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#964462 - 11/14/07 10:05 AM 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
Originally posted by Chris H.:
Wow, you turn your back for a minute and another 2 pages appear!
 Quote:
Who’s winning anyway? ;\)

I wanted to butt out of this thread but I still feel there is a lot of misunderstanding. Thanks Akira for acting as ‘moderator’, you are right, it doesn’t need to be personal. My comments were directed at pianitis. It was nothing personal so I apologies for getting heated. It is what pianitis seems to represent to me. That is unskilled players acting as piano teachers. This may be unfair to pianitis as I do not know him personally. My assumptions were based on a few comments which seem to contradict themselves……

Pianitis, you claim that you are not an accomplished pianist. In the original thread you mentioned noodling about on 3 chords and in another you say you can play anything the great jazz pianists play. That’s a big difference. I would consider any of the musicians you mentioned to be accomplished. I would have no problem with them offering tuition.
There is a huge leap and assumption in your understanding of what I said. I said I can play Ray Charles. Anyone with mediocre training and a little persistence can without ever breaking open a book. Errol Garner plays in chunks. I did not claim I cam play "anything" the great jazz pianists play". I do not have the technique nor the patience to develop the technique to play "anything" they play. If thats what I wanted to play I would have learned it. By myself.

 Quote:

You said you do not solicit or advertise for students. Then in another thread you said that when you sell a Clavinova there is a need to close the deal with lessons included.
Again even a larger misunderstanding of my words and a tall leap in paraphrase. Please show me where I said I need to include lessons to close any deal? I ONLY offer "lessons" if they ask AFTER hearing and seeing me play and like I said 100 times I FIRST encourage them to seek traditional training. Many have already gone that route and don't want to. They want quick and easy.

 Quote:
You say you have nothing against the traditional teacher. But so many of your posts are insulting to any who have trained in the Classics. You called us ‘elitist snobs’ for example.
It appears that way becasue of the vitriol many have against non traditional methods and the very fact that it appears many of those here who are well trained with roots in the classics feel and have said I will RUIN and possibly (gasp) INJURE a prospective student for life if God Forbid we don't get piano teaching "certified" and keep the terrible hacks. There has been a lot of talk about money.We all know that relates to snobbish people.As well there are some who imply that it's better to go without the joy of music then learn from someone with no formal training. If thats not snobbish and elitist,I don't know what is
 Quote:
Monica mentioned that many of ‘us’ seem to think that it would be better for people to receive no tuition than go to an unskilled teacher. No, I would prefer that they come to me. That is why I can’t understand those who feel that it is a different ‘market’. I teach piano, I do not discriminate with regard to age, ability or stylistic preference. I will teach anybody to the best of my ability, regardless of what they wish to learn.
Monica is probably not a teacher and just a lover of music with no axe to grind. "Preferring" they come to you and making light of their alternative choices apparently leads to pain and an early quenching of the grand possibilities one will never receive if they don't come to you. Many have come to the likes of you. It's just not their style to learn in a formal manner in a very structured way. I teach based on the individual not the BOOKS. Some want scales some don't. They just want to learn chords like they learned guitar. I tell them it's easier to learn how to make a chord if they learn the scales, They would rather memorize visual chords. It's their money.
 Quote:
Here is the difference…..

Student says they do not wish to read music. Some would say, ‘that’s fine, you don’t need to’. I would say, ‘It’s not as difficult as you might think. Also, it opens up so many musical styles you may not have considered learning. By all means, learn to play what interests you but give reading a try before you discount it’.
It's not my job to convince them of that. Reading is a separate and distinct skill set which allows one entry to interpretations of everyones work. However requires a lot of time and effort to master to be able to do it well. I know. Although I know the notes on the staffs I cannot look at the bass staff and know the chord. I need the chord written above. So what? Guitar players read tabs to learn a part. Many don't read the notes.

Reading is not the end all to enjoyment of any keyboard. It's an acquired skill that is pretty obvious to anyone that will open doors. I was never much interested in playing others music by the book. I rather play it from listening. I find that more enjoyable. Like digging for treasure. Lots "Oh so THAT'S waht he's playing......Hmmmm".
 Quote:
Student says they only want to play for fun. Some would say, ‘No problem, it’s all fun, you do what you like for 6 months. No pressure, no commitment’. I would say, ‘Playing the piano is great fun and you will enjoy the lessons. Remember though, you get out what you put in. The more time you spend on it, the more fun you will have’.
You can say it all you like. I know 10 people who would disagree. Playing is fun. Learning to read is not, endless scales over the drone click of a metronome is not. Playing simple little chidren's songs is not. It takes quite awhile for piano to become "fun" when taking method lessons. Unless perhaps if you are 7. For those who see the future it's a welcome struggle for awhile. For those who want to play NOW. It's not so much.
 Quote:
Student says they want to do what I can. Some would say, ‘You can! After a few lessons you will play whatever you want. What’s more, you don’t need to do any of the boring stuff like practise or read music’. I would say, ‘It’s possible but it doesn’t happen overnight. If you are prepared to put the time and effort in then you will be surprised how quickly you make progress. I can’t make any promises, it depends on your level of commitment’.
Yet again you put words in my mouth. Please if you are going to quote me do not paraphrase. You are not very good at it. Can you students play a melody over a slow progression of Cmaj7 Dm7 Em7 Dm7 after the SECOND lesson? I think not. Mine can and ENJOY it. How can they do this miraculous thing? Because I tell them they can play anything they want on the white keys over that progression
Their imagination is the limit. While they do this I explaining scales how how keys work.They can play in C for the rest of their life if they choose to. Not my call. They can expand that to different scales and keys. I can help them with that.The point is THAT ARE MAKING THEIR OWN MUSIC form the get go. They see AND HEAR RESULTS immediately. They "sound" like real players. Like me. LOL
 Quote:

