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!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Petrof Pianos
Petrof Pianos
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Karsten Collection
(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
26 registered members (Iaroslav Vasiliev, 36251, Balcon, JBq, ECBetancor, Granyala, Gene Nelson, CyberGene, Gretel, 6 invisible), 256 guests, and 367 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 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5
Non-practicing student #2602231 01/08/17 05:42 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,675
Arghhh Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,675
I have a high school student who was supposed to be doing her Gr. 6 RCM exam this year. At the advice from another teacher, I set some deadlines that had to be met in order for me to give the ok to register for the exam. The next deadline is in three weeks. I don't know how she can get it done. I've already replanned too many times. She hasn't had one week of consistent practice since we started. I've tried being sympathetic and helping. We've discussed setting up a regular practice time. I've tried being demanding, which resulted in her almost skipping her next lesson. Last week I told her she had to send me a recording showing improvement on two things on her assignment, and that never happened.

I spoke with the mom, and mom said they had said their kids could quit piano after completing Gr. 6 piano. Since the other siblings are younger, she said she didn't really want the oldest to drop out early and set a precedent for the other two kids.

Mom also says her daughter always has an excuse for why she can't practice, but the mom doesn't force it then either.

I had a similar issue with a student last year, and I never did find a way to get her to practice, except for the two days before the recital.


Professional pianist and piano teacher.
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: Non-practicing student [Re: Arghhh] #2602234 01/08/17 05:52 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
G
Gary D. Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
Tell Mom the daughter can complete the grade with another teacher but that you are through.

Contact AZN for instructions on how to fire a student. wink

Re: Non-practicing student [Re: Gary D.] #2602236 01/08/17 06:05 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,675
Arghhh Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,675
Originally Posted by Gary D.
Contact AZN for instructions on how to fire a student. wink


ha


Professional pianist and piano teacher.
Re: Non-practicing student [Re: Arghhh] #2602240 01/08/17 06:17 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 17,707
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 17,707
I'm wondering:
a) Does the girl want to be there and study piano?
b) Does the girl want to do exams?
Especially if she is at or nearing the teen years, she should be able to make some decisions rather than practising passive-resistance. I also don't like that what she is being made responsible for what her siblings do - i.e. the parenting does not impress me.

Re: Non-practicing student [Re: keystring] #2602245 01/08/17 06:30 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,675
Arghhh Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,675
Originally Posted by keystring
I'm wondering:
a) Does the girl want to be there and study piano?
b) Does the girl want to do exams?
Especially if she is at or nearing the teen years, she should be able to make some decisions rather than practising passive-resistance. I also don't like that what she is being made responsible for what her siblings do - i.e. the parenting does not impress me.


a) She tells me she wants to learn piano.
b) She tells me she wants to do the exam. Mom says she hears a different story (i.e. student is just trying to please me).

I'm still trying to get a handle on this whole teacher-parent-student dynamic. I think the level 6 was an objective the parents had set together at the beginning of piano lessons. This isn't that unusual, and in my mind it can be a useful objective.


Professional pianist and piano teacher.
Re: Non-practicing student [Re: Arghhh] #2602250 01/08/17 06:39 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 17,707
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 17,707
If she says she wants to do both, then that scenario is out of the way (assuming she is being honest, which as you say she might not be). I mean, if this student didn't want to be there or do exams, the answer would be quite straightforward.

Re: Non-practicing student [Re: keystring] #2602251 01/08/17 06:52 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 582
T
TheHappyPianoMuse Offline
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 582
Originally Posted by keystring
I'm wondering:
a) Does the girl want to be there and study piano?
b) Does the girl want to do exams?
Especially if she is at or nearing the teen years, she should be able to make some decisions rather than practising passive-resistance. I also don't like that what she is being made responsible for what her siblings do - i.e. the parenting does not impress me.


Absolutely right on. Parents like this enrage me. Because not only has she forced her child into something the child doesn't want to do or needs to do ... but she's almost guaranteed that this girl will grow up with no interest or appreciation for good music. I see it as a tragedy and one far too common.

Music is a joy and a privilege. Not another onerous duty.

I wouldn't waste one more minute on the student. And unless I lived in a commune or very close neighborhood of magpies and gossips ... I would tell the mother exactly what why. mad

Re: Non-practicing student [Re: Arghhh] #2602269 01/08/17 07:38 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,400
AZNpiano Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,400
Originally Posted by Arghhh
Originally Posted by Gary D.
Contact AZN for instructions on how to fire a student. wink

ha

Where do I begin???

