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#2084641 - 05/18/13 09:54 AM Re: Students' attitude list?? [Re: MaggieGirl]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3006
Loc: Virginia, USA
I was in a Distar classroom once during an internship.

They started the day by screaming the rules at the top of their lungs.

They seemed to really get into the spirit of it, too, like being at a pep rally.
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#2084662 - 05/18/13 10:23 AM Re: Students' attitude list?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Brinestone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 345
Okay, the copy editor in me feels compelled to edit your original list, ezpiano. I hope that's not annoying, but if you're going to show this to your students and their parents, you want it clean.

1. No whining.
2. No saying, "I can't."
3. No rudeness, no swearing, and no defensiveness. Treat your teacher with respect.
4. No banging on the piano. When the piano lid is closed, no elbows on the piano.
5. Be quiet, keep your hands in your lap, and pay attention when I'm talking.
6. It's okay to not be perfect. Have a good attitude about your mistakes. They are an essential part of learning.
7. Bring your notebook, theory book, and all piano books to every lesson.
8. If you haven't practiced, tell your teacher at the beginning of your lesson. Then we can do something else rather than going through your songs.
9. Be open. Be willing to change. Even if you think your way is better or it's too hard to do something different, give my suggestions a try. Some things just take time.
10. Have fun! Making music is exciting.

I incorporated "no defensiveness" into your #3, added a new #5 according to another suggestion because I thought it was important, added #10 to keep the positivity up, deleted some of the more bitter-sounding wording or flipped wording around to make it more positive, and corrected some grammatical and punctuation errors.

Feel free to use or not use this as you will.
_________________________
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#2084697 - 05/18/13 11:23 AM Re: Students' attitude list?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Saranoya Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 474
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
Someone asked for a teacher list. I like Malkin's list:

Originally Posted By: Malkin

Pay attention.
Provide specific and concrete instructions.
Set realistic expectations.
Acknowledge both effort and progress.
Maintain perspective and laugh sometimes.


I'd just add one more: respect your student's goals.

I took lessons as a fifteen-year-old with a Russian lady who was a very good pianist, but who also only really wanted to teach future concert pianists (or at least those who had the ambition to some day go to conservatory). It shone through in the way she taught the rest of us, in that she was incapable of recognising that a *small* step forward is a step forward nonetheless.

You will get along easily with a great many of your students, if you can accept the fact that not all of them will take the same path you did in your piano education, and even among those who do, not all of them will get to the same destination -- nor will they all want to get there.
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#2084737 - 05/18/13 12:40 PM Re: Students' attitude list?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
BrainCramp Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/12
Posts: 218
Loc: USA
As an adult piano learner, I have one to add to the teachers' list:

1. Whatever the student/parent says/doesn't say or does/doesn't do, don't take it personally.

Reading this forum, I think piano teachers let themselves get bent out of shape much too easily.

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#2084813 - 05/18/13 03:29 PM Re: Students' attitude list?? [Re: BrainCramp]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10771
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: BrainCramp
As an adult piano learner, I have one to add to the teachers' list:

1. Whatever the student/parent says/doesn't say or does/doesn't do, don't take it personally.

Reading this forum, I think piano teachers let themselves get bent out of shape much too easily.
We are passionate about what we do, and emotional people by nature- thus why we are musicians. I would say about 80% of the stuff we post on here is to vent and learn how to work through, deal with, find solutions for, etc. And most of it the student or parents don't see or have to deal with. Everyone needs an outlet and a place where constructive criticism can be received to improve oneself. So please do not take this forum, which is intended and used as this purpose to mean that we're always losing our tempers, flying off the handle, taking everything personally, etc. It just means we want to do our best for each student. smile
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#2084828 - 05/18/13 03:56 PM Re: Students' attitude list?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 958
Loc: Irvine, CA
Originally Posted By: M
We are passionate about what we do, and emotional people by nature- thus why we are musicians. I would say about 80% of the stuff we post on here is to vent and learn how to work through, deal with, find solutions for, etc. And most of it the student or parents don't see or have to deal with. Everyone needs an outlet and a place where constructive criticism can be received to improve oneself. So please do not take this forum, which is intended and used as this purpose to mean that we're always losing our tempers, flying off the handle, taking everything personally, etc. It just means we want to do our best for each student.


thumb thumb

Please, if your suggestions or advice cannot be constructive, please refrain yourself to post here. Thanks
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#2084833 - 05/18/13 04:04 PM Re: Students' attitude list?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1242
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
I find the concept of a comprehensive rules list for piano student behavior somewhere between laughable and distasteful.
Not a good way to build a teaching relationship.

There are no rules in my studio, except maybe to show up on time and with music.


Edited by Peter K. Mose (05/18/13 04:08 PM)

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#2084841 - 05/18/13 04:31 PM Re: Students' attitude list?? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7200
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
I find the concept of a comprehensive rules list for piano student behavior somewhere between laughable and distasteful.
Not a good way to build a teaching relationship.

There are no rules in my studio, except maybe to show up on time and with music.




Peter, for the most part, I've been horrified by the various lists posted here. Is this really what teaching is about?
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
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Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2084855 - 05/18/13 05:09 PM Re: Students' attitude list?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Brinestone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 345
*shrug* There are lots of good ways to be a good teacher. I don't have rules, myself, and with a few exceptions, I haven't had problems with student behavior either. If having a list of rules helps someone, I don't see why they shouldn't use it. Horrified sounds a little harsh, don't you think? Lots of classrooms have lists of rules. Kids often thrive knowing exactly where their limits are. Quickly going over them doesn't take much time away from real teaching, and it might (that's might, not will) make a difference in student behavior.
_________________________
Piano teacher since 2008, member of NFMC

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#2084900 - 05/18/13 07:55 PM Re: Students' attitude list?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10771
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
If I have a student who is in need of specific boundaries (I don't at the moment), then having rules for that student that are fair, not too long, and they are reminded of regularly is a good strategy. I'm thinking of attention deficit and similar issues where having rules gives the child comfort so they can calm down a bit. Global rules I would only give if I were teaching a class, personally.
_________________________
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#2084914 - 05/18/13 08:14 PM Re: Students' attitude list?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11186
Loc: Canada
Among the suggestions, these are the ones that I find the most effective, which are excellent combined:

1) Follow directions the first time given
2) Be prepared for each lesson (AZNpiano)

Sit quietly
Eyes on
Listen
Hands down (Joycedup1)

AZN's first rule tells the student what to do in the studio, and the second rule tells the student what to do at home. What Joycedup1 writes gives us an example of directions that can be followed, because they are simple, short, concrete and direct. If the student has "hands down" and listens, then he will hear the instruction, and can then follow them.
--------------------
The first list in the OP is full of negatives, vague, confusing, and hard to follow. If told "Don't think of pink elephants." you can't stop thinking of them. What TO do is always more effective. "Whine", "rude", "defensive", "respect", "perfectionist", "attitude" "be open" are all abstract things, and some such as anti-perfectionism are confusing.

--------------------
What can the teacher do? (A question that was asked) If we take the top list, if you want to be followed, then make sure you can be followed. Are your instructions clear, easy to understand, and short enough? Do you give too much information in one longish lecture that can't be retained? If your student doesn't understand, is he free to let you know? If you want him to come to lessons prepared, does he know what to practice, and how to practice it? That's preventive. I also agree both with AZN's rule setting and consequences, and Morodiene's supportiveness.






Edited by keystring (05/18/13 08:22 PM)
Edit Reason: clarified 2nd par.

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#2084917 - 05/18/13 08:22 PM Re: Students' attitude list?? [Re: keystring]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3006
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: keystring
Do you give too much information in one longish lecture that can't be retained?

That's probably the most common mistake I see with teachers of any subject, not just music. They keep talking after the point is made, and lose the student.

That would be negated if they were really paying attention to the student and what he/she is taking in. But often when you're talking you're listening to yourself, rather than the other person.
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#2084924 - 05/18/13 08:32 PM Re: Students' attitude list?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 958
Loc: Irvine, CA
Originally Posted By: KS
The first list in the OP is full of negatives, vague, confusing, and hard to follow.


When I came out with my first list, to be honest, I have more than 100 of them. I still did not share my whole list. I will be embarrassed to share the whole list with you and believe me, it is a very laughable one. I was brainstorming what I want to include in studio policy.

I think to play safe, I can include ten in my list for studio policy and only two main one during lesson time (following direction first time given, and be prepared for lesson)

===========================================================
What would you include in your list if you have ten things to say in your studio policy regards student's attitude?
===========================================================

For the two main points:
1. Follow direction first time given
2. Prepared for lesson

I will type it out and laminate to put on wall for these two points.

Wow, thank you folks for so helping!
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http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
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#2084933 - 05/18/13 08:51 PM Re: Students' attitude list?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7200
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Telling people what not to do has proven relatively ineffective. However, explaining why we don't do something often helps. For example, on occasions a student will come to their lessons chonking on a humongous wad of gum. I will make a passing comment that musicians don't chew gum, not only because it looks ridiculous, but when we get excited about our music, we often hold our breath, then gasp for air. With something in our mouth, choking often occurs. And I really don't want to call 911 and send them off to the hospital (or worse). Students are fairly bright and usually get the point without further ado.
_________________________
"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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#2085060 - 05/19/13 05:43 AM Re: Students' attitude list?? [Re: MaggieGirl]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5278
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: MaggieGirl
Public school. There is nothing objectionable with any of the code. They say it after the pledge (which is more objectionable since it mentions G-d). Why would a recitation be surprising? Her teacher works on character, the class is a family -we may not "like each other all the time" but since we are family we respect each other as well as social skills in addition to academics, physical education and music.

Of course there's nothing objectionable with the code, but it's the source of the code that's somewhat dubious, and to shove them down every kid's throat every morning as if they were The Ten Commandments is a little disconcerting.
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Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2085061 - 05/19/13 05:46 AM Re: Students' attitude list?? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5278
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
I find the concept of a comprehensive rules list for piano student behavior somewhere between laughable and distasteful.

A laundry list of rules might not be effective or even mildly desirable, but I wouldn't characterize it as "laughable and distasteful." That's condescending toward the teacher.

Peter--I'm surprised by your word choice, considering how long you've been teaching!
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#2085753 - 05/20/13 01:06 PM Re: Students' attitude list?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
MaggieGirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 439
I suppose you would have to see it in action. The class is really a family. All different ethnicities, backgrounds, cultural differences and perspectives, economically different, kids without parents, with single parents, and 2 parent families. The code is an equalizer and I think of it as a bucket filler. A child might not feel one or more of those items, but saying it daily might help them begin to believe they are all of those qualities.

But for a piano teacher they see 30 minutes a day, maybe something shorter -

I am prepared to learn.

Then the teacher can write notes like, Johnny was not prepared to learn. He did not practice efficiently this week so in class we could only review. Next week Johnny needs to be prepared to learn.

Johnny was not prepared to learn. In class he was disrespectful. Please talk to Johnny about arriving prepared to learn next week.

Johnny was prepared to learn this week. He passed 2 pieces and earned a new piece. Way to go!

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#2085796 - 05/20/13 02:30 PM Re: Students' attitude list?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1242
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
How about if the teacher writes in Johnny's notebook...

"I'm sorry that I was not prepared to teach Johnny effectively today. I will strive to reach him better next week, since he's a good guy who wants to soak up music."

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#2085822 - 05/20/13 03:14 PM Re: Students' attitude list?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
MaggieGirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 439
That works too! laugh

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