\"\"
Piano Forum logo

Is that ok to have two piano teachers at the sane time? (Read 3864 times)

Offline drazh

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 279
Is that ok to have two piano teachers at the sane time?
« on: November 29, 2013, 12:53:56 PM »
hi teachers
well I mean for diferent styles eg:pop and classical.

Offline iansinclair

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1472
Re: Is that ok to have two piano teachers at the sane time?
«Reply #1 on: November 29, 2013, 10:02:36 PM »
I would be inclined to say yes, but only if they both know about each other, preferably know each other, and they agree to the idea.
Ian

Offline Bob

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 16050
Re: Is that ok to have two piano teachers at the sane time?
«Reply #2 on: November 29, 2013, 10:30:36 PM »
Sure.  It's your choice.  Splitting it like that sounds like a good idea.  Maybe jazz instead of pop though.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline drazh

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 279
Re: Is that ok to have two piano teachers at the sane time?
«Reply #3 on: November 30, 2013, 12:38:37 PM »
I want to ask you (as a teacher) if your student tell you this what your reaction will be?
angry, happy, sad or nothing?I dont know what my teacher reaction will be
.thank you

Offline Bob

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 16050
Re: Is that ok to have two piano teachers at the sane time?
«Reply #4 on: November 30, 2013, 02:50:42 PM »
Possibly a little insulted, but it would make sense too.  They would want something I couldn't provide.  I'd already be aware of it.  I suppose it would be nicer if the student explained what they wanted and asked for the teacher's input before picking a teacher in another area, as opposed to, "Surprise!  I picked a teacher out in another area on my own."

On the student side, you can do whatever you want.  If a teacher is good in one area, but not another, take advantage of the one good area and supplement it.  

The higher up you go, the more specialized it will get.  At some point, one teacher isn't going to cut it.

I could see a teacher be perfectly fine or relieved by it too.  If it was a strictly classical teacher, they wouldn't have to think about providing a good jazz education.  They could just focus on what they know best.

From the student side, if a teacher was going to get huffy about it, I might not even tell them.  If everything was kept separate, it might not be worth dealing with.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline mstar

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 3
Re: Is that ok to have two piano teachers at the sane time?
«Reply #5 on: November 30, 2013, 03:47:32 PM »
As a student pianist for several years, I have been finding it hard for me to resist working separately on some certain works. Noting this, having another "teacher" unlegitimately as one's self would have different reactions as responses from different people. A teacher may be pleased at the enthusiasm of the student to work on their own; nevertheless, do not forget that ther is the repertoire, which the student must work on, and so such a thing may receive negative response.

To take the meaning of the OP's question more literally, I personally would never consider having two teachers, as this would be a sort of indication, in my opinion, that one teacher does not have the ability nor the resources to teach me well or thoroughly, even though this may not be true. If this were to ever be true, then I would consider switching teachers completely. Even so, maybe the OP's student does not see the situation in this view, depending on their age. I think there is little that can be done by each teacher than to continue to provide the best musical education each teacher can.  :)

Offline mo24rt

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 8
Re: Is that ok to have two piano teachers at the sane time?
«Reply #6 on: November 30, 2013, 08:14:33 PM »
As a student pianist for several years, I have been finding it hard for me to resist working separately on some certain works. Noting this, having another "teacher" unlegitimately as one's self would have different reactions as responses from different people. A teacher may be pleased at the enthusiasm of the student to work on their own; nevertheless, do not forget that ther is the repertoire, which the student must work on, and so such a thing may receive negative response.

To take the meaning of the OP's question more literally, I personally would never consider having two teachers, as this would be a sort of indication, in my opinion, that one teacher does not have the ability nor the resources to teach me well or thoroughly, even though this may not be true. If this were to ever be true, then I would consider switching teachers completely. Even so, maybe the OP's student does not see the situation in this view, depending on their age. I think there is little that can be done by each teacher than to continue to provide the best musical education each teacher can.  :)

I would tend to say no. I had two teachers for a short time and found it confusing when they had conflicting views on technique and repetoire. That said, my experience was in a classiclal sense. if you want to learn a more specialist genre like pop or jazz, another teacher could well work out for the good.

Offline refugepiano

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 27
Re: Is that ok to have two piano teachers at the sane time?
«Reply #7 on: November 30, 2013, 09:52:54 PM »
I myself did have two teachers at the same time. Before I elaborate a bit on my position about having two teachers at the same time, I think it would be better if I elaborate a bit on my background.

I started learning with the first teacher in 2011 (hereafter will be referred as Teacher X). Problem is, while he was a nice person, he was a terrible teacher and I did not agree with many of his views of piano playing, both in technique and musicality.
Thing is, I had no other option than to continue with him, due to the school music program being terrible in the school in which I lived in, which gave me little option. So, I decided that in the face of suffering total loss of motivation towards piano and an attempt to commit suicide, I decided to look for private lessons outside.
This is where Teacher Y comes in. I started classes with her in 2012, learning with her at the same time than with Teacher X. Thing is, Teacher X did not know of Teacher Y, but Teacher Y did know of Teacher X. I did enjoy my classes much more with Teacher Y though. However these classes were marred by the simple fact that Teacher Y felt that her repertoire took a backseat to Teacher X, hence I thin k she might not have taken me as strictly as she could have been.

I now longer have either teacher, but I am now learning with Teacher Z, but that is not relevant for the topic.

