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#1346725 Completely gutted

Posted by susiejean on 19 January 2018 - 09:33


A very nice man gave me his email address and allowed me to scan him in a completed form.

Phew. woot.gif

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#1360264 What's Made You Happy Today.... ?

Posted by Aquarelle on 19 December 2018 - 20:26

Well, it was yesterday actually but I was too exhausted to post. We have now done the Christmas Celebration and it was - dare I say it - brilliant! I can't believe that we got through it without a single hitch. Even the angel Gabriel (see Random thread) finished his daily temper tantrum before the parish priest arrived! The children reading the script did so with lots of expression and passed the microphones from one to another without dropping them. The nursery class did their sheep act on all fours with the shepherds realistically chasing them back into  their fold. The half that were not sheep were little angels and they danced beautifully and the choir, who had to sing while the angels danced, actually watched me and not them. Gabriel, the Three Kings and their camels and the Guiding Star all made their entries in time to the music and in a dignified manner. Mary and Joseph and the innkeeper mimed their parts very clearly. The recorder players were careful with their D's and F sharps Best of all from my point of view was the singing which was enthusiastic, rhythmic and only rarely a little flat. They nearly brought tears to my eyes when we got to the last note of the last song. Every child in the choir was watching me and they held the note  steadily to the end. And then there was this big, communal smile! 


There are times when this teaching business gets one down - I have my irritable and despairing  days and sometimes think it isn't worth the bother. And then you get a day like yesterday and you think there couldn't be a nicer way to earn your living.

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#1319206 The Things They Say

Posted by Latin pianist on 05 July 2016 - 17:43

I take exception to the remark that someone is too intelligent to accept the Christianity story. There are many academics including scientists who are devout Christians.
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#1300308 Coping with non-practising bores who make up the numbers?

Posted by Impressionist on 12 September 2015 - 19:23

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#1273181 Was told that Grade 8 means nothing. Thoughts?

Posted by UnnaturalHarmonics on 10 November 2014 - 10:45

"If you are playing lots of concerts in your orchestras you must think about what you are putting your audience through"

:D That was my favourite bit. I expect I shall soon be hearing from the solicitors of anyone who has witnessed me and my horn in concert action.

My response would be along the lines of:

'I have considered your thoughtful post, agreed you are SPOT ON and have consequently been motivated and inspired to write to ALL the amateur orchestras in the UK requesting they either please desist at once (you're quite right, those poor audience members, forced to attend with no recourse to subsidised post-traumatic stress counselling afterwards), or hire exclusively professional musicians going forward. I feel sure that these measures will serve to raise the currently dire standards of music in the country as they will encourage participation, ensure thriving and diverse community opportunities and provide the means for members to develop personally while pursuing a hobby they can enjoy at the same time.

Oh, and I gave them your address as a reply-to. Hope that's ok. xxx'
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#1356635 Feeling fed up with teaching

Posted by BadStrad on 03 September 2018 - 12:38

I think anyone who fears for their mental health in a job like private music teaching should consider other options.
I don't expect this to be a popular opinion but taking up piano teaching after working in the NHS for a couple of decades I can hardly believe the joy in the autonomy of deciding for myself how I will do things, even to the extent of choosing my clients. Not a thing I could do in my previous career, however bad they smelled, however challenging their behaviour or hopeless the case.
I'm sorry - the stress levels are just not on the same graph.

It is impossible to say what the causes and scale of someones suffering may be and so any comparison is pointless. Everyone has a different tolerance to individual stressors. I was recently chatting to a fire fighter. I could not imagine coping with having to run into burning buildings. The fire fighter could not imagine coping as a teacher.

The lack of autonomy, respect, resources etc are undeniable stressors for NHS workers, but there are also benefits, perhaps the support of co-workers, regular income, hopefully a decent line manager and the patients come and go relatively quickly, care is by the nature of shift patterns a team effort, not a solo one, for example.

A lone teacher has no co-workers to turn to (hence forums like this, I guess). Pupils turn up every week (more or less) demanding full attention whilst sometimes giving nothing in return but expecting miracles. For some teachers that can lead to feelings of failure, of being in the wrong job, of not being good enough, of failing their pupil. There are no co-workers to share with when things don't work. Teaching is intense and many teachers become emotionally invested in their pupils' development as a musician. Some teachers have experienced bullying tactics from parents, or pupils. The isolation, the feeling of "having" to find an answer, with no one to turn to, the sense of ongoing failure are stressors which could lead to anxiety or depression. Different to the stresses in the NHS, but equally valid for the person experiencing them, and no less real.

I suppose you could also say that anyone working in the NHS must know to some extent what to expect before they apply, the media are full of stories about the stress, shortages, violence against staff, etc. (It amazes me that anyone would work there, but I am so glad that they do.) Similarly there are media stories about the stresses of being a school based teacher. Private tutors mostly get the "let's regulate them" kind of story. So, likewise, it is amazing that anyone applies to work in a school any more and why private tutoring must seem like a better, less stressful option. "Teachers to be" probably imagine tutoring will be "nice" (but enjoyably challenging) because their lessons were. Finding out that it is not always like that can be a bit of a shock (to say the least) as countless threads have shown.

Many people function in the world, as doctors, nurses, teachers, chefs, electricians... with mental health issues. It doesn't mean they should quit their jobs, or that they made the wrong career choice. You can love your job and still find aspects of it stressful to the point of breaking. It could be said that the more you care about your work, the easier it is to be affected by it.
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#1358690 practice in between lessons

Posted by BadStrad on 15 November 2018 - 01:10

It may not matter to the teacher but it should matter when I am the one paying for the lesson and if I do not do the homework then I am wasting my money because I am not progressing properly and not getting my monies worth.

If you are that bothered make time to do the work. Get up earlier. Read the score on your commute or listen to a recording if you drive. Mentally practice in your lunch hour, etc. There are lots of ways you can work on your pieces away from your instrument.

You can't blame your teacher if you haven't done the work. You're a grown up according to your forum name so your teacher probably figures scolding you like a child would be counter productive. If you think you are getting away with something, it suggests you know you could do more. So do it, don't blame your teacher.

As I say to my pupils, "I see you for *one* hour a week. If you don't practice what I teach you between lessons, you won't improve. Your choice, your money."

As others have said, it is okay to take a slower pace because you have commitments that take up your time but that is not the same as blaming your teacher because you didn't complete assigned work when you could have. If you really can't find the time to practice, you need to discuss that so practice expectations can be adjusted. Slow progress is better than no progress but you have to be honest.

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