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Adult vs Child Students #2707146
01/21/18 06:34 PM
01/21/18 06:34 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,618
USA
8
8 Octaves Offline OP

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8 Octaves  Offline OP

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I am an adult; old one at that. After almost 8 years of lessons, and trying my best to practice when I have time, I went from not knowing a C maj from a C min to playing RCM 7 pieces, passing RCM 8 theory, etc, I wonder why does my teacher bother teaching me? Unless I have a lot more spare time, which I don't, I seem to have gone as far as I could go, unless I ignore my family, not go on week-long business trips, make my 3-hour daily commute disappear, stop cooking and cleaning, making the children take care of themselves, yeah right, dream on.

My teacher shared with me recently that she rather teacher more adults. Adults practice for their lessons. Adults pay on time, she laments. But I said adults like me have no potential. The young kids have infinite potential. I told my teacher, look at that 16 year old you have who is playing concert repertoire, who is going to pre-conservatory prep music school already. My teacher still said she would like to take on more adults, which seems strange to me.

My teacher is not giving up on me, so my slot in her schedule is secure, so I'm just curious. Why not give all your adult slots to children, so there is more chances of having another one of these amazing kid? In other words, why invest time in known limited outcomes of adults than the vast potentials of children?

So do you prefer child or adult students? Why? Do you even take adults? If not why not? If you do, are you wasting time on someone who is just doing a hobby?

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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2707152
01/21/18 06:47 PM
01/21/18 06:47 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 594
In the Ozarks of Missouri
NobleHouse Offline
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Originally Posted by 8 Octaves
I am an adult; old one at that. After almost 8 years of lessons, and trying my best to practice when I have time. I went from not know a C maj from a C min to playing RCM 7 pieces, passing RCM 8 theory, etc, I wonder why do my teacher bother teaching me? Unless I have a lot more spare time, which I don't, I seem to have gone as far as I could go, unless I ignore my family, not go on week-long business trips, make my 3-hour daily commute disappear, stop cooking and cleaning, making the children take care of themselves, yeah right, dream on.

My teacher shared with me recently that she rather teacher more adults. Adults practice for their lessons. Adults pay on time, she laments. But I said adults like me have no potential. The young kids have infinite potential. I told my teacher, look at that 16 year old you have who is playing concert repertoire, who is going to pre-conservatory prep music school already. My teacher said she would like to take on more adults, which seems strange to me.

My teacher is not giving up on me, so my slot in her schedule is secure, so I'm just curious. Why not give all your adult slots to children, so there is more chance of having another one of these amazing kid? In other words, why invest time in known limited outcome of adults than the potential of children?

So do you prefer child or adult students? Why? Do you even take adults? If not why not? If you do, are you wasting time on someone who is just doing a hobby?


I am not a Piano teacher, but I have taught other subjects for many years to both children and adults. I enjoy teaching all ages due to the variety it provides. It is fun when children learn quickly, but it is just as fun when an adult also improves and learns something new.

A teacher is NOT wasting their time on someone doing something just as a hobby. You are helping bring pleasure to someone. THAT is worth it.

I hope some piano teachers respond to the OP as well. Curious as to their thoughts on the question.

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2707176
01/21/18 08:40 PM
01/21/18 08:40 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
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Emeraldz Offline
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I am also not a teacher. However, I have had a similar conversation with my piano teacher. He would also prefer to teach adults or at least young adults. A lot of the children he has are talented, have potential, but they do not care to practice, they have no passion and oftentimes are simply throwing their parents' money to the wind.

Many children also abandon their musical instruments once they are of an age to say 'no' to their parents, while adults are responsible for their decision and there is less chance that years of investing and teaching will leave you with little fruits.

If I ever became a piano teacher, I would also have that same opinion. Yes, it is possible to get a child student who has lots of potential and will grow with you to become a great pianist, but those chances are slim. With an adult, I would be able to have mature discussions about music, their interpretation of it, etc.

