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 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#953478 - 02/16/05 02:15 PM What do piano teachers really think?
Cindysphinx Offline


Registered: 02/14/03
Posts: 6416
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro
I've been taking lessons for over five years, and I find my teacher to be inscrutable. So I'm hoping the teachers here will answer a few things I've wondered about:

1. What do adult piano students tend to do that drives you nuts? Fail to practice? Lie about failing to practice? Failing to lie about failing to practice? \:D Something else?

2. What do parents of piano students do that drives you nuts?

3. When your student is not performing at recital, what exactly is going through your mind?

4. When a student decides not to continue with you, does this bother you deep down?

5. When a student shows up and clearly hasn't practiced their assignment, does this bother you?

6. Do you ever decline to teach potential students because you just don't get a good vibe from them or their parents?

Just curious . . .
_________________________
Vote For Cindy!!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post...QvjrL_blog.html

Top
(ad) My Music Staff
Check out the new way to manage your music studio
#953479 - 02/16/05 06:45 PM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
princessclara2005 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/05
Posts: 429
Loc: Dallas, Texas
answer to question 1

not listening to what the teacher says but rather have their own idea on approaching a piece. Not so much about lying, I would say, but just not listening.

answer to question 2

when the student's parents try to be as the teacher

answer to question 3

I think they are happy for those who aren't quite interested in playing the piano, for those who works hard, I think they work harder so that they can be in the next one

answer to question 4

depends on what type of student he or she is, if it's someone who is lazy, and disrepectful, they it doesn't bother me at all, if it's someone that usually works hard, and is very seriou about music making, then I would question myself if I have been doing my best as a teacher

answer to question 5

definitely....

answer to question 6

yes, if a talented student doesn't have much repect about what they will be learning, then I would rather not to waste my energy try to talk her or him into what they will learn, or if the parents think they are more suited for the teaching position, then definitely a turn down.

Top
#953480 - 02/17/05 12:59 PM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
ishldbpracticing88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 103
Loc: SC
1. I guess when they just don't take it seriously. They're just doing it for fun. Which is ok, I guess . . .

2. Put tooooo much pressure on their child. If they answer a question wrong, they catch their breath and make a big deal about it.
Also if there isn't enough support and encouragement, as well as firmness, from the parents.

3. Not much.

4. Sometimes. Of course, it depends why their quitting. Sometimes it's kind of a relief.

5. It depends what their reasons are. Of course, if it's constant excuses . . . Yes, it does bother me alot!

6. Not normally. I've had a few students who I didn't get a very good first impression of, but they turned out to be good students.
_________________________
"The aim and the final reason of all music should be nothing else but the glory of God and the refreshment of the human spirit."
-Johann Sebastian Bach

P.S. Rach rocks

Top
#953481 - 02/17/05 10:28 PM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 834
1. What drives me nuts about adult students is that they think they know the program that is best for them. However they would achieve much more if they followed my program. They also spend too much time worrying about my opinion of them or how long things will take; and then they don't even practice ten minutes daily. Teaching adult beginners is a losing proposition any way I slice it.

2. What drives me nuts about parents of students is that they don't buy proper pianos for their children. They have so little faith in their children.

3. At recitals, I think that a lot of people want results without effort. They sputter and fuss a lot but fail to practice sufficiently.

4. It's rare for people to leave me for another teacher. Everybody gets what they desire/deserve.

5. Lack of practice bothers me less than it does most teachers. I just practice with them and charge them, and think, "Your parents are paying me loads of money that they wouldn't have to if you practiced."

6. I give everybody a chance. But one family arrived with both girls reading Harry Potter during the interview, and the parents more keen than the girls to learn. Needless to say, the girls didn't last.

Top
#953482 - 02/18/05 12:01 AM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3169
Loc: Virginia, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Candyman:
1. What drives me nuts about adult students is that they think they know the program that is best for them. However they would achieve much more if they followed my program. They also spend too much time worrying about my opinion of them or how long things will take; and then they don't even practice ten minutes daily. Teaching adult beginners is a losing proposition any way I slice it.

