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#1253379 - 08/21/09 12:49 PM Stubborn young student..
BSP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/03/07
Posts: 209
Loc: Hudson Valley, NY
Hello all,
I have an 8 year old student in her third year of lessons. She is a transfer student, having studied with 2 different Suzuki faculty in her 3 years at the school where I teach.
One teacher left abruptly mid-semester. The child's second teacher took her mid-semester, but then decided at the end of spring session she no longer wanted beginning students. I'm not sure if *this* particular student is the reason why, but.. I wouldn't be surprised. The student was then transferred to me since I taught over the summer.

The mother was very adamant about continuing in Suzuki.. even to the point of being willing to travel almost 2 hours to take lessons with the former head of the Suzuki department in her new location. She agreed to give me a try, so.. we just finished our summer lessons yesterday. I do believe that the family would like to continue with me.

OK.. so now, about the student. Her Mom warned me about her, and she wasn't kidding. This child is very willful. Wants to do everything her way, and doesn't take direction very well. She's not snotty or obnoxious in temperament, but for example, we are starting a piece, Hummel's "Ecossaise" in C major. The opening phrase is C E C E G, which is fingered 2 4 2 4 5.
I demonstrated the phrase using the above fingering. She played it with 1 3 1 3 5. (you see where this is going,right?)

I demo'd it again with 2 4, she played it 1 3. We went through this a few times, until I jokingly asked, "are you purposely trying to do it differently than I showed you?". She laughed, then followed through with the desired fingering. This is indicative of the challenges I have with this student. I'll show her one way, she will invent her own way, which will get her into big trouble later. (i.e., playing with flat fingers as opposed to curved) I'm not sure whether she is just testing me, or what, but I can tell you that I will eventually lose my patience with her. And it does make me wonder what happened with her former teacher. I do intend to ask her if I see the teacher in the fall.

I guess this is the "thing" about teaching. You can teach the best way you know how, but if the student isn't open to receiving the info you are giving.. are you still teaching? I did try and explain to the student why it was better to finger the phrase this particular way. And, I did try explaining why her flat fingered approach was going to be difficult for her. But I knew I was in trouble when I asked her, "Have your other teachers told you about playing with flat fingers?", and she said, "yes. all of them". Oh dear.
frown

The mother has to call me to schedule a time for the fall. I intend to ask her (per my music therapy training) what the best way to motivate her daughter is, though, from our initial discussion, I'm not very sure she herself knows.

What is a good way for me to approach teaching this student? The "do it my way because I say so" approach is not going to work for this one. LOL

thanks,
BevP


Edited by BSP (08/21/09 12:55 PM)
Edit Reason: I keep thinking of stuff.

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#1253382 - 08/21/09 12:59 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: BSP]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
When I have a kid do the opposite of what I say (the fingering thing) I don't say a word.
I will play 2 4 2 4 5 and then just wait.

Eventually they get sick of sitting there (I think it is a lot more uncomfortable for them than it is for me wink ) and play it. If they play it 1 3 1 3 5 again, I will repeat 2 4 2 4 5, still not say a word, and sit and wait again. If they continue to play after they played it wrong I will tell them to stop and we will do it all again.

I found arguing, cajoling and like you said, "do as I say" just aren't effective. Most the kids really do NOT like that silence.

Oh, and I'm looking right at them the whole time it's quiet too smile After they do finally play it, I will say something like "nicely done, continue on" or what have you.
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1253385 - 08/21/09 01:02 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: BSP]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
Originally Posted By: BSP
I intend to ask her (per my music therapy training) what the best way to motivate her daughter is, though, from our initial discussion, I'm not very sure she herself knows


Mom knows what works at home. I would ask if you can get the name/number of her case manager (is she Spec Ed? Possibly could be Oppositional Defiance Disorder) or at least her teacher so you can find out what works at school.
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1253396 - 08/21/09 01:15 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
If I were a teacher, I would direct the student to use the fingering I intended at the outset. After the demonstration, I don't understand she was allowed to use her own fingering without being corrected (or why the cycle was repeated without the issue being addressed).

