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#1193413 - 05/04/09 09:08 PM How do you teach self-discipline?
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
I never thought about this question before. I always assumed that self-discipline is a "skill" one acquires over time.
My 12 year old niece recently shared with me some "tragic events" going on in her life, specifically during her violin classes. She has taken lessons since age 8 or so and has done very well. But this year, things changed all of sudden and as her music became more demanding perhaps (or as she hit puberty), her practice habits suffered considerably. Apparently she showed up at her lessons recently having only practiced portions of her assignment (the "music" part) but not the exercises/etudes for the second time in a row (I suspect more). Her teacher, who has been pretty patient, decided that she needed to learn a lesson in "self-discipline" and told her that she will playing nothing but exercises for the next month. Needless to say, this did not sit very well with the young teen.
My question is does this approach work? Is it too harsh? How do you actually teach self-disicpline? Can it be taught?
I have never taught kids this age anything, but I wonder if such an approach is more likely to backfire/ How do you handle similar situations?

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#1193421 - 05/04/09 09:24 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Andromaque]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12200
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
In some families it may work. It all depends on how the parents discipline the kids. I've had some where I knew the dynamic enough so that I could get tough with the kid. Other times, however, a gentler approach is needed. In those situations where I've had to get tough with a student (under the agreement of the parents) I have had excellent results. Otherwise, the gentler approach generally has less success. Perhaps because the parents aren't as involved in that case.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1193487 - 05/04/09 11:44 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Morodiene]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
I don't worry too much about self-discipline, rather I stress focus while practicing.

I am quite frank with my students (my parents would probably be horrified if they actually ever watched their student's lesson DVD) as we discuss this subject. Most students, as they reach puberty, have a very difficult time focusing on the task at hand. For some odd reason, their focus is on social concerns and members of the opposite sex.

I tell them that I personally had a terrible time keeping my focus. I usually thought about girls about every 10 seconds. Practicing with focus was darn near impossible. This usually elicits sheepish grins, from both sexes. But it's the truth, and most kids are facing this and not having a clue how to deal with it. Now, there were a few students who didn't have this problem for one reason or another, and I hated them. This usually gets vigorous nods of agreement.

I tell them just to do the best they can. Really concentrate on the melodic line, or the pedaling, or what every problem they are trying to solve, and they may get so involved, that they can get 5 - 10 minutes of effective practice before their mind wanders off.

They also get a kick knowing their teacher practiced hours a day on total auto-pilot, thinking about every thing except the music!
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1193524 - 05/05/09 01:44 AM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
Interesting observation Morodiene . If I understood you correctly, you are saying that the parents' position is more important / consequential than the teacher's approach?
John, you seem to take a more laid back approach, how often does it work?

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#1193533 - 05/05/09 02:08 AM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Andromaque]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4981
Loc: boston north
I think that self discipline is learned over time.

Do this, this, and this, and that is the result.

or to put it another way -

Do A, B, and C, and D is the result.

So, with students, when they realize that going over that hard measure 5 times slowly will result in learning that measure correctly, there is this reward...That feeling of accomplishment and playing correctly.

And it builds from there.

When they do it for themselves at home, that is SELF discipline.

Suggestions from the teacher of 'how to do it', 'effective ways of practicing', and then students pick it up from there and carry on for the next piece in the same manner.

Best not to have a parent standing over them while they learn it for then it only becomes discipline, not SELF discipline.

I disagree with what your niece's teacher is presenting. Makes the excercises and studies a punishment not a means to a goal.




_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1193537 - 05/05/09 02:33 AM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: lilylady]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
John's very brave to mention sex. I'm still trying to work out if that's all there is.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1193614 - 05/05/09 08:47 AM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Andromaque]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Andromaque
Interesting observation Morodiene . If I understood you correctly, you are saying that the parents' position is more important / consequential than the teacher's approach?
John, you seem to take a more laid back approach, how often does it work?


