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piano teacher help

Discussion in 'General' started by echoyjeff222, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. echoyjeff222

    echoyjeff222 Member Piano Society Artist

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    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.
     
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    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.
     
  3. echoyjeff222

    echoyjeff222 Member Piano Society Artist

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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?
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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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.
     
  5. hreichgott

    hreichgott New Member

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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.
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    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.
     
  7. echoyjeff222

    echoyjeff222 Member Piano Society Artist

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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.
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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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.
     
  9. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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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.
     
  10. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    It sounds like you have outgrown what she is able to offer.
     
  11. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Maybe you can bring in a new student for her to 'replace' you. That would make it easier to leave :!:
     
  12. hreichgott

    hreichgott New Member

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    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...
     
  13. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Aside from this teacher who seems to be ready to retire, I want to share some other useful thoughts.

    1) Try to gain as much knowledge as possible from the piano teacher regarding repertoire, technique, interpretation, and performance .

    2) The very most important duty of any piano teacher is to teach the pupils how to teach themselves.

    3) Once on your own, you might need some advice now and then. For that you'll need to visit
    a piano coach who will focus on those particular matter(s).

    I hope this helps.

    David
     
  14. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Aside from this teacher who seems to be ready to retire, I want to share some other useful thoughts.

    1) Try to gain as much knowledge as possible from the piano teacher regarding repertoire, technique, interpretation, and performance .

    2) The very most important duty of any piano teacher is to teach the pupils how to teach themselves.

    3) Once on your own, you might need some advice now and then. For that you'll need to visit
    a piano coach who will focus on that particular matter(s).

    I hope this helps.

    David
     
  15. DanielCooper

    DanielCooper New Member

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    Hello, I live in Chicago and I want to improve my playing skills on the piano. Can someone advise me a good teacher, or courses, or online training programs? Thank you.
     
  16. Rusya27

    Rusya27 Guest

    I am not adviser but I think you need new teacher, if you need it. Maybe you can do all without you teacher?
     
  17. Alex Mercer

    Alex Mercer New Member

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    I am not an expert with pianos but I know about learning. As you said, you were able to learn some things on your own even without the piano teacher. This means that you can self study and learn well from it. Take advantage of this trait of yours to learn and maybe consider getting a teacher whenever you really need it.
     

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