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#1261925 - 09/03/09 04:19 PM Would YOU give in?
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
You have a student who has spent two months on a sonatina. He has completed 2 out of the 3 movements and is almost done with the 3rd. 3rd movement has some trills in it that are difficult but he is almost there. You tell him to keep going and continue to help him with the ornaments. He comes back to his next lesson and says, "my mom is tired of this piece and wants me to move on". You tell Mom how close Son is to completing the piece and you don't want him to give up on it, and that he is in the process of learning these trills. She says, "he can learn them in another piece, he needs to move on."
Do you move on?
footnote: Student is working on other pieces, not just this one.
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#1261934 - 09/03/09 04:28 PM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: Barb860]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
I don't teach kids (thank God) but if it were me I'd tell the mother to stop interfering in so many words.

In fact, that's one of the dumbest things a parent could have said to the child. She's basically asking him to give up.

Now, if it were the kid himself asking you to stop, it's a little different. My 4 cents.
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#1261946 - 09/03/09 04:50 PM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: eweiss]
Mrs.A Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 155
I had a student preparing Machines on the Loose for an audition. If you havn’t heard it, you can imagine it. After two weeks, the parents said they couldn’t take it any longer. We chose another piece.

I would suggest moving on unless this piece is being prepared for recital or audition. I will draw a gravestone on the top of the music and write “R.I.P” when it was obvious the student has learned everything he was going to learn from it. It gets a good laugh.

Kris
_________________________
Piano Teacher.
Church Music Director.
Kindermusik Instructor.
Mom to four boys.


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#1261950 - 09/03/09 04:54 PM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: Barb860]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11655
Loc: Canada
Does the student want to give up on the piece? Doesn't the person who is doing the studying and practicing have a say?

(As parent of a now adult who was once a student.)

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#1261961 - 09/03/09 05:13 PM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: keystring]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: keystring
Does the student want to give up on the piece? Doesn't the person who is doing the studying and practicing have a say?

(As parent of a now adult who was once a student.)


I don't think the student wants to give up on the piece. At one time he did, but then he started playing the trills to his satisfaction (and mine) and I felt a renewed interest on his part to keep going. The thing with this kid is, he gives up too easily on other pieces and I keep encouraging him to finish, to get that feeling of completion.
Mom says things like, "you are wasting your time by practicing slowly" and wants her son to have new pieces about every other week or so. That's just not possible at his level.
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#1261962 - 09/03/09 05:14 PM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: Mrs.A]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: Mrs.A
I had a student preparing Machines on the Loose for an audition. If you havn’t heard it, you can imagine it. After two weeks, the parents said they couldn’t take it any longer. We chose another piece.

I would suggest moving on unless this piece is being prepared for recital or audition. I will draw a gravestone on the top of the music and write “R.I.P” when it was obvious the student has learned everything he was going to learn from it. It gets a good laugh.

Kris


Love the RIP idea smile
I just want him to play the piece through and feel good about it.
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#1261969 - 09/03/09 05:35 PM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: Barb860]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
This is why digital pianos are so great. With the volume
turned down or using headphones, a pianist can pound away on
anything, for eons, and not bother people. With an acoustic piano,
which teachers almost universally insist on, a student can literally
drive people nuts by repetitive playing of the same piece, which is
most likely the case here.

I've been working on several difficult pieces for yrs. on digitals.
I would have been run out of my apt. building long ago if
I had been doing that on an acoustic.


Edited by Gyro (09/03/09 05:37 PM)

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#1261978 - 09/03/09 06:01 PM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: Gyro]
EJR Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 861
Loc: Bristol, UK
As an ABF, it would appear that this mother's level of interference needs to be dealt with directly.... it's undermining what you and your student are trying to achieve, if this can't be done then let him go....

Gyro is quite correct about the digital pianos though, practicing dilligently on an accoustic can drive people completely nuts; cycling phrases, repeated slow practice over and over, it must be like Chineese water torture to those who have to listen to it etc etc... Perhaps you need to explain these aspects of technique acquisition to the mother?
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#1261979 - 09/03/09 06:03 PM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: Gyro]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7348
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Barb, a whole lot depends on your personality and how good you are at handling conflict and asserting yourself.

Questions come to mind:

Mom, do you play the piano? Why not? Did you give up and quit? Is this what you want me to teach your child?

Mom, apparently I over-estimated your child's abilities. I'll find him something easier to work on.

But of course, we all know that there are hundreds of pieces students can learn to master the same technique. You could do what Gary D. does and write out your own trill etude. Start on C and work up through all whole tone and half tone steps. That ought to excite mom (or drive her through the roof).

You could use one octave scales with a trill on the 1st and 8th tone. Then have the student do this on G, D, A, etc.

BTW, two months on repertoire, especially a sonatina, unless it's totally elementary, is not out of the norm. Maybe a simple explanation to mom that as pieces become longer, both daily practice times and the time spent on a piece becomes longer as well.
_________________________
"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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#1261981 - 09/03/09 06:05 PM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7348
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Actually, Barb, now that I reflect on it a bit more, using some psychology, you and your student could conspire to drive mom batty. He might just be at that age where he'd love this. You could gain a student who puts in hours of practice just to spite his mom. You'd need to game this very, very carefully, however.
_________________________
"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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#1261991 - 09/03/09 06:16 PM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: Gyro]
bitWrangler Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1788
Loc: Central TX
One thing to consider is whether it's the student that's exhibiting behaviour at home that leads the mother to this conclusion vs simply mom getting sick of listening to the kid practice the same piece over and over. It could be that the kid is getting frustrated, showing lack of enthusiasm, etc during practice time, but not necessarily exhibiting this behaviour during the lesson. I know our daughter can do that esp. on longer pieces (she will express to us that she's tired of a piece but wouldn't "dare" act that way or express that feeling to her teacher).

I would think it would be best to just come right out and ask the mother exactly why he needs to move on. Is it just her, or is it him, or a combination of the two. If it is just (or mainly) her, then a reminder about life lessons might be in order (don't let the argument come down to piano issues, as she says, almost anything can be taught with an alternative piece, really this is about the bigger picture). Also might be worthwhile to also remind her that at the level he's at, that he will continually be working on longer pieces that will take longer stretches of time to master.

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#1261999 - 09/03/09 06:52 PM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Actually, Barb, now that I reflect on it a bit more, using some psychology, you and your student could conspire to drive mom batty. He might just be at that age where he'd love this. You could gain a student who puts in hours of practice just to spite his mom. You'd need to game this very, very carefully, however.


laugh Love this idea! He is 13 and in fact loves to drive his mom crazy and me too for that matter. Guess what? HE FINISHED THE PIECE TODAY!!! There is a God in heaven...
Kid comes in to his lesson, gives me that same old "I hate piano and can't do the trills ever" look. I asked him, "Did you give up on the piece? I bet you did, right?" He seemed to love the fact that I was wrong, then sat down and played it very well.

I forgot to mention that last year he learned and played very well the Alla Turca. It drove his mother nuts to listen to him play that piece every day. She told me so herself.


Edited by Barb860 (09/03/09 06:56 PM)
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#1262126 - 09/03/09 11:15 PM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: Barb860]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
Congratulations! Good for you and him!

Although it's too late for this situation, I did have a couple thoughts. First of all, how serious was Mom? I know that I have been known to complain about some drill or another that my kids were working on. Sometimes I complain because I know it will inspire my kid to do it all the more. wink Moms can do reverse psychology, too. Or this may have even been her way of letting you know her kid was practicing!

If the mom really was sick of it, I probably would have suggested a compromise - perhaps "Just give us one more week." Or even, "I'm willing to give him a week off, but then we're back to it. We aren't quitters here" Depending upon the relationship I have with the Mom, I might suggest she invest in a cheap pair of foam earplugs, or perhaps that she go out and do her gardening then. Or I would have simply turned to the son and said conspiratorily, "I need you to hurry up and master this so your mom doesn't get mad at me."
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#1262201 - 09/04/09 04:35 AM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: Lollipop]
NocturneLover Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/09
Posts: 149
Loc: Dantooine
No offense, but Mom is ridiculous. It's always the people who don't know anything about piano like Mom who give the strangest, weirdest, most uneducated opinions.

