-ade stand and in the middle of the glasses of lemon-ade there's a frothy mug of beer, what do you think I'll do? Trot off to find where they hid the pub! One can also advertise what one can't do through contrast. All due respect to the young performer, however, who did the work.

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#933795 - 05/04/08 09:15 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
keystring, you are correct that the two sides appear to be circling wagons and talking past one another.

However, unlike other adversarial threads I've seen in the past, I think this one may have actually had some positive results. Obviously a lot of students had no idea that some teachers would react so negatively to their playing in other settings. Perhaps some future misunderstandings will be avoided as a result of this thread. That would be good. \:\) Teachers who do not currently address their desires regarding extracurricular student performances explicitly in their discussions with students (and parents, if relevant) may wish to start doing so rather than assuming that the students will automatically know their preferences. Having such expectations laid out explicitly upfront would also help students (and parents) make the decision as to whether they're willing to abide by those policies. I'm sure a lot of families wouldn't mind being told that they should consult the teacher prior to playing in public anywhere. I would, but then again I'm the contrary libertarian type. ;\)

And perhaps some teachers here will reconsider their desire to control their students' performances, or at least consider the possibility that their desire to do so may stem just as much if not more from their own self-interest than the student's. And if such an insight is reached, it would suggest that perhaps it may be wise to figure out the best way to honor one's students' autonomy while still providing a quality education.

One thing that is abundantly clear, in this thread and in all the threads on this forum, is that the teachers here care deeply about their students' progress and have an admirable commitment to their profession that is gratifying to observe.
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#933796 - 05/05/08 02:26 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
btb Offline
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Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
We seem to be sorting out the "men from the boys" ... those piano teachers with the noble guiding spirit of philanthropy and the skinny boys whose survival hangs on a primitive business sense.

Quality teaching is totally dependent on losing oneself in the magical insight of the subject at hand ... it is a philanthropic vocation ... there is no thought of business speculation .

It is not surprising therefore ... that some of our number have got scratchy about the boy who dared to play a piano in public.

At a time when we should be celebrating ... with the rousing finale to Tchaikowsky’s 1812 ... we appear to be donning sackcloth and ashes with a funereal post mortem ... fie on you chaps!

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#933797 - 05/05/08 06:03 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
TimR Online   content
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Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3159
Loc: Virginia, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
Actually, there is a hint of a 3rd issue here. For the most part, adult students come to piano lessons with a different agenda than students in school. [/b]
Yes. As an adult student, I look for a collaborative relationship with a teacher. I have specific goals. I will defer to their expertise on methodology to get there, that's what I'm paying for. But I'm neither paying for nor looking for aa disciple/master relationship.

A child's agenda may be different - or, maybe not.

A teacher who is concerned that additional performances may not be helpful is being responsible in addressing it. But a teacher in the same circumstances who feels hurt by disloyalty may have stepped outside that role. The criterion would be the amount of emotional involvement.
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#933798 - 05/05/08 08:49 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
Piano*Dad Offline
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Loc: Williamsburg, VA
I think Monica is right in saying that some good can come out of airing these issues. I suspect some people, though not necessarily all, may come out with slightly adjusted views on the subject, or at least some insights that they had not considered before. That's certainly true for me.

I guess I'm a radical centrist on the topic.

I can certainly understand Diane's surprise and consternation at finding out that one of her students has been performing in another teacher's recitals. This violates just about any small group behavioral norm I can imagine. If btb thinks this reaction is primitive, he's entitled to his opinion, however idiosyncratic it may be.

Yet without intent to deceive, the sin may be venial, and correctible.

On the other hand, I could not abide a teacher who sought complete control of my son's musical life outside the studio. The reputation argument is not a trump card to be played relentlessly in all situations. Well, if a teacher thought so, s(he) would not be his teacher for long.

These days we don't even tell her about many of the things he does. But we use some common sense. If he plays an introduction in church it's just another performance opportunity. We don't need to seek her blessing or permission. In part, that is because I too can judge whether he is ready, and I too have no interest in sending him into situations where he is unready or likely to fail. Yet I think a reasonable person would think it rude, to say the least, if I programmed him into a competition, or some other public venue that would indeed reflect upon her reputation, without her approval.
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#933799 - 05/05/08 09:21 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Online   content
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Folks, I'm trying something. There are two issues in this thread. One is the formal ethical mostly teacher-teacher aspect or recitals, representation etc. and especially related to formal performances.

The other is teacher relationships to students and parents in terms of performances, freedom of choice etc. I suspect it will be more comfortable if this second issue had its own thread where those wishing to discuss it can. I had the hairbrained idea of creating such a thread and here it is: The other "performances" thread

Can this work?

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#933800 - 05/06/08 02:10 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
pianobuff Offline
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Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
Bottom line for me, this is why I teach so my students can play... anywhere they dearly want.

I do not own them, nor do I want to own them.

Music is to be shared; it is an art not a sport.

I just think it courteous that the teacher that is giving the recital introduce my student as a guest performer.

I have done this every year when I have a student from another studio play, be it violin, voice or piano.

I like seeing children get together and play music. My heart beams with delight.

Don't let any teacher stop anyone from playing music, no matter where.
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#933801 - 05/06/08 06:21 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Online   content
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On that note, Pianobuff: My teacher teaches violin and some piano. There was a guest performer last year, a young lady who played flute. She played with a beautiful tone, musically, and such wonderful articulation and phrasing that the first thought was, "If I ever take up the flute, whoever her teacher is, that's who I want to study with." Those are the kinds of things you don't just pick up on your own. The name of the teacher of a guest performer should be announced as a courtesy - but if it's an instrument not taught I think that convention would not be considered necessary (though nice to do), am I right?

I do think that enough people in a recital audience will have an ear that is discerning to some degree. You hear something that seems talent, and you hear something that seems taught. You also can see and hear a commonality between all students. Therefore if a student appears who has a distinctly different "something" (or lacks the common 'something') I think that those in the audience might feel that this person is not studying with the same teacher or in the least has another influence as well. This would be more likely in recitals than with a general audience, because the parents are involved in their children's practicing and so have developed an eye and ear for some details that the average audience member would lack.

There is a piano teacher (not mine) who has a tiny hand, and she teaches that the pinky must be raised when playing. I've never seen such a thing mentioned anywhere in the forums, by the way. It sticks up like a little flag. Every single student plays with this raised pinky, and their hands look like little sailboats floating along the keyboard with the mast sans sail bobbing along. It is very distinctive, and I think if any of her students played in another recital you would be able to tell by that little sailboat which the students of the other teacher would not have.

On a similar note, in the arts high school, each student has his own private teacher, but the teacher of each section (winds, voice, string) also has certain things that he/she stresses. When I attended a Kiwanis festival that featured local high schools, I did not always recognize the students and it seems the name of the school was not announced. But the minute the quartet or trio or whichever began to play you knew whether they came from this school because of certain technical details to their playing. That technical "marker" would also be there when they were at recitals of their private teachers. They bore the signs of the unique instruction of both the classroom teacher, and of the private teacher. It is the probably rare blend of students getting the advantage of a blend of two good teachers, each probably stressing different aspects of playing to create a happy better whole. I am sure that by the same token, a classroom scenario might tend to undermine rather than enhance. (Still another kettle of fish).

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#933802 - 05/06/08 01:36 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
pianobuff Offline
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Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
Most definately Keystring, having your students play at other teachers' recitals most often is advertisement for your studio.

I really do not think the hosting teaching needs to say who the teacher is, but should definately say he/she is a guest performer. Most people if they like what they hear will ask either the student or the hosting teacher, who they study with.

A lot of times I have know idea who the teacher is and I will refer the question to the parents and/or student.
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#933803 - 05/06/08 03:36 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first!
keystring Online   content
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Of course if a bassoonist shows up at our recitals, Pianobuff, nobody will think he is your student unless you teach more instruments than I know about. ;\)

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#1237536 - 07/26/09 09:57 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first! [Re: Jazzed23]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
+1

Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells.
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#1237542 - 07/26/09 10:03 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first! [Re: Jazzed23]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
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Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
Originally Posted By: Jazzed23
JUST LET THE KID PLAY MUSIC!!!


Perfect. Whenever and wherever he chooses. We have done our jobs if they are enjoying what they are doing. Call it a success.
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#1237724 - 07/26/09 04:38 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first! [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
Jeff Clef Offline
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Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
Well, I got one good thing out of this thread--- which I have to say, I read with amazement. That was the reference to the quotation by Plato:

"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, gaiety and life to everything. It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is good, just, and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but nevertheless, dazzling, passionate, and eternal form."

...if that's the one you mean, Betty. Some attribute it to The Republic, but I was not able to find it. Beautiful language in the edition I have, though.

Hope I don't get in big trouble with teachers over my upcoming piano party. People are likely to perform. I don't ask who their teachers are, it's not my business; I just want to see people with a common interest in music come together and have a good time.

I guess, having seen what everyone has to say, that I could understand the distress over the "poaching" of someone else's student in what amounts, partly, to an advertisement for the teacher sponsoring the recital. But it seems likely to me that it may be more innocent than that, more in the nature of thoughtlessness or simple ignorance. And I can understand adult students' not caring for the idea of being roped and branded as "Property of_______, Hands Off the Merchandise."