It's more a question of understanding - they are not unique and this is not a problem that no one else have ever experienced. We solve it a little at a time. Some students need more reinforcement than others, and varying the routine from week to week also helps.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1193653 - 05/05/09 09:51 AM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12200
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I think John and I are saying essentially the same thing (except the sex part). I gauge what the dynamic with the parents is and take their lead on it. If the parents discipline, then that is a tool I can use to help them learn discipline. I was told what to do when I was young, and I wasn't scarred for life. I know I needed it because my head was in the clouds. Eventually, I learned how to "focus" as John put it.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1193671 - 05/05/09 10:28 AM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Morodiene]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10422
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Quote:
For some odd reason, their focus is on social concerns and members of the opposite sex.




Actually, social concerns and sex aren't the only things going on. They're just so confused about themselves at that point. Monica needs to step in at this point with lots of 'brain development' literature.

I have watched some kids really take off in the 13-15 age range because they just start to come together as maturing adults earlier than others. This can cause a real burst of effort, which produces reward, which stimulates more effort in a virtuous circle. It can leave their peers in the dust wondering what happened.

I have no idea how one can 'teach' that. Morodiene and John have shown how people can take different approaches, depending on the material they're working with (individuals and families) and the experiences they (the teachers) bring to the table.

Whether you push with a little toughness, or cajole gently, the student has to want to pick up the mantle. Some never do. That's life. If I had a formula for creating that little spark I'd write a manual and sell a billion copies! :-)
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

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#1193704 - 05/05/09 11:38 AM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Piano*Dad]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12200
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Piano Dad is right. One has to just keep trying until they get it. Some don't and they're off to college, which means they'll probably have to learn the hard way. That always concerns me, but there is only so much one can do who works with a student for 30 minutes per week.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1193746 - 05/05/09 12:47 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Morodiene]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Show the outcome of having applied self discipline, patience, and/or additional effort beyond normal and you will have created a believer.

When we see/feel/hear break throughs we are likely to notice something becoming better understood, more effective, more efficient.

What has to happen before the awareness of the new result is the big decision to do something different in approach, or to try longer, harder, turning off the old voice tape, and looking for a new attitude, new possibility, and new result.

We have to believe in ourselves to find the best way as doing the same thing over and over brings the same results.

Betty Patnude

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#1193797 - 05/05/09 02:00 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Betty Patnude]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5587
Loc: Orange County, CA
You can demand self-discipline. You can use a "reward and punishment" system to maintain a student's self-discipline. But at the end of the day it is the student who has to show self-discipline.

Several of my good students show great self-discipline. I think it is either nature (they inherited the discipline gene from their parents) or nurture (they grew up in an environment in which the adult role models show plenty of self-discipline).

One important skill I try to teach to all of my students is organization. It is such a waste of time for students to come to lesson unprepared--forgetting books, not doing the theory assignment, etc. etc. You can tell them to put everything in a bag and sort all the worksheets in a binder, but if they don't bother to get a bag and dont buy a binder, then what do you do?
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1193946 - 05/05/09 05:25 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: AZNpiano]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4981
Loc: boston north

Betty says:

"Show the outcome of having applied self discipline, patience, and/or additional effort beyond normal and you will have created a believer."

Exactly what I was suggesting!
_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1194267 - 05/06/09 05:04 AM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: lilylady]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
I posted a new topic on us being social animals:
Quote:
How much of our 200,000 year history have we spent on our own? What activity have we ever done that was not done with others? I believe there are rites where an initiate must be solitary.
I only realized afterwards it was a response to this thread. Expecting people to lock themselves away so many hours a day is unnatural. We need to be aware of this and its repercussions.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1194293 - 05/06/09 07:10 AM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: lilylady]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2472
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: lilylady

Betty says:

"Show the outcome of having applied self discipline, patience, and/or additional effort beyond normal and you will have created a believer."

Exactly what I was suggesting!



Sounds like the Salvation Army to me.

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#1194295 - 05/06/09 07:12 AM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Jazzed23 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/09
Posts: 48
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Being a piano teacher myself, I would seriously tell your niece to find a new teacher!! NEVER use "punishment" in music, forcing a student to play endless exercises will make them hate music, that teacher, and possibly quit.

