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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: 2443
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: 3343
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!
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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 Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7200
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?
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Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
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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: 3343
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!
_________________________
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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
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#1195253 - 05/07/09 06:42 PM Re: How do you teach self-discipline? [Re: Diane...]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4649
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)
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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: 2443
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.
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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: 2443
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: 2443
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.
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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.
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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. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4649
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
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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. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4649
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?
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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)
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vcz

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