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#964342 - 11/10/07 11:08 PM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
Pianitis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/09/07
Posts: 66
Loc: South Carolina
 Quote:
Originally posted by Morodiene:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Pianitis:
You NAILED it Monica. Mr Brook would send them away, He said as much with a SELF TAUGHT or STORE TAUGHT student, He has no desire to teach them.
[/b] Actually, John said he *knew* of many teachers in his area who wouldn't teach them. I don't think he claimed to be one of them. [/b]
You are correct it was Chris I was confusing with Mr. Brooks. They think so much alike, interchanging them is not a huge error.

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#964343 - 11/11/07 12:16 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Give the chappie a break chaps ... he’s selling Clavinovas which provide the rich sound of any orchestral instrument (in any key) at the touch of a button ... very alluring.

It is total rot to suggest that he is undermining the proper teaching of the piano ... his gadget makes it just that much easier to get started ... by pressing a beat button for a fixed accompaniment ... the LH role is taken out of the initial playing effort ... all the beginner needs to add is the simple improvisation of a single-note RH melody ... any dope can do this .

Once there is some sort of RH co-ordination ... it would seem logical that the "sucker" would like to learn about using two hands ... thus the later chord tuition at $25.00 a throw.

But the bottom line is that pianitis has got unlikely customers interested in the keyboard ... however once the marvel of the gadget buttons has worn off ... and the boring regularity of the machine beat starts imprisoning the "sucker" ... with no flavourful progress ... the penny must eventually drop ... that sight-reading mastery is the only path to quality keyboard sound.

Pianitis makes a sale and takes 4 lessons ($100.00) to make suckers briefly happy at the keyboard ... on the other hand piano teachers take 3 grinding years of weekly lessons (bags of theory and critical instruction) ... but never pass on ultimate mastery of sight-reading ... and in this shortfall kill off the enthusiasm of most pupils ... who never again want to be associated with the actual playing of the piano .

Who does most damage? ... sorry chaps ... stirring!!

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#964344 - 11/11/07 12:39 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
Theowne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 1099
Loc: Toronto, Canada
 Quote:
I tell them upfront I will won't teach them how to hold their hands or sit properly, I will not ask them to play repetitious scales to the drone of a metronome,
Well there's some bias here so it's not really completely honest...

Let me tell you that before I took lessons I was also of the impression that scales and metronomes were all boring things that I'd rather avoid. And when I did start taking lessons, I hated having to use them. But boy, I'm glad that I did because it feels so great to be able to play the way I can now, which is definitely in part due to practicing my technical scales, arpeggios, and playing with the metronome, etc.

An engineer will most likely NOT explain to a car purchaser about the law of inertia and why they must wear seat belts, they just tell them they have to do it for safety. A piano teacher might not be popular when first suggesting the use of scales and metronomes (mine certainly wasn't with me!) but they usually know what they are doing. A few bad apples does not poison the entire orchard, or whatever that saying is.

There's this idea out there that classical piano teachers are mean men/women who bark out orders and hit you if you make a mistake. There's an idea that classical music and atmosphere itself must be strict and harsh - in fact even if this thread John, I think, reinforces that idea by saying something like "If that mild post was offensive than I don't know how you'll handle classical criticism". This is ONE side of the coin. On the other side are my school music teacher and piano teacher, who are completely the opposite. Fun, approachable, down-to-earth, and genuinely interested in seeing you succeed. I've never been yelled at, never been scolded, and I've certainly never experienced any of the kind of harsh criticism that poster seems to indicate. What I have gotten is very helpful constructive criticism, feedback, and instructions on how to improve. And you also get a reliable instructor who is very educated in a wide array of areas related to piano and your study, having dedicated quite a bit of their life learning it, which is a very valuable resource that I would gladly spend money for.

The only thing I don't like about your idea is that most of everything you've described I can already ask my piano teacher for, because she is very experienced and fully trained and is sufficiently knowledgeable enough to help my with sight-reading, playing by ear, improvisation, anything. Since she has a classical grounding she already knows about chords and the role of certain chord progressions in scales, and can easily apply that to modern music. In fact this situation did occur when I had to accompany my choir but had no sheet music. We both listened to the piece, which is a modern pop arrangement, and came up with a suitable accompaniment. You already learn these things taking the traditional route, I certainly had to learn all of them when taking my theory tests.

