Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 2 of 7 < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >
Topic Options
#1154812 - 02/28/09 06:03 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: keystring]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3199
Loc: Virginia, USA
If these teachers are Masters level they are likely used to teaching adults.

I think the OP is doing something to scare them off. That "your interests don't fit" thing is kind of "I like you as a friend." It's an attempt to reject without causing offense or loss of face.

I suspect that if the OP had said he needed to increase piano proficiency, particularly in the late Baroque literature, to improve his organ playing, AND STOPPED THERE, he would have had better luck. I'm guessing here, but I think he gave too many details after that. Maybe he gave the impression he knew TOO much about what he wanted, and would be resistant to taking direction. An adult student should be expected to have a clearer idea of goals and direction than a child, and should be a partner in working towards them, but if this idea seems too fixed, then a teacher may not see how to work with that student.
_________________________
gotta go practice

Top
(ad) My Music Staff
Check out the new way to manage your music studio
#1155000 - 03/01/09 01:16 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: keystring]
Amateur Jerry Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 65
Loc: Mokena, Illinois
After reading the responses, I don't know what I am more surprised at; a)being told I don't fit, or b)criticized for trying.

Here's some of the advice I've been given:

a) Tell the teacher, "help I don't know what I am doing" (That's clear and concise. I'll remember that next time!)

b) If I want to play Bach/Baroque "By a harpsichord" (I guess all the professionals who have made and are currently making a living playing Bach on the piano got it all wrong.) (Angela Hewitt, you should be ashamed of yourself!)

c) I'm scaring off the teachers by my strong views of my shortcomings. (I knew the Freddy Cruger mask wasn't going to go over well)

Based on this kind of feedback when the prospective teachers asked me what are my goals; I should've provided a Beavis & Butthead like answer "uh huh play the piano uh huh! Then, when I was asked about what improvements I wanted to make I should've provided another B&B answer somehting like "I wanna play good!"

So in summary to find that so-called "fit" I should refrain from:
a) Accepting the guidance of upper level organ performers and teachers who catagorically advise (and some demand) a strong pianistic skill with piano studies as a pre-requisite.
b) Setting up clear goals and milestones
c) Providing succinct and descriptive responses when asked why am I there and what do I want to learn.


Looking back, I guess I was spoiled by my original piano teacher, who took me as a total newbie and listened to what my goals were/are and shaped a plan forward. Reading some of the responses I have received, it has opened my eyes that she defined the true art of a teacher (much like the true love of a parent), we worked together for me not her! She was the mentor, she provided the guidance, everything we did for those four years was for my benefit. It was up to me to listen to her wisdom and work hard/be dedicated. As I stated previously I made it only to level 4 RCM, but I don't think that was that bad for a part time adult. She provided me the foundation to go forward (in organ, a instrument she really had no interest in, yet she taught me for preparation of). With her support I started quite well in organ. Unfortunately, I have day job, so I had to take a break. Now I am ready to come back.

What I have learned in this experience is that it is going to be very hard to find a replacement mentor (just like when you lose a parent). These responses sound/feel so much different now then the teacher/student relationship I previously had.

Thanks for all the feedback. I wish you all good luck and much success. You have really helped me open my eyes. I have a new appreciation for whats out there. I'll keep that those thoughts to myself!!!

Best Regards
_________________________
Czar

Top
#1155005 - 03/01/09 01:45 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Amateur Jerry]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
I said buy a clavichord, it would do Angela Hewitt a lot of good too.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#1155086 - 03/01/09 08:29 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: keyboardklutz]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11674
Loc: Canada
This thread goes beyond AmateurJerry, to any adult having serious goals. It would be good to work through it and learn from it. I don't want to find myself in a similar predicament.

1. I don't think a general statement would work, such as "I want to learn to play the piano well, teach me however you see fit." You could end up with a jazz or pop focus, or any of the things that are commonly seen as fitting adult wishes. The OP has been advised to become proficient on the piano in order to meet the standards of eventual organ teachers. How does this grab PW teachers:

"I am following the advice of organ teachers who want me to be proficient on the piano before they will teach me. I have already worked with a piano teacher and have passed RCM grade four. I would like to bring my playing back up to snuff and continue with these goals. Would you be able to help me? How would you want to proceed? What are your expectations and goals for me?"

