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 Post subject: piano teacher help
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 11:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:00 pm
Posts: 58
Hi all,

I've noticed that over the last year or two, I've been feeling like I'm not getting a whole ton out of my lessons anymore. I'm able to learn all the notes by myself for the most part, and I feel that my teacher is helpful in that she points out notes I may have played wrong/overlooked on my own or with rhythm issues. However, the big thing that I feel like I'm not getting is the artistic advice - the thing that separates the professionals from the amateurs. For example, the feedback that I'm getting through these forums is a lot more helpful in terms of style ... e.g., where to use rubato and the overall message of the piece. My teacher does that a little bit, but not really unless I ask. She's very traditional and focuses on strictly following "what's on the page" which tends to stifle any creativity. I feel like this more creative advice is necessary for me to continue improving as a pianist ... right now, I am doing what's on the page and I tend to try to incorporate some of my own interpretations, but I'd like more advice on that aspect of playing.

I'm not quite sure what I should do. I've been working with this teacher basically my whole piano "career" -- the last 6-7 years, I'd say. I'm only taking lessons about once a month or so now since I can learn the notes on my own. Should I think about finding a new teacher, or should I just keep the lessons to once a month and then just ask for advice online (here and other piano forums?)

Thanks a bunch.


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 Post subject: Re: piano teacher help
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:56 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
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Location: Netherlands
Anybody can point out wrong notes and rhythmic errors. You don't really need a teacher for that. Actually it's a skill you can acquire yourself by scrupulously reading the score and very critically listening to what you play, comparing to what others play. After a couple of years with one teacher it
will be good to get some fresh views from someone else - especially if you feel the current one does not scratch the surface.

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 Post subject: Re: piano teacher help
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:27 pm 
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Should I also possibly think about just stopping lessons altogether? I know that in another two years, I will be going to medical school and probably will stop lessons for good then (but I will continue playing). In the next two years, is it worth it to continue with my current teacher / find a new teacher?


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 Post subject: Re: piano teacher help
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
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That's hard to advise. If you feel you're still getting benefit out of it, and can afford the expense, go on with it. Otherwise, quit ! You can always have some lessons from a different teacher later in life. It may be hard to say goodbye after 6-7 years.

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 Post subject: Re: piano teacher help
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:37 pm 
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If you feel you're getting better advice online than from a teacher, then you definitely need a new teacher.

Just curious, what kind of musician is your teacher? (classical performer, accompanist, pop musician, school music teacher?)
Ideally you should work with someone who actively performs or accompanies in the way you'd like to play, in addition to teaching.
Especially at a more advanced level.


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 Post subject: Re: piano teacher help
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:18 pm 
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hreichgott wrote:
If you feel you're getting better advice online than from a teacher, then you definitely need a new teacher.

Yes that is definitely true. Any good teacher will focus on interpretation at least as much as technique. One that doesn't, is probably not good enough.

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 Post subject: Re: piano teacher help
PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:00 am 
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My teacher has been a private piano teacher for the last 3-4 decades, I think. I'm her last student - ever - so that might also be another reason why I feel sort of guilty for bailing out.


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 Post subject: Re: piano teacher help
PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:31 am 
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Yes, I understand how that makes you feel. But if she can't really teach you anything anymore you'll have to let go. Hopefully she is not financially dependent on keeping one last student.

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 Post subject: Re: piano teacher help
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:45 am 
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I agree with the others...you need to find another teacher. It's healthier. Different teachers have different strengths. I've had three teachers in my life, and I know I received great help and advice from each one that I wouldn't have received had I only stuck with one teacher. I think you should be honest with your current teacher and tell her that you greatly value what she has taught you, but that you are ready for a change.

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 Post subject: Re: piano teacher help
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:04 pm 
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It sounds like you have outgrown what she is able to offer.


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 Post subject: Re: piano teacher help
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:55 pm 
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Maybe you can bring in a new student for her to 'replace' you. That would make it easier to leave :!:

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 Post subject: Re: piano teacher help
PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:02 am 
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echoyjeff222 wrote:
My teacher has been a private piano teacher for the last 3-4 decades, I think. I'm her last student - ever - so that might also be another reason why I feel sort of guilty for bailing out.

Has she decided to retire by purposely not taking on any new students? If so, she may be more than ready for you to change teachers...


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