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#938120 - 04/03/07 01:16 PM first timer for piano guild auditions
wehavapianonow Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 13
Loc: USA
My daughter is 7, and studying for 1.5 years, and going into her third level of books. Elementary level. She is very anxious about performing, and everytime we have a recital, gets quite nervous. Yet, each successive time, she has seemed more relaxed and cool. She has only done 3, in increasingly larger and less familiar venues.

Our teacher is recommending a Piano guild audition. All her students essentially do it.

Am I allowed in the room? She will freak, I know. She already simply overheard a simple and basic conversation and says she doesn't want to do it.

My position is, I would rather have her interest stay intact, and not pressure her at such a young age. However, the teacher is a very serious teacher with a strong community reputaion. We really got in with her because we are neighbors and for convenience and have been very lucky! I can see the progrees my dd has made compared to friends in other communities with years more work(and the teacher says she is age appropirate in her "talent"). I do not think she is considered exceptional of gifted at all. Which is also just fine with me!

Any advice, info on this. It is all new to me. I do not play, and do not neccessarily want my dd in a cometetive situation that might squelch her interest in playing.

Thanks, Mi

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#938121 - 04/03/07 02:20 PM Re: first timer for piano guild auditions
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
Hi and Welcome!

This is my first time having my students in Guild Auditions. As a teacher, I'm looking forward to it.

I whole-heartedly show my excitement to my students of having them participate, which I think helps. I tell them that they will be getting certificates and pins and the teacher (adjudicator) is very nice and is there to help both myself and my students. I also say that the teacher evaluating is also learning. I say that I have heard that it is a wonderful program and we all need to try it out and see what we think.

I would think that if your teacher expresses postitiveness towards Guild Auditions, then it won't be so scary. You may want to have a talk with her (the teacher) about this, if this is not happening.

It's funny my younger students, just do what I say, they go along with the ride. It is my older students that take it more seriously. I have a 12 year old that would prefer not too. But I told her that we need to at least try it out, because if we don't we may be missing out on something really good. Now she is fine.

Depending on your daughters anxiety and if your teacher, and you, cannot turn her feelings around, at least a little, then she shouldn't participate.

Is she prepared? If she is, then I would really encourage her to take the Audition. If she isn't. And with her feelings the way they are. I would, as a teacher, perhaps wait until next year, making sure she is prepared, and really making sure to express positiveness and enthusiasm with these
auditions.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation

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#938122 - 04/03/07 02:33 PM Re: first timer for piano guild auditions
wehavapianonow Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 13
Loc: USA
Thankyou for your reply. Our teacher is very busy, and not a great communicator. Part is language barrier, part is busy, part is her personality. However, we are with her largely by convenience(across the street and I have a napping younger child), and because she is an excellent instructor. Not the same as well-rounded all around teacher, I might add! I do think her structure and firmness are good for my daughter, though.

So, it is tricky to connect with teacher on the emotional issues. She does know my daughter is not too eager to perform, and we are just going along as if to prepare her. I honestly have no idea what prep is requred. She is working on amemory list, basically. The teacher did say she is ready and it is appropirate for her to do it, that there is something for all levels.

I had thought my dd would prefer going in to play for a single person or two, as opposed to a larger audience. I honestly have let it lie, but just got the dates today. So, now I need to think about how to coax her.

I think, in the end, she will feel proud to have a certificate and what else goes with it. I also think, the teacher takes pride in having her students do the auditions. It is good for her status as well, and I can understand both aspects.

Your words have helped. I will try to talk up the fun parts. I am not worried to have her do it, and I do feel for her with recitals. For me, there is comfort in the intimacy of it all.

Am I or the teacher allowed in the room?

Mi-

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#938123 - 04/03/07 04:24 PM Re: first timer for piano guild auditions
okietransplant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 26
Loc: Texas
You are your teacher are not allowed in the room. I have done Guild for many years and all of the judges are extremely nice and make the students feel comfortable. They are there to judge the slow students with more grace, the competitive artist students with more scrutiny. Guild is not a super competitive atmosphere. Your daughter will leave there (if she is prepared) refreshed, renewed, and really pumped about piano and her accomplishment. Being one-one-one with the judge is actually more relaxing, the judge controls the atmosphere and makes it as easy as possible. Parents and teachers are right outside the door. (depending on the venue).

I wish I could continue to enter students in Guild. Our school district here penalizes students for missing school for this event. It's too bad. Guild is a great thing.

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#938124 - 04/03/07 05:26 PM Re: first timer for piano guild auditions
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Okie, I am stunned that a school district would penalize such an absence. Especially in Texas!

I have told all my parents that if they get any grief from their school, to let me know, so I can discuss it with the principal. Half of our judges are PhDs from area universities.

I am sure you've discussed this with other local teachers. What are their reactions and what has been done by them prior to your arrival?

John

PS I enroll 100% of my studio in Guild Auditions.
PPS Tell your daughter that students all over the USA do it. If it works you might try the negative psycology - you don't want to be the only one left out, do you?
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#938125 - 04/03/07 06:56 PM Re: first timer for piano guild auditions
wehavapianonow Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 13
Loc: USA
Thankyou. I am happy with the progress and overall teaching, as well as the convenience, but the communication to parents sometimes falls a tad short. She mentions things to me as if I should know about it all. But as my husband and I are not piano people, we are new to the whole scene. It helps to get info here.

I do see where she is working my daughter into it in a sneaky way. Asking her to make a "memory list" with her personal repertoire, so she can show off at a party or family gathering. Of course, my takes alot of coaxing for even that, lol.

But she loves to play for herself, and I am very happy for that, at least! I do not want her to lose that for fear of performing. Not at 7 years old.

John, you suggest a good trick to try. After reading the website about the guild, it seems like a nice organization and something in which she can be proud to hold memebrship. And last spring, at her recital, it did not escape her notice that most of the students were being given two awards and a certificate, while she got just the teacher's trophy.

Thanks for the info and suggestions. Mi-

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#938126 - 04/03/07 07:10 PM Re: first timer for piano guild auditions
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
I've judged many times for Guild Auditions and find some students very nervous and others up to the challenge with little or no problem. After the audition the teacher sometimes has a class picture which goes into the local paper, the certificate can be framed which should make your daughter proud to display, the pin can be worn to show friends and relatives her accomplishment. Only the pupil and judge are in the room and, as far as I know, the judges try to make the pupil as comfortable and at ease as possible.

The idea of the Guild is to encourage a higher standard in piano playing, give the student a chance to get a review of their progress by a competent but outside person, and to rate their playing individually--not as a class. There is no real competition as in contests with prizes, etc. It is the student meeting the standard set by the Guild for the level entered.

Most students enjoy it and,if you can, I would suggest you encourage but not demand that your daughter enter. Afterwards she might be very pleased and proud.

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#938127 - 04/03/07 07:25 PM Re: first timer for piano guild auditions
wehavapianonow Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 13
Loc: USA
I have my work cut out for me. I just called my daughter over to read her some of your encouraging words, about how reassuring you all are(those of you judging), and how she gets a pin and such. What fun it could be, etc...

"No Way! I am NOT doing it. No. No." Very calmly, and she said, "Now I have to get back to my playing."

I am trying to just convince her to prepare and go, then she can always decide to not go in, like with recitals. She always shines. And her teacher always compliments her preparation. She is only in first grade, but at the same time, I know being afraid and not going can feed the fear(personal experience with things).

Oh well. Thankyou all for all the info once again. I will keep you posted as to our luck with getting her to do it.

I have to sign her up tomorrow, I think(just got the email today from the teacher. As I said, not good on advance communication). It will be May 21st in my area.

Mi-

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#938128 - 04/03/07 08:41 PM Re: first timer for piano guild auditions
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Here's the web site with my students holding their awards.

http://klavier.ms/Auditions.html

I don't know if it will inspire her our not.

After a student earns her national award for 5 yrs, they get their picture in a magazine.

I would be less than honest if I told you my students enjoyed the audition process. They work hard and earn their ratings - the satisfaction comes from accomplishment. Auditions, are, as we all know too well, .........
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#938129 - 04/03/07 11:15 PM Re: first timer for piano guild auditions
wehavapianonow Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 13
Loc: USA
It inspires me to try harder, but ever so subtly. Your students are all glowing, so I guess you were too! Thanks for the advice.

I have a very willful daughter, and after seeing how easily she dug in her heels and quit ballet(and she was *good*). I am on eggshells with the piano. She is good, and I think she reads music better than words at a first grade level. I see how it helps her reading skills and math skills. It is just a great overrall discipline that I believe in firmly.

It was always a dream I never got to realize and she likes it. I just want her to always like it, vs. pressuring her. That may mean changing teachers at some point, but I think lifelong interest is a better goal that early achievement at the price of giving it up.

This sounds like a good thing for her, not truly scary, at her young age. As some have said, it is harder for older kids. It would be good if she just gets used to performing to erase the anxiety for later life(for more than just piano). It is just a good experience.

As I have mentioned, I was fearful as a kid(maybe in another thread as well), and never pressured, and as an adult, I can see where some push and pressure and encouragement might have helped me get over it. I struggle with that for my daughter, but she is already so much braver than I!!

I digress, it is not the concern for all of you here, but why I want to push, yet hesitate to push too hard. Mi-

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#938130 - 04/03/07 11:37 PM Re: first timer for piano guild auditions
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
The student who just left announced at the beginning of the year he was not going to do Guild. He has four pieces well prepared, plus his scales and chords (which by the way, can count as a piece). I had submitted him for District, but he could easily earn a State. He's all excited about doing Guild and has totally forgot his initial announcement.