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2707181
01/21/18 08:52 PM
01/21/18 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 8 Octaves

My teacher shared with me recently that she rather teacher more adults. Adults practice for their lessons. Adults pay on time, she laments. But I said adults like me have no potential. The young kids have infinite potential. I told my teacher, look at that 16 year old you have who is playing concert repertoire, who is going to pre-conservatory prep music school already. My teacher still said she would like to take on more adults, which seems strange to me.

Again, not a teacher, not even of any sort grin.

Regarding kids' potential, how many of them get beyond intermediate standard? From my experience of speaking to adults who once had lessons as kids, most didn't get beyond ABRSM grade 5 (about RCM grade 6/7) before 'life' took over.

But I have some idea about adult beginners from my friend who started lessons when he retired at 60. He looked for a teacher who specialized in teaching adults, and found one through his piano dealer (from whom he initially bought a digital, then rapidly traded up to a.....Steinway upright).

I never met his teacher, but from what my friend told me about his first lesson, I gathered that his teacher wasn't quite prepared for the kind of student my friend was. He was going to start teaching him the way he taught his other adult beginners - not with baby steps, but going straight into 'adult stuff'. My friend was rather unusual in that though he really was a complete beginner, he knew a lot about classical music (more than his teacher, who was half his age), having attended concerts all his life, and he has a huge CD collection - and he reads all the CD booklets as well as all the program notes on the concerts he attended, and thus learnt a lot that way. Therefore, he immediately knew what his teacher was trying to do, but he didn't want that kind of expediency just to get some nice tunes to play straightaway. He wanted to learn everything properly, and told his teacher so, and despite obvious misgivings, his teacher obliged and switched to a children's beginner primer (in fact, the same one my first teacher used with me), and followed the ABRSM syllabus - exactly the way he'd teach his child students. From his description of his early lessons, it seems they were very similar to the way I was taught as a ten-year-old beginner.

The big difference is that, of course, his teacher was able to converse and discuss complex stuff in detail with him from the beginning, because he was familiar with musical terminology (though not necessarily understanding how they are used in piano playing). In terms of musical goals, all he told his teacher was that he'd like to be able to play Chopin nocturnes eventually, leaving it entirely to his teacher to choose the method and the pieces that would get him there. From what I've read in ABF, that is very rare among adult students - to have an achievable long-term goal without pushing their own agenda on what they want to learn along the way, or how long it took.

Just about the only thing he didn't do which his teacher's child students all do is take piano exams - he did consider it but decided it would be too stressful at his age.

Needless to say, he became his teacher's favorite student, compliant with everything his teacher wanted to teach him and practicing at least an hour a day (he was retired, after all) from day 1. Several years on, he's now practicing some three hours a day - and generally choosing what he wants to learn (Chopin nocturnes, waltzes, mazurkas, plus a smattering of other composers' works). He's got all the skills - technical, musical and theoretical. He can sight-read well, and also sight-sing too (he joined his local choir, just as I did as a student). He and his teacher are good friends and he's having hour-long lessons weekly. Apparently, he's the only one of his teacher's students (child or adult) who doesn't take two months off in the summer.

However - I do think that he's not the typical adult student that teachers will encounter (wanting to learn everything required to play 'classical' pieces well, and not pushing any agenda or setting unrealistic goals, and practicing daily). I have no idea of what his teacher's other adult students are like, in comparison to the child students, or whether he does prefer teaching adults to kids.

I believe that the consensus in this forum is that adult students in general aren't highly regarded......



"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2707198
01/21/18 09:09 PM
01/21/18 09:09 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 53
Canada
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As a teacher, I don't see your outcomes as being limited. If you have made it to RCM 7 or 8, there's a lot of nice repertoire that is within your reach. You don't necessarily have to play increasingly difficult repertoire to grow as a musician. If you are learning music that you enjoy, and playing to a standard that satisfies you and your teacher, then the lessons will continue to be successful.


Private piano teacher
B. Mus., M.Mus. (piano performance & pedagogy).
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2707199
01/21/18 09:15 PM
01/21/18 09:15 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 175
Virginia
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Dear 8 Octaves, I am a teacher, but not for music. Look at how many adults takes lessons, art, karate, golf, cooking, dance, horseback riding, photography, swimming, climbing, tennis, skiing etc...... I would imagine adults who take lessons generally are not going to be professionals in these areas. I would not say teachers waste time because it is just a hobby. If teachers eliminated adults as students, I bet there would be a gap to fill it would not make financial sense.

