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#952330 - 04/16/08 10:49 PM adjudicator says same thing as me
mindyw Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 13
Loc: Iowa
Recently I had a few students play at a festival where a judge listened to them play, wrote comments and gave suggestions (like a mini lesson). It turns out that the judge's comments were the same ones I had been trying to get across to the students, but they had not done them. On one hand, this makes me happy to know I'm thinking the same thoughts as a respected judge, but also frustrated me because my students still didn't do them. I realize that when it comes down to it, the student is the one who has to make it happen at home and away, so I don't bear the full weight of it all. But do you have any suggestions for helping me think about and teach this in a new light?
On behalf of more effective and efficient teaching, thanks.

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#952331 - 04/16/08 11:28 PM Re: adjudicator says same thing as me
Kreisler Offline

Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13837
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally posted by mindyw:
I realize that when it comes down to it, the student is the one who has to make it happen at home and away.[/b]
Sort of. The student has to make it happen at home and away, but you have to make sure it happens in the lesson, and if they don't make it happen at home, then you have to play hard ball. Talk to the parents, and don't accept the "I had too much homework this week" excuse.

You might also set the stage in the lesson. Make your objectives clear before you start. If you're wanting a wrist lift at the ends of phrases, say "I remember we worked on wrist lifts last week, so today I want to see how well you've practiced those this week."

Hope some of that helps!
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)


#952332 - 04/16/08 11:41 PM Re: adjudicator says same thing as me
AZNpiano Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 6718
Loc: Orange County, CA
It depends on what problems you are trying to fix. Some problems are physical. Some are mental. Not all physical problems can be fixed--sometimes there are limitations (hand size, double-jointedness). There are some students who just won't perform in front of judges. There isn't much you can do about that.
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

#952333 - 04/17/08 08:45 PM Re: adjudicator says same thing as me
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
I'd make those comments the judges made part of the lesson planning for the rest of the year for the students involved so that improvements might be made. Practicing with the teacher setting the pace of what to do and how to do it, might improve the outcome bigtime. So often we tell them things, but they don't know what that actually means, nor what to do to accomplish it.
Being specific on paper really helps everyone, including parents.

"Because you participated in the festival we've been fortunate to receive some information from _______ that's going to be helpful to you. I know that I brought it to your attention before, but it did not get fixed, so now we are going to work on the goal of fixing these things as soon as possible. Why? Because it's important!

(Then I would make sure I mentioned something that was a compliment and nice to hear.)

If I had a newsletter, I would mention who the attendees were and what they played, but I would not list grades or any comments. If some received a rank or a prize from their efforts I would mention that, but I would be cautious not to set up a ranking so people could rate themselves. I always remind my students that I think everyone who participated is a real winner.


#952334 - 04/17/08 09:27 PM Re: adjudicator says same thing as me
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
I would say, "Told you so!!"

And have done so in the past.

This to me is what evaluations are for. To help the teacher with their students. Supporting the teacher and the way she teaches.

I would think your students will respect you more after hearing the adjudicators comments and will try and practice and take your suggestions more to heart.
Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation


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