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#943138 - 10/14/05 02:58 PM First Lesson-Teacher Seems To Be Very Hard Of Hearing
Sipry Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/05
Posts: 91
Loc: Arizona
My first lesson was today and I'm a bit "apprehensive".....It is very clear to me that my teacher is very hard of hearing. Speaking with her was very difficult, with many lapses because she simply did not hear what I was saying. Now, I just cannot see how she can teach if she has such a hearing problem. Is it possible that even though she cannot hear well in "speaking", she can hear notes on the piano? I found that I had to repeat what I was saying over and over - all the while I was practically yelling. All in all, it wasn't a very good experience. Now, I'm trying to decide if I should stay with her for a bit longer or should end it now.....

Any words of wisdom? Thanks so much, Sipry

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#943139 - 10/14/05 03:08 PM Re: First Lesson-Teacher Seems To Be Very Hard Of Hearing
Hobie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/11/05
Posts: 475
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Whoa....That's a new one. Well obviously somebody has to tell her to get a hearing aid! I think if you could communicate in a gentle way that her hearing loss is affecting her ability to teach effectively you would be doing her a favor. It is difficult for anyone with a gradual loss in hearing to decide when it is time to take the next step. I'm sure after she gets a set of hearing aids she'll recognize for herself how bad it had gotten. Good luck!!
_________________________
"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." Groucho Marx

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#943140 - 10/15/05 08:58 AM Re: First Lesson-Teacher Seems To Be Very Hard Of Hearing
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
This is a difficult situation. It would be interesting to know how you came accross this teacher. Is she well respected, reccomended, highly qualified? The chances are she has been a very good teacher but as Hobie says may not be that aware of the problem or doesn't want to confront it. I think I would be kind and tell her you think her hearing could be a problem without criticising her ability to teach. At the end of the day though you say your first lesson was not a good experience which is sad. If you feel very uncofortable then make your excuses (lack of time, it's not for me etc.) and go elsewhere.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#943141 - 10/15/05 04:20 PM Re: First Lesson-Teacher Seems To Be Very Hard Of Hearing
Sipry Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/05
Posts: 91
Loc: Arizona
This teacher was recommended to me by a teacher who was my first choice - But, she has a waiting list. I was told that her students seemed to be very well trained and they were loyal to her. Other than that, I really did not have much to go on. I don't live in a large town and there doesn't seem to be alot of qualified teachers. Both teachers are members of the local Guild but the teacher with the hearing problem never attends meetings. But, there were more problems yesterday - she was extremely cold, abrupt - pretty much grilled me on my previous teachers methods. She was very negative about how I was previously taught. She was late to the lesson (and I have since found out that this is typical of her). It basically was a very uncomfortable experience - she may very well be a good teacher (aside from the hearing problem) but her demeanor made me feel very uncomfortable.

I understand what you are both saying that it would be a kindness to tell her about her hearing loss, but I really don't feel comfortable being the one to do it. If I had decided that the hearing loss was the only problem, I probably would have. There were more issues but I don't want to go into them. Suffice it to say, I really don't think she would have taken it well. But, since the entire experience was a bad one,I did decide to let her know it wasn't going to work out.

I have one more teacher to try and if that doesn't work out, I'll simply wait for an opening with my original choice. In the meantime, I'll continue to work on my own.

Thanks so much for your thoughts, Sipry

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#943142 - 10/15/05 04:35 PM Re: First Lesson-Teacher Seems To Be Very Hard Of Hearing
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17788
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Sounds like you made the right decision. That teacher might have a lot of good qualities, but it seems like nearly every aspect of your two lessons with her were negative. Not an auspicious beginning and you were wise to cut your losses.

It is very hard to persuade someone to get hearing aids. My father-in-law has needed hearing aids since I met him (18 years ago). It took us 17 1/2 years of delicate hints ("It seems like you're having trouble hearing the conversation; have you had your hearing tested lately?"), bribes ("we'll buy them for you"), and outright nagging ("you know you have a hearing problem; when are you going to go get hearing aids?") before he went out and did it. Of course, within a week he had adjusted to them and said he hadn't realized how much he was missing. He noted particularly that listening to music was much more pleasurable as he was hearing more of the high notes.

Anyway, I hope you are able to find a more supportive (and punctual!) teacher soon.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#943143 - 10/16/05 12:23 PM Re: First Lesson-Teacher Seems To Be Very Hard Of Hearing
Sipry Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/05
Posts: 91
Loc: Arizona
Thanks for the words of encouragement Monica. I'm really hoping that my next try with a teacher is successful. If not, I can be patient and just keep plugging along on my own until I do find one.

Sipry

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#943144 - 10/16/05 01:50 PM Re: First Lesson-Teacher Seems To Be Very Hard Of Hearing
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
With your summation of the lesson(s) you've had with this particular teacher, I think you made the wise decision to find someone else or wait for your original choice.

