2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.9 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
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

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

Advertise on Piano World

Who's Online Now
74 registered members (Beemer, BachToTheFuture, AYS, aph123, 36251, anotherscott, amyram, accordeur, 18 invisible), 445 guests, and 562 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
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
Hop To
Page 2 of 2 1 2
Re: Difficult students [Re: Morodiene] #2056743 03/30/13 08:10 AM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 275
BrainCramp Offline
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 275
I think it's a mistake to condemn someone who doesn't want to buy what you're selling.

She's not interested in piano lessons, especially your style of lesson. That doesn't mean she has a poor work ethic, is a lazy person, is a lousy human being, or will be a failure as an adult.

When I was a kid I never practiced for my piano lessons. I WASN'T INTERESTED.

As a teenager I did the minimum of work in school. I WASN'T INTERESTED.

Fortunately I was smarter than average and did well without trying.

As an adult I'm focused, hard-working, and accomplished. I've got a master's degree and a career.

Come on teachers, get over yourselves!

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: Difficult students [Re: Nannerl Mozart] #2056758 03/30/13 08:49 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 732
N
Nannerl Mozart Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
N
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 732
Brian you might be the exception to the rule. Congratulations for having a masters degree and a successful life, who knows what would happen with her, maybe she'll wake up one day and see that she should do something about whatever field she wants to get into ... maybe she wont, maybe she'll do a boring menial job that pays the bills, maybe she will be brilliant - perhaps a closet nerd or a genius in disguise. We need people to do boring menial jobs, nothing wrong with that. We make mistakes in our young years, some of us loved school and did well, some of us hated it and dropped out, it's never a reflection of the future - things are very unpredictable, people change.

Thing is, she is failing in school - in most subjects she doesn't do that well. She owned up to the lazy label... not me - I never imposed it onto her, she gave herself that label.

Re: Difficult students [Re: Nannerl Mozart] #2056788 03/30/13 10:03 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,168
rocket88 Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,168
Often, there is nothing a piano teacher can do to motivate young people who are in their teenage years.

These students are transitioning from children to adults, are going through major changes in many aspects of their life, and have a lot on their plate to deal with.

I think it is unrealistic to assume that if a piano teacher just would do the right thing, whatever that could possibly be, such teens will become re-interested in piano and start practicing with vigor.

This is my humble opinion, arrived at after years of teaching and trying many things to get such students back on track. And from talking to many other music teachers (not just piano, but guitar, drums, wind) all who voice essentially the same thing.


Piano teacher.
Re: Difficult students [Re: Nannerl Mozart] #2056791 03/30/13 10:05 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 732
N
Nannerl Mozart Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
N
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 732
Brian you have made me think a lot. I suppose you are addressing it from a consumer/customer entitlement standpoint. I want to make a few things clear: I am a teacher... and when I hear students play, the first thing I hear is potential. An uneven tone, lack of phrasing, lack of tempo leads me to think - wow that would sound amazing if we fixed x,y and z. I then think about ways to make it happen, my approach is multifaceted - if a five year old has issues with keeping a beat - we play some Kodaly pass the beat games, we conduct, we stomp to music, we sing songs and tap the beat. It's different if the student is older - we use the metronome, we tap whilst playing, we sing the melody whilst tapping or clapping. We switch places - I play the melody whilst the student taps. Whatever works... I care about the music. Besides this I don't think I'm making concert artists and I don't think I'm looking for students who win competitions, I just want to push students so they can realise their potential, so they can take away something truly valuable from piano lessons.

Frankly I have students who put the work into things and struggle with learning disabilities, I love these students - they might not progress at the same rate as some of their peers but they try and I enjoy teaching them. An apathetic teenager who admits to being lazy and not wanting to try anything new... I've hit a dead end, as a teacher I've run out of things to say and teach.

Here are some of the things I've taught: improvisation - she doesn't like this, technique, harmony/theory (basic chordal analysis), composition, giving her new repertoire (I have given her a few new pieces and she doesn't end up working on them, maybe just on one or two), I let her choose them. I've suggested other things and she has flatly refused them.

If a student flatly refuses to do anything that I suggest and does not practice and who frankly admits to being lazy - what the heck do I do for an hour? Maybe the time and money would be better spent elsewhere - go to the shop and buy a music book and teach yourself the repertoire in the time the lesson should be. If you want a motivational coach I frankly think that's a bit redundant - why pay for it, really, go do it at home. She's come to the realisation that she doesn't want piano lessons anymore because she knows in order to get better she needs to change a few things. She doesn't want to change those things, she's content in her progress and wishes to learn songs on her own. Good for her. I hope some of what I have taught has some value to her, and I hope the insights and reflections I have on hear are of some value.

