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#936891 - 10/27/04 02:25 PM "stubborn" student
pianocamel Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 11
Loc: Lillington, North Carolina
I am hoping some of you have had this problem before, so you can help me with it. I have a student, a girl about 10 years old, who can play fairly well. I started teaching her this past August, so she has had other teachers before me.
She is playing pieces from the Faber ChordTime series so you have an idea of where she is playing-wise.

My problem is this: Once she plays something, whether it is right or wrong, it is that way forever. Notes I have been able to fix fairly well if she has practiced them incorrectly. Rhythm is another story. I have been trying for several weeks to get her 2 eighth notes followed by 2 quarter notes to turn into 4 eighth notes (which is what is written on the page). It is very frustrating. I have been teaching for 8 years, with close to 100 students in that time, and I have never encountered one just like her.

We've tried putting words to it, clapping (which she can do fine, but it won't translate to the keys), copying me, and saying rhythms. So, anything else anyone can think of would be wonderful!

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#936892 - 10/27/04 07:22 PM Re: "stubborn" student
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 2653
Loc: Lakewood, WA, USA
Did you try clapping correctly and then use just one finger on the key to play the notes just like she clapped?

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#936893 - 10/28/04 09:16 AM Re: "stubborn" student
DW_mod Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 117
Try rhythm verbalisation. Which is pretty much what u had mentioned actually. But did u make her say it while she's playing or before? It makes a hell of difference.
I get 'schools' of these kind ogf students all the time. That's why I hate teaching kids, I think the'll all drive me to an early grave.
Or how about divising a rhythm ex and have her play rather than just drilling her on the musical context from the passage itself?
There's this music that I use for students with this kind of problem( interchanging between semibreves, minims, crothchets, quavers ). It's a lovely duet that u get to do with your student while she repeatedly plays do, re, mi, fa, so in all different combinations of rhythm. The book is Beyer, I can't remember the page number though.
Or alternatively( if it's a BH passage)... get her to play just the problematic hand and sing out the notes of the other hand at the same point of time. Or vics versa. It's an effective method. Try it.
Or last resort which I strongly recommend:
Give her a Hell of a time. \:\)

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#936894 - 10/29/04 07:54 AM Re: "stubborn" student
mound Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 782
Loc: Rochester, NY
I tell ya, I have a lot of respect for you folks who can teach music to kids!

-Paul
_________________________
"You look hopefully for an idea and then you're humble when you find it and you wish your skills were better. To have even a half-baked touch of creativity is an honor."
-- Ernie Stires, composer

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#936895 - 10/29/04 08:21 AM Re: "stubborn" student
cranky woman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 282
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
HI pianocamel,

Have you tried rhythm games? Teaching through games can really be effective, especially if you offer group theory lessons. When I teach group theory lessons to students of similar age and ability, it is amazing how positive peer pressure can motivate students! They all perform their pieces for each another and then we play theory games to reinforce different theory concepts. You can find some really fun and pedagogically sound games at www.tcwresouces.com . Your local music store may also carry games as well.

Rhythm can be a real challenge for some students. I've found that if we cover these problems in a group setting, students really rise to the occasion and want to be correct in front of their peers. You may find the stubborn quality of her personality will change in front of her peers.

Good luck!

Cranky Woman \:D
_________________________
www.tcwresources.com

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#936896 - 10/29/04 08:38 AM Re: "stubborn" student
pianocamel Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 11
Loc: Lillington, North Carolina
Thanks for the suggestions! I'll have to give them a try and let you know how it goes!

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#936897 - 10/31/04 08:15 PM Re: "stubborn" student
PianoMum9 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/19/04
Posts: 19
Loc: Surrey, BC
I like Cranky Woman's ideas. Thanks CW. I find Flip-a-Rhythm (Boosey&Hawkes) is very helpful. We clap/snap/shake/play (etc) rhythm duets, switching back and forth between the parts, beginning easy and becoming progressively more difficult.

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