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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: kevinb] #2710328
01/31/18 09:06 AM
01/31/18 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by kevinb
But I guess it's possible that there are people who think that musicianship is just a kind of gift, that you either have or don't have. Like your height, or whatever.

There are many, many misconceptions. And not every household will teach these things to their kids in terms of anything. I have tutored in various situations, turning things around here and there, and often enough in the student's home. You'd be surprised how many things can go wrong.
The fact of how music is "taught" to adults in many instances by "teachers specializing in adults" in the wrong sense, doesn't help much.

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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: keystring] #2710350
01/31/18 10:04 AM
01/31/18 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by keystring

....
The fact of how music is "taught" to adults in many instances by "teachers specializing in adults" in the wrong sense, doesn't help much.


I don’t draw the same conclusion that adults in many instances are taught incorrectly. My reference base is certainly the ABF where the members are studying with a teacher but also private teachers/students I know that are not members of this forum


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: kevinb] #2710355
01/31/18 10:12 AM
01/31/18 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by kevinb
Originally Posted by TimR
Contrast that with a lone adult, with no cultural background or family history. They may have an intellectual understanding that practice is important, but it isn't an ingrained part of their character.


Maybe; but surely we all of us have some idea what it takes to become good at anything? I grew up in a non-musical household, but I had many, many opportunities to see how far an absence of practice took me.


Not many activities can take years of almost imperceptible progress to become accomplished. Music is almost unique in having that learning curve.


gotta go practice
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: TimR] #2710358
01/31/18 10:22 AM
01/31/18 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by TimR
Not many activities can take years of almost imperceptible progress to become accomplished. Music is almost unique in having that learning curve.


Target shooting. Horseriding. Karate. Oil painting. Woodcarving. Golf....

My feeling is that a great many human endeavours require years of imperceptible progress to become accomplished.

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: casinitaly] #2710360
01/31/18 10:25 AM
01/31/18 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by casinitaly

2. The more I read from the teachers in this forum , the more I realize how UNtypical most of the adult students I know are!

Adults who take the time to regularly communicate in forums are not going to be typical students.

I don't think members of this forum are typical in any way.


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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: TimR] #2710362
01/31/18 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by TimR

Contrast that with a lone adult, with no cultural background or family history. They may have an intellectual understanding that practice is important, but it isn't an ingrained part of their character. Former athletes may have an advantage here.

My most hard working adult is a serious tennis player and understands better than most the importance of playing daily.


Piano Teacher
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: dogperson] #2710394
01/31/18 12:37 PM
01/31/18 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by keystring
....The fact of how music is "taught" to adults in many instances by "teachers specializing in adults" in the wrong sense, doesn't help much.


I don’t draw the same conclusion that adults in many instances are taught incorrectly. My reference base is certainly the ABF where the members are studying with a teacher but also private teachers/students I know that are not members of this forum

I did not state that it happened in many instances, and it is also not a conclusion. It is one of the things that can happen and does happen, and a variable to consider. I have definitely observed this variable among some students here, another forum, and a friend I know personally.

What typically happens in this instant is that an adult is rushed ahead without being given enough of the basics, especially the physical basics, because the teacher is fooled by the intellectual knowledge and ability to conceptualize, or belief that adults want to just have fun. Another thing that can happen is when an adult has already mastered another instrument so that things are rushed forward, without the understanding that the physical skills won't be there. For example, the breath control and ear of a trumpeter does not give any physical skills for moving the hands and body in piano. However, the gradual careful training the trumpeter has gone through will make him ready to work the same way for piano.

For young students, the elements that go into that student's success are three: teacher, student, parent. For the adult student there are two elements: the student and the teacher. There is no supportive parent (or interfering parent.)

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2710466
01/31/18 05:35 PM
01/31/18 05:35 PM
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I would like to share my article on Prescription for Music Lessons.

https://www.mdedge.com/fedprac/article/mental-health

Taking music lessons as an adult is not just for fun, there are health benefits, benefits of music lessons are not for children only. Teachers may address health benefits of music lessons, it is mental fitness. I find practicing relieves stress and is an escape. I practice every day and on the rare occasion I do not get a chance to practice I really miss it. Personally, I would feel bad going to a lesson, and not being prepared on two accounts, first I do not want to waste the teachers time and second I paid for a 2 hour lesson and just wasted that money. If people can watch an hour of TV a night, they can practice the piano instead. It comes to motivation. However, there may be a time in life where due to other demands of career, parents, children, ............. it is not the right time to take lessons.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2710484
01/31/18 06:55 PM
01/31/18 06:55 PM
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Hi Deb
Outstanding article! I do have one comment however about your post: having a lesson where you were unprepared. I do commit to practicing as well, but I have had lessons where I felt like canceling because I did not feel prepared for the lesson, particularly when I’ve been out of town for work for many consecutive days without access to practice at all. I did not cancel the lessons, and they were not a waste of either time or money. We were still able to be very productive. .... and my lessons are one and a half hours weekly


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: dogperson] #2710492
01/31/18 07:28 PM
01/31/18 07:28 PM
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I find that a lesson with a student who has not practiced that week can be very productive, as it changes the focus from the path on which we have been traveling to something else, which can be new and refreshing.

