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#1274971 - 09/25/09 03:24 PM when a student puts up a wall
abcdefg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 67
Loc: midwest
Didn't really know how to explain this in the subject line. This is what happens with one of my students.

This student is very talented. Student has had lessons for about 1 1/2 years and is in 4th grade, level 2 in piano. When he doesn't like a piece of music he just puts up a wall. I can see it physically happening while he is playing. Sometimes I tell him he has to try a piece for at least one week. I have asked him to tell me which music he likes and which music he doesn't like. I want him to know that it is ok to not like everything you play but sometimes we have to play music we don't like. He doesn't think it is cool for guys to play the piano. So I try to make sure he has Star Wars, Take Me Out To the Ballgame and things like that as supplements. I talk about the high school boys in my studio and how they can now pick out popular tunes on their own and learn them without any help.

At one lesson, after he had done really well, I was telling mom that he reads notes really easily and I would like to see him progress even faster. I was hoping that he would respond to the positive comments. We had one more piece to look at and when we started it, it was as if he couldn't figure things out all of a sudden.

Every now and then I get a very small smile from him but most of the time it is strictly business.

How do I convince a 4th grader that playing the piano is cool? What else can I do to make lessons more fun for this student?

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#1274985 - 09/25/09 03:40 PM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: abcdefg]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

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

I wonder if this might be the way he approaches every new task - things at school, too.

It might be apprehension about just getting started. Then, too, there may be reasons that he hasn't expressed yet contributing to what you are saying.

I have one boy (new in April) who wears such a very painful face when playing a new song. He brought 2 new pieces which I worked with him on while assigning them last week from Finger Paintings, Book 1, Dennis Alexander. Both pieces used dotted quarter notes in the piece - one was written in 3/4 the other in 6/8 which didn't matter since we do "magic counting" in my studio not metric counting. He knows his note values and has had no problem until now with counting. We count "TA-i" which is equivalent to 3 1/8 notes tied - or a quarter note tied to an 1/8 note. He actually needed a little review with it at lesson but sailed through what we were doing with rhythm clapping and drawing note symbols to review. Once again the pained face as he started to play. His playing was fine and we progressed to the duet which sounded wonderful. I saw, "You did just fine!" He said "I did?" Then he smiled.

"Fear" even mild fear, can be huge for young students. They get so worried about making a mistake that it can be stifling for them. We have to remove their worries somehow and learn to apply our attention only to the real problems.

Confidence building and self esteem building will probably help your student a lot, too.

Betty

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#1274996 - 09/25/09 03:58 PM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: Betty Patnude]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
I wonder if it's a losing battle to convince a little boy that playing piano is "cool." Someone who likes piano, music and piano music won't care whether it's cool or not. How can you change what someone likes and doesn't like?

Do teachers generally know whether children are even interested in music lessons or instead are being pressured or forced by their parents? Which is the more common scenario?

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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#1275005 - 09/25/09 04:11 PM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: sotto voce]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
I wonder if it's a losing battle to convince a little boy that playing piano is "cool." Someone who likes piano, music and piano music won't care whether it's cool or not. How can you change what someone likes and doesn't like?

Do teachers generally know whether children are even interested in music lessons or instead are being pressured or forced by their parents? Which is the more common scenario?

Steven

Great post. I think most who teach children assume that it's "good" for them to learn piano regardless of whether the kid likes it or not. You know, it makes you smarter, etc. I too wonder who's interests are being served here - the parents and teachers, or the child's?

I always like to replace piano with "accordion" in discussions like this. I wonder how many parents would love for their kids to play this wonderful instrument?
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1275008 - 09/25/09 04:16 PM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: sotto voce]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
You mention a couple older boys. I wonder if you could arrange for a lesson to be back-to-back, or think up another excuse to have one of your older male students be present. Every time my middle son (24) is in town, I pull him into my boys' lessons for one reason or another. He is a musician, and just about the coolest guy you could ever meet! Maybe he and I will play a duet, or I'll let my students play random intervals and my son has to name them - that's always very amazing to them, and they love trying to trick him, and he's a great sport about it. Since I only have a couple boy students, I want to make sure they see that playing piano isn't just for girls.

But I don't know what your student's problem is, so I don't know that this would fix it. I don't give my students too much control over their lesson content - too many of them would take advantage. I do believe in choices though -- "I want to work on X technique - Let me play these two pieces for you, and you can choose which one you want to learn."
_________________________
piano teacher

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#1276680 - 09/28/09 03:50 PM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: Lollipop]
abcdefg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 67
Loc: midwest
Thanks to you all for your comments. I had a busy weekend and am just now getting back to check. You have given me some food for thought.