As with all kids growing up, there are social pressures and outside things to deal with. Her "100%" towards music right now may only be 50%.

If she needs to stop lessons for the time being, do it. Ask her to find 1 song she likes and WANTS to play, and just do that.

Let her find space and time to breath life into the music, then it will come.

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#1194374 - 05/06/09 10:06 AM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Jazzed23]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12200
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Jazzed23,
with all due respect, I don't think any of us can really know what would work best for this student. Some really do need a "kick in the pants" whereas others may need encouragement and positive reinforcement. If it is a case where the student cannot devote enough time to do the work required for their level, then decisions should be made to cut back something, be it piano or something else. Having students who are too booked to even give their minds and bodies a rest is never a good thing, for sure.

I'm not saying your approach is wrong, but it may not be what this student needs. Looking back, I think that it is mostly teenage boys who need a more regimented routine to help them focus, but there have been girls who needed it too. And then there were others who benefited from lots and lots of encouragement, or even some time away. I just think telling them to drop the teacher is a bit harsh and not a decision that should be made without being there and knowing the student.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1194423 - 05/06/09 11:38 AM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Morodiene]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Let me add to my previous posting:

If you don't have self-discipline yourself, there is no way to teach it to another person. It will be a big enough job to make improvements in disciplining yourself.

It is quite an accomplishment to be able to self correct. Think of how many institutions and services work with those who are not the least bit responsible for their behavior and what they cause to happen in their immediate society, whether it's home, school, or work.

Without self-discipline it becomes someone else's job to set limits, accountability, and "time outs". Some of those things are the criminal justice systems, social welfare agencies, juvenile courts, school detentions. How much of these things have a good outcome?

A little self-discipline would go a long way in just about any situation, but it is mixed with having values, integrity, and a sense of responsibility to self and others.

We must have the capacity to affect self-discipline in ourselves . We have to live with the results either way.

Betty Patnude

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#1194508 - 05/06/09 02:00 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Betty Patnude]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12200
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Betty,
I learned self-discipline because I was disciplined by my parents as a child. I was held accountable for the things that I did, and when I was of age to work, I had to pay for clothes and things like that from my paycheck. Prior to that I *earned* an allowance by doing work around the home. I was a dreamy child and was not one you would peg as "self-disciplined", but I caught on later. It all came together for me in high school, and there were still areas during that time where I had a lot to learn about work ethics and practicing. I think self-discipline can be taught, through example, through being treated like a responsible person and having expectations of you that must be met. You can also give people skills to be more efficient, techniques to work hard, and rewards for when things go well. Usually self-discipline is self-rewarding too. It's not about hand-holding, it's about expecting or demanding maturity and holding the students accountable when they don't make it.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1194517 - 05/06/09 02:28 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Morodiene]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
I equate self discipline with motivation. If you're motivated to do something, you have all the discipline you need.

Conversely, try teaching someone who lives and breathes piano to stop playing or to cut back playing. You can't do it.

What I'm trying to say is, it's a "personality" thing. Some have it. Some don't. I don't think motivation is something that can be taught.
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1194526 - 05/06/09 02:38 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: eweiss]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
Originally Posted By: eweiss
What I'm trying to say is, it's a "personality" thing. Some have it. Some don't. I don't think motivation is something that can be taught.


I agree that motivation can't be taught. I do think that discipline can be though.
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1194537 - 05/06/09 02:51 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: eweiss]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12200
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: eweiss
I equate self discipline with motivation. If you're motivated to do something, you have all the discipline you need.

Conversely, try teaching someone who lives and breathes piano to stop playing or to cut back playing. You can't do it.

What I'm trying to say is, it's a "personality" thing. Some have it. Some don't. I don't think motivation is something that can be taught.


self-dis⋅ci⋅pline
   /ˌsɛlfˈdɪsəplɪn, ˈsɛlf-/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [self-dis-uh-plin, self-] Show IPA
–noun
discipline and training of oneself, usually for improvement: Acquiring the habit of promptness requires self-discipline.

mo⋅ti⋅vate
   /ˈmoʊtəˌveɪt/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [moh-tuh-veyt] Show IPA
–verb (used with object), -vat⋅ed, -vat⋅ing.
to provide with a motive or motives; incite; impel.


