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#1651332 - 03/30/11 11:03 PM What do you think about hitting young students?
weldon29 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/16/09
Posts: 83
Just now, I just saw teacher hitting(with a pencil and a violin bow)and yelling at a student for not curving the fingers and not practicing(supposedly), and it was awkward as heck for me. I'm wondering what the teachers here think about such behavior?

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#1651340 - 03/30/11 11:40 PM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: weldon29]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1402
Loc: near keyboard, mouth open
I think hitting a student is the perfect way to teach them not to take music lessons. I doubt they learn anything else from it.

Abusing children is also a prosecutable offense.

Elene
_________________________
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Blog: http://elenedom.wordpress.com
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#1651344 - 03/30/11 11:54 PM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: weldon29]
kissyana Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/07
Posts: 199
Loc: Northeast Illinois
Wow... I would never hit a student. Nag, correct, even bribe maybe but never hit. As a child, I was extremely sensitive to authority and would easily be reduced to tears if I got in even just a little bit of trouble (like the time I got caught passing a note in class). I can't think of any remotely normal scenarios in which it would be appropriate to strike a student.

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#1651349 - 03/31/11 12:10 AM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: weldon29]
Nikolas Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 4991
Loc: Europe
WOW! I agree with the above. WT*?!?!?! This is amazing!
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#1651399 - 03/31/11 03:34 AM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: weldon29]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: weldon29
Just now, I just saw teacher hitting(with a pencil and a violin bow)and yelling at a student for not curving the fingers and not practicing(supposedly), and it was awkward as heck for me. I'm wondering what the teachers here think about such behavior?


I'm surprised you even need to ask.

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#1651406 - 03/31/11 03:44 AM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: weldon29]
Nikolas Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 4991
Loc: Europe
I just need to further my post and say that you NEED to speak about this to the head of the department or something... This is obnoxious and ABSOLUTELY no action requires such reaction!
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#1651435 - 03/31/11 05:38 AM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: Nikolas]
weldon29 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/16/09
Posts: 83
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
I just need to further my post and say that you NEED to speak about this to the head of the department or something... This is obnoxious and ABSOLUTELY no action requires such reaction!
It's not a center or anything, so there's no one to report it to. The mother of the child is actually was actually sitting near her child and was knew that her child was being hit by the teacher, it seems like she doesn't mind that her child was getting "punished".

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#1651436 - 03/31/11 05:42 AM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: weldon29]
Meilen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 48
Loc: Switzerland
My first piano teacher did this to me ( a nun who seemed about a hundred years old at the time and probably was). I was terrified of her and it's a miracle I ever continued. I only recently told my mother this and she was horrified.

I would also say that you should report this, if there is someone to report it to. This kind of behaviour goes against everything that learning should be about.
_________________________
Teaching piano in English in Switzerland!

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#1651438 - 03/31/11 05:53 AM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: weldon29]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1183
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: weldon29
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
I just need to further my post and say that you NEED to speak about this to the head of the department or something... This is obnoxious and ABSOLUTELY no action requires such reaction!
It's not a center or anything, so there's no one to report it to. The mother of the child is actually was actually sitting near her child and was knew that her child was being hit by the teacher, it seems like she doesn't mind that her child was getting "punished".


OK. The mother was there. Unless you want to enter the morass of getting her classed as an "unfit parent" and having the child taken into care (and don't think that making trouble might not escalate that far) this is definitely NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

Anyway, as we've proved so often here, things overheard are often things misconstrued.

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#1651495 - 03/31/11 08:09 AM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: weldon29]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
I'm thinking if you need to ask, perhaps it isn't as bad as what the word "hitting" sounds like.

Sometimes I touch the back of a student's fingers as she is playing to remind her to round them, as it seems less interrupting than speaking. If I have a pencil in my hand, I can imagine that it would be easy to touch them with the pencil (I don't think I've ever done that, but it's certainly something that could happen.) This is not hitting.

Is this hitting in the form that the student draws back, and says 'ow'? Does it make the finger red, or sting or hurt in any way?

I would be really careful about making accusations. Two objects coming in contact do not necessarily imply pain.

If it is causing pain or is in any way violent, of course it is wrong.
_________________________
piano teacher

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#1651498 - 03/31/11 08:18 AM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: weldon29]
PianoMath Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 94
I have a student that i always need to hit. I think that there's no problem with it.