I have wanted to ask mom if he responds this way at school and with sports but not in front of the student. He really is a very polite boy, he has never been rude or disrespectful.

I have had students that take lessons because they want to and students that take lessons because their parents want them to. I think this student takes lessons because his parents want him to but he is obviously very talented and smart. Sometimes even students that want to play the piano get side-tracked because it isn't cool.

I do sometimes have older boys play duets with younger boys so that they can be good role models. I just plan on that for this student too.

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#1276716 - 09/28/09 05:00 PM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: abcdefg]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5558
Loc: Orange County, CA
Have you tried the "cool" videos on Youtube? Some kids might be inspired by what their peers can do. Be careful, though, you don't want to scare them off by showing some kid genius playing Liszt. There are lots of "average" videos out there, which can be inspirational. Or videos of blind or handicapped pianists playing the piano.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1276807 - 09/28/09 06:56 PM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: sotto voce]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
I wonder if it's a losing battle to convince a little boy that playing piano is "cool." Someone who likes piano, music and piano music won't care whether it's cool or not. How can you change what someone likes and doesn't like?

Do teachers generally know whether children are even interested in music lessons or instead are being pressured or forced by their parents? Which is the more common scenario?

Steven

It's hard to answer the question as to which scenario is more common, because kids float back and forth between hating piano and liking it.
At least the young beginners I teach would be in that category. Out of the 19 students I have, each one was told they had to take piano lessons.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1277057 - 09/29/09 03:47 AM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: Barb860]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
It's really heartbreaking when somebody who has a real talent for something does not pursue it, for some stupid and unworthy reason like `it's not cool'. I have this from time to time with my own kids. There's only so much we can do to prevent people losing out in the future because of their own present misjudgements. Sadly. frown

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#1277190 - 09/29/09 10:07 AM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: kevinb]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19591
Loc: New York City
I'm not a teacher, but this might inspire him:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dqH7TQePyI&NR

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#1277265 - 09/29/09 12:21 PM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: kevinb]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2472
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: kevinb
It's really heartbreaking when somebody who has a real talent for something does not pursue it, for some stupid and unworthy reason like `it's not cool'.


It is true that abcdefg has spoken about trying to convince the kid that it's cool, but she hasn't demonstrated that the problem lies there. Might be barking up the wrong tree.

In my experience, kids are not so shallow. Anyone who considers their motivations to be stupid and unworthy has no way to reach them.



Edited by landorrano (09/29/09 12:21 PM)

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#1277338 - 09/29/09 01:44 PM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: landorrano]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: kevinb
It's really heartbreaking when somebody who has a real talent for something does not pursue it, for some stupid and unworthy reason like `it's not cool'.


It is true that abcdefg has spoken about trying to convince the kid that it's cool, but she hasn't demonstrated that the problem lies there. Might be barking up the wrong tree.

In my experience, kids are not so shallow. Anyone who considers their motivations to be stupid and unworthy has no way to reach them.



Well that's me told smirk

Presumably you think that `it's not cool' is an adequate and sufficient explanation for a child to offer, for a choice that might trash his or her future happiness?

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#1277487 - 09/29/09 05:43 PM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: kevinb]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2472
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: kevinb


Presumably you think that `it's not cool' is an adequate and sufficient explanation for a child to offer, for a choice that might trash his or her future happiness?





Our boy's in fourth grade, that's 10 year's old, right? What kind of talk is this about "an adequate and suficient explanation", and trashing his future happiness.



Originally Posted By: abcdefg


At one lesson, after he had done really well, I was telling mom that he reads notes really easily and I would like to see him progress even faster. I was hoping that he would respond to the positive comments. We had one more piece to look at and when we started it, it was as if he couldn't figure things out all of a sudden.



Interesting, don't you think!

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#1277587 - 09/29/09 09:08 PM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: landorrano]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4263
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
How do I convince a 4th grader that playing the piano is cool?

IMHO rate of progress is directly related to the "carrot" provided ...
namely a piece of music the sprog really likes.

When a young student digs in heels ... it is usually because the antiquated piano teacher (forgive the language ... but everybody over 20 years of age is "un-cool") ... is experiencing the phenomenon of the dreaded "generation gap" ... mindlessly doling out all those dull classical studies to a chap who wants to play Star Wars is guaranteed to raise the smell of rubber as he pulls on the brakes ... so often the teacher sees this attitude as an affront to their personal teaching ability (pride) ... and in a state of exasperation, reach out for ghastly words like "How do I convince a 4th grader" ... no child should need convincing to play the piano ... success in finding the right "carrot" results in piano-playing fun ... a blissful state where there is no apparent effort.

