In my entire life as a piano student, I got to work with about 20 different teachers in different settings, such as my regular lessons during my college degrees, masterclasses, and other coaching sessions. Unfortunately, out of all those teachers, I did some work with a couple of wonderful musicians who were, simply put, mean piano teachers.
Four main reasons commonly lead a person to become a mean piano teacher. These include a lack of social interaction with students, lack of empathy, communication problems or poor communication skills, and obsessive demand for perfection.
Why are piano teachers mean?
Some piano teachers are mean naturally, and nothing can be done to change that. Cruelty is something we live with as human beings, but its level differs from one person to another.
When a piano teacher is very mean, it depends on a brought-up environment, personal failures, shortcomings, and more. In this case, you will find some piano teachers using a strict approach to his or her students. When a teacher has disturbing life problems, his or her emotions will be directed to the students, and he will not be kind in any way.
When a piano teacher is frustrated with a student, he could be cruel and even yell at the student. Many students develop very close personal relationships with their music teachers, and being yelled at can be painful.
I have seen children who seemed to have been traumatized by former teachers. I have even witnessed college students leave their lessons with tears in their eyes. Unfortunately, sometimes this makes students quit their piano lessons and music altogether.
What would make a music educator display such cruel and unprofessional behavior towards his or her students?
Lack of social interaction
Poor interaction with the students can make a piano teacher emotionless and careless no matter what. You will find that some piano teachers lack the connection and interaction with their students.
Lack of empathy
You will come across some piano teachers who lack empathy, and they will only think about the piano and nothing else. These kinds of teachers are like robots with their minds being selective to piano things. Anything that is not about piano or music will not be given a chance, even if too sensitive.
Communication problem or poor communication skills
A piano teacher can be a kind person, but due to a problem with communication, he or she lacks the suitable words to convey the information to the students in an open manner. All these follow the fact that music on its stand is an intensely personal thing. Therefore, students will feel hurt considering they have numerous vulnerabilities.
Demand for perfection
When a teacher fails to attain his or her ambitions, he is always hard on those students who have the potential of “making it.” Instead of letting his failure affect him, he intends to direct it to his students to succeed. A teacher might do it indirectly, but the students will always be blamed. These teachers will ensure they get the best students as a way of attaining success.
One of my all-time favorite books on what a good music educator should be like is Shinichi Suzuki’s Nurtured by Love. His writings are not specific to piano teachers but all music educators. It is a short book but worth reading.
What are the common experiences with bad piano teachers?
A bad piano teacher will always have a negative reputation from his or her students or their families. It doesn’t matter when the teacher was kind in the course of the learning period, as long as the students label him as bad. Any action done against the students’ mood will remain in their mind, and no matter what, they might hate you even for no reason. There are a variety of common experiences shared relating to a bad piano teacher.
You will find a very irritating piano teacher, who instead of showing a student the way to practice, he or she will just look at the student. If, in any case, a student makes mistakes, he will punish him. Some will slap a student, especially on the hand. These kinds of piano teachers will rarely answer any question a student asks but instead shout at the student and sometimes ignore him altogether.
Some piano teachers are boring, and every moment a student is in his or her class, they will find themselves falling asleep. Some teachers could be boring naturally, while others may be due to age or a simple lack of experience. When a piano teacher is naturally boring, many students feel like quitting piano lessons. Students will be discouraged, and if a student isn’t keen on his goals, he will end up losing hope.
When a piano teacher has a problem controlling his or her temper, students will be in tears now and then. A piano teacher who loses his temper frequently tends to yell at his students, even on a small issue. Unless a student is strong enough to overcome all these experiences, he will end up leaving that class.
It’s not hard to come across a piano teacher who is rude and bad-mannered. In this case, they can show their hidden characters as well as their poor teaching style.
Some piano teachers have a personality that is difficult to understand from all perspectives. You will find a teacher harshly criticizing all students from his class and others openly. These teachers will be good and humorous sometimes but at times will criticize even other teachers.
Read more about the four most important signs that make a bad piano teacher.
Please write a comment below and share your experiences with bad teachers, and I’m mainly talking about mean teachers. Have you ever had a teacher like this? Write your comments below.
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