Student says they are not serious, have no interest in playing well, have no time to practise etc. They want a short cut to playing popular styles with no effort required. They have $25 a week to spend on lessons for the hell of it. Some would say ‘ker-ching’. I would say I have never met anyone like this in my life.
Of course you have haven't. You probably dismissed the notion without even knowing it after they spend three minutes with you. I can hear the discussion. "I want to play Billy Joel"

"Uh Hem ..You know it takes years of training to be able to play like Billy Joel. Billy Martin was a classical trained pianist before he became Billy Joel."

I am sure you heard people say they want to play this or that. I am more than sure you told them what they need to do FIRST.

Ker-Ching.

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#964463 - 11/14/07 10:08 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2845
Loc: UK.
But.... could you even buy your chess lessons from Gary Kasparov for $25 a session?

Nobody said that if you can't take piano lessons from Daniel Barenboim you might as well not bother.

The question is do you pay $25 to learn chess with someone who was maybe semi-pro, played for years at a high standard and has many years teaching experience, or do you pay $25 to learn chess from me? I know which pieces move where but I am by no means an accomplished player. To someone who knows nothing about chess my knowledge might seem impressive. Trust me, it isn't.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#964464 - 11/14/07 10:22 AM 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 kritta:
[QB] Originally posted by Chris H.

 Quote:

Student says they are not serious, have no interest in playing well, have no time to practise etc. They want a short cut to playing popular styles with no effort required. They have $25 a week to spend on lessons for the hell of it. Some would say ‘ker-ching’. I would say I have never met anyone like this in my life.
[/b]

Chris, this is very well-said. I very much agree with the premise of this statement, but I have one thing to add. I have, actually, met a few people like this (maybe it has to do with the area in which I live) -- not many (maybe only 2 or 3) but there have been some, so I know that they exist. My example a few pages ago about the student's parent who "only wants to drop their kid off to play the piano for 1/2 hour a week" with no other responsibilities at all (no practicing, no recitals, no tests, etc) is a good example.
There are more then you think like that. Some are even turned away by teachers.....
 Quote:
I think it really sucks that people would feel this way, and I am with you and keyboardklutz (and many others) in feeling that if you are going to pay for instruction (not if you are just going to noodle around by yourself), why wouldn't you want to pay for a well-rounded and complete educational experience from a qualified professional?
In the long run one will pay a whole lot more to do what they want to do today. Thats why. You forget I was there. I LOVE music. I love writing,recording, and just "noodling" I never loved it enough to want to do any more then I do today. I learned only what I wanted when I wanted.
Guess what I can play a 4 hour piano bar and actually get paid for it.

Will I become a better painter if I took lessons from Monet......????Or will I just paint like Monet?
 Quote:

I feel like anything worth doing (or worth paying someone to teach you) is worth doing well, but I do know (I've seen it with my own eyes) that there are those out there who only strive for mediocrity. ]
Many do. Some don't. Mediocrity is no sin. In fact for many successful musicians it is very very profitable. And for those who's desires are much less intended. Piano is fun again. Not a chore where the rewards come later.

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#964465 - 11/14/07 10:33 AM 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 Chris H.:
But.... could you even buy your chess lessons from Gary Kasparov for $25 a session?

Nobody said that if you can't take piano lessons from Daniel Barenboim you might as well not bother.

The question is do you pay $25 to learn chess with someone who was maybe semi-pro, played for years at a high standard and has many years teaching experience, or do you pay $25 to learn chess from me? I know which pieces move where but I am by no means an accomplished player. To someone who knows nothing about chess my knowledge might seem impressive. Trust me, it isn't. [/b]
How can you possibly use Chess as a comparison to music on any level in any discourse regarding music!!!?

Many of you classically trained people are stuck in your "the best or bust" paradiam. I would pay for lessons in anything from someone who's skills in that particular arena I admire. ESPECIALLY when it comes to the arts where subjectivity rules the day. Classically trained people seems to have lost that subjectivity and there are far too many "wrongs" and far too little rights for my tastes.

The old Rap ain't music syndrome.....I disdain all Rap Music and what it stands for.. But it is still music and still requires the creative processes of an art form.

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#964466 - 11/14/07 10:35 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2845
Loc: UK.
 Quote:
Originally posted by Pianitis:
For most people the Clavinova is far more fun. The "fun factor" is what I sell when I sell a Clav. I found there is a need to "complete the sale with some lessons"
[/b]
There you go, it was right back on page 1!