Personally, I'm not qualified but I do kind of teach to my neighbor's kid but that's because they can't afford to pay $100 a month and he's just a beginner, so I volunteered to teach him for free since he really likes the piano, until they can get him an experienced teacher. Basically I just repeat what I learned when I started to him. But I'm not going to charge him like my teacher charges me because it's just not the same.

It seems like you're charging roughly the same as what my teacher would charge but providing essentially just a piece of what she could provide. Would you be telling your potential customers this fact?
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/Theowne- Piano Videos (Ravel, Debussy, etc) & Original Compositions
音楽は楽しいですね。。。

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#964345 - 11/11/07 12:49 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 842
I suppose this argument boils down to how much of an idealist you are.

"Pianist" would be more culpable as a teacher of children up to the age of about 15, and less culpable beyond that. It really is a shame to put somebody on the wrong course, however well-defined the course may be, when that student is young and capable of so much more.

My sincere advice to Pianist is to save up his pennies and take some piano lessons. It's very rewarding.

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#964346 - 11/11/07 01:36 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
Minaku Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/07
Posts: 1226
Loc: Atlanta
Monica, to answer your earlier question, it's a mix of both. I'm upset at the price he's charging and at the fact that as a teacher he is not leaps and bounds ahead of what his student can do. If his student can do the same thing as he can in 4 students, and they want further study, what then?

I don't have a problem with someone coming to me and saying, "Can you teach me how to read lead/improvise/understand a song?" That I can do. In the process of doing that I can teach theory, correct fingerings for chords and their inversions, throw scales in, many others. Not once do we have to touch classical music in any way. If that's what the student wants, there won't be any Bach, Mozart, or Beethoven (unless that dratted Fur Elise piece comes up).

I take on all sorts of students. My youngest is four and my eldest has been in her late fifties to sixties. And the most pressing issue with all students is time management and practice, not fun or lack of it. I take on students who have self-taught and I never tell them they've wasted their time. My hope is that there are other teachers who are able to see past their own noses and do the same thing.

But to have Pianitis offer to teach what I can teach, without the depth of study, understanding, or the explanations I can give, without a history of pedagogy and principles to guide the teaching and make it easier, all for more than what I make and with less experience, that really gets me in my graw, so to speak.

P.S.: My first lesson in two years is this Sunday at 10 am. Even piano teachers need teachers.
_________________________
Pianist and teacher with a 5'8" Baldwin R and Clavi CLP-230 at home.

New website up: http://www.studioplumpiano.com. Also on Twitter @QQitsMina

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#964347 - 11/11/07 03:41 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
Originally posted by Monica K.:
Let me ask a question of the teachers out there: Is it the fact that Pianitis is offering such a limited curriculum that bothers you the most? Or is it that he/she is not sufficiently trained in technique to be teaching piano, no matter how limited the context?

Relatedly, if a student came to you and said "I want to take lessons, but all I am interested in learning is how to play by ear and be able to put a melody line together with some chords/arpeggios in the left hand." Would you take on that student, on those terms?

If not, then why is it bad for Pianitis to help those students by giving them what they want? [/b]
My problem with pianitis is 'not sufficiently trained in technique to be teaching piano'. If a teacher is not building good 'body use' habits, they are building bad ones - which, unforunately, are often impossible to eradicate. Here is Quintillian (about 100AD) on the matter:
 Quote:
...On this head I think no long labor necessary to show how much better it is to be imbued with the best instructions and how much difficulty is attendant on eradicating faults which have once gained ground, as double duty falls on succeeding masters, and the task indeed of unteaching is heavier and more important than that of teaching at first. 3. Accordingly, they say that Timotheus, a famous instructor in playing the flute, was accustomed to ask as much more pay from those whom another had taught as from those who presented themselves to him in a state of ignorance.
In answer to your last question - There is only one student I would turn away - The student who insisted on damaging themselves (i.e. refusing to learn how to use his/her body naturally). Many on this forum may think these 'marks of weakness, marks of woe' are no great shakes. I'm afraid it's what it's all about. To paraphrase Aristotle when asked to justify slavery - 'Just look at 'em!'
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#964348 - 11/11/07 05:55 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Foppish double-talk ... with respect, it is exactly this pedantic type of highflown yak about body stance and other cliches which give formal teaching the starchy name it presently enjoys.

Here’s a current quote by a young chappie on "classical stereotypes" which might just be describing me and klutz ...

"people basically regard classical music as one huge yawn and anybody playing it is automatically thought of as being an old geezer with no intensity, impossible to relate to, and generally-speaking, a bore."

