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Topic Options
#1417571 - 04/15/10 12:53 AM Re: Adult students & nerves [Re: currawong]
currawong Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 6100
Loc: Down Under
re the photo:
I removed the little legs that hold the cook book in place - and I usually put a large sheet of black cardboard on the stand to make it a little wider.

For one student it's having the music closer which is significant, but the lower height helps too.
Du holde Kunst...

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#1418575 - 04/16/10 03:58 PM Re: Adult students & nerves [Re: landorrano]
GreatPaws Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 5
Loc: Virginia
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: CarolR
I just had this conversation with an adult student today, about how helpful I think it is to have a performance to prepare for, and if I had a few more adults (she is, in fact, the only one at the moment) I would love to have an informal gathering, and her response was, almost word for word, like Thumper 49s. She said "I would quit". I think it's too bad, but if a feeling is that strong, it probably isn't worth pushing it. She has a hard enough time playing for me.

You have to admit, CarolR, that you are not very clever.

I'd bet my entire fortune that this person is dying to play for others and with others.

To follow that thought, maybe what that adult student would be dying to be told is
"You play well enough to play in front of people".

I think people's comments about once you're no longer a rank beginner and your ears open up and you hear horrible sounds coming from your fingers, you think "why am I doing this? I'm talentless and obviously my work isn't doing me any good!"

I think teachers forget that we haven't learned how to hear ourselves yet and it's very easy to fall into the "I'm horrible" trap. I, too, would have to be hauled in with chains and wine to play in front of humans but if my teacher could find a way to convince me I won't burst other people's eardrums, I think it would be a good experience.

I talk in front of large groups, no problem, but put a piano in my hands... no way. It's a confidence thing, I think, because of lack of feedback. I get precise feedback while I'm speaking- nodding, probing questions, laughter, etc- but as I'm playing there's not enough interaction with the person listening to tell what they really think.

As an adult student who's simply terrified to play in front of anything other than my dogs, I'd be interested in hearing what other teachers have come up with to help with this.


#1418877 - 04/17/10 09:23 AM Re: Adult students & nerves [Re: keystring]
debtee Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 10
Loc: Green Bay
Thanks for your great insight! I really appreciate the time you took to help me with new ways to think about this. I'm sure it will help my students out.

#1418879 - 04/17/10 09:34 AM Re: Adult students & nerves [Re: T'sMom]
debtee Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 10
Loc: Green Bay
So is there anything that your teacher could do that would make you feel better about that frustration, or help you see that the problems you are having are normal? What would make you feel better?

#1418942 - 04/17/10 12:48 PM Re: Adult students & nerves [Re: debtee]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
It's a good idea to simply "plant" the idea of playing for others in the student's mind: "Can you imagine that someday you will want to and be able to share your music with others?"

Then when you hear some of her finished music that is a real candidate for her playing for others, you'd say something like, "This piece would really be a good choice for someday when you share your playing with others. Keep this one in your "repertoire". Or, "This song is so special and you play it so well." Create the word repertoire for this student. And make it seem like there is a "when", defeat the word "never". "Never say never." Suggest "someday". Just conversationally.

If the student has something to share and feels confident about it, they might venture forward.

In the meantime, read up on "stage fright" or "anxiety" and find some tools that might be useful for any reluctant student. Say, "I wouldn't be doing my job well if I didn't try to help you with this." (Smile) And, then there is the, "But, you say this without having actually challenged the thought - is what you are saying (quitting) really the truth?"

Of course, there is someone saying "no" who simply has no desire to play for others and they can say that without like a "No, thank you." (Acceptable to me.) But, when there is fear or heightened emotion about the "no", it needs to be gradually reduced in it's intensity by finding a comfort zone and more confidence and self esteem. "Maybe" and "Someday" is making progress.

It comes to mind, that if the teacher is not comfortable in performing, it is going to be harder to be convincing to the student and to create the results you want. If you are comfortable with performance, make sure you model that comfort to the student without saying anything about "performance".

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