Forgive me for paraphrasing but that took me ages to find your quote. I assure you, all the things I said that 'you' said are in there somewhere. I just can't really be bothered to wade through it all again.

By the way, learning to read music is not difficult. You should try it. I bet I can teach someone to read music quicker than you can teach them to play by ear.

Would my students play Cmaj7, Dm7 etc. on the 2nd lesson? Absolutely not. That can be quite a stretch, not to mention the need to use fingers 5,4,2,1. Anyone who does not play is welcome to try this. Their arm, wrist and hand will be tighter than a rusty bolt. I can't argue with the fact that any white note will fit. Have you tried the other one? If you play nothing but black notes it sounds great.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#964467 - 11/14/07 10:37 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2845
Loc: UK.
The chess post was in repsonse to Monica K. Some other posts slipped inbetween so it didn't make much sense. Sorry.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#964468 - 11/14/07 10:45 AM 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 Chris H.:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Pianitis:
For most people the Clavinova is far more fun. The "fun factor" is what I sell when I sell a Clav. I found there is a need to "complete the sale with some lessons"
[/b]
There you go, it was right back on page 1!

Forgive me for paraphrasing but that took me ages to find your quote. I assure you, all the things I said that 'you' said are in there somewhere. I just can't really be bothered to wade through it all again.

By the way, learning to read music is not difficult. You should try it. I bet I can teach someone to read music quicker than you can teach them to play by ear.

Would my students play Cmaj7, Dm7 etc. on the 2nd lesson? Absolutely not. That can be quite a stretch, not to mention the need to use fingers 5,4,2,1. Anyone who does not play is welcome to try this. Their arm, wrist and hand will be tighter than a rusty bolt. I can't argue with the fact that any white note will fit. Have you tried the other one? If you play nothing but black notes it sounds great. [/b]
Ah yes. The words but not the intent. Those lessons are not those I charge for. They are more how to use the Clav lessons. But yes on occasion they want more regarding the music end. Theres where the traditional vs alternative training advantages and disadvantage conversation happens.

I do not sell music lessons from the store to make a sale. I will train free on the Clav. I do not even bring up lessons of any kind when they are buying an acoustic. The Clav is daunting to some. I can and will spend a couple hours teaching them in the store as a value added service after the purchase. I can understand how you connected the dots there though. I apologize.

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#964469 - 11/14/07 10:48 AM 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 Chris H.:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Pianitis:
For most people the Clavinova is far more fun. The "fun factor" is what I sell when I sell a Clav. I found there is a need to "complete the sale with some lessons"
[/b]
There you go, it was right back on page 1!

Forgive me for paraphrasing but that took me ages to find your quote. I assure you, all the things I said that 'you' said are in there somewhere. I just can't really be bothered to wade through it all again.

By the way, learning to read music is not difficult. You should try it. I bet I can teach someone to read music quicker than you can teach them to play by ear.

Would my students play Cmaj7, Dm7 etc. on the 2nd lesson? Absolutely not. That can be quite a stretch, not to mention the need to use fingers 5,4,2,1. Anyone who does not play is welcome to try this. Their arm, wrist and hand will be tighter than a rusty bolt. I can't argue with the fact that any white note will fit. Have you tried the other one? If you play nothing but black notes it sounds great. [/b]
If they have an issue with the quads I will just have them do the triads instead. Same result if not as "pretty".

To answer your reading question. Yes I have tried it. I found it tedious and frustrating. A learned skill. I would rather "read" a fake book and embellish on my own.

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#964470 - 11/14/07 10:57 AM 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: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by kritta:
"I still think Pianitis's approach can be very effective as a low-cost, easy way of getting people interested in playing the piano"


But it is not "low cost" as he is charging more than most of us do! [/b]
When I said "low cost" I was referring to the total commitment and investment... many (most?) teachers here insist on students enrolling for a semester or even an entire year. Pianitis charges by the lesson (with the first lesson free). The initial cost/investment is thus considerably lower for Pianitis's students, even if he/she charges a comparable or higher hourly rate.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#964471 - 11/14/07 10:59 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2845
Loc: UK.
 Quote:
Originally posted by Pianitis:
To answer your reading question. Yes I have tried it. I found it tedious and frustrating. A learned skill. I would rather "read" a fake book and embellish on my own. [/b]
That might explain why you are so biased against reading. Unfortunately, you never had the benefit of someone who could teach you to read music well. Whether you mean to or not, this bias will be passed on to your own students.

Reading music is not the be all and end all. However, unless you are blind there is no reason why you can not give it a try. I know you can achieve a lot without it but I believe the majority of people can achieve more with it. Many years ago it would have been considered elitist to be able to read and write. Thankfully that is not the case now. Why should music literacy be any different?
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#964472 - 11/14/07 11:06 AM 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
Monica said: Because as a brand new beginner in something, especially if it's something I'm not sure I'm going to want to stick with, I don't *need* the best teacher in town. In fact, I'd probably feel more comfortable with somebody who wasn't the best person in the world.

