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#974019 - 06/12/07 04:13 AM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Tuzik Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/03
Posts: 43
 Quote:
Originally posted by loly:
Oh joy now I'm so confused.


So I really don't know what to do. I'm curious as to what the russian teacher will be like but I feel I need a few formal lessons to get a better feel of what it's going to be like.

I immediately know what to expect from this teacher although I'm a bit worried about her comment on "We're going to go fast". I think she said she was taught very fast from the Helen Curtis series and she says it's the best she ever did of all the teachers she had.

I wonder if I can talk her into taking lessons for a month with her and then the following months with the russian teacher so I could get a better idea.

[/b]
I agree, it's really hard to decide. Unfortunately there is only one way to do it, i.e. to give a teacher a good try. Last fall I decided to change my teacher. It's not that I didn't like her methods, she just didn't have high expectations for her adult students. Some teachers, who have mostly children to teach, tend to lose interest in adults, IMHO. She also didn't seem to have a clear idea how to manage her adult students, and because she didn't want to lose them either, she chose not to be an extremely demanding teacher but a rather relaxed one. Her attitude was, "whatever you'd like to do today is fine". After a while, I couldn't take it anymore. After all, I'm just a student, and I need guidance.
So after some search I found a new teacher.
The new teacher doesn't follow any lesson plan. In fact, her lessons are quite spontaneous. And it's fine with me. Sometimes we'd cover a lot of ground, sometimes we'd work on one page for several lessons in a row. It took her about a month to figure out what kind of student I was and what I was missing most of all (polyphony). So she made her recommendations, and we started working. For me it was something entirely new and very exciting. I never thought one could have a lot of fun with Bach's fuges! In the process we were learning more and more about each other. I liked some lessons more than others. Sometimes, there were misunderstandings, and I wasn't 100% sure it was working our. But I liked the fact that she was never indifferent to the lessons, and never settling for mediocre sound. Sometimes her assessments were more blunt than I was used to. Gradually, we both adjusted but it wasn't a quick and straight path. Now, whole 9 months after I started with her, I am finally certain that I will stay even though she lives about an hour away from my home.
I am telling you my story because it's important to remember that it's a process. If I were you, I would probably analize in detail each teacher's teaching style and see which one is more compatible with your learning style. It sounds like the two teachers are very different. I would also discuss your piano goals with both teachers and ask them to describe to you how they would teach to help you reach those goals. Also ask them to tell you what goals they set for themselves when teaching adult students. That will tell you a lot.
Good luck and keep us posted.

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#974020 - 06/12/07 08:06 AM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Oxfords Gal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 1553
Loc: Jacksonville, Florida
thanks guys you gave me a lot to think about. I'm going to make a list and wait a couple days before I make a decision.

To answer Monicas questions. the lady I saw yesterday lives across the road from me. It takes me 3 minutes to get to her. She doesn't charge anything (she's retired but is so passionate about music that she keeps 5 students just because she loves it so much). I asked her if she would take cash, she said "No".

She did say that she wanted to make sure that I didn't have any ties with my former teacher or owed her money. I kind of laughed at the owing money thing. I'm very prompt on my payments and never had a check bounce in my life. I got a refund from her btw.

The Russian teacher will come to my house, the days and times are convenient as well. I don't know what she charges and although I'm not rich or well off the payments will be no problem. I don't have a mortgage payment or car payments. I don't like having big payments over my head so I tend to make double payments on stuff and pay them off quickly. \:D I'm going to drive the same car until I only have a steering wheel left. teeeheeee (I just got it painted and it looks new so hopefully I can keep it another 10 years).

So those factors are out the door. he he he

I'm leaning towards the Russian teacher because of what she told me on technic and what she can accomplish with me. The only thing I have to clear up with her is progression on material. I want a clearer view of that. The teacher from yesterday gave me a very clear view on lessons by giving me homework and books and told me how fast we're going to move, the Russian lady did not and I think it's simply because she knew it was a sample lesson and although the lady from yesterday knew that too, she kind of took ownership of me immediately. I must be really cudly or something. he he he he jking.

