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#1158270 - 03/06/09 03:13 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Candywoman]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11683
Loc: Canada
Candywoman, I addressed you respectfully. Here is my concern: Those of us who wish to work seriously can find ourselves shut out because of the reputation of adult students. If one general portrait is cited by enough teachers, it may become harder for us. I am concerned, but at no time did I attack you or your post. As a person of authority (teacher in such a forum) your posts have impact. Are you aware of just how seriously you are taken? What is written in forums has a much greater effect on people's lives (decision) than it should.

I had two purposes in participating: a) to learn how to present oneself to teachers, b) to help if possible even if only by asking questions.

Quote:
have noticed that there are many people who have to relate everything to themselves. If I tell you I have a sore toe, you can list all the times you've bumped YOUR toe, or you can empathize with my pain. Very few people in conversation are able to do this. That's an example of really listening.

What you say is very true, and it is an important point. Supposing you have a nasty gash on your toe, and I also have a nasty gash, but I've noticed there's a nail sticking out of the floor. I'll show you my gash, the nail, and maybe you have a hammer so we can prevent more injuries. In my eyes this thread is about problem solving. It should not be for venting or purposeless anecdotes. I hope not to have done so.

A small note about your opening line:
When I began teaching I was told to list sample observations (facts) rather than an abstract generalization. I have disciplined myself strictly to this and a thirty year habit is hard to overcome. "Johnny has picked up his pencil briefly twice in an hour, and wrote 2 1/2 words." rather than "Johnny is lazy." was the example given. In this way solutions can be found. My particular "Johnny" turned out to have ADD. Given facts, experts in other areas could problem-solve.

I believe, "in my experience/opinion" is a good idea when people are trying to solve a problem in scenarios such as the one here. The rule you cite is good for essay writing and academic work, but I was told not to use it in pedagogy. People in this thread believed you were stating an absolute, so your message was not received as intended.

IF the OP is a serious student who works well, and IF the teachers he encountered have drawn conclusions such as the ones you cited, then this may be a clue on why he was refused. And IF this is so, the same thing can happen to others. How we present ourselves and then follow through may be one solution. I do not believe my time was wasted frivolously here.

Thank you for taking the time to respond.

KS



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#1158273 - 03/06/09 03:33 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Candywoman]
Gerry Armstrong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 214
Loc: Cumbernauld, Scotland
Originally Posted By: Candywoman
When you study writing at school, they tell you not to preface everything with, "In my opinion." This is because it is understood that when you speak it is your opinion. And in my opinion, all the things I've noticed about MY adult students are true. The fact that Gerry Armstrong wishes to take my experiences and find something to offend himself with is not my problem.

I have noticed that there are many people who have to relate everything to themselves. If I tell you I have a sore toe, you can list all the times you've bumped YOUR toe, or you can empathize with my pain. Very few people in conversation are able to do this. That's an example of really listening.

What I wish to say to Keystring and Gerry Armstrong is keep going at your own pace and enjoying music. The time you whittle away on this thread could be better spent practicing.



You are free to have opinions and if you want to make comments about all of YOUR adult students, I find information like that interesting and enlightening.

It's when you extrapolate YOUR experiences of YOUR adult students and apply that to ALL adults, as you did several times in this thread, that the offence occurs.

I'm glad the penny has finally dropped.

One final point - as you know nothing about me, my music or how much time I spend practicing, I would respectfully ask that you keep your suggestions about my practice time vs Piano World time to yourself.
_________________________
Gerry Armstrong

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#1158280 - 03/06/09 04:33 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
lotuscrystal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/22/08
Posts: 304
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Gerry...adult bashing on this thread? The only bashing I've observed is yours...defensiveness, accusations, judgements, and un-solicited advice on the technical aspects of communication, hurled towards others for having expressed their experiences, values and assertive decisions, based on their sincerity.

I can relate to the teachers who have made opinions regarding teaching adult students. I adore all of my students...with that said, adult students present different challenges, as a whole, to those who are of child and/or adolescent age. Each age group (since we are only talking about 'age') presents differing strengths, weaknesses, needs, and requirements in general...and there's nothing wrong with speaking in general when we are speaking to others who live on different continents, and in different cultures..it's a global form of interaction. Were you my colleague and friend living next door, I would speak in more specific terms...perhaps even name people you've heard mentioned before. But that is not the case with a global internet forum.