[/b]
As an adult beginner and the parent of kids who take lessons from the same teacher, let me analyze your complaint just a bit.

Frustration always arises from unrealistic expectations. Or, as in this case, from failing to reconcile differing expectations. Your adult beginners do not share your goals for them. But both of you walk your separate paths not realizing you are going different directions.

Not ten minutes daily? I've never missed a day without at least ten minutes, nor have my children. That's because part of the shared goals for them is to learn good practice habits and discipline. I have to practice what I preach so I do it too.
_________________________
gotta go practice

Top
#953483 - 02/19/05 12:45 PM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
SAnnM AB-2001 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 2022
Loc: Canada
Adult students are studying because the WANT to. Not because a parent is forcing them. I am surprised to hear that there are adult students who are not totally committed to learning, and who don't trust the judgement of their teacher. Of course not all teachers are meant to teach adults! We do not aspire to be professionals but are passionate about learning to the best of our abilities and I'm sure, practice as much as our busy ADULT schedules allow. If there are teachers out there who do not believe in the aspirations of adult students, they should stop teaching them.....
_________________________
It's the journey not the destination..

Top
#953484 - 02/19/05 03:06 PM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
I think human nature is at work in children as well as adults. Some are serious and good students who apply themselves; some 'think' they want to learn and find out that it's work and takes time then eventually quit;others feel they're intellectually superior as an adult and get frustrated when it's revealed they're not as co-ordinated as they thought, their receptiveness is not that good, and they're really not cut out to play the piano.

Top
#953485 - 02/20/05 06:28 AM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
Cindysphinx Offline


Registered: 02/14/03
Posts: 6416
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro
Candyman,

Failing to practice even 10 minutes a day?

Guilty as charged.

As much as I hate to admit it, I think Candyman has a point. I would go weeks at a time practicing 30 minutes before my lesson and at no other time, sometimes cancelling at the last minute because I was too embarrassed to show my face. I am obsessed with how long things will take, and I would love to give my teacher some truth serum and find out what she really thinks of me. ;\)

But I have kicked it into gear recently, as it becomes easier to practice once your practice is actually the making of music. More practice means more progress, which makes it easier to practice still.

I sometimes wonder if teachers really, really, really understand how demoralizing it is to be so very awful at the piano in the beginning. Many people make it look effortless. It looks like typing. And then you find you can't even fire of the simplest children's song.

Anyway, thanks, Teachers, for weighing in on this!
_________________________
Vote For Cindy!!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post...QvjrL_blog.html

Top
#953486 - 02/21/05 08:03 PM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
seebechstein Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/04
Posts: 1085
Loc: houston
I haven't had a piano lesson since I was a senior in high school. I have given some thought to either asking my son's teacher to listen to me or finding my own teacher, but my biggest reluctance is that I want to practice pieces of my choosing on my own time schedule. Most evenings after work I am too exhausted to practice. I would say the same must be true for most adults.

Top
#953487 - 02/21/05 09:50 PM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 834
I think I should clarify my last sentence that teaching adult beginners is a losing proposition.

It needn't be so, but adult beginners have a way of making it so.

It's they who quit. I would keep teaching them until they're 80, but they have trouble accepting that playing a simple phrase of music is an accomplishment. They're looking for complexity. But the essence of playing music is playing a simple line of music.

One adult student of mine said she wanted to learn to play piano first and once she accomplished that she would take guitar lessons. Well, she "accomplished piano" sooner than either of us could have guessed: a mere seven weeks!

Another wanted to teach piano some day and most certainly could have achieved her goal within about five years at her pace. But she wanted to learn things her way. It's a good thing we have established routes for people to become doctors and they don't set their own course. Why should learning piano be any different?

Perhaps it is frustration on my part. Why does everybody want things so fast? I've studied piano for 30 years. Why can't adults become the humble students that they should be? Don't worry about your self-esteem and just play the piano. Then keep playing the piano. That's my advice.