Each month, the students and I gather for 90 minutes and 45 min of that is devoted to playing for each other, from memory of course. He's so used to playing from memory now, that I suspect that's the reason he's forgotten his early reticence.

Anyway, we had another thread on this issue a while back - in fact, it may still be active. The many comments from teachers, parents and students are worth reading.

Good luck with your daughter.

John
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#938131 - 04/04/07 12:34 AM Re: first timer for piano guild auditions
sarabande Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 1597
Loc: Mo.
I'm not personally familiar with the Piano Guild as a teacher, but I do have a 7 yr. old daughter and understand where you are coming from.

Would she be allowed to "hang around" for a while at the facility where it's held without participating the first time so she can see first hand what everyone else is doing and then participate the next year? Or have a "mock" run through of what it might be like? OR is there another student that has done it that could explain what it's like in an encouraging light?

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#938132 - 04/04/07 01:35 AM Re: first timer for piano guild auditions
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
Your students do look so happy John!

By the way, I pm-ed you with another question, Thanks!!


To the Mom who originally posted:

Have you asked her why she doesn't want to try it out?

This might help. Her putting it into words and then talking about it.

You then might be able to say that this teacher likes to have her students do this every year because it helps her to teach piano and she feels it is also good practice and fun for her students.

Just a thought. I know, it is tricky.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation

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#938133 - 04/04/07 08:31 AM Re: first timer for piano guild auditions
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
PB - grab your camera when you head for auditions. The judge always gives the students such positive feedback, that they really feel great after the audition.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#938134 - 04/04/07 08:40 AM Re: first timer for piano guild auditions
wehavapianonow Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 13
Loc: USA
Ugh, had a longer reply, but blipped it out somehow.

I think I need to resort to bribery, vs logic. Maybe a promise of a new Webkin will do the trick!

Can't believe I have not thought of that yet. I do not generally like to do that. But a big challenge merits a desirable reward.

I did find some other threads, but they were more for folks "in the know." I appreciate the time you all are taking to help us understand the very basic mechanics of it all. It helps to know what to expect. mi-

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#938135 - 04/04/07 04:09 PM Re: first timer for piano guild auditions
okietransplant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 26
Loc: Texas
John,
Our district is very competitive and academic. They know that TEA considers Guild an excused absence. However, the administration gives each principal the latitude to decide whether or not to let the students make up work. At two of the schools nearby, they have not been allowed an excused absence. I don't know if individual teachers allowed the make-up work. Then, we have high school students who go to school when they have the flu because they don't want to lose their exemptions for final exams (which are 25% of final grade). So, most of the local teachers have given up. If they excuse Guild, they have to excuse gymnastics competition, tae-kwon-do, etc. I used to enter 100% of my students. Now I enter homeschoolers and adults. The rest of you are blessed that you don't have these problems.

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#938136 - 04/04/07 04:50 PM Re: first timer for piano guild auditions
wehavapianonow Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 13
Loc: USA
A resounding "Yes!" with a glowing smile for the bribe of a new Webkin of her choice *after* doing the audition. Haha. Why, oh why had I not considered that sooner?!

Still, a very helpful discussion on the auditions. It will be very helpful to help us know what to expect.

I find it sad that an absence for this would not be excused. Music has been so severely cut in public education, how unfortunate for those who invest all that time and energy and money on their own are not supported by their school. I had not even considered that. I cannot imagine our rpinciple would have an issue, but I suppose I should be sure we get any work my daughter might miss to complete at home. She is only in first grade.

Thanks all, Mi-

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#938137 - 04/08/07 03:29 PM Re: first timer for piano guild auditions
Terrytunes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 1249
Loc: Tewksbury MA
Mi-... your screen name sounded familiar. I don't know if you're aware of this thread: http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/17740.html

If you're within a reasonable distance to attend this event for even just one hour, why don't you consider joining us and letting your daughter be a part of the group. Our gatherings have never excluded children. Bring the family, come for dinner and enjoy the atmosphere. Even if dd won't get up to play for us, I bet she would enjoy being in attendance.

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#938138 - 04/08/07 06:00 PM Re: first timer for piano guild auditions
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Okie, it sounds to me like you need to call on Piano Man[/b]. Pianoman, as you know, is able to leap large intervals, play scales faster than a speeding jet aircraft, and lift Mason & Hamlin pianos with his little finger. Pianoman could show your district the errors of its ways!

Seriously, you're in a most unfortunate situation. Of course, it's obvious to you and me that gymnastics and tae-kwon-do are not academics, whereas piano most certainly is. Probably the only way you could win this is if you get wind that the school is taking kids out for spelling bees, Model UN or Model Senate, and other academic competitions. Humm, I wonder if band students are excused for away games, MENC events, etc.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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