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Today was a good day. #2324457
09/05/14 02:00 PM
09/05/14 02:00 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,919
UK.
C
Chris H. Offline OP
2000 Post Club Member
Chris H.  Offline OP
2000 Post Club Member
C

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,919
UK.
I feel the need to post this as I have been a bit of a miserable so and so from the start of the week! After 6 weeks off I wasn't particularly looking forward to starting teaching again and the first few lesson on Monday and Tuesday were a bit heavy going with students who had done very little over the hols.

Well yesterday things got a whole lot better with a brand new student aged 5 and 2 months who is bright as a button and picked everything up instantly. She is so natural and justs sits perfectly on the bench. It's nice not to have to explain things several time, it was like...could you do this? Yes no problem! Her mum is keen too and has been out and bought a good starter piano so it's very promising.

Then today I was in school. This is usually my hardest teaching day as I have no contact with parents and some of these kids struggle to maintain any kind of practice routine. Well, they all turns up on time of their own accord and were keen to get started. Okay so not a lot done over the holidays but at least they are enthusiastic about the coming term. And my last lesson at home was so lovely that I accidentally over ran by 20 mins without even noticing. Two sisters who have been practicing like mad since I last saw them and were really keen to show me everything they had done. It was fantastic.

Just thought I would share.


Pianist and piano teacher.
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Re: Today was a good day. [Re: Chris H.] #2324511
09/05/14 04:19 PM
09/05/14 04:19 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,323
South Florida
G
Gary D. Online content
6000 Post Club Member
Gary D.  Online Content
6000 Post Club Member
G

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,323
South Florida
Chris, I don't know how you deal with no contact with parents. For me that is the worst. I won't even teach young students without a commitment from one parent to be in the lesson every week. I teach the parents how to work with their kids at home.


Piano Teacher
Re: Today was a good day. [Re: Chris H.] #2324589
09/05/14 11:23 PM
09/05/14 11:23 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,161
South Jersey
DameMyra Offline
2000 Post Club Member
DameMyra  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,161
South Jersey
Chris, thanks for sharing. It sounds like you had a wonderful back-to-school experience. My semester starts this coming Tuesday and I am anxious to see how everyone is doing after a very long summer break.


Private Piano Teacher
MTNA/NJMTA/SJMTA
Re: Today was a good day. [Re: Chris H.] #2324603
09/06/14 12:06 AM
09/06/14 12:06 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,761
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
7000 Post Club Member
AZNpiano  Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,761
Orange County, CA
Lucky you, Chris!

Several of my students already started school 2 or 3 weeks ago. About two-thirds just started September 2nd. It's SLOW going. Even the kids who took lessons continuously throughout summer have this "It's my last week off so I'm going to do NOTHING BUT VIDEO GAMES" mentality.

Funny...the hardest workers I have right now are kids who are in high school. One is a senior who is preparing his audition pieces, so he's in 5th gear already. And the two kids who are testing Advanced Level CM already have most of their theory done and 3 out of the 5 pieces learned.

But the little ones...oh, boy.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Today was a good day. [Re: Chris H.] #2324663
09/06/14 06:47 AM
09/06/14 06:47 AM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,919
UK.
C
Chris H. Offline OP
2000 Post Club Member
Chris H.  Offline OP
2000 Post Club Member
C

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,919
UK.
Gary, yes it is virtually impossible to make any meaningful progress. The kids I teach at school are aged between 6 and 11 so you can imagine how little they are capable of doing without parental support. Worse still, for the first 2 years (age 6 and 7) they have a 15 minute lesson once a week. In the other thread we talked about the limitations of 30 mins! Also the school is only open for 30 weeks a year so over an entire year they have had 7 and a half hours of tuition with usually very little practice inbetween lessons!

There is nothing I can do about this, it's out of my hands. I have tried to argue the case for longer lessons with the younger ones but it's the school policy.

There is a notebook system where I can write up assignments and keep contact with parents but the majority don't look at it. So they do have the opportunity to keep in touch but they don't take it. It is very frustrating. Usually the only reason they are taking lessons in school is so that they don't need to go in their own free time. The parents can pay for lessons but have no involvement in them. It's a fee paying school so they have the money.

But the kids are nice and polite in lessons and it pays well!

AZN, it's pretty much the same story here in general.

At least Friday was good!


Pianist and piano teacher.
Re: Today was a good day. [Re: Chris H.] #2324726
09/06/14 11:04 AM
09/06/14 11:04 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 98
London, UK
mc9320 Offline
Full Member
mc9320  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 98
London, UK
Good for you Chris. I saw some of my pupils last Thursday at a school training day. They were queuing up to see me and find out their lesson time next week. Nice to know at least some of my students enjoy their lessons smile

Time to find out if they've practiced anything over the summer!!!

Re: Today was a good day. [Re: Chris H.] #2324916
09/06/14 11:58 PM
09/06/14 11:58 PM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,155
C
Candywoman Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Candywoman  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
C

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,155
I don't understand the teachers on this site worrying about kids not practicing in the summer holidays. It's completely understandable. They need a little external motivation, and that's not easy to come by without lessons and the regular contact they have with other students who play the piano or admire them for being able to do so.

Besides, even though they haven't practiced, they've grown and matured and can approach things with fresh ears and eyes. It only takes them a week to get back to their former selves. Isn't a break good for refreshing one's artistic reserves?

To those teachers, I ask, "Wouldn't you be happier not worrying about whether they practiced in the holidays?"

I'm glad the OP had a good day, mind you.

Re: Today was a good day. [Re: Candywoman] #2325218
09/07/14 11:45 PM
09/07/14 11:45 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,761
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
7000 Post Club Member
AZNpiano  Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,761
Orange County, CA
Originally Posted by Candywoman
To those teachers, I ask, "Wouldn't you be happier not worrying about whether they practiced in the holidays?"

I don't think "worrying" is the operative word. The problem is not for me to worry about. I get paid regardless.

If students don't practice over the summer, they probably don't practice during the school year, either. It really doesn't matter to these students who don't take piano seriously in the first place.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Today was a good day. [Re: Chris H.] #2325247
09/08/14 02:52 AM
09/08/14 02:52 AM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,919
UK.
C
Chris H. Offline OP
2000 Post Club Member
Chris H.  Offline OP
2000 Post Club Member
C

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,919
UK.
That's exactly what I think AZN.

When I was a child I could barely stand to go a single day without playing the piano. I remember once I had to go into hospital for 10 days with quite a serious illness. The very first thing I did when I got home was to go and play my piano.

When kids tell me they have not played the piano at all over the summer holiday it just confirms that they have no interest in it whatsoever.

But as you say, we get paid.


Pianist and piano teacher.

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