Page 1 of 1

'Pushy' piano teachers

Posted: 01 Mar 2014, 08:31
by dave brum
Just wondering, is it normal for a piano teacher to take a new student anything between one step and fifty beyond his or her comfort/contentment zone?

Common sense would tell me that getting someone to learn something simple and gradually move on would enable a student to get the best grounding in the piano....but maybe some teachers may not share that viewpoint.

Comment is the Guardian.

Re: 'Pushy' piano teachers

Posted: 01 Mar 2014, 11:17
by Feg
In my experience, staying firmly in your comfort zone means no forward progress :P

However, as a teacher, my job is to effect progress in stages that my pupil/s can cope with. As I usually teach in groups of anything up to ten pupils, working out how far to 'push' the boundaries so that all my pupils can cope, can be challenging.

Everything you are taught which is 'new' will take you out of the comfort zone by some degree. I alway emphasise New Stuff = Fun, Old stuff = Boring! It works with primary aged pupils :D

Re: 'Pushy' piano teachers

Posted: 01 Mar 2014, 13:58
by Gill the Piano
As long as the 'push' is a realistic one, no problem. But it's a fine line between encouraging and pushing so hard the pupil is frightened off. Feg is right, new stuff is always a good thing - as long as it's the RIGHT new stuff for the pupil. That's where a teacher's judgement is so vital.

Re: 'Pushy' piano teachers

Posted: 01 Mar 2014, 14:59
by markymark
It depends what you mean. Is this your first lesson with the new teacher?

If it is, then maybe he/she is trying to carry out some kind of benchmarking exercise (see where your cut of point is across the skills)?

Re: 'Pushy' piano teachers

Posted: 15 Mar 2014, 12:43
by dave brum
Maybe in some respects it could be good for a teacher to be pushy, but in a positive way. If a student stays on safe ground, then he/she learns nothing, as you said Feg. We naturally become anxious if we feel we're being pushed too hard, as I may have implied in my original post. If we don't think 'oh, it's all too much' then we're more likely to exercise more rationale each time, say a teacher gives us a harder piece to learn in a week or so, and our anxieties/other negative mindstates kick in, including those of defeat and even mistrust.

A good relationship with your piano teacher is key here (if you'll pardon the pun) and realisation that it's only anxiety that's making us self-doubt. And suppose we don't learn the whole piece in a week or so?? We would have practised it and our teachers will appreciate us for that.

Maybe the emotion of fear could also make us feel we're being pushed, something else which can be conquered methodically.

Re: 'Pushy' piano teachers

Posted: 15 Mar 2014, 16:46
by Gill the Piano
dave brum wrote: And suppose we don't learn the whole piece in a week or so??
Just wait till you work on the same sonata for months/years! :lol:

So good to hear you being positive!