Self-discipline is the ability to do something regardless of how you feel about it. Motivation is feeling good about doing something. In one, the action comes first and feelings about it usually follow after. The second, the feeling is first and then the action comes as a result.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1194539 - 05/06/09 02:53 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: eweiss]
Larry B Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 377
Loc: Boston
Originally Posted By: eweiss
I don't think motivation is something that can be taught.


Maybe "taught" is the wrong word. It cannot be forced on anyone, but motivation can absolutely be encouraged, facilitated, modeled, incentivized, inculcated, or, in all too many cases, extinguished.

It's called leadership. Good parents, teachers, coaches, managers, and military officers and NCOs do it all the time. They create the conditions under which you can (and want to) succeed, even if (especially if) it's difficult, and they help define what "success" means.

That said, I'd be concerned that the approach taken by the OP would be in danger of the "extinguished" category. As others have said, it is most certainly specific to the individuals involved and their relationship.

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#1194548 - 05/06/09 03:14 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Morodiene]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Self-discipline is the ability to do something regardless of how you feel about it. Motivation is feeling good about doing something. In one, the action comes first and feelings about it usually follow after. The second, the feeling is first and then the action comes as a result.

That might be true. After all, what do we do when the feeling we once had isn't as strong? We rely on self-discipline. There are so many times I don't want to play or practice myself. The thing is, I don't have to.

Having to do something versus not having to do it may be the answer. That and accountablity.
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1194564 - 05/06/09 03:39 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: eweiss]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Maybe it's also about accomplishment - that's quite an incentive.

I guess there are "coasters" and their are "slackers" and there are "achievers".

I think it takes some self respect in order to achieve.

It's too bad we get away with so much when no one is looking, it's ourselves we hurt in the long run.

We need better words to describe some things - if we called it enthusiasm for life - we'd be way ahead of the game.

We don't just sit life out and wait for it to come to us do we?

Someone setting an example of "toeing the mark" has done us a fine favor.

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#1194653 - 05/06/09 06:10 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Betty Patnude]
Surendipity Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 129
Wax on
Wax off

I give students who are having trouble with practice 2 babyfood jars.
One empty the other holds 12 pennies.
Each penny = 15 minutes.
Set a clock and every 15 minutes place a penny in the other jar.
They must be gone by the end of the week, if you cheat, you're only cheating yourself. If you don't finish them, then we'll look at your weekly schedule and see where time can be borrowed or changed to fit in the Penny Practice.

Students like employees will work for a reward or acknowledgment. One on one competition is a great way to get things accomplished with anything.

I have scale/cord tests I set up like a game of Jeopardy.
Students have a week's notice and of course prizes for those who make 80% and over. If not, another test next week and ohh look at those lovely prizes. It's not bridery it's reward and it works.

I also have them memorize a piece within the week and a small gift is their reward. Not finished and we'll learn it during lesson time and an email will go to the parent stating such.

I also ask them what they want to play? That gives them incentive to learn. I do this often.

Most often a student is playing because parent's want them to.
These students are not here out of self interest.
So I ask them, "What type of career do you want?"

Ah..... So lets get started now, I'm teaching you how to be a (Vet) you'll need a steady hand and patience and ability to think quickly, music will get you started"
This has helped many times and most often these students like playing and continue lessons.

I don't get stearn or stuborn, waste of my time and happy energy.

I ask them how long they are willing to try, check it out with the parents if acceptable go from there.
I have students who learn only a little each week and parents are happy with this, than eveyone is happy.





Edited by Surendipity (05/06/09 06:13 PM)

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#1194843 - 05/07/09 01:53 AM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Betty Patnude]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2472
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
Maybe it's also about accomplishment - that's quite an incentive.

I guess there are "coasters" and their are "slackers" and there are "achievers".

I think it takes some self respect in order to achieve.

It's too bad we get away with so much when no one is looking, it's ourselves we hurt in the long run.

We need better words to describe some things - if we called it enthusiasm for life - we'd be way ahead of the game.

