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#2038314 - 02/24/13 07:41 AM Students with ADHD
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
I'd love to hear about what you find to be effective when teaching students with ADHD. I have read a bit about it and I've talked to lots of parents and teachers... anyway, I'll chime in later, would love to hear our thoughts
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#2038319 - 02/24/13 07:59 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4801
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Nannerl Mozart
I'd love to hear about what you find to be effective when teaching students with ADHD. I have read a bit about it and I've talked to lots of parents and teachers... anyway, I'll chime in later, would love to hear our thoughts

I'm sure that if I had grown up in the 90s instead of the 50s, I would have been labeled ADD. Those of us born in 1948 just got things like this:

"James needs help in learning to listen to and follow directions."

I had that checked every report card, with my name of course.

In fact, it took me many years to learn how to DELIBEREATELY ignore fools, some of whom were my teachers.

I have some trouble with ADHD students, for obvious reasons, but I have more in common with them then with the "normal" students, who think slower.

The ADD and ADHD students sometimes vex me, but often they are also the most interesting of my students.
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#2038351 - 02/24/13 09:55 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Gary D.]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
I'm sure that if I had grown up in the 90s instead of the 50s, I would have been labeled ADD. Those of us born in 1948 just got things like this:

"James needs help in learning to listen to and follow directions."

*************************************************

In fact, it took me many years to learn how to DELIBERATELY ignore fools, some of whom were my teachers.

Gary, that makes two of us. I'm still not entirely convinced that ADD is just a fabrication to make it easier for teachers to avoid having to learn how to deal with boys. AMEN to your 2nd comment!
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"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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#2038365 - 02/24/13 10:17 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: John v.d.Brook]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2543
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
I agree with you guys. ADD and ADHD seem so overdiagnosed that I sometimes informally use the label "Y chromosome syndrome" to describe boys with normal behavior. smile

For normal active kids, you need to keep the activities interesting and at an appropriate level of difficulty, maintain high rates of positive reinforcement, and have an overt and predictable routine.

Now if the kid really has an attention deficit, it will be impossible for him or her to focus even on a favorite activity for more than a few seconds. Of course you won't know what the child's behavior is like outside of lesson time, so you'll need to talk to the parents about the child's ability to focus during other activities.
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A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2038391 - 02/24/13 10:52 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11922
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I may have also been labeled ADD as a child if they had such a diagnosis back then. However, my behavior was strictly due to abuse and treating me with drugs would have made it worse I'm sure. I know from speaking with a friend who is a psychologist that abuse in homes and school these days is astronomical in proportions (over 80% kids today experience some form of abuse), so I always keep that in mind when working with kids that I suspect are being treated for ADD/ADHD.

I also know that diet is a huge contributor to these disorders and the American diet is rife with sugars and white flour to the point where it makes such symptoms worse.

Both of these are things I cannot change. It's not my job to diagnose or try to resolve unless, of course, I have some kind of proof there is abuse going on. Most often it's emotional though, and that is very hard to make a case for.

I try to make lessons as safe an environment as possible for them, and orderly. These two things are great for all kids, but especially necessary for ones who are exhibiting such symptoms. The ones with seemingly difficulty sitting still or paying attention will need far more structure in the lesson, perhaps visual ways of showing them how they are doing and what's coming up next.

These specific methods have been discussed in the past, so please do a search on this site for them. Also, if you have a particular student that you are teaching that you suspect has ADD/ADHD, let us know specifically what he/she is doing and we can try to address that. Each child is different and you need to first think of the broader issue of what ADD kids need before developing a specific regimin that will help.
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#2038418 - 02/24/13 12:35 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
I have had learning difficulties my whole life. I am dyslexic, memory problems.

I can learn most everything but I learn more slowly and often have to arrange things differently to learn things than what other people would learn it which often drives people cracy. I have to tell people that they have to write things down because I will not be able to remember things short term.

It would he helpful if you described some of he problems because ADHD is a huge subject.

So things related to piano playing. Do they play without mistakes. Do they look at the music and not their hands.
Can they count? How do they practice? Can they play a scale?
Are they 12 or 112? Are they able to express themselves or are they not able to expess themselves in words. How long have they been playing piano, 3 months or 3 years?

