What would you change in your piano lessons ... what is missing?

Posted by: Nannerl Mozart

What would you change in your piano lessons ... what is missing? - 10/27/08 07:13 AM

I thought it would be interesting to hear what other students feel are deprived from piano lessons. There are a number of facets that I think that private teachers don't cover ... but I'll post later after I hear other people's views.
Posted by: Phlebas

Re: What would you change in your piano lessons ... what is missing? - 10/27/08 09:53 AM

The single thing I would say most of my teachers (there were exceptions) didn't cover was how to practice.
Posted by: Stanza

Re: What would you change in your piano lessons ... what is missing? - 10/27/08 11:20 AM

Improvisation/comping/playing from a fakebook/playing from a hymnal...

I.e. "professional" tools that might come in handy if asked to play in a band or accompany singers.
Posted by: Euphonatrix

Re: What would you change in your piano lessons ... what is missing? - 10/27/08 11:45 AM

Theory homework.

I know, sounds weird, but I'd really need some systematic instruction on that topic. For me, learning works best when I'm given tasks to work on and feedback if I was right or wrong and why etc.
My first teacher assigned a little theory task every week which was great.
Posted by: pianoluvr

Re: What would you change in your piano lessons ... what is missing? - 10/27/08 03:40 PM

Ooh....this question really made me think about my lessons and what I want to get out of them.

*More Structured Repertoire Choices: Sometimes, I wonder WHY we play the pieces that we play. It doesn't seem to me that my teacher has a very clear idea of where she wants to take me in the future repertoire-wise or of what kinds of pieces she needs to give me so that I can progress.
*Theory: I NEED theory. Desperately. I just bought Alfred's Theory book.
*Ear Training: I'm awful at it. I need to practice my pitch as desperately as my theory.
Posted by: gooddog

Re: What would you change in your piano lessons ... what is missing? - 10/27/08 08:26 PM

I'd ask my very gentle Russian teacher to be a little more critical. What's missing: I'd like an honest opinion on my potential.
Posted by: Nannerl Mozart

Re: What would you change in your piano lessons ... what is missing? - 10/28/08 12:38 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Stanza:
Improvisation/comping/playing from a fakebook/playing from a hymnal...

I.e. "professional" tools that might come in handy if asked to play in a band or accompany singers. [/b]
Interesting that you mention that, I was going to say the same. I believe often as pianists, pianists are one of the lonely breeds of musicians. They often sit for many lonely hours playing away at repertoire. As a singer myself I have found this to be quite the contrary, sure I would spend hours practicing by myself (with a piano) then I would meet up with an accompanist and sometimes work with other musicians in bands.

There is no need, I believe to restrict oneself to solo piano repertoire as there is a lot out there. Ensemble work is enjoyable, not only does it help develop a musician but social aspects also come into play.

Have you mentioned this to your teacher? I am aware that Trinity Guildhall supplies students with the option of doing an accompanying exams.

Also many people mentioned theory, I can't agree more that theory IS important. I think one problem is that theory is presented in books as tedious and dull. I think to really 'immerse' oneself and enjoy theory is having a student put it into application. This can be done through: analysis and composition.

In saying this, do you tell your teachers that you want to look into such areas in music?
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: What would you change in your piano lessons ... what is missing? - 10/28/08 12:49 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by gooddog:
I'd ask my very gentle Russian teacher to be a little more critical. What's missing: I'd like an honest opinion on my potential. [/b]
Wow! I've heard of Russian teachers who throw your music across the room in anger when you mess up! \:D You must have a very nice teacher. \:\)
Posted by: Nannerl Mozart

Re: What would you change in your piano lessons ... what is missing? - 10/28/08 12:57 AM

What is this thing with Russian teachers? Why is it that every single time a teacher is mentioned the ethnicity has to be mentioned ... its not like I head about an Indian teacher, or an Italian teacher ... but Russian piano teacher always carry the name of being strict and being genuine experts.
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: What would you change in your piano lessons ... what is missing? - 10/28/08 01:04 AM

It's all in good fun, no slight is intended to any teacher. \:\)
Posted by: keystring

Re: What would you change in your piano lessons ... what is missing? - 10/28/08 01:33 AM

Rebekah, there were two worlds isolated and separated from each other that developed independently. I'm caught in this myself. I don't have the head tonight to elucidate. It is not ethnicity: it is historically musical approach and thought in separate streams.
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: What would you change in your piano lessons ... what is missing? - 10/28/08 07:53 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
I don't have the head tonight to elucidate. [/b]
Hope you have your "head" tomorrow - otherwise the points you might postulate would tend to obfuscate as you attempted to elucidate. ;\)

Regards (from an old retrobate), JF
Posted by: Kymber

Re: What would you change in your piano lessons ... what is missing? - 10/28/08 02:14 PM

Euphonatrix: "Theory homework"
Check out Berklee Music Theory Book 1 and 2.
http://www.amazon.com/Berklee-Music-Theo...25217565&sr=8-4
Posted by: Kymber

Re: What would you change in your piano lessons ... what is missing? - 10/28/08 02:20 PM

I am teacherless at the moment. \:\(
But, my last teacher had me reading music and that was it. The was below my playing level (to get my reading caught up with my playing). It drove me mad. I wanted to learn to play better and this felt like torture. So, I think i would have liked and balanced well rounded lesson. Some time spent on reading some on technique and some ear training.
Posted by: lilylady

Re: What would you change in your piano lessons ... what is missing? - 10/28/08 02:32 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Phlebas:
The single thing I would say most of my teachers (there were exceptions) didn't cover was how to practice. [/b]
I mentioned this in the following post.

How to practice is very important. And think at least one lesson a year should be devoted to just how each student needs to practice.

Another thought would be to communicate with you teacher what you want to get out of your lessons!

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/27/2444.html
Posted by: keystring

Re: What would you change in your piano lessons ... what is missing? - 10/28/08 03:01 PM

 Quote:
Another thought would be to communicate with you teacher what you want to get out of your lessons!
What type of thing would you like to hear from your students in that vein, Lilylady?