We don't just sit life out and wait for it to come to us do we?

Someone setting an example of "toeing the mark" has done us a fine favor.



You draw a big conclusion, Ms Patnude, from the simple fact that someone doesn't do his piano practice.




Edited by landorrano (05/07/09 01:58 AM)

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#1194846 - 05/07/09 02:00 AM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Surendipity]
Jazzed23 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/09
Posts: 48
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Look guys, yes self-discipline is great, but remember, these are kids. They are being pulled in so many different directions and to expect them to give everything they have for every activity, they surely would drop to exhaustion.

Imagine their basketball coach asking the same thing, or ballet teacher.

A program or regime is necessary, but we forget the JOY of music. That is most important.

Why are there tons of teens who can play the guitar endlessly, working on riffs, licks of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, BB King, Carlos Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughn... they are PASSIONATE about the music.

Find some pianists who make your students feel the same way, and also ask the student who they like. Maybe they are better off playing guitar, violin, saxophone, trumpet.

Me, I like Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, yes i am jazzzzed. I can sit at the piano for hours and dream of creating awesome music, the scales and chords just help me speak.


Peace.

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#1195133 - 05/07/09 03:18 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Jazzed23]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2472
Loc: France
Hey Jazzzzed.

I've got a nephew, not yet 16 years-old His parents had him taking piano lessons as a little kid, and he always hated it, always "dragged his feet" as we say. They didn't want to force him, they dropped the lessons, tried again later, a number of times.

My brother and his wife have a friend have a friend who is a musician and a piano restorer. He plays a wide range of music, but is keen on jazz and jazzy rock when he's in the company of his friends. He has on a number of occasions spent vacation together with my brother's family. And my little nephew always hung around and tried to pick up pointers I guess. He started doing Ray Charles songs, blues stuff, and very rapidly made progress.

My brother found him a teacher who said, the first lesson, what do you want to play?

A couple of weeks ago I was on the phone with my brother and my ne^phew came on the line. "I'm learning Ruby, My Dear, do you want to hear?" And he put the telephone on the table next to the piano and made my socks fall off! He isn't 16 years old yet!

He says to my daughter, who is 8 years old, "can't you play anything without looking at the music?"

And you know what, he's still lazy, probably lazier than ever.

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#1195137 - 05/07/09 03:33 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: landorrano]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: landorrano
My brother found him a teacher who said, the first lesson, what do you want to play?
Most six year olds cannot answer that question!

Originally Posted By: landorrano
He says to my daughter, who is 8 years old, "can't you play anything without looking at the music?"
My students can!

I well remember as a child, some adult (I actually remember who), who said, when I played something I was quite proud of, "Can't you play xxxxx?" Then proceeded to chastise me for not knowing it. Some pop tune. I'd never heard of it.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1195140 - 05/07/09 03:46 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2472
Loc: France
I'm not sure what your point is, John, but it doesn't matter. I don't mean to make a big point with this anecdote, it is only meant as an anecdote, so that I can brag about my "little" nephew. Otherwise, it is easy to see from the ensemble of your posts that you are an excellent teacher, I'd be pleased to have my daughter studying with you.

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#1195148 - 05/07/09 04:00 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: eweiss]
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: Western Canada
Well I'll take the quote from Leila Fletcher;

"Interest is the Greatest Educator"

Self discipline is usually followed by the word, "WHY"! If I'm expected to do something, the first thiing I want to know is, what and how will it benefit "me"!

Make them see how it will benefit them in a positive way, and they will start to self-discipline themselves.

And I'd say no to this teacher's approach!
_________________________
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/goldsparkledress.jpg
Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


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#1195178 - 05/07/09 04:49 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: landorrano]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: landorrano
I'm not sure what your point is, John, but it doesn't matter. I don't mean to make a big point with this anecdote, it is only meant as an anecdote, so that I can brag about my "little" nephew. Otherwise, it is easy to see from the ensemble of your posts that you are an excellent teacher, I'd be pleased to have my daughter studying with you.


Thank you for the kind words.