So, do I recommend learning with two teachers at the same time? It depends on the person, but these are the conclusions I made about it, some of which is advice and some of which are simply aspects I want you to take into consideration:

1.- It is more difficult to have to learn 8 pieces with two teachers than to learn 14 pieces with one teacher. The problem is with time management, and both teachers expect you to play continuously their repertoire, regardless of what the other teacher has given you. While it is possible to reduce the difficulties by having both teachers know each other and contribute to each others learning, the difficulty will still persist. Stress will also become part of a big issue here as well.

2.- Teachers often contradict each other in regards to the technique a student must learn, and how technically challenging the pieces must be to develop a students ability in the future. Some teachers will tell you to play octaves with the arm, some with the wrist, some tell you to use 14 fingering for octaves in the black keys, some tell you to always use 15.
This becomes especially problematic when a teacher becomes inflexible and is tying to emphasize a specific technical aspect of a piece.

3.- While you might not encounter this by any chance due to your intention to learn two different styles, do not under any circumstance attempt to learn the same piece under two teachers. You will only end up more confused and will not be able to please either teacher.

4.- How seriously are they willing to take you as a student? It becomes a problem when a teacher considers that his/her teaching isn't as important, urgent or even essential in comparison to the other teacher, as it can create the illusion both in you and in the teacher that some lessons are a waste of time.

5.- Don't have the lessons too close together. Distribute them throughout the week. But do not focus on only one teacher's repertoire for a couple of days only. That way you'll only practice a piece for three days, then nothing for four days, and you'll not advance as fast as you could. Sometimes this is necessary, but make it into the exception and not the rule. Practice with both repertoires each day, but please do not waste your time during practice going through sections that you've already mastered. Learn how to practice effectively.

6.- Two good teachers do not equal by far one excellent teacher. The good teachers will merely try to expand you technical capabilities. The excellent teacher will not only look to improve you technique-wise, but musically not only in one style but in several (although they will focus in the one of your choice) and more importantly to develop you as a person. Look for an excellent teacher in both styles, but if you can only find one excellent teacher and one good teacher, ditch the good teacher and keep the excellent one.

However, despite all this, the main question is, are you determined enough to tackle this problem? Determination and motivation is important, perhaps more than anything else. It won't make things any easier, however they will make things much more bearable, and will only encourage you to go further. The state of mind is often neglected in music (shockingly so!), don't neglect yours. If you feel you can tackle this problem, then you can. I know I did.


Offline hfmadopter

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2272
Re: Is that ok to have two piano teachers at the sane time?
«Reply #8 on: December 01, 2013, 10:36:49 AM »
Once you have several years in with a teacher I would think it would be wise to branch out and get education in different styles of repertoire. I did that at about 8 years in, my main teacher took summers off and I mentioned to her that I had this opportunity to take summer classed with a teacher in another town for the purpose of filling out the keyboard, slight added improv and mostly modern music styles. I presented it to her in a way where she could give her view on the matter and she was all for it. I use those techniques learned to this day in pop, rock etc. It was fun, it wasn't so fun that it was 40 miles away on a work night but the experience overall was fun and very useful in those genres of music.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline drazh

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 279
Re: Is that ok to have two piano teachers at the sane time?
«Reply #9 on: December 01, 2013, 11:28:27 AM »
thanks all for useful and comperehensive replies.
my primary interest is and will be classical music forever.
but my second interest is some kind of pop music. I want to uderstand it.may be they have some tricks to be used for my piano playing,

Offline hfmadopter

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2272
Re: Is that ok to have two piano teachers at the sane time?
«Reply #10 on: December 01, 2013, 12:03:58 PM »
thanks all for useful and comperehensive replies.
my primary interest is and will be classical music forever.
but my second interest is some kind of pop music. I want to uderstand it.may be they have some tricks to be used for my piano playing,

Yes, understood. You will learn about opening up block chords, using 6th, 9th, 7th chords and harmony. Some filling but a lot of open two note melody chords. My goal back then was to fill out the keyboard. Classical you stick with the score and that doesn't help the pop scene much as such. I found myself looking for exact arrangements in pop that are hard to find in a style that I wanted to be able to play as an advanced intermediate pianist. I wanted to be free to work these up on my own.

Edit: Most recently I'm adding some new age genre.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline liz100

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: Is that ok to have two piano teachers at the sane time?
«Reply #11 on: December 21, 2013, 03:14:43 PM »
I've written an article about this which is in the British Journal of Music Education, 2011, 28 (1), pp. 69-85 - Multiple teachers: Multiple Gains? The link is here: http://journals.cambridge.org/repo_A79gDN2V

To create the article I talked to students and teachers - my impetus for writing it was when a student I was teaching told me she was having lessons from another teacher as well - which was a huge shock and made me question my work, as well as want to find out more about why this might happen! The abstract below tells you a bit more about it:

This paper explores the concept of instrumental/vocal learning when studying the same instrument or voice with more than one concurrent teacher. In this context, teachers may be working as a team, or one or both teachers may not know of the other's contribution to a student's learning. Qualitative data from music students and teachers at the University of York sheds some light on this often hidden learning context. This paper examines students’ reasons for studying with more than one teacher; their views on negotiating teacher demands; teacher–student–teacher dynamics; and assessment of the success of this context for learning. Teachers’ views are considered through discussion of their attitudes to this context, and their evaluation of its effect on their teaching. Findings suggest that although there may be problems for students regarding issues of teacher loyalty and dealing with conflicting advice, there are also many benefits including exposure to a greater range of musical and technical ideas and added pedagogical insight. There are also potential benefits for teachers if they are working as a team.