I would never have foreseen that an innocuous question could be a minefield, but maybe giving a child the opportunity to tell an untruth is asking for trouble. And, after all, it's irrelevant whether her past teachers told her to play with flat fingers. That was then, this is now—and you are telling her not to.

It's been many decades since I was a child taking lessons, but I assumed it's still the case that teachers instruct and students follow instructions. Doesn't everything proceed from that fundamental fact? More generally, don't children still defer to adult authority figures?

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1253408 - 08/21/09 01:31 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: sotto voce]
Mrs.A Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 155
Could this child have an oppositional defiance disorder? I am fortunate to have very cooperative students and it is not because I am a good teacher. Most kids are fairly well behaved and if they are this bad, I would consider other reasons like some kind of personality disorder. Just a thought.
_________________________
Piano Teacher.
Church Music Director.
Kindermusik Instructor.
Mom to four boys.


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#1253411 - 08/21/09 01:34 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: Mrs.A]
Mrs.A Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 155
OOPS I see Ebony already mentioned the defiance disorder. I would put my money on it. The question is, how do express this concern to the parent. Good Luck.
_________________________
Piano Teacher.
Church Music Director.
Kindermusik Instructor.
Mom to four boys.


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#1253416 - 08/21/09 01:47 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: sotto voce]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
More generally, don't children still defer to adult authority figures?
Steven


HA! Wouldn't THAT be nice?! wink

Too many rules in place that protect the kids now, and not the teachers. Kids know it and walk all over us.

The first time I saw kids disrespecting the liasion officer and principal I was astounded. Now I see it's just a way of life.
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1253476 - 08/21/09 03:18 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
BSP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/03/07
Posts: 209
Loc: Hudson Valley, NY
Gosh.. why didn't I think of that? Oppositional defiant disorder. I bet you all are correct... especially after hearing Mom's frustration with her. I do expect to speak with the parent..thanks guys..

sotto voce.. I *did* correct the student, in the exact way that E/I discussed, silently. After a few tries of this, instead of displaying frustration, (which is what I was feeling, and I felt she was "baiting" me), I decided to try to joke about it. Then, she played it the correct way.

I had a student (actually, my next door neighbor) that was rumored to have ODD. I reluctantly took her as a student, and wound up, after a particularly difficult lesson, having her sign a contract requiring positive behaviors at lessons. Mom signed it, student signed it, and we had 1 great lesson after that. The student was prepared and everything. Then she took vacation, a close relative of hers died.. and I never saw her as a student again, much to my relief. My other neighbors even asked me.. "You're teaching XXXXXX? Good luck!"..

Wow.. ODD. I'll have to check my DSM-IV. Thanks, all!
BevP

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#1253578 - 08/21/09 05:43 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: BSP]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
I don't believe that any teacher is qualified to correct fingering, or technique, or posture, etc. These will all vary depending
on the physiology and psychology of the individual student. What works for one person may cause serious physical
problems with another. The student is right here, not the teacher, because the student knows his own body
and what will work best for it. Trying to force some theoretically correct fingering on her can cause serious physical
harm if it is not right for her physiology and psychology.

This is why the dropout rate is so high in piano. Teachers force supposedly correct fingering on the student,
typically the fingering on the score, which was put in by an editorial hack at the music publisher, a one-size-fits-all,
generic fingering that was devised in the early 1900's by a hack to fit most consumers' hands. This is hardly
going to be the right fingering for everyone. But this kind of generic fingering is forced on students from day
one, and they persist with it, even reaching quite high levels with it, but eventually the body and mind will
rebel against doing something that does not suit it, and the playing will be shut down, either by injury, or
loss of interest, or lousy playing, etc.

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#1253579 - 08/21/09 05:47 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: Gyro]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
WOWZA!!!! GYRO WROTE ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE TEXT BOX!!!!!!!!!

grin grin grin
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1253589 - 08/21/09 06:09 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: Gyro]
AJF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 1625
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: Gyro
I don't believe that any teacher is qualified to correct fingering, or technique, or posture, etc. These will all vary depending
on the physiology and psychology of the individual student. What works for one person may cause serious physical
problems with another. The student is right here, not the teacher, because the student knows his own body
and what will work best for it. Trying to force some theoretically correct fingering on her can cause serious physical
harm if it is not right for her physiology and psychology.