Good luck to any adult students out there. Make a pact with me that you'll play piano for five years, and I'll be very grateful. Any takers?

Top
#953488 - 02/21/05 10:08 PM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
cindy, great questions. every thought of becoming a journalist? ;\)

candyman, it's funny, but i just had dinner with my piano teacher a few days ago and i asked her what bugged her most about me as a student when i first came to her, and she had the same complaints you do. she said that i, and a number of her other adult students, come to the piano believing they know something about it and music, and so don't readily take her direction.

to her credit as a teacher, any of the many adults who have continued with her soon give up these illusions and end up surrendering to her methods.

with me, it was a matter of her repeating certain instructions to me (which i was ignoring without realizing it) like a broken record, until i finally got curious and asked her why she kept repeating these instructions. that was a huge turning point in our relationship.

with another of her adults, it was the day the student insisted on doing something her own way, and when our teacher told her that perhaps she needed a different method, the student said: "well, haven't you heard of the suzuki method?"

our teacher said, "yes, as a matter of fact i have, and i know of a great suzuki teacher here in town and i can give you her number."

that shut up the adult student, who ever after humbly did whatever she was told.

i think our teacher has such devoted and hard working adult students because she lavishes us with praise for any little accomplishment. and she really drives hoome the point that learning is a journey, not a destination. the fact that she celebrates even our smallest achievements makes a huge difference in our motivation, and in making it possible for us to gain enough confidence in her methods to give up control over how we learn to her.
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

Top
#953489 - 02/22/05 05:49 AM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
ShiroKuro Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3417
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Candyman, your comments left me saddened, both as an adult-learner of piano (in my 6th year BTW) and also as a teacher of English as a second language. Here in Japan, about two-thirds of my teaching time is devoted to children in public schools, and the rest of my teaching time is spent with adult learners.

Adult learners are slower then children at just about everything, they have terrible trouble with pronunciation that children do not have, they tend not to do their homework, they persist in speaking in Japanese during class, often because they think they have something to "teach" the other students... I could go on, but I'm sure you get the idea.

The flip side of that however is that, adult learners are in class because they choose to be, simply because they're interested in learning English and learning about English-speaking cultures. They love to compare holidays and customs and learn about cultural traditions. They don't whisper to each other during class or throw things at each other, they cover their mouths when they sneeze.. I could go on, but I'm sure you get the idea!

All of the above could be changed to apply to children and adult piano students.

IMO the role of any teacher is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of student, their motivations, and their feelings about what they're learning. This understanding then becomes the basis for how the teacher interacts with each student and how the teaching methods are adapted (as much as possible) to best fit each student.

It seems to me from your comments that you have not bothered to try to understand adult students and that you haven't tried to understand the causes of the things that you find frustrating.

Why is an adult student not satisfied with a simple line of music? Because we have music in our heads and in our hearts that we desperately want to play, and we know just how far away from that music we are. Most adults come to piano because of a love of music and with specific pieces in mind to play. However many adults (esp those without prior musical experience) don't understand the steps that need to be followed, and aren't able to make the connection between a simple exercise or etude and that Beethoven sonata. This is where the teacher can play an important role, to explain the process, to help the student find joy in the simplest music, and to give the student enough to praise so that they understand they are making progress.

Candyman, you ask why everyone wants things so fast, and you mention that you've played for 30 years. Well, for an adult, it is a little more complicated than simply saying "ok, I will assume it's going to take 30 years." First of all, in 30 years I will be 66, so time is important to me. If I think there's a more time-efficient way to study piano and make progress, I want to pursue it.

Adults are not used to being beginners, we know how to drive, we may have other pasttimes that we are very accomplished at, we are likely finished with school and have been working for a number of years. We expected to be as quick and efficient at piano as we are at other things in our lives.

Another difficult factor is that most of us have to justify our piano playing in balance with all the other demands on our time and money. Does the adult have children? Can they justify money for their own piano lessons and that expensive acoustic piano if they aren't able to play at least a respectable tune at the next family gathering? And things needs to move at a fairly good clip for someone who works full time or more, and has a family to look after etc etc.

