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#1540550 - 10/21/10 09:02 PM Re: Whiny lazy kid ...HELP!!! [Re: Morodiene]
Feminicricket Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/10
Posts: 136
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Alreadyinuse
So the implicit agreement is "I will bring my child to you once a week, she will have fun pretending to learn ballet and you will have fun pretending to teach her, and we will make cherished videos at the end of the year of their essentially untutored efforts and we will all be happy and enroll next year."


I understand what you are saying and that you don't agree with it, but as a teacher I care very much for my art and I think if one asks for a higher standard, one will get it. Certainly there are those that do not agree and they study with someone who doesn't care about piano. My students enjoy the success that they have from their hard work, and they learn discipline, not chaos, is what brings a sense of accomplishment and self-esteem.


This is how I have always thought of my reason for teaching as. The respect for learning the art that has been passed down for hundreds of years by great teachers, performers and composers. It is like a valuable inheritance that has been passed down for generations. I agree with you completely Morodiene. This is why I yearn so much for my student to learn something at their lesson and practice it.
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#1540862 - 10/22/10 09:15 AM Re: Whiny lazy kid ...HELP!!! [Re: Feminicricket]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11913
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Feminicricket
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Alreadyinuse
So the implicit agreement is "I will bring my child to you once a week, she will have fun pretending to learn ballet and you will have fun pretending to teach her, and we will make cherished videos at the end of the year of their essentially untutored efforts and we will all be happy and enroll next year."


I understand what you are saying and that you don't agree with it, but as a teacher I care very much for my art and I think if one asks for a higher standard, one will get it. Certainly there are those that do not agree and they study with someone who doesn't care about piano. My students enjoy the success that they have from their hard work, and they learn discipline, not chaos, is what brings a sense of accomplishment and self-esteem.


This is how I have always thought of my reason for teaching as. The respect for learning the art that has been passed down for hundreds of years by great teachers, performers and composers. It is like a valuable inheritance that has been passed down for generations. I agree with you completely Morodiene. This is why I yearn so much for my student to learn something at their lesson and practice it.

Exactly. And if that means helping that child to success by just getting them to learn hands separately, or the first 4 measures, or whatever, little steps you need to give her, then that is much better than sitting back and just letting her doodle for the entire lesson (the equivalent to what that dance "teacher" was doing).
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Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1540885 - 10/22/10 10:02 AM Re: Whiny lazy kid ...HELP!!! [Re: Feminicricket]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
Originally Posted By: Feminicricket
Thank you. Your approach of giving 1-2 pieces worked. The mother actually took the trouble of seeing that her daughter learned to read notes. Today, the girl was focused, played much better than last week and even wanted to play the piece again by herself. She was motivated in her lessons and I too feel like I got somewhere with her.


Glad to hear it! Thanks for posting the follow-up. After a rough week with my own students, it's nice to know I actually helped someone somewhere. smile
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#1542558 - 10/24/10 05:29 PM Re: Whiny lazy kid ...HELP!!! [Re: Alreadyinuse]
Feminicricket Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/10
Posts: 136
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Alreadyinuse
I am not a piano teacher but I am a parent and I just wanted to add that I don’t think you should expect the child to practice if the mother doesn’t care and if the mother just wants the child to have fun. I know that in many ways the child will have more fun improving but many parents have philosophies that are as strongly held as the philosophies of many people on this forum. They do not believe in “pushing” their children but they do want to “expose” them to cultural experiences such as musical education, dance etc. to broaden their minds.

I do no actually subscribe this approach, but MANY of my perfectly nice friends do. They send their kids to ballet once a week, and have been for 5 years. I go to the year end recital and you never saw such a chaotic, ungraceful collection of kids in tutus in your life. The teacher is a professional ballet dancer and could teach the kids. However, kids quit the first year she was teaching because she corrected them in class. The teacher reformed her thinking on what the class was about for the kids and parents. The kids did not want to be good. They wanted to have fun dancing around to nice music. Their parents had no ballet goals for them, only that they have a fun after school activity that was different. So the implicit agreement is "I will bring my child to you once a week, she will have fun pretending to learn ballet and you will have fun pretending to teach her, and we will make cherished videos at the end of the year of their essentially untutored efforts and we will all be happy and enroll next year."

