\"\"
Piano Forum logo

piano teacher advice (Read 2590 times)

Offline echoyjeff222

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
piano teacher advice
« on: December 28, 2014, 10:44:41 PM »
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 online 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.

Offline cwjalex

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 515
Re: piano teacher advice
«Reply #1 on: December 28, 2014, 11:05:56 PM »
i think it all comes down to how much you get out of your lessons.  if you feel you are not learning that much and you are hearing the same suggestions over and over again it may be time to get a new teacher. 

the benefit of a teacher can also go beyond what is taught to you.  for me the greatest benefit of a teacher is that it gives me a strong incentive to improve.  i'm a people pleaser and i like to impress my teacher with improvement. 

Offline toomuchpolitics

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 15
Re: piano teacher advice
«Reply #2 on: December 29, 2014, 09:53:39 AM »
It sounds like you've outgrown your teacher.  You definitely need to find another teacher to benefit from a new approach.  Music is so much more than just the notes on the page.  You deserve to find a teacher who can guide and inspire you to new artistic heights!  All the best.

Offline hardy_practice

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1587
Re: piano teacher advice
«Reply #3 on: December 29, 2014, 09:56:46 AM »
If you don't punch the air and shout yippee! after a lesson you're with the wrong teacher.
B Mus, PGCE, DipABRSM

Offline j_menz

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 10150
Re: piano teacher advice
«Reply #4 on: December 29, 2014, 10:25:59 AM »
If you don't punch the air and shout yippee! after a lesson you're with the wrong teacher.

No, just on the wrong pharmaceuticals. And probably a good thing.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Online brogers70

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1137
Re: piano teacher advice
«Reply #5 on: December 29, 2014, 05:05:51 PM »
My idea of a good lesson with a good teacher is that I go home with new ways of thinking about a piece or about a technical problem and lots of things to try out in practice. If a teacher is not having that effect after the majority of lessons, then he or she is not worth the money and you should try to find a better one.

Offline therealfolkblues

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: piano teacher advice
«Reply #6 on: March 03, 2015, 06:12:28 PM »
I would say learning whats on the page is useful at first, or in order to learn how to play a specific passage, if its nice and complex, illustrating a specific set of composers commands, or a particular technique
but.

I , for one care not a whit whats indicated and used to find markings a distraction.

Thats me though.
I would ask, do you appreciate particular versions of something you are playing? Do you enjoy particular pianists and or music.
Do you ever play "As you like it" when you are practicing?

One of the keys to creative playing is just listening to what you are playing.. One of my favorites is BACH's first prelude in cmaj. WTC. As simple as it gets, but an infinite canvas of expression is available  well within what many would consider reasonable creative license .

It all starts with the first note. As with most art and creativity , just have a cohesive vision <melodic, whatnot> and execute.
If you can play that piece everyday and enjoy it each and every time for the creative freedom it affords you , then you are on the right path.

It also wouldnt hurt to express these thoughts of yours to your teacher.
 

Offline love_that_tune

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
Re: piano teacher advice
«Reply #7 on: March 10, 2015, 01:54:28 PM »
I'm amazed you've stayed with this teacher so long.  From the beginning, right at Mary Had A Little Lamb I teach my students to play it musically.  Some students do it instinctively, some not.  I say expect joy, regularly and consistently.