Switching teachers - Is there a time for change?

Share your piano experiences with other adult students

Postby 65-1074818729 » Mon Apr 05, 2004 8:45 pm

I am picking up on the last post of Mins Music on the subject of teacher disagreement.

Quote:::::A new era means new possibilities, and if you've had this teacher for a while (a few years?) then it will probably do you a world of good to get a fresh perspective from another -

I have been with the same teacher for 6 years (since I started piano) I feel I am progressing well, however it sometimes crosses my mind that perhaps there is something to be gained by switching teachers. (The old "change is as good as a rest syndrome")

I should add that I get along with my teacher very well and to date have not experienced any of the problems noted by nic88fiddle.


Any comments, anyone. :O
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Postby Mins Music » Tue Apr 06, 2004 1:59 am

This is another saying: "If it aint broke, don't fix it!"

If I was happy with my teacher and happy with my progress then I wouldn't feel the need to change teachers. There is a risk involved with experimentation just for the sake of it. For instance, be prepared to lose your current position in your teacher's schedule. Even if they have a fond attachment to you, they have to pay the bills somehow, and you will no doubt be quickly replaced. If you regret your decision and wish to come back, it may not be possible.

That being said, if it has crossed your mind, even 'sometimes' to change teachers, perhaps there is something to be said for 'new era, new possibilities''; new teacher - especially if you know of a teacher with a very good reputation and are impressed with the students this teacher produces. If you have a purpose for changing and not just "hmmmm I wonder what it would be like," then a new teacher can offer new perspectives, just like I said to nic. However, if you just pick one willy nilly, you could end up with some real duds. And that would be detrimental to your progress.

Teachers, students - what are your comments and experiences?
"I forget what I was taught, I only remember what I've learnt." - Patrick White, Australian novelist.
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Postby 110-1079111554 » Wed Apr 07, 2004 6:25 am

The last few months with my teacher have left me a little confused and bewildered. I had definitely reached a stage where my teacher simply could not actually teach me anything new. There was simply nothing left to say to me, yet even though I have reached quite an advanced stage in my playing I still feel that I have more to learn. What I was longing for was guidance in advanced technique - how to begin to play better. I have approached a few new teachers with some specific issues and a couple of them have been (or still are) professional concert pianists. My teacher was a good player but far from concert level. I am sure that we all will reach the stage when we know in our heart that the time is right to move on.
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Postby 65-1074818729 » Tue Apr 13, 2004 4:37 pm

I agree with what you said, Mins. I won't switch just for the sake of switching. I live in a small rural area and good qualified teachers are not in abundance.

At the same time, I can see myself in two or three years ending up in the situation where nic88 is.

Thank-you both for your input.

By the way, nic88, keep us posted on your teacher situation.

:) :cool:
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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Tue Apr 13, 2004 5:07 pm

Mins, that was a terrific reply. Or as Hamlet said, why "fly to other (evils) that we know not of?"

Choosing a teacher is as risky as playing the stock market; if you have a good one, "grapple him to thyself with hoops of steel." (Polonius) ---at least for a good long while.

Dr. Shakespeare.
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Postby 81-1074658942 » Tue Apr 13, 2004 5:15 pm

goodness I love Hamlet. And isn't Polonius just plain cool? :) I would definitely agree with the previous posts.

I have switched teachers [started with the new one in september '03]. It was actually a good experience. My old teacher wasn't really able to help me, and she proposed the switch. I had no clue where to begin looking for another teacher, so she used her references. Then she came with me when I met with my current teacher for the first time. So both teachers have really been wonderful, but my situation is probably a bit different.
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Postby 73-1078374881 » Wed Apr 14, 2004 9:39 pm

My current teacher told me once that she thought students should change students every four or five years... For a fresh outlook, for someone who would detect things that the old teacher may have gotten used to or overlooked... But I love my teacher right now, and wouldn't change her for anything!!! (and I'm on year 5 right now, btw! :p )
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Postby Mins Music » Fri Apr 16, 2004 1:34 am

An alternative to giving up a most beloved teacher but still benefitting from other's input is to keep your eye out for workshops or master classes you can attend as a once off. If you're like me and live in a smallish town, you may have to travel a few hours, so take a piano friend and make a day of it!
"I forget what I was taught, I only remember what I've learnt." - Patrick White, Australian novelist.
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Postby Tranquillo » Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:41 pm

Heres what I say:

When you feel that there is a need for change ... think about it ... sleep on it at first. Ask yourself: What is missing from piano lessons? What do I want to learn? What is overemphasized? What are my goals? Can my teacher assist me and cater to areas that I would like to look into?

Then, generate a list. Through that list write what do you want to gain out of lessons. Write what you feel you have learned and what you feel is left out.

Then, talk to your teacher. Tell everything ... 'honesty is the best policy'. Sometimes its not time for a change sometimes its time for a re-evaluation and refocus. If you feel it is time ask your teacher for names. If your teacher disagrees (like mine disagreed) then look for out for names yourself. Call and interview over the phone and inform the prospective teacher on what your situation. Through that tell what you would like to look into.

From calling many teachers, attend some first lessons to see how he/she teaches. From there you could make your mind up on who would be best suited to you ...
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