So adults are inevitably worried about how long pianistic progress take. I am sure this is frustrating for the teacher (it is as an ESL teacher) but it's important to understand what that's about and help the student to 1) accept that it takes time and 2) enjoy the process in the meantime.

Also, adult students are... well, adults. We have a lot of knowledge. And even worse, some of us have a lot of knowledge about music. I read lots of music theory books on my own, have completed many music theory workbooks, read about music history and the history of the piano, and I have in the past learned other instruments. And to make it worse, I am older than my teacher and have more work-experience as a teacher than she does (this doesn't matter since I have zero piano-teaching experience of course!) I am sure I drive her crazy when I inevitably slip into thinking I know something about the piano. Fortunately she's patient and I try to catch myself.

You also casually suggest that adults should not worry about our self-esteem and just play. I am sure you are right, but it's never that easy (I wish it was!) Adults like idiots when we can't play Mary Had a Little Lamb and some 10 year old is playing circles around us. This is just natural. Self-esteem shouldn't matter, but it does, and being aware of that, and then trying to help the student get over it, is another important role a teacher can play.

As an ESL teacher, teaching adults was very difficult at first, but it has become an extremely rewarding activity for me. I have no doubt that my experience as a piano student has changed how I approach my ESL students, and I think it has made me a lot more patient and understanding. If nothing else, I give less homework these days!

I'm sorry this has gotten so long, but obviously something about the way you said what you said really struck me. I imagine that I do many of the things that frustrate you about adult students, but somehow I managed to stick with piano practice, and I am sure that the understanding from my teacher and the approach she took to my lessons was invaluable in the early stages. Now I cannot imagine my life without piano, and even though I still can't play a lot of my "dream" pieces, there are lots of other pieces that I get great joy out of playing.

I think a lot of adult students can get to this point if they have the right kind of guidance, so with greatest respect, I hope you'll take a minute to reconsider things before you write us all off.

Cindy, sorry I hijacked your thread!
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




Top
#953490 - 02/23/05 01:21 PM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
princessclara2005 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/05
Posts: 429
Loc: Dallas, Texas
ShiroKuro, playing is a complicated skill, and it does take time to master it, want to be accompalished as soon as you can is simply not practical, the result for try to catch on is simply going no where, that's why most adults quit after a while once they realized how much work it is involved. The truth is that once you got older, you do learn things slower, that means in order to be good, you have to work harder, and if an adult student can't commite to that, then it's simply impossible for a teacher to make that happen. In addition, most adult students don't listen very well, they seem to have a habit of making their own plan in learning....which can be a very bad thing for them to improve.

I had several adult students in my 4 years of teaching, most of them quit, the ones that are left either doesn't listen very well, or sometimes set their goal too high....I have a mixed feeling with adult students, I appreciate their passion for music, but I also find teaching them as an un-rewarding experience.

Top
#953491 - 02/23/05 04:42 PM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
cranky woman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 282
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
 Quote:
1. What do adult piano students tend to do that drives you nuts? Fail to practice? Lie about failing to practice? Failing to lie about failing to practice? Something else?[/b]

Mostly failing to practice. My adult students never lie about practicing, it's futile...I can always tell when praciticing isn't up to par.

2. What do parents of piano students do that drives you nuts?[/b]

Cancelling lessons and expecting refunds or make up lessons. I don't mind the occasional make up lesson, and I have a rock solid policy letter regarding this, I just get tired of enforcing it.

3. When your student is not performing at recital, what exactly is going through your mind?[/b]

I have 4-5 recital opportunities each year. If a student is unable to attend, they'll be at the next recital. I do require at least 3 performances each year.

4. When a student decides not to continue with you, does this bother you deep down?[/b]

It depends on the situation. Usually not. Most times when a break is made, it is mutual.

5. When a student shows up and clearly hasn't practiced their assignment, does this bother you? [/b]

Again, it depends on the situation. If it happens on a consistent basis, then I replace the student. If it is an occasional bad practice week, we do ear-training or sight-reading. There are always plenty of things to do during lesson time.