When considering work life/balance hobbies become an escape for people and give life meaning. Most people work to live and not live to work. I know more people are excited to golf after work then to go to work. I know my piano lessons and practice is therapeutic for me, I am less stressed and a happier person. Adults who take classes for a hobby generally are good students, because most would not pay for something and not get some kind of benefit. It is different when you pay for something as an adult, then when the parents did as a child. I know I am a better piano student as an adult then I ever was as a child.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: bennevis] #2707214
01/21/18 09:44 PM
01/21/18 09:44 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,618
USA
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8 Octaves Offline OP

Gold Supporter until July 22 2015
8 Octaves  Offline OP

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Originally Posted by bennevis
He wanted to learn everything properly, and told his teacher so, and despite obvious misgivings, his teacher obliged and switched to a children's beginner primer (in fact, the same one my first teacher used with me), and followed the ABRSM syllabus - exactly the way he'd teach his child students. From his description of his early lessons, it seems they were very similar to the way I was taught as a ten-year-old beginner.

The big difference is that, of course, his teacher was able to converse and discuss complex stuff in detail with him from the beginning, because he was familiar with musical terminology (though not necessarily understanding how they are used in piano playing). In terms of musical goals, all he told his teacher was that he'd like to be able to play Chopin nocturnes eventually, leaving it entirely to his teacher to choose the method and the pieces that would get him there. From what I've read in ABF, that is very rare among adult students - to have an achievable long-term goal without pushing their own agenda on what they want to learn along the way, or how long it took.


Interestingly, this is similar to what happened to me with the exception I was the typical adult who wanted to learn RCM 7/8 music in year one. It was my teacher who told me she would start me on the same materials she taught all her children. In retrospect, I am grateful for it, but the first few years was difficult because the music was not interesting enough to justify the enormous efforts required. But the music I'm learning currently have more than made up for the "boring" stuff in the beginning. It is amazing to me how much complexity is in even RCM 8 music, something I could not possibly appreciate in the beginning.

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: pianist_lady] #2707234
01/21/18 10:47 PM
01/21/18 10:47 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,618
USA
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8 Octaves Offline OP

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8 Octaves  Offline OP

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Originally Posted by pianist_lady
As a teacher, I don't see your outcomes as being limited. If you have made it to RCM 7 or 8, there's a lot of nice repertoire that is within your reach. You don't necessarily have to play increasingly difficult repertoire to grow as a musician. If you are learning music that you enjoy, and playing to a standard that satisfies you and your teacher, then the lessons will continue to be successful.


Thank you for the kind words. Just this week, I was away on business and got in a total of 3 hours of practice. Today I drove my son to attend his event; by the time we get home it will be quite late. I am also finding it increasingly hard to choose practicing piano instead of sleeping at my age so I choose to sleep. I hate wasting someone else's time when I have not put in my 110%. Also I am bad for my teacher's income since I could not schedule more than 30 lessons a year. Therefore, I attend my lessons with much guilt.

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2707236
01/21/18 10:50 PM
01/21/18 10:50 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 635
California
hello my name is Offline
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I'm not teaching right now but when I was, I did enjoy teaching my adults. Granted I was new to teaching and would never even think of teaching the kinds of students who play concert repertoire. But anyway, for adults, the peace of mind knowing that they were the ones who chose these lessons helped me feel more at ease, better able to be frank with them and focus on teaching, versus feeling like I needed to be fun and entertaining, which I had to do with the young ones after finding out the hard way (little girl crying because she doesn't want to do piano with you when last week you thought everything had been going well is hard!). (turning piano into a fun game because their attention spans are short-- hard!) (being encouraging even when they make a mistake cause they're sensitive-- hard!)

Also it's not like every child is that perfect student who gobbles up piano. I had one little boy who was a dream to teach, but that was it out of my kids. His mom who was a working student herself, signed him up for lessons because he was very interested in watching Youtube videos about piano (this kid is like.. 6?). I doubt she had much money to spare for lessons, and she was not very interested in whatever we did, often studying during our lesson time which was fine with me. Even with this little boy though, there were the challenges of him not knowing his left from his right hand and I had to try to think of solutions to that ... things you can kind of take for granted with adults. And he had the dirtiest little fingernails! And one time he showed up sick, and there he was, plodding away but kind of feverish looking, and I had to take the initiative to ask him how he was feeling before he could tell me he wasn't feeling well. So there are a lot of things kids need which adults do not, like being taken care of in things other than piano (giving them tissue cause they are having runny nose..). The rest of the children were typical kids, and piano was just one more activity on their list of activities that were wholesome and educational and worthy of some time.

Maybe teachers whose market (for lack of better word) is students in pre-conservatory prep music schools would find adults more of a waste of time? I know my own piano teacher did not teach many adults, maybe one or two out of the rest of us, and many of her students were the pre-conservatory prep school type. But I would imagine I wasn't that great of a student to teach .. busy with AP classes and clubs and friends, ready to ditch piano once I got into university, barely practiced, yet faithfully coming to lessons week after week, year after year.. :P

Adults are also nice to teach cause they can tell you what they want. I had one guy who wanted to learn how to play popular music. Cool, fine, let's do that. An 85 year old, picking up piano again after a long break, wants to do Chopin? Great, sure, glad to know it. With kids, you have the complication of what their parents want versus what they want.

I think teaching is rewarding in the way of being able to impart knowledge and seeing people succeed and get better and accomplish things with your help. Whether it's a hobby or not for the adult, I don't see it as wasting time.

That's my two cents as a non-teaching pseudo-teacher. wink


Piano Teacher in Training
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2707293
01/22/18 01:48 AM
01/22/18 01:48 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,564
Orange County, CA
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The danger of teaching adults is that we tend to chitchat way, way off topic. All of my adult students are extremely intelligent, but also very chatty. I have to monitor the clock very carefully with them to manage progress.

Sometimes I feel like I'm doubling as their psychologist, or at least a confidant. A receptacle for toxic gossip.

A hobby is not necessarily a waste of time. I do see that adults progress slower than the average kids, but that's because adults have so little time to practice!


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: hello my name is] #2707295
01/22/18 01:51 AM
01/22/18 01:51 AM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,618
USA
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8 Octaves Offline OP

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I appreciate you detailing your experience teaching youngsters. Thanks to the other member feedbacks as well. Good perspectives!

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2707614
01/23/18 01:55 AM
01/23/18 01:55 AM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,382
western MA, USA
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hreichgott Offline
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Training the next generation of concert pianists is not why we teach.

hello my name is, what a lovely response you wrote; I could echo much of that.

I love teaching all ages including adults. I do expect that they all practice daily or near-daily including the adults, even if it's just a few minutes on some days. FWIW right now a greater percentage of my adult students than the kids are playing advanced music, and the most advanced ones are adults.

I used to think that adults progressed faster in reading and kids progressed faster in musicality. Now I think that progress in musicality has a lot more to do with whether their very first teacher stressed musicality in the beginning stages or not. Regardless of what age they were at the time.

Last edited by hreichgott; 01/23/18 01:58 AM.

Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

Working on:
Cabaret (whole show)
12+ variations from classical ballets
Verdi: Stabat Mater
Copland: Appalachian Spring
Tangos and other fun music for piano duo

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: hreichgott] #2707817
01/23/18 04:21 PM
01/23/18 04:21 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,564
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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Originally Posted by hreichgott
I used to think that adults progressed faster in reading and kids progressed faster in musicality.

You'd think it's the other way around.

I must have the worst luck with adult students. Most of them are too busy with family to practice, and the single one that does practice has veered so far off the chart, it's beyond hope.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: AZNpiano] #2707867
01/23/18 07:07 PM
01/23/18 07:07 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 3,731
Finland
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outo Offline
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by hreichgott
I used to think that adults progressed faster in reading and kids progressed faster in musicality.

