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#952632 - 09/10/08 09:07 AM Re: Coping with the loss of GREAT students
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11942
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
 Quote:
Originally posted by Rebekah.L:
I agree! You see composers break the rule all the time. In four part vocal style the idea to not double the third is apperently WRONG ... its supposedly 'unstable' ... it is ... really but still ... in certain circumstances it isn't! Composers break the rule all the time ... Stephen Sondhiem is a perfect example ... his works still sound very natural and melodious though ... [/b]
We have to keep in mind that there is a difference between learning voice leading and theory, and composition. My composition teacher wrote these principles that apply to all styles and all compositions that can help someone compose without imposing upon that person's creativity. web page
This is a much better way to help a student compose. I, too, had an experience when writing a fugue or an invention (I don't recall which now) where I was marked down for one note. It was not against the supposed rules of counterpoint, but the teacher had told me he didn't like it. I kept it in, because I did like it, and I lost a couple of points on my grade as a result. It was more about the professor's ego than expressing anything.
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Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#952633 - 09/10/08 09:13 AM Re: Coping with the loss of GREAT students
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11691
Loc: Canada
Morodiene, wow! I've printed that out and stuck it in the "Basis of Harmony" book because it seemed appropriate, somehow. \:\)

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#952634 - 09/10/08 03:58 PM Re: Coping with the loss of GREAT students
pianoexcellence Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/14/07
Posts: 753
Loc: Abbotsford, BC, Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by Gary D.:

I not only don't like teaching to exams, I refuse to do it.
Teaching a few compositions each year with the idea of having them all performance ready seems to me to be a dead-end goal. At the very least I'd like any really good student to always be working on new things while perfecting others.

[/QB]
Taking an exam (and doing well), does not preclude one from learning a good variety of music, including Jazz, Own compositions, and "fun" music along the way. It just requires a little more planning. In the end, anyone who legitimately plays at a certain level will have enormous amounts of time left over for all these important aspects of music even though taking an exam.

I too would like all students to be working on new and mature pieces at the same time. You are not the only one who does not encourage the taking of exams, but your straw man argument here: (exams mean that you can only learn 5 pieces), perpetuates a myth that can detract value from the learning experience of many students. I could be misinterpreting what you meant by that though...please correct me if this is so

Agreed, exams (RCM or similar), are not for everyone. But they certainly are for some, and for others are absolutely necessary.

They are also an important report card for teachers. Examiners in the RCM are recognized musicians and scholars, and their comments are valuable.

You must have other reasons why you refuse to prepare students for exams. There are some really good reasons out there, but your reason was not a very convincing argument.
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Music is the surest path to excellence

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#952635 - 09/11/08 11:59 AM Re: Coping with the loss of GREAT students
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5491
Loc: Orange County, CA
Okay, this thread has effectively gone off-topic.

Please share your thoughts about the original post.

Thank you!
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#952636 - 09/12/08 03:56 AM Re: Coping with the loss of GREAT students
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
LOL ... its funny how things like this happen! SORRY ... its my fault ...

Well yeah I think I explained myself ... John my page is a page back on your question.
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#952637 - 09/13/08 05:00 AM Re: Coping with the loss of GREAT students
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
You know what?

Here's a question related to the initial post, how would you teachers react if an enthused piano student who is passionate and keenly practices each day, makes rapid progress not only that but looks into different musical areas by reading and research decided to suddenly quit?

The reason is not financial or loss of passion. Its a complicated reason ... an emotional reason.

How would you react?
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#952638 - 09/13/08 06:28 AM Re: Coping with the loss of GREAT students
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5491
Loc: Orange County, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Rebekah.L:
You know what?

Here's a question related to the initial post, how would you teachers react if an enthused piano student who is passionate and keenly practices each day, makes rapid progress not only that but looks into different musical areas by reading and research decided to suddenly quit?

The reason is not financial or loss of passion. Its a complicated reason ... and emotional reason.

How would you react? [/b]
Well, last year in my choir there was this very talented girl. She sang well and always participated in class. Best of all, she had a great attitude, unlike most of her awful classmates. I even gave her a "Student of the Month" award for her great effort.

Then, at the semester, she switched to Beginning Band. Whenever we walk past each other in school, she doesn't even say hi. To borrow an old saying, I've been barking up the wrong tree! She doesn't even care.

Yeah, I was quite angry. I'm over it, now.
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#952639 - 09/13/08 06:55 AM Re: Coping with the loss of GREAT students
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
Rebekah, if I had a student like that I would talk to them. It doesn't matter how complicated the reason I would want to know about it in case there was something I could do to help. I have in the past spent entire hour lessons just talking (especially with teenagers) because that is what they needed to do.