6. Do you ever decline to teach potential students because you just don't get a good vibe from them or their parents?[/b]

ABSOLUTELY!!!! I'd rather have decent parents with average students, than exceptionally talented students with overbearing parents. I have turned away a few students because the parents were difficult to work with.
By the way, Cindy, GREAT questions!

Charlene
_________________________
www.tcwresources.com

Top
#953492 - 02/24/05 03:16 AM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
ShiroKuro Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3417
Loc: not in Japan anymore
My main point was not to defend adult learners, I acknowledge that we have lots of bad habits and problems that children don't have, my only point was that if adult learners are approached with understanding, and kindness, there is a lot of progress we can make. But ultimately, if someone doesn't enjoy teaching adults, then they should simply make it a policy not to accept adult students.

Getting back to Cindy's orignal post (sorry again!!) I'd like to add a question (actually I wondered if this was what you orignally meant to ask)

7. What do you think when your students are not doing well in a recital? What do you tell them afterwards? (for example do you try to find some area to compliment them? do you give it tnem straight, do you address things they could have or should have done, do you let it go and wait for next time etc)
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




Top
#953493 - 02/24/05 05:49 AM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
cranky woman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 282
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
 Quote:
7. What do you think when your students are not doing well in a recital? What do you tell them afterwards? (for example do you try to find some area to compliment them? do you give it tnem straight, do you address things they could have or should have done, do you let it go and wait for next time etc)[/b]
AAAHHH, well that's a different question entirely!

There are so many variables with performances. If someone is not playing well, I try to determine if it's performance anxiety or lack of preparation. It's usually quite easy to tell, actually.

I always discuss the performance with the student and begin with the positive aspects first. I then ask the student what they thought of their performance and what they could have done differently. Then..........they get it from me straight (always kindly, but not watered down). The student won't get better if the teacher tells them how wonderful they were when both know differently. Tactful honesty is always best IMHO.

Charlene
_________________________
www.tcwresources.com

Top
#953494 - 02/25/05 12:23 AM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
ShiroKuro Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3417
Loc: not in Japan anymore
I hope this doesn't sound hopelessly naive... How can you tell when the problem is by anxiety versus lack of preparation? Just curious! I know I personally have suffered from both at various recitals, but I always wonder which is it with other folks when they are having a difficult performance.
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




Top
#953495 - 02/25/05 04:48 AM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
cranky woman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 282
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
By the time a student is performing on a recital, I have heard the piece several times at lessons. If the student performs for me memorized at a lesson a week or two before the performance without serious flaws, they're probably ready to perform. If during the performance there are huge problems that have never come up in the lesson, I usually chalk it up to anxiety.

Does that make sense?
_________________________
www.tcwresources.com

Top
#953496 - 02/25/05 12:35 PM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
Cindysphinx Offline


Registered: 02/14/03
Posts: 6416
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro
Candyman:

 Quote:
they have trouble accepting that playing a simple phrase of music is an accomplishment. They're looking for complexity.
Have you, uh, been spying on me or something? ;\)

Yeah, this is a real problem for the adult. The child who plays some easy piece at a recital is "adorable." The adult who plays some easy piece is . . . I don't know what. The audience is expecting an adult who sits down at a grand piano to play something great.

 Quote:
It's a good thing we have established routes for people to become doctors and they don't set their own course. Why should learning piano be any different?
You know, I never thought of it this way before.

You sure can't show up at law school and declare you won't be studying criminal law. Even with hobbies, you can't show up and claim you want to learn tennis but refuse to learn how to serve. But there I was, week after week, shirking my scales because they are so very unrewarding.

 Quote:
Why does everybody want things so fast?
Because adult beginners feel like they are making up for lost time.

Piano is unusual in that most adults who play well had training as children. This is not so for being a doctor or lawyer. It is not so for learning golf, even.