Piano teachers need to change this unfortunate image ... the young pupil wants to enjoy music ... steer clear of any "old geezer" insistence on

a body stance strait-jacket (debilitating regimen)
lashings of scales and arpeggios (mind-bending boredom)
classical studies by Czerny, Hanon and Clementi (dull fare)
theory mumbo jumbo (clap trap)
triads and their inversions (old cul de sac)
key signatures with multiple sharps or flats (drag)

Sorry to bore you!!

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#964349 - 11/11/07 06:02 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Quintillian, Aristotle - 'Foppish double-talk'? Cor struth! Is there no hope for the world?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#964350 - 11/11/07 06:14 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
Chris H. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
 Quote:
Originally posted by Monica K.:
Let me ask a question of the teachers out there: Is it the fact that Pianitis is offering such a limited curriculum that bothers you the most? Or is it that he/she is not sufficiently trained in technique to be teaching piano, no matter how limited the context?

Relatedly, if a student came to you and said "I want to take lessons, but all I am interested in learning is how to play by ear and be able to put a melody line together with some chords/arpeggios in the left hand." Would you take on that student, on those terms?

If not, then why is it bad for Pianitis to help those students by giving them what they want? [/b]
Hi Monica,

I would take such a student on. The difference is that they would be able to do what they want to do and so much more. It might start with a melody line and a few simple chords, but this can be developed further. You would be surprised how many students do start this way. I do not dictate what they must do. Usually, with the right encouragement they will want to explore other avenues later on. Also, they will learn those chords and scale patterns with full understanding of how and why they work and fit together. They will also learn to play 'what they want' with fluency and good technique. This has nothing to do with hours of boring and difficult technical exercises followed by a smack on the back of the hand with a ruler when they go wrong!

Now let me ask you a question. Let's say I knew someone with emotional or mental health problems. Would it be OK for me to offer to act as their therapist and charge them 'the going rate' for the privilege? I am not a psychologist like you but I think I know enough about it to give it a go. Where's the harm in that? I might even offer a slight reduction for those who can't afford someone qualified.

On the surface, it may look like pianitis is providing a service for those who don't want to be very good. It depends whether you believe that these people are encouraged to find a qualified teacher first. It is my guess that while shopping for a Clavinova, the 'salesman' will persuade the 'customer' that stuffy old traditional teachers are bad news. It must be easy to convince them that after 6 lessons and little effort they will be as good as they will ever need to be.

Pianitis, the comment you made about charging in order to keep the 'riff-raff' away worries me. This is a joke, right?
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#964351 - 11/11/07 06:24 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
mahlzeit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/06
Posts: 1910
Loc: Netherlands
 Quote:
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
Many, actually most, of the teachers in our community no longer accept non-beginner students, especially "self-taught" or "piano store trained." [/b]
That doesn't sound like good business to me. By rejecting these students, you are actually creating a market for these "charlatan" instructors because they're now the only teachers who will accept such students.

Anyway, I fail to see what the argument is about. The traditional teachers claim that their students are happy, Pianitis claims his students are happy. Apparently the students of Pianitis don't want to take traditional lessons, and I'm assuming -- but could be wrong here -- that the students of traditional teachers aren't planning on switching soon either (because they're happy).

So we're talking about two completely different markets here, with almost no competition between them. Then what is there to argue about?
_________________________
No idea what chords you are playing? Reverse Chord Finder Pro will tell you!

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#964352 - 11/11/07 06:34 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Matthijs, I think the argument is kids would happily eat candy all day long but should they be encouraged to do this or is it good for them? Honestly, I think it's a Health and Safety issue - I've seen enough damaged pianists.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#964353 - 11/11/07 06:56 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
Matahari Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/07
Posts: 63
Loc: CT
I am speaking as a customer and a truly beginner and I see nothing wrong with Pianitis "method". Who first created the "standard" anyway?

As long as the teachers honestly tell them what they offer, it is up to customers to accept or refuse the offer. Stupid or not, it is their money. If they choose not to take classical lesson, and prefer other method, well....too bad, it is their money. They can spend on whatever they want.

Some traditional teachers might think that he is not sufficiently trained in technique to be teaching piano. I translate it as " he is not sufficiently trained in technique to be teaching piano the traditional way". But he is not offering traditional method to his students. Can I also say traditional teachers are not sufficiently trained in technique to be teaching piano in "free style" way?