It is understood among those who teach piano, know pedagogy (the how and what to teach structured in concepts with all the component parts of learning our instrument) that:

The FIRST teacher is the most important teacher.

It is here you learn to "think" piano solutions, you orient your body and mind carefully to the keyboard, you learn to read notation, count note values, acquire technique, learn theory, become accomplished with any piece of music at the level at which you play by achieving goals. You are learning to respond to the symbols on the music page.

There is a system of learning (just at in school - reading, vocabulary, math, physical impulse with understanding and control. It is like being a well-trained athlete in a specialized sport: thinking in music symbols.

Music literacy is an important goal of a piano teacher. The student acquires confidence, self-esteem, thinking skills related to music. He achieves and accomplishes. We pave paths in brains. We give good experiences toward conquering the instrument of 88 keys, capable of loud and soft sounds, with 10 fingers on a warm, human body, in an engrossed mind.

The blarney about piano teachers is spiteful when of course the common denominator is that piano teachers are already there in understanding, and many students can't or won't follow directions to the pinnacle and do everything they can do to sabotage themselves.

A piano student on the path is going to be able to reach their goals if they stay on the path. It is going to take as long as it takes because each person is able to travel the path at his own speed - whatever that capacity is - but the destination is worthy of such commitment.

Without the pursuit of excellence in music study, lessons can be chaotic and confused or limited to the expectation of the student.

Choose that first (and every other) piano teacher carefully. This is music education and artistry you are wading through. It isn't meant to be the easiest because it is guided observation and self control to be able to "think in music" and also be able to "think in impulses that your physical body produces according to your understanding.

Deliberately acquired skills combined with your natural talents. If you are getting no written information from your teacher - written instructions, a printed hand out, notes written on the music page, an assignment notebook with written details - you are not being instructed.

Could it be that you are being led by the "Pied Piper" and locked into "Simon Says" games? Are you developing visual, aural, tactile skills - or it there mainly "imitation" going on?

I don't know the answer in this situation, for sure, but everything I've noticed so far is that this appeals to certain people. "Joe and Joan Six Pack", for instance. The cost is equal to long term music teachers and that was established as being the "going rate" and high enough to keep out the "riff raff".

My final thought here is that this person does not respect others, neither teachers (lots of criticism)nor clients. He also does not respect the study of music.

If he has his own "method", it should be printed as a blueprint for what he is going to accomplish with his students.


Betty

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#964473 - 11/14/07 11:16 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
kritta Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/07
Posts: 109
Loc: Maryland
originally posted by Pianitis:

 Quote:

To answer your reading question. Yes I have tried it. I found it tedious and frustrating. A learned skill. I would rather "read" a fake book and embellish on my own.
But you are at least reading A LITTLE. I believe that the discussion was about not learning to read AT ALL.
_________________________
private piano instructor

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#964474 - 11/14/07 11:19 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
kritta Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/07
Posts: 109
Loc: Maryland
 Quote:

Reading music is not the be all and end all. However, unless you are blind there is no reason why you can not give it a try.
And even blind musicians can read BRAILLE scores! The head of the theory department at my conservatory was blind, and he had tons of braille scores. He was an excellent musician in every way (playing by "ear" included).
_________________________
private piano instructor

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#964475 - 11/14/07 11:21 AM 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:
Many years ago it would have been considered elitist to be able to read and write. Thankfully that is not the case now. Why should music literacy be any different?
I don't believe there is enough bandwidth in which to list why music literacy is not nearly as important as reading and writing language....

I don't put music on that high a pedestal. Reading music is great for those who wan a career playing a Broadway or otherwise show perhaps in Branson MO. Even then the charts are not written in Symphonic form. It's also nice to know if you want to read someone's written interpretation of a pop song in a song book. Or if one enjoys the classical music. But it certainly is not necessary to enjoy playing the piano for some.

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#964476 - 11/14/07 11:36 AM 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:
It is understood among those who teach piano, know pedagogy (the how and what to teach structured in concepts with all the component parts of learning our instrument) that:

The FIRST teacher is the most important teacher.

It is here you learn to "think" piano solutions, you orient your body and mind carefully to the keyboard, you learn to read notation, count note values, acquire technique, learn theory, become accomplished with any piece of music at the level at which you play by achieving goals. You are learning to respond to the symbols on the music page.
And here is where a lot of students have their worst memories and quit. They come in with right brains all ready to go and its the left brain that is doing all the work. The people I seem to appeal to have no desire to go for years of musical training. I do not understand why that is such a wayward concept to those who did? They just want to play for fun, not make it a long multi year multi teacher "study in music." They don't want to CRAWL. They want to walk, albeit with a cane and a crutch or two. But they want to walk. Some will be satisfied with that. I was. I walk everywhere "I want to go" without crutches. I also put the crutches back on when I want to go somewhere I have never been.
 Quote:
There is a system of learning (just at in school - reading, vocabulary, math, physical impulse with understanding and control. It is like being a well-trained athlete in a specialized sport: thinking in music symbols.

