Teaching Siblings, First lesson

Posted by: pianogirl1978

Teaching Siblings, First lesson - 11/13/12 12:07 PM

Hi , I have just taken on two new students a brother and sister 8 an 9 years old. I have their first lesson coming up and I am a little unsure of how to start. Since I normally introduce the basic concepts like black keys vs. white keys, a simple rote song, learning numbers of their fingers. Should I do two separate lessons? They do not have lesson books yet, I was just gonna discuss with their mother how we should probly teach them out of different books so their isn't so much competition. How have you worked the first lesson with siblings? If I do them separately, the first sibling is basically just gonna sit and listen to everything and then I will have to repeat it all again and it seems like it would be redundant. I have just never dealt with this specific situation so any input would be helpful!
Posted by: MaggieGirl

Re: Teaching Siblings, First lesson - 11/13/12 02:04 PM

Just from observing, if they aren't sharing a lesson, I would do one and then the other. Chances are they are starting at the same level but they won't be identical learners.
Posted by: kayvee

Re: Teaching Siblings, First lesson - 11/13/12 07:15 PM

Where are your lessons held?

If it's at your location, you should ideally have a 'waiting area' - somewhere that kids (or parents) could sit while someone is having a lesson.

If it's at their location, they should be able to find something to do for 30 minutes.

I had a set of triplets I was teaching; I taught in-home lessons. The two triplets would be downstairs/in another room while I taught their brother. Then they'd rotate. They were each in a different series (Piano Adventures, Succeeding at the Piano, and Piano Town). I'd suggest it - otherwise the repetition will be more of a pain than any competition. You could also have the same 'main' text (ie, Piano Adventures Lesson, Theory, and Technique book) + different supplements (from various sources). Though I still think different ones would probably be best.

Plus, you'll need to see how each kid feels and acts during their lessons. Some methods move too fast while others are a nice slow pace (Hal Leonard comes to mind).

Either way, give each their own lesson. They're 8 and 9. They need their own lesson time. At the first lesson, it might be helpful to do a 'group activity' type of deal where you spend a little time with each separately, and then have them play games together (who can reach the note the fastest, have one ask the other what certain notes are, have one play notes and the other name them, etc etc etc). But beyond that, separate is definitely better.
Posted by: pianogirl1978

Re: Teaching Siblings, First lesson - 11/13/12 10:33 PM

I teach at my home. I actually taught them already tonite and it was a nightmare. They just live a few blocks from me. The father brought them here and before even sitting down he starts looking at a piece of paper ready to ask me all these questions. I tol dhim we can go downstairs away from the family and talk in private. Then he tells me that he is gonna leave his 8 year old here and take the 9 year old home to feed him dinner and then come back for the other one. Then when he brings the 9 year old back, instead of just waiting till it is over, he goes home again and then comes back to pick him up! Talk about going in and out too much! Very disruptive for us and I can't imagine that being very convenient for him going back and forth between houses so much. Their lesson is not until 6:30 so I have no idea why he could not have just fed them dinner before he brought them here. So I told him that in the future I would prefer he either drop both of them off or that he stay the whole hour. Anyone else have this problem with parents going in and out?
Posted by: piano2

Re: Teaching Siblings, First lesson - 11/14/12 07:46 AM

I don't have a problem with sibling arrangements being like this. As long as the parent is there to pick up their children, it's fine with me.
Children are quite adaptable and can play the piano with quite a few distractions.
Perhaps the new family needs to know that they must enter your home quietly.

When I teach new beginner siblings, I often do rhythms, note naming, and other activities together in the form of games. It is fun, and you don't have to teach the same lesson back to back. If that's something you want to do, you will have o tell this family your intentions, so that they will drop off both boys together.

Good luck!
Posted by: Ann in Kentucky

Re: Teaching Siblings, First lesson - 11/14/12 08:10 AM

pianogirl,

I prefer that parents bring one child at a time. Just have the parent and student come on in without knocking. There is no interruption that way. Lessons begin on time, end on time just as with students who are not siblings.
Posted by: BrainCramp

Re: Teaching Siblings, First lesson - 11/14/12 11:46 AM

Please, it's not "gonna". It's "going to".
Posted by: kayvee

Re: Teaching Siblings, First lesson - 11/14/12 02:08 PM

Originally Posted By: BrainCramp
Please, it's not "gonna". It's "going to".


Please, it is "it is," not "it's." And periods go inside the quotation marks.

@pianogirl1978 - maybe you could ask the parent to drop off one child, and wait outside once they arrive until you are ready to teach the other? That way, you can just go outside and 'switch them out' and they wouldn't have to arrive more than a minute or two early.
Posted by: Ann in Kentucky

Re: Teaching Siblings, First lesson - 11/14/12 08:14 PM

Certain authors "made one feel...one must never, never say what one thought...that one must always, always write like somebody else" --Virginia Woolf (describing Orlando's experience of reading certain literature).