You'd think it's the other way around.

I must have the worst luck with adult students. Most of them are too busy with family to practice, ...

Too busy or unmotivated? Few of us have extra time but we just take it from somewhere because we really want to.

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: AZNpiano] #2707910
01/23/18 10:01 PM
01/23/18 10:01 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
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western MA, USA
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hreichgott Offline
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by hreichgott
I used to think that adults progressed faster in reading and kids progressed faster in musicality.

You'd think it's the other way around.

I must have the worst luck with adult students. Most of them are too busy with family to practice, and the single one that does practice has veered so far off the chart, it's beyond hope.

Oh, I make those expectations clear at first, plus I bug them about it if they aren't practicing enough. Kids/parents too. Eventually either they shape up or they end up stopping lessons "until we have more practice time" -- which is fine with me. Practice time is part of the commitment of piano lessons, and necessary for progress. I'm not here just to entertain them for an hour a week, whatever age they are.


Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

Working on:
Cabaret (whole show)
12+ variations from classical ballets
Verdi: Stabat Mater
Copland: Appalachian Spring
Tangos and other fun music for piano duo

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2707920
01/23/18 10:33 PM
01/23/18 10:33 PM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 1,392
Orange County, California
bSharp(C)yclist Offline
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I would think adults might do better, particularly if they are paying for their lessons. For me to pay for lessons and not practice doesn't make a whole lot of sense smile I might as well watch YouTube videos.

I can relate to the chit chat though, there have been times where we probably talked too long about things unrelated to piano, but there have been times where my lesson went over the designed time. Overall, I think we do pretty good at keeping at a minimum.

She did tell me about one of her other adult students, who came in with no previous experience, and no piano and wanted to learn a Chopin piece. She (student) just wanted to know which buttons to push, haha. I think she paid for a number of lessons in advance, and didn't even show up to some of them. Crazy.


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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2707930
01/23/18 11:18 PM
01/23/18 11:18 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
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Virginia
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I agree why would someone take lessons and not practice. I take two 2-hour lessons a week, the teacher stays on track and I work the entire 2 hours. I practice every day, but it does not mean I can still play the lesson well. Some times you can practice but still "not get it." It may not seem liked I practiced. I took jazz theory with him one summer and at the end of the summer he had a written test prepared, at least I passed. He wanted to see how well I progressed. I really struggled with jazz theory, this was a few years ago, but now it is easier for me as I am progressing and playing out of jazz books. The teacher is in his 20s with a MS music.

I had taught adjunct at a university for several years, and some students will just not do the work or are not focused. They are paying for the education and you get out of it what you put into it. I taught in an RN to BSN program, these students were already RNs most were in their 40s. I did not tell them about doing homework, they are adults, the decision to practice or not practice and pay for lessons is a personal choice. However, when you put in an effort to advance students and they are not engaged, it is difficult to stay motivated to teach those students.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: AZNpiano] #2709038
01/27/18 01:31 AM
01/27/18 01:31 AM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,618
USA
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8 Octaves Offline OP

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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I must have the worst luck with adult students. Most of them are too busy with family to practice, and the single one that does practice has veered so far off the chart, it's beyond hope.


I'd think you're talking about me (part of the "most of them" crowd). Do you feel like you should fire us?

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2709133
01/27/18 11:57 AM
01/27/18 11:57 AM
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Posts: 291
pianopi Offline

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It's just about a complete myth that people are too busy to practice.

Just 5 minutes and two measures each day, done thoroughly, slowly and properly - works wonders. Just about anyone can spare 5 minutes between daily (family duties) and going to the computer to complain about how they are just too busy to practice.


"Genius is not the sign of demigodliness, but the sign of having a profoundly practical mind" - anonymous

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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: pianopi] #2709139
01/27/18 12:11 PM
01/27/18 12:11 PM
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London, UK
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Originally Posted by pianopi
It's just about a complete myth that people are too busy to practice.

Just 5 minutes and two measures each day, done thoroughly, slowly and properly - works wonders. Just about anyone can spare 5 minutes between daily (family duties) and going to the computer to complain about how they are just too busy to practice.