2. The concern I am hearing from teachers, with some tinges of resentment, is of being given an agenda. This also seems to be a common experience. This is serious and has to be addressed.

If I wish to eventually study with an organ teacher where I will probably be doing mostly Baroque music, and gain piano proficiency in order to do so, I am not imposing such studies on the teacher. I am assuming that the teacher will LEAD THE WAY. Through this teacher's expertise, she will plan what she wants me to do, and in what order. In knowing the eventual goals, she will know what to stress. I would expect the prospective teacher to possibly redefine the goal, and set up goals for me, which I would expect to FOLLOW. I.e., "To gain this proficiency, we will need to work on posture and some rudimentary exercises, because I have detected a weakness in that area. I choose a broad repertoire for all my students, because the variety gives them the skills and familiarity with music as a whole that every musician needs." I'm making this up, obviously. The bottom line is that even if I give a goal of the kind that Jerry has given, I expect the teacher to run the show. I suspect the OP had the same attitude.

However, I read a lot where students try to impose repertoire and even approaches to technique, and I think this is the fear. I also wonder whether teachers are focusing on the choice of repertoire, rather than the desire for skills. If the OP wants to play Baroque music and these composers, then I have no freedom as a teacher to teach - something along those lines? Some of us *can* distinguish, and do want to get at the skills in whatever manner you teachers see best. Repertoire and genre is essentially beside the point.

I think that 1. there is a problem where teachers have learned to expect certain things from students and will understand what is presented in that light. 2. In an effort to present as clear a picture as possible, we give way too much information which is then taken as a shopping list. I might well do what Jerry has done. As a teacher myself, I like to have as much of a background as possible when tutoring someone, and so I provide the same. This thread may change my eventual approach.

Since there is this problem of teachers' prior experiences causing certain expectations, maybe this has to be addressed directly? ** Firstly, by paring down what we present to essentials, using the right language, knowing what to present. I guess this is a question. ** Secondly, possibly asking a prospective teacher for totally honest and frank feedback so that such concerns can be met head on. If it were me, I would not want politeness and being spared feelings, because I want to start working with some teacher.

I am also wondering whether involvement by the former teacher who has moved out of state might be helpful. Professionals in any field have a particular way of talking about things, and when we are still mostly on the outside we can easily present ourselves badly and give the wrong impression. I imagine that a word from the piano teacher, or perhaps a shove in the right diretion from the organists, might be helpful. I am concerned that the mere fact of being a certain age will shut doors needlessly.

I am also not totally comfortable with the idea that someone should be specialized in "working with adults". A given adult might work very much like a teen works, and I would want the teacher to be specialized in teaching what needs to be taught, rather than teaching a particular category of student. Above all, what concerns me, is that very categorization. There is a vast difference between adults, so how can there be such a thing?

Top
#1155088 - 03/01/09 08:33 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: keyboardklutz]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3199
Loc: Virginia, USA
We are trying to be helpful. Let's look at just your interaction with me for a second.

I may not have expressed myself clearly, I sometimes have that problem. Or you may have chosen at some level to misunderstand. So I'll be simple and clear.

I think it is possible, even likely, that you APPEAR to be a difficult student. It is also possible though less likely that you ARE a difficult student.

When I suggested that, you reacted defensively, angrily, and sarcastically. If I were now one of those prospective teachers, I'd be looking at our interaction as a mirror of how our student-teacher interaction would be, and I'd be concerned. I'd never reject you, of course, I'd check my schedule and be unable to fit you in, but I'd promise to keep you on the waiting list for the first available opening.

If you are NOT a difficult student, we can probably help you present yourself so that teachers do not misinterpret.
_________________________
gotta go practice

Top
#1155090 - 03/01/09 08:39 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: TimR]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Jeez, what am I doing in the last two re:'s?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#1155108 - 03/01/09 09:21 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: keyboardklutz]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11674
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Jeez, what am I doing in the last two re:'s?