Gerry, with 23yrs of teaching experience, and some here have taught even longer, I will suggest that one can usually tend to form some generalisations. However, I have witnessed in my time on the forum, that the teachers here are astute enough to realise that there are exceptions and quite often, many, to every preconceived generalised 'rule', whether it be a positive or slightly negative one.

Accusing a teacher of being against 'humanitarian' equality is futile, as teaching, next to the medical and charity industries, is one of the most selfless, generous, and caring fields that exist...one driven on the principles of philanthropy, and not on prejudice or exclusion, and certainly not on material benefit.

However, like all philanthropists...doctors, charity workers, scientists, researchers etc., teachers may choose any demographic to work with that they see fit and appropriate, one where they feel they can do their best work based on their innate gifts, capabilties, and professional boundaries. And if a teacher does or doesn't choose to teach adults, children, or anyone...it is the best for everyone. For every teacher attempts to find the best platform on which to present their skills and heartfelt efforts...one in which their work will do the best service to others firstly, and then, in turn, to themselves.

All the best smile

lotuscrystal



Edited by lotuscrystal (03/06/09 05:15 AM)

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#1158284 - 03/06/09 05:17 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: lotuscrystal]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11683
Loc: Canada
edited

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#1158285 - 03/06/09 05:18 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: lotuscrystal]
Gerry Armstrong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 214
Loc: Cumbernauld, Scotland
Lotuscrystal,

I have no issues with teachers teaching who they want to. Equally I have no issue with teachers making comments about the students they have taught.

However I reserve the right to be offended if I am lumped in a group labelled slow, difficult etc. just because of my age.

As I have said several times without a single reply to date, if I posted the same opinions about a group of people based on race, sex or creed then people would be offended. I fail to see why you cannot understand why the same offence is caused when the criteria to group people is age.

The KKK are entitled to their opinions as are the BNP (the British National Party) here in the UK. Most people however find their opinions offensive as they are clearly prejudiced against groups of people based on their colour.

In my 28 years as a performing musician I have met many teachers and many students. Some teachers share these views about adults, some have these views about children and some teachers treat each student as an individual, with individual strengths, weaknesses, needs and wants. In my opinion the best teachers I've met are the ones who treat their students as individuals.
_________________________
Gerry Armstrong

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#1158289 - 03/06/09 05:23 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: keystring]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11683
Loc: Canada
Lotus, the problem involves extrapolating what you think someone is capable of based on a group portrait. It closes doors on the individual who may not be anything like that. If enough teachers exercise their demographic right then there is nowhere to go.

Secondly, there is the danger that we will be taught according to the common perception and fail to come anywhere near our potential. Certain things must be done to acquire proficiency, some of them arduous. If they are not given, we will not progress. For those with talent, they will "ride on talent" but without a foundation to support them - it's the worse for them because they will hear what is missing and remain bewildered.

Can you not see that there is a potential problem? In the least, we must be aware in order to deal with it. I would not have thought any of these things 5 years ago.

KS

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#1158291 - 03/06/09 05:27 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5933
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Gerry Armstrong
In my 28 years as a performing musician I have met many teachers and many students. Some teachers share these views about adults, some have these views about children and some teachers treat each student as an individual, with individual strengths, weaknesses, needs and wants. In my opinion the best teachers I've met are the ones who treat their students as individuals.

Hear, hear! thumb
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1158292 - 03/06/09 05:48 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Candywoman]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5933
Loc: Down Under
To those who have made generalisations of the "adults are..." or "adult students do this" type:

If what you really mean is:
- Adults I have taught...
- Some adult students I know...
- Many adult students I have come across...

then for goodness sake, SAY THAT, instead of saying "adult students" this and "adult students" that and wondering why people think you're targeting them. It's not 1984, or being over-scrupulous, or anything else except clear communication. Say what you actually mean.

And I sincerely hope that any adult students who are reading this will not in return lump all teachers into a group and generalise that they are all prejudiced against adults.
I'm not, and I'm sorry that you've had to put up with this.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1158293 - 03/06/09 05:49 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
lotuscrystal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/22/08
Posts: 304
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Yes, I concur, that every teacher should see a student as an individual case. And I believe that every teacher on this forum does just that.

