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Teenage students #2058243 04/02/13 09:39 AM
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Nannerl Mozart Offline OP
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Following from the last post I had on difficult students... I wonder what is the best way to teach a teenager. With my younger students, I do let them have some choice in what happens in the lesson but never to the extent that I ask them what their goals are. With adult beginner students, most of them let me take the lead in assigning them material. I often talk to them about their goals, asking them what they want out of playing the piano and most of them don't refuse or question what I teach them (e.g. technique, theory/harmony, improvisation, repertoire.)

I wonder - how should you treat teenagers? Do you give them a lot of choice on what goes on in the lesson and let them lead? What has been your experience?

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Re: Teenage students [Re: Nannerl Mozart] #2058266 04/02/13 10:27 AM
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In my experience, I'd ask them what their goals are or what they want out of it. They may have some idea, and if so, you can help them achieve that. If not, you can prescribe them what you think best. Although I insist on developing their sight-reading/music reading skills, as I would with any student.


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Re: Teenage students [Re: Nannerl Mozart] #2058300 04/02/13 11:46 AM
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Teenagers are over 50% of my studio. I enjoy teaching teens.

I don't "let them lead." Leading the education is my job, as I'm their teacher. However, by the time students are in their later teens I will have discussed what their goals are, and I do adjust their lessons accordingly.


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Re: Teenage students [Re: Nannerl Mozart] #2058529 04/03/13 02:28 AM
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Nannerl Mozart Offline OP
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Musicpassion - what happens if they refuse everything you teach them... What do you do then?

Re: Teenage students [Re: Nannerl Mozart] #2058550 04/03/13 03:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Nannerl Mozart
I wonder - how should you treat teenagers? Do you give them a lot of choice on what goes on in the lesson and let them lead? What has been your experience?

Of course, it depends on the student, but the older the student gets, the more I treat them as adults and let them take the lead in their own education. I also treat them with a lot more respect, with the understanding that they are taking lessons despite a world of distractions (family, school, friends, other extracurricular activities).

I teach a couple of "post-testing" students, and they are a great joy to teach. They're done with all 10 levels, but in lieu of hanging it up for good (and never touch the piano again!), they decide that they love piano and want to keep learning. So I basically let them pick whatever they want to play for fun. I direct them to Youtube and suggest some titles according to their ability, and they choose the music they want to play.


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Re: Teenage students [Re: Nannerl Mozart] #2058579 04/03/13 06:51 AM
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Is she refusing to do anything you suggest at the lesson, or is she just not practicing? If the former, I would dismiss the student. If the latter, just treat lessons like her once a week practice session. I believe this student will leave of her own choice soon.


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Re: Teenage students [Re: Nannerl Mozart] #2058591 04/03/13 07:32 AM
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Morodiene, it's both - she hardly practices, she refuses what I suggest in the lesson... but it's not my studio so the interest in keeping the student.

Re: Teenage students [Re: Nannerl Mozart] #2058594 04/03/13 07:48 AM
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Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted by Nannerl Mozart
Morodiene, it's both - she hardly practices, she refuses what I suggest in the lesson... but it's not my studio so the interest in keeping the student.


Then you really have to dismiss her. What can you do if everything you suggest she refuses to do? It's not your fault she's being belligerent.


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Re: Teenage students [Re: Nannerl Mozart] #2058604 04/03/13 08:10 AM
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I agree... it's complicated. Her mum is quite upset and angry at the fact that I spent the last few lessons chatting to her about school, the way she works, her disinterest and how difficult it is to work with. I told her mum the absolute truth about her disinterest and her mum thinks I'm an imcompetent teacher to come to the stage that I have run out of things to teach her. The teenager told me that she wants to quit because she understands that she is lazy and she doesn't want to waste my time or her mums money and she realises she is lazy.

Re: Teenage students [Re: Morodiene] #2058606 04/03/13 08:15 AM
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Nannerl, if you can't dismiss her because it isn't your studio, and she won't do anything you suggest, then you have to do what she wants.

Ask her what she'd like you to do in the lesson. Then do that.

In this situation, it's just a job. In any job we all have to do some things we don't want to do, or do some things in a way that we wouldn't choose. That's one reason it's called "work" and not "play".

If you want to always do things the way you think best, you'll have to have your own studio, with a surplus of students. I really think it's as simple as that.

Re: Teenage students [Re: Nannerl Mozart] #2058694 04/03/13 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Nannerl Mozart
Musicpassion - what happens if they refuse everything you teach them... What do you do then?


As has already been noted in the discussion above, there is difference between refusing in lesson and not doing the work at home.

I've never had a student refuse instruction in lessons. I realize that day could come, and if it does I'll deal with it then.

As for the student not doing their assignment or not practicing at home, yes this happens more than any of us would like. I first talk to the student about it, usually explaining that their parent is providing for this educational opportunity at significant expense and it only works well if they are diligent, etc. Then I'll have a discussion with the parent. I haven't dropped a student for this. They usually improve enough to make progress or they realize piano isn't for them.


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Re: Teenage students [Re: Nannerl Mozart] #2059279 04/04/13 11:34 AM
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"...she hardly practices, she refuses what I suggest... the interest [is] in keeping the student..."


The only thing left to do, is to use a pheromone spray in your studio. Her interest will awaken, yet she will not be able, quite, to say why. That is your time to strike. The chemical messengers can heat up the iron, but it is up to you to hammer it into the shape you wish.

Don't forget to 'help' her practice books, lest her attention slip away while she's at home.


Clef

Re: Teenage students [Re: Jeff Clef] #2059678 04/05/13 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
"...she hardly practices, she refuses what I suggest... the interest [is] in keeping the student..."


The only thing left to do, is to use a pheromone spray in your studio. Her interest will awaken, yet she will not be able, quite, to say why. That is your time to strike. The chemical messengers can heat up the iron, but it is up to you to hammer it into the shape you wish.

Don't forget to 'help' her practice books, lest her attention slip away while she's at home.


Sounds like chemical warfare! :P


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