I just started to take piano lesson, too. At first I considered taking an online course such as "Piano Magic" to improve my basic play by ear skills. I wanted to be able to play like Seaside or Mahlzeit. Btw, the PM teacher is not a traditional teacher, too and he makes a lot money. I don't think his devoted students (many of them took lesson after being frustrated by classical lessons) would keep paying the course (expensive for an online course btw) if they don't think it benefits them. I believe many of them quit because the method is not for them, and it is fine, too. They can choose whatever method they like, why? Because it is their money! As long as there is no law that says only certified classical teacher could teach, I don't think pianitis should be put in prison.

I am a self taught "play by ear" type, and I wanted to play for fun, not to be an accomplished pianist. I decided to take classical lessons first, because I'd like to learn classical music. After I got the basic, I'd probably take Piano Magic lessons. But that's my personal choice.

My older son however, doesn't like classical music. He choose electric guitar and non-traditional lesson, and I let him. If he prefer to play rock music with a stage piano, why would I waste my money and torture him to take classical lessons with an acoustic piano? He'd better off learning with a self taught Rock musician with no classical background whatsoever.

Don't forget, Pianitis only offers 6 months lesson, and after that the students are on their own. Sure the students can do much more if they take classical lessons seriously for several years. You can cook so much more, too, if you go to culinary arts school. But you don't need to get a diploma in culinary arts if what you really want is to be able to make some chinese fried rice. \:\)

just my 2 cents,

PS. Why not put this whole thread on "Adult Beginner Forum" and see what "customers" say. I bet it would be very very interesting. \:\)

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#964354 - 11/11/07 07:13 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
There is no 'traditional' way to play the piano just as there is no 'traditional' way to sprint 100m. There is ONE way - the way that uses your body in accordance with how it functions.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#964355 - 11/11/07 08:20 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
mahlzeit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/06
Posts: 1910
Loc: Netherlands
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
Honestly, I think it's a Health and Safety issue - I've seen enough damaged pianists. [/b]
Fair enough. There is no doubt in my mind that a good "traditional" teacher can provide the kind of instruction that prevents damaged pianists.

And while I'm sure the teachers on this board are good, dedicated teachers, apparently many other teachers cannot or do not provide the kind of instruction that many people want.

Because they may not be aware of the "health and safety issue" these people would rather get instruction from teachers like Pianitis who does teach them what they want to learn, albeit without the bits that they really ought to learn but are not aware of.

So the demands of many students do not match the (perceived) supply from many traditional teachers. Seems to me that piano teachers have an image problem...
_________________________
No idea what chords you are playing? Reverse Chord Finder Pro will tell you!

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#964356 - 11/11/07 08:49 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Your right Matthijs, 'good' is very much the operative word here. Good teachers are very few and far between whatever style they deliver. Since watching a video of the PianoMagic 'guy' play (to leave his scale playing aside), I've seen he uses his body very well. I have wondered and commented to seaside_lee since, whether he delivers that to his students. Seaside assures me he does, but I haven't seen it. On the other hand another 'play by ear' course had appalling misuse of wrists.

Whatever style you care to checkout, the teaching is more often than not a mess. Answers on a postcard PLEASE!
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#964357 - 11/11/07 08:55 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
Bob Newbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1549
quote: Somebody understands! Thank You.

I do tell them I cannot sight read. I cannot play the classics, I cannot teach them to play like anyone but me. They seem to want to do just that.

Pianitis..what your merely doing is providing inspiration to play the piano ..which to many people seem daunting and moumental..thats why I'm glad there are programs such as Piano Guy..Piano Magic and the like..without the inspiration to play..the piano becomes just another piece of furniture gathering dust..I've played Jazz guitar for 40yrs..and piano for 4yrs ..I would give any
piano student the benefit of my piano knowelege
I play chord piano..peronally I would only teach teens and adults..no kids! Bob Newbie

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#964358 - 11/11/07 08:56 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
Matahari Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/07
Posts: 63
Loc: CT
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
There is no 'traditional' way to play the piano just as there is no 'traditional' way to sprint 100m. There is ONE way - the way that uses your body in accordance with how it functions. [/b]
Has any of you see Pianitis playing to be able to say his method is "not safe" and/or "un-natural"?

I don't get it. Yes, I wish there is only ONE religion, too, so people don't have to choose which one is the "surest" way to go to heaven. Unfortunately, even the way to God is not only one. And people choose their own, whether you agree or not.