May I remind you, Gerry, that this is a 'piano teacher' forum, and not a forum for students....And therefore, piano teachers will voice their uncensored opinions, in the faith of being understood and/or challenged by their colleagues, and not by students who have a need for validation or reassurance, as this isn't really a forum for those in that context. (may I suggest the 'Adult student' forum for you to express your grievances?)

So for you to analyse, assess, judge, and condemn the opinions expressed by teachers on this thread, that have been gracious, and generous enough to reply to the OP...to me...seems surreal, unneccessary, and offensive.

PS: I will not engage you any further, I have said my peace.

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#1158295 - 03/06/09 06:00 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: lotuscrystal]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5933
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: lotuscrystal
May I remind you, Gerry, that this is a 'piano teacher' forum, and not a forum for students....

This has been discussed at least twice and the result was that though this is a forum designed for teachers, it is an open forum, with some teachers (not all, but some) saying they specifically welcome the input of students, the only proviso being that someone who is not a teacher should make this clear when answering a question asked of teachers.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1158296 - 03/06/09 06:03 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: lotuscrystal]
Gerry Armstrong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 214
Loc: Cumbernauld, Scotland
Lotuscrystal,

If I have caused any offence then I apologise most sincerely. That was never my intention.

As for this being a Piano Teachers Forum, yes I am an Adult Student but also training as a Piano Teacher. I would like to think that New Teachers are as welcome here as Experienced Teachers.
_________________________
Gerry Armstrong

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#1158299 - 03/06/09 06:40 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11683
Loc: Canada
edited


Edited by keystring (03/06/09 09:27 AM)

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#1158304 - 03/06/09 06:50 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: currawong]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11683
Loc: Canada
Lotuscrystal,
Quote:
... and not by students who have a need for validation or reassurance..

Participation is for two reasons: a) to learn by asking questions and exploring, so that our interaction in real life can become more effective, b) to help get at a problem together since all sides are involved, in case that seems necessary in a given situation. Perhaps this purpose has been misunderstood.

KS

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#1158311 - 03/06/09 07:07 AM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: Gerry Armstrong
Originally Posted By: Candywoman
When you study writing at school, they tell you not to preface everything with, "In my opinion." This is because it is understood that when you speak it is your opinion. And in my opinion, all the things I've noticed about MY adult students are true. The fact that Gerry Armstrong wishes to take my experiences and find something to offend himself with is not my problem....

You are free to have opinions and if you want to make comments about all of YOUR adult students, I find information like that interesting and enlightening.

It's when you extrapolate YOUR experiences of YOUR adult students and apply that to ALL adults, as you did several times in this thread, that the offence occurs....

+1 thumb

Different writing purposes mandate different writing styles. "In my opinion" may be generally unneeded or even inappropriate in academic papers, business writing and journalism, but it goes a very long way to grease the gears in public forums. Indeed, when it is not used, how does the reader distinguish between a mere opinion and an outright assertion of fact?

In this venue, it comes across as myopic and overbearing at best when opinions are stated as fact and personal experiences are extrapolated as having universal relevance. Why would one not choose to distinguish one's opinions lest they (along with one's intentions) be misinterpreted?

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

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

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#1158460 - 03/06/09 12:09 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: currawong]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
It really irritates me when posters totally remove what they have said from their posting. I think editing is one thing for clarity, or for spelling, or improved flow in the posting, or to enter more information. But, to totally remove, which I've seen many times from different posters, seems like a complete retreat of self protection.

If you said something and wrote it and pushed the button to reply, you need to stand by your words and not disappear.

You can always explain or retract what you have said in a continued post.

Mean what you say and say what you mean.

It makes me suspicious of being manipulated as our threads develop and we all know a thread can be twisted into disagreement and opposition easily depending who is posting with what attitude.

Look at this 14 page document posted in the Piano Teacher's Forum but calling us up on our comments made to our peers because our "opinions" don't jibe with theirs.

Generalizations? Not! Where we are speaking from is informed experiences, from personal experience in our piano studios, and from others across the world who relate about their experiences in their studios.

Any one individual who is offended by any "generalization" is being a censure to our opinions as we express them from the field of piano teachers.

"Hit and Run Driver" is a very descriptive label which defines an action and a criminal intent. "DUI" is another understood label. "Sex Offender" too. "Olympic Gold". "Miss America". "Jerry Lewis Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy". "LA Lakers". "Green River Killer". "TGIF - Fridays". "The Grand Canyon".

