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#1714891 07/17/11 06:09 AM
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Hello teachers, I have a student who is around 6years old or more. She was very very very interested with piano. She used to enjoy classes every time i come but i noticed there had been a very big change. Now just when the lessons start she starts throwing fits every single mistake she makes. Her patience is not there anymore. I had spoken to her mother about this because i was very concerned about the sudden change in attitude and her mother says that she claims to want to stop piano but her mother wants her to continue because apparently "she will regret quitting later on" I cannot say that she is being forced hence the hatred towards piano because she was once upon a time in love with piano. How do i make things fun for her again? How do i bring her patience and love for piano back?

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I have taught a lot of 6 year olds. From the information you've given us, I would say the the child has gotten overwhelmed. Here are some suggestions:

Have her pick favorites to give you a concert at the next lesson.
Play duets with her.
Sing pieces with her and use shakers or rhythm sticks.
Let her conduct while you play piano.
Use a sight reading book that is lower than the level she is currently trying to play.
Back up and review.
After she has had time to review, then it may be time to continue to advance.

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make her like YOU............... cookies perhaps? I hate power struggles between kids and piano.. they are really so harming.

I like Ann's suggestions. I teach a family of students and they are being MADE to take the piano. I am slowly turning them around. Still the littlest said to me Friday... "once I play the left hand one more time... am I going to let out?" I laughed so hard. it cracked me up. anyway, I think my laughter kind of helped him cause he played it 4 more times.


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I agree with Ann. There are really few reasons for a child to hate the piano if the lessons are a fun and enjoyable experience (which I am assuming they are with you) and where they are given lots of positive reinforcement. A sudden change in attitude is usually because they get discouraged, or like Ann says, overwhelmed.

When I am teaching little ones I remind myself to explain new concepts in at least three different ways...while you may think she understands she might not actually. Think aural, visual and kinesthetic with each new concept. Have her "teach" you what you have just taught her in a way disgused as a game. Do lots of review so she is always playing something that she feels is "easy". Also, make sure to split your lesson with her into manageable parts - a child's attention span is their age plus 2-3 minutes so they need to change activities frequently.

Hopefully you get some great sugggestions and can turn it around for both her and yourself! Good luck.


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What is the child's parents' idea of how she should be helping her child practice? Have then been given advice or is this known? A parent might think that it is helpful to point out mistakes, or demand perfection, or force practicing. Is the child a perfectionist who thinks that it always has to be perfect? 6/7 of a week's learning happens at home.

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This reminds me of a child I used to babysit when I was a teenager. His name was Nick. When Nick was 4/5 years old he used to blame anyone and anything for his own mistakes. For example, he would bump his elbow on the table, turn to me and say "Heyyyy! You made me hurt my elbow!" when in fact I was sitting in the other room reading a book. When Nick turned 6 this changed. Instead of blaming someone for his mistakes, he would become very upset with himself. One instance, he forgot to use the soap when he washed his hands after using the bathroom. He started crying. At this age, Nick was beginning to learn that he was responsible for his own actions. It was HIS fault that he forgot to use the soap. At first, this is very frustrating and difficult for children to understand. "Why did the mistake happen? Does this happen to everyone? What do I do to make sure this mistake doesn't happen again?" They are frustrated because they do not yet understand their own learning process. Eventually a lightbulb turns on and they figure out that "Ohhhh, I CAN do this. It just takes practise! The more I do it, the better I get at it!"

For this lightbulb to blibk, your student may just need a few opportunities to overcome some obsticles. As she begins to do this, she will learn what she is capable of. Mountains will not seem so large after a while. She will learn that everyone makes mistakes and it will not take such a toll on her self-esteem.

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Thanks to you all your advices were very nice.

Well to be honest i think that when we just started things taught during piano class was very easy for her that she didn't need to practice and still looks forward for the next class where she will be able to pass a lot of exercises without the need to practice. But things do get harder after a while right? so she started getting exercises a little longer and a little harder and she still does not practice. She loves the piano but hates to practice? which may be the reason why she hates the piano now? frown

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Victory!

Originally Posted by apple*
the littlest said to me Friday... "once I play the left hand one more time... am I going to let out?" I laughed so hard. it cracked me up. anyway, I think my laughter kind of helped him cause he played it 4 more times.


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Originally Posted by Liezl Tajanlangit
But things do get harder after a while right? so she started getting exercises a little longer and a little harder and she still does not practice. She loves the piano but hates to practice? which may be the reason why she hates the piano now? frown


Yes, I have had students fall into this trap several times before, much to my regret. frown Of course, we try to instill good practice habits from the beginning, but sometimes it just doesn't seem to 'take' - especially since students are often so busy with multiple after-school activities and so on. There does seem to be a 'hump' that occurs roughly a year or two years into my students' lessons - if they can get over it they usually become quite enthusiastic about all the cool music they are playing. But a lot of students struggle to maintain enthusiasm when things are no longer 'easy' and quite a few have quit at this point over the years.


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So do you have any advice on how to make the student start practicing (after you've gotten her the excitement of piano lessons every week) ?

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The material that you want her to practise at home- does it have good melodies? interesting or funny words? really cool rhythms? impressive sounding? What I mean is, putting yourself in her shoes, what do you love about the music she is supposed to play at home?


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Yes but i like the classics and she is a very young girl. we like very different things. and she's french. she might not know some nice popular english tunes :p

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My 7-yo daughter started having fits when she turned 8 years and simple reason is that she wants to accomplish more than what she can...

Perhaps slowing down a little or lower the level a bit would do the trick?


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Originally Posted by Artur Gajewski
Perhaps slowing down a little or lower the level a bit would do the trick?


Thanks. I'll try that. smile


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