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Difficult teachers


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#16 BadStrad

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Posted 02 February 2020 - 12:48

I'm curious as to the age of the teacher. As some one mentioned, in years past whacking knuckles with a ruler was considered OK teacher behaviour. Could it be that this is an older teacher who just hasn't moved with the times? Is it possible they'd be receptive to it being pointed out that today's kids aren't used to being yelled at? I suspect not, but it might be a way forward if the teacher is good in all other respects.
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#17 Pianopiano

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Posted 02 February 2020 - 13:13

She was a Russian woman, early 30's. Would culture have something to do with it?
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#18 HelenVJ

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Posted 02 February 2020 - 15:26

I agree with you that this is no way to teach. But given that in fact you parted company 'a few years ago' rather than last week, perhaps it would be good to Let It Go, as the song says? If other families are also leaving, she might possibly make some adjustments to her teaching style. Most probably she was taught the same way herself, and thinks that tough love is the way to go. 


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#19 corenfa

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Posted 02 February 2020 - 15:42

She was a Russian woman, early 30's. Would culture have something to do with it?


Yes, culture could have something to do with it. I am not Russian but I know that even now in Asia, there are some teachers who think this is appropriate. My point being that if it's seen as ok in one culture, it might be seen as ok in another culture.

(For the record I don't think it should be seen as acceptable anywhere)
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#20 mel2

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Posted 02 February 2020 - 15:48

She was a Russian woman, early 30's. Would culture have something to do with it?

Thank you for crushing the assumption that the teacher must have been an 'older' person.
Some people (teachers and young people included) are simply impatient and unkind, and you had the misfortune to cross her path. Possibly she had been having a bad day but she should not have taken it out on a 6 yr old.
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#21 Pianopiano

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Posted 02 February 2020 - 15:53

I agree with you that this is no way to teach. But given that in fact you parted company 'a few years ago' rather than last week, perhaps it would be good to Let It Go, as the song says? If other families are also leaving, she might possibly make some adjustments to her teaching style. Most probably she was taught the same way herself, and thinks that tough love is the way to go.


Yes, you're right. Putting it into that context that she might've been taught that way helps me to understand her and be less angry about it. Thank you. I think she's still teaching but she's taken her name off the website I found her on. I don't know how she finds her students now.
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#22 Pianopiano

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Posted 02 February 2020 - 15:57

She was a Russian woman, early 30's. Would culture have something to do with it?

Thank you for crushing the assumption that the teacher must have been an 'older' person.
Some people (teachers and young people included) are simply impatient and unkind, and you had the misfortune to cross her path. Possibly she had been having a bad day but she should not have taken it out on a 6 yr old.

Thank you for your thoughts. I don't think she was having a bad day, but like you say, even if she was, still no excuse. Some people can play but they can't teach for love nor money even if they've qualified regardless of age or culture.
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#23 BadStrad

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Posted 02 February 2020 - 16:20

She was a Russian woman, early 30's. Would culture have something to do with it?

Thank you for crushing the assumption that the teacher must have been an 'older' person.
So it's not ok to wonder if (not assume) the teacher was "old school" (given that two replies mention that kind of teaching style from the 80's and whenever LF was a kid) but it's ok to suggest it is a cultural difference? Really?
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#24 corenfa

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Posted 02 February 2020 - 16:55

I come from a culture where that sort of thing is seen as acceptable, and I'm not offended if people question whether the issue at hand is because of a cultural difference. All cultures have elements of good and not good.
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#25 Gran'piano

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Posted 02 February 2020 - 16:59

What is wrong with saying it might be a cultural difference? One might think that Switzerland and England are not so very different, but our youngsters ran into quite a few very unexpected situations when we moved to England for two years and they went to school there. The Swiss insist on the children 'setting out' their maths work neatly. In England it was called wasting paper. "You must write the next sums in all the gaps you have left!" And when they came back they were in deeper trouble than ever for doing things the English way. "So untidy. Do it all again". In England the teachers shouted more and more punishment was meted out. Here, the teacher's word was more or less equal to the laws of the Medes and the Persians.

And it isn't just changing country. When we moved from a pre-alpine farming valley to live in a small town they had to adjust their vocabulary quite a lot too. The children here line up to shake hands with their teacher before they go off to lunch! Culture? Habits? Good? Bad?


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#26 mel2

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Posted 02 February 2020 - 17:36

She was a Russian woman, early 30's. Would culture have something to do with it?

Thank you for crushing the assumption that the teacher must have been an 'older' person.
So it's not ok to wonder if (not assume) the teacher was "old school" (given that two replies mention that kind of teaching style from the 80's and whenever LF was a kid) but it's ok to suggest it is a cultural difference? Really?

That's a big leap. I have no experience of piano teachers from other cultures so did not feel qualified to speak on the possibility. The culture idea didn't occur to me.
I was having lessons in the 1960s and even then, a Whackford Squeers type of teacher with a cane (or ruler) would have been considered a caricature, and I never came across one.
The biggest surprise to me is that the teacher felt emboldened to raise her voice in the presence of the parent.
The only other thing I wonder is if the teacher had a particular sense of humour and was using a bantering style that was not received as she intended. A long shot, but it is the only other thing I can think of apart from this being an unsuitable teacher for young children.
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#27 Pianopiano

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Posted 02 February 2020 - 19:42

It was no sense of humour believe me!

 

On the other hand, has anyone had a piano teacher that was so nice you stayed in touch and became friends?  All the ones I've met have seen very off-ish.  Not even a thanks or a twitch when I gave them a Christmas card.  Is there a rule for piano teachers to not be friendly with students or their parents. I don't get it. I had a violin teacher as an adult and I went to her house for dinner all the time as well as aerobics lessons!!


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#28 BadStrad

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Posted 02 February 2020 - 20:07

On the other hand, has anyone had a piano teacher that was so nice you stayed in touch and became friends?

OH meets up with his old piano teacher and they are firm friends.
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#29 Banjogirl

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Posted 02 February 2020 - 20:30

My boys' piano teacher is a very good friend. I see all the time, go to hers for meals and out for coffee regularly. I've stayed in touch with the Boy's cello teacher too. My third son's sax teacher came to my dementia singing group for several years and used to call me occasionally. Maybe it's a northern thing! I don't think there anything different about piano teachers. People just comes in all shapes and sizes, as it were.
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#30 corenfa

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Posted 02 February 2020 - 21:25

Surprising as it is, I am still in touch with the piano teacher who shouted at me and made me cry. At the time of the incident I was a mouthy child (though I don't think shouting was appropriate even so) and she a new teacher barely 20. I see now that she didn't know any other way to teach and was afraid if she didn't shout the children would act up. She taught me Bach well, when she wasn't shouting, and my current piano teacher remarked that I had been taught Bach well. So I relayed that back to this old teacher, umpteen years later.
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