For me, I envied people who played piano for decades before I got serious about learning myself. So yeah, I want to play well *right now.*

The other thing adults face is that we're footing the bill. It feels a little self-indulgent to have someone give me weekly private lessons. I want to have something to show for that. Even after five+ years of lessons, I'm still feeling quite inadequate. There are still *so* many things I can't do well or can't do at all. You're right, we can be ridiculously impatient.

Yep, adult beginners can be real head cases, huh? \:D Pique, my teacher also praises my small accomplishments. Which is embarrassing, because they are so very small!

Thanks, everyone, for your candor and fascinating answers!
_________________________
Vote For Cindy!!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post...QvjrL_blog.html

Top
#953497 - 02/25/05 01:05 PM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
From the surgeon who told me, when inquiring for lessons, that he was superbly coordinated and had wonderful control of his mechanism and turned out to be the most uncoordinated and awkward student I've possibly ever had to the enthusiastic, hard-working, and excellent students--a dentist and a psychiatrist--I think I've run the gamut of adult students. I had one call and man asked how long it would be before he could play anything he wanted--5 or 6 lessons? Fortunately, he never pursued it. I've had nurses, teachers, real estate agents, grandmothers, marines, etc. As in everything, it's dedication to achieve that counts.

As some posts indicated adults tend to think they should outshine little kids simply because they are adults. If rank beginners then most likely their musical experience is pretty much on a par with the six or seven year old and they need to adjust to the fact that they, too, begin at the beginning.

Some adults have been a joy to teach while others I would have preferred they not come to lessons. Adults are more predisposed to have ideas about their ability than children and that can be a big hindrance in their progress.

The stories abound, I'm sure, of successes and failures with adults. Such is life I think.

Top
#953498 - 02/25/05 01:22 PM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
Cindysphinx Offline


Registered: 02/14/03
Posts: 6416
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro
Varcon:

 Quote:
Adults are more predisposed to have ideas about their ability than children and that can be a big hindrance in their progress.
How so, Varcon? I had expectations, but sitting on the bench quickly disabused me of the idea that I had ability compared to kids just because of my age and life experience.

Also, teachers, when an adult calls you and wants lessons, do you do anything to check them out to make sure they're serious? If they think it will be a breeze, do you just let them start lessons and find out otherwise?

What do you do if they balk at scales or exercises or something else you want them to do but they don't want to do?

And, just for fun, how many adults have told you that they think learning piano will be easy because they are good typists? Or was it just me? \:D
_________________________
Vote For Cindy!!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post...QvjrL_blog.html

Top
#953499 - 02/25/05 01:31 PM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
Cindy,
Since you were disabused of your expectations you survived. Others do not necessarily relent so quickly. As to 'interviews' and seriousness of purpose, yes, I do ask them what background they have, if they have practice facilities, if they have a regular time they can devote to practice, etc. If, when explaining the requirements for success, they seem to become disillusioned, then I probably won't hear from them again. Some have started lessons but, finding that it is work, don't persist.

If they balk at scales and necessary technical preparation, then I first suggest they re-think their desire to play. Some do--some don't.

I'm really amazed that many do think they have the foundation for playing the piano simply because they can type. From my point of view--and I can do both--I see little relation between the two other than it calls for finger facility. To answer your question--quite a few feel that typing is an entrance to piano playing.

Unfortunately, Cindy, I didn't keep count! \:\(

Top
#953500 - 02/25/05 03:13 PM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
Cindysphinx Offline


Registered: 02/14/03
Posts: 6416
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro
OK, Varcon. I'm going to screw up my nerve to ask another question.

I understand that piano teachers get annoyed when students don't practice. Why, though? If the student is willing to cut the checks to make pitiful progress due to lack of practice, why is this so bothersome?
_________________________
Vote For Cindy!!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post...QvjrL_blog.html

Top
#953501 - 02/25/05 04:02 PM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
cranky woman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 282
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
I think it's a matter of feeling like our time could be better spent with someone who has practiced.

