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#1631196 - 03/02/11 04:17 AM Daydreamers
Pianolism Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/10
Posts: 54
Is it normal for students to daydream during pieces? Like lost the feeling? If so, what do you do?

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#1631284 - 03/02/11 09:17 AM Re: Daydreamers [Re: Pianolism]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7639
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Unfocused playing, and I'm sure it happens to everyone. That's why practicing should be short, highly focused and concentrated.
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

#1631291 - 03/02/11 09:32 AM Re: Daydreamers [Re: Pianolism]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 12667
Loc: Canada
Adding to what John said, the big trick to playing focused is to have something to focus on. That is not just the piece but some aspect of your playing from moment to moment that you concentrate on. If you "try to concentrate" then you will be "concentrating on concentrating" - watching your own concentration - and that isn't anything concrete to focus on.

#1648815 - 03/27/11 10:04 AM Re: Daydreamers [Re: Pianolism]
danshure Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 347
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: Pianolism
...what do you do?

I usually do something to "shock" them out of it, like have them do something away from the piano for a minute and come back, point and sing while I play, stop and chat for a few moments, listen to a recording, make them laugh somehow (usually at my expense).

A great one is to ask them to play one note wrong on purpose, or ask them to play all stacattos legato, all p's as f's - we're trying to activate their minds again, and engage them creatively in the piece.

So yes this is very common, but like keystring said, you can't just "try harder" to concentrate, you have to snap them out of it or give them something unexpected to get them out of it.
Go here ---> Piano Teaching Blog

#1648931 - 03/27/11 01:08 PM Re: Daydreamers [Re: Pianolism]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Some people have a short attention span. When I was a trainee teacher I was told not to expect an (adult) student to be able to focus with full attention on the same task for more that eight minutes. I presume that for children it's no longer. As a teacher (of any subject) it's almost certain that you're one of those few people who benefited from a _long_ attention span, so it's quite frustrating to have to deal with 'normal' people.

I'm not sure there's any solution to this problem other than to work with it, and change the task when the student starts to drift off.

Just my $0.02, of course.

#1648976 - 03/27/11 02:27 PM Re: Daydreamers [Re: Pianolism]
tdow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/13/10
Posts: 203
Loc: Canada
kevinb is right - research has shown that the focused attention span of a child is their age plus 2-3 minutes. After that you lose them. I'd suggest breaking up your lesson time into different sections, each with a different focus - and have some activities away from the bench. That way the time you do spend playing will be more productive as you'll have their full concentration. While it may be time away from the piece - you'll save yourself time in the long run by having a focused student.
Piano Teaching Resources with Personality

#1649016 - 03/27/11 03:33 PM Re: Daydreamers [Re: Pianolism]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1588
sounds like me while im playing...not a good look
music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain

#1649066 - 03/27/11 05:16 PM Re: Daydreamers [Re: Pianolism]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
I was hoping you'd all tell me how to keep a kid concentrating long enough to get through the second line....
piano teacher

#1649401 - 03/28/11 09:07 AM Re: Daydreamers [Re: Pianolism]
Canonie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 1941
Loc: Australia

Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.

#1649402 - 03/28/11 09:16 AM Re: Daydreamers [Re: Pianolism]
apple* Offline

Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
i used to relish practicing because it was my time for daydreaming.. I would imagine scenarios as I played.. weaving my 'dreams' into my interpretation.

I then learned over the years that focused practice is better, much better. I still let me mind wander. It's very therapeutic.
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Ă•un (apple in Estonian)

#1649461 - 03/28/11 11:16 AM Re: Daydreamers [Re: Lollipop]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1588
Originally Posted By: Lollipop
I was hoping you'd all tell me how to keep a kid concentrating long enough to get through the second line....

give them a lollipop or piece of gum. that will keep them focused grin
music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain

#1649692 - 03/28/11 05:04 PM Re: Daydreamers [Re: findingnemo2010]
currawong Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 6081
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: joeb84
give them a lollipop or piece of gum. that will keep them focused grin
nope - not near my piano! smile
Du holde Kunst...


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