I'm going to call the Russian teacher today or tommorrow and get some answers there.

In the meantime I'm going to work on what the other teacher gave me just in case something doesn't work out with our conversation.
_________________________
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.>>> Herman Munster

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#974021 - 06/12/07 12:18 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4373
Loc: Jersey Shore
Go with you gut instinct. And I really like the sound of the other teacher with the two grands...

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#974022 - 06/13/07 01:40 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Oxfords Gal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 1553
Loc: Jacksonville, Florida
I decided to go with the Russian teacher. Both teachers are exceptional but the deciding factor for me was the different technic. I'm extremely curious.

Now the hard part is telling the other teacher who gave me homework. \:\( I'm going to tell her the truth and let her know it was a tough choice and tell her both of them are superb, but my curiosity gets the best of me. I'm going to ask her if it's ok to keep ties with her (kind of like a music buddy) and maybe if it doesn't work out with the Russian teacher I can go to her.
_________________________
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.>>> Herman Munster

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#974023 - 06/13/07 04:01 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
good choice! but if i were you, i'd just go for one more lesson with another teacher so that you can talk with her in person and ask her to keep in touch just in case that Russian teacher would go away or something.

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#974024 - 06/13/07 04:08 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
funburger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 1417
Loly, i am very happy you have come to a conclusion and have chosen a teacher. however i would not tell the other teacher she is your backup. i would say something like, i am trying out different music styles right now and am not sure the classical method is what i am really looking for but when i am ready to go classical i am hoping the door is still open for lessons:) this is just a thought, i would never want to think i was someones fallback guy. that never feels good to anyone. i am very happy you found a teacher though that you will excel with and are happy with. keep this updated so i know how your doing:) take care!!
_________________________
If it ain't fun I ain't doin' it:)

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#974025 - 06/13/07 05:17 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Oxfords Gal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 1553
Loc: Jacksonville, Florida
It was agonizing enough choosing and agonizing still having to tell the lady who doesn't charge that I'm going to someone else. I've lost 2 days of sleep because I don't want to reject anybody.

ya funburger, my thoughts were exact which is why I'm going to tell her that the deciding factor was the curiosity of learning from someone who studied in another country and I'm curious about her technic which is totally different.

I still want to keep ties with the other lady though. She's just the type of person that turns you on to music. I'm going to be sincere with her and tell her that I hope it works out for me. or "I hope I made the right choice, I'm kind of scared" I'll leave it open and let her say "If it doesn't come back to me" \:D

Signa I do have to go to her house to return the books so, I'll talk to her then.
_________________________
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.>>> Herman Munster

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#974026 - 06/13/07 08:32 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Tuzik Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/03
Posts: 43
 Quote:
Originally posted by loly:

my thoughts were exact which is why I'm going to tell her that the deciding factor was the curiosity of learning from someone who studied in another country and I'm curious about her technic which is totally different.

[/b]
loly,
just out of curiosity, what do you mean by "her technic which is totally different"? What's her musical background? I'll tell you why I'm asking this question. I used to have an American teacher, now I have a teacher from former Soviet Union. Both teachers' approach to technic is virtually the same. But they set different goals for their students which in turn results in different teaching approach, or methods. It would be interesting to know about both of your candidates' ideas and philosophy. IMHO that's what often makes the difference provided both teachers have adequate professional qualifications.

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#974027 - 06/14/07 02:52 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Oxfords Gal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 1553
Loc: Jacksonville, Florida
She was educated in Russia and graduated with a music degree. She has 30 years experience and teaches in 2 studios aside from giving private lessons.

She first looked at my hands and told me that she was going to help me change the way I was playing by not stretching but by lifting my fingers and finding the keys. She assured me that I would be able to play and my fingers would find the right keys all over the keyboard.

She said that the way she teaches music promotes musicality.

She also will have me doing the same exercises in many different ways. She also broke down the music for me and told me what I should be playing first and why and how fast I should go to start with and had me do some interesting experimenting with the phrasing in the pieces.