In music, too, for me Rap is not "music". Unfortunately, many people don't agree with me, and pay big $$$ to see rap "concert" and learn rap music. But who am I to say that their "taste" is "wrong"?

I found it ironic reading your signature about re-inventing the wheel. Yes, that's is exactly what people like Pianitis or Piano Magic do. They sure know the road well, look how many people buying their "wheel", whether you like it or not. \:\)

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#964359 - 11/11/07 09:01 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
There may be lots of religions but only one god (if that's where your coming from). The point is study the highway code BEFORE you get behind the wheel.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#964360 - 11/11/07 10:38 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11936
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I think the main reason there is a market for what Pianitis does has more to do with today's society of immediate gratification than anything else. Everything has to be now, not in 5 years, despite the fact that when you put more effort into something, you get more out of it. Technology has been able to substitute for hard work, and so after 6 months, a person can potentitally be happy with the results, because little or no effort needs to be put in. Technology does the work for them. And people are happy with that, because they do not see the value in hard work.

I'm not a snob, perhaps just an idealist. Incidentally, one cannot get such immediate results in any other instrument or voice (unless you're a rare talent), so this is unique to the piano 'discipline' (if we can call it that anymore). So Pianitis may be filling some need, but he is a facilitator in a much greater problem in my opinion, than his apparent lack of knowledge.

btb: I don't always agree with what you have to say, but do love the way you say it! LOL
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#964361 - 11/11/07 10:59 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
Chris H. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
 Quote:
Originally posted by mahlzeit:
Anyway, I fail to see what the argument is about. The traditional teachers claim that their students are happy, Pianitis claims his students are happy. Apparently the students of Pianitis don't want to take traditional lessons, and I'm assuming -- but could be wrong here -- that the students of traditional teachers aren't planning on switching soon either (because they're happy).

So we're talking about two completely different markets here, with almost no competition between them. Then what is there to argue about? [/b]
I really don't see there being two different markets. There are people who wish to learn piano and are willing to pay someone to teach them. One market.

The confusion is in thinking that there is some difference between 'traditional' and 'non-traditional' teachers. I would like to hear someone's definition of a traditional teacher. I would bet it is a stereotype which does not reflect the vast majority of qualified professional piano teachers out there.

The notion that people will pay for tuition and not want to be very good is rubbish. Most will say this because they don't believe it is possible for them to play well (especially adult learners). Nearly every call I get is from someone who wants to play 'for fun' and has no great expectations. Very few will tell you that they wish to become great pianists. I teach an adult student who a few years back insisted that she just wanted to be able to sit and play basic pieces. It turned out she was rather good at it and had the time to practise regularly. Despite originally not wanting anything to do with exams she is now working towards her grade 8. Quite often people do not realise their own potential when they first take up lessons. I am not saying this is always the case. Some students are happy to achieve a basic understanding and will leave it there. Nothing wrong with that. At least they were given the chance.

I can play the guitar a little bit. I am able to busk a few chords and pick out simple tunes. Many times, people have asked if I would teach them. Not a chance. I am fully aware that I am not a good enough guitarist to offer them quality tuition. I would not feel right about taking their money. Instead, I will pass them on to a reputable guitar teacher in my local area.

I find it very hard to believe that all these customers who enter pianitis's store are unhappy with their current teachers. Boy must there be some poor teachers in that area. Maybe they only start to think about changing after pianitis has promissed that it's possible to fake it after a few lessons from him? I don't know.

I make no apology for feeling that music education is important. I see the damage caused by this kind of 'teaching' on a regular basis. So many students whose parents are not aware that the first teacher is perhaps the most important pick up bad habits which are almost impossible to rectify later on. Someone will teach them basics and then send them on their way when they reach the point where that teacher no longer has anything to offer. These students then come to me and expect to progress to the next level. How frustrating it is for both teacher and student to have to back track and re-learn vital skills.

