Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#973989 - 06/06/07 11:12 AM First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Oxfords Gal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 1553
Loc: Jacksonville, Florida
I went to one of our local piano stores and got a list of about 6 teachers for me to call.

Now what?

Shall I call them all and talk with them to meet with them or should I call them 1 by one and scratch them off as I meet them?

Not sure which is the best approach

thanks
_________________________
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.>>> Herman Munster

Top
(ads P/S)

Petrof Pianos

#973990 - 06/06/07 11:54 AM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
yeah, call them all and ask a lot of questions (how they teach, what they teach, what students they have, qualification/background etc.). just don't make any promise of taking lessons too quickly.

Top
#973991 - 06/06/07 11:56 AM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Donna R. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 794
Hi Loly,

I usually start off with a phone call. If I get a good feeling I'll arrange a meeting. However, I recently (at last) found a really good teacher, and all our exchanges before the first lesson were by email.

One thing I absolutely will not do is pay up front for more than one lesson before I know whether the person has a teaching style that suits me. So the moment someone says they want me to pay in advance for a block of lessons before they'll agree to schedule anything, I cross them off my list.

Donna

Top
#973992 - 06/06/07 12:26 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Oxfords Gal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 1553
Loc: Jacksonville, Florida
good advise guys thanks, I will follow all your suggestions.

I've called 4 out of 6. 2 I had to leave voice mail and they're getting back with me.

The other is retired but still loves to teach and doesn't charge anything. She's been playing for 40 years, plays for her church and teaches voice as well. She also is big on technic
First try out is this Monday

The other is russian and she works for 2 studios plus gives private lessons. She graduated from Music in Russia and loves thinking outside the box, teaches technic and gets frustrated with people who are not prepared and non chalant. She's giving me a courtesy lesson day after tomorrow
_________________________
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.>>> Herman Munster

Top
#973993 - 06/07/07 08:32 AM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Donna R. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 794
Hi Loly,

Sounds as though you've come up with some good people from your list. My new teacher is definitely a 'thinks outside the box' person - he doesn't use a method book, and my lessons are tailored specifically to me, part technic and part repertoire. I like that!

Good luck with finding someone who suits you,

Donna

Top
#973994 - 06/07/07 09:36 AM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
i'm more interested to see how that Russian teacher goes... please let us know.

Top
#973995 - 06/07/07 10:04 AM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Oxfords Gal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 1553
Loc: Jacksonville, Florida
ya, signa me too. I've been thinking about it since last night. I'm all a twitter and nervous grrrr. I feel like I'm back at the drawing board. Will it take me another 7 months to quit shaking? he he
_________________________
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.>>> Herman Munster

Top
#973996 - 06/07/07 12:40 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
YD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 590
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Loly:

I just have to pitch in here. I would be extra careful with teacher who is retired and does not charge (or charges too little). Of course, miracles do happen, but teaching piano is a serious work, preparation for classes can be boring and quality of your lessons depends very much on how serious your teacher takes his/her job.

Now to the Russian teacher. I went through Russian-style music school as a child (in Ukraine) and have a Russian teacher now. My daughter (5 years old) also has a Russian (different) teacher. So, you know where I am coming from.

Here is my take on Russian school: It is not suitable for everybody. The reason why your teacher sounded flexible is most probably this: Russian school tends to heavily emphasize the emotional content of the music. As far as many of the Russian teachers concerned, your form is completely irrelevant as long as you can produce good tone. When I had a trial lesson with my teacher half a year ago, her first sentence after listening to me playing was: "Your tone is pretty good...," and when I said "but my technique is lost after 12 years of not playing," she just shrugged it off with "Oh, that's irrelevant, we'll get that back quickly". Since then every time I ask her any question related to particular hand/finger movements, her reply is invariably "This is irrelevant, do whatever suits you." (The only exception is the fingering, which she makes especially for me knowing that my right hand is damaged - my 4th finger is a bit shorter after the surgery I had on it.) On the other hand, the quality of the tone is of paramount importance to her. Sometimes, when I think I have particular passage pretty much figured out, she will criticize it until I finally understand what exactly I am doing wrong (may take a whole lesson!). I find it very refreshing. Oh, and no Hanon - it is only used to gain strength and evenness briefly.

So, to summarize, Russian teacher may be more flexible, but may also provide less strict guidance. Ultimately, all Russian teachers I dealt with were teachers of sonics, not technique. I find that this suits me well, but this is definitely not for everyone. Of course, your teacher may be completely different.

A side note; here is my observation re: various schools. It seem to me that Russian school cares very little about making average student achieve decent level. It was more geared to producing a few Kissins a decade. Not so with Asian/Chinese school: they are very strict, and are geared towards every student achieving a certain level. Any thoughts on this? May be an interesting topic for a separate thread.
_________________________
Yuri
FWIW; YMMV

Top
#973997 - 06/07/07 01:28 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
i don't know any Russian teachers, but my teacher (non-russian, E.E.) pretty much grew up on Russian school type of system and he mentioned that not all Russian pianists are the same, some have a different approach to music playing than others. for example, N.Luganski, my teacher's favourite young Russian pianist, is the type of Russian, more traditional and non-sentimental and yet very technical. this is just to give you an example of what my teacher's view on Russian pianists.

Top
#973998 - 06/08/07 09:30 AM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Oxfords Gal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 1553
Loc: Jacksonville, Florida
very interesting points guys.

The retired teacher from what I understood, is retired but keeps 5 students because and I quote "I love to teach, I don't and can't get away from it", and her other statement shortly after we started talking was "Do you practice everyday and do you have a piano". I think she wants to make sure that she doesn't end up with a slacker. he he. I do intend to pay her regardless, probably cash. She also mentioned she doesn't charge because she doesn't want to have to deal with taxes and paperwork.

On the russian teacher, well I've never dealt with one but I'm looking foward to seeing what she's all about. She is heavy on technic and she liked it when I told her "I don't like being confined in a box and having someone teach me the same as they teach everybody else", she was very happy when she heard me say that. She does teach in two studios here in town so I assume her methods might have been americanized or institutionalized a bit.

I'll keep you guys posted. As of now I'm not too nervous and I hope I can keep my cool and not get nervous. I might take up drinking just for this evening, one glass of wine should relax me enough to put a lamp shade on my head and feel totally relaxed. he he he
_________________________
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.>>> Herman Munster

Top
#973999 - 06/08/07 11:51 AM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Humble Beginner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/07
Posts: 40
Good luck with your teacher search...I hope they call you back. When I started looking for teachers back in the winter...I called at least ten...and only two called me back. Business must be very good in the phoenix area for piano teachers!(Though personally I think it's bad form to at least not call back and say "sorry I have no openings").

The teacher I"m currently with doesn't use a set method or repertoire. I like this a lot...the first teacher I started back with had notebooks designed by grade...she started me back at grade 3 and insisted I had to follow her formula. I was bored out of my mind...even with rusty fingers I was flying through the pieces from the get go...and at least 85% was all things I had played previously in life. I only lasted a month with her.

Top
#974000 - 06/08/07 12:17 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Oxfords Gal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 1553
Loc: Jacksonville, Florida
Oh humble, I know where you're coming from. I hate it when people don't get back with me. Have a little courtesy please!!!!

I remember when I was having my front yard fenced in, the company told me they would start tuesday and set the poles in and finish thursday. Tuesday I got home and the posts weren't in so i called them and here's what they said "well it started raining and thundering and we don't install fences when it's raining and thundering"

My reply was "I totally agree with you, but how about a phone call letting me know this?"

Jacksonville is notorius for that and I don't tolerate it much. I was supposed to have terminix come out one day because I was going to have them be my exterminators. They didn't show up the day I stayed home waiting on them and they didn't call.

So I called another company who did come out and hired them. I got a call from terminix the next day wanting to reschedule and I asked them "where were you guys yesterday?". the girl told me the truck had broken down. I told her "Well you guys have phones why didn't you call? I hired someone else". She gave me attitude and I simply told her "Don't give me attitude, I waited half day for you guys and not so much as a phone call, that's bad business and I don't tolerate it. You have only yourselves to blame for losing my business".

That gets my goat. he he
_________________________
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.>>> Herman Munster

Top
#974001 - 06/09/07 10:45 AM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
Good luck finding your teacher, Loly. It appears you have two good ones to choose from, which will be tough. I would check out the Russian first though because she sounds very interesting, and may offer something new being from a different piano school.

I hate people that don't get back to me as well. One of my jobs at work is in customer service, and I always make it a point to get back with people no matter what they call about. They always thank me too, which seems funny to me, but now I see why.

John
_________________________
Nothing.

Top
#974002 - 06/09/07 11:23 AM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Cyborg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/05
Posts: 270
Loc: Charleston, SC
 Quote:
Originally posted by loly:
Oh humble, I know where you're coming from. I hate it when people don't get back with me. Have a little courtesy please!!!! ... Jacksonville is notorius for that and I don't tolerate it much. ...
[/b]
Charleston, SC is the same way and people from other area have commented to me about it. I don't know if it's the people in the area or a sign of the times. I would think this would be a bad business practice but evidently there is so much work that they don't care.

Back to the topic at hand, please keep us updated on your search. It appears you have a couple of good choices.
_________________________
I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.