Music literacy is an important goal of a piano teacher. The student acquires confidence, self-esteem, thinking skills related to music. He achieves and accomplishes. We pave paths in brains. We give good experiences toward conquering the instrument of 88 keys, capable of loud and soft sounds, with 10 fingers on a warm, human body, in an engrossed mind.
System and methodology. Ugly words when it comes to the arts for a few. Some want to win a few battles on the 88s. Not conquer the whole war.
 Quote:
The blarney about piano teachers is spiteful when of course the common denominator is that piano teachers are already there in understanding, and many students can't or won't follow directions to the pinnacle and do everything they can do to sabotage themselves.
Therein lies the problem. Some students are not inclined to structured learning in the musical arena. You would have them quit rather then learn "correctly" lest there be more of me mucking up things. Yet should they put it aside and move on to chess? I yell a resounding NO!!!I am thankful I did not quit. There are other ways to express yourself musically. Perhaps not as deep or with extreme musical literacy. But enjoyable and creative nevertheless.

 Quote:
A piano student on the path is going to be able to reach their goals if they stay on the path. It is going to take as long as it takes because each person is able to travel the path at his own speed - whatever that capacity is - but the destination is worthy of such commitment.
Is it the teacher's job to instill those goals?
I say it's the students job to instruct the teacher where they want to go and the teacher gets paid to take them there. WHEREVER IT IS. Different people different lessons. The destination may not be as far as one who is looking and budgeting on long term income from a student or students suggests.


 Quote:
Without the pursuit of excellence in music study, lessons can be chaotic and confused or limited to the expectation of the student.
People are truly motivated by there own measure of excellence not someone else's.
As it should be.

 Quote:
Choose that first (and every other) piano teacher carefully. This is music education and artistry you are wading through. It isn't meant to be the easiest because it is guided observation and self control to be able to "think in music" and also be able to "think in impulses that your physical body produces according to your understanding.
I add decide what you want to learn and find a teacher who will teach you exactly that. IF you want to play the classics find a classical teacher, If you want to play only pop. Find one who will teach you only pop. If you want to play by ear. Find one who learned that way you respect.
Nothing says you cannot switch but to become saddled with a teacher who teaches the same method to every individual is to become handcuffed if the method is not applicable to ones own learning processes and sensibilities.
 Quote:
Deliberately acquired skills combined with your natural talents. If you are getting no written information from your teacher - written instructions, a printed hand out, notes written on the music page, an assignment notebook with written details - you are not being instructed.
I do not give any written information. I make them write everything. Scale formulas, Chord formulas, the staff, the notes, .....Everything I say has to be written down by them in their writing. IF they write it they OWN it and it becomes theirs, not mine. Their assignment, not mine. They come with BLANK lined paper and staff paper and leave with a book THEY wrote. Music they wrote in a way they can understand. I make it as painless as possible.
Music does not have be difficult unless you want to play difficult pieces. Thats the beauty of music and Art. You can paint some abstract strokes on blank canvas in ten minutes and people will pay extreme amounts for it and call it art. Or you can paint photographic looking scenes and sell them to calendar makers for beans. Art makes no sense sometimes.

 Quote:
Could it be that you are being led by the "Pied Piper" and locked into "Simon Says" games? Are you developing visual, aural, tactile skills - or it there mainly "imitation" going on?
the Pied Piper DID rid the city of the rats.After all. He was not paid.

BTW Imitation is the root of all music. Nothing is truly original anymore. In fact reading music is the ultimate IMITATION..YA think?

 Quote:
I don't know the answer in this situation, for sure, but everything I've noticed so far is that this appeals to certain people. "Joe and Joan Six Pack", for instance. The cost is equal to long term music teachers and that was established as being the "going rate" and high enough to keep out the "riff raff".
There is no answer. Only acceptance. And BTW "Riff Raff" is in the eye of the beholder as was my intent when I first brought up the term. In facvt I would guess I am musical "Riff Raff" to a few here. Ya think?
 Quote:
My final thought here is that this person does not respect others, neither teachers (lots of criticism)nor clients. He also does not respect the study of music.
I have a feeling this will not be your final thought......The only thing you are indeed correct about is I do not respect traditional methods of music study. I don't even like using the word "study" as it applies to music. "Study" is a not an enabling term to many people. My purpose is to enable not alienate.


 Quote:
If he has his own "method", it should be printed as a blueprint for what he is going to accomplish with his students.
I knew the above would not be your last thought!!!

Sorry no blueprint. People are different. Musical tastes are different. Methods do not apply to all.
I will accomplish nothing. The students will accomplish what they come for...... if they want to.

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#964477 - 11/14/07 11:50 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
Dorrie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/09/05
Posts: 438
Wow - what a thread!

I don't think Pianitis is hurting anyone - he's clear about his aims and limits. I expect there are a group of people who for whatever reason would enjoy learning to play a keyboard with him.

However, I do think there are many advantages to chosing to have lessons with a teacher with broader experience. While I agree with Pianitis that musical literacy may not be as important as reading, the process of skill development is very similar (I am an adult beginner, former reading teacher and mom of 3).

The "best" teachers in my opinion can move from method to method and customize the experience for the learning stage and style of their students. I think this holds whether the "base" of the method is a more "traditional" one like many teachers here use, a Suzuki approach, or a "play by ear" approach.