That is what this parent is likely asking of you, and it is what the school is asking of you so it is what you should do. Have fun, play games, some of them at the piano, some standing up and dancing to music, clapping rhythms, singing, learning notes. Don’t worry about pace, achievement, performance or anything else. Have fun and be her once-a-week after school activity.

Someone on this board gave good advice that I have been using with my own daughter to keep her practicing when a piece needs work. We move miniature "my little ponies" of which we have six from the left to the right of the piano. She rolls the die to determine how many times she is going to play through a difficult section. Then she places the correct number of ponies on the left of the piano. After each repetition, the little ponies "dance" around in wild appreciation, and one is selected to move to the other side of the piano. When they are all on the right, we leave that section and sometimes the piece. My daughter loves performing for the little ponies (who are unstinting in their appreciation, while I am more considered) and she loves the fact that the die sometimes comes up 1 or 2 (although ours seems to be unbalanced because it comes up SIXES a LOT!)





I have to write something about this because it involves the mom of the kid that I am mentioning in this whole thread. The mom had mentioned to her previous teacher(a really great teacher) that she only wants her daughter to have fun. Same thing happened when she came to me "I want her to have fun". I got this for 3 weeks. This is a mom who intially looked at me like I was nuts for expecting her daughter to practice. And yet, the moment she realized that her daughter was guessing all the notes and could not read properly at all. She went marching to the front reception to complain that after 1 year of lessons , her daughter is not sure how to read. Obviously, her previous teacher had given up trying to motivate this girl to practice and had given in to teaching to play by ear and writing the letter names of the notes on the music she was playing. Do you see what I mean? Most teachers have to face this. Parents need to be clear upfront what they expect to be achieved from a lesson. Now, the mom actually is taking the time to see to the girl`s practice after finding out that her daughter did not sustain the lesson because of lack of practice and focus on study. I am in no way putting down a "fun lesson" but parents need to be clear of what they want at the end.


Edited by Feminicricket (10/24/10 05:31 PM)
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LEARNING AND IMPROVING NEVER STOPS. It would be boring if it did.

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#1542564 - 10/24/10 05:41 PM Re: Whiny lazy kid ...HELP!!! [Re: Feminicricket]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Feminicricket: Exactly. Doing nothing, really nothing, is only "fun" for a few lessons before it becomes deadly boring and frustrating. "Just for fun" is some parents' and students' code for "don't ask me to learn anything at all", which some think they want - but actually nobody does want that, except as a short rest.
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#1542572 - 10/24/10 05:55 PM Re: Whiny lazy kid ...HELP!!! [Re: Feminicricket]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
I agree with David,

You only get out of it what you put in and unless you put in the practice it's unlikely that there is any fun to be had. It's not the same as other activities like sports and dance. They are often group sessions where there is social interaction and a mixture of kids who work and those who don't. It's still possible to enjoy those sessions if you don't practice although you get more from them if you do. In a piano lesson you are sat on that bench by yourself trying to do something which requires a lot of concentration, physical co-ordination and mental effort. If you are struggling with that then how can it be fun? And without practice and preparation you will struggle. I don't get why many parents fail to grasp this. If they want to expose their kids to music then take them to a concert where all they have to do is sit and listen. This would be more useful.
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#1544630 - 10/27/10 10:42 AM Re: Whiny lazy kid ...HELP!!! [Re: Feminicricket]
Feminicricket Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/10
Posts: 136
Loc: USA
I thank all of you for understanding the various situations that we as teachers go through and I also thank you all for the extremely valuable ideas given to remedy the situation. I feel like I have been to a piano teacher`s psychologist and feel a whole burden lifted off because of the common understanding. I really appreciate it. Everyone`s remark on this thread is important to me. It helps me evaluate certain students much better to find a good solution.
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LEARNING AND IMPROVING NEVER STOPS. It would be boring if it did.

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#1544695 - 10/27/10 12:01 PM Re: Whiny lazy kid ...HELP!!! [Re: Feminicricket]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3537
I think it is a fair requirement that the kid 'be happy' with the lesson. Gettting happiness out of it seems to me the main reason to play piano, right?

So I scanned the replies above to see how to get there.

Overall I get this impression:

1 Some (many?) have no idea that working is giving joy, and incorrectly think that fun is only about having food in your mouth or hanging on the bench.

2 Therefore, a light push to get them working makes all happy.

3 It would be even better if they realized (1) but I did not see any hint how to achieve that.
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#1544782 - 10/27/10 01:56 PM Re: Whiny lazy kid ...HELP!!! [Re: wouter79]
Feminicricket Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/10
Posts: 136
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: wouter79
I think it is a fair requirement that the kid 'be happy' with the lesson. Gettting happiness out of it seems to me the main reason to play piano, right?

So I scanned the replies above to see how to get there.

Overall I get this impression:

1 Some (many?) have no idea that working is giving joy, and incorrectly think that fun is only about having food in your mouth or hanging on the bench.

2 Therefore, a light push to get them working makes all happy.

3 It would be even better if they realized (1) but I did not see any hint how to achieve that.


Are you a teacher? I was just curious. As teachers we try our best to make the class a happy one and all about having fun for certain type of kids. The problem starts normally when the kid gets too comfortable and starts getting too laid back about the lesson itself and then not focus on practicing or learning anything in class. A responsible teacher would be very bothered if a student comes to lessons every week with no improvement whatsoever. That is when the teacher has to stop some of the 'fun' and put the kid to work,or else, almost always if the kid plays badly at the school recitals, the teacher will get the blame. Some parents don`t understand that having a piano lesson is an education just like math. It requires using the brains and attention. Parents who don`t understand this are the ones who are going to concerts and listening to a musician 'have fun' during the concert and they assume that it is something that you do not have to work for. When I perform I sometimes cringe when someone tells me "Wow! You are so talented!" because it makes it sound like it came easy to me when in fact I had put in hours and hours of intensive practice for years and had a very strict teacher (thankfully). I must admit that I did not enjoy having a strict teacher at first and it was much later that I realized that my teacher was strict for my own good. I started enjoying my lessons more and more because my teacher pushed me and I started learning more challenging stuff. I realize that I can`t do this with the ones who just want to have fun and have to cut down my expectations greatly and give them very little work and stuff that is not challenging because they are not interested in such things.
_________________________
LEARNING AND IMPROVING NEVER STOPS. It would be boring if it did.

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#1544859 - 10/27/10 04:14 PM Re: Whiny lazy kid ...HELP!!! [Re: Feminicricket]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3537
No I'm not a teacher although I sometimes teach my friend's child piano or help with school work.

But my point was that the problem seems to be that these children do not realize that work (eg studying on a piece) is also giving pleasure.

My question is just, how do you learn someone to learn with pleasure? Or maybe, why do they think some things are not fun?
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#1545306 - 10/28/10 09:26 AM Re: Whiny lazy kid ...HELP!!! [Re: wouter79]
Feminicricket Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/10
Posts: 136
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: wouter79
No I'm not a teacher although I sometimes teach my friend's child piano or help with school work.

But my point was that the problem seems to be that these children do not realize that work (eg studying on a piece) is also giving pleasure.

My question is just, how do you learn someone to learn with pleasure? Or maybe, why do they think some things are not fun?


I think someone can start enjoying the class more if after understanding the lesson, they practice at home so that the following week`s lesson would make sense and lessons will be easier if they practice. Beginners pieces are very simple and sometimes sound boring. It is as they progress that they start playing something that sound much nicer to listen to.
Children might think some things are not fun because of the repetitions of the piece they have to do in order to correct mistakes and keep the flow of the tempo to play faster. Many come with preconceived ideas that it is always going to be really easy without any work on their part. Some violin students take lessons after listening to Andre Rieu and think their violin is going to sound like his in just a few lessons. I sometimes wish that artistes who appear on TV would give a little talk about the hours they had to practice to get where they are. Also I wish they had Classical Idol on TV. I can dream can`t I?
_________________________
LEARNING AND IMPROVING NEVER STOPS. It would be boring if it did.

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