1. #1

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    My Piano Teacher Quit On Me

    • I am highly aware that this is a jazz guitar website and this discussion is heavy on the piano. But I feel that the issues that I will bring on this topic transcends a rare issue between the student/teacher relationship.

    • On common occurrences, it’s usually the student that quits on the teacher and the lessons altogether. But in this particular instance, it’s the teacher that quit on the student.

    • In my case, if the paid lessons are of poor quality, I have some of the shortest leash, and I am quick to cancel and abort that lesson.

    • The story goes like this: I have always been looking for piano accompaniment lessons/courses/resources since 2008. This has always been a search that leads to frustration.

    • I began playing the piano when I was in college. My prime reason for learning the piano was to become a piano accompanist. However, I was always relegated to Royal Conservatory Piano teachers, that only prepares you for a graded ABRSM diploma and nothing beyond that. I personally hated this system and when I had the opportunity to leave the Conservatory system, I got out in a hurry.

    • Long story short, I eventually found a jazz piano teacher in Toronto. For confidential purposes, I will only address the following people that I mention by their first name only. Amanda gave me the tools that I needed to become a jazz pianist. However, the only problem with this teacher is that she is not good at teaching accompaniment. So my search continues.

    • For a moment in 2019, I had piano accompaniment lessons with my music pastor, who is an accomplished keyboardist that plays by ear. These lessons were perfect for me. We are like-minded people and we have the same vision of what piano accompanying is supposed to be. Unfortunately, in 2020, COVID-19 kicked in and the lessons were suspended. During this time, I did not think online lessons were possible and I never even heard of Zoom. But it was too late, as most of our church activities were done online and the pastor had no more time to teach me. This was a big blow to my piano accompanying journey.

    • 2021 was the time that I fully realized that online lessons from distant places are possible. Long story short, I fancied myself some musical theater piano accompanying lessons with a piano teacher from the UK named James. The lessons delivered and what he taught me definitely revolutionized my piano accompanying skills.

    • Just when I was thinking that I finally found the right person for piano accompaniment and that my real piano accompaniment training would finally be on its way; then all of a sudden, he sent me an email that he is not available for lessons for the next 5 weeks, because he has a gig.

    • I waited eagerly for the next 5 weeks and when it was close to May 25th for the next lesson, I sent a harmless email requesting that the accompaniment patterns for the upcoming lesson be notated and sent to me by email. Then all of a sudden, he said that he is slow at notating rhythms, and he said that I am not the perfect person for you, I don’t want to waste your time and money. I replied to that deadly email and he never responded ever since.

    • This was one instance where the person has all the intangibles to teach piano accompaniment and I totally like the lessons and he quit on me all because he doesn’t know how to notate.

    • The following weeks, I scrambled to look for a similar teacher and they either did not respond or they told me that their workload is full and they’re not available for lessons.

    • Simultaneously at this time, I learned a concept called Matthew Effect. I learned from Matthew Effect that to those who have, more will be given, and they will have abundance. But to those who don't have even what they have will be taken away from them. When it comes to piano accompaniment, I am on the wrong side of the Matthew Effect.

    • So 2021 is just another failed year for piano accompaniment. There is still a glimmer of hope for me. I can either sign up for Playground Sessions and Flowkey and learn from their accompaniment courses or if this fake pandemic will be officially over, I can reunite once again with my pastor.

    • But on the flipside, at the time of this writing, in 2021, I was able to find a Lead Guitar Improvisation teacher that lives in Manhattan named Rob. And this high quality lesson checked a lot of boxes with my deficiencies with shred music and metal guitar improvisation. I can now say that my technique is more refined and I am on my way to become the next Guthrie Govan, Paul Gilbert, Ywngie Malmsteen, etc. Discussing the Matthew Effect, it seemed like the gods have blessed me more with guitar and ear training and pooh-pooh me with Piano Accompanying. This screams that I should just focus only on guitar and ear training and not be a jack-of-all-trades. Let’s discuss!

    • I try to be thorough and long as possible so that people reading this topic will not ask any more questions, but I am open to answering any additional questions about this sad topic.

    • Pls feel free to leave your thoughts and comments. I haven’t really developed a proper narrative from this...


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  3. #2

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    People are people. Every person has a different set of potential people to get along and get some work done.
    No need to overthink when it doesn't work out.

  4. #3

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    Perhaps it's time you begin teaching.
    Last edited by A. Kingstone; 06-10-2021 at 06:00 PM.

  5. #4

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    Find an experienced singer or horn player that will spend time playing tunes with you.

    I suspect you may get all the guidance you need and then some.

  6. #5

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    Teachers aren't by definition super pro musicians that know everything. They're flawed individuals and musicians. 2 of my guitar teachers fired me because they weren't into traditional jazz and I basically knew more than they did. My first guitar teacher, who actually got me going from the ground up as a guitarist, didn't even know how to read. He tried to hide it from me but I kept bringing the real book and he'd try to get away from it. I'm like why can't you play this song? Do you know how to read?! Lol. Yeah so I've been fired. You have to seek out people who are qualified and who you think will be a good fit for what you want to learn. You can't just settle for anyone and assume they will teach well.
    Last edited by Clint 55; 06-11-2021 at 02:41 AM.