Anyone had the experience of being with a really good teacher, and having to get another one, not for any bad reason? Next week, after four years of the best music teacher I've ever had, I will be trying out a new teacher....
what if I find it difficult to understand what she's getting at? what if she hates the way I play? what if I have to take my playing apart and put it back together again?
I haven't, (fortunately). Last year my oboe teacher got through to the final round of auditions for a full time job with a national orchestra. I was selfishly pleased that he didn't get the job as I really didn't fancy the idea of having to change teachers.
Post by Steve Hopwood on Nov 11, 2007 23:33:42 GMT
* flexes muscles and practices looking fierce *
* pupils fall about laughing at both of those *
You will be fine, Anacrusis. Shame you had to part with your previous teacher, but all things end. If your new one is useless, you will know within minutes, then you can go home and start looking for an alternative. If she is good, she will provide fresh insights and enthuse you to play still more.
It was a most dispiriting hunt, this search for a new teacher - one possible, who is said to put the biggest number of kids into music academies of one kind or another, said she couldn't help, another didn't answer, another had moved away, and this is the only person I could find. I have heard since from other sources that she is also very good (but then, so is my other teacher, or I'd not have got through the material I have), so am really hoping hard that my learning style will be compatible, and that the bad habits aren't too awful, because the only possible other course of action would be travelling serious miles to people down south.
AP - thanks for your vote of confidence . Will remember it if asked to play G# minor harmonic... I guess that since I'm not a career musician, the pulling-to-bits thing is less likely to be attempted, though I do happen to know I've got some bad musical habits, though not what they are! I was never a good pupil as a kid, too busy trying to defend having gone wrong to be able to listen to how to put it right, but now I'm more concerned in case I find I can't put it right when asked to do...
I've recently had to change to a new piano teacher due to moving up to Norfolk from London, and she is not as good as Jo(.clarinet) was. One reason is that we don't seem to get as much done in a half-an-hour lesson now as I used to with Jo.
Last Edit: Nov 14, 2007 16:50:26 GMT by Car Expert
The Very Busy Man
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I didn't have to play any scales, communication was fine, and I hope my playing was OK... though there's still plenty which will need putting straight. I think a very different style of teaching will actually work very well, in a complementary rather than contradictory way . Had a look at a crazy piece, and laughed a lot; then had a quick squint also at another crazy piece, which will be fun to learn - at first, the notation had looked impossible to hack through, but now I've been shown how, I think it'll be all right.
Doesn't stop me appreciating just what my first teacher did for me, though; he has got me tackling stuff, and to a good standard too, which I never thought I could manage.... and without all that, I'd never have found myself scouring Scotland for another teacher, and getting worried I might never find anybody in reach who would be willing to try teaching me .
Ooh, good, I'll look forward to that - I had actually had a bit of a dispirited droop in my playing before this lesson, because I was worrying about whether it would work, but I have certainly come away feeling that there is a fresh approach possible. Part of the concern with any change is also that pupils and teachers get used to each other, with how they tick, and tailor their approach to each other over time, so the lessons feel comfortable and go easily - where that can be difficult is when new challenges are needed to keep things moving forward.
It's been a very interesting and positive experience, thanks . Interesting because a new slant brings different ideas - one which will make me struggle for some time, I think - the new teacher feels I wiggle my recorders too much whilst playing, and wonders if I'm wasting energy. I've been trying hard not to do this since, and much of the time my playing stiffens up as a result, but just occasionally I'm getting a glimpse of how it might actually help the finger muscles to relax - I have to consciously repress the movement, then let the music take over. There does seem to be a genuine difference in what I could do if I get the right state of mind going - though a lot of the time I still relapse into my previous way of doing things.
The other interesting facet is having a teacher who won't take charge; I tend to be rather passive and want to be told what to do, and my wonderful last teacher was great at that - he knew exactly how to get the best out of me in that way. The new teacher has a different approach, expecting me to identify more what I need to know - it means I could hide my inefficiencies like a kid, so I have to take my courage into my hands and demonstrate just how cr@p some of my playing has been...just as with my first teacher though, I've found that even when playing rather badly in a lesson, some sort of osmotic process produces much better playing once I look at the piece again at home . So I'm having to grow up (again...) - the best thing is that the new teacher's approach seems to be complementary to the first one's.
Physical movements present an interesting problem for teachers. I know from experience that the first result of interfering with a student's physical movements is muscular tension.
This is hardly surprising, since releasing muscular tension is one of the benefits of movement.
Counter to that, habitual\mechanical movement produces mechanical playing at best, mechanical and inaccurate playing at worst. The knack is to lose the habitual movements whilst retaining the natural, fluid ones.
Woo, last night harpsidoc and I played with another pupil of my new teacher. That was also interesting, partly because her field of work also overlaps with mine, as does her thinking on what she wants to be able to do with her music, partly to find out what another is learning from the same person. We had great fun, busking through some duets, falling apart for the same reasons, and enjoying some great baroque "crunches" - those wonderful serial not-going-to-resolve-just-yet dissonances which work so well on recorders . We got on well enough to consider if we mightn't cadge a joint lesson with our teacher some time, to learn some aspects of chamber music-playing, which could be fun.
.....and the first thing our teacher made us play was a scale ;D.
Bb major, she says. Help, I can't remember scales, say I. Start on Bb, then do-re-mi up you go, one octave, she replies.
I can do Bb major after all. Up and down. Only our Ds were dodgy, the rest of the notes were in tune, and we got a very pleasing, "wow, that was good". A bit of work to try to adjust the Ds - we were asked what had we done to get them into tune, but couldn't tell for certain what had worked, so were asked to play separately, and discovered my D was slightly south of my co-pupil's D. This is all very different territory for me, as I've played in un-glorious isolation for a very long time - yes, with patient accompanists, but it's different when trying to adjust pitch to another adjustable-pitch instrument.
It seems that the sound we make is well-balanced, one to the other, and we can now get hold of some music to stretch us a bit, and learn the new skill of ensemble playing. Who knows? Maybe one day I'll be able to count fluently ;D.