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#1651499 - 03/31/11 08:18 AM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: weldon29]
PianoMath Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 94
It's my girlfriend, btw. I love to hit her wink

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#1651566 - 03/31/11 10:12 AM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: weldon29]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10747
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Wow, just.....wow. First you need to define "hitting" a bit more clearly. I know I've tapped a student's hand with my own or possibly with a pencil if I had it in hand. But it NEVER was painful at all for the student, either emotionally or physically.

If in fact, it was something that caused the student emotional and/or physical pain, I think that you may want to approach the mother and suggest that this is not normal practice for a piano teacher. Perhaps she thinks it is good. It will be up to her, but you should definitely make sure you steer clear of that teacher.
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#1651621 - 03/31/11 11:16 AM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: Morodiene]
weldon29 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/16/09
Posts: 83
Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat


OK. The mother was there. Unless you want to enter the morass of getting her classed as an "unfit parent" and having the child taken into care (and don't think that making trouble might not escalate that far) this is definitely NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

Anyway, as we've proved so often here, things overheard are often things misconstrued.
I don't plan on doing anything about it, and I made this thread to ask what people think about using this kind of ways to teach students, not what I should do about the incident I describe.
Originally Posted By: Lollipop

Is this hitting in the form that the student draws back, and says 'ow'? Does it make the finger red, or sting or hurt in any way?

The child was crying.
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Wow, just.....wow. First you need to define "hitting" a bit more clearly. I know I've tapped a student's hand with my own or possibly with a pencil if I had it in hand. But it NEVER was painful at all for the student, either emotionally or physically.
It was pretty obvious from my view that the teacher was hitting to cause physical pain. And I don't think me doing anything would be of any help, as hitting and screaming is a acceptable way to teach young children here unfortunately.

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#1651629 - 03/31/11 11:23 AM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: weldon29]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3330
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: weldon29

The child was crying.

It was pretty obvious from my view that the teacher was hitting to cause physical pain. And I don't think me doing anything would be of any help, as hitting and screaming is a acceptable way to teach young children here unfortunately.


Yikes, something is seriously wrong there... shocked

I wouldn't even think of employing such a technique - gentle or otherwise.

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#1651637 - 03/31/11 11:39 AM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: weldon29]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7200
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: weldon29
Just now, I just saw teacher hitting(with a pencil and a violin bow)and yelling at a student for not curving the fingers and not practicing(supposedly), and it was awkward as heck for me. I'm wondering what the teachers here think about such behavior?

I don't find it necessary to hit anyone, except in self-defense. And while much which passes for modern education theory is psycho-babble, a physical approach to attention getting probably solves very few problems. To be fair, when my children were very young (pre-school), it was occasionally necessary to get their attention and sometimes words wouldn't do the trick.

As for this specific case, hearing one side of the story only makes evaluation difficult at best.
_________________________
"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

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#1651748 - 03/31/11 02:23 PM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: weldon29]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3328
Loc: Scotland
Seems like a child protection issue to me. I know in my country, I would contact social services. The fact that the mother was there makes no difference.

The reason is that protecting children is *everyone's* responsibility. Children are rarely able to get help for themselves. Maybe all is OK at home. Maybe it isn't.
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


www.justfingers.co.uk
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#1651753 - 03/31/11 02:28 PM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Nikolas Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 4991
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
To be fair, when my children were very young (pre-school), it was occasionally necessary to get their attention and sometimes words wouldn't do the trick.
I've also done that once with my older son. The first time he was continuously playing with the gas oven, back in London. This is NOT something you toy with! Another time he was playing with the hot iron, while my wife was using it. I didn't do anything to him and he got burned so that stopped him.

Hitting someone to cause pain, basically means that this is a punishment. If people think that such punishments can be used for educational purposes... I don't know what to say. But I'd like to know where in the world this is taken as the norm, please!
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#1651771 - 03/31/11 02:42 PM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: weldon29]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10747
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Yes, in the US, any kind of physical abuse is not allowed. Nor do I think it is really warranted. The child was crying! That poor thing...he probably trusted his teacher *and* his mother, and here they are the ones abusing him (his mother by her silent assent). Now, tears happen when a student doesn't practice or feels bad about their lack of progress...those are all things they have self-imposed and can correct. But it is due to someone causing them physical pain, I do not see the value. Obviously, their life or welfare was not threatened as in Nikolas's examples.
_________________________
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#1651790 - 03/31/11 03:02 PM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: Nikolas]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1183
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
If people think that such punishments can be used for educational purposes... I don't know what to say. But I'd like to know where in the world this is taken as the norm, please!


