Nearly every week brings letters from pupils asking if their teachers are giving them the right exercises or pieces. The question these pupils wish to ask is, "Do you think that I have the right teacher?"
After a pupil has selected a teacher, how is he to know whether he has chosen wisely? The following is a test for grading your teacher. Some tests have been popular during the past few years. These tests are not always satisfactory, however, for they are sometimes taken haphazardly. To be correct, the test must tell both sides of the story. You may consider your teacher as being inefficient and not capable. That is your side of the story, but what of the teacher's viewpoint? Possibly if he had the proper cooperation from you, it would be a different story! No matter how good a teacher is, he is working under a handicap unless the pupil can answer "yes" to the following questions:
In making the following test, do not read over or study any of the questions until you are ready to mark down the grade. The questions are graded 0 to 5: Never 0; Seldom 1; Sometimes 2; Generally 3; Often 4; Always 5. For example, the first question "Do you feel like practicing at the practice hour?" if your answer is, "generally" then grade 3; if "always," grade 5.
As soon as you have read the question and understand it, mark down the grade. This is important, for if the question is pondered over, the grading will not represent true reactions.
After you have answered all the questions, total up your score. If the total is below 65 there is something wrong. It may be the teacher or it may be that you are to blame. Study the questions carefully and see if you can discover the trouble. This is the first half of the test. Keep the score as it will be needed in the second half of the test. Correct all of your faults so that the next part of the test will give you a true rating for your teacher.
The Classical Free-Reed, Inc. staff gratefully acknowledges volunteer Benjamin Lang who assisted in the production of this article, as well as Stanley Darrow and the comprehensive American Accordion Musicological Society library.
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