People often make assumptions based on their circumstances then they generalize. Most of the active teachers on this forum work primarily with younger, elementary aged students. Not all, of course. These students haven't developed their interests yet, and it's a wonderful time to acquaint them with all music genres. Of course, this is good practice for older students as well, but as many have noted, some students simply wish to focus immediately on something specific.

With younger students, their motivation is principally pleasing their parents. Sometimes, pleasing the teacher (I have a few who fall into this group).

As they reach puberty, their horizons are broadening, and in some cases, their tastes are becoming more specific. Sometimes, as a teacher, I can find something for them, which meets the pedagogical criteria and musical need simultaneously. Sometimes not. In those cases, students need to suck it up and get to work. Or else they're going to have a hole in their training which will come back to bite them.

A number of our posters are adult students or teachers who work primarily with adult students. Adults have a host of problems quite distinct from those faces by young students. And a host of advantages as well. What I see happening is generalization by teachers/students of one group to the problems/issues of the other group. And this is a two way street. Those of us who work primarily with young students often, way too often I fear, forget that many teachers here, and other contributors, fall into the adult student group.

Self-discipline is an adult trait, not that of a child. We need the parents help to instill discipline at home. Some high school students have mastered or are well on their way to mastering, self-discipline skills. Others, unfortunately, have not, and still need some parental intervention.

Some teachers and students feel that self-discipline will be forthcoming if the diet is changed to something more satisfying. Isn't that more the case of self-gratification than self-discipline? I've always thought of discipline is the act of being responsible when no one is looking. I know that practice will generate increased proficiency, and while practicing music I like is more satisfying, the teacher has generated a curriculum which will take me from point A to point B, so shouldn't I work on that with the expectation of progress?
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1195195 - 05/07/09 05:05 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Gerry Armstrong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 214
Loc: Cumbernauld, Scotland
Another great post John.

I can't imagine for a second that my 7 year old daughter would ever tell me that she wanted to focus more on Romantic Period pieces!! grin

All she knows at this stage about what she is learning is what it says in her notebook are the scales/exercises/pieces that Daddy has set for her, and as long as she does her practice every day from Monday to Friday along with her school work and chores then she gets her pocket money every Saturday.

I have actually started to do that for myself as her practice is so simple and uncomplicated. Sit on the stool, get out your notebook, do what Daddy has written down and finish. Nothing could be easier.

I have wasted so much time sitting on the stool, flicking through books, noodling and wondering what to do next. I now follow the same method - I have approximately 45mins to get through and after that I can do what I like.

Us Adults can learn a lot from how easily some kids take direction and follow instructions.

_________________________
Gerry Armstrong

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#1195197 - 05/07/09 05:09 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: Western Canada
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
[quote=landorrano]on something specific.
We need the parents help to instill discipline at home.


Oh so true!

We can motivate, stimulate, guide, and hope! My point was that we teachers can only do so much, as piano lessons are not like actual school, where they "have" to attend and are expected to learn reading, writing and such! No chance to quit there.

Anyways, with teens, the power struggle gets more and more intense, so intelligent strategies are needed at that point!

Not sure this helps!
_________________________
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/goldsparkledress.jpg
Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


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#1195205 - 05/07/09 05:19 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Betty Patnude]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
Maybe it's also about accomplishment - that's quite an incentive.

That's true! I remember when I was creating my first CD. Having the title of the CD and a deadline date in place really helped me finish it. Otherwise, I still might be procrastinating.
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1195253 - 05/07/09 06:42 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Diane...]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
I think it's very difficult to start teens (no background, starting from the beginning), but I find that when I start students when they are younger, if they are still with me when the become teens, usually things are really easy.

But I think I have a huge advantage. I was rebellious as can be when I was a teen and have remained so my entire life. When people say "trust me, I know what I'm doing", my first thought is: "You probably don't."

So my more skeptical, more rebellious, less trusting teens actually stimulate me.

As for "self-discipline", what is the borderline between that and obsession.