Is that really true? (The bit about working wonders, I mean). Do you have first-hand experience of how just five minutes of practice can have a significant beneficial effect? It takes me that long to find my music and adjust the piano stool.

Sometimes I practice for several hours, and don't feel I've made any progress.

Generally I practice for a hour a day which is, frankly, more than I can really justify. If I can't find at least half an hour to practice, I probably won't bother. I don't feel I can achieve much on the piano with half an hour, but I can help the kids with their homework, tidy the kitchen, check my bank statement, go for a short run, clean the car, etc, etc.

And, frankly, there really are some days when I couldn't find even five minutes to practice. Really.

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: kevinb] #2709143
01/27/18 12:22 PM
01/27/18 12:22 PM
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It definitely works wonders for those two measures.

Yes, I do think if, for just a minute or two, you play really slowly, and expect to move forward just one or two notes at a time, and really take in every articulation, and make sure each physical motion of the hand is ideal i.e relaxed and finding the easiest, most natural way of fingering and reaching the notes. Plus, not moving on until those few notes are mastered (you have to be patient, and expect to repeat many times), it does really work.

It means you are really aware of every move you're making and everything you are reading, and when you bring your piece up to speed (but don't force this), you find yourself in great control, and not just rushing through it, hoping for the best.

Keep your score out, your stool at the ready, and you don't have to spend those 5 minutes adjusting everything. Play something really thoroughly every time you pass the piano. It all adds up. It's like collecting skills (like collecting stamps), every little tiny addition helps.

Last edited by pianopi; 01/27/18 12:23 PM.

"Genius is not the sign of demigodliness, but the sign of having a profoundly practical mind" - anonymous

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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2709147
01/27/18 12:29 PM
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The one-time editor of the Guardian did a similar thing, although his available time was 20 minutes a day and not 5, but it is the same idea.

Alan Rusbridger

You have to be really thorough and really mindful.


"Genius is not the sign of demigodliness, but the sign of having a profoundly practical mind" - anonymous

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTc4esj9xQG6NjLIr9an29Q
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: pianopi] #2709152
01/27/18 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by pianopi
It's just about a complete myth that people are too busy to practice.

Just 5 minutes and two measures each day, done thoroughly, slowly and properly - works wonders. Just about anyone can spare 5 minutes between daily (family duties) and going to the computer to complain about how they are just too busy to practice.

The issue isn't time alone - it is discipline and mental energy left (even if one can find 5 minutes) after work + family + chores + need to get rest before doing all that again...

Osho


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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2709157
01/27/18 12:51 PM
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But playing the piano is wonderful. Little pockets of heaven, those spare 5 minutes. Anyone would think you don't like playing the piano. The mental effort of mindful playing is very relaxing .. isn't it?


"Genius is not the sign of demigodliness, but the sign of having a profoundly practical mind" - anonymous

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTc4esj9xQG6NjLIr9an29Q
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: pianopi] #2709160
01/27/18 12:56 PM
01/27/18 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by pianopi
But playing the piano is wonderful. Little pockets of heaven, those spare 5 minutes. Anyone would think you don't like playing the piano. The mental effort of mindful playing is very relaxing .. isn't it?

May I ask if you started learning to play as an adult?

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2709188
01/27/18 01:52 PM
01/27/18 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 8 Octaves
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I must have the worst luck with adult students. Most of them are too busy with family to practice, and the single one that does practice has veered so far off the chart, it's beyond hope.


I'd think you're talking about me (part of the "most of them" crowd). Do you feel like you should fire us?

No. They are clearly aware that they are paying me even though they are not practicing. At least the off-topic conversations are nice, and they are pretty intelligent people.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: kevinb] #2709246
01/27/18 04:57 PM
01/27/18 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by kevinb
Originally Posted by pianopi
It's just about a complete myth that people are too busy to practice.

Just 5 minutes and two measures each day, done thoroughly, slowly and properly - works wonders. Just about anyone can spare 5 minutes between daily (family duties) and going to the computer to complain about how they are just too busy to practice.