You're the teacher and you know what is best for the student not Mom, and Mom has to know that.
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"...music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy." -Ludwig van Beethoven

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#1262252 - 09/04/09 09:21 AM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: NocturneLover]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
I have a couple of piano moms like that...but the news comes from the child "Mom is sick of me playing this". I don't know if the student is sick of it and blaming the mom, or the mom really said that.
_________________________
~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

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#1262275 - 09/04/09 10:09 AM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: NocturneLover]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11753
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Thomas Lau
No offense, but Mom is ridiculous. It's always the people who don't know anything about piano like Mom who give the strangest, weirdest, most uneducated opinions.

You're the teacher and you know what is best for the student not Mom, and Mom has to know that.

thumb

I totally agree here. Who is the professional piano teacher with years of experience and education and credentials in music? I would tell her as much, perhaps a bit gentler, depending on the personality. Something like:

"You have entrusted me with your son's piano education, hopefully based on my expertise in the field as well as my abilities to work with your son and inspire him to learn music. Your interference with his practicing at home sends a negative message to him, that number one, I don't know what I'm doing, and number two, it's OK to give up when things get hard. It is typical for a person to study one piece for several months, and the daily repetition is necessary to master piano playing. By undermining the work that I'm trying to do here, you are essentially wasting your money and time put into lessons. I'm sure that's not what your goal is, but that is the outcome when you go against the instruction I've given him."

Then I would recommend what others have said: get some ear plugs or do a project somewhere else in the house where she can have some other music playing to drown him out, or simply find some outdoor activity to do when he practices.

She obviously has no idea what it takes to be a pianist of any respectable degree. Even Gyro's suggestion about getting a digital is a good one, although he should keep his acoustic and play on it for as long as mother can stand it, then switch to the digital with headphones.
_________________________
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#1262289 - 09/04/09 10:22 AM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: Morodiene]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
I would not jump all over Mom too aggressively. After all, she has committed her son to a piano education and gladly pays for it. Why do you expect her to have much understanding of piano pedagogy? I bet she would be receptive to some "gentle education" as suggested by some. You are much better off having her parked solidly on your side, for those harder times to come, when son hits more rebellious times..

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#1262292 - 09/04/09 10:27 AM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: NocturneLover]
bitWrangler Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1788
Loc: Central TX
Originally Posted By: Thomas Lau
No offense, but Mom is ridiculous. It's always the people who don't know anything about piano like Mom who give the strangest, weirdest, most uneducated opinions.

You're the teacher and you know what is best for the student not Mom, and Mom has to know that.


I don't quite get this attitude. It's a household with multiple occupants trying to get along together. As much as teachers complain about students dropping out altogether, I would think that there would be an understanding that there is some give and take involved. I'm sure no one is served if the parent gets so fed up that they just pull them out of lessons altogether. After all, the kid is the student but the parent is the customer. Is it the assumption that everyone else's desires become irrelevant compared to piano practice?

Not to mention that this reply seems to miss the point. It doesn't appear that the mom is saying that she "knows better" than the teacher. Simply that some combination of she and the student has burnt out on the piece.

Gyro is correct, this is one of the reasons why digitals are popular. I would think that everyone is better served if the root of the issue is brought out and solutions found.

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#1262308 - 09/04/09 11:04 AM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: Barb860]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
1) I would ask the young man to have his mother call me so we could talk about her concerns. I wouldn't give the comment the time of day without hearing it from her directly. If she wrote me a note, I'd write a note back; if she called, I'd call her; emailed, same; appeared in person, we'd talk if I had time and it wouldn't project into the next lesson, otherwise, I make arrangements with her about how and when we would discuss this. I'd handle this only with her, not the son. I'd ask her to always contact me directly first, that it's important to be a team of parent and teacher in support of the best interests of the child.