It's the system, kbk. If you fill in the field where one usually posts, it sticks in a "re:" where no "re" is meant. I was not replying to you, and TimR could not have been replying to you, unless he assumes you are a student. wink

KS

Top
#1155113 - 03/01/09 09:31 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: keystring]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: keystring
Quote:
Jeez, what am I doing in the last two re:'s?

It's the system, kbk.
As usual, the 'system's' stupid then. I have flagged it up with the relevant authorities (I hope).
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#1155161 - 03/01/09 10:53 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: keystring]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11674
Loc: Canada
TimR, I believe the OP was reacting to the sum total of these 4 pages, and not your post in particular. Perhaps reading the whole thread might shed some light on this. For any of us students, feedback on teacher reaction to such things as being "over-informed" is a valuable thing to know of.

It has been personally informative to see the reactions of teachers on this board, because I would not have thought some of the things would be taken as they were. It is better to be forewarned and be able to be preemptive.

Top
#1155222 - 03/01/09 12:25 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: keystring]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
It takes time for a music teacher and a student to find out if they are suited to each other and that the teacher has something useful to contribute to the student.

The attitude of the OP was one of frustration from the start - with a big game plan already thought out and a demand that a teacher step in to fill his needs IF they can.

The OP seems intimidating and difficult by asserting his questions on the telephone - as though he's a telephone solicitor working the phones. "Fill my need, fill my need!"

Think of this initial meeting as job seeking - you are the interviewee and the teacher is the "complany" you want to work with/for. How do you behave? What's the process and your role in it? What do you get "points" for, and "demerits" for in your presentation for consideration to be "hired"? Try writing a resume of your background, your preparation, your future goals and present them on paper to yourself in writing before trying to "talk" on the phone (no less) to someone you don't know.

If this is a serious endeavor on your part to find that teacher, you must go about it differently. Try AGO for instance. Try the local university and go attend organ recitals, or baroque music recitals in any instrumentation, check out early music sociieties - do something that puts you in the field with these people so that you might meet or at least achieve an "introduction" to them.

You are trying to blast your way into an environment of learned musicians who carefully choose who they will work with because this is a high level of thinking, learning and accomplishment, and there is a "profile" or description of one who has paved the way to be ready for this specialized work.

There is a "temperment" to this arena of music study and it is almost like you need to know the "secret door knock" to get in.

Demanding and difficult situations do not get far: it's the dedication and the devotion and the building commonalities among compatible musicians via commonalities that attract the incredible teachers to the authentic seekers.

This is not a consumer issue, this is establishing mentorship.

Mumble, mumble.

Betty

Top
#1155235 - 03/01/09 12:52 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Betty Patnude]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
Think of this initial meeting as job seeking - you are the interviewee and the teacher is the "complany" you want to work with/for. How do you behave?
To be fair the OP is offering to employ the teacher not the other way round.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#1155253 - 03/01/09 01:32 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

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

Yes, I agree where the money is coming from....but in hiring/recruitment of company and employee, there have to be favorable is not strong reasons to join ranks together.

It is also a courting dance of best behavior going on through the introductory periods prior to employment. Do you have what I want? Are you willing to work for what I will pay you?

All the pretenses of hoping to find a winning combination for employee and employer.

After that, it's anyone's guess as to what is likely to happen. Once the interview or preliminary period has gone south, it is unlikely that it will be reconsidered.

The OP seems to have all the instincts of removing people from consideration. How does he know what he missed when it was simply a quick phone call that was the contact point.

Read websites, read resumes, get it to the discrimination level where one has enough information to make a good decision for ones self.

Courtesies. Not hastily gathered information please. To discover not to reject. To bring together, not to wrench apart.

"A yellow brick road....follow, follow, follow."

Betty

Top
#1155261 - 03/01/09 01:41 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Betty Patnude]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11674
Loc: Canada
Betty,
Quote:
The OP seems to have all the instincts of removing people from consideration. How does he know what he missed when it was simply a quick phone call that was the contact point.