It's hard to deal with a mother who isn't happy with the way I teach... and it's funny, the mother seems to have a very different understanding of what her teenage daughter wants. Her teenage daughter actually texted me and then talked to me afterwards and told me that her wanting to quit has nothing to do with me as a teacher. She knows that she is lazy.


Re: Difficult students [Re: Nannerl Mozart] #2056805 03/30/13 10:16 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 732
N
Nannerl Mozart Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
N
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 732
Rocket, I have no idea with this teenager, she started as a teenager. For me, I had a serious start in my teens, I really wanted to be there and if I had no practice weeks, I had a damn good excuse for it every time. I wanted to be a music major ever since I was that age and I couldn't see myself doing anything else so I emailed the head of the department - asking questions on entrance. I know that most students are not like me. I'm not expecting them to, but they generally seem to care about things - I have an adult student who knows his theory damn well - he hopped onto the internet and learned all his key signatures, note durations and their names, time signatures and basic harmonic progressions. I was so impressed. I'm not saying all students should be like him but most of my students are easy to teach. I get along with this girl, she just doesn't want to work for anything.

Re: Difficult students [Re: Nannerl Mozart] #2056811 03/30/13 10:25 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 71
pianopaws Offline
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 71
It sounds like you have already made your decision on what to do with this student. Now you are just in a tough situation because of the studio owner's advice and not wanting to lose the income.

Is there another teacher at your studio that you could refer this student to? Maybe someone who would be comfortable with the "personal trainer" role? That way the studio would retain the income and the student could have a fresh start with someone else. You may have a loss of income until that student's time slot is filled, but it might be worth the loss of aggravation from dealing with this student.


M.M., Piano performance and pedagogy
Member, MTNA and NCMTA
Re: Difficult students [Re: Bobpickle] #2056814 03/30/13 10:28 AM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,329
T
TimR Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,329
Originally Posted by Bobpickle

In my world, I'd give her tough love and force her to learn discipline through whatever means necessary,


Bob,
That's one possible approach. But wouldn't it apply just as well to the teacher?

After all, her employer has made it perfectly clear what is required of her, and she's not doing it.

Time to cut the losses and fire her.

(of course I'm not really advocating that - just pointing out some of the complexity here.)


gotta go practice
Re: Difficult students [Re: Morodiene] #2056817 03/30/13 10:31 AM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,329
T
TimR Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,329
Originally Posted by Morodiene
It's a shame because obviously the parents are to blame for the daughter's behavior,


I'm sorry, but I'm going to sharply disagree. You have no actual basis for making that judgement.

Even further, all the comments about how obviously lazy the girl is are wrong. Yes, she "admits" she's lazy. Of course she does. She's been told she's lazy for so long she's come to believe it herself. And it is very possibly completely false.


gotta go practice
Re: Difficult students [Re: BrainCramp] #2056832 03/30/13 11:12 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,370
AZNpiano Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,370
Originally Posted by BrainCramp
When I was a kid I never practiced for my piano lessons. I WASN'T INTERESTED.

As a teenager I did the minimum of work in school. I WASN'T INTERESTED.

How do you think your parents and teachers felt about that?

Originally Posted by BrainCramp
Come on teachers, get over yourselves!

cursing


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Difficult students [Re: AZNpiano] #2056854 03/30/13 12:09 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,019
S
Saranoya Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,019
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by BrainCramp
When I was a kid I never practiced for my piano lessons. I WASN'T INTERESTED.

As a teenager I did the minimum of work in school. I WASN'T INTERESTED.

How do you think your parents and teachers felt about that?

Originally Posted by BrainCramp
Come on teachers, get over yourselves!

cursing


If I may butt in here for a second ...

I am neither a piano teacher, nor a practicing teacher of any other kind (though I *did* receive all of the training and certification necessary to become a secondary school teacher). But I think I get where both sides are coming from, here.

I consider it perfectly normal for both parents and teachers to want their children and/or students to realize a maximum of their potential. To some extent, after all, we tend to define 'good parenting' (and good teaching) as the ability on the part of the parent or teacher to awaken, develop and cultivate a child's potential as much as possible.

The trick to truly great parenting or teaching, then, is to do this while avoiding the development of fear, aversion or indifference on the part of the child or the student. And it is that last part that, yes, sometimes requires teachers (and to a lesser extent, parents) to "get over themselves".

Of course, if a child is truly determined to 'not be interested', there may not be much that a teacher can do. But I think we've all known our share of students who were well and truly disinterested in most of what was offered to them in school, and yet they worked like crazy on one particular aspect of their education -- because the person who happened to be teaching that aspect had managed to inspire them, somehow.

The very best teachers (especially those who teach individuals instead of groups) develop their students' potential by adapting their methods, materials and routines (and sometimes their expectations) to the goals and interests of whoever it is that they happen have in front of them. There are, of course, boundaries to everyone's ability to teach (for example, it seems unlikely that a piano teacher who was exclusively classically trained will be in a position to turn even a very talented six-year-old into the next Ray Charles entirely on their own). But even so, a fairly high degree of adaptability should still be possible.

In the case of the OP, the most optimal solution may indeed be to let the student go, since that seems to be what both student and teacher really want. But if the parent and/or the studio owner won't go along with the 'letting go' option, well, then it behooves the teacher to do one of two things:

1) Find a way to inspire the student into going along with what the teacher wants (which, given the description of the current situation with this student, might be tricky if not impossible).

2) Adapt expectations, teaching methods, and goals for this student until she *is* interested in being taken along whatever the new path will be. In other words, "get over yourself" and, ideally, let the student point the way, but then meet somewhere in the middle between what you want, and what she wants (while keeping her motivated to stay on that middle ground, instead of just going back to where she is now, which is doing neither of you any good).


Plodding through piano music at a frustratingly slow pace since 9/2012.

Standard disclaimer: I teach many things. Piano is not one of them.
Re: Difficult students [Re: Nannerl Mozart] #2056880 03/30/13 12:54 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 3,336
T
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 3,336
No way should such a student get an hour's lesson.

Re: Difficult students [Re: TimR] #2057184 03/31/13 02:56 AM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,394
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014
1000 Post Club Member
Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,394
Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by Morodiene
It's a shame because obviously the parents are to blame for the daughter's behavior,


I'm sorry, but I'm going to sharply disagree. You have no actual basis for making that judgement.

Even further, all the comments about how obviously lazy the girl is are wrong. Yes, she "admits" she's lazy. Of course she does. She's been told she's lazy for so long she's come to believe it herself. And it is very possibly completely false.


Perhaps she's playing the odds; don't you notice the rising lack of accountability in our society? One of the prime reasons for U.S.A.'s failing educational system is the fact that teachers are being held accountable beyond the role of simply being good at teaching. If it's not the teacher's role for providing a work ethic (which it shouldn't be), and - according to your insinuation - it's not the parents' role, then whose role is it?

Re: Difficult students [Re: Nannerl Mozart] #2057286 03/31/13 08:46 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 732
N
Nannerl Mozart Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
N
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 732
Bobpickle you make a good point. I've been thinking a lot over the last couple of days. People seem to have different reactions to the teenager's mum, I just want to make a few things clear, mind you this is completely from my perspective: the teenager raised up wanting to quit and it seems that the teenager's mum took it the wrong way. The teenager told mum that I spend the lesson talking ... which I have been more recently but that's because well, I've run out of things to teach (the contents of my conversation often revolve around asking her questions on her work ethic, her interests, the way she works, how things work in school for her, etc... I go through the repertoire she worked on in the week - and normally the answer to that is - I didn't do much this week, or I don't like this so I didn't work on it. I ask her - did you work on improvisation or newly assigned things on technical work - no she didn't, she's not interested. OK so lets have a look at this new piece, you interested in that? Yes, great learn it up in the week and I would love to have a look at it.

I think mum just thinks I talk in the lesson and paying for somebody to just talk is expensive. I told mum my reasons whilst telling her I understand completely where she is coming from but here is what I am working with and I've honestly run out of things to teach. Mum says she's going to find another teacher for her daughter. She compared her former teacher to me. Understandable. However, I said I don't think it's a getting along/personality thing - In essence I think she's gotten to a stage where she can do things on her own and if she wants to get better she'll need to practice and make changes. Mum denies this and says that the girl wants to try new things - I said I give her something new after attempting it twice she'll refuse.

I'll write more later

Page 2 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

What's Hot!!
News from the Piano World
Our January 2020 Newsletter Available Online Now...
Free Piano Newsletter
----------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Shop our Store for Music Lovers!
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Free Trial
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Steinway fallboard lettering
by Lushey1 - 02/21/20 04:30 AM
How do you deal with sweaty hands?
by PracticingPianist - 02/21/20 01:34 AM
FP 90 Question...
by GWILLY - 02/21/20 12:27 AM
I am inspired to write some music
by MichaelJK - 02/20/20 10:51 PM
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics197,098
Posts2,928,244
Members96,057
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
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 - 2019 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3