You are quite right pianitis, there will always be a market for you. Just like there is a market for cowboy builders and tradesmen who rely on the ignorance of their customers. Your conscience is clear because at the end of the day it is only piano.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#964362 - 11/11/07 12:00 PM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17777
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by Chris H.:
Now let me ask you a question. Let's say I knew someone with emotional or mental health problems. Would it be OK for me to offer to act as their therapist and charge them 'the going rate' for the privilege? I am not a psychologist like you but I think I know enough about it to give it a go. Where's the harm in that? I might even offer a slight reduction for those who can't afford someone qualified.
[/b]
I was actually going to bring this analogy up in my earlier post but decided it would be too much of a hijack... so I'm glad you gave me this opening. Here's how it operates in most states: The term "psychologist" is protected, and the practice of psychology is governed by state licensing boards. You cannot call yourself a "psychologist" unless you have been licensed by the state (which requires an appropriate degree from an accredited program and passing state licensing exams). So even though I have a ph.d. in psychology, I am not a "psychologist" because I don't have a clinical license. (This is something I stress any time anybody on the forum asks me a clinically-relevant question.)

However, the term "therapist" is not governed. Any Joe Blow off the street can hang out a shingle and call himself a therapist and charge whatever he wants for "therapy." And you see some pretty bizarre "therapists" (e.g., past-life regression and the like) out there.

As you can no doubt guess, this causes "real" clinicians no amount of consternation. And it puts the onus on the client to learn the difference between a licensed and non-licensed practitioner.

Piano teaching is also not governed by a licensing board. So like it or not, there is nothing stopping Pianitis from calling him or herself a piano teacher.

Hijack over... to get back to the debate, when I start my son on piano lessons, I will find a teacher like you Chris, or John, or any of the other highly conscientious teachers on this forum. I would want my son to have a solid grounding in the basics.

But for the adult who has no interest in learning anything but the easy play by ear method that Pianitis is offering, I see nothing wrong at all with what he's doing.
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Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#964363 - 11/11/07 12:34 PM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
ktom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/07/07
Posts: 212
Loc: Somerset UK
Hmm.. "caveat emptor", I guess.
_________________________
Steinway K - Kurzweil PC 88(wrecked and sold for spares) - Yamaha S90 - rhodes 760 - korg wavestation- Hammond XK1 etc..

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#964364 - 11/11/07 12:47 PM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
Theowne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 1099
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Well, I see something wrong with it. As much as yes, the client is responsible for knowing their options I still think people should be honest. To charge that much for something that could either be done much cheaper, or at the same price get that service along with someone with more experience and knowledge (like Minaku's example), isn't what I like to see.

Actually, I just don't agree with the premise that there is this need for an alternative - at the place I learn, anyways, there are plenty of teachers who will teach adults whatever they want to learn, I see advertisements for jazz courses, ear training courses all the time. These people are very experienced, university graduates, but with specific interests outside of classical, and yet don't charge 25$ per lesson...Looking at Pianitis' posts I can't see anything he offers that I can't already get if I wanted to...

If he makes this clear than I don't see a problem with it....but it seems like he would be leading his clients to a conclusion by saying "hey, if you're tired of boring scales and the drone of a metronome...I have a solution" etc...doesn't seem honest to me...
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/Theowne- Piano Videos (Ravel, Debussy, etc) & Original Compositions
音楽は楽しいですね。。。

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#964365 - 11/11/07 01:02 PM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Chris asked Monica:

"Now let me ask you a question. Let's say I knew someone with emotional or mental health problems. Would it be OK for me to offer to act as their therapist and charge them 'the going rate' for the privilege? I am not a psychologist like you but I think I know enough about it to give it a go. Where's the harm in that? I might even offer a slight reduction for those who can't afford someone qualified."

Monica, I've been thinking the same thing that Chris said since I read your first response which is kind of a 'live and let live' approval of teaching by someone with limited skills. Teaching? Demonstrating? Programming?

If your receptionist (were you in private therapy and counseling business) who had 6 months of experience working for you, picked up the jargon without understanding at the depth you understand (qualified) and could expound on only what the people wanted to hear, and ended treatment of the customers when she ran out of things to say, left your employ and set up business in your building, charging what you charge per appointment - would that rattle your personal cage?

Hypothetical? Maybe, but my interpretation above of how others in different fields might relate and react to a situation like ours here.

People keep referring to what we do as a "business" and it seems anything goes in business. I think most of us teaching thing of it as "an educational art form and passing of a legacy one being to another being - involving brain and body and spirit."

We are not in the "entertain yourself business" we are working with the whole being of a person, creating a musician who is an independant thinking and can follow his path to become the best musician he knows how to be.

I think there is a huge,huge difference - and unfortunately most novices will take the "fun" and "easy" approach lacking the information to know the difference of projected results.

This issue smacks of salesmanship, demonstrating an instrument to make it even approachable by the self-learner, charging comporable fees to professional and experienced teachers. All the while calling it a business.