The OP did not do that. He phoned four teachers. One refused to even see him. The other three refused to teach him. He had an interview with the three other teachers, and he prepared for that interview by practising some of his old pieces.

The OP has four grades of piano studies behind and has passed RCM grade 4. His original teacher has moved. He is resuming interrupted studies. His goal is the organ, but the organ teachers have told him that he must first become proficient on the piano before they will take him. That is what he is trying to do.

His stated goal is to bring his playing back up to quality through a teacher and to acquire what he needs i.e. to continue his studies. He came to the teacher forum to try to figure out why all teachers he has contacted have refused to teach him.

KS

Top
#1155322 - 03/01/09 03:47 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: keystring]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Too much information too soon alarms piano teachers, I think.

We are not psychiatrists nor psychologists and when we receive a lot of information at once it is a clue that this person might be a high maintenance person requiring much more than piano lessons.

When someone says I have achieved "four grades of piano studies behind and have passed RCM grade 4" that is a fact to register in our brains. If the inquiree would allow us space to ask a question at that point, there might be a conversation started that could continue somewhere.

If the talking continues to cover many other things in which we are not able to get a word in edgewise, it is being a clue that the speaker does not listen for input.

To want to work with a student means that the teacher sees probability that teaching and learning will take place because the student listens and responds appropriately.

When a conversation feels like the inquiree is putting the teacher on the spot, there is no reason for the teacher to want to continue the conversation.

Attitude and pace says a lot about an inquiree. Sometimes in a phone call, someone will ask an indepth question, but not always, and I can tell that they are having to beg off from an indepth answer at the moment....probably because they are calling from work, or on a cell phone while driving. It is so obvious to me. Save the indepth questions for when you have booked time to visit with the teacher and allow these "issues" you are concerned about to come up and receive full attention.

I understand your defense of the OP here - but telephone inquiries are meant to be brief, to ask a few questions, and to arrange a meeting time; they are not for long harangues, deep philosophy questions, and monologues.

A first preface might me: 1) Hello this is _______ (name)calling about piano lessons for myself. Let the teacher participate and lead you through this first initial conversation as there are some things she needs to know about you before she decides how to handle your call to your mutual interest. Back and forth, give and take.

It is obvious to me and has always been when someone has a strong hidden agenda in mind and that they think my job is to sit and listen to all of it. Not so. I have to agree to be interested and willing to listen to more. With my permission will this conversation takes place now or in the future at a more convenient time.

I just feel the insistance of the OP's voice and method, and while it asks "What am I doing wrong?" it really has fingers pointint in the direction of "Who were they to refuse me?"

Pressure is seen as different things coming to the survace, and teachers like to enter teaching doors with hope, expectations, and no big tensions or problems to solve. Everything unfolds in time given enough time and opportunity in an appropriate way.

Intensity is what I feel from reading this topic. People who preface everything with a long explanation are really time consuming and bringing with them a long history of yes, buts and why's, they keep their foibles in safe keeping. And then, and then, on and on.

If I am really very off I would apologize immediately, but I've heard this song before, and will hear it again and again.

I will gladly teach, but I refuse to be "played". If you are horrified with my viewpoint so be it. Some of us were not meant to work together, we share obtuse to each other needs, and rub each other raw. And, I think we recognize it. The instinct to self protect is high.

Betty

Top
#1155324 - 03/01/09 03:49 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: keystring]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3199
Loc: Virginia, USA
The OP was obviously beginning to suspect it was more than just bad luck that was causing his difficulties.

Short of a conspiracy theory, the idea that it could be his presentation would seem to be a natural one.

Coming here would allow him to check that possibility, as well as the possibility that teachers of this type simply don't exist.

Answers here suggest that teachers of this type DO exist, and that possibly the personal interaction could be improved. At least that's my opinion. That the OP seems to reject this could be seen as confirmation.

All of us bring our life experiences to this table. I play piano badly and you would be a fool to take my advice on that subject; however without going into my cv I'd point out it would be equally foolish to reject my perceptions on interactions out of hand. I do manage a large diverse engineering staff and make hiring, firing, and discipline decisions constantly.

This thread has been extremely educational to me. Prior to this I've not understood why teachers find adults difficult. Now i can see, and will adjust my approach accordingly. I neither want to be perceived as, nor to be, a difficult student.

Yes, the student is the paying customer, but the teacher has the right and responsibility to say "but that's not what I sell, try elsewhere."
_________________________
gotta go practice

Top
#1155326 - 03/01/09 03:56 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Amateur Jerry]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: Amateur Jerry
Thanks for all the feedback. I wish you all good luck and much success.
As for this comment, I really don't think we are in need of his encouragement - I find it quite patronizing, following his diatribe as it does.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#1155523 - 03/01/09 09:22 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: keyboardklutz]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11674
Loc: Canada
Nothing has discouraged me as much in a long time as have the contents of parts of this thread. frown

Top
#1155526 - 03/01/09 09:23 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Betty Patnude]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4801
Loc: South Florida
The OP (Jerry) may be unreasonable, demanding, arrogant and any teacher's nightmare.

He also may be a delight to teach, hard-working, cooperative, and a potential find for the right teacher.

We don't know.

It is incredibly presumptuous to draw conclusions about a man's character by attepting to "mind read" in a public forum.

I don't do interviews.

I will teach anyone one lesson, and after that one lesson I reserve the right to say that I will or will not continue. And the person who takes one lesson has the right to ditch.

It's called a trial lesson. It's all about fit. That's what works for me. I know many teachers feel different.

Because of my "open-door policy", I do have some trial lessons that are obviously a no-go. However, some of the most surprisingly good students have also started because I've kept an open mind. I'd like to mention that I have had some of the worst possible students referred to me by excellent students, and I've had some excellent students referred to me by my worst.

About a month ago an adult signed up for a trial lesson. He was very nervous and was not sure I would be at all right for him. He was primarily interested in Bach/Baroque music. He had (and still has) a lot of "holes", but so far the lessons have gone well. Although he decided that he wanted *me* for a teacher, after the first lesson, he only came back for lesson number two because I decided I could work with him.

I think this thread should be all about "fit". That subject alone is huge.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

Top
#1155542 - 03/01/09 10:04 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Gary D.]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
I would never assume the kinds of things about a person I was meeting for the first time, I would have the opportunity, as would they, to make up their own mind about the merits of working together for progress and enjoyment.

It is only in reading this posting about somethings that already transpired and the explanation of one side, the interviewer, that these things I wrote came to mind.

I don't mean to be unkind to him, and I gave lots of suggestions about how he might accomplish his goals with a different slant. I also suggested some things that may have turned off a teacher by the style or demands of his first phone call.

I am not trying to undermine him. It's not so much his character I was imagining, it was a scenario that would explain why the results he received. The "approach" for instance.

The best piano lessons are between people in partnership with a common goal. We have to get there to form the partnership before we have any clue as to what the advantage for us is going to be.

Getting past the phone call and the introductory process is what happens first. The open mind is important until experience takes it's place and we begin to know what we have gained by choosing to work together.

"Fit" is important. It works from both directions.

Perhaps something positive has been gained from flailing this one out. Perhaps in being tempted to speak from my experiences I will begin realize that it might be best not to speak of those experiences, even in an anonymous way, where the adult learner is present. Another group of piano teachers would probably understand my rantings and ravings just fine and in the content they are meant.

Avoiding non-productive situations and difficult people is at the top of my list as a process to reduce stress in my life.

We are each either part of the problem or part of the solution.

Top
#1155620 - 03/02/09 12:11 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Amateur Jerry]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5929
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
The OP seems intimidating and difficult by asserting his questions on the telephone - as though he's a telephone solicitor working the phones. "Fill my need, fill my need!"

I've been following this thread rather than posting, and like keystring, I've found responses such as the above pretty disappointing. Read his first post again! "Intimidating and difficult"? Rubbish! Motivated and keen to work is more like the impression I got.

