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#1268993 - 09/15/09 09:08 PM "She likes to practice now!"
Sparkler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/27/09
Posts: 177
That is what the Mom of one of my newer students told me today.

It made me smile really big and is something I will remember on my bad teaching days. This kid is quite musical, has been playing for over 2 years and the last two teachers had her stuck on the Alfred series, level 1, playing the same kind of thing over and over and over again and I could just tell she was ready for a whole lot more.

What nice things have your students or students parents said about your teaching lately? Please share so we can all smile with each other!



Edited by Sparkler (09/15/09 09:08 PM)
_________________________
Pianist
Accompanist
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and best of all...
Mom!

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#1268998 - 09/15/09 09:21 PM Re: "She likes to practice now!" [Re: Sparkler]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
I just got this nice testimonial from a student living in Germany ...

"As a classical pianist, I had a hard time trying to improvise. Thanks to your course, I feel totally confident with my interpretations and really RELAX while improvising. Incredible!"

That makes it all worthwhile!
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1269042 - 09/15/09 11:31 PM Re: "She likes to practice now!" [Re: eweiss]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
I'm happy for your good feelings, Sparkler and Ed! We do need positive feedback that feels good, there is nothing like it!

Today, I had 3 students.
5:00 PM A new student first lesson of keyboard orientation and some pre-chart music which is the way I introduce the human instrument to the piano as the instrument. Fourth grader who really shows maturity, good thinking skills, some intuitive, and had quite a few musical aptitudes that helped the lesson flow along. She went home with 10 pages of material new to her. What I really liked was that with each song, I could see her wanting to repeat it again, and while the songs were simple childhood and folk music tunes, there were some she had never heard before. After the 3rd time through on each song, she started singing the lyrics which accompany each song with accurate intonation. I found her multi-tracking to be very unusual in that she was enjoying it and being very accurate. When she missed something she knew it but it challenged her to try again not to give up. I expect she will have some of the songs memorized by next week. Her younger brother, who was here to visit is starting guitar and has had his 3rd lesson. So it will be neat to see what these kids can do this year. Really confident kids. Just before finishing she said, "You're so much fun!" We had been having a lot of fun and she was one very strong beginner with a can-do attitude.

Then 6-7PM: Siblings, boy, 7th grader and girl, 5th grader in 3rd year of study with me, each brought 3 intermediate level pieces that we'd worked on this summer starting in July. It was thrilling to hear how much they had finessed the music since our last lesson 2 weeks ago and they were evidently proud of their presentations with grins on their faces. We played "musical charades" and "blew imaginary bubbles with a wand" and wrote lyrics to several pieces to help them articulate their pieces even more. So flowing gestures were what she worked on, and sparks of sound and silence was what he worked on. They really made it an exciting lesson because of their attitude. Their Mom, I and they were just beaming because of what was shared in musicianship tonight. They each said how great the hour had gone. Ambitious kids!

Tonight was my first day back at teaching after a two week break. I can't help but anticipate that my other lessons for Wednesday and Thursday might also go so well. If so, I will feel a lot of gratitude for the kids matching my mind set and energy when we are in the room together doing music.

I feel badly every time I read a post from a piano teacher having kids who don't practice and dropping them from their schedules. It shouldn't be happening to the student and it shouldn't be happening to the teacher.

Thank God for these wonderfully happy moments.

Betty


Edited by Betty Patnude (09/15/09 11:32 PM)

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#1269156 - 09/16/09 07:50 AM Re: "She likes to practice now!" [Re: Betty Patnude]
Piano*Dad Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10410
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Positive stories do offer some respite from the horrors of ugly parents, undisciplined or lazy beginners and rebellious teens! grin
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#1269196 - 09/16/09 09:56 AM Re: "She likes to practice now!" [Re: Piano*Dad]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12151
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Me and two other teachers in the local MTNA chapter put together a Composers Debut, where people of all ages and all walks of life can submit an original composition to be performed in front of a live audience and receive written and verbal comments from a judge. Our second annual Debut was held this past Saturday, and I had 5 students submit pieces. The biggest struggle in this whole endeavor for all but one student was to get the music written down. I helped them put it on Finale, and while it felt like pulling teeth, when it was done, we printed out their music.

The looks on their faces seeing their very own piece of music looking like a professional song in a book, with their names in the upper right hand corner (the "Composer spot") made it all worth it! And then when they performed their pieces and heard the audience respond to positively (and, I might add, *genuinely* liking it), they were just beaming! We had public access TV there to film it all and broadcast it over the next few months, and we'll be getting DVDs to each participant as well.

I know that this positive experience, while difficult, will encourage them for years to come. They set a goal, and they got it done. Not only did they get it ready for this event, but now they can submit that piece to WMTA's own composition competition, MTNA's composition competition (although it's quite expensive to enter), and WSMA's (the school music organization) student composition competition! We've already set goals for working on another composition this year to have it ready by next August.

I highly encourage teachers to help students in the art of making their own music. There are many books out there to help with basic composition principles, such as Kevin Olson and Wynn-Anne Rossi's "Music By Me" series. There is nothing like creating your own music, and it helps tremendously with reading, understanding why the composer wrote it the way he/she did, importance of details like dynamics and articulations, and the e3ssential discipline required to see something through. Having a deadline can really help to get through the painful "writing it down" stage.

I am so proud of these students. Some of them aren't particularly talented as composers, but by looking at the music they're playing and seeing principles like repetition is important, but variation is also interesting, they've learned how to put together something that is coherent and enjoyable. We put great composers of the past on pedestals, and while I agree they belong there, composition itself does not. It is something that we all can and should do.

Sorry if this seems a tangent/soap box. By encouraging our students, we often receive that encouragement ourselves as teachers. Our students' successes are our successes.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1269205 - 09/16/09 10:09 AM Re: "She likes to practice now!" [Re: Morodiene]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
My very first post on these boards was a month ago, seeking help with a new transfer student who was missing a lot of basics. We finally agreed to back up and restart level 1, and she seems to be working hard at filling in her gaps.

Two weeks ago she brought a piece of notebook paper with her attempt to notate her own composition. It gave me a great opportunity to reveiw some basics about notation. She was thrilled when I gave her a piece of staff paper, and came last week with her "song" written out on it - with many of her errors corrected. I am delighted by her interest and focus. It makes me happy that my return to basics has not crushed her spirit, and that her progress is visible and audible.
_________________________
piano teacher

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#1269274 - 09/16/09 12:23 PM Re: "She likes to practice now!" [Re: Lollipop]
Sparkler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/27/09
Posts: 177
Thank you all for sharing! They all made me smile. smile
_________________________
Pianist
Accompanist
Piano Teacher
and best of all...
Mom!

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#1269277 - 09/16/09 12:30 PM Re: "She likes to practice now!" [Re: Piano*Dad]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Positive stories do offer some respite from the horrors of ugly parents, undisciplined or lazy beginners and rebellious teens! grin


Yes!

We should all accentuate our good experiences. I know they are there in our daily lives, but we need to see even the very smallest positive things and value them.

The bigger negative challenges rear their ugly heads and we are in danger of losing our perspective about the joy of music and our leadership roles in teaching musicianship.

Betty

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#1269290 - 09/16/09 12:46 PM Re: "She likes to practice now!" [Re: Betty Patnude]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13813
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
We should all accentuate our good experiences. I know they are there in our daily lives, but we need to see even the very smallest positive things and value them.

The bigger negative challenges rear their ugly heads and we are in danger of losing our perspective about the joy of music and our leadership roles in teaching musicianship.


This is why I have never posted a complaint about any student on an internet forum. Ever. I've occasionally related stories about difficult situations involving former students to illustrate a point or offer advice, but I've made it a steadfast rule that I will never, ever, post anything negative about a current student or situation. I don't think it's professional, healthy, or helpful.

That's not to say I'm not human and bad things never happen to me (or because of me!) We all need to vent our frustrations now and then, but that's what close friends and spouses are for.
_________________________
"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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#1269309 - 09/16/09 01:10 PM Re: "She likes to practice now!" [Re: Kreisler]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
We should all accentuate our good experiences. I know they are there in our daily lives, but we need to see even the very smallest positive things and value them.

The bigger negative challenges rear their ugly heads and we are in danger of losing our perspective about the joy of music and our leadership roles in teaching musicianship.


This is why I have never posted a complaint about any student on an internet forum. Ever. I've occasionally related stories about difficult situations involving former students to illustrate a point or offer advice, but I've made it a steadfast rule that I will never, ever, post anything negative about a current student or situation. I don't think it's professional, healthy, or helpful.

That's not to say I'm not human and bad things never happen to me (or because of me!) We all need to vent our frustrations now and then, but that's what close friends and spouses are for.


Amen! Excellent advice!

When seeking help with a difficult situation in our studio, we can outline the "facts" and ask for feedback. Intelligent discussion. But, our clients who provide our income, and our students, who wish to learn from us by studying with us, deserve much better from us than for us to use disparaging words about them almost to the point of contempt. It also shows something of our own "issues" when we do this.

There is always something to learn about ourselves as we work in our career path involving people. When we point a finger at someone, there are the other 3 fingers pointing back at us.

Some professionals are required to keep confidentiality about their clients.

Betty

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#1269364 - 09/16/09 02:37 PM Re: "She likes to practice now!" [Re: Betty Patnude]
Sal_ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/08
Posts: 355
Loc: Lacey, WA
"I have seen a tremendous difference not only in her playing, but also in her attitude towards playing."

