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#1279148 - 10/02/09 05:42 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.

But I was really hoping for Ballade for Adeline. wink
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1279150 - 10/02/09 06:17 AM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: Chris H.]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4264
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
As a postscript to the foregoing buffoonery ... your (bloody) Ballade for Adeline comes after the news ChrisH ...

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.

#1279152 - 10/02/09 06:24 AM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: btb]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4264
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Post news ... I mistakenly gave Richard Clayderman credit for the ghastly Ballade for Adeline ... when de Senneville and Toussaint were the authors ...

#1279214 - 10/02/09 09:24 AM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: btb]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
abcdefg - Without knowing exactly what is bothering your student, I can't tell you precisely what I'd do. But in general, I try hard to get to the source, and am not afraid to be blunt about it. If a student complains, I make them be specific, but I don't necessarily take them at their word. I have one student who will say "that's stupid" about just about everything, and another student who will say, "that's too hard."

In both cases, I think they are saying, "I am not feeling good about myself right now." I tell them that if they are feeling overwhelmed, that I am willing to go slower, or to even go backwards and review some things to get their confidence up. I also try to find something positive to say. The first girl ("this is stupid") has taken off once I backed her up - new books, rather than literally backing up - but quicker mastery for her.

The second girl ("too hard") thrives on attention - including negative attention, so the best response I have for her is ignoring her comments. Or calling her bluff. "Okay, if you don't feel ready, we can do the old lesson for another week." The worst thing I can say to her is "No, it's not." Then it becomes all too easy for her to prove she is right. I might say, "If it feels too hard to you, then we don't have to do the whole thing - maybe just the first part to start, until it feels easier." Once it becomes a challenge to her, she jumps right in.

My concern with your student is that it might be attention-seeking behavior, and too much focus on it might prolong the problem. I feel like you need to be blunt with him. Tell him that you see a problem, and you need his help to fix it. Then spell out exactly what you are seeing, and ask him what he thinks the two of you can do to make it better. If he owns the solution, he might be more inclined to make it work.

One of the things I love about teaching is working with the individual - no one-size-fits-all. The second girl continues to be a challenge - her whining drives me crazy sometimes. But we have come a long way, and I actually enjoy teaching her now and am pleased with her progress.

I also wanted to mention a 10-year old 4th grader I teach. She is little miss sunshine, so she certainly doesn't match your student that way. But we were in need of some supplementary material for her, and she is in level 2 PA. She wanted jazz, and I was having a hard time finding an appropriate (easy enough) jazz book. But I gave her Martha Mier's "Center Stage" book 2. It is a bit above her level, so we've had to take it a bite at a time, but she loves it. It is great music - a lot of fun to play, and very motivating.
piano teacher

#1279608 - 10/02/09 08:18 PM Re: when a student puts up a wall [Re: btb]
abcdefg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 67
Loc: midwest
Student came to his lesson this week more animated then I had ever seen. We tried playing one of his lesson pieces with the CD accompaniment. He got through about half of it and missed a note and quit. We tried again, same thing. I told him how much I appreciated his trying and we moved on. I know he isn't practicing with the CD's. If he were he would be able to do the task. He really seems to enjoy his pop book best and has almost finished that. I think I will be able to use that to advance his skills. He is already playing 8th notes in his pop book and we are about two weeks away from them in the lesson book.

#1279632 - 10/02/09 09:06 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
Maybe he should run through a solo of the piece and have it go well before adding the CD accompaniment.

When you discover a trouble spot where he stops or continues the same mistake each time, he would problem appreciate taking a few minutes to back up from there and go through that area with you so you can guide him as to where it is and how to fix it.

His trying needs supervision I think.

He may not be able to do the task with the CD because he cannot do it without the CD either.

I think he is having trouble thinking his way through the notes and knowing what to do. That's when students start to cover their not knowing by inventing all kinds of delays and excuses to confuse the teacher as to what the problem really is. Some of these kids have the illusion they are perfect and they would do anything so that no one would discover they aren't.

I have a recently turned 6 year old student who has her parents befuddled with her inventions and explanations. She is very good at getting away with it too. It's sad to see manipulations in one so young.

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