We are free to choose. Say what you think. Or not. Always write like somebody else. Or not.

Uncle Remus stories would lose their flavor with grammatical editing.

"Hey! What you doing?...Ain't you got no manners? We'll teach you some manners if you not careful. Now, answer my question. What you doing?"-- Brer Rabbit to Cousin Wildcat


Posted by: malkin

Re: Teaching Siblings, First lesson - 11/14/12 08:53 PM

Originally Posted By: kayvee

Please, it is "it is," not "it's."


But "it's" is "it is," isn't it?
Posted by: kayvee

Re: Teaching Siblings, First lesson - 11/14/12 08:59 PM

Originally Posted By: malkin
Originally Posted By: kayvee

Please, it is "it is," not "it's."


But "it's" is "it is," isn't it?
Yes. The same way "gonna" is "going to." Especially on a relatively informal medium such as a forum. That was my point.
Posted by: malkin

Re: Teaching Siblings, First lesson - 11/15/12 12:08 AM

Do what'nsoever you want to do with me, Brer Fox, but please, please, please! Don't throw me in that briar patch!
Posted by: Ann in Kentucky

Re: Teaching Siblings, First lesson - 11/15/12 07:50 AM

Originally Posted By: malkin
Do what'nsoever you want to do with me, Brer Fox, but please, please, please! Don't throw me in that briar patch!


laugh

These stories are marvelous! And just when you think there will be a moral to the story, there isn't.
Posted by: rada

Re: Teaching Siblings, First lesson - 11/15/12 03:22 PM

What I find interesting about teaching siblings is how very different they can be even if they are genetically linked. One sibling might like classical while the other may not like it at all. In all cases I am open to all the new ideas I can learn from each individual student. The other week I asked a sibling if it was alright to play a song from her 'sister's book'....she quickly said no and I quickly closed that book.I'll figure out a way to bridge their learning .Learning takes time and patience and get to remind them that all the time.

rada
Posted by: apple*

Re: Teaching Siblings, First lesson - 11/16/12 09:48 AM

i think I might have already posted this... i teach 4 siblings at one time. they sit and read books or listen while waiting for their individual lesson. I miss them horribly - they are in a moving onto a new farm mode and still have another week off. ages 7 to 17. It's amazing that it works. They have a wonderful mother.
Posted by: R0B

Re: Teaching Siblings, First lesson - 11/16/12 11:02 AM

If we are "gonna" be pedantic, it is child, not "kid", unless of course, the mother is a nanny goat. mad
Posted by: Ann in Kentucky

Re: Teaching Siblings, First lesson - 11/16/12 01:34 PM

"Colloquialisms are spread through everyday conversation and increasingly through informal online conversations." --Dr. Wiki

It appears that BC sees colloquialisms as a disease. Battling that disease will surely keep him too busy to play piano.
Posted by: keystring

Re: Teaching Siblings, First lesson - 11/16/12 03:13 PM

Originally Posted By: R0B
If we are "gonna" be pedantic, it is child, not "kid", unless of course, the mother is a nanny goat. mad

You're kidding*! Really?

* Disclaimer: I am not asking whether you are in the process of giving birth to a cute baby goat, which would also imply that you are an exceptionally talented, piano playing, nanny** goat.

** Second disclaimer: Meaning, female goat, not a goat, male or female, employed as a babysitter as per Mary Poppins.

(Unless, of course, you are an exceptionally talented, piano playing nanny goat, with the unlikely name of Rob.)
Posted by: BrainCramp

Re: Teaching Siblings, First lesson - 11/17/12 11:03 AM

No, BrainCramp is an ESL teacher who spends a lot of time trying to convince immigrants that "gonna" isn't a real word they should write on a job application.

Sorry if I offended anyone. I wouldn't have made the comment if this weren't a teachers' forum. I like to think we try to be the models for learners of all kinds.
Posted by: pianogirl1978

Re: Teaching Siblings, First lesson - 11/17/12 01:01 PM

I have idea how this post evolved into a grammatical dispute. Braincamp, I am usually typing pretty fast so sorry if the word "gonna" offended you. smile I am a mother of two, a piano teacher, and also work part time on weekends. I am also a college graduate with a degree in English so I know that "gonna" is not really a word. I and have a lot of stuff going on at once, so I am usually trying to get off the computer as fast as possible.
Posted by: malkin

Re: Teaching Siblings, First lesson - 11/17/12 01:56 PM

Teach your ESL students to be aware of their audience when they are speaking and writing. Academic writing, job applications, and internet forums have vastly different conventions.