Even at the very worst, it is worth no more than a low-key chat with the student, or a pleasant e-mail to the teacher requesting the courtesy--- not worth pegging the blood-pressure gauge, or getting in another PW smackdown.

And, before I get back to Plato, if any of you would like to come to the party, August 22, in San Jose, drop me a PM. I'd be glad to see you.
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#1237753 - 07/26/09 05:52 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first! [Re: Jeff Clef]
J Cortese Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/20/09
Posts: 357
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
I'd say contact the other teacher. Leave the student out of it. It sounds to me that this is a matter of inter-teacher rivalry and it's the business of the grownups to sort out their issues and leave the kids out of it, as in so many other similar situations.


Edited by J Cortese (07/26/09 06:03 PM)
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#1237788 - 07/26/09 07:30 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first! [Re: J Cortese]
Minniemay Offline
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Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
There is some difference between people playing at a party and students playing at a recital.

When my students give a recital, it is a public performance of their work with me and it is different because they are all performing on the same program as students of my studio. It is, in some ways, an advertisement. I frequently have people attending my recitals whose children study with other teachers and, in many cases, they are attending because they've heard about me and what to see what my students produce in comparison to the students of their current teacher.

I see no problem with my students playing on the recital of another teacher or vice versa, but it should be duly noted in the program or announced. That's only fair. I cannot imagine that any of these students would be performing solos. That would be a little odd. But I can certainly see them playing duets or other kinds of ensembles with their friends.

I wouldn't dream of appearing to take credit for the work of someone else. I would expect the same ethical treatment by my colleagues. I don't own the students, but how they play is a direct reflection on me.

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#1237810 - 07/26/09 08:23 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first! [Re: Minniemay]
currawong Offline
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Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5902
Loc: Down Under
In case people haven't noticed, this is a Very Old Thread. I think everything that needed to be discussed was discussed, at length, well over a year ago, before Jazzed23 revived it.
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#1237843 - 07/26/09 09:12 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first! [Re: currawong]
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7305
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
+1 Our friend from Canada must have been exceptionally bored and wanted to stir the pot. Actually, the weather is so gorgeous right now, that I'd be hiking along the Fraser river or perhaps backpacking somewhere around Pendelton.
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#1237864 - 07/26/09 09:51 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first! [Re: John v.d.Brook]
J Cortese Offline
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Registered: 07/20/09
Posts: 357
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Whoops. O:-) I feel like a cat that walked headfirst into a plate glass window. Sorry.
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#1237873 - 07/26/09 10:06 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first! [Re: J Cortese]
currawong Offline
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Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5902
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: J Cortese
Whoops. O:-) I feel like a cat that walked headfirst into a plate glass window.
No damage I hope smile
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#1237878 - 07/26/09 10:34 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first! [Re: J Cortese]
Betty Patnude Offline
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Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Dear Jazzed23,

I have been away from Piano World since last May 7th because of insulting remarks that came my way from several sources bleating their opinions at me. Today I'm back and I'm sorry I'm back. Someone had pm'ed and I logged into piano world only to see this topic come up again from last year. So, I was reading the new additions here. And, lo and behold, here's yours: I'm the one who is appalled here. I'm being resurected and being pointedly picked on by someone who simply has a different opinion that I do, but chooses to say some scathing things to me and to John. Should you think twice about your venom, let me tell you directly that you are out of order in disparaging John or myself, or anyone having a long and successful careen in music. Our opinions are just like your, opinions. But, I guarantee that John and I know how to teach far beyond your dim and limited view of what piano teaching is all about. You are misrepresenting me and every other piano teacher that is effective and efficient in their bringing piano students into musical independance. There are many teachers who will just take your money and let you call your own shots, but let me tell you that is not music education, it is making the monkey happy all the way to the bank.

Just by chance, I saw this post, and I can't say I'm glad I visited today. I'm appalled at you, for sure!

Jazz232 said: This thread sickens me!!! All you teachers who get offended that a student chooses to play at a recital other than your own, thinking that you "own" their playing and how they play is a reflection of your teaching abilities, get off your high horse and JUST LET THE KID PLAY MUSIC!!!

Especially those teachers with professional affiliations, you'd think this is like whites and blacks in the old days and you are forbidden to associate with other groups.

If I knew you had that possessive attitude, I'd quit right away. Music is for all, you as a teacher have no right to tell ANY STUDENT where they can or cannot play.

I would never tell my students they couldn't play at a recital or concert because I wasn't involved.