When someone asks you not to think of an elephant, you can't avoid thinking of the elephant, it comes to mind even though you mind not want to think of it. It pops up.

Does not a "picture" come to mind when you hear these words and labels as above?

For piano teachers, when someone says "Adult Beginner" a lot of information comes to mind as an associative thing based on our knowledge of adult beginners. There will be a mix of wonderful things and some not wonderful things - because that is the way the brain works like a data base. It will be our personal experience base and our world of music base.

The person who comes to us for a piano lesson is getting individualed attention, the best of our services, our support and patience and best intentions.

So, is the only thing Adult Students think about piano teachers: "You guys offend/irritate us with your generalizations of adult students and you shouldn't lump us all together, we are individuals."

Our peer discussions are not derogatory comments toward adult students. There is no reason for anyone to be offended.

Betty Patnude

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#1158479 - 03/06/09 12:37 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Betty Patnude]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3200
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude


For piano teachers, when someone says "Adult Beginner" a lot of information comes to mind as an associative thing based on our knowledge of adult beginners. There will be a mix of wonderful things and some not wonderful things - because that is the way the brain works like a data base. It will be our personal experience base and our world of music base.


Betty Patnude


I think we are mixing several ideas and confusing the issue.

One is that teachers have a stereotype of adult beginners. This doesn't offend me, because it is largely true. <grin> (of course it doesn't apply to me, just everybody else! <smiley>

Another is that teachers prefer to avoid difficult, high maintenance students, just as I try very hard to avoid high maintenance employees.

I think some people may have concluded the OP had difficulty finding a teacher because he was adult; others because he was perceived as potentially difficult.

I can certainly see why it is harder for an adult to find a good match to a teacher. I understand that much better after this thread.

I think some here would like to tell teachers that adult does not equal difficult. However, to a certain extent, we ARE difficult. Good teachers who care about their work like to succeed. And let's be honest, a minority of adults succeed. This is due to all sorts of reasons, and assigning reasons quickly leads to blame and hurt feelings. We need to deal with reality. A few of us are serious and understand what it takes. Actually I think the OP is almost certainly in the latter category, it's just that he appeared to bring some additional baggage.

I see a lot of adult beginner trombone players. Their horn has sat in the closet a few decades, they remember nostalgically how much fun they had, they drag it out, join a forum, ask advice, start practicing, take a lesson - and disappear. A minority stay with it and develop skill far beyond what they had in high school. As far as I can tell the difference between those who suceed and those who don't is simply who joins a community band.

Moral of the story: if an adult wants to sign up with a highly rated teacher, you have the best chance if you bring some evidence of two components: you are indeed serious, you are not high maintenance.

Of course, that's just my theory, could be wrong as always.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#1158492 - 03/06/09 01:07 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: TimR]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11683
Loc: Canada
Betty, I removed a post. I did so because it added nothing. In that post I addressed Lotuscrystal, asking him to look at my prevoius post. It is not something you could have responded to. I am sorry to have caused confusion be deleting that post.

My motive for deleting the post is that I wanted to keep my presence to a minimum since I am a student. My request seemed pushy and I did not want it to stand.

I would have hoped to have earned more trust by now.

KS

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#1158504 - 03/06/09 01:29 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: currawong]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5532
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Originally Posted By: currawong
To those who have made generalisations of the "adults are..." or "adult students do this" type:

If what you really mean is:
- Adults I have taught...
- Some adult students I know...
- Many adult students I have come across...

then for goodness sake, SAY THAT, instead of saying "adult students" this and "adult students" that and wondering why people think you're targeting them. It's not 1984, or being over-scrupulous, or anything else except clear communication. Say what you actually mean.

And I sincerely hope that any adult students who are reading this will not in return lump all teachers into a group and generalise that they are all prejudiced against adults.
I'm not, and I'm sorry that you've had to put up with this.


+15 smile This is also what Gerry Armstrong, keystring, Steven, et al, are saying. A PUBLIC FORUM is open to A GENERAL AUDIENCE, and as currawong pointed out many teachers here have no problems with students posting in this forum. In any case, it is not possible to keep them from doing so, since it *is* a public forum.