Top
#974003 - 06/09/07 07:34 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Oxfords Gal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 1553
Loc: Jacksonville, Florida
Ok guys, the russian teacher came by today and was extremely interesting.

first she asked me what methods and exercises I was doing. I told her I used 2 methods and did a supplemental and told her about the exerices.

She wanted to know how we worked new pieces. I told her we sightread through it once to make sure I understood the dynamics and notes then I practiced it at home and when I went to my lesson she critiqued me and told me what needed fixing and I would play it a second time correcting my mistakes.

I told her my teacher wanted dynamic and tempo more than correct notes (although I play for correct notes as well) and her philosophy is notes come later.

The Russian teacher started out by telling me she wants notes first and she said once you know your notes the tempo would come. Kind of the opposite. She taught me many ways to play the same music and focused on playing with relaxed hands and getting out of my comfort zone. She asked me to physically take my hands off the keyboard before striking notes. She wants me to play the note correctly and not to play the note until I found it. She showed me 3 different ways to play the same piece of music.

She told me to play at a slow tempo, practice small sections until I knew them well. Until I could play them and not even think about it. She told me to lift my hands and fingers to play notes with a relaxed spring in my wrist.

I like her but still going to the other appointment. I liked that she corrected me on the spot as opposed to my other teacher who would correct me once I had played the whole piece.
_________________________
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.>>> Herman Munster

Top
#974004 - 06/09/07 10:49 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
twosharps Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 103
Loc: Searcy, AR, USA
Loly,
It looks like the Russian teacher would be the one I would pick. After getting through the other appointment, let us know what happens \:\) .

Top
#974005 - 06/09/07 11:59 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
funburger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 1417
loly, i am glad things are starting to come together for you. i hope with all these initial lessons you will be able to hit it off with a teacher and just say this is the one:) i cant wait to hear of who you pick:)
_________________________
If it ain't fun I ain't doin' it:)

Top
#974006 - 06/10/07 12:20 AM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
i like this Russian teacher and she seems to have some of the same philosophy as my teacher's: knowing notes first before anything and playing with economical/efficient movements and without tension, etc.

i'd choose this teacher over others for sure, if i were you.

Top
#974007 - 06/10/07 09:47 AM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
Yep, I'd pick the Russian teacher. But still go to the other teachers appointments. Let us know what else you find.

Matt

Top
#974008 - 06/10/07 10:03 AM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Humble Beginner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/07
Posts: 40
This russian teachers sounds good! I'm intrigued by the three different ways she had you play. Can you tell us more about this?

Top
#974009 - 06/10/07 12:54 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
sleepingcats Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/30/04
Posts: 981
Loc: Oregon
 Quote:
Originally posted by Humble Beginner:
This russian teachers sounds good! I'm intrigued by the three different ways she had you play. Can you tell us more about this? [/b]
I'm curious too. Do you mean she played them in "rhythms", three different ways to help learn a section/piece?
_________________________
"Cats make purrfect friends"

Top
#974010 - 06/10/07 03:43 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Oxfords Gal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 1553
Loc: Jacksonville, Florida
Well she had me play one piece with my left hand being loud while my right hand was soft, then had me switch softness and loudness on hands. She also had me do stacattos where there were none and she had me play legatos where there were none.

She also said for exercises such as hanon she varies it. Like she'll have me play hanon while accenting the first note, or the first and third note so on and so forth. Looks like she's going to keep me very occupied. She's very confident in what she claims she can do for me. \:D

She explained that if you take a piece and play it differently in a way that will make it more difficult then try it the way it's supposed to be played and from what she said it will be much easier and your fingers will fly.

I wish I would have recorded the lesson there was so much but if I pick her (I'm still going to my other appt, but I'm leaning towards the Russian teacher already)I'll be able to pass on what she teaches me with more accuracy.
_________________________
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.>>> Herman Munster

Top
#974011 - 06/10/07 05:14 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
sleepingcats Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/30/04
Posts: 981
Loc: Oregon
She sounds like a great teacher.

My teacher suggested I record the lessons (as she suggests to all of her students). I've found that it really helps because I can't always be taking notes, and I can go back later and listen to the correct tempo, tone, etc. should I forget something.

Good luck!
_________________________
"Cats make purrfect friends"

Top
#974012 - 06/10/07 05:15 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Oxfords Gal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 1553
Loc: Jacksonville, Florida
Man I just realized something. Larissa, (russian teacher), wants me to lift my fingers if there are two notes played seperately within reach.

That's exactly how I played when I first started and my first teacher broke me of the habit and had me stretch instead.


grrrrrrrrrr now I have to relearn what I did instinctively
_________________________
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.>>> Herman Munster

Top
#974013 - 06/10/07 06:03 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
KateW1955 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 27
Don't fret, loly, if it was something that was instinctive, it will come back very quickly.