2) I'd probably start with "So, do I hear your son is practicing too much for you? And, that he's been working too many weeks on following his assignment instructions? Tell me about that.

3) She needs an opportunity to be heard and understood, but she should not be allowed to undermine the situation. Practice is not about playing for Mom's entertainment, practice is for getting things learned and completed. Maybe she's enjoy hearing his present a "performance" by playing through the most recent pieces (last year) for her and the family. If he's not prepared for that now, it could be a later date while he prepares. Or maybe by Christmas with some holiday music. I think she could be won over by his having accomplished some pieces that play to her satisfaction level - "My son, the musician."

4) I'd make sure she knows you have compliments for him and the way he has handled this piece to complete in such a "short" time. If he has good practice habits, playing hands alone, slowly, whatever your requirements are, she might like to know that you project that pieces will begin to take less time to practice because of his good practice habits. Make sure she knows practice is essential, and that a student is alwyas learning about effectice and efficient practice habits. Tell her she's be glad to know he is on track and that is why it's important that she understand only positive things should be said to him at home as a remark such as she is being "quoted" by her, is in the opposite direction of being helpful to him.

5) Ask her how she can reduce the time that she hears him practice so that the tediousness will not get to her. She needs to direct her attention to other things to give him the privacy he needs to practice. Maybe she needs the ipod and a headset while she does other things about the house.

6) There's lots of materials about the parent's role in music out there for us to help educate parents and family environment to be supportive of piano students. She needs a few ideas that will help her understand ways of contributing.

7) Get her interested in piano lessons for herself! Nothing like personal experience on the bench to help parents understand the difficulty level and thinking requirments much less the training that goes into piano music - it's NOT like reading a book or listening to music at all. It's an operations manual of training a human mind and physical body to produce musical sounds from the instrument according to accurately interpreting symbols on a page.

"This is an 88 key - 10 finger instrument operated by a living, breathing, thinking human!"

Yes, I've recently had parents, both school teachers, home for the summer comment on their 2 really great kids in their 3rd year of music. They were tired of hearing the repetition and had said so to the kids. During the school year they hear less of the practice overall. They thought it was taking too long for their summer assignment pieces to be finished. I told them about the kids great track record and good practice habits and that they were very quick to put together the under construcion part of their new summer music study. Every moment spent on something familiar to work through adds to their over all musicianship of stamina and endurance, while making the piece automatic for memorization, gaining control of interpretation and nuances, and acting as patterning in the brain. When they know it well there is a feeling they composed it themselves and it's pretty thrilling to "own" a piece. They are doing the right things building their long term musicianship. These kids produce lots of pieces every quarter and the parents don't realize how out in front they are in their accumulative finished pieces. So kids "entertaining" their parents from time to time with a few finished things can help to relieve the "all you ever do is practice" monotony.

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#1262317 - 09/04/09 11:37 AM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: Betty Patnude]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7348
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude


3) She needs an opportunity to be heard and understood, but she should not be allowed to undermine the situation. Practice is not about playing for Mom's entertainment, practice is for getting things learned and completed. Maybe she's enjoy hearing his present a "performance" by playing through the most recent pieces (last year) for her and the family. If he's not prepared for that now, it could be a later date while he prepares. Or maybe by Christmas with some holiday music. I think she could be won over by his having accomplished some pieces that play to her satisfaction level - "My son, the musician."


Betty, excellent point. I encourage my students to perform for their families on Sunday - a concert of their repertoire. Not many do it - families too busy to sit down and listen, but families, especially parents, do deserve to hear a polished program from time to time. They are investing heavily in student's education, after all.
_________________________
"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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#1262362 - 09/04/09 01:17 PM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
cardguy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 977
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Actually, Barb, now that I reflect on it a bit more, using some psychology, you and your student could conspire to drive mom batty. He might just be at that age where he'd love this. You could gain a student who puts in hours of practice just to spite his mom. You'd need to game this very, very carefully, however.


Great idea, take this child and enlist him in a plan to spite his own mother.
Smart.

