Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
What's Hot!!
Hurricane Irma & Our Piano Friends!
--------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Tuning a Piano
How to Tune Pianos
(125ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2017
(ad)
4th Finger Enigma Resolved!
Schumann's 4th Finger Enigma Resolved!
Who's Online Now
81 registered members (Andrei Kuznetsov, bennevis, Beakybird, 36251, bsntn99, 21 invisible), 1,768 guests, and 5 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#2044550 - 03/07/13 04:02 PM Teaching 8 year old with Anxiety Disorder - Help!  
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 104
pianogirl1978 Offline
Full Member
pianogirl1978  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 104
Nebraska
I teach a wonderful 8 year old little girl and the first few lessons were fine and she understood everything I was teaching her, but now we are hitting a point where she is getting very anxious if she does not understand something immediately - to the point where there are tears during the last half of the lesson. She looks ahead in the book and panics about what is coming next. I try to make light of it and tell her "don't worry, we haven't learned it yet so you're not supposed to know how to do it!" Her mom discussed her anxiety and perfectionism a little with me and told me she does "deep breathing" when she gets anxious. So we are learning anything new lately and she stops and says "okay I have to take deep breaths now" and tears are coming down her face as she tries to calm herself down! I am a very laid-back teacher, very light-hearted so I really don't think it is me that is making her this anxious. I just don't know how long I should let this go on. She has shed tears the last 3 lessons. And if she doesn't cry, her voice wavers and her eyes start watering when she is learning a new concept. When should I talk to mom about maybe stopping lessons if this is not gonna be enjoyable for her?

Last edited by pianogirl1978; 03/07/13 04:03 PM.

Private Piano Teacher in Lincoln, Nebraska
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#2044559 - 03/07/13 04:30 PM Re: Teaching 8 year old with Anxiety Disorder - Help! [Re: pianogirl1978]  
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,164
AZNpiano Offline
7000 Post Club Member
AZNpiano  Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,164
Orange County, CA
That's very noble of you to suggest stopping lessons! I probably wouldn't do that unless I have people on the waiting list. It's always hard to teach little perfectionists, especially when they are still in method books.

Good luck! Let us know how things go.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
#2044563 - 03/07/13 04:36 PM Re: Teaching 8 year old with Anxiety Disorder - Help! [Re: pianogirl1978]  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,702
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Minniemay  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,702
CA
I would make sure that I do nothing new with her. I know that seems counterintuitive, but if you do lots of preparatory games and experiences with her before you ever look at anything in print, you will always be able to say, "Why, look! You already know how to do this!"

Lots of improvisation, playing by ear, finger plays, moving, singing. Set every experience up to be something she already knows.


B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano
#2044635 - 03/07/13 05:49 PM Re: Teaching 8 year old with Anxiety Disorder - Help! [Re: pianogirl1978]  
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 3,336
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member
ten left thumbs  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 3,336
Scotland
I think you need to keep the new concepts very small and finite. This student needs plenty of material to consolidate what she knows, and master it truly before moving on. You may need to use different books in parallel, to give her plenty practice. She will mature, for now she has ways of dealing with her anxiety, and crying is one of them.

#2044783 - 03/07/13 10:07 PM Re: Teaching 8 year old with Anxiety Disorder - Help! [Re: ten left thumbs]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,327
malkin Offline
4000 Post Club Member
malkin  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,327
*sigh* Salt Lake City
Stay calm and detached from her anxiety. Please don't be controlled by her anxiety or her crying.

Stay in touch with the child and mom about strategies to respond to anxiety, deep breaths and whatever else she finds to do. She might discover a piano related calming activity; maybe she could play a scale or a chord while taking deep breaths or singing along with some notes.

You could read David Smith's book Monkey Mind for some insight about anxiety from a sufferer. (WARNING: adult content)


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#2044923 - 03/08/13 07:46 AM Re: Teaching 8 year old with Anxiety Disorder - Help! [Re: malkin]  
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 102
pianomouse Offline
Full Member
pianomouse  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 102
Europe
I agree with everything said above. It might also help, if you don't use a book, where she sees what's coming next which seems to build up like a huge mountain for her. Why not use xeroxed music, and only give her what you actually work on?


The piano keys are black and white,
But they sound like a million colours in your mind.
(Katie Melua)
#2044927 - 03/08/13 08:05 AM Re: Teaching 8 year old with Anxiety Disorder - Help! [Re: Minniemay]  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 5,546
Gary D. Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Gary D.  Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 5,546
South Florida
Originally Posted by Minniemay
I would make sure that I do nothing new with her. I know that seems counterintuitive, but if you do lots of preparatory games and experiences with her before you ever look at anything in print, you will always be able to say, "Why, look! You already know how to do this!"

Lots of improvisation, playing by ear, finger plays, moving, singing. Set every experience up to be something she already knows.

That's great!

I would add that it is the balance of success against challenges that is the key. Some people are always pushing to do something new and do not worry about imperfection. In its own way this can lead eventually to a high degree of mastery, but the teacher has to insist on fixing things and not always going on or glossing over imperfections.

With the obsessive perfectionists I think I tend to have them review a huge amount of material, then slip in new concepts or little improvements in very safe, gradual steps. It's a different mindset.

Perhaps all of us need more support than we realize this way. There is something about mastering an instrument that makes feeling good about where we are rather hard and feeling inadequate very easy. Just look at some of the most famous players who have ever lived. Why else would someone like Horowitz go through periods where he would say, "But I don't play piano any more..."


Piano Teacher

Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World)
our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, Digital Piano Dolly, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.


Free Shipping* on Jansen Artist Piano Benches, Cocoweb Piano Lamps, Hidrau Hydraulic Piano Benches
(*free shipping within contiguous U.S. only)
(ad)
Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq 6 Out now
(ad)
Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restorations and sales
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


New Topics - Multiple Forums
When people think the composer is someone else
by Mark_C. 09/25/17 06:48 PM
Anyone who likes Chopin (Noct 9 opus 1) but intimidated
by piano_primo_1. 09/25/17 05:51 PM
The Fourth
by Goof. 09/25/17 05:18 PM
The Secret Life of Pianos
by Grandman. 09/25/17 02:32 PM
What makes me play too loudly?
by Beemer. 09/25/17 08:21 AM
Forum Statistics
Forums44
Topics182,019
Posts2,660,100
Members88,889
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Check It Out!
There's a lot more to Piano World than just the forums.
Click Here to
Explore The Rest of Piano World!!
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0