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#1415327 - 04/11/10 02:56 PM chuckling over comments  
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Just wanted to share some chuckles. So here goes:

I taught a 6 year old student today. It's been difficult to get him to count. He played a piece in 3/4 time and then told me that he said "I don't care" (each measure to himself)to get the rhythm right. It worked and he kept decent time. (He told this happily, and was smiling.)

Next I pointed out a section where the hands play in "parallel motion". He said "Like parallel universe?" (What 6 year olds talk about a parallel universe?!) LOL!

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#1415349 - 04/11/10 03:26 PM Re: chuckling over comments [Re: Overexposed]  
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Originally Posted by Ann in Kentucky
Just wanted to share some chuckles. So here goes:

I taught a 6 year old student today. It's been difficult to get him to count. He played a piece in 3/4 time and then told me that he said "I don't care" (each measure to himself)to get the rhythm right. It worked and he kept decent time. (He told this happily, and was smiling.)

Next I pointed out a section where the hands play in "parallel motion". He said "Like parallel universe?" (What 6 year olds talk about a parallel universe?!) LOL!


Ha Ha!!! "I don't care!" I may have to steal that line, what a crack up. Whatever works!

My funny 9 year old student continues to make me chuckle, too.
The other day he arrived at his lesson wearing his zip-front hooded sweatshirt on backwards, with the hood in front. He sat down to play, pulled the hood over his face, and played his ragtime piece "blind" as he said. He asked if he could do this for our recital! I said no!


Piano Teacher
#1415681 - 04/12/10 06:56 AM Re: chuckling over comments [Re: Barb860]  
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Hi Barb,

Funny! Good for you for setting good boundaries for recital. I've got a 6 year old girl who plans to play Twinkle, Twinkle "backwards"--she puts her back on the bench and plays with her hands over her head. I agreed to it (along with other pieces played normally), but now I'm having second thoughts. It's a "piano party" though, and not a recital. Parents will watch from outside the studio. Would you let a child play it "backwards"?

#1415742 - 04/12/10 09:01 AM Re: chuckling over comments [Re: Overexposed]  
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Ann - that's great! What great spatial ability she must have. At a piano party I would let her. Why not let the other students see someone having fun with piano?


piano teacher
#1415745 - 04/12/10 09:06 AM Re: chuckling over comments [Re: Lollipop]  
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You can be sure most of the other kids will go home from the party and try it themselves!


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#1415847 - 04/12/10 12:11 PM Re: chuckling over comments [Re: Crayola]  
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Thanks Lollipop and Crayola. I was afraid it would begin to be a variety show, and not look professional. Your comments have helped me to feel OK about the decision to let her play backwards.

#1415870 - 04/12/10 12:47 PM Re: chuckling over comments [Re: Overexposed]  
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I think kids should be taught the difference between formal and casual events, and how to appropriately dress or perform in whatever situation. This will help them grow in creativity as well as respect for the particular occasion. Beware though, you may have several kids ask to play in an untraditional posture next studio party! You don't want it to become a contest of who can perform while in the most contorted position. But I guarantee the audience will pay higher attention to her piece! =)


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#1415895 - 04/12/10 01:43 PM Re: chuckling over comments [Re: Crayola]  
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Crayola, your comments are helping me to distinguish between a casual piano party and a more formal recital. So I'll allow this sort of thing at the piano party, but not at a more formal recital. Next year I plan to rent a performance space for recitals, and your comments remind me that I need to teach the kids what is appropriate dress and behavior.

To rent a space and have a formal recital is a stretch for me...yet parents already attend the parties (although they stand outside the studio) and I already print a program. So it will be getting the information I need to reserve a space...and having the confidence to take this next step.

#1415913 - 04/12/10 02:24 PM Re: chuckling over comments [Re: Overexposed]  
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Crayola Offline
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Formal recital are so fun! I would definitely encourage you to hold them, Ann. Each year I old 2 (I wish I could do more) and I love being able to meet my students' grandparents and cousins and neighbors. I have rented a church in the past, but this year I'll try it at my local Steinway dealership which has a performance room. I often decorate the stage or the reception with balloons, we get a group picture, and then I also hand out end-of-the-year awards and certificates. All of these things together help make it a special, memorable event that the student looks forward to months in advance and works hard to prepare for.


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#1416053 - 04/12/10 08:28 PM Re: chuckling over comments [Re: Crayola]  
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Hi Crayola, so far I've just started giving certificates as kids advance to a new level...just giving it to them at their lesson. What kind of certificates do you give? What kinds of awards do you give?

If you hold a recital at the Steinway dealership, will you go elsewhere for the reception? Are food and drinks allowed in the dealership performance room?

Thanks for the encouragement!

Last edited by Ann in Kentucky; 04/12/10 08:29 PM. Reason: spelling
#1416144 - 04/12/10 11:34 PM Re: chuckling over comments [Re: Overexposed]  
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I give perfect attendance certificates, as well as most improved player certificates. Starting next year I'll have students enter state exams and festivals, so I'll also recognize that at the recital. In the past I've done most positive attitude, and most prepared, etc. but that really gets rather subjective. I have not done gift awards, mainly recognition and a certificate, but I've sometimes given all the kids something - like a bag of treats or music pencils, or something small, basically a little reward for participating in the recital.

As far as the reception goes, right outside the recital room are tables for reception purposes. There isn't a lot of space to mingle, and hopefully no lemonade or brownie crumbs will be spilled on the showcase Steinways... I would be mortified...


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#1416151 - 04/12/10 11:54 PM Re: chuckling over comments [Re: Barb860]  
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Barb860,
As a professional musician on other instruments, my sightreading is amazing. however, my sightreading at the piano is rubbish. I attribute this to the fact that nobody stopped me from continually looking at the keyboard.
This looks like a fun way of aquiring the spatial skills I have lacked for good sightreading and could be infectious if allowed to be demonstrated at a recital, even as a bit of light relief at the stiffest, starchiest recital.


Amanda Reckonwith
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.


#1416330 - 04/13/10 08:07 AM Re: chuckling over comments [Re: Crayola]  
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Hi Crayola,
Thanks for the information. We have a Steinway dealer nearby, and I hope to rent their recital room. It helps to know that the store you're using made room for refreshments. I'll be there this Saturday to observe another teacher's recital...and find out details about the rental/use of space.

#1416485 - 04/13/10 01:25 PM Re: chuckling over comments [Re: Overexposed]  
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Originally Posted by Ann in Kentucky
I've got a 6 year old girl who plans to play Twinkle, Twinkle "backwards"--she puts her back on the bench and plays with her hands over her head.


Mozart did tricks like that to impress people, I see nothing wrong with kids trying this. Could be a fun experience, it's good practice, might help kids practicing more, etc.

As long as they understand this is a party trick, and focus on improving and not showing off...


#1416519 - 04/13/10 02:18 PM Re: chuckling over comments [Re: Erus]  
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In my long and varied semi-pro career I have occasionally played keyboards in odd ways, usually in front of audiences. I was significantly older than 6.

There was an instrumental tune that I really hated back in the '70s. I took to playing the melody with pencils (the eraser end)to amuse myself. I can also remember playing with a bag over my head from time to time. I find that playing without looking is easier if you don't think about it. Our fingers (especially old fingers) know their positions better than we think they do.

More recently have played songs with gardening gloves on. I have even tried, with reasonable success, to play through a towel that was laid over the keys. That last "technique" came about on a beach in misty weather. I had to wipe down the keys frequently, and the idea just popped into my head.

At one gig I played a solo with my index finger only (in the RH, the Left I played normally). To my great surprise, what started out as a bit of fun turned out to be an enlightening exercise. The limitation forced me to approach the solo differently, playing with an economy that sometimes eludes me. Try it sometime.

I did several gigs working the damper pedal with my left foot. This was unfortunately not a joke, I had an injured ankle at the time. I was surprised at how easy it was. I had expected it to be like writing with my off hand.

I'm not a teacher, but I think it's OK for a student to have a little bit of fun with their instrument, in proper proportion of course. Leave the real silliness for later in life, preferably at paid gigs.


Greg Guarino
#1419390 - 04/18/10 10:00 AM Re: chuckling over comments [Re: Overexposed]  
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Hi Ann!

There's no rental fee at our Steinway dealership. They provide the space as a service to area teachers. I was amazed they allow (and assume) refreshments around those pianos, but it worked out great. smile

~Adrienne


Private piano teacher in Lexington, Kentucky
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#1419400 - 04/18/10 10:20 AM Re: chuckling over comments [Re: MsAdrienne]  
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I teach a girl and boy siblings, and several times after the boy's lesson the girl (who is 7 and has only played for a year but is really talented) comes downstairs and plays the melody of the last song the brother played.. It's hilarious and also I was surprised to find she has perfect pitch and such a good memory!



"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
#1419454 - 04/18/10 12:01 PM Re: chuckling over comments [Re: Pogorelich.]  
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Thanks Adrienne! What a nice surprise that there is no rental fee.


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