Clear writing reflects clear thinking. It is particularly important in writing in a public forum. While it may annoy you no end that this isn't strictly a teacher-to-teacher forum, it isn't. I wouldn't begin to, as Gerry Armstrong points out, say something like "Women are difficult to teach because they aren't confident about themselves" or "Men are difficult to teach because they don't want to take directions"!!!!! It is no different than saying "Adults are difficult to teach because..." They are all broad generalizations which are not warranted no matter what the percentage of your individual students you think fit them. (And the ones I wrote about women and men are, IMNSHO, stereotypes.) The way we speak reflects the way we think, and, in my experience, the way we speak actually influences the way we think. Back in the 1970's women here in the U.S. began to insist that they not be spoken of as "girls" for just that reason. Not speaking/writing in such a way that you make it clear that it is your individual experience with/of most of your adult students (or even all of them) will, indeed, come across as asserting a blanket statement about all adults.

These particular writing/communication skills are needed by *all* posters, not just piano teachers or adult students (which may not be mutually exclusive categories). I'm with Gerry Armstrong, keystring, currawong, and Steven in asking for clearer communications (reflecting clearer thinking, to me).

Cathy
_________________________

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#1158513 - 03/06/09 01:52 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Betty Patnude]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17777
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
So, is the only thing Adult Students think about piano teachers: "You guys offend/irritate us with your generalizations of adult students and you shouldn't lump us all together, we are individuals."

Our peer discussions are not derogatory comments toward adult students. There is no reason for anyone to be offended.


The fact that you do not understand how some of the comments made on this thread are perceived as derogatory or offensive to adult beginners speaks volumes about your attitude toward same.

The answer to answer your question, "is the only thing I think of teachers" is--No, that's NOT what I think of all or even most piano teachers. I appreciate greatly the evenhanded and thoughtful remarks of many of the teachers who post here. But it *is* what I think of a few teachers on this board who are vocal with their generalizations and who persist in stating such generalizations as facts.
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Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1158538 - 03/06/09 02:57 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Monica K.]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11683
Loc: Canada
Some positive, possibly valuable things came out of this thread and are in danger of getting lost. If something can be gained, surely that is where the focus should be:

We have the question of (any) adult student who wishes to pursue piano seriously - possibly not a complete beginner. It is clear that many teachers will hesitate to take a student of that age because of expectations. That expectation alone, regardless of behaviour, may shut the door in that student's face. It should be accepted as a fact that it may happen, so that we can deal with it. The teachers here do not seem to refute this.

What comes out of this is needing to know how to present ourselves. We may possibly need to reassure teachers or anticipate these concerns. We also must make doubly sure to follow up on what we promise. Some of the teacher feedback here has helped clarify how.

In my mind, the topic of this thread concerns the first period of time when a student tries to find a teacher, their meeting, and possibly the first lessons.

It would be great if anyone is helped by this thread, whether student or teacher, or if some insights have been gained. That's all I'm interested in. There is no point in venting feelings one way or the other.

I am assuming that this is a forum of professionals who do take such things seriously and do like to see good outcomes. If while someone is asking for help, the purpose of participating is simply to chat about personal frustrations among peers, then I have two questions: How can that help? Might it confuse the person who is asking for advice? This is only food for thought: it is your forum to run as you see fit. I'm a guest.

I have actually tried to stay out of the teacher forum, so I apologize for my presence in it.

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#1158543 - 03/06/09 03:06 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: keystring]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11683
Loc: Canada
I should add that a fair bit of practical advice was given in the first few pages by a number of the teachers. It would be too bad if all that were swallowed up by ill feelings.

KS

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#1158549 - 03/06/09 03:21 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Monica K.]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
With so little background in what music study is about it is very easy for adults to throw their weight around in the forum and not at all realize that they are represent themselves as coming from a small dimension of what piano study is all about and the principles, theories, and mastering of music is not yet complete.

I am really tired of your singling me out Monica.

Your feel good approach to music is what you have to voice from and while that's appreciated, it is in my way a domain that would allow you to set standards of communication between piano teachers and piano teachers.

So you don't like me, my communication style, and whatever else is on your mind. You do not get to censor me according to your references of how you relate to your instrument.

They are not deragatory or offensive unless you choose to take them that way.