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#1277649 - 09/29/09 11:17 PM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: btb]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
What about giving him some music that truly makes him feel cool?

He just needs 2-3 really good pieces that capture his attention and that he loves to play.

There are easy elementary and elementary sheets with fun themes like Halloween. The coming Winter scene allows for holidays and festivities as well as scenes in winter.

There are some elementary sheets and books out there with some beginning fun rhythms based on jazz, blues, rock, boogie, latin, rags by music education composers. The teachers duets would supply the rhythms while the student did melodies with maybe some simple harmonies.

Rhythm n' Style - (book) George Peter Tingley - Alfred
7 Late Elementary Piano Solos that Celebrate the Joy and Exhilaration of Rhythm. Book 1
www.alfredpub.com
Blue Mood
Celebration Rag
Cubanera
Framenco
A Lively Dance
Rockin' Blues
Walkin' Boogie

From here I'll add higher level as suggestions for music that is a real turn on for kids as long as the level is a good choice for them. These kids grow up and if we're lucky enough to have them for a few years these will be options for the future.

At Early Intermediate - Intermediate - Late Intermediate Levels:

Three Blind Mice With Cheese - (sheet) Amy R. Laurence www.amyrlaurence.com

First Jazz Suite - (sheet) Robert Vandall
Myklas Music www.myklas.com
1. Sunny Day
2. Sidewalk Strut
3. Feeling Great!

Gossamer's Groove - (sheet) Mike Springer
Myklas Press

Hubble Bubble - - Pamela Wedgwood
Unknown source in a book that I've misplaced. The piece is contemporary Baroque, I'd say.

Watch My Fingers Rock! - (sheet) John Burson
www.fjhmusic.com

That's a quick list.

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#1277719 - 09/30/09 02:49 AM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: landorrano]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: kevinb


Presumably you think that `it's not cool' is an adequate and sufficient explanation for a child to offer, for a choice that might trash his or her future happiness?



Our boy's in fourth grade, that's 10 year's old, right? What kind of talk is this about "an adequate and suficient explanation", and trashing his future happiness.


Well, your implication, as I understand it, was that I lacked sufficient empathy to find the deeper and more reasonable motives underlying childhood objections like `it's not cool'. I presumed that what you saying that, if I were more empathic, or understood children better, I would be able to find out what the real problem was and overcome it.

Sorry, but I think you're mistaken.

Sometimes `it's not cool' or `none of my friends do it' or (Heaven forfend) `it's girly' is the complete explanation for a child's decision, and there is no deeper motive to be teased out. Sometimes children really are that shallow, in my experience. Not always, but sometimes.

I've seen countless instances of children rating the transient pleasure of conformity with their peers over their future happiness and prosperity. Goodness knows, I did it myself. We probably all did it. Probably adults do it do, but I don't have the benefit of 50 years' hindsight on adult behaviour as I do on childhood behaviour.

And, in my experience, at ten years of age a child is quite capable of making decisions that he or she deeply regrets in adult life.

Now, I'm not for a moment suggesting that the child referred to in the OP couldn't be persuaded to take a renewed interest in the piano, or that it isn't necessary to try -- not a bit of it. In such a situation I would do, and have done, the best I could. All I'm saying is that sometimes we aren't able to persuade children to do the things that will develop their innate talents, however hard we try; that sometimes no good reason is found for this; and that this is regrettable.

I find it surprising that any parent or teacher would have not encountered such situations from time to time, to be honest.

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#1277746 - 09/30/09 04:36 AM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: kevinb]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2472
Loc: France
It is not at all clear from what abcdefg says, that the difficulty is explained by "it ain't cool."

The anecdote about the boy's mother strikes me as important. At least it appears to demonstrate that abcdefg is mistaken in her understanding of the boy.

Besides, on a lighter note, to convince a kid that "it is cool", you have to be cool, right? If you ain't, you don't have a chance.

I'm not a piano teacher, and I don't have 10 year old kids passing one after the other through my studio, but speaking of "generation gap" it seems to me that Star Wars was cool around 30 years ago.

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#1277750 - 09/30/09 05:22 AM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: landorrano]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5367
Loc: Europe
This is a problem. If the teacher senses there is talent, but the boy refuses to see and feel it there's not a lot the teacher can do!

I mean, if the attempts to approach the kid and let him know that piano is, indeed, cool, do fail then one should simply stop trying...

One idea would be to present other things which are cool about music. Star wars is rather old, but LOTR, Harry Potter, Computer Games, etc are not. If you could find tunes from computer games and the internet this could help. I had a boy who wanted to learn the Mario Bros tune, and he finally did, although it was slightly above his skills.