This is why the dropout rate is so high in piano. Teachers force supposedly correct fingering on the student,
typically the fingering on the score, which was put in by an editorial hack at the music publisher, a one-size-fits-all,
generic fingering that was devised in the early 1900's by a hack to fit most consumers' hands. This is hardly
going to be the right fingering for everyone. But this kind of generic fingering is forced on students from day
one, and they persist with it, even reaching quite high levels with it, but eventually the body and mind will
rebel against doing something that does not suit it, and the playing will be shut down, either by injury, or
loss of interest, or lousy playing, etc.




Gyro
This is an absolutely ridiculous post. No beginner knows what's best for their body sitting at the piano. The human body (especially that of a child) is extremely adaptable. If a beginning student was left to their own devices as far as fingering and posture etc. goes THAT is what would eventually cause serious physical harm. I've taught hundreds of students in my career from 5 year old beginners up to (currently) University level performance majors. The vast majority of students who have had problems with tendonitis and other injuries are the ones with strange and unorthodox technical habits that were never corrected.
It is absolutely necessary for a teacher to correct technique and posture when working with a student of any level


Edited by AJF (08/21/09 06:12 PM)

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#1253590 - 08/21/09 06:09 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: Horowitzian]
J Cortese Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/20/09
Posts: 357
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
"Teachers force supposedly correct fingering on the student, typically the fingering on the score, which was put in by an editorial hack at the music publisher, a one-size-fits-all, generic fingering that was devised in the early 1900's by a hack to fit most consumers' hands. This is hardly going to be the right fingering for everyone."

I know. Human hands have changed so much since the 1900s.

:-D
_________________________
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#1253594 - 08/21/09 06:22 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: J Cortese]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5512
Loc: Orange County, CA
Gyro's post has some merit. The fingering added by editors doesn't always work. I actually prefer editions that give zero fingering, so I can write in my own instead of crossing out a bunch of editorialized fingerings.

I do have students who rebel against proper fingering. They prefer to come up with their own illogical, crazy fingerings. They play the same passage ten times and will use ten different sets of fingering. Alas, these are the kids who play poorly, with much stumbling, and ultimately quit piano because they sound bad.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1253614 - 08/21/09 07:00 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: AZNpiano]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
I want to ask you if asking her to say aloud the finger numbers marked on the page would make her more accountable. If she says "2" "4", you both would expect the same result. Is it possible she doesn't know her finger numbers? Or, maybe she can't access them when she thinks of the finger number and she has absolute digit confusion? You could go to a table top and remove the sound from the fingering equation - sitting next to her so that she can copy your movements of what you expect to see.

I think it would be important to see that she can reply to the demands of fingering in music before she be allowed to choose the fingering as the music progresses. Some teaches would allow this innate selection, some wouldn't. Certainly what she is doing does not reflect discipline and control, which is what most of us would like to see in our students habits.

She may be random/abstract and you are concrete/sequential - opposing forces. Patience and endurance is the only way through this one.

After enough of this resistance from her, I would have probably said, "We will be here on this point for the rest of the lesson until you cooperate with the markings on the music." The next remark might be "Are you having a learning problem about this?" "Do you find this difficult?"

Perhaps I have less rebellion about fingering because I start students with pre-charts which require a keyboard graphical positon (most of the beginning ones are Middle C - superimposed thumbs - or placement of thumbs on adjacent notes). The only way to play the song is to follow the finger numbers. The "music" looks like this:

RH ____________________
LH

The numbers are played in steady TA's and any numbers written closely together are ti ti's.
Example of Bingo starting: LH 4 1 1 4 4 3 3 4 4 1 1
Example of Happy Birthday starting: LH 44 3 4 1 2 -

So we have the disciplined impulse that we work with first before exacting letter names of the keys or reading from the music staff. To me, this is an incredible way of starting because impulses do need to be controlled and there must be a first thought sent of which hand/which finger will touch the key from the music staff to the keyboard location. This seems to prep them enough, and build confidence. Using many graphics for positions builds visual acuity. Making it so easy for them to make music lets their ears kick in to enjoy the music they are making. It seems to work best with songs they already know from childhood or folk sources.