I have great relationships with my students - children and adults - occasionally it is not a good fit between us, but usually based on an attitude coming from the adult student or the parent. Piano teachers and serious performers know what it takes to create a musician: the attitudes, habits instilled, dedication, patience, work ethics, and application of the self to the learning of a very encompassing mental and physical coordination of one person working to create music.

It is not the feel good, I'll do what I want, it's just for me world that you think it is. Only by rejecting teachers does an adult student get to do it his or her way. I'm all for that when the person has developed some tried and true accuracy at the piano and is not just fumbling and stumbling around so much that it impedes their ability to understand the discipline and self management that is needed.

And, for this viewpoint that I'm expressing, only because I am continuously taunted by you and brought to your form of accountability, which is purely from your "fun" viewpoint, my 38 years of teaching are diminished and questioned and put in contempt.

Calling it generalizations is strange.

My "generalizations" have come from diligent work in training musicians - forefront experience.

The secret is out: Adults do have problems in learning piano. When piano is difficult or not easily achievable, the explanation from the adult student is that teachers don't know how to teach them.

Show me an avid learner and it's a done deal. Show me an excuse maker or complainer or totally lost adult student, and I will say piano study is not going to work very well for them because of the focus on how they are "feeling" and how "easy" it should be: It's truly one of the hardest thinking skills you will ever think of doing, and the % of people who accomplish this to the level they need to reach in order to play well is small.

I am going to call the singling out of certain teachers because you do not agree with them - abuse. I think some of what is said to teachers here is the poster angry when teachers point out something meaningful to consider and the student resent the "interferance" which differs with their own concepts about what music study should be.

Persistance with messages no one else wants to here works in both directions.

Not all people are teachable. That works both ways too. I simply have a lot of experience to consider I didn't formulate my philosophy and theories by myself, I had my students help and input with every lesson I have given.

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#1158551 - 03/06/09 03:26 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: keystring]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
[...] For piano teachers, when someone says "Adult Beginner" a lot of information comes to mind as an associative thing based on our knowledge of adult beginners. There will be a mix of wonderful things and some not wonderful things - because that is the way the brain works like a data base. It will be our personal experience base and our world of music base.

[...]

Our peer discussions are not derogatory comments toward adult students. There is no reason for anyone to be offended.

Betty, this sounds suspiciously like "baggage"! Previously, you were emphatic that adult students have but teachers don't:

Quote:
When an adult student joins this conversation with their understanding of how they think teachers should treat them, they are surprized that we are not captivated by their "baggage" and "situations" because they are an important part of the inquirees history. Once we hear some of these things that adults bring up that are problematic, we can get quite turned off by it, because we should not have to solve the problems of the last teacher and this student. To me, it doesn't enter the situation, this is a new situation. If any baggage is coming into our new situation, it is from the student.

I'm relieved to know that teachers have "baggage," too, after all!

As others have pointed out, it doesn't seem possible to expect "peer discussions" in a public venue like this one. Short of a private and genuinely exclusive subforum for that purpose, at least there's greater functionality now that allows PMs to be exchanged among a group of up to six participants. That's not a perfect answer, but it's something we didn't have before that might be utilized when it's felt necessary.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

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

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#1158554 - 03/06/09 03:32 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: sotto voce]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11683
Loc: Canada
The focus can be on the negative messages or the positive ones. It is natural to react to the negative: the positive can be chosen.

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#1158626 - 03/06/09 05:45 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: keystring]
tickler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 375
Loc: Chicagoland
Why are teachers who know that all students are individuals, both children and adults, are making generalizations about adult students?

For example, Betty wrote:
Quote:
The secret is out: Adults do have problems in learning piano. When piano is difficult or not easily achievable, the explanation from the adult student is that teachers don't know how to teach them.


This is an insulting generalization. Sure, some adult students are like that. But many others are not.

Yet, from her other comments, it seems clear that she realizes there are adult students who aren't afraid of hard work.


I really don't know what to make of this contradiction.


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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#1158653 - 03/06/09 06:27 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: Betty Patnude]
ProdigalPianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 1049
Loc: Phoenix Metro, AZ
Tickler/Mary,
I find it difficult to understand as well, and I know that there are others who have been confused by such statements in the past.

Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
With so little background in what music study is about it is very easy for adults to throw their weight around in the forum and not at all realize that they are represent themselves as coming from a small dimension of what piano study is all about and the principles, theories, and mastering of music is not yet complete.