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#1262392 - 09/04/09 02:05 PM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: cardguy]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7348
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Don't intentionally misconstrue my comments to mean that the teacher shouldn't keep the parent in the loop.
_________________________
"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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#1262513 - 09/04/09 05:07 PM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Don't intentionally misconstrue my comments to mean that the teacher shouldn't keep the parent in the loop.


I understood what you meant, John. We do have to lighten up sometimes! Let's face it, 13 year old boys can be a rowdy, scruffy, bunch. We must appeal to who they are.
Betty and everyone who asked whether or not the mom is involved with lessons and plays piano herself:
Yes and Yes.
Mom took lessons years ago. I have not heard her play but she has a good supply of music and has classical training. She and I have spoken over the phone, emailed, and met in person many times. She is very involved with her children with regards to their lessons but has never sat in on one for her oldest son (the topic of this thread). Perhaps I should invite her to do that. But the thing is, her son is very contradictory with her. Anything she says he fights her on. And he LOVES to prove her wrong. Disrespectful, certainly, but also quite typical of some 13 year old boys.
I have explained my position to his mom many times, on the issues of practicing too fast (which she is an advocate of doing), spending more time on a piece to actually complete it, and how many pieces her son should be working on at one time. Many times she contradicts what I ask her son to do at his lessons, he comes back and tells me this, and I phone her to discuss. I think her son thrives on this type of controversy smile
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Piano Teacher

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#1262742 - 09/05/09 01:11 AM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: Barb860]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Barb,

Do you remember that topic last week about oppositional disorders (ODD? Perhaps it runs in this family?

I don't think I could take the jabbing between the two of them when it comes into my vicinity. Just knowing it exists is problematic since you don't have the normal kind of support in families to count on. It would almost be better to have no comments from the parent. It seems to me to be one wicked long standing habit that probably influences many things they do in their family.

I personally would not want to have to work with it because I think it undermines the teacher perhaps more than it bothers the principles involved. We have enough going against us without such a big, potentially explosive at any time, on-going confrontation.

I have had to say a few times in my career to children or to the parents or both, "I'm sorry, but I don't allow that kind of behavior in my house nor in my studio. You can't speak rudely to each other while in my presence."

Another confrontation was when a 10 year old yelled at her mother because Mom forgot to bring the books that day, and I said pretty much the same thing, "You're mother is not responsible for your books, you are. You're old enough to be able to bring them yourself. Do not talk to your mother like that in my home or at studio events. You really need to learn to behave in my presence." I would still handle things like this in the same way.

It's such a pleasure to see people at their best! You can't pay me enough that I will tolerate rudeness and insults in my home by my clients. During my teaching years, I have had 5 kids, a husband, and for a year and a half, my mother in law living in my home. I represented not only myself but also my family members to the people who thought nothing of the turmoil they brought with them. I found that a little reality would prevent it from happening again -mo one left because of these confrontations - and no one tested me on it again either.

I don't know how teachers can put up with insolence and erratic and distructive behaviors during piano lessons. I think that things like that would be very stressful to the teacher long after the student had left.

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#1262829 - 09/05/09 08:15 AM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
cardguy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 977
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Don't intentionally misconstrue my comments to mean that the teacher shouldn't keep the parent in the loop.


Say what you want now, but there was nothing in your language in the post I responded to, to indicate that you intended to "keep the mother in the loop." But of course, you couldn't be wrong so I have to have "intentionally" misconstrued your comments.

WHy would you have to "game this very carefully?" as you put it. It was a terrible idea, now you've compounded it by trying to weasel out of it.

Pretty good job I'd say.

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#1262857 - 09/05/09 10:10 AM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: cardguy]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13775
Loc: Iowa City, IA
As kids move into adolescence, there comes a point where they begin to leave the things of their childhood behind and break away from their parents a bit. This is a natural and healthy part of growing up, but it's always a bit awkward.

Piano lessons are a part of childhood for these kids, and are often one of the things that gets left behind. There is a feeling that "yeah, I used to do piano lessons and play from those kiddie books (method books), but I'm SO OVER that..."