Through the use of precharts the discipline of following finger number is required. This means that later the student will always note fingering indications in the music.

So I use all fingerings to start with and as we have success in reading different positions on the music staff, the need for number the notes is reduced. You might only have to number the starting notes on each line, or when the position changes. At this point, I recommend teaching by distance and direction of intervals as we are still working with shaping melodies.

Tracking two notes, one each per hand is the next step. Keeping the coordination simple makes for success and then working through more complicated combinations of Left/Right/Together.

It's really difficult when student's present innate obstacles to learning - it's hard to get their attention and cooperation - since they only know what they know in how to function.

We teach them how to accept, think, plan and build.

We can't win this one without their interest and cooperation.

While doing this, it's important not to do damage to their self esteem or be too negative in our approach. Situations like this can bring out the "beast" in the teacher and the student. Grrr.

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#1253621 - 08/21/09 07:11 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: Betty Patnude]
LVP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Vermont
WAIT ONE MINUTE! I thought the dropout rate was because acoustic pianos were too loud! Now I can't have a teacher for technique either? Methinks someone had a bad teacher once upon a time. And a Betsy Ross to boot!
_________________________
LVP
Charles Walter 1500
Korg SP-170s

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#1253635 - 08/21/09 07:32 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: Betty Patnude]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5512
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
While doing this, it's important not to do damage to their self esteem or be too negative in our approach. Situations like this can bring out the "beast" in the teacher and the student. Grrr.


_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1253647 - 08/21/09 07:54 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: AZNpiano]
Sal_ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/08
Posts: 355
Loc: Lacey, WA
Okay, I skimmed but didn't read all. It would seem I'm also meaner than you are... Generally if something's weird in the music, but there's a reason, we/the student will try it both ways, and often enough when trying to speed it up things simply just don't work out with one of the ways... if they do, then hey, so what? For instance, I'd like to see really fast flat-fingered scales. (If the ODD thing doesn't work out, it's worth a try?)

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#1253650 - 08/21/09 07:58 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: Gyro]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1492
Originally Posted By: Gyro
I don't believe that any teacher is qualified to correct fingering, or technique, or posture, etc. These will all vary depending
on the physiology and psychology of the individual student. What works for one person may cause serious physical
problems with another. The student is right here, not the teacher, because the student knows his own body
and what will work best for it. Trying to force some theoretically correct fingering on her can cause serious physical
harm if it is not right for her physiology and psychology.

This is why the dropout rate is so high in piano. Teachers force supposedly correct fingering on the student,
typically the fingering on the score, which was put in by an editorial hack at the music publisher, a one-size-fits-all,
generic fingering that was devised in the early 1900's by a hack to fit most consumers' hands. This is hardly
going to be the right fingering for everyone. But this kind of generic fingering is forced on students from day
one, and they persist with it, even reaching quite high levels with it, but eventually the body and mind will
rebel against doing something that does not suit it, and the playing will be shut down, either by injury, or
loss of interest, or lousy playing, etc.


Gyro, most students are normal human being. Very few, especially if the pieces are beginner pices, do we need to alter the fingering to fit certain students. When the pieces are advance, most likely we may need to accomodate the physical differences. For example, Fur Elise, 99.99999% of normal human beings will have no problem with 5454.... if the student insisted on using difference fingering, the teacher should take a look, and find out why using 54545...is not comfortable for this particular student. If the student wants to use different fingering just for the sake of using crazing fingering, the teacher should insist on using normal fingering.

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#1253653 - 08/21/09 08:03 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: AZNpiano]
BSP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/03/07
Posts: 209
Loc: Hudson Valley, NY
I will ask this student when she returns to say the finger numbers as we do the passage. I see a lot of logic, however, in sticking to the fingering as it's written. It's so much for me to explain, but the passage as written starts on treble C, arpeggiates up to G, which is played with the pinky, then arpeggiates down to the G in "middle C" position. Starting this passage on 2 leaves the thumb free to finger the G in middle C position, with little change in hand position. From what I've observed with this student, the less hand movement, the better.

I'm not interested in getting into a power struggle with this student, either, so I hope that by speaking with the mother, I can get some insight on how to proceed with her.

BevP

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#1253663 - 08/21/09 08:19 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: LVP]
Mrs.A Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 155
Originally Posted By: lvp
WAIT ONE MINUTE! I thought the dropout rate was because acoustic pianos were too loud! Now I can't have a teacher for technique either? Methinks someone had a bad teacher once upon a time. And a Betsy Ross to boot!


Brilliant. I havn't seen you post much here lvp. Please come back. I look forward to reading more.
_________________________
Piano Teacher.
Church Music Director.
Kindermusik Instructor.
Mom to four boys.


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#1253702 - 08/21/09 08:50 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: Mrs.A]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4812
Loc: South Florida
Almost every time I have a serious problem with a student of any age, I see consistently irrational behavior coming from one or both parents.

I'm not saying that ODD does not exist, but I am saying that a lot of bizarre behavoir is at least partially if not primarily caused by irrational adults.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1253821 - 08/22/09 12:41 AM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: Gary D.]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1492
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Almost every time I have a serious problem with a student of any age, I see consistently irrational behavior coming from one or both parents.

I'm not saying that ODD does not exist, but I am saying that a lot of bizarre behavoir is at least partially if not primarily caused by irrational adults.


100% agree.... In general, odd kids came from odd parents.

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#1253904 - 08/22/09 08:35 AM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: RonaldSteinway]
BSP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/03/07
Posts: 209
Loc: Hudson Valley, NY
The Mom sounded perfectly "normal" to me, when I spoke to her and saw her. I wonder if the parents are divorced or something, though. I also believe she is the only child.

BevP

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#1253905 - 08/22/09 08:38 AM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: Gary D.]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Almost every time I have a serious problem with a student of any age, I see consistently irrational behavior coming from one or both parents.

I'm not saying that ODD does not exist, but I am saying that a lot of bizarre behavoir is at least partially if not primarily caused by irrational adults.


Absolutely!!! Then add the Drs on top of that who put them on drugs and the rest is history.
"If we put the kid into a constant daze, they will be easier to manage". (NOT saying there aren't any disorders out there and don't mean to offend anyone.)
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1254038 - 08/22/09 02:13 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: BSP]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1492
Originally Posted By: BSP
The Mom sounded perfectly "normal" to me, when I spoke to her and saw her. I wonder if the parents are divorced or something, though. I also believe she is the only child.

BevP


It is interesting that you mention about divorce. To me teaching students from a divorce parent is also harder.

Just be patient, sooner or later, you will have certain number of students who have personalty that matches yours, and these students will refer you to their friends. Their friends usually will have the same personality like theirs. It takes one or two years to weed out students who do not match your teaching style and personality. yippie

Ron

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#1254039 - 08/22/09 02:20 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: Mrs.A]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Originally Posted By: lvp
WAIT ONE MINUTE! I thought the dropout rate was because acoustic pianos were too loud! Now I can't have a teacher for technique either? Methinks someone had a bad teacher once upon a time. And a Betsy Ross to boot!

Mrs A: Brilliant. I havn't seen you post much here lvp. Please come back. I look forward to reading more.


Betty: Ditto!

Humor is a good thing to resort to when all else is lost - but perhaps humor really belongs as our first response.

I could learn from you! Laughter feels good!


Edited by Betty Patnude (08/22/09 02:22 PM)

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#1254078 - 08/22/09 03:19 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: Betty Patnude]
MrsCamels Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/09
Posts: 176
Loc: Los Angeles
I've never heard of ODD - can someone please explain?
Isn't opposition something we ALL have? I admit I'm a bit skeptical - like when ADD is used to account for why it's difficult to get a 10 year old boy to sit quietly at a desk for 9 hours.

When it comes to the independent student, I find that choices work the best - it disarms them from their only position, which is "don't do what the teacher says". That is their power grab. If instead you approach that kind of student with choices "The finger here is 24245. You can do that, or try another way. Whatever fingering you use has to be fluid and allow you maintain proper hand position while you moving into the next section, etc." Then you're taking away her option of defying you because YOU gave her the option, rather than her surprising you with it.
Another option is to say, "That's a great idea! You should always check the fingering to make sure it works with your hand, since hands are all different sizes. Let's see if the fingering you'd rather use still works when you connect sections."

etc. etc.
I'm sure you have tons of examples of her doing the opposite of what you say - I have a few of those myself. The jist of what I'm saying is put the power back in your hands by granting choices rather than being surprised by them.
_________________________
Teaching since 2004
Private studio owner since 2008
www.ecsorota.com

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#1254224 - 08/22/09 07:37 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: MrsCamels]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17786
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: MrsCamels
I've never heard of ODD - can someone please explain?


Symptoms of ODD (from Mr. Google):

Frequent temper tantrums
Excessive arguing with adults
Often questioning rules
Active defiance and refusal to comply with adult requests and rules
Deliberate attempts to annoy or upset people
Blaming others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior
Often being touchy or easily annoyed by others
Frequent anger and resentment
Mean and hateful talking when upset
Spiteful attitude and revenge seeking

If this sounds like just about every toddler on the planet, you're right. wink ODD is really meant to apply to those children who take these symptoms to the extreme; think of a textbook "uncontrollable" and acting-out child.

There just isn't enough information in the original post to determine whether the child in question has ODD. All children disobey and act up at times, and they're usually not ODD.
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#1254236 - 08/22/09 08:13 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: Monica K.]
BSP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/03/07
Posts: 209
Loc: Hudson Valley, NY
Well, perhaps we did jump the gun in "labeling" this student in this manner. To have ODD, she probably has to display several of these characteristics at once. She does have the active defiance characteristic, as evidenced by my lessons with her. I have no idea if her refusal to try my fingering was a "deliberate attempt to annoy".. but it's very possible it could have been, based on the fact that we went back and forth several times about it.

It's very possible that she questions rules and argues with her mother, based on what her mother has shared with me. The very first thing she told me was, "She is 7 years old, but you're going to think she is 11." I've not observed her being mean and hateful talking, but I did get the feeling that mother has her hands full with this one.

Mother also shared that the student is on the swim team. The mother swims, but is not a musician. Mother must have given the student some swimming advice that worked out well.
When she asked the daughter, "Why do you listen to me when it comes to swimming and not piano?", the answer from the daughter was, "because you know what you're talking about when it comes to swimming."

Mother also shared that the previous piano teacher was too "laid back".. she didn't actively correct her very much, didn't control the lessons, etc..

I'm not rushing to judgment here, but I mean, if you're describing your child to a teacher, before the teacher has met her, and these are the stories you choose to share... what conclusion am I to draw? My first impression, quite honestly, was that the child was willful.
And, I waited to see how that would manifest. And, our interaction over the fingering was an example of that.

Personally, I appreciated that a few posters made that clear to me, because, even if she doesn't "officially" have this disorder, knowing that it is possible makes her situation a bit easier for me, because now I know to "expect" this scenario going forward.

ODD? Possibly. Willful? Definitely.

I mean, when you are a student, on some level, you have to be *willing* to be taught, yes? If she wants to do her own thing and not be corrected, then why have a teacher?

BevP

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#1254261 - 08/22/09 08:51 PM Re: Stubborn young student.. [Re: BSP]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11730
Loc: Canada
This struck me the first day:
Quote:
.... even to the point of being willing to travel almost 2 hours to take lessons with the former head of the Suzuki department in her new location.

Four hour round trip for an 8 year old child? A parent who would consider this? A clue?

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