There is always a solution. It could be that they need to take a break and come back to it later. Sometimes stopping lessons is the right thing for them at the time no matter how talented they are. As we get older we need to focus our time and attention on the things that matter most. For many people this is not playing the piano. I do think it is hardest for those great all rounders who are gifted academics or sports men/women as well as fantastic musicians. You can't do it all. To maintain your playing at the highest level takes up so much time. Unless you want to follow a career in music then it might not be possible.

Are we talking about yourself here?
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#952640 - 09/13/08 08:07 AM Re: Coping with the loss of GREAT students
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
 Quote:
Originally posted by Chris H.:


Are we talking about yourself here? [/b]
Chris I made it obvious didn't I? I love piano I love singing ... I love reading, I love researching, I ask a million questions, I am very close to all my teachers, one of them said "if it wasn't for people like Rebekah I wouldn't be here" ...

Yes its me ... I don't want to leave. I've decided I am not going to be a performer. I've came up with the theory "If I pursue something I love I wont love it 100% ..."

Why? I'd have to deal with idiot people, chase people up for fees, have my emotions drained.

I don't know how teachers do it. I dont know how you do it Chris.

Hence: Music is my hobby NOT my career

You may say that is fine. I feel like a waste, a waste of money, a waste of time, a waste of people's quality of life. I practice like hell ... singing and playing ... the money that goes to lessons is plentious ... I'm not doing anything for anyone why should I be studying music?

That's where my emotions come in. Music is my release, its my passion, its my emotional vehicle, my artistic domain. Yet it is my grief, me pain, my sadness.

I feel pressure, people tell me "you're talented!" ... people say: "you're a star here people come to these concerts to watch you" ...others say "I wish I could play or sing like you" ... I dont mean to brag but these comments even though they are nice they give me pressure.

Its complicated. I know ... I dont know what to do
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#952641 - 09/13/08 03:34 PM Re: Coping with the loss of GREAT students
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
You know, the strange thing is that I had the exact same conversation with a student only a week ago. She is very talented and is amongst the few IMO who could have a career in music. But it isn't what she wants. She used the same argument as you.

"If I pursue something I love I wont love it 100% ..."

I really don't think that is something you should worry about. Nobody who chooses music as a career path does so for any reason other than that they love music. Trust me, that will never change. What is the alternative? Do you work a 9-5 job that you hate only to live for that hour you can spend at the piano now and then?

I am not saying you should focus on the music because I don't know enough about you. I lost my student and for what it is worth she might have made the right decision. There was certainly no way I was changing her mind. Given her personality I do think she would have had a hard time at music college. Although she has the ability she is too self conscious, too much of a perfectionist and longs for the approval of others. These traits will lead to a lot of unhappiness because the top music schools are cut-throat.

What you do depends on so many things. You obviously love music and must be very good at it. So you don't want to perform. That is fine, I never did either. It doesn't mean that a career in music is not for you. Do you have other options and other things you are equally interested in? If so then that could be the way forward. But like I said to my girl it will mean that the time spent on music has to be reduced because it is not possible to do it all. She needs top grades in science and maths to do what she wants to do and because of the music it isn't happening.

Please talk to your teachers about this. They will not care about losing a student because they will want what is best for you. Also, cut your parents some slack and listen to what they have to say. I know that can be difficult when you are at a certain age but they want what is best for you too.

You will find the right path. And to help you along the way you have at your disposal a wealth of knowledge and experience from musicians, educators, parents and students the world over who come together on this forum.

Keep posting.
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Pianist and piano teacher.

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#952642 - 09/13/08 08:46 PM Re: Coping with the loss of GREAT students
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
Thanks Chris,

My parents ... well my mum is very supportive. I was just saying to her if I quit music now its like I am amputating my hand. Its all bruised and cut and broken ... if I cut it off I wont have to feel grief and pain. But I'll lose a part of me. She said "there's no use in continuing music studies if you have decided its not for you." Then she took that back when I used that hand illustration. My dad was listening as I clutched her tightly and wept for some time. My mum later said "its not a waste, I'm sorry to say that it was ... You have music ... if its not your career, you still have my support, you have access to a domain which I don't ... You'll have it for the rest of your life." As my dad listened he made remarks that really hurt "its a waste" ... "its not important" ... "you don't need it" ... "she's not talented" ... "musicians are unsuccessful people ... even the talented ones lose out in life ... its a load of bull"

My teachers always encourage me ... all of them ... performing even though I love it to bits I've decided its not for me. I know many that support that statement especially since the industry is so competitive and there isn't enough work. I've decided to cross music off from my list and now I think "whats the point" ... WHY? should I stay?" I'm really wasting people's effort, time and quality of life.