I have several students like this. If the student is fine in other ways (other than piano), then I can hold on to the student. If the student is just plain dreadful, or rude, or unpleasant in any kind of way, then I simply dismiss the student on the spot. Send the student out, even if it's right smack in the middle of a lesson, or 2 minutes into a lesson. Say, "You're done. Out."

cool


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Non-practicing student [Re: Arghhh] #2602272 01/08/17 07:47 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,291
P
PianoStudent88 Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,291
Whose problem is it if she's not ready for her RCM 6 exam: yours, or hers?


Piano Career Academy - Ilinca Vartic teaches the Russian school of piano playing
Musical-U - guidance for increasing musicality
Theta Music Trainer - fun ear training games
Re: Non-practicing student [Re: Arghhh] #2602345 01/09/17 02:24 AM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,302
P
Peter K. Mose Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,302
First of all, there are still 3 weeks before your self-imposed deadline for progress. Maybe this girl will get motivated after more of your nagging and her mother's nagging and indeed do everything you expect suddenly in the final few days. Not impossible. (If unlikely.)

Secondly, there is no dishonor is abandoning this silly Gr. 6 exam business altogether and - as Happy Muse suggests inadvertently - start trying to bring some pleasure into the world of music learning for this teen.

It's great that she has not quit.

Re: Non-practicing student [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2602356 01/09/17 03:37 AM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 582
T
TheHappyPianoMuse Offline
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 582
Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose


Secondly, there is no dishonor is abandoning this silly Gr. 6 exam business altogether and - as Happy Muse suggests inadvertently - start trying to bring some pleasure into the world of music learning for this teen.


Actually I restrained myself a bit. I've been very vocal about my distaste for these "exams" which effectively drag music lessons into more drudgery for the child. And are absolutely meaningless. in terms of "credentials" which some posters have insisted. The only exam worth working towards is the final one. (A.R.C.T. in Canada.) And the grade 8 is required before sitting for that final exam. That's it.

Any of the lower grades is just more rigidity and unpleasantness for most students. I DO indeed used the Royal Conservatory syllbus to track appropriate levels of technical work for my students. And offer them a select few of the recommended pieces. But I refuse to subject youngsters to this rigorous process which does little to develop a love and appreciation for good music.

I would ask the parents ... what do you want in twenty years? That your child as an adult has vague memories of lessons he found tedious and boring and rarely touches the piano after the lessons were over. Or that he or she loves music, enjoys concerts and often sits down at the piano to play a few songs or carols. Or even the early classics from the music lesson years. Deal with the facts. Only a VERY few will become professional musicians. Very few will even reach Grade 8.

Of course there are teachers on Piano World who only accept advanced students. Those teaching in Conservatories or music schools will be working with students who are far beyond the elementary exam stages. And there WILL be many who go on to professional work. But for the average teacher with the average range of students, they're not going to be professionals. The love and appreciation of music is what keeps it alive. Mozart and Beethoven are still being played today amidst the cacophany of Pop favorites' twerking and screeching. Still people respond to that timeless beauty. I want to be a conduit for it as a teacher.

I won't settle for less. Pushy parents ... Here's the door. mad


Re: Non-practicing student [Re: Arghhh] #2602384 01/09/17 06:17 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,400
AZNpiano Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,400
Is this going to turn into another exam-bashing thread??

There's really nothing wrong with the exams themselves, unless they are poorly written and/or unfairly administered.

The problem is people's motives for taking exams:

1) Students who want to put this on their college application, or want to take the test "because everybody else is doing it";

2) Parents who want to have tangible PROOF that their "musical investment" has paid off, or want to hurry the teachers to get through the levels so they can quit lessons sooner;

3) Teachers who want to use exam results to market themselves, such as, "Oh, look, I can teach little Johnny to skip FOUR levels in ONE year!! I'm SO GREAT!"

Other than that, there are many reasons why certain piano students _should_ take exams. Exams are definitely not for everyone, including students who are too advanced for testing (it slows down their progress) or not advanced enough for testing (it intimidates them).

Think of exams as a teaching tool. It can be useful in certain situations.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Non-practicing student [Re: AZNpiano] #2602391 01/09/17 07:22 AM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 582
T
TheHappyPianoMuse Offline
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 582
Originally Posted by AZNpiano

Think of exams as a teaching tool. It can be useful in certain situations.


I agree with you. The situations you describe are perfectly valid ones. The main problem hardly ever lies with the student ... it is almost invariably the parents. And there are far too many unqualified teachers who use the exams as their crutch.

I admit to a very "spiritual" relationship with music. I see it as a gift and to see it made into a chore breaks my heart.

