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#954289 - 02/18/08 05:27 PM Re: How do you handle students who have zero talent and ability?
watchyourmind Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/30/07
Posts: 38
 Quote:
Originally posted by Danny Niklas:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by watchyourmind:
[QUOTE]In some of the games I've played there are large 'combos'(combinations) of button presses [quote][/b]

Mortal Kombat? \:D [/b]
haha yeah mortal kombat had some good combos but the 'Marvel Vs Capcom' series is great too \:\)

http://youtube.com/watch?v=T0Z3onF0bKE&feature=related

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#954290 - 02/18/08 07:43 PM Re: How do you handle students who have zero talent and ability?
bukopaudan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/06
Posts: 506
Loc: USA
Perhaps give him some theory first. I had do do sitting exerices and hand stretching exercise and theory before I could even touch the piano. Maybe he's not gifted and maybe he has no given "ability." Maybe instead of the traditional "Mary Had a Little Lamb" as a first piece, give him something from the "Easy Piano" pops music for a try, like the Beatles or easy arrangements of Billy Joel, something like that.

I would say don't give up on him yet, make sure he practices a lot. Make him log his practice time--I had to do that for a while, though not anymore, and it's gotten me into the habit of practicing for a long time--if I sit at the piano for less than an hour, it makes me feel like I've accomplished only a little bit than what I should have. Think "outside the box." Maybe this boy needs something different than the usual Faber&Faber to stir his inner musician!
_________________________
"Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable." -Leonard Bernstein

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#954291 - 02/19/08 03:14 AM Re: How do you handle students who have zero talent and ability?
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
My professor in college once said that he could teach anyone to play the piano.

To be honest with you, I'm not sure he could, but with patience and making hard to teach student's goals very, very small and building on each one after it is mastered is the trick that I use.

It's the student that could care less that I won't put up with.

Good Luck! Hope things work out somehow!
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation

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#954292 - 02/19/08 03:29 AM Re: How do you handle students who have zero talent and ability?
Danny Niklas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianobuff:
My professor in college once said that he could teach anyone to play the piano.
[/b]
I could agree with such a sentence only as long as "anyone" means "anyone who wants to play the piano and is attracted to the piano in the first place". I agree that you can't take average people from the street and make pianists out of them.

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#954293 - 02/19/08 08:53 AM Re: How do you handle students who have zero talent and ability?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11590
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
could agree with such a sentence only as long as "anyone" means "anyone who wants to play the piano and is attracted to the piano in the first place". I agree that you can't take average people from the street and make pianists out of them.
May I surmise: intrinsic motivation? Motivation meaning that the person has the drive within to learn, and is driven or moved by that drive. The student has the spark, and the teacher responds. The opposite is "motivation" in which the teacher has the spark to which the student is to respond, a more passive relationship in which to "be motivated" means to have someone do the motivating for you. We ought to have two separate words.

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#954294 - 02/19/08 09:28 AM Re: How do you handle students who have zero talent and ability?
Larisa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/08
Posts: 498
Loc: Philadelphia
I'd just put it as "as long as the student wants to".

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#954295 - 02/19/08 09:42 AM Re: How do you handle students who have zero talent and ability?
Minaku Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/07
Posts: 1226
Loc: Atlanta
After my few years of teaching I don't believe much in inherent musical ability anymore. I have maybe a couple of students who pick things up quickly and have an understanding of how to do things at the piano. Those students are in general quite smart and would be able to pick anything up, I'm sure, if they set their minds to it. The other students who do well have the discipline and work ethic to be successful at piano. I have come across many students who are interested in music because they like noise or like singing or whatever. Some of them have excellent ears. I don't count this as gifted or talented unless the student passes my diagnostic tests with flying colors.

That said, teaching a student without discipline nor desire is very hard going, and you should question whether he has any desire to play, and not whether he has talent. Talent is, for me, something that usually appears only after a piece has been finished. One can develop talent through hard work. One may be bereft of talent yet still be able to play. Talent may go wasted if the desire to learn and create is not there. If the student still wants to learn, then you'll have to take things extremely slowly. I currently have a student that never progresses week to week. She has poor coordination and couldn't repeat a 4-note phrase back to me to save her life. Yet she sings as she plays and sings the song she's working on while she's waiting for her lesson. So I continue teaching her, no matter how fast we go.
_________________________
Pianist and teacher with a 5'8" Baldwin R and Clavi CLP-230 at home.

New website up: http://www.studioplumpiano.com. Also on Twitter @QQitsMina

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#954296 - 02/19/08 05:01 PM Re: How do you handle students who have zero talent and ability?
Danny Niklas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
 Quote:
could agree with such a sentence only as long as "anyone" means "anyone who wants to play the piano and is attracted to the piano in the first place". I agree that you can't take average people from the street and make pianists out of them.
May I surmise: intrinsic motivation? Motivation meaning that the person has the drive within to learn, and is driven or moved by that drive. The student has the spark, and the teacher responds. The opposite is "motivation" in which the teacher has the spark to which the student is to respond, a more passive relationship in which to "be motivated" means to have someone do the motivating for you. We ought to have two separate words. [/b]
I absolutely agree.
It reminds me of politicians.
Politicians work for us, they're the ones who should suits the needs of the citizens who vote them. We've the power over them, not the other way around. But often it seems like the opposite.
We feel as if we are the slavers of politicians and as we are supposed to suits their own schemes.

A teacher is hired by the student.
It's the teacher who works for the student not the other way around. It's the teacher who must suits the needs and demands of the student not the other way around. The teacher is the facilitator the students wants by his/her side to help himself/herself overcome obstacles and be supported in the path.
But often it seems like the opposite.
Students feels as if they are slaves of the teachers and the system and they feel like they are supposed to tolerate and conform themselves to the teacher expectations and weird behaviors or ideas. On problematic teacher-student relationships it's the student who feels threatened in a position of submission. If nothing it should be opposite. Without the teachers a student is a self-learner, without students a teacher is an homeless unemployed.

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#954297 - 02/19/08 05:08 PM Re: How do you handle students who have zero talent and ability?
Larisa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/08
Posts: 498
Loc: Philadelphia
The important thing, I think, is whether the kid is enjoying music - and here, I think that "talent" is a pernicious myth that can often drive people away from music.

My mother is a case in point. She likes music quite a lot. She took lessons as a teenager, but stopped when she realized that music was a lot easier for other people than it was for her. Some of her friends could just sit at the piano and play by ear. She had to laboriously memorize every note. So she quit - after all, she had no 'talent'. She regrets it now.

Mind you, I do think that musical talent exists and that some people have more of it than others. But I really don't think it matters as much as people think it does. In the end, it's what you do with the musical talent you've got that matters.

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#954298 - 02/19/08 05:16 PM Re: How do you handle students who have zero talent and ability?
Danny Niklas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
I think that "talent" goes hand in hand with passion and willingness. I can't imagine a person having a vibrant passion for music and a desire to play the piano lacking whatever bit of predisposition and musicality. Such lacks would never lead him/her to the piano and such passion would exist within him/her.

On the other hand a person with a burning passion for music and the piano might seems like talentless but I believe that no matter what, the passion itself is the guarantee that consistent work and desire will bring him/her far.

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#954299 - 02/19/08 05:25 PM Re: How do you handle students who have zero talent and ability?
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Willingness. Intentions. Actions. Acquired Skills. Talent as Available. Time. Effort. Consistency. Interest. Success.

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#954300 - 02/19/08 07:29 PM Re: How do you handle students who have zero talent and ability?
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
At that age he may in the middle of a voice change. Don't young teen males feel awkward about singing because of that? [/b]
Uh, Yes! *voice crack*.... I mean YES!

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