QUOTE(Alicia Ocean @ Jun 29 2012, 10:31 AM)
If I think my accompanying is going to be a bit shaky I advise the pupil that I'm going to deliberately try to put them off and they must keep counting and maintain the pulse for me to follow and not the other way round. That covers any slips before they happen and is good training for them too.
I agree that this can be beneficial for the pupils, but if I'm understanding this correctly you use this strategy to "cover up" unintentional mistakes (apologies if that isn't what you meant). Why not just acknowledge that some of the mistakes are not deliberate? I personally respect teachers more when they freely admit their own shortcomings.
Pixie*Porsche, I can empathize with your nervousness. I was in an oddly similar situation a few years ago when my piano teacher accompanied me for a competition where I was playing viola. My piano and viola playing levels were similar at the time, but I was more "sought after" as a violist because locally there weren't many people my age who were better, so I think my piano teacher got the impression that piano was closer to a "second instrument" for me. As such, I felt pressure to play well in front of her, which of course meant that I didn't
Poor intonation, wrong notes, terrible ensemble skills... everything went wrong. I was terrified that I had ruined her opinion of me as a musician and she wouldn't want me as a piano student anymore - but of course this wasn't true. The fact that I had played viola poorly had no impact on my abilities as a piano student.
Similarly, the way you play piano doesn't affect your merits as a teacher. Think about it this way - what if you didn't play piano at all? Would you still have felt inadequate because your student could play an instrument that you didn't? Do you feel inadequate when interacting with other students who have second instruments which you don't play? If not, why should you be embarrassed about being at approximately the same level on piano as your student? Besides, it's extremely unlikely that your student would judge you negatively. In fact, I think it's inspiring for a student to have evidence that teachers are also learners, and that one can continue learning throughout adulthood. Of course, this would be true even if you were the best pianist in the world, but it's even clearer to the student this way