Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician
SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
Ad (Piano Sing)
How to Make Your Piano Sing
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
Who's Online
115 registered (Anita Potter, Abby Pianoman, ando, anotherscott, 36251, 28 invisible), 1509 Guests and 18 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Topic Options
#1245306 - 08/07/09 11:06 AM too much expression?
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
This is a sensitive topic that I feel the need to start a thread on, just hoping I can communicate it without being offensive eek, here goes:

Do you have students who play with too much expression? Extraneous, distracting moving around, arm moving, wrist lifting, weaving on the bench, etc.? Something that they were taught to do with another teacher perhaps? Picture a child playing a Beethoven sonatina with this type of moving around.
As his new teacher, I want to encourage expression, of course.
But when it's too much and distracting? I'm curious as to how you handle this.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

Top
(ad) Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1245308 - 08/07/09 11:12 AM Re: too much expression? [Re: Barb860]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
I have a gal, and I've mentioned her before, that rocks. She doesn't rock to the beat, but just rocks. I have tried telling her to sit still, showing her how to rock to the beat, nothing seems to help.

When she was littler she would swing her legs, not to the beat either.

I also have an ADHD 10 y/o boy (I mention it because I think it's relevant) that uses his whole body to push down the pedals! It's funny to watch smile. He can't do anything half-way, it's all or nothing smile

Both are too much and distracting, but I haven't' figured out how to handle it yet wink Maybe I'll get some ideas here too.
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

Top
#1245317 - 08/07/09 11:22 AM Re: too much expression? [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
LVP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Vermont
I used to tutor little kids and I had a lot with ADD/ADHD. They would often jiggle and fuss in their seats to the point of not being able to hear what I was saying.

I used to do two things- one was to institute a dancing/wiggling break when they were having trouble concentrating (like, "Ok, now let's take three minutes to dance and wiggle every part of our selves to the radio, and then back to math!!!). You could even accompany a little dance break!

I also used to ask the parents to schedule some active outside time before tutoring so that they wouldn't have too much pent up energy!

Good luck!
_________________________
LVP
Charles Walter 1500
Korg SP-170s

Top
#1245327 - 08/07/09 11:59 AM Re: too much expression? [Re: LVP]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
This student I'm talking about is not in the ADD category. This is someone who is using unnatural, extraneous over-the-top expressive movements in his playing. Example: lifting wrists really high and waving arms. Perhaps he was taught these movements and they are now exagerated to the point that it gets in the way of his playing.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

Top
#1245332 - 08/07/09 12:13 PM Re: too much expression? [Re: Barb860]
Arghhh Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 1166
Originally Posted By: Barb860
Do you have students who play with too much expression? Extraneous, distracting moving around, arm moving, wrist lifting, weaving on the bench, etc.?


This sounds like a good description of what shouldn't be done. I suppose there are two questions to ask. First "does the movement visually add to or detract from the music?", and second "do the movements impact the quality of the playing?" For example, with arms flapping around, the accuracy might suffer.

I once saw a video of myself playing and was kind of embarassed about how I moved around. Now every time I play in front of an audience I am worried about how I look.

Top
#1245336 - 08/07/09 12:19 PM Re: too much expression? [Re: Arghhh]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3243
Loc: Virginia, USA
Is it really a big deal, worth making an issue over?

Does it fundamentally limit their technique, in a manner that will have an effect for that student's likely musical career? (a student destined for a career as a concert pianist may need to be held to a stricter standard than one who is playing for personal enrichment, etc.)

Are they having fun? It sounds like it.

I move when I play or sing. It may not be as extreme as your student, I dunno, but I see people who move much less and much more than I. There is a wide variation available before you get so off balance you can't play - and even a few who seem to exceed that and still do well.

I think if they were making progress in other ways I'd be inclined to let that one go. Pick your battles.
_________________________
gotta go practice

Top
#1245378 - 08/07/09 01:34 PM Re: too much expression? [Re: TimR]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
My son moves when he plays. He had a teacher who didn't like it. Spent a lot of time focussed on it. Said my son's expression should be coming from his fingers, not his body. The teacher found it quite distracting.

I don't think there was anything extreme or dangerous about his movement, or that interrupted his technique. I knew my son was talented and musical, and I was frustrated listening to the teacher spend week after week on this, but my son liked the teacher so I let it go. He managed to convince my son that something was wrong with him, and he quit liking piano or thinking that he was any good at it. I finally had enough (let it go on for 3 years) and made him switch teachers. He was mad at me for a couple weeks, then came and thanked me. He still moves (although he plays his other instrument more than piano - moves there, too.) Gets lots of comments on how expressive he is, and he is a lot of fun to watch.

I think if you see something particularly inappropriate, you could concentrate on that one action. But some people just have to dance!
_________________________
piano teacher

Top
#1245428 - 08/07/09 03:24 PM Re: too much expression? [Re: TimR]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: TimR
Is it really a big deal, worth making an issue over?

Does it fundamentally limit their technique, in a manner that will have an effect for that student's likely musical career? (a student destined for a career as a concert pianist may need to be held to a stricter standard than one who is playing for personal enrichment, etc.)

Are they having fun? It sounds like it.

I move when I play or sing. It may not be as extreme as your student, I dunno, but I see people who move much less and much more than I. There is a wide variation available before you get so off balance you can't play - and even a few who seem to exceed that and still do well.

I think if they were making progress in other ways I'd be inclined to let that one go. Pick your battles.


The student does not appear to be comfortable with the moving around and his movements are not natural, they are exagerated and distracting, even percussive. I agree that picking our battles and letting this issue go could be the right thing to do. Perhaps as he learns new material, he will let go of some of the moving around if I am not asking him to add any in, if that makes sense. What I am gently trying to say here is that it appears the kid has learned to play this way. I'm not saying it's wrong, I just feel it's not comfortable for the student and too much.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

Top
#1245446 - 08/07/09 03:58 PM Re: too much expression? [Re: Barb860]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3243
Loc: Virginia, USA
He may just be an awkward kid, and you're picking that up.

In general it is harder to tell somebody not to do something than to do something else that conflicts with it.

Like, I dunno, never say "don't play with flat fingers" if you can say "please play that with fingers curved like this." Positive works better than negative if you can figure out how to ask for it.
_________________________
gotta go practice

Top
#1245485 - 08/07/09 05:33 PM Re: too much expression? [Re: TimR]
ProdigalPianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 1049
Loc: Phoenix Metro, AZ
Pick out some really calm music and ask him to allow his body to demonstrate calmness as well?

You can tell people the emotion comes from the fingers and not the body but until you show them exactly how to do that, they'll likely try to "play with emotion" by body movements...
_________________________
Adult Amateur Pianist

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

Top

Moderator:  Ken Knapp 
What's Hot!!

Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
(ad) Piano Music Sale - Dover Publications
Piano Music Sale
Sheet Music Plus (125)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Neo-soul keys on Steinberg's half-price sale
by dire tonic
47 minutes 2 seconds ago
Bob Marley - Is this love piano cover
by Danijelcro
Today at 07:28 AM
android - QWERTY bluetooth keyboard as a midi piano
by mathy10544
Today at 06:30 AM
Black Friday is here - Seen any deals?
by MeghanM
Today at 01:16 AM
MIDI in on a Kawai VPC-1...
by pocoapoco
Today at 12:35 AM
Forum Stats
77074 Members
42 Forums
159414 Topics
2341763 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
Gift Ideas for Music Lovers!
Find the Perfect Gift for the Music Lovers on your List!
Visit our online store today.

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission