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#2153892 - 09/19/13 04:20 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
Ez, you are raising interesting pedagogical questions, and they are equally life questions. How does one deal with frustrations? How does one avoid impatience? How does one practice kindness?







A mentor teacher of mine once told me that a good way to stay patient with students is to let your mind wander a bit when you feel your blood starting to boil. She told me she thinks of her grocery list.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#2153932 - 09/19/13 05:23 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: ezpiano.org]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3181
Loc: Maine
Tim, is this RET (Rational Emotive Therapy)? Is the Wikipedia page a reasonable introduction? I would be interested if you have suggestions for reading.
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#2153949 - 09/19/13 05:36 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: Barb860]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5484
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Barb860
A mentor teacher of mine once told me that a good way to stay patient with students is to let your mind wander a bit when you feel your blood starting to boil. She told me she thinks of her grocery list.

Or you can silently count to ten. Or thirty.

Impatience is counterproductive only if you let it be counterproductive, by lashing out at students or by thinking "OMG, I'm horrible!" You can always channel impatience toward something positive and beneficial.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2153957 - 09/19/13 05:49 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: Morodiene]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

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

Yes, I think we've all had these kinds of students, and none of us want to teach in this situation, even if we need the money. This is partly why I insist on meeting students before agreeing to teach them (and them agreeing to study with me). No point in wasting everyone's time.

I word about "meeting students".

One of the thing I most liked about the show "House" was his line - they all lie. smile

If we throw out "lie", which is a bit harsh, and simply say that people change, then I think we can assume that what student A, B or C says when starting lessons is often or usually very misleading in the long run.

I've said it before: I get some of the worst students you can imagine as recommendations from great students, and the opposite is often true. So even word of mouth does not necessarily tell me anything.

But beyond that, I swear some students, especially parents, will simply tell me anything I want to hear in the beginning, then a few months later I find out that I am in a bad situation that did not start out that way.

In short: we really don't know much in the beginning.

Meetings and trial lessons ARE helpful for me, because I can head of disastrous situations. But they are only a little helpful, because so much can change.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#2153962 - 09/19/13 06:00 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: AZNpiano]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11675
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Originally Posted By: KS
it is not unprofessional to feel negative things: impatient, disappointed, frustrated, etc.


So, it is okay to feel these while teaching, but I guess it is unprofessional to let it out right? Should I keep it inside even I feel it? If yes, how do you do it? Can you teach me?

We've had this discussion in this forum before. Some feel it's a "teachers' forum" and thus teachers can come here and vent all they want. It's like what happens in the teachers' lounge at school. But then others objected to the fact that the venting is taking place in a public place (the Internet) where everybody can lurk around and read up on the gossip.

In her opening post, EZ wrote that she was worried about being a bad teacher, because she had negative feelings. Nobody is talking about venting here, OR criticizing those feelings. I wrote that it is ok to have negative feelings, and you are not unprofessional when you feel negative things while teaching.

My first degree is in teaching and my first professional work was as a teacher in a problem school.

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#2153990 - 09/19/13 07:15 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: Gary D.]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5484
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
I get some of the worst students you can imagine as recommendations from great students, and the opposite is often true. So even word of mouth does not necessarily tell me anything.

Welcome to my world! One of my best students right now is a referral of a referral, and both of the referring students aren't so great. Many years ago, I've also taught a superior student, whose mother--bless her heart!--kept on referring me these clients who, unfortunately, were really bad. But I couldn't say no, or else it would make her look bad.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2154012 - 09/19/13 08:06 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: Barb860]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11908
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Barb860
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
Ez, you are raising interesting pedagogical questions, and they are equally life questions. How does one deal with frustrations? How does one avoid impatience? How does one practice kindness?







A mentor teacher of mine once told me that a good way to stay patient with students is to let your mind wander a bit when you feel your blood starting to boil. She told me she thinks of her grocery list.
Your mentor has a lot of gems, doesn't she? LOL, I love it! laugh
_________________________
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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#2154061 - 09/19/13 09:34 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: PianoStudent88]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3200
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
Tim, is this RET (Rational Emotive Therapy)? Is the Wikipedia page a reasonable introduction? I would be interested if you have suggestions for reading.


