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Good Teachers

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  • #89178
    unknown-user
    Participant

    How do you know when you have found a good teacher? How do you know

    if they’re not good? How would you advise someone to choose a teacher?

    #89179
    Jeralee
    Participant

    They challenge you.

    #89180
    unknown-user
    Participant

    Jeralee’s answer pretty much covered it.

    #89181
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    I think Jeralee is on the right track.

    #89182
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    I forgot to mention that anyone who wants a copy of that opinion piece can

    email me privately and I’ll email it to you.

    #89183
    unknown-user
    Participant

    That’s not nearly enough time to prepare a real performance. It may be enough to get through the notes, but then a good teacher will polish the phrasing, dynamics, all the musical values, by which he or she will be teaching the student how to perform, become an artist, how to value their work. The music they assign should be of good quality and include some well-known composers. The learning rate of students is individual, and depends on how much they have to deal with internally and at home, as well as their intellectual and coordination development.

    The teacher should have a fairly systematic approach to the harp that makes it clearer, not more mysterious. If technique continues to be a struggle after two years, they may not be the right teacher for you. How much time do they spend chatting in the lesson, or talking about how other students are doing? If it takes fifteen minutes to get to work, that’s not good. Are you playing only from handouts or photocopies the teacher provides? Not good. Does the teacher make excuses like, “that’s not really important, dear.” Or “you don’t have to work that hard.” Does the teacher help you to improve your tone quality? Does it sound better when the teacher plays? It should. Do they seem relaxed when they play? Does the teacher ever play or demonstrate for you? They should. But not to show off, to inspire. Do you feel you have found the best you deserve, or just who was available? Will you risk going to a top-notch teacher, even if you feel unworthy? Great teachers will take beginnners. Do you feel like a cog in the wheel of a busy studio? Not so good. Better a teacher with just a few students who has more time and attention if they’re good.

    #89184
    unknown-user
    Participant

    Another student response.

    #89185
    unknown-user
    Participant

    Good point, Sarah, about the teacher going to your house.

    #89186

    I believe these last points, about home visits, are very important!

    #89187
    rosalind-beck
    Participant

    In addition to all the very thoughtful and valid statements contributed previously, I also believe a good teacher needs the judgment to set appropriate standards for each student’s level.

    #89188
    unknown-user
    Participant

    I agree also with the above responces. But I have found it very difficult to find any harp teacher, let alone a good harp teacher as I live in a very rural area. If it weren’t for my husband who is a good music teacher, and professional musician, I would have stopped playing the harp altogether, even though I have the great desire to learn to play well. He can help with theory, reading, etc., but he would be the first to say he is not a harp teacher, and that I need one for learning good technique. I agree. For the past 2 1/2 years that I have been playing, I have traveled great distances, and paid good money for lessons. Although it was expressed that they would be happy to teach an adult beginner, it had become quite clear that they would prefer teaching concert material students as to continue their lineage. I was going to search for a new teacher this spring, but due to many bad experiences, and failing confidence, I have decided to proceed on my own. I am also out of resources for reccomendations too. So, for me it would be important for a teacher to be sincere in saying they want to teach adult beginners, be prepared for class as I have done, encouraging, provide playing out experiences as well as teaching good technique. CeCe Nelson

    #89189
    unknown-user
    Participant

    There is an old Chinese saying that goes something like this,”when the student is ready, the right teacher will appear.” Well, this has recently happened to me, and I have already had my first lesson which was given in great kindness, and with grace. I look forward to learning from my new teacher. I just wish to offer encouragement to those students who are living in rural areas or are having difficulty finding the right teacher…don’t give up… it will happen. All the best, CeCe Nelson

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