A piano teacher who can move between styles and methods to meet the goals of his/her students is one who has the skills to avoid the "stuck" feeling so common in people learning a complex skill. Personally, I would no more want a piano teacher who could only teach one way than I would a reading teacher who could only teach phonics or whole language.

For better or worse, students to tend to get attached to their teachers and it is nice when you have chosen a teacher with enough skill to "go the distance" with you - even if at the beginning you have no idea where your musical destination will be or how long it will take.

I suspect the best teachers - whatever their base method - do borrow heavily from all methods and are worth far more than they are paid.

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#964478 - 11/14/07 11:51 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
*twitch* There is no such thing as right brain and left brain. I wish we could just get rid of this stupid model so that we couldn't use it as an excuse.
_________________________
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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#964479 - 11/14/07 11:52 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...
Thanks Betty, for answering Monica. Ask any good teacher and they will tell you the first teacher must be the best - in fact ask any leading sports person. But as the opinions of the highly experienced and knowledgable seem to count little with one side of this debate, what can we do? Would you like references?

Cathy I still can't get my head round why someone would wish to be mediocre at any endeavour. It goes smack against any cultures I know of.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#964480 - 11/14/07 11:58 AM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
pevawi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 232
Loc: The Netherlands
Mmm.. do I get the urge to tell you all: GET A JOB.. but then again.. you already have one and that's what this discussion is all about... \:D

And it's really a principal point you can tell from the lengthy posts. I'd like to add a positive point that most people have keep their cool in this (Monica did already praise Pianitis for this). But I think you should consider to: "agree to disagree" because neither side will give in on this and I think there is no real winner here as this is not a "black/white" but more a grey area.

Or if you like the daily workout behind the keyboard by all means go ahead and try to give the Chopin thread from lovinchopintomuch on the ABF forum a good scare number wise \:D
_________________________
Kawai K6

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#964481 - 11/14/07 12:06 PM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
pastafarian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 379
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
My final thought here is that this person does not respect others, neither teachers (lots of criticism)nor clients. He also does not respect the study of music.
I believe it is comments like this that make the case for all the negative stereotypes of "classical" piano teachers. What arrogance! I have yet to be convinced that Pianitis' lack of rigidity with respect to musical pedagogy doesn't imply a greater respect for the study of music in general than the limiting of musical education to one particular view that is currently fashionable among some classicaly-trained North Americans.

I have followed this thread with great interest since I teach for living (with no formal training), have had music instruction in several instruments, while also having had myself as a teacher.

I'm old enough have seen the effects of various "systems" of instruction championed by professional "educators" --anyone seen the devastation wrought on children's literacy by the "whole language" zealots? I have.

I have had good music teachers and bad. Many of the bad ones had been trained in music and musical pedagogy. They couldn't teach a bird to chirp.

I have had self-taught musicians teach me more in ten minutes than I learned in six months with the "highly trained" type.

My youngest son is in piano. I wouldn't let him learn from Pianitis because I want him to learn a broad musical curriculum from a trained teacher with years of experience, particularly with experience teaching children.

For myself, been there, done that. I have a base from which I can teach myself to read better. If I want more theory I can teach myself that. If i wanted to play the classics, I'd probably be able to advance substantially beyond my present level without a teacher.

If I wanted to advance beyond the intermediate level, I would get a teacher.

Currently, if a walked into a music store and saw somwone noodling away in a way that impressed me, I'd ask a few questions. If the person had some understanding of what they were doing and it seemed to me that their system, no matter how idiosyncratic or unorthodox, was generative, rather than just something that had to be imitated with no rules for pattern creation, then I'd consider dropping $25 down to find out more, sure.
_________________________
Without music life would be a mistake
-- Friedrich Nietzsche

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#964482 - 11/14/07 12:21 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 Dorrie: [QUOTE] Wow - what a thread!

I don't think Pianitis is hurting anyone - he's clear about his aims and limits. I expect there are a group of people who for whatever reason would enjoy learning to play a keyboard with him.
A few. And yes it is fun. Lots of rights. Few wrongs. Of course they aren't "learning anything" to many.
 Quote:
However, I do think there are many advantages to chosing to have lessons with a teacher with broader experience. While I agree with Pianitis that musical literacy may not be as important as reading, the process of skill development is very similar (I am an adult beginner, former reading teacher and mom of 3).
I agree. I have said it before. I will send those who want a broad education send them to find a teacher with broader experience. I cannot fake method teaching. I am not qualified to teach everything there is to know about playing the piano. I can teach someone how to play despite many years of lessons though. Many have had years of lessons as kids and cannot play for their own enjoyment.

 Quote:
The "best" teachers in my opinion can move from method to method and customize the experience for the learning stage and style of their students. I think this holds whether the "base" of the method is a more "traditional" one like many teachers here use, a Suzuki approach, or a "play by ear" approach.
Are you saying one must individualize the whole shebang to the student's needs and abilities? Blasphemy. Bastien is the ONLY way to teach proper piano. That is the most important thing. People are individuals. Music is individual. you have to customize EVEN THE BASICS to those peculiarities rather then try to force a round peg into a square hole because it worked before. Methods are for those who cannot really teach what they know and need a blueprint written by someone else.