This does not apply however to students who rarely or never practice, of course, but to those who are dedicated and working but missed a week.

ps...Deb, thanks for a great article and resource!


Piano teacher.
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2710501
01/31/18 07:57 PM
01/31/18 07:57 PM
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Dear Dogperson, I totally agree, lessons that you are not fully prepared there are other things to do, like site reading, my teacher calls out cords, scales, we may work on difficult passages, etc.... However, if a person is constantly unprepared then, I think, it does become a waste of money and lessons are not cheap. I had a friend who wanted to play the piano, took lessons and then quite because she did not want to practice. I said to her, I thought you wanted to play the piano, she said I do and I want to be good, I just don't like to practice. I like to practice, sometimes I take a day off from work just to practice. I will never be great, but I would like to be decent and volunteer my time to play for nursing homes and the VHA where I work for Veterans in the nursing home unit.

I imagine if a student is frequently unprepared it becomes disheartening to the teacher who invests in the student. Thanks for your comments, I am happy you enjoyed the article.

Warmly,


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2710503
01/31/18 08:15 PM
01/31/18 08:15 PM
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Hi Deb
Thanks for your email. Just as a clarification: when I am not totally prepared for lessons, we still work on the repertoire that I’ve been working on, and both my teacher and I find the lessons to still be productive: there are always possible interpretations to be discussed/tried, different approaches to the music, or different ways to practice a skill to be tried. The lesson agenda did not change from what it would have been..... And what I dreaded as a lesson ended being very productive. .


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: AZNpiano] #2710512
01/31/18 08:54 PM
01/31/18 08:54 PM
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Portland, OR, USA
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I saw three of my adult students so far this week. None of them practiced. Not even 5 minutes.

As an adult student, I dread going to my teacher without practicing. I am very curious - if your students haven't practiced, what do you do in the whole class?

Osho


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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: DFSRN] #2710530
01/31/18 11:11 PM
01/31/18 11:11 PM
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USA
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Originally Posted by DFSRN
If people can watch an hour of TV a night, they can practice the piano instead. It comes to motivation. However, there may be a time in life where due to other demands of career, parents, children, ............. it is not the right time to take lessons.


I have to say this is not true for me. I can come home exhausted from a 12-14 hour day at work and still be able to watch an hour of TV. Practicing piano is mentally very taxing compared to watching TV. Even watch a PBS program on math or quantum mechanics is easy compared to practicing a 3 or 4 voice etude.

I would agree that I am perhaps at that point in life where it is, as you say, not the right time to take lessons. I brought this up with my teacher, and she said, if you stop lessons now, you will stop practicing all together and may not even pick it up again. Also, there will be a time in your life where you will have more time, and we need to work on all the basics so some day you will be able to play a Beethoven Sonata. My response to her was, I was never so ambitious to need to conquer a Beethoven Sonata.

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: AZNpiano] #2710532
01/31/18 11:33 PM
01/31/18 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I saw three of my adult students so far this week. None of them practiced. Not even 5 minutes.

I sincerely doubt any of the practice strategies I teach them will be of any use.


Thanks for sharing this. It gives me much to think about.

First, I rarely show up without even 5 minutes of practice. The worst offense for me would be showing up with only 2 hours of practice crammed in the night before the lesson, usually at the expense of sleeping. Not proud of it, but I've fallen asleep at the piano. I absolutely hate it when it came down to that, because I know there is no such thing as just-in-time-learning or cramming for piano.

Second, I bet my teacher noticed, but she is too supportive to give me a hard time. I believe I can do better. I came home last night, exhausted, and practiced 15 minutes after the children went to bed before collapsing myself. It felt good that I did it. I worked on only 2 measures, the hardest 2 measures of a 3 voice etude I'm learning, and only left hand at that. It is hard to not make so many mistakes when I'm that tired. Still, I woke up this morning feeling good I was at least at the piano.

It 32 minutes before bed time, so getting the children ready, so I can go practice piano, maybe half an hour tonight. My state of exhaustion is perhaps a little less than average tonight....