I spend hours a day practicing ... imagine all the neighbours and the parents that have to cope with the noise. I practice at school with an accompanist during lunchtimes ... imagine the teachers in the next room who try to have their lunch, My parents pay a fortune for music lessons for competing, for exams, for sheet music, for books and CD's. And its all going in the bin, its only helping me and it's not helping anyone else. I am selfish.

I've felt very emotional towards this ... I don't know if anyone can really stand it ... If I tell anyone - my teacher or a fellow student I would probably start crying (I've cried many many times this week) ... I don't want to put them through this.

Once upon a time I wanted to be a teacher ... I loved the idea of sharing a skill that I enjoy with people, I love assisting people ... now I think I'd hate to deal with people who don't practice, I'd hate it when I'd have to chase people up for fees, I'd hate it when people don't appreciate my efforts ... Then I wanted to be a music therapist ... I wanted to really help someone ... now when I look at it music therapists are often also teachers ... not many people resort to music therapy and if they do the fees cost an arm and I leg ... I don't want to charge the world for a service like that. It means that not everyone has access to music therapy ...

That's why I don't want to have anything to do with music. At the same time I go around the circle that its my therapy ... its my emotional vehicle I take it away for me its like losing a body member.
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#952643 - 09/13/08 08:48 PM Re: Coping with the loss of GREAT students
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
Sorry for going off topic ... its kinda on topic ... a little ... should I start another thread?
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http://colouredsilence.wordpress.com/


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#952644 - 09/14/08 04:34 AM Re: Coping with the loss of GREAT students
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
Just talked to my teacher ... Yes, the concern was there ... "Why do you want to quit?"
... We had some lengthy conversation ... he later said if I want to talk to him tonight or tommorrow then he's phone is available. ...

I cant see the light at the tunnel yet .. thankyou for your helpful words Chris
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#952645 - 09/14/08 05:12 AM Re: Coping with the loss of GREAT students
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
Another thread might be a good idea. I am surprised that others have not chimed in to help.

It sounds to me like music is what you want to do but you are worried about how you are going to make a living. Those harsh words from your dad are not helpful and are also not true. Music is in no way a waste of anybody's time or money, especially if you do well at it.

Up until the age of 18 I was having nothing to do with music as a career. I was going to be an accounatant just like my dad was. It was what he wanted for me. I took maths and economics at school and hated it. My grades were poor because I wasn't at all interested and found it very difficult and confusing. When I failed these exams my parents finally let me take music and I have never looked back.

I am not sure why you think that dealing with people in teaching would be so bad. All I can say is that whatever you end up doing you will have to deal with s****y people. In many work sectors this can be far worse than it is in teaching.

Most of the teachers here will tell you that although they will never be rich they love what they do. What is more important?

If you love music and love to perform then why not take it as far as you can? You never know what the outcome might be. There are so many ways to make a living with music but the more skilled a musician you are the better you will do. If it what you want to do then focus on becoming the best you can be and everything else will fall into place.

Hang in there.
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#952646 - 09/22/08 11:22 PM Re: Coping with the loss of GREAT students
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
What do you do on your last lesson when you know they are going to leave?
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#952647 - 09/23/08 02:09 AM Re: Coping with the loss of GREAT students
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 842
Rebekah,

You are very well-spoken and thoughtful. I hope you become a teacher some day.

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#952648 - 09/23/08 02:44 AM Re: Coping with the loss of GREAT students
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
 Quote:
Originally posted by Candyman:
Rebekah,

You are very well-spoken and thoughtful. I hope you become a teacher some day. [/b]
Thanks Candyman! I used to always want to be a teacher ... I don't know if you read my traumatic above posts and topic titled "QUITTING!" (it was about a bumpy patch I went through recently.) Anyways, I expressed that I was amazed by teachers that could deal with people. (the ones that don't practice and the ones that rock up with the same silly excuses)

Anyways, after that .. now (I've decided to stick to it) ... I think I wouldn't mind teaching. I'd love to share with people a skill I love. Its one thing to be able to perform and share a musical journey but I have always imagined its another to share the skill it takes to perform.

So, what do you teachers do on the last lesson?
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