The decision to leave one’s piano teacher and move on can be a difficult one, especially if the relationship is longstanding. I have written more about this subject here.
Ann Grogan, a poet and adult pianist, contacted me after reading my article to share her own thoughts on the issues surrounding the decision to leave a teacher, and I am sharing a excerpt from her article on this subject here:
In appreciation because they help me reach my goals, I fall into a kind of deep music-love affair with each of my teachers. Music and piano lessons open up my heart and emotions, and make me feel raw, vulnerable, and exposed in a way that other kinds of art lessons have never done. Music is special in this way, at least for me.
THE DANGER OF BEING OVERLY IMPRESSED: Sometimes this specialness causes me to set aside what I note is out of place in a lesson or in the teaching relationship, in favor of long-term hopes and dreams. That is usually never a good thing to do. I’ve learned to speak up earlier and more often when I’m fairly certain I’m not enjoying something I am trying to learn or a particular approach the teacher insists I apply.
In one case, I’m certain that I was initially overly-impressed by a teacher’s many published CDs featuring original compositions and pianistic talents in a preferred musical genre that was not mine, and another teacher’s stature as a well-known professional pianist with ubiquitous “how to” vlogs. However, I failed to do my due diligence and had no clue about their teaching ability in general, or if their approaches and policies were compatible with what are certain basic requirements I have for piano lessons.
For many seniors, the process of learning the piano is critical, in that it must function in the nature of a partnership and not a top-down affair. Being overly-impressed hinders my ability to observe what is happening as lessons unfold. I stray from my desire to learn in partnership with my teacher. Sometimes I continue studying with the teacher beyond what is reasonable and productive.