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#1258976 - 08/30/09 12:44 PM Never give up on a trier!
Barni Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/30/09
Posts: 1
Loc: Durham
A music teacher contacted me a few years ago and asked if I would be prepared to take on a pupil who she had decided to let go. This ten year old boy had been unsuccessful three times at Grade 1 (keyboard). On meeting the lad with his parents I was struck by his pleasant manner, intelligence and quiet determination. He played quite well but had serious timing difficulties. I was currently entering candidates for the next session and he persuaded me to enter him for another try, even though we only had a couple of months to make the necessary improvements. During one of his lessons I casually ask if he had any other interests; he enthusiastically replied “High-jumping – I’m the best in school”. Thereafter we drew a symbol of a high-jump above the pieces he found most difficult using metronome speeds instead of height measurements.
Starting at very slow speeds he had to play perfectly in order to ‘clear the bar’ and qualify for the next height.
We would then rub out the line (drawn in pencil) and draw the next one. On reaching the recommended speed he would be awarded an ‘Olympic Gold-Star’. He made astonishing progress and to everybody’s delight achieved an honours pass for Grade 1. He was soon enjoying the syncopated tunes from ‘Microstyles’ and is almost ready for Grade 2. Fortunately, his timing problems are a thing of the past. A few years later – (Mark)has now passed his grade 7 (keyboard exam LCM)

Now that is why teaching is the one of the most worthwhile professions.

I recently published an e-book called ‘The Piano Teacher Survival Guide’ and included this experience among others.

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#1259094 - 08/30/09 04:57 PM Re: Never give up on a trier! [Re: Barni]
Full Member

Registered: 07/16/09
Posts: 89
Loc: New York, USA
Hey Barni -

What a great story! And kudos for the "clear the bar" imagery. thumb
It's wonderful to get results from a student, especially one that poses a challenge of some sort.

I'm writing an e-book myself on scales in hopes of making scales and their fingering more fun, and therefore easier to accomplish.

Would love to access your e-book. Do you have an active website?

Joan Edward

Private piano teacher, 20+ years


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