Re: Non-practicing student [Re: TheHappyPianoMuse] #2602402 01/09/17 08:36 AM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 2,182
BrianDX Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 2,182
Originally Posted by TheHappyPianoMuse
Mozart and Beethoven are still being played today amidst the cacophany of Pop favorites' twerking and screeching. Still people respond to that timeless beauty. I want to be a conduit for it as a teacher.

Slightly OT. I heard an entertainment report last week that the best-selling artist as far a CD sales are concerned for 2016 was ..... (wait for it) W.A. Mozart smile

That brought a smile to my face; 225 years after his death Wolfgang is still going strong.


Yamaha C2X | Yamaha M500-F
Groucho Marx: "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
Curriculum: Faber Developing Artist (Book 3)
Current: German Dance in D Major (Haydn) (OF); Melody (Schumann) (OF)
Re: Non-practicing student [Re: Arghhh] #2602408 01/09/17 09:19 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 17,707
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 17,707
Since exams have come up:

The actual true purpose of testing is a way of assessing where your students are, as an aid to teaching them. That is what I learned in teacher's college way back when. Among the various ways of staying aware, tests are the poorest. In private lessons, you are constantly observing one-on-one each time which is much better. 2) In institutions (schools) exams are used for administrative purposes in order to shunt large masses of students into pigeon holes, and try to control the doings of thousands of teachers. The populace gets used to such systems, can't imagine education without it, and thus demands it of private music teachers. They don't know any better. 3) They are used for extrinsic motivation, where a student will do the work in order to gain the rewards of high grades or avoid the shame of low grades - for some it is exciting and they love this kind of thing. For others, not. Intrinsic motivation, ofc, is where you are interested in music and want to explore and pursue it for that love. For some, maybe there is a bit of both.

The negatives of exams can be where the teacher teaches toward the exam, drilling those things that will get high grades, limiting himself to a very few pieces that get polished to death, and does not teach valid things that don't feature on exams. If for a student exams in the school system are generally anxiety-producing, then implementing exams in private lessons as well can kill motivation before it even starts. If a student is creative, interested, and curious in regards to music and the arts, and has to buckle down to the constraints of what will be examined, and what the examiners want to hear, then the potential learning that his curiosity might create gets stymied. If a student loves exams, and if a teacher teaches well and fully, and has enough character to not limit himself to external values, then having exams might be a winning combination.

how's zat? wink

Re: Non-practicing student [Re: Arghhh] #2602420 01/09/17 10:26 AM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,390
hreichgott Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,390
You seem to be working much harder than the student and that's such an unpleasant situation to be in.

Here's what I'd do. Cancel the exam until such time as the material is ready. There is no reason for you to subject yourself to the aggravation any longer!
(BTW I never like to sign up students for competitions or performances or anything with material that isn't ready yet. If it's almost ready but not quite, we always have a Plan B piece, and usually the Plan B piece ends up being the one that is performed.)

Talk with student and parent about how much practice time they would like to commit every day. Not how much time you think they need to get ready for some external demand like an exam, but how much time they would like to commit in order to get better at playing the piano, with the understanding that practice will be daily or near-daily. If there are some genuinely busy days in the week, fine, there might be one day off or else one or two "2-minute practice" days.

Work on material in lessons that's a combination of what you think the student needs and what the student wants to do, that's doable with that amount of practice time.
Check in with student and parent at every single lesson about whether that practice time is happening.
I find that if I do this every lesson in a polite but consistent manner, either the student shapes up, or they decide to quit of their own accord.


Heather W. Reichgott, piano

Working on:
Beethoven - Diabelli Variations Op. 120
Beethoven/Liszt - Symphony no. 7
Tommy (whole show)

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Re: Non-practicing student [Re: AZNpiano] #2602443 01/09/17 12:08 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
G
Gary D. Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Arghhh
Originally Posted by Gary D.
Contact AZN for instructions on how to fire a student. wink

ha

Where do I begin???

I have several students like this. If the student is fine in other ways (other than piano), then I can hold on to the student. If the student is just plain dreadful, or rude, or unpleasant in any kind of way, then I simply dismiss the student on the spot. Send the student out, even if it's right smack in the middle of a lesson, or 2 minutes into a lesson. Say, "You're done. Out."

cool

You talk about doing it, so you probably have. I've done it myself. Enough is enough...

Re: Non-practicing student [Re: TheHappyPianoMuse] #2602729 01/10/17 02:57 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,675
Arghhh Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,675
Originally Posted by TheHappyPianoMuse
Originally Posted by keystring
I'm wondering:
a) Does the girl want to be there and study piano?
b) Does the girl want to do exams?
Especially if she is at or nearing the teen years, she should be able to make some decisions rather than practising passive-resistance. I also don't like that what she is being made responsible for what her siblings do - i.e. the parenting does not impress me.