She mentioned a bunch of other stuff and basically she's heavy on technic which is something I never got from my other teacher. I usually would have to ask her to show me how to play something so that i could look at her hands and sometimes i would ask her questions or show her a book on the wrist technic and she would say "Oh yes I love that technic", but never bothered to teach me in the almost year and a half of lessons.

the teacher I didn't pick didn't mention any technic at all. She thought I had great dexterity and actually enjoyed my playing. she asked me questions to see where how I was on theory and tested my sight reading and immediately gave me homework. I felt really comfortable with her and her vibrant energy made me happy, but I am more interested in what the Russian teacher has to offer.

I've always been an adventurer which is why I lived in Italy and Japan and it doesn't stop with travelling. I like adventure in piano and going with the Russian teacher seems like an adventure to me. \:D
_________________________
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.>>> Herman Munster

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#974028 - 06/14/07 08:32 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Tuzik Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/03
Posts: 43
loly,
thanks for your detailed answer. I hope, you'll have a lot of fun learning music from a Russian teacher. It sounds like she is going to be very attentinve to the detail but at the same time not forget about the big picture. What are some of the pieces that you will be learning?
Tuzik

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#974029 - 06/15/07 05:30 AM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Oxfords Gal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 1553
Loc: Jacksonville, Florida
I'm not sure yet Tuz, we're having our first formal lesson on saturday. She's going to see where I am and what I can handle and then we'll pick pieces. Right now I have arabesque from burgmuller, which was the piece I was going to work on aside from the method books, so Ill do that one and by then she'll have an idea and we'll pick our next pieces up after that.
_________________________
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.>>> Herman Munster

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#974030 - 06/15/07 08:13 AM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
dannylux Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 1817
Loc: Connecticut
Loly, best of luck with your new teacher.

Russian teachers are fantastic.


Mel
_________________________
My Recordings

"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only what you are expecting to give — which is everything. What you will receive in return varies. But it really has no connection with what you give. You give because you love and cannot help giving." Katharine Hepburn

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#974031 - 06/16/07 01:36 AM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Tuzik Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/03
Posts: 43
loly,
I wish you all the best with your new teacher. Keep us posted. It'll be interesting to see how it goes for you. I bet, you're excited.
Tuzik

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#974032 - 06/18/07 11:08 AM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Oxfords Gal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 1553
Loc: Jacksonville, Florida
Ok I had my first lesson and this is how it went.

I had 3 new pieces that I hadn't played formally yet because that's when I stopped taking lessons. So I've had these pieces for 3 almost 4 weeks and I'm totally bored, I'm used to playing and passing 2 pieces a week, so I'm totally versed in these 3 pieces. i played them perfectly for the second teacher.

She started out by telling me to play the hanon exerices differently. accent finger 1 and 5 and relax. she's big on relaxing the fingers and talking me through it.

then we did czerny exercises and emphasized on relaxing the fingers.

no scales or arpeggios were mentioned but I continue to do them on my own.

Now, for my faber and faber blue moon, she has me practicing it several ways. switch the stacatto with the legatto and vice versa, then she has me playing the left hand soft, right hand hard and then switch it around.

for my 2 alfred pieces, well we only got to do 1 because she is a stickler for time. there's no going over our time. he he. sooo she said "you have the mechanic perfect but I want you to practice it with this technic" accent the first note, and hit the other notes by raising your wrist. i had been reading about that technic in one of my books and it was much easier when she demonstrated it.

the only thing i'm concerned about is spending too much time on these method pieces. i'm hoping she doesn't keep me on them for 3 weeks just so that i can practice technic. it's a method book so i'm thinking if notes, dynamic and tempo are good lets work on technic as we go along. i won't know until my second lesson. if she keeps me on them, it's going to drive me batty so i better let her know how i feel. \:D
_________________________
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.>>> Herman Munster

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#974033 - 06/18/07 11:19 AM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
it sounds that your lesson went well. but i would suggest that you ask her to make some suggestions on new pieces to learn (not exercise from method books but music), something at your level but more technical such as Bach invention sort of things. learning some good music along side of your technical exercises is a much better approach than just doing exercises alone.