How do we tell the the difference between lack of self-discipline and lack of being willing to be a sheep and *obey rules* even when the rules make absolutely no sense? laugh


Edited by Gary D. (05/07/09 06:42 PM)
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1195266 - 05/07/09 07:14 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2472
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Gerry Armstrong

I can't imagine for a second that my 7 year old daughter would ever tell me that she wanted to focus more on Romantic Period pieces!! grin

All she knows at this stage about what she is learning is what it says in her notebook are the scales/exercises/pieces that Daddy has set for her, and as long as she does her practice every day from Monday to Friday along with her school work and chores then she gets her pocket money every Saturday.



It is unfortunate that "classical music" is divorced from life. Other kinds of music is for fun, and classical music is for study.

I believe that classical music is highly accessible to children. It isn't a question of "exposing" them to classical music, making them sit down and listen to a symphony or sonata, or dragging them to a children's concert. Classical music is very sexy, and kids can be nuts about it if you find the way to touch them deeply.

Neither is it a question of playing tricks to get them to like it, or be willing to study such and such a piece. It is a question of giving them a true insight into this music. This is true even of the pieces most fundamental to learning.

Obviously, it is not so easy in the standard situation. Everybody is looking for results, the parents first of all, who want to see their kid play piano. Very few parents have a serious culture in classical music. Very few parents can work closely with their children, to deepen their insight into what they are working on. Also, an hour a week is very very little for lessons, and I have the impression that for many the lessons are a great deal shorter than 1 hour. There is very little practise time.

And there is very little teaching of theory, which I believe is very important to understanding music. Children are taught to play, not to understand.

In my daughter's case, she is a fool for the opera Carmen. We have a film version, very well done, and when she was 7 she watched part of it with us. Now she's seen it more times than The Little Princess and Shrek put together. She knows by heart a great deal of it, you ought to hear her singing in the bathtub! In the car we sing together.

Once, her teacher spent an entire lesson playing directly from the accompanist's piano score while my daughter beat out the measure and sung.

I would like to have suitable arrangements for her to play, especially four-hands arrangements. The music is great and I think quite interesting, there is a lot to teach through this music. And I would like her, through playing, to understand how a piece develops, how the harmony is structured.

Gerry Armstrong, are you saying that your daughter doesn't practise weekends? I have always done the opposite: weekends we do a long practise, and during the week we do what we can. If she goes to her girlfriends house one weekend and we miss a day, no big deal.


Edited by landorrano (05/07/09 07:20 PM)

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#1195337 - 05/07/09 09:55 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: landorrano]
Gerry Armstrong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 214
Loc: Cumbernauld, Scotland
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Gerry Armstrong, are you saying that your daughter doesn't practise weekends? I have always done the opposite: weekends we do a long practise, and during the week we do what we can. If she goes to her girlfriends house one weekend and we miss a day, no big deal.


No, my daughter does not have scheduled practice days at weekends. My domestic circumstances limits the amount of Piano time available at weekends.
_________________________
Gerry Armstrong

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#1195431 - 05/08/09 02:00 AM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2472
Loc: France
Another anecote about my Monk-playing nephew, not exactly the piano self-discipline question but anyways ...

He wrote an insult on the back of a teacher's chair at his high school. The teacher recognized the handwriting ( he's not so slick my nephew, is he ) ! Teacher-parent conference, the whole shabang.

End of the story, the teacher decided that as punishment my nephew (shall we call him Eddie Haskell?), who has never played in a recital or anything, has to accompany him on piano while he (the teacher) sings "Just The Two of Us". Ha !



Edited by landorrano (05/08/09 02:01 AM)

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#1195433 - 05/08/09 02:11 AM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2472
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Gerry Armstrong
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Gerry Armstrong, are you saying that your daughter doesn't practise weekends? I have always done the opposite: weekends we do a long practise, and during the week we do what we can. If she goes to her girlfriends house one weekend and we miss a day, no big deal.


No, my daughter does not have scheduled practice days at weekends. My domestic circumstances limits the amount of Piano time available at weekends.



My point being, that although she has to do her piano practice, I wouldn't want to associate it in her mind with chores or homework. That it's a dirty job that has to be done, and then "weekends are made for Michelob" as we used to say.