Why do you think they are ADHD? Why don't you think they are not dyslexic? What method books are you using to teacher this student or all your students? How long have you been teaching piano 6 months or 6 years? Why wouldn't you post anything about the person's piano difficulties so you can get relevant feedback?


Edited by Michael_99 (02/24/13 12:43 PM)

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#2038556 - 02/24/13 04:52 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Morodiene]
AimeeO Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013


Registered: 05/20/10
Posts: 803
Loc: New Orleans
I have attention issues. My problems stem from my mind constantly racing, resulting in difficulty in focusing. I've been like this since childhood. I've always been able to pick things up quickly or fake them, so it never seemed apparent as a child, so it was never really noticed, or labeled. But as I get older, I've noticed more and more of a problem, and have been able to rationalize it out. Maybe this can help you figure out what might be going on with some your students, music-wise, and figure out what methods you can use to help them.

1. I click out while playing all the time. I can be reading sheet music, and if I know a part well, I just play and start thinking about something else. Then I realize what I'm doing and often have no idea where I am in the music and just stop.

2. I get extremely impatient with sections I'm having problems with. If I'm having a hard time with a passage, it's hard to slow down and focus. So my brain starts going, from why I can't do this to I am so annoyed I can't do this. Then I just go on to something else. There are days I can turn off the chatter in my brain and just focus, and I fix these areas.

3. It's hard to play slowly. Especially if you know how something sounds and you play to keep up with the soundtrack in your head. My hands are racing along with my brain. Along with this has come with problems playing through mistakes. When I mess up I want to start all over to try to make it sound right. This is obviously not a good way to go about learning things, and things start out great and the end is always bad.

4. If I can do something initially, I think I have it and then I move on. This is an issue when playing. I can play something pretty well a few times in a row, think I have it, and move on. Then when it becomes lesson time, I don't have it.

5. I can also look you dead in the eye, listen to you explain something to me, catch a few key phrases here and to make the proper responses to what you're saying, but my mind has wandered so far off I really didn't take it in. So if you explain to me how best to practice something, I only heard chunks and promptly forget. It can get embarrassing asking someone over and over to repeat. (And annoying - I know I hate repeating myself!)

6. If I am super interested in something, the opposite occurs. For example, when reading, if I am reading something fascinating, I won't stop. I've gone through 8-hour marathons of reading, because I'm so wrapped up in it I won't put it down. I won't realize I haven't eaten, or heard the phone ring. But if I have to read something not so interesting, I'll read over it and not comprehend a single thing. Sometimes I'll go through a page or two, my mind will drift, and I have no idea what I just read. This may happen several times in a row. I just lose focus that fast, and I don't even realize it at the time. If I have a piece I'm working on that I happen to like a lot, I will zero in on it and often ignore other assignments or exercises.

7. I often look for the shortest route so I can do something else.


In a nutshell, my mind races so fast sometimes I don't know how it got from one place to another, and it happens in a matter of seconds. It has gone on many years, I've sub-consciously developed coping mechanisms to function normally. Its seems like such a simple fix - clear your head and focus solely on the task at hand. But then you get frustrated because you can't, and that leads to more racing.


Originally Posted By: Morodiene
The ones with seemingly difficulty sitting still or paying attention will need far more structure in the lesson, perhaps visual ways of showing them how they are doing and what's coming up next.


Morodiene, you hit the nail on the head with this.

This is what I've found to be helpful with me. Obviously with kids you'll have to make it far more entertaining.

- I need clear instruction, and I need to be made to do it a few times (ongoing, not just in one lesson) to make sure I'm doing it, or I haven't slipped into other habits, until it's apparent that I'm doing.

- A clear understanding on where I'm going with something and where it will lead me, so I won't start wondering about that and go on another mental tangent.

- Some sort of structure. Being assigned solid number of reps to do when doing this or that helps. A list of what I need to do and things to cross off is very helpful.

- I had to force myself onto the metronome (it took a looooong time to get myself there!), and it's actually become soothing. It's a distraction, and it makes me follow along.