The best teacher would answer the question "which method do you use here"? With the answer. "It depends on who is taking the lessons and what they want to learn" People are truly motivated by what THEY want to achieve not what their teacher believes they should achieve. Any student that does not practice is more then proof of that.
 Quote:
A piano teacher who can move between styles and methods to meet the goals of his/her students is one who has the skills to avoid the "stuck" feeling so common in people learning a complex skill. Personally, I would no more want a piano teacher who could only teach one way than I would a reading teacher who could only teach phonics or whole language.
BINGO! We have a winner.

 Quote:
For better or worse, students to tend to get attached to their teachers and it is nice when you have chosen a teacher with enough skill to "go the distance" with you - even if at the beginning you have no idea where your musical destination will be or how long it will take.
If someone wants to "go the distance" It is pretty clear I am not the person to take them there. They tell me where they want to go. I tell them where to go.......in so many words.

ITs ALL ABOUT what THEY WANT.
 Quote:

I suspect the best teachers - whatever their base method - do borrow heavily from all methods and are worth far more than they are paid.
Only the student can decide that.

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#964483 - 11/14/07 12:24 PM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
kritta Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/07
Posts: 109
Loc: Maryland
 Quote:


Posted by Pastafarian:

I have yet to be convinced that Pianitis' lack of rigidity with respect to musical pedagogy doesn't imply a greater respect for the study of music in general than the limiting of musical education to one particular view that is currently fashionable among some classicaly-trained North Americans.
[/b]

You obviously haven't been carefully reading the posts on this thread. The "classically trained" teachers are saying that they can offer a wide variety, and a well-balanced (personally suited to each student) musical education. We can offer EVERYTHING, and those like Pianitis can only offer ONE thing.

Which one is limiting?

I think that the fact that you are buying into incorrect stereotypes is limiting.
_________________________
private piano instructor

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#964484 - 11/14/07 12:29 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 Minaku:
*twitch* There is no such thing as right brain and left brain. I wish we could just get rid of this stupid model so that we couldn't use it as an excuse. [/b]
What I meant was there is logical thinking and creative thinking. The "study" of music is logical, Lets find a coherent group of general propositions and use them as principles of explanation whose status is still conjectural, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.

Hence Music THEORY.

Then theres the creative.Lets throw away the rulebook and make some music. Put your fingers here and here. Theres a C. Play these notes with that. Sounds good?

Theory is great its the grammer of music. But one can learn to read and write without knowing what a noun,verb,Subject, or adjective describes.

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#964485 - 11/14/07 12:31 PM 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...
And THAT'S worth $25 a pop?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#964486 - 11/14/07 12:40 PM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
kritta Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/07
Posts: 109
Loc: Maryland
 Quote:

Are you saying one must individualize the whole shebang to the student's needs and abilities? Blasphemy. Bastien is the ONLY way to teach proper piano. That is the most important thing. People are individuals. Music is individual. you have to customize EVEN THE BASICS to those peculiarities rather then try to force a round peg into a square hole because it worked before. Methods are for those who cannot really teach what they know and need a blueprint written by someone else.

The best teacher would answer the question "which method do you use here"? With the answer. "It depends on who is taking the lessons and what they want to learn" People are truly motivated by what THEY want to achieve not what their teacher believes they should achieve. Any student that does not practice is more then proof of that.
[/b]

Has anyone here actually heard anyone else here say that they don't tailor their teaching to each individual student? And that if they use a "method" book, that they use it loosely, and supplement it to meet the needs of each individual student?

Really, am I missing something? I was pretty sure that this was the consensus on this forum of part of what constitutes a "good" teacher. Has anyone actually heard anyone here saying that one particular "method" book is the only one to use?

What I HAVE heard is people saying that there are correct and incorrect ways to use the body to actually do the playing -- that is very true, and is not to be confused with saying that one series of books (Bastien for instance) is the only way to learn piano.

This thread gets the all-time award for "most misunderstandings in one thread." !
_________________________
private piano instructor

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#964487 - 11/14/07 12:47 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 kritta:
 Quote:

I have yet to be convinced that Pianitis' lack of rigidity with respect to musical pedagogy doesn't imply a greater respect for the study of music in general than the limiting of musical education to one particular view that is currently fashionable among some classicaly-trained North Americans.
[/b]

You obviously haven't been carefully reading the posts on this thread. The "classically trained" teachers are saying that they can offer a wide variety, and a well-balanced (personally suited to each student) musical education. We can offer EVERYTHING, and those like Pianitis can only offer ONE thing.

Which one is limiting?

I think that the fact that you are buying into incorrect stereotypes is limiting. [/b]
Can you teach someone how to play a Sorprano sax solo over a complete arrangement in any style they chose by pressing a button? Can you show someone how to use sequencing to create your own arrangements? Can you offer lessons on how to record,edit and create CDs of your creations on a PC or stand alone multi track recorder? Can you teach them mike technique if they want to sing and play? Many want to sing the melodies rather then play them. Should they seek out an Opera Singer to train them to sing as well?
I could claim if you are not doing all that you are not helping them do all they can do either.