Is that really true? (The bit about working wonders, I mean). Do you have first-hand experience of how just five minutes of practice can have a significant beneficial effect? It takes me that long to find my music and adjust the piano stool.


It is very true. It works wonders if done correcty.

I teach this to all my students as part of the teaching segment "learning how to practice". So I not only have personal first hand experience in my own learning, but also lots of students who also do.

Five minutes is a long long time. Set a stopwatch and take something that is short and practice it slowly (very slowly and precisely and focused) for 5 minutes. It can seem like an eternity. Which is one reason why many students practice poorly, ie. they spend 5 or 10 seconds or so on a phrase and call it done.

What I do, and teach, is that you can grab a few moments here and there and practice in a way that is very beneficial, perhaps more so than sitting at the bench for an hour.

The key is to take one small thing...a short phrase, a chord change with the left hand, something very small, and practice it very slowly and deliberately for say 10X.

Thats it. Then walk away. Takes maybe literally 1 - 2 minutes.

Such practice is great because you are doing only one thing. No warm-ups, no scales, no arpeggios, no multiple pieces, no already learned repertoire, no new material, no sight-reading practice...nothing but one thing. One thing to focus on, one thing to remember, one thing to digest. One thing rather than dozens of things typical in a practice session.

The brain likes that, and you will find that it supercharges the learning of that section.

I apply this strategy all the time with my students, most of whom do not practice optimally.

For example, when a student brings a piece they are working on that has a problem, we work on the problem area in the studio...slowly, repeatedly. Invariably, that section then becomes one of the best, if not the best, sections in the piece.

Benefits:

* Partially solves the "no time to practice" problem.

* Super-practices a problem area.

ps...this does not eliminate regular practice sessions...instead it is a strategy to make use of time, a few moments here and there, and to fix problems quickly. YMMV



Piano teacher and Blues and Boogie-Woogie pianist.
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: rocket88] #2709250
01/27/18 05:11 PM
01/27/18 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rocket88
The key is to take one small thing...a short phrase, a chord change with the left hand, something very small, and practice it very slowly and deliberately for say 10X.

Thats it. Then walk away. Takes maybe literally 2 minutes.

Such practice is great because you are doing only one thing. No warm-ups, no multiple pieces, nothing but one thing. One thing to remember, to digest.

The brain likes that, and you will find that it supercharges the learning of that section. ... Invariably, that section becomes one of the best, if not the best, sections in the piece.

Exactly! And, in addition, slow - really slow - practice of just a few notes at a time helps you to play the notes as comfortably as you can because you're not rushing; you're not tense. The notes, thus, feel really good to play and, as a direct benefit, sound really good. And because they are so pleasurable to play, practicing becomes addictive, and those 5 minutes turn easily into hours of very good practice time.


"Genius is not the sign of demigodliness, but the sign of having a profoundly practical mind" - anonymous

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTc4esj9xQG6NjLIr9an29Q
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: outo] #2709251
01/27/18 05:12 PM
01/27/18 05:12 PM
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pianopi Offline

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Originally Posted by outo
May I ask if you started learning to play as an adult?

I started as a child - 10yrs - and played until around age 16. Stopped for some years and took it up again as an adult.


"Genius is not the sign of demigodliness, but the sign of having a profoundly practical mind" - anonymous

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTc4esj9xQG6NjLIr9an29Q
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2709253
01/27/18 05:18 PM
01/27/18 05:18 PM
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When I first started taking piano lessons again as an adult. I had no idea how to practice as it had not been discussed during my childhood lessons. So consequently, I tried to practice hours a day: hours I did not have in a very long workday. I would come to my next lesson and sound like I had not practiced at all. Very discouraging. So I started reading about focused practice and implemented as much as I could.

I now practice on borrowed time: waiting for something to warm up in the oven, Five minutes while I’m waiting for the laundry to finish washing so I can put it in the dryer. I do focused practice for a few minutes. I flag the measures that need concentrated practice, and work on those. When they are no longer on the problem list, I remove the flag. Works wonders for me.


"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
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