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 Post subject: Re: Help me choose between two piano teachers...
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:59 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 4:14 pm
Posts: 167
Location: Canada
Wow, this is a really interesting dilemma, and you are correct that each of these 2 teachers seems correct in about 50 percent of the case. If I had the money, I'd actually keep going to both simultaneously. Just remember to adjust your playing accordingly for each. You could then form your own opinion based essentially on a combination of the contrasting information along with skepticism on your part towards both, which will be the greatest impetus in forcing you to doublecheck via Google, etc., just WHO is right in each instance. I say this in all reverence to both of my former piano and voice teachers, but the best learning I ever did was when I set out to the library to prove to myself that they were ALL wrong. In each case, each of these teachers WERE wrong in some areas, but right in others. I suppose most would say to go with the Juilliard teacher because of her great instrument and background, but despite the piece of crap upright, what the Chicago teacher says in stark contrast to your Juilliard teacher's misinformation from time to time, makes the Chicago teacher very valuable.

I guess if you have to choose only one and it must be amongst these two, and especially if you are working towards an exam or competition, your better bet would be on the Juilliard teacher. But remember that no one teacher will be right in all areas, so always stay mistrusting enough to go the extra mile and keep doublechecking on info, no matter who gives it, if you want to play the best you can.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:36 pm 
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I'd agree with Nicole that the better one of the two would be the Julliard teacher, for several reasons. Honestly, though, I would personally keep looking a little longer if I had that option.

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Though everything else may appear shallow and repulsive, even the smallest task in music is so absorbing, and carries us so far away from town, country, earth, and all worldly things, that it is truly a blessed gift of God.

Felix Mendelssohn


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:54 am 
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Sounds like two extremes - the Juliard teacher dogmatic and high-horse, the Chicago one practical to the point of being laid-back. A difficult choice ! Personally I'd feel more at home with the Chicago guy were it not for him hoarding his grand. Point in favour of tthe Julliard lady !

But maybe you should look further and see if you can find someone who holds a middle-ground. Lessons are supposed to be fun too, and I gather you are not aiming to be a professional virtuoso pianist.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 4:14 pm
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Location: Canada
Hey, I wonder if being able to spell Juilliard correctly is a requirement for entrance to the music program there. :shock: Who would figure it has that extra i, other than perhaps their.......................liaison.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 8:59 am
Posts: 39
They're both rather bad, in my opinion, but if I had to choose between them I'd choose Juilliard.

Quote:
--Chicago Teacher: Keeps his grand to himself. Teaches on a crappy upright spinet with really light action, almost like a keyboard -- maybe 20 grams. The hammers are hardened from too much play, and sounds like you are playing Forte all the time.


Really, playing on something like this is a punishment. I have played on similar piano's before and it was awful: It becomes impossible to put any emotion into a piece, and everything sounds really mechanical... This alone would make me drop the Chicago teacher.

Anyway, I suggest you look for a proper piano teacher who doesn't force you to practice scales all the time, but gives you some freedom to also play something you like. The sight reading part is a bit silly in my opinion. I'm not great at sight reading, but then again I hardly ever need it. Sure, it can be nice to be good at sight reading, but I don't see the purpose of really training it a lot.

tl;dr, look for another piano teacher, but in the mean time stick to these guys.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:59 pm
Posts: 322
Location: toronto
You know I could be completely off on this but somehow the piano itself always seems less important to me when it comes to learning or even playing for myself. Of course when it comes to recording or concerts you want the best that you can get. But for other purposes it would seem the ideas in the music and the plan of attack or more important then the actual sound the piano is capable of doing. And it is kind of fun to try to make a bad piano sound nice (and it is usually not impossible even for average piano players) Its too bad most piano players can`t carry their instrument around like violin players :)



Adam wrote:
They're both rather bad, in my opinion, but if I had to choose between them I'd choose Juilliard.

Really, playing on something like this is a punishment. I have played on similar piano's before and it was awful: It becomes impossible to put any emotion into a piece, and everything sounds really mechanical... This alone would make me drop the Chicago teacher.

tl;dr, look for another piano teacher, but in the mean time stick to these guys.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:08 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:59 pm
Posts: 322
Location: toronto
Out of curiosity how does your teacher feel about teaching Bach or more specifically 3 part bach? I've noticed some teachers often are reluctant to teach Bach (perhaps because of my own lack of being ready) I often felt this was a bit silly. (I think if I played more bach when I was younger I could have surely benefited from it)

cwm9 wrote:
Thanks for all your input. After a long period of worry, I have finally decided on sticking with the Juilliard teacher.

The final blow was that the Chicago teacher said he didn't know how to play jazz very well, that he never learned how. In the end I got the feeling that the Chicago teacher was more about playing classical for fun without much breadth beyond that... and I can already sit down and pick my way through music.

In the end a little pedagogy is probably better for me than continuing down the road of simply hacking away at ever more complicated pieces.

I did learn a few things from him before I left, so it's not all bad.

I hope I'm right. :|


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