On Hanon, I do the same thing.

Top
#974014 - 06/10/07 08:41 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
YD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 590
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
 Quote:
Originally posted by loly:
Man I just realized something. Larissa, (russian teacher), wants me to lift my fingers if there are two notes played seperately within reach.

That's exactly how I played when I first started and my first teacher broke me of the habit and had me stretch instead.

[/b]
And that's how you should have been playing. At high velocities any stretching leads to errors, as stretching is much harder to control than translation (too many small muscles involved, as opposite to very precise movements of one large upper-hand muscle). In fact, in some virtuoso passages Liszt (and many after him) suggested 12345123..etc. fingering for playing some scales (there is a big translation with lifting hand and moving it instead of stretching 4th finger to reach after 1st). I am surprised your first teacher told you to use stretching whenever possible. Yet another reason for feeling good to have finally fired her.
_________________________
Yuri
FWIW; YMMV

Top
#974015 - 06/11/07 09:34 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Oxfords Gal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 1553
Loc: Jacksonville, Florida
Oh joy now I'm so confused.

I went to see the other teacher and I'm so torn as to who I should pick.

First of all the other teacher was so nice, I felt so comfortable with her. She has two baldwin grands, I got to play on the older one and loved it. What a great piano. BTW I wasn't even nervous not with the russian teacher or this one at all. With my other teacher I was always tense and nervous. Yippie, I can play in front of other people and not feel nervous.

So anyway she immediately got down to business. She asked me to play a few things, and loved the dexterity of my fingers. She asked me questions on theory and tested me in sightreading.

She has a rolan as well, the one with all the bells and whistles and she played bachs invention (think it was 13) with accompaniment and boy was I totally floored. I never liked bach but this sounded totally different and wonderful.

She immediately put me to work and told me she told me she was tough. She gave me homework from the method books and in addition let me borrow two books czerny and helen curtis fundamental piano series which I have homework out of.

Although I told her I was testing teachers out she gave me homework for next week and told me to just let her know if I decided to go with someone else.

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.

A third teacher called me finally but i'm going to tell her I found a teacher. If I'm having trouble deciding between these 2 having a third will not make it any easier.
_________________________
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.>>> Herman Munster

Top
#974016 - 06/11/07 09:47 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
it's tough, but you're the one to choose a teacher though. i guess that you could take a few test lessons from each for a month and then make a decision on which one to keep.

the important thing is who would help you technically the most?

Top
#974017 - 06/11/07 10:15 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17747
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
That IS a tough dilemma, Loly; they both sound good. Hmmm... what about logistics/money? Do they charge the same? Are the times they are offering for lessons equally convenient? Which one is more convenient to get to? If you can't decide on the basis of content/teaching style, then maybe considering the pragmatic issues will help.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

Top
#974018 - 06/11/07 10:52 PM Re: First lesson with new teacher (Update)
NancyM333 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 1547
Loc: Roswell, Georgia
This is a good and tough problem, Loly. I have found that some teachers have a great program that they design for you, and some have great tips that help you when you're playing that they show you during the lesson. If you think one of these teachers has both those attributes, then I'd go with that. My experience is that you'll improve more with the teacher that gives you great help during the lesson, and you'll find it easier to stick with a teacher who has a solid longterm program for you. I'm not much help, am I? I solve this problem by taking from a different teacher in the summer, but I'm not sure taking from two teachers is an effective strategy for most people.

I'd give it a day or two before deciding. Often we like the person we saw more recently, but a few days will give that effect a chance to fade, and you'll get a more even analysis of each teacher.

Good luck with this. I think your dilemma is giving everyone a reason for self-teaching!

Nancy
_________________________

Estonia 168, Yamaha UX3

Top
#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.

Top
#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

Top
#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...

Top
#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

Top
#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.

Top
#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:)

Top
#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

Top
#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.

Top
#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

Top
#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

Top
#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

Top
#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

Top
#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

Top
#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

Top
#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.

Top
#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!

Top
#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

Top
#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

Top
#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

Top
#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

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Moderator:  BB Player, casinitaly 
What's Hot!!
Our latest Issue is available now...
Piano News - Interesting & Fun Piano Related Newsletter! (free)
-------------------
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
132 registered (a-z0-9, 36251, A Guy, 36 invisible), 1571 Guests and 20 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75588 Members
42 Forums
156291 Topics
2295354 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Baldwin E250 1998
by sort
Today at 08:11 PM
Shostakovich and Prokofiev
by Verbum mirabilis
Today at 06:01 PM
Used piano buying choices
by BrianDX
Today at 05:55 PM
You & Your Piano
by DancerJ
Today at 05:12 PM
Fun etudes?
by chasingrainbows
Today at 04:41 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission