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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000500.txt from 2004/10

From: "Patricia A. Smith" <>
Subj: [kl] Matching teacher to student - the private studio teacher; was, The
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 07:28:34 -0400 wrote:

>I can assure you that this is not a situation of ADHD, absent mindedness or tyrannical teaching. Of all groups who would be sympathetic to someone interested in an absolute attention to detail, it would be clarinetists!
>Please don't put too much emphasis or any assumptions into this. It can be summed up as a good experience for me that has beneficial in years that followed.
Hi Rich,

I was responding more to Lelia's overall generalized description of the
"authoritarian" teacher, than to your specific situation and teacher!
In fact, I am not even sure I saw the original post. If I did, I didn't
interpret it the same way she did and did not take issue with it in that
way. I tend to think, also, that children, teenagers,
college/university students, and adult students - each of these age
groups will require something of a different approach, teaching wise.
And even THAT is something of a generalization. Every student's needs
are different, and NO teacher can be suitable for everyone.

You obviously have had a wonderful, specific experience with a specific
teacher who has done well by you. And when the student KNOWS what s/he
wants and needs from a teacher, and that teacher provides it, then BOTH

I find that a lot of private teachers generally focus on teaching
children, and have a difficult time switching gears and teaching, say,
adult beginners, or adults who are coming back to the horn after
quitting it for years, for example. That is something I enjoy doing,
because I like the level of interaction, and there is not the
disciplinary element one faces with children. ;-) At the same time, I
do enjoy working with children. However, I do expect a certain level of
proper behavior out of them, and if this is not met, I am not afraid to
dismiss them, and give the parents a refund.

FWIW, I tend to LIKE it in my own experiences with teachers when they
point out my faults in my playing and how I can improve them...the more,
the better. I once studied with a teacher (who shall remain nameless),
whose criticisms were awfully vague a good part of the time. Now, I did
learn a good deal about music from this prof, but at the same time,
after a while, I felt a real need for more detailed study and critique.
This was most disappointing, and eventually, I simply had to move on,
once the number of university hours with the individual was met.
Luckily there was someone else available in the area whom I sought out
(I had heard him play, and give a clinic several summers before that,
and knew his background) - I paid out of my pocket for lessons with this
person, and have never regretted it. For me, it was the best choice.

(Sorry to be so long-winded, but I feel sometimes, this is an issue we
skirt around, but have not discussed directly, or if we have, it's been
a while)

Patricia Smith

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