Other idea would be to present the student in some kind of home concert or something, between other students. If other people enjoy his playing and congratulate him, maybe he will change his mind.

3rd idea would be to have him watch well known pianists. Gilels, Richter, Lang, and other pianists who are seen as stars now. Nothing wrong with dreaming.

4th idea would be to introduce him to your older students. To see in practice how fine the older students feel and how proud they (probably) feel of themselves.
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#1277755 - 09/30/09 05:35 AM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: Nikolas]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
This is a problem. If the teacher senses there is talent, but the boy refuses to see and feel it there's not a lot the teacher can do!


Indeed. But, in my view, what's really soul-destroying is when a student can see and feel it, and still isn't interested frown

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#1277764 - 09/30/09 06:39 AM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: kevinb]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4263
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Betty’s response listing all the varied pieces of music from standard instruction albums provides a ready platform once again to underline the importance of keeping "cool".

IMHO No young sprog with talent is going to respond favourably to titles like

Hubble Bubble
Sunny Day
Gossamer’s Groove
Three Blind Mice With Cheese
Sidewalk Strut

The above are regarded as "sissy girls’ stuff" and the teacher trying to sell the frilly garbage as beyond the pale ... instruction albums are exactly what to keep clear of to avoid the "un-cool" label ... ah, you’ll say, then what do I come up with? ... the airwaves (whether TV, radio or I-pod) are doing a 24/7 on the young lad’s aural intake ... Star Wars might have hit the headlines 30 years ago, but the Imperial Theme is in constant demand to convey a dread feeling of drama (Good versus Evil) ... this everyday exposure has the youngster wanting to emulate the awesome (catch-phrase presently in vogue) sound ... in my school the following titles have hit the jackpot

By the Time I Get to Phoenix by Jim Webb
Memories by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Summertime by George Gershwin
The Sting by Scott Joplin
Guantanamera by Hector Angelo and Pete Seeger
Moon River by Henry Mancini
Ballade for Adeline by Richard Clayderman
English Country Garden by Robert Jordan
My Favourite Things by Richard Rodgers
The Girl From Ipanema by Antonio Carlos Jobim

All with a modest key signature and comparatively easily sight-read score ... here’s hoping there might be something from the list to brighten the day of one of your young charges.

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#1277771 - 09/30/09 07:12 AM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: kevinb]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2472
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: kevinb
I presumed that what you saying that, if I were more empathic, or understood children better, I would be able to find out what the real problem was and overcome it.




I was not saying that. Maybe one can't find out what the "problem" is, and maybe one cannot overcome it.

But whacking a kid over the noggin with his future happiness and prosperity isn't going to get you very far.

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#1277772 - 09/30/09 07:13 AM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: landorrano]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2472
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: kevinb


But, in my view, what's really soul-destroying is when a student can see and feel it, and still isn't interested


There again, I have to disagree. You're subjecting a young fellow to a terrible pressure.

As incredible as it may sound this boy's future happiness and prosperity (??) do not necessarily depend on these piano lessons.

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#1277783 - 09/30/09 07:49 AM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: landorrano]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: kevinb
I presumed that what you saying that, if I were more empathic, or understood children better, I would be able to find out what the real problem was and overcome it.




I was not saying that. Maybe one can't find out what the "problem" is, and maybe one cannot overcome it.

But whacking a kid over the noggin with his future happiness and prosperity isn't going to get you very far.


Sigh. I never said anything about whacking anybody on anything, for any purpose.

I was merely expressing _regret_ that so much childhood talent is never developed, for reasons that the individuals concerned will themselves later come to see were foolish.

If that doesn't seem to you to be regrettable, then the gap between your world-view and mine is such a yawning chasm that no further explanation on my part is ever going to cross it. smirk

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#1278063 - 09/30/09 03:32 PM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: kevinb]
abcdefg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 67
Loc: midwest
I don't know how to respond to all of these comments. For the moment let's forget the "cool" aspect and discuss what to do when a student refuses to do something new. This has happened with this student on several occasions. Most of the time I will ask him to play the piece for at least one week. The music is introducing new notes, rhythm or other skill and I want to make sure he understands the new information before we move on. Plus I don't want him to think he can pick and choose what he wants to do at lessons. Sometimes he leaves the lesson not liking the new music but comes back agreeing that he enjoyed the music after he had practiced. I do not try to convince him to like music he doesn't like. Sometimes I even agree with him and say that isn't my favorite either. We all have to do things we don't like. There is some value in learning that lesson alone.