There's a lot more for me in teaching than the $. If a student continuously doesn't practice, I always suggest they go elsewhere. (occasionally missing practice is expected)
I'd rather spend my time with someone who is progressing than just gathering a paycheck \:D
_________________________
www.tcwresources.com

Top
#953502 - 02/25/05 04:07 PM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
Cindy:

Why? If it's chronic then the teacher is naturally disappointed as little or no progress is being made and that is the object of the lessons. It makes the lesson more difficult as the assigned materials are not practised and thus gauging progress cannot be done, new material likely to be put aside--lots of reasons I guess. The lesson itself might be more of a practice session-guided but a practice session--and the teacher would rather see something accomplished for the week between lessons.

At least that is my perspective on your question. I think you must be a more dedicated and sincere student in your efforts so I doubt that you miss too many lessons and practise somewhat consistently. Am I right?

Top
#953503 - 02/25/05 04:18 PM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
Oh--and Cindy, you don't need to 'screw up' your nerve to ask a question. If you don't ask you won't know. We all have and will ask 'dumb' questions so laugh and move on. Most questions are intelligent and deserve a proper answer. Ask on Piano World and you can get a flurry of answers and many conflicting ones. That's to be expected as training and experiences are different. So, if you wish to ask me a question directly I'll try to answer as honestly and in as straightforward a manner as I can.

Top
#953504 - 02/25/05 06:07 PM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
Cindysphinx Offline


Registered: 02/14/03
Posts: 6416
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro
Varcon, it's the avatar that scares me! \:D
_________________________
Vote For Cindy!!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post...QvjrL_blog.html

Top
#953505 - 02/25/05 07:24 PM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
My piano teacher told me about an adult student he taught. She was the type who took great pride in her long, impeccably manicured fingernails... you know, jewels and the whole bit.

He told her after the first lesson, "If you're not willing to cut your fingernails, I can't teach you. I don't know how to teach you how to play correctly when you have fingernails that are that long."

She went home, mulled it over and called him back to cancel her lessons! (At least she knew where her priorities lay.)

Top
#953506 - 02/25/05 07:47 PM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
seebechstein Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/04
Posts: 1085
Loc: houston
 Quote:
Originally posted by Varcon:
I'm really amazed that many do think they have the foundation for playing the piano simply because they can type. From my point of view--and I can do both--I see little relation between the two other than it calls for finger facility. To answer your question--quite a few feel that typing is an entrance to piano playing.[/b]
I wouldn't be surprised if they did that brain-mapping scan and determined that totally different parts of the brain are involved in each. They don't seem at all similar to me.

Sometimes I wonder what non-piano playing adults think of any ability I may have. I'm guessing they think it's novel but of little if any use. They certainly don't appreciate the time that was necessary to invest. If you're studying to impress people, it's a losing proposition. They're not worth impressing, anyway.

Top
#953507 - 02/26/05 12:17 AM Re: What do piano teachers really think?
ShiroKuro Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3417
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Cindy, coming from the perspective of an ESL teacher, teaching a student (esp in a private lesson) who hasn't done their homework is awful! The lesson can become a one-way street. And since my adult lessons tend to be in the evenings, when I have had an adult student who never prepares for class, I find that I get very very sleepy during those lessons. I hate it more than anything and would rather not have the money I get for that sleepy hour. I am sure it's much the same for a piano teacher.
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Moderator:  Ken Knapp 
What's Hot!!
Our latest Issue is available now...
Piano News - Interesting & Fun Piano Related Newsletter! (free)
-------------------
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.
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
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
Who's Online
132 registered (anotherscott, AmateurBob, Abby Pianoman, ABC Vermonter, Acevle, 36 invisible), 1669 Guests and 19 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75602 Members
42 Forums
156313 Topics
2295734 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Piano software without sheet music
by OneSixty
07/31/14 06:05 PM
Transcribing Music
by Tigero
07/31/14 05:31 PM
Yamaha P-105 or the Casio PRIVIA px-135?
by Acevle
07/31/14 05:30 PM
Another reason to love the MP11
by Markarian
07/31/14 03:57 PM
Digital Piano for a Musical
by well23
07/31/14 03:39 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
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