Absolutely right on. Parents like this enrage me. Because not only has she forced her child into something the child doesn't want to do or needs to do ... but she's almost guaranteed that this girl will grow up with no interest or appreciation for good music. I see it as a tragedy and one far too common.

But...

Learning a musical instrument is often promoted as having educational benefits that reach farther than just the instrument itself. It's late, so my communication skills are deteriorating, but this article is just one example of many Benefits of Piano Study
Of course, if a student isn't putting any effort in, then the benefits of piano lessons won't be as great as they could be. However, it does seem that music study is something a parent interested in giving their kids the best education would go for.


Professional pianist and piano teacher.
Re: Non-practicing student [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2602730 01/10/17 03:10 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,675
Arghhh Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,675
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Whose problem is it if she's not ready for her RCM 6 exam: yours, or hers?


Good point.

Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
First of all, there are still 3 weeks before your self-imposed deadline for progress. Maybe this girl will get motivated after more of your nagging and her mother's nagging and indeed do everything you expect suddenly in the final few days. Not impossible. (If unlikely.)

Secondly, there is no dishonor is abandoning this silly Gr. 6 exam business altogether and - as Happy Muse suggests inadvertently - start trying to bring some pleasure into the world of music learning for this teen.

It's great that she has not quit.


Partially in response to hreichgott's answer also: Last year we abandoned the Gr. 6 idea so that she could actually learn to read the music she was playing (she transferred to me last year). We made some progress, but I got lots of excuses as to why she didn't do the work she got to help her read better. I'm tempted to tell her tomorrow I don't know what to plan anymore, so it is up to her to figure out how to get it done.


Professional pianist and piano teacher.
Re: Non-practicing student [Re: Arghhh] #2602739 01/10/17 05:01 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 5,731
dogperson Offline
Silver Subscriber
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Subscriber
5000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 5,731
Originally Posted by Arghhh
Originally Posted by TheHappyPianoMuse
Originally Posted by keystring
I'm wondering:
a) Does the girl want to be there and study piano?
b) Does the girl want to do exams?
Especially if she is at or nearing the teen years, she should be able to make some decisions rather than practising passive-resistance. I also don't like that what she is being made responsible for what her siblings do - i.e. the parenting does not impress me.


Absolutely right on. Parents like this enrage me. Because not only has she forced her child into something the child doesn't want to do or needs to do ... but she's almost guaranteed that this girl will grow up with no interest or appreciation for good music. I see it as a tragedy and one far too common.

But...

Learning a musical instrument is often promoted as having educational benefits that reach farther than just the instrument itself. It's late, so my communication skills are deteriorating, but this article is just one example of many Benefits of Piano Study
Of course, if a student isn't putting any effort in, then the benefits of piano lessons won't be as great as they could be. However, it does seem that music study is something a parent interested in giving their kids the best education would go for.


From personal, family experience: IMHO the family is not trying to give their daughter the 'best education', but to fulfill a longing of a parent, or an image of what the child should be. Honestly, if they want to give the child the best musical education and the child is obviously not interested in the piano, there are several alternatives including a different instrument, or a music appreciation class.

It sickens me that parents try to mold their children into little images of what they expect a child to be, rather than what the child can become in areas that are interesting TO THE CHILD.

Do the student a favor, and drop her so she is free to pursue something of real interest to her. She will grow up to LOATHE the piano... I have a sister who was exactly in this student's situation. She is now nearing retirement age and still HATES the memories of the lessons, and hates the piano. As an adult, I now wonder why my teacher allowed this to continue for so long. Create a love of music? It did just the opposite.

Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5

Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

Hand Sanitizer for Musicians
Hand Sanitizer for Musicians
Musician's Hand Sanitizer available in our online store (and our Maple Street Music shop in Cornish Maine). Antibacterial, 62% ethyl alcohol. Hand Sanitizer for Musicians
Tons more music related products in our online store!
(ad)
Pianoforall
PianoForAll
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Ellis Marsalis RIP
by dogperson - 04/02/20 03:33 AM
Damper and other issues
by D.P. - 04/01/20 11:35 PM
Open Studio Jazz classes are on sale
by newer player - 04/01/20 10:36 PM
Open Studio Jazz_classes on sale
by newer player - 04/01/20 10:35 PM
Verdigris installation kit
by TimM_980 - 04/01/20 10:27 PM
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics197,857
Posts2,941,152
Members96,443
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