Unless there are things you aren't telling us, Amateur Jerry, my guess (only a guess) is that these teachers aren't used to teaching adult students. Perhaps they'd rather stay in their comfort zone. I'd keep trying. (Maybe you shouldn't have titled your post "what am I doing wrong?". Some have assumed you must have been doing something wrong and set about on a mission to find it, regardless. Reading your first post I can't really see it.) Good luck.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

Top
#1155636 - 03/02/09 12:27 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: currawong]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4801
Loc: South Florida
That was pretty much my point.

We don't see people here, so no voice. No body language. There is a ton we don't know.

Without being specific, I think Jerry seemed gentle and reasonable. Striking out four times in a row could be nothing but pure bad luck.

There is so much we don't know in this environment. I think it pays to be less judgemental!
_________________________
Piano Teacher

Top
#1155656 - 03/02/09 01:35 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: currawong]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: currawong
Read his first post again! "Intimidating and difficult"? Rubbish! Motivated and keen to work is more like the impression I got.
Read his second post. But maybe by then he was riled?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#1155673 - 03/02/09 03:44 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Chris H.]
Lyce Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 19
Amateur Jerry,

If you haven't totally left the building, here is a book for you:

Keyboard Interpretation, Howard Ferguson, Oxford University Press, 1975.

This book has in-depth explanations of ornamentation by period and specific composer; plus the chapters on fingering, rhythmic conventions, and phrasing and articulation will be of particular benefit for you, whether you work on developing your technique with a teacher or have to do so on your own.

**

I must say I am also dismayed at the responses to your query. There are so many threads on this forum about students who don't practice, who don't listen, who cancel lessons, etc. My take on your contact with potential teachers was that you stated your goals succinctly to avoid wasting their time as well as your own. This is a mutual courtesy. Music lessons are a partnership; that is, with the assumption that the adult student is motivated and intelligent and the teacher is likewise eager to teach and be flexible and open minded.

My own experience with keyboard lessons did not prepare me for the majority of responses you received here. Mine were in college in a group setting; and as a non-music major, I was only able to take them when I had priority to enroll in my last year. I am deeply indebted to the piano teacher who selected special pieces for me to play outside the standard curriculum and offered to work with me individually outside of the classroom. When her office hours did not align with my schedule, she came in on off days on her own time to meet with me. My primary interest was in Baroque music; and in my last semester, she referred me to the professor who taught harpsichord in an evening session, as I could not fit her piano class into my daytime schedule. I studied with him for four semesters, three of them after I had begun full-time employment. The book I've referenced above was the text for the course.

Teachers, please. With all due respect, I don't understand the disconnect here. Jerry specifically mentioned ornamentation and Baroque repertoire as his specific focus of study, and I can understand that all four of the teachers he contacted would say that's too narrow an area for their standard pedagogical approach. But to say that Jerry came off as demanding is reading far beyond the content of his post. To suggest he should have dumbed down his inquiry, "Help, I don't know what to do," is mutually disrespectful to teacher and student alike.

Because I've never met with other than encouragement and support from the teachers with whom I've been privileged to study, I've assumed that to be the paradigm for music lessons. I hope Jerry's search will find a second teacher whose instruction encompasses these qualities.



Top
#1155674 - 03/02/09 03:52 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Lyce]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: Lyce
My primary interest was in Baroque music; and in my last semester, she referred me to the professor who taught harpsichord in an evening session, as I could not fit her piano class into my daytime schedule.
I suggested a harpsichord teacher and acquiring a clavichord - I was scoffed at!
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#1155677 - 03/02/09 04:22 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Lyce]
Chris H. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
I took harpsichord as a second study when I was at college. My teacher was a specialist in early music and his area of expertise was harpsichord and organ. I enjoyed the experience and learned a lot. The difference between myself and Jerry was that I was already an advanced pianist with a lot of repertoire under my belt from baroque through to 20th Century. If all those organ teachers advised Jerry to become a proficient pianist first then why would that be any different for harsichord or clavichord? In any case, it's clear from reading what Jerry posted that this is not what he is looking for.

