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#2192467 - 12/04/13 02:58 PM Bravo!!
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
What phrases you use in studio to give positive reinforcement?

I am using....

Excellent!
Bravo!
Very good!!
Good job!
Beautiful!! (for girls) and
Handsome!! (for boys)
****I have one boy that don't like to be handsome, he told me that being rich is more important than being handsome, so, for him, I use "Very rich!!" - Ha)
I like it!!!
Very nice!!
Super!!


I am running out of ideas here...

What do you use the most in your studio? Is there any phrases that is funny that you use that both you and your students like? do you mind share with us?

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

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#2192479 - 12/04/13 03:41 PM Re: Bravo!! [Re: ezpiano.org]
piano2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/26/11
Posts: 82
"I liked the dynamics!"
"That was just right!"
"It made me want to dance."
"Was that the sound you were trying for?"
"Thanks for learning the notes correctly."
"I can tell you like this piece by the way you play it."
"I really enjoyed listening to your piece."

As a parent, I have read in many books that you should praise something specific, rather than make a blanket statement "that is great!"
I try to do that in my teaching, although it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what you want to praise. Sometimes we have to search for something positive to say, and it sounds something like:
"Thanks for working hard at home to learn the notes. Most of them are correct, so now let's go back and see what changes you need to make."

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#2192492 - 12/04/13 04:22 PM Re: Bravo!! [Re: piano2]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5462
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: piano2
As a parent, I have read in many books that you should praise something specific, rather than make a blanket statement "that is great!"

Yes, that is what I tend to do.

I also like to add that we teachers should always look for something to praise, even when the playing is obviously terrible. Give the student credit for even the smallest improvement.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2192497 - 12/04/13 04:32 PM Re: Bravo!! [Re: ezpiano.org]
MaggieGirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 477
Coming from a parent POV....

Please don't give generalized praise. It doesn't mean anything to a student who has a trophy from every sport they have tried because, if you show up you get a trophy.

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#2192526 - 12/04/13 05:02 PM Re: Bravo!! [Re: piano2]
childofparadise2002 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 542
Originally Posted By: piano2
"I liked the dynamics!"
"That was just right!"
"It made me want to dance."
"Was that the sound you were trying for?"
"Thanks for learning the notes correctly."
"I can tell you like this piece by the way you play it."
"I really enjoyed listening to your piece."



Great list! I've also heard from my children's teachers:

"You've fixed all the things that we worked on during last lesson".
"All the details came out nicely".
"I see you in the music" (when the teacher liked the kid's own interpretation very much).
"I can tell you worked hard this week".

etc., etc.

I agree, be specific, and also praise the effort.

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#2192570 - 12/04/13 06:11 PM Re: Bravo!! [Re: ezpiano.org]
jdw Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 962
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
I'm in a minority maybe, but as a student (adult) I like the more general praise terms, because I know my teacher won't tell me something is good if it's not. Praise for specific things is nice too--except that sometimes I know it means there are other areas that still need work smile.

Ezpiano, don't the boys get to make beautiful music?
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Grieg, Papillon
Mozart, K 330
Brahms, Op. 118 no. 2

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#2192589 - 12/04/13 06:34 PM Re: Bravo!! [Re: ezpiano.org]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11661
Loc: Canada
I'm with the majority, including as an adult student. Reasons off the top of my head for specific praise:
- It becomes guidance. You know what you did right.
- It doesn't seem like "empty praise".
- It shows the teacher was paying attention, noticed the effort you put in as a student. (and it's not empty praise)
- You may not know why it's good or what's good about it. If a specific thing is mentioned, then you know what to keep on doing.

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#2192609 - 12/04/13 07:11 PM Re: Bravo!! [Re: ezpiano.org]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1342
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Are the adjectives "beautiful" and "handsome" doled out for a student's physical appearance, or for a student's keyboard performance? I don't think I've ever yelled out "Very rich, not handsome!" as praise to a piano student. Perhaps I should try it.


Edited by Peter K. Mose (12/04/13 07:13 PM)

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#2192634 - 12/04/13 08:29 PM Re: Bravo!! [Re: ezpiano.org]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
I think kids want to be noticed. I do my best to notice something specific about each child when they enter the studio. I'll say with enthusiasm "I notice you had a haircut", "I notice you're wearing purple today" etc.

IMO it's important to let kids know that you notice something about them. I don't say "it looks great" or make any judgement about it. Just notice something (with enthusiasm).

Then regarding their playing I'll say what they did well, and what we can improve. On rare occasion a child's playing will move me to clap or honestly say "That was beautiful".


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (12/04/13 08:59 PM)

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#2192642 - 12/04/13 08:50 PM Re: Bravo!! [Re: Overexposed]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2521
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
As a student, every now and then I get "Wow" which I quite like.

I laughed out loud the day I got, "Congratulations, your rhythm was as bad as your notes." Clearly, he knows me well enough to know how I would take this kind of feedback.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2192686 - 12/04/13 10:44 PM Re: Bravo!! [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
I am sorry, maybe I should be more specific...

These short phrases are used only when students are playing correctly as a positive reinforcement for them to keep going in what they are doing. So for example, when the soccer ball players are playing in the field, usually as audience, we said: "Go, go...!" right?

Then when they done playing, when your kid come to you, then you said to your kid: "Good job playing today, I like how fast you run in front of Joshua today and block him from scoring, it was excellent and I laugh out loud when I see that."

So, in piano lesson's case:
When my students are playing, especially reading a new piece for the first time, in order to build up their confidence, I celebrate every other notes and rhythm that they play correctly by saying those short phrases.

Then, when students done playing, then I will say things like
"I liked the dynamics!"
"That was just right!"
"It made me want to dance."
"Was that the sound you were trying for?"
"Thanks for learning the notes correctly."
"I can tell you like this piece by the way you play it."
"I really enjoyed listening to your piece."

Am I making sense here?
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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#2192719 - 12/05/13 12:33 AM Re: Bravo!! [Re: ezpiano.org]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 425
Loc: Vancouver BC
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org

These short phrases are used only when students are playing...


If a student is playing, a short "Yes" at spot that you think the student is doing well is probably sufficient cool You can have a dozen ways to say "yes".

If you really need variations, "Bingo" is another one.

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#2192800 - 12/05/13 05:40 AM Re: Bravo!! [Re: ezpiano.org]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
I was warned off saying 'cool!' by a student who informed me it stands for 'constipated something old lady'. There was another 'o' word I forgot. Must ask her again...

Good job.
Nice work.

I do like simple, general praise. We can work out the specifics later. If a parent doesn't like that, they would need to find another teacher.
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


www.justfingers.co.uk
www.babysinging.co.uk

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#2192822 - 12/05/13 07:53 AM Re: Bravo!! [Re: ezpiano.org]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3190
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org

Am I making sense here?


Yes. I like your approach and the clear distinction you are making between the immediate reinforcement and the specific praise.

I think that your body language may have a larger impact than the choice of words.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2192984 - 12/05/13 02:44 PM Re: Bravo!! [Re: TimR]
Bluoh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 421
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: TimR


I think that your body language may have a larger impact than the choice of words.


This is interesting-- researchers have tried analyzing how people perceive messages, and while the results have varied slightly, it always comes down to tone of voice and body language.

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#2193050 - 12/05/13 04:32 PM Re: Bravo!! [Re: ezpiano.org]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2307
Loc: SoCal
Quote:
"Was that the sound you were trying for?"


My teacher says this all the time! She follows it up by saying, "Please tell me it wasn't!" help
_________________________
Gary

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#2193381 - 12/06/13 08:35 AM Re: Bravo!! [Re: Plowboy]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2521
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Well done.
Lovely.


The "nice" family: Very nice, That's nice, Nice.

When things get a little rocky, but you want to encourage the student:

The "Fine" family: That's fine, You're fine, It's fine. Usually followed by "Keep going" or "Look ahead." Sometimes followed by "We'll talk about it later."

The "Okay" family is pretty much interchangeable with the "Fine" family.

"Steady" is another one for when things are starting to go awry.

I don't know how it would work for piano students, but one that has been successful with some of my kids with autism when they start to show frustration is "This is hard, but I know you can do it."

re. beautiful and handsome. General usage is to separate genders when referring to appearance, but beautiful music can be created by either boys or girls; I wouldn't ever use "handsome" to describe music.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2193393 - 12/06/13 08:57 AM Re: Bravo!! [Re: ezpiano.org]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11789
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I will usually say, "Good!" while they are playing and get through a rough spot which has obviously improved. Then I will at the end pinpoint that spot and congratulate them on what specifically they did well. I don't usually just give general praise, but sometimes do. With something that didn't go well at all, I usually just say, "OK, let's work on this passage..." I just don't feel the need to praise something that they obviously haven't worked on. They do have to earn a praise, more than just showing up to lessons with their books.
_________________________
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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#2193419 - 12/06/13 09:59 AM Re: Bravo!! [Re: Morodiene]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3190
Loc: Virginia, USA
In the interests of completeness.

There is nothing as reinforcing as a quick hug for a small child, a touch on the shoulder for someone older, etc.

Of course, that can't be recommended. It is just too risky.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2193538 - 12/06/13 03:01 PM Re: Bravo!! [Re: ezpiano.org]
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3476
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Also, especially when there is a complicated rhythm pattern or lots of syncopation, or if it's something the student had been having trouble with in terms of timing or tempo, something along the lines of "nailed it" could be good.

If you don't routinely clap after a piece, clapping can be fantastic praise when the student has played particularly well, or musically.
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#2193540 - 12/06/13 03:04 PM Re: Bravo!! [Re: ezpiano.org]
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3443
Loc: Western Canada
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
What phrases you use in studio to give positive reinforcement?

I am running out of ideas here...

What do you use the most in your studio? Is there any phrases that is funny that you use that both you and your students like? do you mind share with us?

Thanks!!


Whatever you do or say, it has to be absolutely, unequivocally genuine!!!

Thinking back to my teachers and what they said and did, well, just one teacher I recall who gave genuine compliments. She didn't give out "cookie-cutter compliments! When deserved and only when deserved. Some comments went like this.

Before an exam, she's say, "you are ready, now go show them what you can do!"

Myself, I think the student can tell by my my body language. And then I pick the appropriate thought that I am actually thinking at that time.

Those are fun & satisfying moments in piano teaching for sure, right?
_________________________
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/goldsparkledress.jpg
Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


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#2193653 - 12/06/13 07:46 PM Re: Bravo!! [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
Thank you!! I learned so much here!!
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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#2193903 - 12/07/13 10:46 AM Re: Bravo!! [Re: Morodiene]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2521
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
I will usually say, "Good!" while they are playing and get through a rough spot which has obviously improved...


I like it when my teacher does this too, however, the break in concentration is often enough to derail me.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2194006 - 12/07/13 02:27 PM Re: Bravo!! [Re: malkin]
jdw Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 962
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Originally Posted By: malkin
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
I will usually say, "Good!" while they are playing and get through a rough spot which has obviously improved...


I like it when my teacher does this too, however, the break in concentration is often enough to derail me.


Yes, I sometimes get distracted and mess up after hearing praise too--but that's ok! It's definitely worth it, and a sign that I need more practice in maintaining focus through distractions!

So keep up the praise, please, teachers--but only when deserved!
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Grieg, Papillon
Mozart, K 330
Brahms, Op. 118 no. 2

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#2194013 - 12/07/13 02:47 PM Re: Bravo!! [Re: ezpiano.org]
Bluoh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 421
Loc: Canada
Do you ever worry that students will become desensitized to praise? So your praises will end up not meaning anything?

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