Teachers have to realize this and find ways of forging relationships with their adolescent students that is different than the relationships they had with the same kids when they were younger. Just as the kids grow up and mature, the teacher-student relationship has to mature as well. Teach and relate to a 14 year old the same way you teach and relate to an 7 year old, and that 14 year old is going to consign you to the closet with her old Dora the Explorer Lunchbox and jump rope.

I think John's comments are indicative of this changing relationship. And it is a bit of a conspiracy. The word "conspiracy" comes from the latin "con" (with) and "spirare" (breathe.) It literally means to "breathe with" another person. John is simply suggesting a shift in the relationship that puts the mother in a different role. Not out of the loop, but no longer a mandated proxy.

This is difficult for some parents, and it's something that teachers and coaches have to deal with throughout middle and high school. (And sometimes college - I'm constantly amazed at the number of parents who still think they're in control of a 20 year old's life. Such delusions!)
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#1262918 - 09/05/09 12:35 PM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: Kreisler]
cardguy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 977
Kreisler, please, Do you really suppose poster had in mind the latin roots? Conspiracy means what it means today, in English. In 2009.

I know what I read. And I know what he meant, no matter how you want to spin it.



con⋅spir⋅a⋅cy  /kənˈspɪrəsi/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [kuhn-spir-uh-see] Show IPA
Use conspiracy in a Sentence
See web results for conspiracy
See images of conspiracy
–noun, plural -cies. 1. the act of conspiring.
2. an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.
3. a combination of persons for a secret, unlawful, or evil purpose: He joined the conspiracy to overthrow the government.
4. Law. an agreement by two or more persons to commit a crime, fraud, or other wrongful act.
5. any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result.

Now, I'd leave out the words "evil" and "treacherous" etc. But the posters intent was clear.


Edit: By the way, if you folks think this is ok, that is to involve a kid in some sort of plan to manipulate his mother, then fine. We simply disagree.

I think it's unhealthy and unwise.


Edited by cardguy (09/05/09 12:44 PM)

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#1262948 - 09/05/09 01:18 PM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: cardguy]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13775
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Geez, I was just contributing a few thoughts on adolescence and developmental psychology.

I didn't think the poster had Latin roots in mind, either. I just thought the etymology was kind of interesting. frown

And if you really think John's idea unhealthy and unwise, why not offer an alternative?
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1262953 - 09/05/09 01:24 PM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: Kreisler]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17771
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
(And sometimes college - I'm constantly amazed at the number of parents who still think they're in control of a 20 year old's life. Such delusions!)


I'm even more amazed at the (smaller) number of parents who actually ARE still in control of a 20 year old's life!! Every time I get a phone call from a mom asking for an extension on a student's paper, or an override for the student into my class, my jaw drops open. sick
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#1264548 - 09/08/09 11:56 AM Re: Would YOU give in? [Re: Kreisler]
cardguy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 977
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Geez, I was just contributing a few thoughts on adolescence and developmental psychology.

I didn't think the poster had Latin roots in mind, either. I just thought the etymology was kind of interesting. frown

And if you really think John's idea unhealthy and unwise, why not offer an alternative?


Sorry if I came on a bit strong, K. And I do find the etymology interesting, especially since I've had some Latin myself. But I'm not sure criticizing what to me is a self-evidently unwise idea requires that I come up with an alternative. I just don't know enough about the relationship the OP has with her student's mother and what if any ground rules have been established.

In the end, it's a business and the last thing one wants to do is antagonize parents, unless there's some important principle involved. (edit: of course it's up to the teacher to decide if this is an important enough principle to potentially lose a student over)..Were it my situation, I might use it as a learning opportunity and devise some sort of contract that clearly outlines what I see as my responsibilies and prerogatives as a teacher, and the responsibilities and prerogatives of my students and their parents. Clarity is important. I'd ask all present and future parents and students to sign it. That might at least give me some ammunition the next time.

All that said, I'd probably call the mother and try to explain my position in as pleasant a manner as possible. If I encountered any hostility or pushback, I'd let the matter drop. In the end, it's just one piece of music.



Edited by cardguy (09/08/09 12:53 PM)

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