I don't consider myself to be in business - I do enough to make good decisions business wise, and I submit to the IRS my accounting, but I am not "in business". I am in "music education", I am a piano teacher. Many of us have students for years of study, we accomplish things together. Many of us have decades of experience. We're here for the long run.

This is a "start up business" were getting excited over. This is someone, primarily a salesman, demonstrating the clavinova to people who need help finding the on switch.

Those that choose this are welcome to it. They are choosing not to be a knowledgable, finessed musician in their own right, and they are paying top money for the privilege.

Betty

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#964366 - 11/11/07 01:15 PM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: Western Canada
HONESTY is the importand word here!

If Pianitis is upfront and honest and clear about what he's going to teach then other's should just MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS!

What are we Piano Teachers afraid of? A little competition!

If we are confident teachers, students will come our way and we are not going to be afraid of someone taking on a few students. There are enough students to go around!

Also, someone should read all this to Ray Charles because he wouldn't be able to read any of it! I'm sure glad someone didn't stop him from taking lessons!
_________________________
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/goldsparkledress.jpg
Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


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#964367 - 11/11/07 01:55 PM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11936
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Diane, Pianitis came on here asking our opinoin, and we are giving it, so "minding one's own business" wasn't the original purpose of the post. No one (well, I speak for myself) is afraid of anything, except that what Pianitis is doing may be damaging to the students, whether or not they realize it at first, or ever. No one feels threatened, becasue we obviously all have our own teaching businesses and aren't worried that Pianitis is taking them from us even if we happened to live in the same area.

And no one is suggesting anything about stopping people from taking lessons. Music should be encouraged for all who wish to study it, to whatever extent. But they should be encouraged to learn from someone knowledgable enough to teach them what they need to learn to obtain their goals. That is what people are taking issue with.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#964368 - 11/11/07 02:26 PM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
Musictuary Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 169
Loc: Aurora, Illinois, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Diane...:

Also, someone should read all this to Ray Charles because he wouldn't be able to read any of it! I'm sure glad someone didn't stop him from taking lessons! [/b]
Sorry to disappoint you but Ray Charles is dead. Died in 2004.

Once again I don't have a problem with what Pianitis is doing. Maybe my view is largely based on the negative experience with my second piano teacher as a child/early teenager. It took a great leap of faith and confidence to reach to the point where I now currently have a piano teacher (a traditional teacher). Personally when my children are old enough to have piano lessons I would prefer for them to have traditional instruction. I realize piano instruction may have changed for the better compared to when I was doing lessons as a child. So hopefully my children will not suffer the way I did when I did lessons as a child. (It was not uncommon for some of the children who took lessons from this teacher to come to the lessons in tears and leave the lessons in tears as well. While I don't recall crying at lessons for many years even as an adult I felt like a complete moronic idiot around the piano thanks to this teacher's constant putdowns.) Unfortunately there are many adults like me who had negative experiences as children with piano lessons. These adults now have children and even grandchildren. These adults may more likely seek non-traditional methods such as what Pianitis is doing for their children based on their own experiences.

While there will always be very strong views by the issues raised let us not forget that whether we are traditional teachers/learners or non-traditional teacher/learners we are all in the minority in undertaking an endeavor (piano playing) that many persons in today's society consider irrelevant. Also many people dream of being able to play the piano or some other musical instrument but for whatever reason do not accomplish their desires. On these forums we continue to demonstrate that piano learning while frustrating at times takes a lot of effort and time but can and should be fun. That's why it is called "playing the piano."

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#964369 - 11/11/07 04:44 PM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
Pianitis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/09/07
Posts: 66
Loc: South Carolina
So if I wanted t go to Ray Charles or Erroll Garner or Blake, Wonder...and the rest of accomplished successful keyboard player for "lessons" to play like they do I would have to consider them unqualified and myself "damaged"? They can't see if my body is rigid and my wrists "fluid".........Yikes.

Sorry. I do not SOLICIT students. This is not my living. I worked with one 15 year old and it went from there. I have only 10 people non under 15 most over 40. I do not want any more although there are more who are willing to come by.

Chris I am sorry but you are the embodiment "classic" elitist. One way the right way. It does not work that way in the Arts. There are those who if painted and submitted Sunflowers today in a college exam would not get the "Masterpiece" designation of Van Gogh.

Good music is a matter of personal opinion, not "professional" opinion. Is Erroll Garner MORE professional then Mr Brooks or Chris because he has sold a ton of his work to the "unsuspecting" public who do not realize he cannot read a note?