There seems to be too much 'wrong' with your association with this teacher to continue effectively and you do want your lessons to be productive and progressive.

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#943145 - 10/16/05 04:13 PM Re: First Lesson-Teacher Seems To Be Very Hard Of Hearing
Sipry Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/05
Posts: 91
Loc: Arizona
A big "Thank You" to everyone who has validated my decision. It was a difficult decision but when I sat down and really thought about how I was feeling after the lesson, I knew that I had to end the association. My first lesson, many years ago was so different by comparison. I always felt good and, most importantly, was excited about moving ahead.

I have waited a very long time to have my own piano and nothing is going to keep me from enjoying the experience!

Thanks so much for the encouragement!
Sipry

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#943146 - 10/24/05 01:16 PM Re: First Lesson-Teacher Seems To Be Very Hard Of Hearing
Glyptodont Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 377
Loc: Wisconsin
My teacher is very elderly and appears also to be hard of hearing.

However, her knowledge of music is amazing, and her mind is sharp as a tack.

Often hearing loss that makes it hard to pick up spoken words occurs above 3000 cycles. Below that the person hears fine. This would allow your teacher to hear everything up until about C5 or G5. That is most of the keyboard.

My teacher also watches me play. She knows what keys I am hitting, and while her hearing may not be crystal clear, she is definitely hearing some of the effects.

I love my teacher and she has helped me greatly.

Now as long as she does not also go blind, I am going to do just fine.

So don't write off this teacher too fast.

I would rather have a very fine musician with a hearing problem (e.g., Beethoven) than some real jerk with perfect hearing and perfect pitch.

Just my view on it --
_________________________
the Glyptodont

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#943147 - 10/24/05 06:29 PM Re: First Lesson-Teacher Seems To Be Very Hard Of Hearing
Sipry Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/05
Posts: 91
Loc: Arizona
Glyptodont,

Thanks for sharing your view - You are very fortunate to have found a teacher that you love as you do. If the hearing had been the only problem with my teacher, I would have stayed with her. However, there were other things that made it a very uncomfortable experience. Her basic teaching style was like an army sergeant - she basically grilled me for an hour. The whole experience was "creepy" - It just wasn't the way I wanted to learn.

Sipry

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#943148 - 10/26/05 11:04 PM Re: First Lesson-Teacher Seems To Be Very Hard Of Hearing
zorrodepiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/21/04
Posts: 24
Loc: Encinitas Ca
What? You'll have to speak up...

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#943149 - 10/31/05 03:37 PM Re: First Lesson-Teacher Seems To Be Very Hard Of Hearing
prbell Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/14/05
Posts: 17
Loc: Washougal, Washington
I am in my first year of teaching and I also have a hearing loss. I find that for the most part it does not affect my teaching. I make a point of listening very carefully and ask my students to talk directly to me and speak up. I have no problems hearing what is played. If a teacher were to have a severe hearing loss then yes, there could be trouble! I think for most people with hearing losses the problems occur in large group settings, in large open spaces and in situations with a lot of background noise. I have one young boy that is quite timid and quiet and he knows that he needs to speak up. I always ask him to use his "forte" voice when talking to me!

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#943150 - 11/01/05 11:35 AM Re: First Lesson-Teacher Seems To Be Very Hard Of Hearing
Glyptodont Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 377
Loc: Wisconsin
Sipry -- it sounds like you are well away from there. Glad you found another teacher.

Prbell -- a good instance of how some moderate hearing loss is not a disadvantage.


At risk of leading the thread astray, a person might also ask the same question of piano tuners. I posed this question on the technician board some months ago.

Professional tuners have acoustic meters that will analyze a pitch, and our tuner uses one. However, he is about 75 years old, and it is possible he needs the acoustic meter because his hearing isn't too great.

It would seem that very good hearing is a major plus for a piano tuner.

Just adding a few more thoughts - -
_________________________
the Glyptodont

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#943151 - 11/07/05 09:52 PM Re: First Lesson-Teacher Seems To Be Very Hard Of Hearing
ignorant kid Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/20/03
Posts: 333
Loc: Poquoson, Virginia
My piano teacher also has hearing issues due to her being very elderly. But despite her hard hearing and not being able to play the piano (arthritis) she is a very good teacher. She is (or at least was) considered one of the best in my area has had around 75-80 years of teaching experience. I wouldn't have it any other way.
_________________________
-Carl

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#943152 - 11/08/05 12:54 PM Re: First Lesson-Teacher Seems To Be Very Hard Of Hearing
Sipry Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/05
Posts: 91
Loc: Arizona
I think it's really wonderful that there are teachers out there who are still good teachers even though they have some hearing loss. It would be a shame to have all that experience just cease because of the hearing problem. My experience, however, had so many issues beyond just the hearing that it was quite unworkable.

Sipry

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