Oh, just about everywhere until we got all namby-pamby a relatively short while ago! And since we gave up on physical discipline, the world has become a much better place, right?

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#1651811 - 03/31/11 03:22 PM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: Exalted Wombat]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11171
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat
And since we gave up on physical discipline, the world has become a much better place, right?

Yes, it probably has. Good question.

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#1651832 - 03/31/11 03:48 PM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: Nikolas]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7200
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
I hate to show my age, but corporal punishment was well and widely accepted even in the USA until the mid-50s. Then it's use went into a steep decline.

FWIW, most of us boys would get into mischief if we could, and we certainly wanted to, but the consequences, which was meted out to the sucker among us, was enough to keep the rest of us in line.
_________________________
"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

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#1651852 - 03/31/11 04:13 PM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: weldon29]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2643
Loc: Kentucky
If the teacher intended to cause pain, then he chose the wrong weapons. Much better use from a ruler or an open hand. But a pencil? And a violin bow? Surely the teacher has no intention of damaging his bow.

Sounds like an unpleasant situation. My guess is that I would not have been thinking child abuse. But the teacher obviously lacks skill in working with kids.

Why were you observing this child's lesson?
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
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#1651875 - 03/31/11 04:43 PM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: keystring]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10747
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat
And since we gave up on physical discipline, the world has become a much better place, right?

Yes, it probably has. Good question.


Aren't we talking about hitting a student during a piano lesson? And not a parent disciplining their child?
_________________________
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MTNA member
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#1651893 - 03/31/11 05:06 PM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: weldon29]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1250
Loc: California
Two completely separate issues here:

1. Disciplining your children -

Corporal punishment was still in place when I went to school in the 70's. My husband can vouch for the 'pops' he used to get in the principal's office a few times a year.

I got spanked as a child; we spanked our own kids when they needed it. They're in their 20's now and have had actually thanked us for the occasionally wallop they incurred as children.


2. Hitting a piano student -

Completely unacceptable. But I'm wondering if there's a 'cultural' aspect to this. I've talked to teacher-friends who say that in their homeland (Asian or Russian), they were routinely smacked on the hand and yelled at during their lesson.
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#1651905 - 03/31/11 05:24 PM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: Exalted Wombat]
Nikolas Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 4991
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat
Oh, just about everywhere until we got all namby-pamby a relatively short while ago! And since we gave up on physical discipline, the world has become a much better place, right?
I simply don't believe that fear is the right method of teaching anything. It is fundamental for our well being, but not for educational purposes... Simply put you want the student to study the violin because they know it needs to be done in order to reach the desired result, because the student wants to keep parents and teacher happy, because the student is enjoying the violin performance. Worst reasons to do something is because of fear of punishment.

BTW, If you want to enter that discussion here's an analogy: I won't put any names, but over the past 30 years several countries have decided to discipline a remote country for whatever reason (right or wrong, I'm not examining that part). The resulted discipline is named "war" and has never ever brought the expected results. Discipline never came in any of the cases I can remember.

Perhaps I'm magnifying things to the extreme and going off topic, but my point is that if such magnitude situations can't work as required, are we certain that smaller scale ones work as intended?
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#1651928 - 03/31/11 05:57 PM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: weldon29]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4393
Loc: San Jose, CA
Striking someone else's child is over-the-top. Since the OP is only asking what I (we) think, I think it is a very poor pedagogical technique.

The mother should have put a stop to it then and there. If it had happened in my presence, I think I would have had a word with one or both of them. The third party is tacitly endorsing it, otherwise. But, it's understandable that it may be hard to know the best thing to say in the moment. "No more," comes to mind right away, even if you can't come up with anything else immediately.
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#1651933 - 03/31/11 06:07 PM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: weldon29]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
I figured the OP was a troll posting a crazy thing to get everyone riled up ;-)
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Independent Music Teacher
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#1651960 - 03/31/11 06:53 PM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: Stanny]
kck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 261
Originally Posted By: Stanny
I figured the OP was a troll posting a crazy thing to get everyone riled up ;-)


thumb That's what I thought too.
_________________________
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#1651972 - 03/31/11 07:15 PM Re: What do you think about hitting young students? [Re: kck]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1183
Loc: London UK
Yeah. This forum can get so nauseatingly fluffy, supportive and just damn CARING sometimes that I picture a grizzled old pianist with a beer belly, working in a cat house, posting just to take the p***.

Oh no, hold on. That's me. Except I got fired from the cat house.

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