The GRAND assumptions
1. I cannot play anything people want to play.
2. I have to convince people traditional methods are bad. I Don't. They convince me. They are perhaps lazy (as was I) They do not like to play what others already wrote (as did I) They do not enjoy classical music (like myself)

3. People will be destroyed and never recover nor find a teacher to fix their broken hands and minds.

4. You have to have had years of training and classical critique in order to teach. Bah...

All my "students" want to do is learn some theory and play what THEY HEAR. If I teach them chord construction and scales all they have to figure out is the melody by ear if they want to play another's work.

Thats what I do. I can do it all in 6 months. I hear motivated kids playing the guitar all day long. Playing well! Playing leads of the greats (many of whom never took formal guitar lessons) note for note. The enjoy the process of ear training. As did I.

Playing the piano is not a science. There are no absolutes although traditionalists keep searching for them. The day ART becomes an abosolute is the day Art ceases to exist. Music is an Art. There is no right or wrong there is just different.

Jazz breaks traditional rules. As does Rock. Rules set by who? Mozart? Chopin? What about Lennon, Tori Amos? The are the bar for many. Not 18th century musicians.

 Quote:

On the surface, it may look like pianitis is providing a service for those who don't want to be very good. It depends whether you believe that these people are encouraged to find a qualified teacher first.
I will not encourage those who come to me for help to seek out what they are coming from or worse do not want. I will tell them its a great way to get well rounded instruction. They don't want it. Those who do ask me for a teachers list. I do not solicit "business"


 Quote:
It is my guess that while shopping for a Clavinova, the 'salesman' will persuade the 'customer' that stuffy old traditional teachers are bad news. It must be easy to convince them that after 6 lessons and little effort they will be as good as they will ever need to be.
It is my guess you cannot face the reality that some people given the choice choose to play by ear and do not want to become virtuoso pianists.

 Quote:
Pianitis, the comment you made about charging in order to keep the 'riff-raff' away worries me. This is a joke, right?
Sir only an elitist snob would understand what "riff raff" really is. There are no such people in the world to me. Everyone is equally relevant. I charge because that's what my time is worth, In fact my time is worth far more. People will learn to do what they want to do [/b] in far less time then if they were to pay a traditional teacher for a year, at then end of which they may be able to play Fur Elise "correctly". Some People find disciplined study in the Arts like opposing forces.

Who did the 'greats" take lessons from?

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#964370 - 11/11/07 05:38 PM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
Pete the bean Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/04
Posts: 455
Loc: Canada
Pianitis: You sure know how to get a thread going! I have taught nontraditional lessons for the last 25 years. If you are doing such a terrible job at helping people enjoy music and not give them anything of value, I would suggest that you would be out of business in a short time.

Since they keep coming back, you must be giving them something more than your rugged good looks and a charming personality.

At a recent piano convention put on by the local teachers association the highlight speaker was workshopping a book on playing by chord patterns. He sold 170 copies of his book in an hour. He was considered a new revolutionary approach by many in the crowd. It sounds sort of like your method.

I have seen too many students who are on the verge of quitting because their teacher did not know how to step out of the traditional teaching method. For me, it is a privledge to bring back the joy in learning about music to them.
_________________________
http://www.poppianopro.com/

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#964371 - 11/11/07 06:00 PM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
Theowne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 1099
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Although you keep calling other people these names, Pianitis, your last post sound far more "snobbish" to me than any of the ones written by Betty Patnude, or Minaku. Especially when you start talking about classical music. Maybe that's something you should think about...

I assume your "grand assumptions" generalizations are based off someone else's post and not mine...

All of these kind of threads just go in the same direction, towards this fabricated division between classical music and non-classical music. In this world, all classical musicians are snobby, angry, mean, harsh, and forceful.

Somewhere along the line it turns into meaning that any musician who is mean or harsh is automatically classically trained.

And then it becomes the idea that any educated or knowledgeable musician are elitist classical snobs.

Well, it would make a good movie, that's for sure. When people try to feed this misconception, well, there's the problem. Now that I've finished taking high school Physics, maybe I should charge the same as a university professor to teach people formulas. I could tell them that physics professors are all boring and monotonous, they will certainly ask me for lessons then.
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/Theowne- Piano Videos (Ravel, Debussy, etc) & Original Compositions
音楽は楽しいですね。。。

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