- Constant activity.

- Head off impatient or frustrating moments when possible. Not always easy to do, but there are situations that could be steered off into different directions.

- I keep a log of what I've worked on every day so I can plainly see when something's been ignored.

I've started making changes in the past 6 months, and it has made a difference.

I hope this can help someone!


Edited by AimeeO (02/24/13 04:54 PM)

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#2038577 - 02/24/13 05:18 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: AimeeO]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5932
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: AimeeO
I hope this can help someone!
Aimee, thanks so much for posting all this. I found it very enlightening.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#2038672 - 02/24/13 08:24 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5486
Loc: Orange County, CA
I have taught in classrooms with ADHD students. Sometimes, as I was dealing their behavior problems, I wondered if they were really ADHD kids or just kids who _chose_ to act out every 3 minutes.

And, no, there was nothing I could do to engage them. I was supposed to get special-ed helpers in my classroom since I had more than two of them at the same time, and I didn't get any help. It was a pathetic situation.
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#2038874 - 02/25/13 06:59 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Wonder how ADHD your student turns out to be after a month of spending an hour per day doing rigorous physical fitness and consuming no sugar, caffeine and fast food?

Perhaps teachers are being unreasonably asked to be acting more like frantic birthday party clowns and babysitters instead of being teachers because students are being delivered to them by parents in a condition that is completely unfit and poisoned by a toxic diet.

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#2038896 - 02/25/13 08:00 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
Marco M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 451
Loc: Europe
Give them only few but very clear limits and stricktly stick to them _always_. They otherwise will not / can not take them serious.

Give them short and clear explanations, and repeat them more often. They will pick them up in the one or other moment.

Give them more awards for their achievements (at least verbally) than you would do it for other kids and prepare the classes in a way that they have frequently the chance to become awarded. But please don´t point out what they are doing wrong. They experience so much frustration in so many situations, that you don´t want to add burden on their higher risk to become depressive and more likely then others one day start to take comfort i.e. in drugs, especially that it is proven that kids with this desease do NOT learn from their mistakes like normal kids do! So, no reason to point out their failures - especially not in a class of their leisure time.

Don´t forget that they suffer a concentration deficit, and are not necessarily stupid.

Show them that you like them, although they are difficult. They will love you for this and then find it easier to pay attention to what you are saying.

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#2038902 - 02/25/13 08:11 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
prenex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 189
Loc: Minnesota
I've coached a kid with ADHD at chess. Working with this kid was like watching a fast forward newsreel of his life. In between narratives of what he had for dinner and his trip to summer camp there were a few minutes of brilliance. He just had to be ready. Sometimes I had to do some prompting, sometimes he came to it all by himself. I estimate that out of a half hour we probably had 3-5 minutes of readiness. He eventually did quite well and became the second ranked K-5 player in the metro district.

In general, whatever you do with neurotypical kids will work. You just have to do it at the right time, do it more often, and be more focused. Think of it as if it's a teeter totter. The kid is on the extreme end and you have to balance it on the other.


Edited by prenex (02/25/13 08:14 AM)

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#2038910 - 02/25/13 08:24 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: theJourney]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11922
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Wonder how ADHD your student turns out to be after a month of spending an hour per day doing rigorous physical fitness and consuming no sugar, caffeine and fast food?

Perhaps teachers are being unreasonably asked to be acting more like frantic birthday party clowns and babysitters instead of being teachers because students are being delivered to them by parents in a condition that is completely unfit and poisoned by a toxic diet.


This is huge. I don't think the general populace really understands just how bad sugar and white flour products and chemicals in food are. How many people really read the ingredients on things they buy? How many try to buy as much fresh produce as possible? It takes extra time and effort, and I honestly think most people feel they can't afford to eat better. But when you have children who are always more susceptible to effects of things (you don't give kids regular strength tylenol, you give them children's tylenol, for example), things that you may be fine with could be disastrous for a child.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2039067 - 02/25/13 02:41 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4801
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
I'm sure that if I had grown up in the 90s instead of the 50s, I would have been labeled ADD. Those of us born in 1948 just got things like this:

"James needs help in learning to listen to and follow directions."

*************************************************

In fact, it took me many years to learn how to DELIBERATELY ignore fools, some of whom were my teachers.

Gary, that makes two of us. I'm still not entirely convinced that ADD is just a fabrication to make it easier for teachers to avoid having to learn how to deal with boys. AMEN to your 2nd comment!

John, someone right after you talked about the "Y Chomosome" factor. I read that and laughed because I have been saying for years that this is a huge factor. Now, since world-class players are hardly dominated by women, I would say that many of the male "problems" are also potential strengths.

I would say the converse is equally true of women, even young ones. smile
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Piano Teacher

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#2039072 - 02/25/13 02:46 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Michael_99]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4801
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Michael_99
I have had learning difficulties my whole life. I am dyslexic, memory problems.

Since the discussion is about “attention deficit”, aren't we talking about three problems?

1) Ability to stay focused (and that is a HUGE are right there).

2) Dyslexia. My understanding is that this has nothing to do with focus, overall intelligence or memory

3) Memory.

So my first question: what are we talking about here?
Quote:

I can learn most everything but I learn more slowly and often have to arrange things differently to learn things than what other people would learn it which often drives people cracy. I have to tell people that they have to write things down because I will not be able to remember things short term.

Is this ADD? My learning style is very individual, geared to my own mind and the way I learn. No one, and I mean NO ONE understands how I learn, so generally I get almost zero help in any area if I ask for help in HOW to learn. That I do better by myself. And for the record I don't think there is a da mned thing wrong with me. smile
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Piano Teacher

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#2039084 - 02/25/13 03:02 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: malkin]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4801
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: malkin

Now if the kid really has an attention deficit, it will be impossible for him or her to focus even on a favorite activity for more than a few seconds. Of course you won't know what the child's behavior is like outside of lesson time, so you'll need to talk to the parents about the child's ability to focus during other activities.

I think there is some “wiggle room” here in applying “ADD”. I have encountered what I would call “severe cases” of ADHD in which I found it absolutely impossible to work with a child. For the moment lets not get into parenting and diet, but those are huge factors. For instance, if young Jayden is sucking down huge amounts of soda and caffeine, obviously has no self-control whatsoever, and “Mom” is in the room observing the whole thing with not a clue that anything is seriously wrong, there is a lot more going on than ADD.

Let's talk for a moment about really bright kids who are properly diagnosed, where the parents are fully on-board, supportive and effective, aware of the problems. I have one student like this. He came to me on meds, I don't think for a moment that he was not carefully monitored for diet, and I think his parents are great. Just first-rate. So we work together. Obviously I am not going to share his name, but I did have a great problem teaching him. Some lessons would leave me shaking, torn between the need to scream at him for being a jerk and the knowledge that he could not control himself and that he was TRYING.

Fast forward to a few years later. We still have hard lessons, but he is aware of “how he is”, and it helps when I remind him, over and over again, that I am just as impatient as he is, that many of the things that drive me nuts about his listening are things I share, and so on.

I can't listen to people talk for more than about 20 seconds before I am “away” unless the people talking are making sense to me and are not presenting their ideas in

S----U----P-----E-----R-------------------S-----L------O-----W------------------M----O-----T----I----O----N

In other words, I secretly tell myself how stupid most people are, and how they do not deserve to be listened to, then I think my own thoughts or make an exit. Well, my ADD and ADHD kids, the ones who are aware, are actually excited when I say that. Because suddenly we are not in different worlds.

Another thing I seem to share with these kids is the ability to concentrate like a demon for HOURS, if it is something that is FAST and EXCITING and involves MOVEMENT. I have to LIKE what I am doing, a lot. If I don't like what I'm doing, it doesn't matter if my life is on the line as the result of what I pay attention to. Everything turns into noise.

If I don't like music, I can't hear it. I tune it out.

If I read a book, ANY book, and don't like it, I tune out.

When I was forced to learn music I did not like, I tuned out.

So, as I suggested before: Do I have an attention problem? Or do I have a problem pleasing other people, including teachers, by pretending to care a a whit about something that bores the crap out of me?

