Meri’s Musical Musings

Random thoughts on Music, September 26th, 2009

Posted on: September 26, 2009

Notes on how people used to find a music teacher…

It’s amazing how it used to be that if you liked the way a musician plays in a performance, and you were interested in learning how to play yourself, you would ask if they taught. Now many people seem to pick a teacher from an ad, not knowing how well they or their students play. People rarely seem to attend concerts anymore.

Another benefit of learning a second instrument besides piano…

Students learn to not hesitate on the difficult parts, because they are a member of an ensemble. You can’t hesistate on a difficult section because of difficulties you’re having with your part.

Thoughts on parents teaching their kids how to play an instrument…

In most cases, it’s probably best to have someone outside the household. Unless the parent has achieved a very high level of playing, the instrument is one the teacher knows extremely well, and the child is generally cooperative.

On page turners…

The person should be able to read music well, at least to an early advanced level. That way they can follow the music and understand where the page turns are.

Benefits of connecting with other teachers…

Some teachers accuse other teachers of poaching or stealing their students. I think private teachers, especially piano teachers with teachers of other instruments should be a lot more cooperative, because there may come a day when teachers might need to temporarily or permanently transfer a student to a different teacher, perhaps because the main teacher is overloaded with students. Sometimes it’s good to discuss ideas with other teachers, like one piano teacher I know has her students use a ruler for their music theory assignments, something which I had not thought of. Or those teachers of other instruments may need a pianist, or have students who might want to be part of an ensemble. Often two (or more) heads are better than one!

More benefits of taking lessons with a good teacher…

Students can receive extra marks in school. And you want the kids to really sound good, right? Plus if a student is interested in auditions and competitions, a good teacher will help choose pieces that shows off individual student’s strengths that the student can learn to play comfortably. A good teacher can provide ensemble opportunities with other students who play well.

On treating all music students as if they may become professionals one day:

There is nothing wrong with it, because one never knows who may decide to pursue music as a career. And music is more fun when you can play an instrument well. Plus advanced studies on an instrument or two is often beneficial to applying for scientific and business programs, because it shows commitment and the ability to plan ahead to work towards goals.

On making kids learn to play an instrument…

I think most if not all kids should be made to learn to play an instrument. There is nothing wrong with making kids take, say, piano lessons. Since piano is the basis of music theory, and a growing number of students are teaching students music theory, the students who don’t understand the piano keyboard usually have a hard time with music theory.

An observation about classical music listeners and car stereos…

Has anyone noticed that people who listen to classical music (and often jazz) rarely if ever turn up their stereos so that everyone can hear them?


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  • V V: Wish I had read this before I fell for their scheme ! Oh well - have posted my experience on Yelp and N49 and hoping others can avoid the pain of fal
  • clariniano: Thanks for the additional information. It was actually Yelp that deleted my reviews, because of so-called bias. I too have seen the horrible technique
  • No Thanks: Former Teacher at the Ontario Conservatory of Music I took lessons at the Ontario Conservatory and when I left for private lessons from another tea
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