QUOTE(Misti @ May 27 2012, 10:46 AM)
Slightly different perspective on this. I used to have a driving instructor who went on and ON about every little thing wrong in my driving lessons. He would regularly grab my steering wheel or change gear for me, and was constantly on the pedals. It drove me up the wall (though fortunately not the car). I was so tense waiting for his next interference, that I always drove erratically with him in the car.
1) Control. I have certain control-freak tendancies. I don't appreciate being corrected and I really hate anyone trying to do something for me when I'm muddling through. If someone tries, I immediately retreat, or step away.
2) Personal space. Reaching in (to take the steering wheel, change the gear, or to demonstrate on the piano) in an invasion of my personal space. So I withdraw in the same way.
3) I am predominantly a reflective learner. I learn by having time to think about something myself. Preferably on my own, and after the event.
If I run into a teacher who isn't able to step back, and act as a guide rather than a dictator, then we end up in a disasterous personality clash. The longer I spend with them, the more withdrawn and grouchy I become! Unfortunately, this means I can be a bit "unteachable" at times.
Thanks for this - really interesting to hear your perspective. I definitely appreciate that different people learn differently, and whilst some will thrive under constant input/interaction, others prefer space to figure things out for themselves. I have both kinds of pupils (and more kinds in between!), and I think adapting to suit different leaning styles is part and parcel of being a teacher.
A couple of things specifically though: in term of invading you personal space, I can't see a reason for a teacher ever to this. (Unless I'm missing something?) A piano is plenty big enough for me to demonstrate an octave or two away from my students, or if I need to sit in their space, I'll ask them to move along first. I'd never just reach over and move their hand or something!
Do other teachers really do this? On other instruments, you can demonstrate on your own without needing to go near the student. (Or, that's what I do.)
The other thing is regarding reflective learning. I understand this, but surely part of a teacher's job is to tell you what it is you need to reflect on? Sometimes a student knows full well where they've been going wrong, and there's no need to point it out. Other times they think they're doing something right, when they're not. Especially when it comes to tehcnique, quite often the only way they'll ever know they're not getting it right is for their teacher to tell them, and show them the right way to do it. With a student such as yourself, how would you suggest a teacher goes about this?
QUOTE(Seer_Green @ May 27 2012, 10:59 AM)
QUOTE(Misti @ May 27 2012, 10:46 AM)
I was so tense waiting for his next interference, that I always drove erratically with him in the car.
I think this is an important point. It's what I often call the cycle of frustration/nerves... Once you've made a mistake (or the teacher has corrected you on some point), you're nervous about making another, which makes you tense and more likely to make another, which makes it more frustrating etc. etc. and ultimately unproductive.
I agree, although I think how
the correction is made and the general atmosphere in the lesson makes a big difference. Everyone gets frustrated when they don't perform as well as they know they can. But if the teacher is relaxed and keeps the mood is light, in my experience most students can laugh off the mistake and have another go, without too much frustration building. If you know that making a mistake doesn't matter, then you won't feel so tense worrying about making another one. It's the same reason I never laugh at or dismiss an answer from a child, however bad, because I want them always to feel willing to put their hand and offer one.
I also try to resist the temptation to 'cover up' any mistakes I may make when playing something in a lesson. Seeing my own reaction to making 'silly'/embarrassing mistakes can really influence and set the tone for how my students respond to their own mistakes - if it's ok for me to do it, it's ok for them to do it, too.
QUOTE(Susie @ May 27 2012, 01:19 PM)
It might also be helpful to say to your student that almost everyone comes to their lesson and plays "worse" than they've performed at home. It may be nerves that "teacher" is listening, a different piano, or simply that they didn't notice the mistakes they made at home.
As I said, I'm always reminding students that I completely understand the "This never happens at home!" concept! I often just ask them, "Does this bit sometimes go wrong at home too, or was it just today?". That way we don't waste time working on something that's just an on-the-day mistake. Knowing I will believe them when they say this [obviously this presupposes I do...sometimes I'll suspect/know a student is lying about their practice, but I've rarely had it happen with adults] reduces the pressure to perform 'perfectly' in the first place. I've actually had students say, "You must think I'm lying about all this practice I've been doing", and I assure them I can tell the difference between lesson-day nerves and lack of practice.