I am not the one who invented those stereo types. They exist for a reason. I suggest one studies the source of them as they are often distorted generalizations of the truth.

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#964488 - 11/14/07 12:48 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 keyboardklutz:
And THAT'S worth $25 a pop? [/b]
Amazing ain't it?

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#964489 - 11/14/07 12:52 PM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
Dorrie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/09/05
Posts: 438
Has anyone here actually heard anyone else here say that they don't tailor their teaching to each individual student? And that if they use a "method" book, that they use it loosely, and supplement it to meet the needs of each individual student?

Kritta,

That was exactly my point. I certainly know of teachers who do this - out of ignorance or laziness - but I have never been under the impression that any of the regular posters here blindly followed a method book.

I've noticed most of the regular teacher-posters here have their student's interests at heart. I even intrepret the comments about correcting bad habits (which as a student makes me uncomofortable) as teachers genuine interest in improving their student's playing. My experience as a student, parent and teacher is that good teachers try to prevent the worst habits and correct those that creep in gradually, and with a fair amount of respect for ego.

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#964490 - 11/14/07 12:53 PM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5440
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:

Cathy I still can't get my head round why someone would wish to be mediocre at any endeavour. It goes smack against any cultures I know of. [/b]
But keyboard, the "goal" of my soccer playing wasn't "to be a mediocre soccer player" - the goals, as I said, were to get some excercise, laugh with my friends, and be outside instead of inside (altho we did also play indoor soccer - like playing golf in a tile bathroom \:D ), and if one *has* to judge *those* goals on a scale of "did poorly" thru "did mediocrely (sp?)" to "excelled" I'd say I excelled. But *I* don't feel like I have to make that judgement.

To me, the above illustrates some of what seems to me is "talking by each other" here - people really do have different goals for different activities, and, for me, it doesn't make sense to be upset if the ways to reach different goals are different. It may be true that you don't understand why someone would want to be mediocre - but the real misunderstanding, to me, is just that - being mediocre *isn't* the goal - and given that not everyone has either the time or the interest to be "the best they can be" at soccer as soccer, it seems to me that it's no big deal to be "mediocre" at soccer as soccer when soccer as soccer is really not the goal. Could we accomplish the goals of getting some exercise, laughing with friends, and being outside some other way? Probably - hiking, tennis, running, softball - lots of ways. But what's so wrong with doing it with soccer, on a once a week basis, with no formal lessons, no "goals" of "getting to your full potential as an amateur soccer player"? If there was pressure to do that, because some soccer coach decided "for" me that's what I should do, I'd go play mush ball.

And, for me, there's nothing wrong with making music the same way. If some people want to make it once a week, just having some friend show them the chords for a tune each week so they can play along with other musicians who are jamming for fun - I think it's great. If someone goes to a one day workshop at the local community college and learns how to make major and minor chords so they read a chord chart and do the same thing, and that's all they want to do, then why not? If someone wants, as a friend of mine does, to play Irish tin whistle and buys a whole set plus a tutor book and then practices in their bathtub until they can play some of the tunes we play for dances - what fun. Her life's work is AIDS research, and she's won awards for that - why should she be someone else's definition of the "best she can be" at tin whistle? She's the best *she* wants to be, and has the time and interest to be - she has *lots* of other priorities and interests, including a teen age son and other family. And why should it be different if she had chosen to play piano instead (except, of course, it's hard to play piano in the bathtub), or fiddle, or kazoo, or oboe, or anything else? The real key, to me, is that people are simply different from each other - you may only do activities for which you are willing to get to your full potential in the activities themselves, and you may limit your recreational activities to the number that allow you to do that with all of them. I know folks who do that, and they love it. Maybe you have *no* activities which you don't do that way - from cooking to piano.

But some of us have a range of interests and priorities, and we do them to a variety of excellences \:\) .

Cathy
_________________________

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#964491 - 11/14/07 12:54 PM Re: Self taught piano player teaching non traditional methods due to need...
kritta Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/07
Posts: 109
Loc: Maryland
 Quote:

Can you teach someone how to play a Sorprano sax solo over a complete arrangement in any style they chose by pressing a button? Can you show someone how to use sequencing to create your own arrangements? Can you offer lessons on how to record,edit and create CDs of your creations on a PC or stand alone multi track recorder? Can you teach them mike technique if they want to sing and play? Many want to sing the melodies rather then play them. Should they seek out an Opera Singer to train them to sing as well?
I could claim if you are not doing all that you are not helping them do all they can do either.


I am not the one who invented those stereo types. They exist for a reason. I suggest one studies the source of them as they are often distorted generalizations of the truth.
Alright, let me rephrase: "We can offer the broad foundation to achieve anything."


Also, about stereotypes -- I think one would be treading on thin ice to support them. Are you saying that you believe all stereotypes? (I was actually directing my first comment about stereotypes to Pastafarian). Even the ones about different races, religions, and ethnicities?
_________________________
private piano instructor

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