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Should our son change teachers? (Read 1174 times)

Offline bernadette60614

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Should our son change teachers?
« on: August 14, 2016, 09:13:36 PM »
Our son has a lovely music teacher and he really enjoys his lessons.  He even practices without a tremendous amount of "input" from his parents.

However, after almost 2 year of lessons, he has just begun the Faber Level One.  He plays very well by ear, and typically can memorize a piece after playing it under 5x times.

He tells me that he prefers to make his own music and to teach himself songs sans score.

I"m wondering if I should find another teacher for him...perhaps one which would be more focused on supporting his playing by ear and writing his own music?

As background, I took piano lessons from ages 12 to 18, and by the time I finished lessons at 18 was playing the entire Moonlight Sonata, Schubert and Chopin nocturnes.  I was very diligent and focused student, but couldn't play a song by ear if my life depended upon it!

Offline vaniii

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Re: Should our son change teachers?
«Reply #1 on: August 16, 2016, 10:11:42 AM »
No one has replied, so I will give you my candid advice.

The mere fact that you ask the question, suggests that you should.  If everything was okay,  you would not have had this thought.  Your thought also suggests that you have lost faith in your teachers ability; this ultimately is the start of the end.

I would suggest you explore alternatives.

Ask yourself:

What does Piano mean to me?
What does Piano mean to my son?
Why are we pursuing it?

If he prefers to make his own music, then he is playing.  More than likely, he has developed a great joy for music.  In later years he may want to learn to play more seriously; if you push him into 'learning properly' you will likely destroy this love and ultimately end lessons by your own good intentions.

Within my own teaching practice, I do not teach students like this.  When I receive interest from learners like this, I refer them to a teacher who is more light-hearted.  I would suggest you subtly look for a teacher who is more interested in 'play' rather than 'practise'.

A note: for two years of formal lessons this progress is slow; however, he might have developed some other skills apart from reading from sheet music.  For instance, he might be very good at playing by ear, and improvisation.

Tread softly.

Offline quantum

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Re: Should our son change teachers?
«Reply #2 on: August 16, 2016, 01:40:38 PM »
What does your son think of the current situation?  Would he like to continue with the current learning methods while adding in composition, improvisation, and ear development?  Or would he like a change of scenery altogether?  Does he enjoy the type of learning he is currently experiencing? 
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline bernadette60614

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Re: Should our son change teachers?
«Reply #3 on: August 16, 2016, 04:18:13 PM »
Thank you both.

We've decided to stay with this teacher.  One of the posters mentioned a life long love of music, and that is what I truly want for him.

I practiced hours each day and gave it up as soon as I could.  I think I should reconfigure my thoughts to:  Does he enjoy it?  Will these lessons always give him a positive association with music?

And, since the answers are yes, thanks to this teacher, we'll continue with her.

Offline vaniii

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Re: Should our son change teachers?
«Reply #4 on: August 16, 2016, 05:20:27 PM »
Glad you came to a decision.

Good luck, and please keep us updated on your son's progress.  I for one would like to know how he progresses.

Happy Music Making!