My conclusion: the ability to concentrate is a spectrum, the ability to sit still and “behave” when what is going on is mind-crushingly boring is a spectrum. And the ability to be tactful about being bored to death is a spectrum.

So sometimes, when someone says, “What did I just say?” my reaction is embarrassment, because I went off again and really should have listened.

Usually my reaction is, “What you just said is boring and probably wrong. Stop being so boring and I will listen to you.”

And that is EXACTLY what many of these kids are thinking, but they are not allowed to say so.

I've been there...


Edited by Gary D. (02/25/13 04:14 PM)
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#2039314 - 02/25/13 09:49 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Gary D.]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2543
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Nice post Gary D.
(I'm glad you got my 'Y chromosome syndrome' diagnosis and laughed rather than taking offense.)

Originally Posted By: Gary D.
...My conclusion: the ability to concentrate is a spectrum, the ability to sit still and “behave” when what is going on is mind-crushingly boring is a spectrum. And the ability to be tactful about being bored to death is a spectrum.


+1
Which is why meetings are so stink boring, because the content must be presented so that the weakest link could possibly get it. Which leaves minds like yours and probably to a lesser extent, mine to their own devices.

Originally Posted By: Gary D.
So sometimes, when someone says, “What did I just say?” my reaction is embarrassment, because I went off again and really should have listened.

Usually my reaction is, “What you just said is boring and probably wrong. Stop being so boring and I will listen to you.”

And that is EXACTLY what many of these kids are thinking, but they are not allowed to say so.


My standard reply in this situation, which I teach some of my clients to say, "I'm sorry, I wasn't listening."
It's simple, direct, and true, and at least the form is polite.


Someone else raised the issue that kids with ADHD are not cognitively impaired. Cognition is probably normally distributed in this population, but remember that if a person has not able to pay attention to much of what happens in the world, there is probably much knowledge and many skills that he or she has missed that other kids in the same environment have mastered.
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A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2039396 - 02/26/13 01:31 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Gary D.]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Now, since world-class players are hardly dominated by women, I would say that many of the male "problems" are also potential strengths.

I would say the converse is equally true of women, even young ones. smile


One of the main reasons that the world of master pianists is not " hardly dominated by women " has more to do with the fact that until quite recently most women were not allowed to work outside of the home after marrying age and that touring as a performing star was generally considered unbecoming for women in many cultures and societies.

In other words, it is not the men have an advantage for playing the piano at a high level but rather that women have been discriminated against and discouraged against and prevented from becoming performing stars.

There is even evidence to suggest that women have great advantage in playing the piano due to the make-up of their brain which has a larger corpus collosum and better integration between the left and right hemispheres thereby more easily using the entire brain (ratio + emotio) which is necessary for sensitive piano playing.

In addition, many of the women pianists we do have (and have had) I much prefer to some of the top-billed male pianists. For example, Mario-Joao Pires, Bella Davidovich, Martha Argerich, Teresa Carreno, Mitsuko Uchida, Clara Haskil, Alicia de Larocha, Anna Kratvchenko, Yuja Wong, etc. etc.

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#2039457 - 02/26/13 07:51 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: theJourney]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3200
Loc: Virginia, USA
I had an article saved that suggested women were under represented because they were too smart to spend the huge amount of time to master piano given the low expected return.

I'm paraphrasing, and badly.

I can't find the article now.
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#2039519 - 02/26/13 10:13 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11676
Loc: Canada
Can the author substantiate that idea, or is it just an opinion coming out of nowhere? I hope the author is a woman, and not a young one. smile

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#2039573 - 02/26/13 11:46 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: theJourney]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4801
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: theJourney

One of the main reasons that the world of master pianists is not " hardly dominated by women " has more to do with the fact that until quite recently most women were not allowed to work outside of the home after marrying age and that touring as a performing star was generally considered unbecoming for women in many cultures and societies.

You cherry-picked my post to make a point that counters something that I did not mean to say.

I was saying that the way many males think is not necessarily a disadvantage for many things, including playing the piano very well.

I was not saying that men have an ADVANTAGE over women. There are several women pianists who are among my favorites, one being Argerich. That said, from everything I have read Argerich might have fallen into the "ADD" label had she chosen a different career. The very things that are strengths are often labeled as weaknesses. That was my main point, not male vs. female.
Quote:

In other words, it is not the men have an advantage for playing the piano at a high level but rather that women have been discriminated against and discouraged against and prevented from becoming performing stars.

No argument from me, but that was never my point.
Quote:

There is even evidence to suggest that women have great advantage in playing the piano due to the make-up of their brain which has a larger corpus collosum and better integration between the left and right hemispheres thereby more easily using the entire brain (ratio + emotio) which is necessary for sensitive piano playing.

Again, you are turning this into male vs. female. You can continue this if you like, but please not with me. It it is not my point. I have no "dog in this fight".
Quote:

In addition, many of the women pianists we do have (and have had) I much prefer to some of the top-billed male pianists. For example, Mario-Joao Pires, Bella Davidovich, Martha Argerich, Teresa Carreno, Mitsuko Uchida, Clara Haskil, Alicia de Larocha, Anna Kratvchenko, Yuja Wong, etc. etc.

Yuja Wang, not Wong, who is also one of my favorite.

I agree with your points. But I'm not sure why you are making them to me. <confused>
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#2039621 - 02/26/13 01:07 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Gary D.]
TimR Offline
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Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3200
Loc: Virginia, USA
I will try to resurrect a few thoughts from the article I read unfortunately too long ago.

The idea (I think) (just continue inserting parenthetical caveats) (except keystring of course! <g>) is that a certain amount of dedication to piano, or baseball, or anthing else, makes cost/benefit sense. An hour a day, say, will yield benefits in terms of skill development, self discipline, fun, feelings of accomplishment, etc. You'd just waste that hour watching reality TV anyway. Well, I wouldn't, I'd read a book. Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside a dog, it's too dark to read. But I digress.

But that level of committment will never get you close to performance levels. Mastery requires a singleminded obsession that borders on autism, and requires significant sacrifice in most other areas of life.

Of those who do so, only a tiny percent really succeed. You have two factors: likelihood of success, and return on investment IF you succeed. (the world's best quarterback is paid pretty well; the world's best dart thrower not. Piano is closer to darts. )

So from a cost/benefit analysis, it makes little sense to put in effort when likelihood of success is low and payback is also low.

Vastly oversimplified, the theory is that girls are smart enough to make that calculation while boys are not, particularly if the activity seems to be a game or hobby.
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#2039625 - 02/26/13 01:14 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
keystring Offline
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Ok, that is an hypothesis. It is not the same thing as knowing that women made such a decision, and for such a reason. In fact, I don't think that was the case.

Your cost/benefit may have a different application however. Did parents and teachers bother to invest in girls?

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#2039641 - 02/26/13 01:28 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: keystring]
TimR Offline
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Registered: 08/17/04
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Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: keystring

Your cost/benefit may have a different application however. Did parents and teachers bother to invest in girls?


That's not a simple question at all, is it? Even aside from cultural and generational biases.

I have only girls, so I don't know personally. On the surface it wouldn't have made a difference to me.

But, how many fathers spend hour after hour playing catch with their boys? Probably most. How many spend hours playing piano duets with their girls?

And there's an interaction. Boys will nag their fathers to come out and play ball. Girls, not so much. I always encouraged my girls to do various activities, sports and others, but when they resisted I didn't push it. Guess I'm not a tiger dad.

In sports, boys understand the need to perfect skills away from practice, even those who are just dabblers. I think that's a kind of collective mindset that's passed on. I've seen far less of that happen with girls. Maybe that's getting better. When Ronda beat Liz via armbar Saturday, you know there were thousands of hours of gym time for both.
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#2040038 - 02/27/13 08:51 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
Nannerl Mozart Offline
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Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
I just want to clarify a few things. Michael99, I am thinking specifically about one of my students who happens to have severe ADHD and this is not something I have 'suspected' this is something that his parents told me about when I started teaching him. I just wanted to get the ball rolling in terms of what other teachers have found to be effective, so I could try new things. I'd like to develop this boys ability in technique and reading music but it is difficult to get him to sit down for more than a few minutes. I have worked with this though - I have broken up the lesson into chunks and not all the work as at the piano, I get him to tap, conduct and clap rhythms. We play rhythm games too and he is fascinated with the metronome so I let him use it - he doesn't use it correctly, lately it has been more of a thing to set the tempo, not a bad start to using the metronome though.

I find that he doesn't like to try new things. He told me that he hates challenges because he never succeeds in them. This has become a challenge for me (HA!)... but I have found that he likes trying out new games, he just hates challenges, so I reword things and dress them up into games.

The longer I have been teaching him, the more I feel like I am growing as a teacher. I am relatively young, I haven't finished my undergraduate degree in music (yet) but the more weeks and months that go by, and the more advice I get from parents, teachers, psychologists, teachers aides, books, articles, etc... the more things I find to apply to my teaching. I can deal with tantrums a lot better these days.

AimeeO thanks for your insight, it was truly interesting to read. And I agree with Currawong, it was truly enlightening.

Marco M, I know that they are not stupid. This boy did an IQ test in one of his assessments and he did score very high. I find that with students in general - it helps to say things like "How could you make that better? Where do you think you can fix that?" rather than "That was wrong. Do it again." Asking them questions gets them to think... Bleeping the word wrong out completely is also wrong to me, sometimes it is easier to be simple, particularly when you are dealing with young children "was that right or wrong?" but every student is different.

I do want to also implement a few things. I wanted to employ some music therapy techniques into my teaching. There is a link with ADHD and anxiety, and so in very angsty/angry moments, I have time out time ... I intend to play soothing music during time out time. It's a work in progress, haven't tried it yet.
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#2040109 - 02/27/13 11:54 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3200
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Nannerl Mozart
I intend to play soothing music during time out time. It's a work in progress, haven't tried it yet.


Just a point of information, which you may know already.

"Time out" is the shortened version of two different concepts, and to be effective you need to be aware of the difference.

"Time out from reinforcement" and "time out from stimulation" are not the same thing. Time out from reinforcement is the more commonly used in most settings, but for an ADHD person it may need to be the other. If so, you'll need to be very alert. What is soothing to you may be stimulating to them, and increase the behavior you didn't want.

I've never seen the pop psychology articles make this distinction, but anyone who works in the field knows.
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#2040117 - 02/27/13 12:21 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: TimR]
keystring Offline
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11676
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: TimR


I've never seen the pop psychology articles make this distinction, but anyone who works in the field knows.

To be able to see ideas in context, do you work in the field?

By the way, I don't work in the field either - I'm a trained teacher with some training in LD's but on a psychologist - but I agree with what you wrote. "Soothing music" can drive some people bonkers because their needs are indeed opposite. I know someone who needs fast, rhythmic music (which drives me insane) and finds it calming.

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#2040140 - 02/27/13 12:56 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: keystring]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3200
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: TimR


I've never seen the pop psychology articles make this distinction, but anyone who works in the field knows.

To be able to see ideas in context, do you work in the field?



No, I don't work in the field.

I worked 4 years in corrections, 8 years in mental hospitals, and a year part time in a college counseling center, and completed the coursework but not dissertation for a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology (Univ of Wisconsin). My first undergrad degree, from Notre Dame, was in Psychology.

Then I changed my mind, retrained, and have been a mechanical engineer the past 22 years.

Does that help with the context?

If I live long enough, I'm thinking about a third career. Haven't decided what yet.
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#2040142 - 02/27/13 01:01 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: TimR]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3200
Loc: Virginia, USA
And no, I don't think I'm ADHD myself, but I probably have some features.

I'm pretty sure I would have been diagnosed as Asperger's when I was a child, but that didn't really hit the news until 1981, way too late for me.
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#2040143 - 02/27/13 01:04 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: TimR]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11676
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: TimR

Does that help with the context?

Yes, it does actually. smile We get people who have read books, people who philosophize, and then people who have some kind of practical experience with or without training. So knowing what kind of background someone is coming from does help to weigh the words. Thank you. smile

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