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#1464411 - 06/28/10 01:42 PM Re: "Failure to thrive" advanced students [Re: keystring]  
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,276
AZNpiano Offline
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AZNpiano  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,276
Orange County, CA
Here's a piece that saved one student:

Gwyneth Walker, "Rhythms from the North Country"

http://www.gwynethwalker.com/rhythmsf.html

Enjoy!


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#1464416 - 06/28/10 01:47 PM Re: "Failure to thrive" advanced students [Re: keystring]  
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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John v.d.Brook  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2006
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Olympia, Washington, USA
Perhaps, perhaps not. When I was young, I had a very strong distaste for the jazz idiom. You could give me all the theory in the world, and it wouldn't have mattered. I would have quit lessons if my teacher had insisted on jazz.


"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
#1464440 - 06/28/10 02:26 PM Re: "Failure to thrive" advanced students [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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blueston Offline
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blueston  Offline
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MA, USA
As a "student" I seemed to have the opposite experience. Being mostly self taught with very little formal training, I reached a certain level on my own and then plateued for several years but would always keep playing for myself at home. Then after many years of no lessons i finally found an appropriate but very demanding teacher who was able to show me the light and I made several breakthrus in only a couple years.

So non-taught student hits plateau and solves it by getting teacher.

So student taking lessons hits plateau should quit teacher?

Same logic but in reverse, but I don't know that that sounds like a good idea. How about some of these ideas instead-

A students interest and ambition needs to come from within somehow. They need to want to improve. You can't make them but you can find ways to nurture and coax them along a little. Ask yourself what would make a student want to get better.

1. Some have already suggest a showy or flashy piece they can show off to friends.

2. Finding opportunities to do more performing would be another thing, whether it be solo performances, like for church. Or joining a band. Or just getting together informally with a couple other people to jam. Playing with just one other person can be lots of fun. Or how about Open Mics nights. Or any other "Goals" to work towards.

3. Try listening to a lot of new and different music. This motivates me a lot. When I hear a really cool piece then I want to be able to play it, even if it's difficult. Try new styles if you haven't already like in the Jazz family- Blues, Boogie etc. Upbeat stuff can be a great alternative to classical and new age pieces.

4. I hate to say it but sometimes a change of teacher can be refreshing and good change of pace. Every teacher has strengths and weaknesses and I always think it's a good idea to learn from as many different people as possible. I am planning on doing this myself and rotate thru a few I know and may even go back to the same one a couple times.

But #3 is what I suggest first.


#1464445 - 06/28/10 02:29 PM Re: "Failure to thrive" advanced students [Re: AZNpiano]  
Joined: Apr 2009
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Barb860 Offline
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Barb860  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,654
northern California
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Here's a piece that saved one student:

Gwyneth Walker, "Rhythms from the North Country"

http://www.gwynethwalker.com/rhythmsf.html

Enjoy!


Thanks! This is wonderful.


Piano Teacher
#1464766 - 06/29/10 12:15 AM Re: "Failure to thrive" advanced students [Re: Barb860]  
Joined: Jul 2003
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Candywoman Offline
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Candywoman  Offline
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Posts: 1,075
While I'm grateful for the repertoire suggestions, upon further reflection, that's not really the problem. They both like almost everything I choose. (I've asked them to choose, btw; they have occasionally.) They simply don't place a value on practicing enough or can't make the changes to their lifestyles that piano would necessitate. I have given them performance opportunities, but they don't practice enough for a solid performance. It always sounds like a good read-through.

I suspect they don't really know how long they'd have to practice a piece to really show it. I can't handle giving more than about twelve lessons on a given piece. I usually tell them to keep practicing it after that and show it later if desired. However, by then, we're usually onto the next thing. At their slow practice rate, more than twelve weeks on the same piece wouldn't really make for interesting lessons.

At times, I envision what it would be like to teach only advanced students. I wonder how university professors do it. You'd have to see about two hours per day of practicing from the student to make an interesting lesson, I would think.


Last edited by Candywoman; 06/29/10 12:16 AM.
#1464844 - 06/29/10 04:32 AM Re: "Failure to thrive" advanced students [Re: Candywoman]  
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theJourney Offline
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theJourney  Offline
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You can lead a horse to water...

#1465025 - 06/29/10 11:38 AM Re: "Failure to thrive" advanced students [Re: theJourney]  
Joined: Jun 2009
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Minniemay Offline
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Minniemay  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,702
CA
In fact, I require a minimum of 2 hours a day from my university students, but few of them actually do it and it shows. Very frustrating. I don't have this problem at all with my high school students.


B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
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#1465106 - 06/29/10 01:47 PM Re: "Failure to thrive" advanced students [Re: Minniemay]  
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 31
Breathe Piano Offline
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Breathe Piano  Offline
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Posts: 31
Grand Rapids, MI
Hey, I don't mean to sound promotional or anything, but it sounds like my new idea would work out really well in your situation. I'm creating online 6 week courses for building up musical fundamentals. These should enhance student's playing as well as free up your time to work on what you want to! You can read more about it in this thread: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubb...l%20Supplemental%20Cour.html#Post1465074


www.BreathePiano.com - a refreshing alternative to traditional piano lessons.
#1465225 - 06/29/10 06:18 PM Re: "Failure to thrive" advanced students [Re: Breathe Piano]  
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,337
Elissa Milne Offline
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Elissa Milne  Offline
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Posts: 1,337
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Breathe Piano, hey I don't mean to sound mean, but yeah, I reckon you do sound promotional or something, because your new idea doesn't seem to address the concern of this thread at all. But I'm only guessing because access has been denied to the link you put up.....!!!!


Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
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#1465229 - 06/29/10 06:24 PM Re: "Failure to thrive" advanced students [Re: Elissa Milne]  
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 31
Breathe Piano Offline
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Breathe Piano  Offline
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Posts: 31
Grand Rapids, MI
Elissa,

the person is saying that her advanced students are spending too much time working on fundamentals and not enough time music making. That is the whole point of this. You can check it out at CreatingMusicians.com. Please understand that this is completely free for you teachers as well.

Last edited by Breathe Piano; 06/29/10 06:24 PM.

www.BreathePiano.com - a refreshing alternative to traditional piano lessons.
#1465231 - 06/29/10 06:31 PM Re: "Failure to thrive" advanced students [Re: Breathe Piano]  
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,337
Elissa Milne Offline
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Elissa Milne  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,337
Sydney, NSW, Australia
I didn't read the OP that way - I think that the problem is that the students are 'coasting' rather than putting in appropriate time.

It seems to me that the students have no problem with the 'fundamentals' - just with prioritising practice! And this is not a motivation issue - they don't want to stop lessons or change teachers - they just don't want to spend more than 2 hours a week playing the piano.

I've had students just like this! They really have mastered the basics - great theoretical knowledge, acceptable sight reading standard, reasonably impressive aural skills - they just haven't got more than 2 hours a week to put into piano.......... And they don't wish to cease lessons!!!!


Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com
#1465236 - 06/29/10 06:38 PM Re: "Failure to thrive" advanced students [Re: Elissa Milne]  
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 31
Breathe Piano Offline
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Breathe Piano  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2010
Posts: 31
Grand Rapids, MI
oh you are right, she mentioned doing these things with them and I thought she was saying she had to focus on them, but the issue is that they aren't practicing their pieces so she's using this stuff as filler.

Thanks for clearing that up! That is very frustrating, I've not ever had a student like that so I doubt I can be much help but I can imagine it is very difficult.


www.BreathePiano.com - a refreshing alternative to traditional piano lessons.
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