I am wondering whether this entire post was talking about Monica in particular, although purporting to discuss "adult students"? Because if so, just because we are "adult students" does not mean we have little background in music.

My first undergraduate degree was in music ed...at one time, in the past, I was a rural piano teacher myself, although I believed even then that I did not have the qualifications to be (what I considered) a high-quality piano teacher, there was simply no one else around who was even as advanced as I was. My family even now chides me for not giving lessons since 'I have a piano and know how to play' (the only criteria that many people think needs to be met before teaching).

Compared to those I currently know who have had high-quality instruction all along and who are now MA and PhD students in music at the campus where I work, my music background is not all that impressive. But I do have one.
_________________________
Adult Amateur Pianist

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

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#1158656 - 03/06/09 06:29 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: tickler]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
About “Generalization”
I used a thesaurus to define Generalization: As each new definition appeared I continued to define the new work until we have a broad list of things included in generalization. The list is alphabetically presented. Antonyms (opposites) are at the bottom.

Abridgment
Abstract
Clue
Digest
Extraction
General idea
Generality
Generalizing statement
Hint
Impression
Indication
Inkling
Intangible
Nonfigurative
Outline
Oversimplification
Overview
Precis
Pointer
Review
Rundown
Sign
Signal
Simplification
Suggestion
Summary
Summation
Summing up
Suspicion
Sweeping statement
Synopsis
Trace
Unjustified remark
Vague remark
Warning

Antonyms (Opposites):
Detail
Facet
Fact
Factor
Itemize
Specify

There is nothing wrong with making a generalization.

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#1158661 - 03/06/09 06:36 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: tickler]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11683
Loc: Canada
Betty, I've read your response above, and I would like to respond to the parts that are pertinent to all.

First you mention the responses that teachers gave in an effort to help the OP and any other student in a similar situation. They were HELPFUL and they are as follows:
- John proposed that the OP was on the right track, and suggested that in his region there should be a choice of many teachers
- kbk indicated that most teachers stress the Romantic period, so a clavi/harpsichordist might address the desired period
- Chris H. suggested a grass roots teacher such as himself, and indicated they would have more than adequate qualifications
- Chris H. then described where to look, and how to present oneself; he also suggested that the OP might not be doing anything wrong, and encouraged him to keep looking
- Morodiene gave advice about specialists, but advised a generalist at this stage, seeing the OP as early-intermediate
- Betty suggested university resources, and spoke positively about the OP's ultimate ambitions
- MordentMusic saw nothing wrong with the OP's goals
- Neilos gave precise detailed advice on Feb. 27, p. 3
- Currawong was overall supportive
- anyone I have left out and what they said

For the first three pages the most experience teachers weighed in, and their feedback was positive and practical on the whole.

For some reason after that the question of poor expectations of adults kept cropping up. Does it not make sense to pay attention to the positive since that's what we can use? The only use that I see for poor expectations - is that it can be a potential obstacle so we should be prepared for that possibility.

Now I would like to address this:
Quote:
when teachers point out something meaningful to consider and the student resent the "interference"

Resentment was expressed only at the statements that adults are poor students, and not at any of the helpful advice I have mentioned. WAS the statement of poor adult reputations made in order to be helpful? How can I use this information? The fact is that at this point teachers were venting among themselves. You have pointed this out yourself, Betty. These things were not meant for us, I don't find them meaningful, and I have not responded to them accordingly.

I think we should all concentrate on what is actually useful and leave the rest aside. We are all here for the same purpose, are we not? It is very easy to get lost in the negatives. Will it achieve anything?


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#1158675 - 03/06/09 06:52 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: keystring]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
I think I'm getting lost. cool

Betty, I don't understand the point of the list of synonyms (and antonyms) for generalization. If one is to conclude from it that there's nothing wrong with generalizations, neither would there appear to be anything wrong with the opposites.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

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

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#1158679 - 03/06/09 06:57 PM Re: What am I doing so wrong? [Re: sotto voce]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11683
Loc: Canada
The word list derails the topic. Efforts have been made: can they not be considered?

Generalization includes: "suspicion, unjustified remark"
Antonyms to these are: "trust, fair comment"

Which do you choose?

Can we go back to the topic now?

KS


Edited by keystring (03/06/09 06:57 PM)

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