I have an adult student who is interested in baroque music. She is returning to the piano after learning some basic skills as a child. Her baroque interest is useful because there is plenty of repertoire to go at for elementary/intermediate pianists. However I insist that she also plays a variety of other things because I know it will help her development as a pianist. She has no problem with this as long as I explain why she is playing the music I have picked out.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

Top
#1155680 - 03/02/09 04:43 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Lyce Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 19
Yes, KBK, but her referral was only due to her unavailability vis–à–vis my schedule and her teaching hours. I would have been delighted to continue learning with her, and she was well able to teach the conventions of the music within my interest.

Now, speaking personally and with the benefit of hindsight, I hope Jerry will find a fine piano teacher engaged in developing his technique in light of his interests, but also his overall musicality as well. The piano's sonority and dynamic capability can be a welcome change when the harpsichord/clavichord/virginal starts sounding mechanical and one-dimensional. At least, that was my experience.

When one focuses on an early instrument or baroque repertoire at an early point in lessons, there is a concomitant narrowing of exposure to the breath and development of keyboard music's evolution over time. A fine teacher can find what appeals to a student's current musical taste and expand their understanding and appreciation of new ideas and modalities. A niche can easily become a dead end and a rut, unless of course, the student is a true prodigy with the talent to become a specialist in the genre. In all candor, that was not my experience. ;o)

My two cents; worth price charged.

Top
#1155681 - 03/02/09 04:56 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Lyce]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Chris and Lyce will please stop lumping harpsichord and clavichord together, you're as bad as the OP. Chris, the OP has just the right amount of experience to start clavichord but I doubt harpsichord. Lyce - 'one-dimensional'!? The clavichord has more dimensions than the piano! It was the main composing instrument for both Mozart and Haydn.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#1155683 - 03/02/09 05:13 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Lyce]
Lyce Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 19
Chris, your post appeared after I was responding to KBK. I see that we are in overall agreement, as we seem to making the same point in different wording.

Just to elucidate one difference: I began harpsichord lessons when my repertoire was not much more advanced than Jerry's, as opposed to your study of the instrument as a proficient player. I think the crux here is that if music is to be your career, your development most likely will follow a logical, traditional path. If you are an amateur (especially an adult amateur), you will take advantage of what is available to you and learn and enjoy, but mastery is never a goal, or even a possibility. So, carpe diem.

Top
#1155684 - 03/02/09 05:28 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Amateur Jerry]
Chris H. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
Originally Posted By: Amateur Jerry
Hi all,

This time I have equal interest in classical piano and organ (as I have both instruments at home). I have been searching for a piano teacher who would be willing to work with me to repair some bad keyboard habits I have picked up, and improve my keyboard technique for ornamentation etc, which is essential for Bach, Buxtehude, Couperin, Handel etc. I would even like to play more late classical / romantic so that the technique is there for Mendelsohnn, Franck, Widor etc.


KBK, did you read this part of the original post?

Jerry is not interested in learning to play either the clavichord or harpsichord. Nowhere has he said he would like to play baroque music on period instruments. He even said that he would LIKE to play more late classical/romantic works on the piano.

This thread has morphed mainly because of your obsession with period instruments and early music. It was never about that in the first place.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

Top
#1155686 - 03/02/09 05:31 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Lyce]
Lyce Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 19
KBK --

Maybe *you're* lumping all clavichords together. I've played a fretted clavichord -- it's pretty wimpy.

Instrument construction, the number of choirs, and their disposition will definitely affect the sound of a harpsichord. The difference in sound between an Italian and a French Double harpsichord is vast.

Top
Page 2 of 7 < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >

Moderator:  Ken Knapp 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
ad (Casio)
Celviano by Casio Rebate
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
MIDI to USB adapters?
by Mark NM
Today at 12:32 PM
Need help IDing grandfather's 1920s piano exam piece
by Valencia
Today at 11:42 AM
That awkward non-playing hand...
by TX-Bluebonnet
Today at 11:15 AM
New Kawai CE220
by Dr John 48
Today at 09:23 AM
Piano covers
by Jamie
Today at 08:51 AM
Who's Online
153 registered (Altair, 255, AndresD, Almaviva, 48 invisible), 1407 Guests and 20 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76221 Members
42 Forums
157561 Topics
2314336 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission