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#961505 - 11/17/08 04:29 PM I forgot my music again…
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4812
Loc: South Florida
How do the rest of you handle the situation when students show up with no music?
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#961506 - 11/17/08 04:40 PM Re: I forgot my music again…
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5944
Loc: Down Under
Lots of things \:\)

[1] Make them use my copy. It mightn't have all their little pencil markings, but that might make them remember theirs next time!

[2] Technical work

[3] Sight reading

[4] If it's one of my exam students, I use the time to make sure all the extra requirements are there - aural, general knowledge

[5] Aural work generally (as opposed to exam requirements)

[6] Sight singing

[7] If they're doing this often, I'd have a talk about their general organisation and find a way to make sure it doesn't happen regularly. As my dear old French teacher used to say: "You can forget once, you CANNOT forget twice!" (it worked for us! \:\) )

[8] If it's a symptom of total disinterest, then at least you've got a clue and can think about what to do next.

[9] Did I mention sight reading? Also sight reading duets. Although they may find it so much fun they purposely forget their music again.
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#961507 - 11/17/08 04:42 PM Re: I forgot my music again…
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
I'm not a teacher but...
If you charge a fee for everytime the are not "prepared" and don't bring the music then I am sure they will make sure they have their music.
Or, maybe have a back up plan for this instance. Are they working on things other than that.
Not only is it an inconvenienc to you but ultimately I think they are hurting themselves.

Btw.. are they adults or kids?
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#961508 - 11/17/08 04:51 PM Re: I forgot my music again…
Danny Niklas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
I have to admit I forget things often. It's not lack of interest though, indeed I forget thing which I pay myself, so it's not even a matter of forgetting just what you don't pay for. It just happens. Sometimes it's just distraction, other times is having false memories of doing something something you actually didn't and other times might be because of rush or because of sickness (flu for example) which decreases your lucidity. I know parents who lost their pursue (with money) at the bar or lost their eyeglasses in the bus. And yet they work to pay those things.

I'm saying this because I believe we should be comprehensive and admit that those are humans mistakes we all do. I think Gary was looking for ideas on what to do when you lack the sheet to work on, rather than ways to "punish" the student.

A nice trick to suggest to students is to write in a sheet all the books they need for lesson, and hang it with a tape in the bathroom mirror. The school bag should be made the night before lesson, so when they go to the bathroom to wash their teeth, they will see the sheet, where all the books you need are listed in order.

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#961509 - 11/17/08 04:54 PM Re: I forgot my music again…
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Golly, that's not a problem I have at all, thank goodness!

If a student starts to say "My Mom forgot my...."....I interrupt immediately to say, "NO, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure you bring your music to lessons, NOT your mother's. Please remember that!"

That's usually the first and last time it happens, but it really doesn't happen that often in the first place.

A lot of the students have portfolio bags that carry their music around and everything they need is stored in there. That seems to help greatly.

It doesn't matter where the fault is assigned, no sense in complaining, you need to address it so that it cannot happen again. Tell them what you want in clear language as an instruction.

"It is your (the student's) responsibility to bring all music materials to all lessons."

"If you want to have a good lesson you need to have your lesson prepared with your very best efforts and spending enough time to improve upon your music lesson assignments."

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#961510 - 11/17/08 05:21 PM Re: I forgot my music again…
Piano*Dad Offline
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Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10385
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
I REALLY like your #3, Currawong.

Sight reading day!

If you pull out your own music to let the child use it, you might want to find some other way to negate the bad incentive you yourself have just created. If the child has a strong embarrassment sense, perhaps your stern look alone might do the trick. Otherwise, you may very well need to bring mom or dad into the picture, because by providing your own music you have certainly reduced any sting for that lesson.
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#961511 - 11/17/08 05:47 PM Re: I forgot my music again…
John v.d.Brook Online   content
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Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
In my studio policies, I state that should a student forget music, the "teacher will provide a new copy and the parent will be billed on the next statement." Surprisingly, some students have 3 or 4 copies of the same music.

And don't forget, these are the kids who will be paying your social security and medicare! :p
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#961512 - 11/17/08 06:44 PM Re: I forgot my music again…
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4812
Loc: South Florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by Kymber:
I'm not a teacher but...
If you charge a fee for everytime the are not "prepared" and don't bring the music then I am sure they will make sure they have their music.
Doesn't work…
 Quote:

Btw.. are they adults or kids?
Usually kids. I have it covered. I write my own materials, so I can reprint anything, or print something new.

But if it happens more than once with the same person, it really is aggravating…
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#961513 - 11/17/08 10:23 PM Re: I forgot my music again…
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: Western Canada
This isn't a problem as I have every music book they would have at my fingertips if they happen to forget their music at home.

But, one mom was a "clean freak" and would throw out her daughter's music if it was laying around the house. The student would find it out on the front lawn, or in the garbage! If the garbage man got to it first, she was expected to replace it everytime too. I didn't want to lend her any of my music as it was sure to find the same fate!

Another student hid her conservatory books behind her dresser. But I let her use mine for the remainder of the year.

Another time, a sibling was marking up her sisters music with a black marker and ripping up her other music. When I called the mom, turned out the sister was sabotaging her sisters music, and the mom found out because I called the house to inquire about what might be going on and the younger one was destroying her sisters music so the mom pulled the younger one from lessons because of her jealousy!

So I guess teacher's win some, and "lose" some! \:D
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#961514 - 11/17/08 10:38 PM Re: I forgot my music again…
michelleyh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/13/08
Posts: 58
Loc: Malaysia
if they forget their music books, i will ask them to do theory.
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#961515 - 11/17/08 10:52 PM Re: I forgot my music again…
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
I have copies of many of the method books we use, so I just pull one of those out. I also say that this is their only time to do this, and the next time they are to go home and get it.
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#961516 - 11/17/08 11:05 PM Re: I forgot my music again…
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4812
Loc: South Florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by Diane...:
This isn't a problem as I have every music book they would have at my fingertips if they happen to forget their music at home.

But, one mom was a "clean freak" and would throw out her daughter's music if it was laying around the house. The student would find it out on the front lawn, or in the garbage! If the garbage man got to it first, she was expected to replace it everytime too. I didn't want to lend her any of my music as it was sure to find the same fate!

Another student hid her conservatory books behind her dresser. But I let her use mine for the remainder of the year.

Another time, a sibling was marking up her sisters music with a black marker and ripping up her other music. When I called the mom, turned out the sister was sabotaging her sisters music, and the mom found out because I called the house to inquire about what might be going on and the younger one was destroying her sisters music so the mom pulled the younger one from lessons because of her jealousy!

So I guess teacher's win some, and "lose" some! \:D [/b]
Wow, Diane. You have some stories that top mine!

You know this one: "My dog ate my music."

It's supposed to be a joke. Well, a dog actually chewed up a student's music! \:D
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#961517 - 11/17/08 11:48 PM Re: I forgot my music again…
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5512
Loc: Orange County, CA
If it's just a careless oversight, I let the students use my book.

It it happens more often, they can enjoy repetitive finger exercises for an hour. Or we can work on two measures for 45 minutes. With slow metronome.
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#961518 - 11/17/08 11:57 PM Re: I forgot my music again…
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4812
Loc: South Florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by AZNpiano:
If it's just a careless oversight, I let the students use my book.
The problem is that many of us make markings in the music, and of course any book of ours will not have the same markings. So I always give them something new. Occasionally, if it's a good student who seldom does anything like this, I will print something out again, but that is annoying. It's enough that I do this for them once, my paper, my ink. (They chip in for these things…)
 Quote:

It it happens more often, they can enjoy repetitive finger exercises for an hour. Or we can work on two measures for 45 minutes. With slow metronome.
That's too hard on me! It literally feels like cutting off my nose to spite my face.

The one thing that saves me is that my students are excellent readers. I just gave the student three more Christmas carols, and she had them in 1/2 hour. \:\)
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#961519 - 11/18/08 12:12 AM Re: I forgot my music again…
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: Western Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by Gary D.:
[/b]
You know this one: "My dog ate my music."

It's supposed to be a joke. Well, a dog actually chewed up a student's music! \:D [/b]
___________________________________

Just be grateful the kid didn't make the dog cough it up, and bring it to class! As proof! \:D
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#961520 - 11/18/08 02:10 AM Re: I forgot my music again…
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4812
Loc: South Florida
The music had TEETH marks in it!!!
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#961521 - 11/18/08 03:35 AM Re: I forgot my music again…
Minaku Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/07
Posts: 1226
Loc: Atlanta
I've had students' music be destroyed by inquisitive oral-stage 15 month-olds. Instead of the dog, it was, "The baby ate my music!"
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#961522 - 11/18/08 03:56 AM Re: I forgot my music again…
Tar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 296
Loc: Munich, Germany
Casting my thoughts back to when I was eight, I would genuinely forget the music because I had been practising it on the piano (and so it was left there on the stand!) Often I found that if I didn't have to worry about remembering to bring the music, chances were it would be a tearful lesson because it would have meant that the music was sitting in my bag since the last lesson...!
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#961523 - 11/18/08 04:20 AM Re: I forgot my music again…
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
 Quote:
Originally posted by Tar:
Often I found that if I didn't have to worry about remembering to bring the music, chances were it would be a tearful lesson because it would have meant that the music was sitting in my bag since the last lesson...! [/b]
Hahahaha! The truth comes out. \:D

I suspect this happens a lot.

My personal favorite is when they leave the books at my house and then call me on the day of the next lesson to ask if I have them.
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#961524 - 11/18/08 09:08 AM Re: I forgot my music again…
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Diane, your story just reminded me on one which occurred about 5 years ago. A student showed up with no music, but swore he brought it out to the car. His mother was 99% certain she had seen him bring it out to the car. Mom and brother spent the entire lesson cleaning out the car.

An hour after the lesson, I got a phone call from the mom . . . . . . they had found the music, scattered along their street, from the driveway to the main road. Apparently student had placed the music on top of the car when first coming out to the car, and became side-tracked.

The music did have that "road kill" look to it next lesson. \:D
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#961525 - 11/18/08 10:19 AM Re: I forgot my music again…
mkorman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 180
Loc: Connecticut, USA
I forgot my music once. There wasn't really anything we could have
done, so I went home. My teacher was pretty nice, though, and let me
reschedule the lesson.

I wouldn't expect a teacher to do that, and I think it's probably a
bad idea to start forming those habits. But it's not like I was a
child, so you can probably cut adult students some slack.

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#961526 - 11/18/08 11:02 AM Re: I forgot my music again…
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12044
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
 Quote:
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
In my studio policies, I state that should a student forget music, the "teacher will provide a new copy and the parent will be billed on the next statement." Surprisingly, some students have 3 or 4 copies of the same music.

And don't forget, these are the kids who will be paying your social security and medicare! :p [/b]
LOL! This is great, but I don't know if I'd have the guts to do it. It only happens every once in a while for me, in which case I have a copy of the books and we work from them. If it happens again, then I speak to the parent about it.

Sightreading and theory are great ways of addressing this, too.
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#961527 - 11/18/08 12:25 PM Re: I forgot my music again…
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Chris H said: "My personal favorite is when they leave the books at my house and then call me on the day of the next lesson to ask if I have them."

When I find music or notebook left behind, I do absolutely nothing to alert the student. I wait patiently for the student or the parent to call me, sometimes the call never comes. So then I wait for the student to bring the subject up of not having a piece, or sometimes any of his music with him, he can't find it. This lets both of us know that he didn't practice last week, didn't look for the music, and possibly didn't know that it was missing since he hadn't used it.

To me, this is a worse scenario than not having music brought to the lesson.

I think it's a nifty thing for a teacher to be able to invent a new, relevant, challenge the student lesson in these circumstances. One where they have to be on their toes and the pace is more demanding than a lesson would be. Put the heat on!

Now the student has 2 lessons to prepare: the one with the missing music, and the new lesson from today.

"Both are due next week and it better be good."

The way to fit both lessons in is to have the student play every thing on the list as a "presentation" of all lesson items, and the teacher takes notes, but says nothing. At the end, there may be time to talk about the best things that happened during lessons, the encouragement part, and then, the items which need specific information and guidance on which to improve.

My words at this point would be "You need to apply yourself to good practice habits and that is one of the things we are going to be concentrating on until you can show me that you are practicing adequately in preparation for your lesson. When you practice this week make it count!"

Betty

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#961528 - 11/21/08 07:01 PM Re: I forgot my music again…
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
Diane - that mom was not a clean freak, she was a control freak. My father used to do this whenever we left something - even for a minute - where he felt it "didn't belong." Just another mean way of trying to control everyone and everything around him. Of course, if he left HIS slippers around or his pipe in the ashtray, that's different! Dad was particularly nasty this way when we were teenagers - probably a kneejerk backlash to the obvious losing of control over other things. I'm pleased to report that these days, things inadvertantly left somewhere are no longer summarily disposed of or maliciously hidden.
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#961529 - 11/21/08 07:43 PM Re: I forgot my music again…
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: Western Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by SantaFe_Player:
Diane - that mom was not a clean freak, she was a control freak. My father used to do this whenever we left something - even for a minute - where he felt it "didn't belong." Just another mean way of trying to control everyone and everything around him. [/b]
SantaFe,

Thanks for sharing that! Sometimes us teachers have no idea what might actually be going on in some homes.

When this student kept coming to her piano lesson without her music, I have to admit I would never have guessed that this behaviour from this mom was going on. It's easy to judge a situation.

Should also add here that the student did not fess up right away to me that her mom was acting like this until I lent her my books to use and they mysteriously went missing! Found out also that the mom would lose it if her daughter had any dirt under her nails!

So teacher's need to be careful when students forget their music at home that there might be something else going on that we may not be aware of. As was the case here!
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#961530 - 11/22/08 12:09 PM Re: I forgot my music again…
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
We’re beating about the bush chaps ... the underlying reason for having forgot the music is because the student can’t sight-read, hates sight-reading and subconsciously (or not) hopes that the
apparent lapse in forgetfulness will ease the lesson torture of having to continue with sight-reading.

What is more ... the lapse and whatever clever punishment stratagem the piano teacher metes out, acts as a potent reminder to the students of their woeful ineptitude ... and builds up an
accumulative good reason to abandon lessons ... take care that the teacher doesn’t shoot themselves in the clientele foot ... diplomacy
keeps the rent paid.

What hasn’t been admitted is that the system of notation cannot be readily sight-read (and that means everybody ... please accompanists who play only half the notes ... back off!!) ... and demands dedicated practice to engage muscle and aural memory to play well.

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#961531 - 11/22/08 06:23 PM Re: I forgot my music again…
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5944
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by btb:
What hasn’t been admitted is that the system of notation cannot be readily sight-read (and that means everybody ... please accompanists who play only half the notes ... back off!!) [/b]
Well as I'm not an accompanist who only plays half the notes, I don't need to "back off", as you so politely put it.

We all know what you think of the notation system. Just excuse us for not being convinced that this is the cause of every problem.
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#961532 - 11/22/08 09:42 PM Re: I forgot my music again…
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
LOL, working with accompanists I have noticed that there are generally two types: the ones that read note for note, and the others that fill in with chords and melody.

Sometimes accompaniments need adjustments. Sometimes the melody of the soloist doubles. So, any good accompanist would change the bits a tad. This is not with all accompaniments. Generally the one that reads puts the soloist at ease since he/she isnt doing anything that is really out of the ordinary.
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#961533 - 11/22/08 11:52 PM Re: I forgot my music again…
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4812
Loc: South Florida
Rebekah,

You may be talking about a different kind of accompaniment.

If it's "pop", meaning some kind of sheet music for piano/vocal, of course things have to be changed.

I'm not sure, but I don't think currawong was talking about that style of music.

I assure you that if you were to put something in front of me, I could double your part, leave it out entirely, or do many other things, if that's the style you are talking about (not "classical".) \:\)
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#961534 - 11/24/08 02:26 AM Re: I forgot my music again…
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
There are some classical arrangements I have come across where the part is doubled.

I have no idea about pop arrangements. I was saying that I noticed that people approach things differently.
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#961535 - 11/24/08 02:29 AM Re: I forgot my music again…
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4812
Loc: South Florida
I'm not sure what you mean by "classical arrangements". But if someone is arranging something, you are more than free to do whatever you want, yourself. Because someone else already did. \:\)
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#961536 - 11/24/08 02:53 AM Re: I forgot my music again…
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
Nevermind, I don't know either \:\( . I'm very tired. I'll try to make sense of your message in the morning.
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#961537 - 11/26/08 02:33 AM Re: I forgot my music again…
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 850
Consider this possibility.
When a student forgets his music, you can simply let him read from your score, if you have it, which you almost certainly should. You don't need to even give a lecture. Or harbour any ill feelings.

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#961538 - 11/26/08 03:24 AM Re: I forgot my music again…
Sal_ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/08
Posts: 355
Loc: Lacey, WA
No ill feelings?!

What about the ones who forget their theory, and their music, at least 2/3 classes?

I love it when students forget their music it because they left it by their instrument--it means they practiced! (Naturally, I'd prefer if they practiced and brought it with them to class so we can mark it up some more.)

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#961539 - 11/26/08 07:45 AM Re: I forgot my music again…
keystring Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11730
Loc: Canada
Hehe, my music once separated from the cover and I brought the cover to my lesson. The dumbfounded look on both our faces as the cover was carefully opened and smoothed to reveal nothingness must have been priceless. \:D We decided that I should played what would be there if it were there because we guessed that I probably had memorized some, and could extrapolate more of the rest. Then for the remaining time (I have hour long lessons) we worked on something invented on the fly. There are so many aspects to music one can explore - ear training, for example.

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#961540 - 11/26/08 02:20 PM Re: I forgot my music again…
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5512
Loc: Orange County, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by btb:
We’re beating about the bush chaps ... the underlying reason for having forgot the music is because the student can’t sight-read, hates sight-reading and subconsciously (or not) hopes that the apparent lapse in forgetfulness will ease the lesson torture of having to continue with sight-reading. [/b]
Not really...

Those who always forget to bring the theory book--they didn't do their theory homework! I have many copies of theory worksheets, so they will just have to do them during the lesson.

Those who always forget to bring the repertoire books--they didn't practice the pieces in those books. They'll just use my book and work on two measures.

Those who always forget to bring their technique books--they hate the scales, chord progressions, etc. I'll just make them write it all out by hand. I have plenty of staff paper.

Those who always bring the wrong books--they think you won't be as mad if they did it "by mistake" and grabbed the wrong book; they also didn't practice those pieces.

If my students hate sight reading (a few do), I'll just give them sight reading tests at every lesson and grade them. Then I'll post their grades for all to see.

Always follow through with a consequence.
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#961541 - 11/26/08 05:13 PM Re: I forgot my music again…
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4812
Loc: South Florida
This is what I wrote to start this thread:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Gary D.:
How do the rest of you handle the situation when students show up with no music? [/b]
I know that I put "again" in the title, but I did not have in mind students who usually or frequently come to lessons without music.

I've had one student forget music twice over the last few months.

If I found that my students were not bringing materials in to avoid playing them, I would have to re-think the way I teach.
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#961542 - 11/26/08 05:51 PM Re: I forgot my music again…
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
 Quote:
Originally posted by AZNpiano:



Those who always forget to bring the repertoire books--they didn't practice the pieces in those books. They'll just use my book and work on two measures.

Those who always forget to bring their technique books--they hate the scales, chord progressions, etc. I'll just make them write it all out by hand. I have plenty of staff paper.

Those who always bring the wrong books--they think you won't be as mad if they did it "by mistake" and grabbed the wrong book; they also didn't practice those pieces.

If my students hate sight reading (a few do), I'll just give them sight reading tests at every lesson and grade them. Then I'll post their grades for all to see.

Always follow through with a consequence. [/b]
How effective are your methods AZN? ( I don't mean in a negative way necessarily.. just curious)

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#961543 - 11/27/08 07:41 AM Re: I forgot my music again…
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
Woah AZN piano, that shoulds very strict ... you must make a great teacher! I always bring the right materials because it becomes a routine, my mum used to check with me to make sure that I brought all the right books.

Now that I am older I don't forget, once or twice I have forgotten my notebook but no dramas there I just write notes on a separate sheet of paper. I don't often bring my technique book, as my teacher expects scales and exercises to be memorised by the week.

Maybe its just time to lessen the load so then students won't bring the wrong book. Once I did forget my music, my teacher had his own copy, that is one way of not having a student

How many books do you have your students bring? I normally keep photocopies in one folder, leaving the books I brought at home. It doesn't breech copyright as far as I am aware as its for my own use and I do have authentic copies. I usually end up only bringing two books, my notebook and folder.

What if you lessened the load ... ?
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