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2710540
02/01/18 12:19 AM
02/01/18 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by 8 Octaves
Originally Posted by DFSRN
If people can watch an hour of TV a night, they can practice the piano instead. It comes to motivation. However, there may be a time in life where due to other demands of career, parents, children, ............. it is not the right time to take lessons.


I have to say this is not true for me. I can come home exhausted from a 12-14 hour day at work and still be able to watch an hour of TV. Practicing piano is mentally very taxing compared to watching TV. Even watch a PBS program on math or quantum mechanics is easy compared to practicing a 3 or 4 voice etude.

I would agree that I am perhaps at that point in life where it is, as you say, not the right time to take lessons. I brought this up with my teacher, and she said, if you stop lessons now, you will stop practicing all together and may not even pick it up again. Also, there will be a time in your life where you will have more time, and we need to work on all the basics so some day you will be able to play a Beethoven Sonata. My response to her was, I was never so ambitious to need to conquer a Beethoven Sonata.


To add to the mental exhaustion which can sometimes be overcome after a while the main reason I can read, watch tv or browse the internet after a long day at work is simply physical. I need to lie down because of my back. As long as practicing the piano requires sitting down it limits my practice time on work days.

If one does not have a job that drains the same resources as piano practice one is fortunate. It was better for me when I started so I could easily practice at least an hour every day, but those days are long gone...I do not think my motivation has faded at all. And I feel it's still ok to take lessons as long as I can work on the piano at least a few days. Weekends are the time I can usually "catch up". If I had those programmed for other things then it would be very difficult to continue any sort of serious study.

And I do feel like when a teenager trying to cram all practice to weekends before the Monday lesson. It's not the best way but I don't think it's all that bad...we still mostly have an ok lesson because I have several pieces on different stages at work. And if nothing is progressing we can always check up some scales or arps...

Last edited by outo; 02/01/18 12:23 AM.
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: Osho] #2710550
02/01/18 03:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Osho
As an adult student, I dread going to my teacher without practicing. I am very curious - if your students haven't practiced, what do you do in the whole class?

It depends on the level. The beginners simply move on to the next piece in the method book. They can almost sight read every piece, anyway, but they obviously won't sound very musical due to frequent stops and errors.

For the more advanced students: If they can sight read well, we can work on the current piece but focus on some technical aspect, like repeated notes, parallel thirds, or jumping octaves.

To be completely honest, these lessons aren't really a waste of time. Something is done at the lesson. Whether or not the skill and information is retained is up to the individual student.


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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: Osho] #2710555
02/01/18 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Osho

As an adult student, I dread going to my teacher without practicing. I am very curious - if your students haven't practiced, what do you do in the whole class?

Osho

None of my adult students are like AZN's. If they have done no playing, it's because they could not.

It happens.

There is never enough time to cover all the things I have in mind. I always have things to do, or to show. Lesson time is never wasted.


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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2710623
02/01/18 11:26 AM
02/01/18 11:26 AM
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AZN, Gary, other teachers--several adult student posters in this thread (these are the ones you teachers have said are non-typical of their adult students) have cited exhausting and time-consuming work/family schedules as reasons for not having practiced. Is this the general case for adult students you've had over the years (those who don't practice)? Are there other reasons? I realize that it can be difficult for you as a teacher to know with any certainty *why* someone doesn't practice, but you probably get a pretty good feel for it.


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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2710634
02/01/18 12:06 PM
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If I recall, only one teacher in this thread has written about adult students not practising (and has done so more than once). I have not been able to understand why, in this instant. The person who started the thread is an adult student who has reached grade 7, whose teacher is pleased with her, but she herself is not satisfied with how much she can practice and wonders why her teacher is pleased. Usually lazy students are not worried about their own work, while a conscientious, diligent student will tend to worry about not doing enough regardless of how hard they work. I'd think that kind of student could use some reassurance, instead of being repeatedly told of lazy students. In short, I don't know what the purpose is of telling about the lazy students so often.

It is very typical of adult students who finally have a chance to take lessons, for whom it means a lot, to beat themselves up about not doing enough, even if their teacher is satisfied. The feedback I've gotten over the years is that when a teacher sees consistent effort, even if the student could only manage 15 minutes / day during difficult periods, the teacher is more than satisfied. Attitude and effort count for a lot, from what I've seen. If you are a student who puts in effort consistently, you cannot imagine the lack of effort teachers will see in some other students, and just how much your own effort counts for the teacher. I didn't know that, once upon a time. We only know ourselves, and don't see what other students do.

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