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#974034 - 06/18/07 11:57 AM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
You decided on a teacher and after the first lesson you are second guessing her teaching and what was covered and assigned? You need trust her wisdom in where she is leading you. How long was the first lesson anyway? The time goes by quickly at a lesson and some things noted by the teacher today take time to come into fruition in the lesson.

What an advantage to have had 3 candidates to study with. Perhaps you and the teacher across the street could become friends and you could play duets together? It puzzles me that you dismissed the 3rd candidate without knowing more about her or him. These teachers each offer something different and special and it's your honor to discover what that is about them. Each in their own way would probably contribute grandly to you. If I had the same opportunity, I would have started with the neighbor with no charge, put the money into a savings account, and donated it to a scholarship for music study for some other deserving student somewhere. That way everyone benefits. Pass opportunities on when you can. Perhaps someone you know needs to meet her and you are the facilitator in introductions? Good luck!

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#974035 - 06/18/07 12:01 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Oxfords Gal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 1553
Loc: Jacksonville, Florida
ya I loved my lesson with her. It was all fresh and new to me.


 Quote:
not exercise from method books but music
ya I totally agree. I did mention that when we were interviewing and she stated "well we should play the regular music with good technic as well", which I agree with but to me technic is progressive so she can tell me how to play a piece and I'll practice it that way, but if it's not perfect (technic wise ie, relaxed fingers, wrist etc)but if it's good note, tempo and dynamic wise. then we need to move to the next piece and continue practicing the technic as we move along.

I won't know until lesson 2. If she still has me on blue moon and the alfred's piece then i'll go ahead and say something but I doubt it though.

When we interviewed she told me to play them like that but since I hadn't decided on which teacher I was going with, I didn't, and she did ask me if I had and I was honest and said no, but I didn't tell her why, so this can be my fault. \:D
_________________________
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.>>> Herman Munster

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#974036 - 06/18/07 12:15 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Oxfords Gal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 1553
Loc: Jacksonville, Florida
It was 45 minutes, which is why I wrote in my second post that I'll have to see how it goes in lesson 2, since I stated that it might have been my fault for not practicing that technic when she mentioned it in our interview.

Betty, I think you're a bit out of line with your sarcastic comments and what I should have done and not done. In the end I make my own decisions, not for Betty, or Bruce or Bobby but for Loly.
_________________________
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.>>> Herman Munster

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#974037 - 06/18/07 03:30 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
loly

I apologize that my suggestions irritated you. I think it is great to have had 3 candidates to study with. Everyone of any age should carefully select their new teacher after scrutinizing their studio policies, reputation, fees, what kind of student they produce, are their extra programs to participate in besides the lessons.

I am a teacher of 36 years experience, and I don't every wish to offend someone who wants to study music - I feel I am as encouraging as I know how to be. I think what I was responding to in your posts was the dilemna you were feeling in making the choice, and deciding what you needed from the teacher.

I don't know your history very well, and I am relating to what has been posted here, and also to the private message you sent me about my sarcasm. Loly, you will need to trust me when I say I was not being sarcastic, I was offering suggestions to you. Interviews are different experiences from having the lessons on a continued basis, and I was encouraging you to stay long enough to hear any "wisdom" that your new teacher has to give. Don't be easily discouraged.

From your private message, I learned that you should long ago and immediately removed yourself from that situation. Piano teachers should not behave as you discribed. Do not tolerate any of that ever again. Pay for a quality music lesson, and expect that all of the attention during the time you pay for is on you and the music.

I really hope you get into a great relationship with someone you enjoy and can trust. Please keep in touch.

Sincerely,

Betty

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#974038 - 06/18/07 05:01 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Oxfords Gal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 1553
Loc: Jacksonville, Florida
Thanks, Betty I appreciate your taking the time to respond and I certainly value everyones opinion here.

I apologize if I misunderstood.

I'm glad to be back in the saddle, I feel like a kid with homework and obligations again. Yay!!!!
_________________________
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.>>> Herman Munster

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