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First teacher. Inspiration perspiration desperation?

Colin the Bear

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If being told to give up makes you give up then it is good advice. Nothing can deter a passion or a love. The smallest talent or aptitude will grow with persistence.
 

TimboSax

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If being told to give up makes you give up then it is good advice. Nothing can deter a passion or a love. The smallest talent or aptitude will grow with persistence.
Not sure about that. I have a friend who had the "piano teacher whacking his fingers when he did a wrong note". That deterred his passion and love.

He's never played piano since. Picked up guitar 20 years later, but will never go near a piano.

Bad experiences when you're young can have a hell of an effect on your life later on.
 

U CAN CALL ME AL

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If being told to give up makes you give up then it is good advice. Nothing can deter a passion or a love. The smallest talent or aptitude will grow with persistence.

While I wholeheartedly agree with your last two sentences, I must respectfully disagree with the first. I consider it to be the duty of a teacher to encourage not discourage a pupil. IMHO for a teacher to advise a pupil to give up is an admission of failure not of the pupil but of the teaching. Kind regards Al
 

TimboSax

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Told I wrote. Not whacked.
Good point, well made. My mate was (is) a hopefully extreme case.

Still think you're wrong though ;). Talent needs encouragement, and can wither with the opposite. Doesn't negate the talent if they can't get through the negativity.
 

Colin the Bear

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Some teachers are more about themselves than their students, enjoying the authority not the uplifting. I went to an old fashioned Grammar school with a sprinkling of sadists on the staff.
I agree that a tutors job is to encourage. I seem to be motivated by no you can't which has caused its own problems.
 

U CAN CALL ME AL

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My first music teacher taught me (tried to teach me) piano1957-61. It was an experience I did not particularly enjoy. It was upon my mother’s insistance, at a cost of 5 shillings a week (25p), the average weekly wage then was £7-50 and being colliery surface worker my father would have earned considerably less.
My teacher was a widow whose husband died tragically in a motorbike accident. A singular lady whose life was music. She played 1st violin in a local amateur orchestra, and was deputy conductor. Always wore a purple jacket and felt bucket hat and usually carried an old fashioned brown leather music case.
My lessons were at her house, early on Saturday mornings. In the winter her house was arctic, and I was greeted by the unpleasant odour of a coal fire primed by a gas poker. It always smelled damp and dog eared ageing sheet music littered every conceivable surface.
Music choice was classic, classic or classic! In all fairness she did teach me to play and gave me a basic grounding in theory, although you don’t get too far in four years. I did get the occasional rap on the knuckles with a conductor’s baton if I made repeated errors.
Practice at home was hell my mother insisted that it was done to a clockwork kitchen timer perched atop the piano, no matter that my mates were out playing in the street.
My relief came when I passed the 11+ for the local grammar school and I successfully argued that there would be insufficient time for school homework and piano practice. I persuaded my Dad to buy me a piano accordion to play with a local band on a very much teach yourself casual play by ear basis. I gave up all music aged 18 when I went to university and only started sax playing aged 60 as a retirement project.
Looking back I am grateful to my first teacher as it did give me a tenuous grounding which has lasted a lifetime.
 
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TimboSax

Deputy junior apprentice 2nd class
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840
My first music teacher taught me (tried to teach me) piano1957-61. It was an experience I did not particularly enjoy. It was upon my mother’s insistance, at a cost of 5 shillings a week (25p), the average weekly wage then was £7-50 and being colliery surface worker my father would have earned considerably less.
My teacher was a widow whose husband died tragically in a motorbike accident. A singular lady whose life was music. She played 1st violin in a local amateur orchestra, and was deputy conductor. Always wore a purple jacet and felt bucket hat and usually carried an old fashioned brown leather music case.
My lessons were at her house, early on Saturday mornings. In the winter her house was arctic, and I was greeted by the unpleasant odour of a coal fire primed by a gas poker. It always smelled damp and dog eared ageing sheet music littered every conceivable surface.
Music choice was classic, classic or classic! In all fairness she did teach me to play and gave me a basic grounding in theory, although you don’t get too far in four years. I did get the occasional rap on the knuckles with a conductor’s baton if I made repeated errors.
Practice at home was hell my mother insisted that it was done to a clockwork kitchen timer perched atop the piano, no matter that my mates were out playing in the street.
My relief came when I passed the 11+ for the local grammar school and I successfully argued that there would be insufficient time for school homework and piano practice. I persuaded my Dad to buy me a piano accordion to play with a local band on a very much teach yourself casual play by ear basis. I gave up all music aged 18 when I went to university and only started sax playing aged 60 as a retirement project.
Looking back I am grateful to my first teacher as it did give me a tenuous grounding which has lasted a lifetime.
I'm always interested to hear other people's stories, and this is a fascinating one. Thanks Al (may I call you Al? :)
 

U CAN CALL ME AL

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I'm always interested to hear other people's stories, and this is a fascinating one. Thanks Al (may I call you Al? :)
You certainly may. Most can’t get their tongues around or are uncomfortable with the Welsh spelling of my name, Alun, correctly pronounced Al-in, so it gets contracted to Al. Kind regards.
 

TimboSax

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You certainly may. Most can’t get their tongues around or are uncomfortable with the Welsh spelling of my name, Alun, correctly pronounced Al-in, so it gets contracted to Al. Kind regards.
Ah, my gran came from Anglesey, and I know North Wales well. Alun will be pronounced well here :) (I can even do Llanfairpwllgwyngyll at a push)
 

saxyjt

Saxus Circus Maximus
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Thinking about it, when I was in primary school in Paris in the 60s, I had some music education in the form of choral and basic music theory. I'm not sure how long that lasted or if that was actually applied everywhere as I moved across the country and I don't remember having any music the last couple of years in the south of France.

Anyways, that thin layer of music theory helped me get started about 40 years later...

I just found a documentary about that period I will watch and perhaps share if some are interested. But it's in french! :oops:
 

saxyjt

Saxus Circus Maximus
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That would be great - then some of us can start reminiscing about our old French teachers !

Rhys

If you insist, here it is, but it's not much fun... Very much in the style of those years in some respects. Not that it was a bad period, but TV programs were so academic!

I've tried to find out more about the music education at school level over the years, but I'm not very successful. As if they wanted to erase any traces of it. But I'm afraid it didn't last. My wife has no recollection of any musical education and she's 6 years younger than I.

Nowadays, kids do have music education in secondary school, but it's completely useless. I think they'd better have it in primary school like I had.

The documentary above says that they started by working on rhythm, hearing and playing a simple instrument and only after reading music.
 

John Setchell

Member
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82
Now I wish I learned to play by ear rather than reading the dots on a piece of paper. I'm struggling to separate myself from that bloody score and I only know a very limited number of tunes by heart. Then if I miss a note, I usually crash big time... That's very sad. I'm sure it also hampers my ability to improvise.

Reading the dots can be useful, but do you draw or paint reading some encoded signal?

Music should be taught by ear first or in parallel, I don't know what's most efficient, but too much focus on dots is not a good thing. IMHO!
I used to play bass in a jazz rehearsal band - not because jazz is my first language, but they desperately needed a bass player!
Two new tunes a week from the American Song Book. We’d play through them 3-4 times and then the leader (clarinet chap) would say “OK gentlemen, time to close the book”. It never really became “Music” until the book was shut.
 
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