Yes, that's it. The wiki is pretty good. I have to say I've been out of the counseling field for a long time now and none of my knowledge would be fresh. I retrained as an engineer halfway through graduate school. (I was working at a mental hospital making $14,000 and would soon graduate and make $19,000. Instead I got an engineering degree and started at $31,000, which wasn't bad in 1990. But it wasn't the money as much as being drawn to a more technical type of creativity.)

I used RET therapeutically in drug treatment programs and there was no doubt it worked, at least for some. Whether it really worked for the reasons claimed or for some other underlying principle was never clear; we who used it had not drunk the koolaid but did see the usefulness. It is not necessary to be a true believer to make parts of it work.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2154514 - 09/20/13 02:32 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1007
Loc: Irvine, CA
Thank you for all your feedback so far....

I was rethinking about what I wrote here...

Originally Posted By: OP, myself
Mom is very supportive and understanding person, she reminds me that I had being not nice to kids today. I agree with her. I feel sorry about that.


I agree that I was not nice, I do feel sorry that I was not nice, but I feel that I have to be like that to take control...

I remember AZN taught me to be "menace" in this thread

Originally Posted By: ANZ
You don't have to scream. You just have to pick a tone that's dark and menacing. It takes practice, especially if that tone isn't natural to you. Heck, I hope I don't talk with that menacing tone all day long.


I practice that to my angry students and I do not see improvement of their behaviors. Now the mom is saying that I am not treating her kids nice.

This angry student thread is the same family as this thread here. Apparently yes, I receive a lot of stressful moment from them, I cannot enjoy teaching piano lessons anymore when I teach them.

Imagine this situation:

Teacher: [In a calm voice] Sorry, that note is wrong
Student: [Whine] What note is that (they are very depended to me, overall)
Teacher: Sorry, you need to figure out yourself, yes, you know the note
Student: [In angry voice] Yes, I am right it is D!! (Then play D extremely loud on piano)
Teacher: [raising my voice] No, it is not D, look again!
Student [even more angry] Yes, is D, is D, is D DDDDD! (then play D on piano extremely loud repeated ten times)
Teacher: [Now I am angry and I need to step up to discipline them] I close the piano lid and tell them they cannot do that to piano. Yes, I am mean when I discipline them, but if I am not doing this, then they will not afraid of me and there is no way I can control the situation! There is a Chinese proverb: "They will climb up onto my head!"

Mom says I am mean and not nice according to this situation. She said yes I can be strict, but I cannot be mean. She thinks that I lost my temper when I am trying to discipline the kids. Yes, I am raising my voice, but I really do not think I am losing my temper.

Looks like mom and I have different standard....
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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#2154519 - 09/20/13 02:43 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1007
Loc: Irvine, CA
In fact, I did try
First resource: being firm
Second resource: keep silence
Last resource: being menace

All useless...
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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#2154522 - 09/20/13 02:52 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: ezpiano.org]
MomOfBeginners Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 116
Loc: California, USA
ezpiano,

I am a parent, not a piano teacher.

From your description, the student is disrespectful, and the mother opposes your attempt at discipline when the student is disrespectful.

You also mentioned that the mother is supportive and understanding. However, she certainly doesn't seem supportive and understanding in this case.

So the mother says that you are not nice. Are you supposed to be nice? After a student talks to you in a tone that conveys "You are stupid", I don't expect you to be nice.

Not being nice (especially in response to student lack of cooperation) does not mean you're a bad teacher.
_________________________
Mom of Two Girls Who Used to Be Beginners

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#2154571 - 09/20/13 03:49 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: ezpiano.org]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4801
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
In fact, I did try
First resource: being firm
Second resource: keep silence
Last resource: being menace

All useless...

There are no-win situations. We are not perfect, and we can't deal with all students and all parents. I might be able to work with this family better than you, but you might be able to work with some of my families better than I do.

If you are working with a family that is that disrespectful ( and pounding a key ***again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again** is something we simply should not tolerate, ever) then you have to decide where you draw a line.

My way of dealing with such wrong notes is to actually hold the finger down on the wrong note, then insist that the student tell me what he/she is playing, then identify the correct note in the music, and I simply do not let go of this point until we have a resolution. The resolution is that the child and parent in the room both understand, crystal clear, that I am right.

I then have the student play about 10 notes anywhere on the keyboard, one at a time, when I face the other way. Then I have the student take the hand off each key, and I then play the right key.

Then I ask if there is any doubt that I hear the notes correctly.

So far there has never been a doubt, with any student or parent.

That's it.

If the problem reoccurs, I repeat this.

One thing that may help you. When I do not get cooperation and really want to make a point, I try to say things very quietly.

I don't want to use the word "menace", but maybe that is in my voice and my eyes. If so, the people in question have earned it and need to know to back off.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#2154575 - 09/20/13 03:54 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: ezpiano.org]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 426
Loc: Vancouver BC
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
In fact, I did try
First resource: being firm
Second resource: keep silence
Last resource: being menace

All useless...


This family has been too much a burden for you for too long. Find a way to part away peacefully.

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#2154810 - 09/20/13 11:42 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: ezpiano.org]
peekay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/13
Posts: 184
As a student, after a bad session, often the question is more about how to make future lessons any better. What's done is done.

Especially for younger students, I think it's important that they remain interested, enjoy playing the piano, and making music. I think that's more important than getting a good score in a future exam.

Once lessons become frustrating, not fun anymore -- they become a chore to the student. Once they see the piano as homework, they will quit, sooner or later. (And that's a shame).

I imagine, to be a teacher, you also have to be a part-time child psychologist. A difficult task.

But I also believe the number one job as a music teacher is to teach the love of playing music. If you inspire your students to play, then you can't be a bad teacher, even if you have a bad day from time to time. (My opinion only).
_________________________
Working on RCM Grade 8

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#2154831 - 09/21/13 01:02 AM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: ezpiano.org]
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 841
I think your anger came out because there were several issues at once and it was difficult to address each of them properly at that time. Your problems were:
1) the students would have been better off with some lessons in the summer.
2) the students weren't as respectful as they should have been.
3) you doubt whether they will meet the exam target, and this will reflect poorly on you at exam time.

You need to address these three issues. Exams are not a good idea for poor students, or students who take too much time off. I would have tried to avoid exams with these kids. But you want the exam, so you will need to explain to the mother that the kids will get a mark that correlates exactly to their effort. And you would like to see more effort.

If summer lessons are important to you, you must make them non-negotiable. Since you had not done this, you must accept your students' temporary regressions.

You DO need to insist on respect, but be patient. Kids often take a few lessons to get back into the swing of things. During the summer, they try out all sorts of rude behaviors on each other because it's fun. Now they need to show their civil side again.

How to deal with the stress? Look at the big picture. Your student is healthy and able to fight with you. That's actually better than having them lying ill in the hospital. That's better than them being unable to communicate with you due to autism. I think you need to joke with them a bit more. I think you need to experience one student getting a 65% and still feel like a good teacher.

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#2154912 - 09/21/13 08:35 AM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: ezpiano.org]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11908
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Thank you for all your feedback so far....

I was rethinking about what I wrote here...

Originally Posted By: OP, myself
Mom is very supportive and understanding person, she reminds me that I had being not nice to kids today. I agree with her. I feel sorry about that.


I agree that I was not nice, I do feel sorry that I was not nice, but I feel that I have to be like that to take control...

I remember AZN taught me to be "menace" in this thread

Originally Posted By: ANZ
You don't have to scream. You just have to pick a tone that's dark and menacing. It takes practice, especially if that tone isn't natural to you. Heck, I hope I don't talk with that menacing tone all day long.


I practice that to my angry students and I do not see improvement of their behaviors. Now the mom is saying that I am not treating her kids nice.

This angry student thread is the same family as this thread here. Apparently yes, I receive a lot of stressful moment from them, I cannot enjoy teaching piano lessons anymore when I teach them.

Imagine this situation:

Teacher: [In a calm voice] Sorry, that note is wrong
Student: [Whine] What note is that (they are very depended to me, overall)
Teacher: Sorry, you need to figure out yourself, yes, you know the note
Student: [In angry voice] Yes, I am right it is D!! (Then play D extremely loud on piano)
Teacher: [raising my voice] No, it is not D, look again!
Student [even more angry] Yes, is D, is D, is D DDDDD! (then play D on piano extremely loud repeated ten times)
Teacher: [Now I am angry and I need to step up to discipline them] I close the piano lid and tell them they cannot do that to piano. Yes, I am mean when I discipline them, but if I am not doing this, then they will not afraid of me and there is no way I can control the situation! There is a Chinese proverb: "They will climb up onto my head!"

Mom says I am mean and not nice according to this situation. She said yes I can be strict, but I cannot be mean. She thinks that I lost my temper when I am trying to discipline the kids. Yes, I am raising my voice, but I really do not think I am losing my temper.

Looks like mom and I have different standard....

I don't see that you did anything wrong here. Clearly the child crossed a boundary, and you let them know that is not acceptable. You should not feel bad.
_________________________
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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#2154933 - 09/21/13 09:20 AM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: Morodiene]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7598
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Thank you for all your feedback so far....

I was rethinking about what I wrote here...

Originally Posted By: OP, myself
Mom is very supportive and understanding person, she reminds me that I had being not nice to kids today. I agree with her. I feel sorry about that.


I agree that I was not nice, I do feel sorry that I was not nice, but I feel that I have to be like that to take control...

I remember AZN taught me to be "menace" in this thread

Originally Posted By: ANZ
You don't have to scream. You just have to pick a tone that's dark and menacing. It takes practice, especially if that tone isn't natural to you. Heck, I hope I don't talk with that menacing tone all day long.


I practice that to my angry students and I do not see improvement of their behaviors. Now the mom is saying that I am not treating her kids nice.

This angry student thread is the same family as this thread here. Apparently yes, I receive a lot of stressful moment from them, I cannot enjoy teaching piano lessons anymore when I teach them.

Imagine this situation:

Teacher: [In a calm voice] Sorry, that note is wrong
Student: [Whine] What note is that (they are very depended to me, overall)
Teacher: Sorry, you need to figure out yourself, yes, you know the note
Student: [In angry voice] Yes, I am right it is D!! (Then play D extremely loud on piano)
Teacher: [raising my voice] No, it is not D, look again!
Student [even more angry] Yes, is D, is D, is D DDDDD! (then play D on piano extremely loud repeated ten times)
Teacher: [Now I am angry and I need to step up to discipline them] I close the piano lid and tell them they cannot do that to piano. Yes, I am mean when I discipline them, but if I am not doing this, then they will not afraid of me and there is no way I can control the situation! There is a Chinese proverb: "They will climb up onto my head!"

Mom says I am mean and not nice according to this situation. She said yes I can be strict, but I cannot be mean. She thinks that I lost my temper when I am trying to discipline the kids. Yes, I am raising my voice, but I really do not think I am losing my temper.

Looks like mom and I have different standard....

I don't see that you did anything wrong here. Clearly the child crossed a boundary, and you let them know that is not acceptable. You should not feel bad.

Don't even waste your breath getting angry. I probably would just sit there and wait for the kid to find the note. If they started doing something actually dangerous to the piano, then of course I would stop them. And if they broke a string, THEY would pay for it. All of it.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2154983 - 09/21/13 11:47 AM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: Polyphonist]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

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

Don't even waste your breath getting angry.


Bingo!

No reason to let an 8 year old kid control your emotions.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2154998 - 09/21/13 12:22 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: The Monkeys]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5484
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: The Monkeys
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
In fact, I did try
First resource: being firm
Second resource: keep silence
Last resource: being menace

All useless...


This family has been too much a burden for you for too long. Find a way to part away peacefully.

For all these problematic students, my solution is to ship them off to one of the local "music schools." They'll blend right in with the crowd.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2155001 - 09/21/13 12:30 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: Candywoman]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5484
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Candywoman
3) you doubt whether they will meet the exam target, and this will reflect poorly on you at exam time.

You need to address these three issues. Exams are not a good idea for poor students, or students who take too much time off. I would have tried to avoid exams with these kids.

I don't know the specifics of this case, but in my experience many parents insist on having their kids tested, even though they have some of the laziest kids in the world. The parents are so clueless that they are raising the next generation of welfare recipients.

Our state exam is aimed at the "average" students. Some students are clearly below average and have no business being tested. Their parents are in denial. Or they are fully aware of their children's deficiencies, but they still want to get their kids tested, as if the certificate of "you passed" will give them a glimmer of hope that their kids are not so deficient.

My solution: Let them take the test. And fail. Kids and their parents need a dose of reality.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2155014 - 09/21/13 12:49 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: ezpiano.org]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1439
Loc: Australia
Sometimes I am glad to be a travelling teacher.

When a student begins to act up, and makes my teaching ineffective, I simply say to them, 'Could you please get your parent, and tell them that I am leaving now, because your behaviour is making it impossible to continue the lesson. I have other students who are keen to learn, and I would much rather be with them right now'

It works every time, and the lesson continues without any further problems smile
_________________________
Rob

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#2155087 - 09/21/13 04:01 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1007
Loc: Irvine, CA
Originally Posted By: ROB
Could you please get your parent

Mom is sitting in another room, whatever happened in studio, she can heard it clearly. Whenever kids misbehave, she did not step up to discipline them, but relying on me to discipline them, but later commented that I am being mean to them. She said in her own word: You can be strict, but you cannot be mean. I do have one other kid who throw a tantrum in my studio when playing wrong notes and use his feet to bang on piano keys (very creative huh), the mom was immediately come over to scold him. This is what I expect the parents to do if they see something inappropriate happen in studio.

Originally Posted By: ANZ
I don't know the specifics of this case, but in my experience many parents insist on having their kids tested, even though they have some of the laziest kids in the world.


This family signup up November 2012 and saying they are interest in taking test track. I did not sign them up for CM test in March 2013, but only learning towards have a goal of taking test. My curriculum for them includes sight-reading, technique repertoire, ear training, and theory. I think they will be more than ready for CM Level 2 by March 2014, so, I tell the mom that they can take test March 2014. There is one thing that I misunderstand mom’s position. At first, I thought she wants her kids to take test in whatever it cost. Later, which is two days ago, she emailed me that her position is: Priority making piano lesson enjoyable, if they can take test, then it is a bonus for her. If I would have known this priority before, I would not pushing too much to meet the deadline of which materials has to cover before which date. If I would know this priority before, then I do not need to get angry and stress out when they cannot apparently respect me. Not saying that being disrespectful is okay for them to do, but at least I will not feel being rush to finish the material.

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
: And if they broke a string, THEY would pay for it. All of it.


Thank you for saying this, yes, I will include this in my policy that if students play piano in anger and broke a string, they will pay for it.



Originally Posted By: Candywoman
: I think your anger came out because there were several issues at once and it was difficult to address each of them properly at that time.

Yes Candywoman, you read it right and analyses it right. It has three reasons and it is too much and too overwhelming for me.


Originally Posted By: Candywoman
: If summer lessons are important to you, you must make them non-negotiable.


Yes, summer lessons are important to me, however, I took 3 weeks off too and not teaching for three weeks. I let parents choose their summer priority themselves, as I stated before, Summer 2013 is my best summer that I had the best attendance among my students population. Summer 2013, only 5 students took one month of, and this family of 3 took 2 months off.

Originally Posted By: CandyWoman
: Since you had not done this, you must accept your students' temporary regressions.


You are right, I must accept the reality that everyone would regress after summer time. What happen is that I was too stress out then I want to recover their regression as soon as possible, but I simply not receiving any cooperation from kids and mom is not helping to discipline and to see the importance of this very critical moment to make sure everything goes smooth.

Originally Posted By: Peekay
: As a student, after a bad session, often the question is more about how to make future lessons any better. What's done is done.


I am totally agreed with you!!! I immediately send an email to mom requesting from next week, she has to sit in studio instead of in the waiting room and help me with two things:
1. Discipline the kids when they misbehave
2. Let me know right away that if I was too strict according to her standard (I have to say that my attitude with them is the same as for other kids if other kids are doing the same thing as them, but somehow, my behavior falls into the category of “mean” when I am strict in this mom’s eyes. All I can say is that she has different standard than most the parents I know)


Originally Posted By: Peekay
: Once lessons become frustrating, not fun anymore


I am totally agreed with you!! They are frustrated because they are not good yet (especially in the area of sight-reading and technique) However, if a student follow my instruction, they should not frustrated. For example, when I said look carefully, that note (then I circle it), it is not D. If the student look one more time, use their brain to figure out, then they will know it is not D. Instead of looking, they would just keep playing D ten times and scream at me saying it is D. I am not sure why can’t they follow what I said. My studio's name is EZPiano, because my motto is to make everything easy for students. The last thing I want to do is to frustrated my students. In this case, I think they are making themselves frustrated by not following my instruction.
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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#2155092 - 09/21/13 04:06 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1007
Loc: Irvine, CA
My solution for next week...
Have mom sit in studio instead of waiting room.
She has to...
1. Discipline kids whenever she sees the need to
2. "Discipline" me not to be mean to her kids whenever she sees the need to

If both parties can behave themselves (students and teacher) in piano lesson, I am sure the lesson can go smooth and I can finish delivering whatever the material I have in mind huh?

Any thought in this?
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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#2155120 - 09/21/13 04:54 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: ezpiano.org]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11908
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
My solution for next week...
Have mom sit in studio instead of waiting room.
She has to...
1. Discipline kids whenever she sees the need to
2. "Discipline" me not to be mean to her kids whenever she sees the need to

If both parties can behave themselves (students and teacher) in piano lesson, I am sure the lesson can go smooth and I can finish delivering whatever the material I have in mind huh?

Any thought in this?
I like #1, if she does not want you to discipline her kids or doesn't like the way you do it, then she needs to step in and do it for you in the manner she thinks will work best.

I do not like #2 however. In no way should the parent criticize, instruct you, discipline, etc. the teacher in front of the students. This will undermine your authority as the piano teacher here.

They can discuss concerns with you out of earshot of the kids, of course. However, if the parent is disciplining the children for you, then there should really be no need for #2.
_________________________
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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#2155129 - 09/21/13 05:10 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: ezpiano.org]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1349
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
You want a parent to discipline you, the teacher, in front of her child, if you can't moderate your teaching to the parent's liking? And you want her to discipline her child in front of you, if her child can't moderate her lesson behavior to the parent's or the teacher's liking?

This is getting bizarre, not ez.

How about this instead? Just start next week's lesson by saying, "I'm sorry about last week. I think we were all a bit stressed. What would you like to play for me today?"

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#2155138 - 09/21/13 05:30 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11908
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
You want a parent to discipline you, the teacher, in front of her child, if you can't moderate your teaching to the parent's liking? And you want her to discipline her child in front of you, if her child can't moderate her lesson behavior to the parent's or the teacher's liking?

This is getting bizarre, not ez.

How about this instead? Just start next week's lesson by saying, "I'm sorry about last week. I think we were all a bit stressed. What would you like to play for me today?"

This is probably the best. We don't know what kind of issues the child had at school, and they don't know what kind of issues you had teaching that day. We all have bad days, and the child's regression over the summer is water under the bridge - meaning we can't change what has happened. Do what you can to get the kid back on track, and if they're not ready for exams, let the child know that if they participate they will not be up to standard. Then discuss that with the parents, and let them decide.
_________________________
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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#2155142 - 09/21/13 05:37 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1007
Loc: Irvine, CA
Originally Posted By: M
However, if the parent is disciplining the children for you, then there should really be no need for #2.


I agree with you.

So, I hope and hope this for next week. I will keep you posted.

Maybe I should not use the word "discipline the teacher", but in mom's eyes, I was over the top being too mean for her children, so, wouldn't it be nice if she can let me know her line too, where should I not cross?
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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#2155162 - 09/21/13 06:05 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: ezpiano.org]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11908
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Originally Posted By: M
However, if the parent is disciplining the children for you, then there should really be no need for #2.


I agree with you.

So, I hope and hope this for next week. I will keep you posted.

Maybe I should not use the word "discipline the teacher", but in mom's eyes, I was over the top being too mean for her children, so, wouldn't it be nice if she can let me know her line too, where should I not cross?
The rest of what I had to say answers this: the parent should not do it in front of the child, because it undermines your authority over the 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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#2155169 - 09/21/13 06:12 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: ezpiano.org]
peekay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/13
Posts: 184
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
For example, when I said look carefully, that note (then I circle it), it is not D. If the student look one more time, use their brain to figure out, then they will know it is not D. Instead of looking, they would just keep playing D ten times and scream at me saying it is D. I am not sure why can’t they follow what I said.

Sometimes with kids we have to give them "tools" to help them figure things out (even for things they should already know).

For example, maybe one "tool" to identify the right note is to count up/down from C. So if the kid gets stuck with the wrong note, we can remind him, "how do we find the right note? Let's find C and count to the right note". Then let the kid find C and realize the note can't possibly be D, and praise him when he finally finds the right note.

If the kid is still stuck, then you have to help him. "Look here is C, we count, one-two-three... D, E, F... it must be an F." And he will immediately see and agree, instead of continuing to argue with you.

In your situation, the kid really thought the note was D, and he doesn't have the "tool" to figure out why he was wrong, so he ends up being frustrated.

Notice in this way, we don't just give him the right answer, but we give him a tool so he can find the right answer himself. Yes these "tools" are crutches, but some kids will need them until they eventually learn as they gain more experience.
_________________________
Working on RCM Grade 8

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#2155177 - 09/21/13 06:28 PM Re: I am a bad teacher today! [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1007
Loc: Irvine, CA
Peekay, believe me, they have all the tools they have such as:
1. Bass clef line note Girl, Boy, Dog, Fish, Alligator
2. Treble clef line note..blah..blah...
We memorize this since our first lesson.
From time to time we quiz on flash card, then ipad game...

Problem right here is, when I say "Look", they are not looking.

Let me give you another situation:
Teacher: [In a calm voice] Sorry, that note is wrong
Student: [Whine] What note is that (they are very depended to me, overall)
Teacher: Sorry, you need to figure out yourself, yes, you know the note
Student: [Stop playing and look at the page and take one minute to figure out]
After one minute, student still no clue

Then,

Teacher: [Close the book] Okay, looks like you need help, okay I will help you.
Teacher: [Take out the magnet board and put that wrong note on the magnet board]
Student: Oh!! It is C, not D!!
Teacher: [In a clam voice] Sorry, still wrong, it is not C, not D, here let me help you. Is this a line or space note?
Student: Space note
Teacher: Treble clef or Bass clef?
Student: Treble clef
Teacher: What do you know about treble clef space note?
Student: Erm, I forget
Teacher: [take out all our tools and display in front of him] Treble Space is FACE..
Student: Oh, it is space E!!

This is how it should be...

They also learn skip, step and same too which is useful when sight-read.

Believe me, I have two types of students: students whom I am their first teacher, and students who are transfer students.

All students who started with me has no problem in reading. All students who are transfer students took at least one year to be familiar with the tools that I present to them as how I present to students who started with me.

This student right here do not even look when I say look, THAT is the problem, it is not because he do not have the tools.
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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