Thank you for making this topic--I needed the pick-me-up memories.

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#1270411 - 09/18/09 09:55 AM Re: "She likes to practice now!" [Re: Sal_]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
This isn't a "positive comment about my teaching" but it is something fun that happened at a lesson yesterday that might make you smile.

At her last lesson, this student (age 9) began learning flats and was assigned "Secret Agent." She was excited about this piece because she and her friends had devised some sort of group where each of them had a job or title, and hers was "spy." She said they even made up a theme song, and sang it for me - complete with motions. I suggested she could incorporate "Secret Agent" into her ditty.

Yesterday, we were reviewing the piece, and I made the comment that, "Oh yeah, this is the piece about your club." And she corrected me dead-pan: "It's not a club. It's a monkey business."
_________________________
piano teacher

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#1270414 - 09/18/09 09:58 AM Re: "She likes to practice now!" [Re: Lollipop]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12151
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
LOL! Where do these kids get this stuff! It's wonderful when you make those connections and music becomes a part of their lives, not just something they are "supposed" to practice. Congratulations!
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1271757 - 09/20/09 07:57 PM Re: "She likes to practice now!" [Re: Morodiene]
abcdefg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 67
Loc: midwest
I had a mom comment that her daughter said Monday, piano lesson day, was her favorite day. She gets to walk to the library after school, wait for mom to pick her up there and then come to her lesson. At 11 years old she gets a little independence and responsibility. She loves to read so the library is a great waiting place for her.

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#1274924 - 09/25/09 01:54 PM Re: "She likes to practice now!" [Re: abcdefg]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
I had a new student start a month ago, under protest. She is coming to me from elsewhere where she took group lessons. She wanted to quit all together, but her mother insisted on a semester with me first (I teach her older sister.) She's a feisty little girl who isn't afraid of her own opinion, but she's also a sweetheart. She reminded me at the second lesson that she was going to quit at Christmas. I acknowledged that I was aware of the deal, and that she had agreed to give it her best for these few months.

Yesterday she saw a little cake sitting on the piano and asked about it. I said it was for another student, who had just completed a level of method books, and that everyone who does that gets a cake. (A two-person cake, sold at Wal-Mart for $3.50.) "How long will it take me to finish my books? Could I finish in a year?" I explained that a year was a fair goal, but that it depended upon how much work she put into it, etc. Some finish sooner, some later. "Well, what if I don't take over the summer, because I might quit next year?" (Hmmm. Next year, not at Christmas. Progress!) I said that if she were close to the end of the set of books, that it might make sense to just continue lessons to the end. That would be a better stopping place. And maybe, just maybe, by then she would be enjoying it so much she wouldn't want to quit. She didn't comment, but I could tell she's thinking about it!

I know that I have to be careful with this one - If she continues, it will have to be her own idea, and not an "I told you so" from me or her mom. But she is apparently willing to work for rewards. I am encouraged. Let them eat cake!
_________________________
piano teacher

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#1275534 - 09/26/09 11:14 AM Re: "She likes to practice now!" [Re: Lollipop]
kissyana Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/07
Posts: 199
Loc: Northeast Illinois
One of my first piano students was an 8 year old boy with a LOT of energy. Sometimes it was hard to get him to stay on the bench but when he quieted down, he learned very quickly. I had chosen a duet for us to play together and at this particular lesson he was playing his part alone. When I asked him to play all the way through it, he said "can we play it together? I need enough music to fill my WHOLE heart!" How could I say no? smile

I've been pretty lucky so far. The vast majority of my students (and their parents) have been great to work with. One family in particular is SO good that I thought there HAD to be a catch. Turns out that some people are just plain nice!

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#1275551 - 09/26/09 11:37 AM Re: "She likes to practice now!" [Re: kissyana]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1439
Loc: Australia
Just a couple of exerpts from emails received this week.

Thanx for the piano lessons Rob! smile I played for about 4 years now, and always wanted to learn how scales work.
I heard alot about em and watched videos but never really understood them.
But i got it when i went throu your lesson on scales, so thanx! smile

and,

If I didn't tell you already, I just revisited Lesson 50. What a dream. The approach seemed to mirror the Charlie Brown Christmas song, which I understand to be in jazz format. Releasing students from the burden of scales and giving them a playful way out must represent a God send to dedicated students. I popped the lesson up to full screen mode and the video was solid.

Please keep up the good work. I need to drop back to take another peek around lesson 20.

Warm regards,

Plus this rather odd request:

hi I was wondering if you can teach me like this I will watch you play and then see if I can fallow you and get it right.
right me back and please tell me your name, where you live, and what your going to do.

I am 12 years old

Life is good :-)
_________________________
Rob

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