If piano were so fastidious then I wouldn't have her do it at all, she has enough forced labor to do at school which is, frankly, often dumb.

I don't know if that is going to head off "discipline" problems in the future, when she hits puberty or adolescence or whatever. That isn't at all my concern.

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#1195452 - 05/08/09 04:15 AM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: landorrano]
Gerry Armstrong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 214
Loc: Cumbernauld, Scotland
She only has to do her practice because it is her wish that she wants to learn to play the Piano. It's fairly simple, if she doesn't practice she won't learn anything and achieve her goal of being able to play the Piano.

As far as school work is concerned, she loves it and can't get enough. She really enjoys it and is disappointed when she doesn't have homework and she really hates school holidays.

She also loves doing chores as she associates it with helping Mummy around the house, which she really enjoys.

School and chores are positive things to her and part of her routine, so adding Piano practice to the list works perfectly for her.

I have no idea how long it will last but in the meantime everything is terrific.
_________________________
Gerry Armstrong

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#1195677 - 05/08/09 02:00 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
Mocheol Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 527
Loc: Dublin, Ireland
In relation to the OPs question I suppose beating the student over the knuckles with a ruler is out of fashion now.
Results were certainly achieved in the past with this method.
_________________________
vcz

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#1195873 - 05/08/09 09:09 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Mocheol]
ProdigalPianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 1049
Loc: Phoenix Metro, AZ
Originally Posted By: Mocheol
In relation to the OPs question I suppose beating the student over the knuckles with a ruler is out of fashion now.
Results were certainly achieved in the past with this method.


If by "results" you mean "piano students were traumatized and escaped from the abuse of piano lessons as soon as possible, carrying the emotional (and sometimes physical) scars the rest of their lives"...then yeah.
_________________________
Adult Amateur Pianist

My only domestic quality is that I live in a house.

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#1196014 - 05/09/09 05:09 AM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: ProdigalPianist]
Mocheol Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 527
Loc: Dublin, Ireland
Why is physical chastisement always seen in a negative way?
Sloppy students would be careful wih their fingering if a mistake meant a rap on the knuckles.
Surely thats a positive result.




Edited by Mocheol (05/09/09 05:13 AM)
_________________________
vcz

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#1196068 - 05/09/09 08:40 AM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Mocheol]
Steve B Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/09
Posts: 48
Loc: Canada
By definition though, rapping their knuckles isn't really "self" discipline, is it?

But this is a good article on developing the discipline of self-directed practice:
http://www.serve.com/marbeth/teaching_practice.html

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#1197109 - 05/11/09 04:19 AM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Steve B]
Mocheol Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 527
Loc: Dublin, Ireland
Steve B,
Absolutely correct.
Its the imposition of an external discipline in order to teach an internal self discipline.
Something we all require from time to time.
_________________________
vcz

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#1197402 - 05/11/09 03:07 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Mocheol]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Mocheol
In relation to the OPs question I suppose beating the student over the knuckles with a ruler is out of fashion now.
Results were certainly achieved in the past with this method.

Are you really an old nun? smile
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1197491 - 05/11/09 05:30 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Gary D.]
Mocheol Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 527
Loc: Dublin, Ireland
Nope.
Im not even a young nun.
In fact Im not even a member of a religious order.
I also disapprove completely of rapping either children or adults on the knuckles with rulers.
_________________________
vcz

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#1197518 - 05/11/09 06:26 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Mocheol]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Mocheol
Nope.
Im not even a young nun.
In fact Im not even a member of a religious order.
I also disapprove completely of rapping either children or adults on the knuckles with rulers.


Then why would you write this:
Quote:

Sloppy students would be careful wih their fingering if a mistake meant a rap on the knuckles.
Surely thats a positive result.

So my question is: what kind of positive result?
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1197555 - 05/11/09 07:45 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Gary D.]
Mocheol Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 527
Loc: Dublin, Ireland
GaryD

Surely its obvious.

Sloppy fingers having received rap on knuckles will be more careful next time.

To be more careful with fingering is a positive result.



Edited by Mocheol (05/11/09 07:46 PM)
_________________________
vcz

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