-Diane, come on, you play jazz. That is the freedom of music right there. Or did you not remember where jazz came from. You are insulting all the slaves who paid the price, and music was their only form of free expression.

-Betty and John, you old guys drop the attitude. All you are concerned with is your reputation and money, not how your students enjoy music. I am APPALLED...

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#1237914 - 07/26/09 11:35 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first! [Re: currawong]
J Cortese Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/20/09
Posts: 357
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: J Cortese
Whoops. O:-) I feel like a cat that walked headfirst into a plate glass window.
No damage I hope smile


To me or to the window? :-D
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#1237915 - 07/26/09 11:39 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first! [Re: John v.d.Brook]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5421
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
+1 Our friend from Canada must have been exceptionally bored and wanted to stir the pot. Actually, the weather is so gorgeous right now, that I'd be hiking along the Fraser river or perhaps backpacking somewhere around Pendelton.


You sure? I thought the entire west coast was under a heat wave. It's hot and muggy down here.
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#1237920 - 07/26/09 11:47 PM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first! [Re: Jazzed23]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4750
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Jazzed23
This thread sickens me!!! All you teachers who get offended that a student chooses to play at a recital other than your own, thinking that you "own" their playing and how they play is a reflection of your teaching abilities, get off your high horse and JUST LET THE KID PLAY MUSIC!!!

You resurrected this thread after it was quiet for almost three months. Flames are more effective, even if never a good thing, when they are started in a timely fashion. laugh


Edited by Gary D. (07/26/09 11:48 PM)
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#1237928 - 07/27/09 12:04 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first! [Re: Gary D.]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5902
Loc: Down Under
I'm with you, Gary. Though it's actually a year and three months since this thread was active. Doesn't time fly when you're having fun!
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#1237940 - 07/27/09 12:50 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first! [Re: Gary D.]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Originally Posted By: Gary D.

You resurrected this thread after it was quiet for almost three months. Flames are more effective, even if never a good thing, when they are started in a timely fashion. laugh


Nicely Put. I for one am glad to hear again from Betty. She was a valuable asset to these forums. I hope she comes back.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1237969 - 07/27/09 04:21 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first! [Re: Jazzed23]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2845
Loc: UK.
Originally Posted By: Jazzed23
Not once do I get the impression that you people are concerned about your students enjoyment for playing piano.


Of course not. We do it for the money!
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Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1237986 - 07/27/09 05:45 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first! [Re: John v.d.Brook]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Actually, the weather is so gorgeous right now, that I'd be hiking along the Fraser river or perhaps backpacking somewhere around Pendelton.
You just had to say the F word didn't you. Welcome back Betty!
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snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1238010 - 07/27/09 07:25 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first! [Re: Jazzed23]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4977
Loc: boston north
Originally Posted By: Jazzed23
hey I don't care if this thread was 1 year old or 10 years old. I happened to come upon it doing a search..
Not once do I get the impression that you people are concerned about your students enjoyment for playing piano.


Maybe that is because you came upon just 'this thread' and have not been reading about all the wonderful things teachers do for their students.

Where would we be without them?
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"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1238025 - 07/27/09 08:53 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first! [Re: Jazzed23]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
Originally Posted By: Jazzed23
Not once do I get the impression that you people are concerned about your students enjoyment for playing piano.

Grow up, take a backseat,




Jazzed, I agree with a lot of what you're saying here, but this just isn't nice frown
I have gotten bashed for saying I teach for the student's enjoyment of piano/music. Some people don't think that's as important as education part, but there are many of us that do.


Edited by Ebony and Ivory (07/27/09 09:00 AM)
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Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1238034 - 07/27/09 09:19 AM Re: Speechless. . . now there's a first! [Re: Jazzed23]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: Jazzed23
hey I don't care if this thread was 1 year old or 10 years old. I happened to come upon it doing a search and was shocked at the attitude from you guys. I bet if one of your students became famous you'd want royalties and compensation from them. Like I said, it SICKENS ME!!!

You are like the high school coach who won't let their star player play another sport or on any other team because you want all the glory for yourself. Get over it!

Not once do I get the impression that you people are concerned about your students enjoyment for playing piano. It's always some stupid thing that you feel offended and insulted because your student or their parents did something.

Grow up, take a backseat, and stop putting your ego before your students. The music will play on long after you are gone.

It's so often those who exhibit the least maturity who exhort others to "grow up." Your blanket statements about "you guys" and "you people" are ridiculous, and your communication style is inappropriate. You "don't care" about reviving an old thread because you apparently don't care about decorum at all. No one here deserves your spiteful invective, so climb down from that high horse before you get a nosebleed.

Steven
_________________________

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—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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