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#1278074 - 09/30/09 03:54 PM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: abcdefg]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
In my experience, children often raise objections to things they simply find difficult, and express those objections in odd ways. Where an adult might simply say ``I'm not keen on playing that because it's too difficult'', a child might say ``It's boring'' or (my personal favourite) ``It's stupid!''. Often (in my experience) it doesn't help to say ``I'm sure you'll be OK when you realize it isn't as difficult as you think'', because I think the child is not admitting to himself or herself that difficulty is actually the problem.

But if I can coax children over this initial phase they often get along fine. But I've rarely heard a child then say ``Actually, this isn't so difficult''. It just goes from being ``stupid'' to ``OK, I guess''. Of course, it might remain ``boring'' -- kids have preferences just as adults do.

But as for getting over the initial reluctance -- I don't know either. It's a problem. Sometimes chocolate bribery helps with small children, but that's far from ideal.

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#1278223 - 09/30/09 08:42 PM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: kevinb]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
BTB said: "Betty’s response listing all the varied pieces of music from standard instruction albums provides a ready platform once again to underline the importance of keeping "cool".

IMHO No young sprog with talent is going to respond favourably to titles like

Hubble Bubble
Sunny Day
Gossamer’s Groove
Three Blind Mice With Cheese
Sidewalk Strut

The above are regarded as "sissy girls’ stuff".

If I played these songs for you and you didn't have a title you would be thinking "these are so cool!" I bet you are not familiar with any title I listed, either musically or with the composers reputations.

Another thought that I'm having, btb, is let's have the kid show me how well he can play these things (probably can't going into it alone)and then he's free to make a comment.

This probably was the wrong place to make a list like that, but it is what I would do with a "piano is not cool kid, I'd just have to show him how cool piano is, music is, and how very cool I am.

And, about your list, you and I are dated when it comes to mentioning our own favorite pieces growing up! Mine date to listening LeRoy Anderson instead of Elvis and the Beatles. And, I enjoyed Sigmund Romberg and Victor Herbert. Would you believe.
I heard it all on the radio while growing up and knew just about every song to sing. This kid needs for someone to find his "hot button"!

Sent these kinds of kids to me! I thrive on challenges!

Thanks for a snag to protest against, btb!

Betty

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#1278270 - 09/30/09 10:23 PM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: Betty Patnude]
abcdefg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 67
Loc: midwest
Again, I think we have focused too much on whether piano is "cool" for a young boy. My apologies for bringing that up. Maybe we should start another thread for that.

I think Kevin B is on the right track. So far this last post of his has made the most since to me. Instead of a child saying I don't understand what to do, when they feel put on the spot sometimes they withdraw. Because this student learns so easily maybe I am taken off guard when he really doesn't know what to do.

I have thought of a different approach to the task that he refused to try last week. I will try that with him tomorrow.

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#1279132 - 10/02/09 04:30 AM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: abcdefg]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4263
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Keyboard masterpieces do not come 10-a-penny ... they are hard won by genius composers with lots of blots and corrections (Mozart and Beethoven) ... this said in relation to the trite ditties culled in the standard instruction booklets.

IMHO our talented boy needs the teacher to demonstrate the magic of the finished article ... there’s nothing quite like a neat concert performance on an old Joanna to have the student awe-struck and musing

"If my fuddy duddy teacher can do it ... SO CAN I."

In my experience demonstration is the finest catalyst to motivation ... my playing of the Moonlight Sonata (not quite up to Askenazy chaps!) did the trick for one of my lot ... now we’ve got the first two movements under fingers ... the 3rd will take more encouragement.

Backseat advice to abc ... focus on the magical sonorities of musical masterpieces ... and cut back on the stodgy theoretical undertow.

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#1279135 - 10/02/09 04:45 AM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: btb]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
Originally Posted By: btb
in my school the following titles have hit the jackpot

By the Time I Get to Phoenix by Jim Webb
Memories by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Summertime by George Gershwin
The Sting by Scott Joplin
Guantanamera by Hector Angelo and Pete Seeger
Moon River by Henry Mancini
Ballade for Adeline by Richard Clayderman
English Country Garden by Robert Jordan
My Favourite Things by Richard Rodgers
The Girl From Ipanema by Antonio Carlos Jobim


Where do I sign up?
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1279145 - 10/02/09 05:31 AM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: Chris H.]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4263
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
You asked for it ChrisH ... I ask a fortune in twice weekly travelling costs (paid in rupees, Dutch gilders or Spanish doubloons) ... but to save you the cost, I’m including a copy of the first page (of 2) of "Moon River" by Henry Mancini/Johnny Mercer to test the water.

Kind regards.



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