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Re: Students that exhaust my energy [Re: Gary D.] #2740896
05/31/18 12:40 AM
05/31/18 12:40 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
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California
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
Clearly this is something to take up with the store administrator/owner, or in the forum of a faculty meeting. In the meantime, I agree with Morodiene: just give the kid abbreviated lessons that start late and end promptly.

Peter, being late is a habit. and as a person who is always on time, I find it intolerable.

My grandmother was always late, and the whole family joked about it. But what it comes down to is that "MY time is more important than YOUR time", so if one of us has to wait, it's going to be us waiting for the other person. By that, I mean it is a mindset. I think it's also a way of controlling.



Just want to interrupt and give another point of view -- it is not always this way. It could be ADD and basically a weakness. I have it, had no idea until I was in my mid twenties, and have always been chronically late. I do not like it, but I have tried to change since I was a child and it still happens. Since elementary school, I was a stellar, A student, goody-two-shoes, never ever wanted to get in trouble by my teacher, so it was not a matter of "my time is more important", I simply did not and still do not have a good grasp of time and easily am distracted. My first and only detention I ever got was in first grade, for, you guessed it, being late. My high friends still joke about whether I will be late or not. Years later I went to Bible school where I tried very very hard to follow every rule including making it to every single roll call not a second late, but still would manage to be late to things and have to write up papers for discipline lol. I just literally do not have a good sense of time. It should be common sense, but trust me for my brain it is not. I cannot tell you with much certainty how long certain things should take, or how long has passed. I set timers religiously while cooking for every single step (probably would be ridiculous for anyone to watch me cook these days, thanks Alexa) because if I don't, I will easily become distracted and something will burn. So if you can be more forgiving of the late ones, some of us would appreciate it smile My poor husband finds it intolerable as well. Some days, when I have less overwhelm going on in my brain, it is better than others.

Back to chasingrainbows. I think a lot of us musicians tend to strive for perfection, but some things you just have to do your best and let the struggle go for your energy levels and sanity.


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Re: Students that exhaust my energy [Re: hello my name is] #2740900
05/31/18 01:22 AM
05/31/18 01:22 AM
Joined: Aug 2012
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Finland
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Originally Posted by hello my name is
Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
Clearly this is something to take up with the store administrator/owner, or in the forum of a faculty meeting. In the meantime, I agree with Morodiene: just give the kid abbreviated lessons that start late and end promptly.

Peter, being late is a habit. and as a person who is always on time, I find it intolerable.

My grandmother was always late, and the whole family joked about it. But what it comes down to is that "MY time is more important than YOUR time", so if one of us has to wait, it's going to be us waiting for the other person. By that, I mean it is a mindset. I think it's also a way of controlling.



Just want to interrupt and give another point of view -- it is not always this way. It could be ADD and basically a weakness. I have it, had no idea until I was in my mid twenties, and have always been chronically late. I do not like it, but I have tried to change since I was a child and it still happens. Since elementary school, I was a stellar, A student, goody-two-shoes, never ever wanted to get in trouble by my teacher, so it was not a matter of "my time is more important", I simply did not and still do not have a good grasp of time and easily am distracted. My first and only detention I ever got was in first grade, for, you guessed it, being late. My high friends still joke about whether I will be late or not. Years later I went to Bible school where I tried very very hard to follow every rule including making it to every single roll call not a second late, but still would manage to be late to things and have to write up papers for discipline lol. I just literally do not have a good sense of time. It should be common sense, but trust me for my brain it is not. I cannot tell you with much certainty how long certain things should take, or how long has passed. I set timers religiously while cooking for every single step (probably would be ridiculous for anyone to watch me cook these days, thanks Alexa) because if I don't, I will easily become distracted and something will burn. So if you can be more forgiving of the late ones, some of us would appreciate it smile My poor husband finds it intolerable as well. Some days, when I have less overwhelm going on in my brain, it is better than others.


Yes, some people were not given all the tools needed to manage time. My problems now as an adult are sligthly different, because I am almost obsessive about never being late from meetings. I think it's because I suffered so much due to my mother being so consistently not in time and when I was a child there were no cellphones...you just had to wait never knowing if something had happened. So I always just make a schedule that is too early to avoid being late. But I do not have any sense of time either so I only cook foods that do not spoil much if forgotten on the stove...

My biggest issue has always been general forgetfullness. I always forgot my books, assignmens or whatever. And since I was a rather smart kid in other ways most adults were annoyed and thought I was just being stubborn or deviant. But I simply could not help it. And I still cannot remember things to do. I have gradually built a system of lists, notes and reminders on electrical devices. Everything has to be written down AT ONCE, otherwise it's forgotten. And it makes no difference how important I feel the task or a person is. Of course I also forget to look at the lists I make, so the smart phone has been quite a life saver. I sent myself an e-mail every time I need to remember something, that works.

I also tell every new employee at work about my deficiency so that if I forget something it's not because I do not care and they should feel free to remind me if something does not seem to happen as promised. And I think I am doing rather well, my perfectionist nature helps. But it's still a source of stress and a lot of extra work that "normal" people hardly can imagine. Expecting a child to handle things well that way is a bit too much to expect imo. Then again if my parents had taken care of things for me, would I have created all the methods I now use to manage? I sort of learned the hard way...

Re: Students that exhaust my energy [Re: hello my name is] #2740950
05/31/18 08:54 AM
05/31/18 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by hello my name is
My high friends still joke about whether I will be late or not. Years later I went to Bible school where I tried very very hard to follow every rule including making it to every single roll call not a second late, but still would manage to be late to things and have to write up papers for discipline lol. I just literally do not have a good sense of time. It should be common sense, but trust me for my brain it is not. I cannot tell you with much certainty how long certain things should take, or how long has passed. I set timers religiously while cooking for every single step (probably would be ridiculous for anyone to watch me cook these days, thanks Alexa) because if I don't, I will easily become distracted and something will burn. So if you can be more forgiving of the late ones, some of us would appreciate it smile

I hope you don't mind me saying this, but if you can set a timer for cooking, you can set a timer or watch alarm for everything else. And give yourself extra time by simple tricks. There is a prominent clock tower next to a train station I once saw, which is always set five minutes fast, because tourists used to keep missing their last train home, and got stranded. (The staff at the station told me that). Since someone had the bright idea of giving them an extra five minutes to get to their platforms, that problem had largely been resolved.

And I do the same with my own main clock at home, and with my bedside radio set to a timer which wakes me up. For me, most things take longer than I envisage - including playing the piano. The latter is just about the only thing I do for which I don't set myself a time to finish. Two hours' practice can easily run into four hours, but if my bedtime or dinner is delayed by two hours, no big deal. But it's a big deal if I'm late for work by two hours - or five minutes......


"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: Students that exhaust my energy [Re: outo] #2740988
05/31/18 12:15 PM
05/31/18 12:15 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
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Philadelphia, PA
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Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by hello my name is
Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
Clearly this is something to take up with the store administrator/owner, or in the forum of a faculty meeting. In the meantime, I agree with Morodiene: just give the kid abbreviated lessons that start late and end promptly.

Peter, being late is a habit. and as a person who is always on time, I find it intolerable.

My grandmother was always late, and the whole family joked about it. But what it comes down to is that "MY time is more important than YOUR time", so if one of us has to wait, it's going to be us waiting for the other person. By that, I mean it is a mindset. I think it's also a way of controlling.



Just want to interrupt and give another point of view -- it is not always this way. It could be ADD and basically a weakness. I have it, had no idea until I was in my mid twenties, and have always been chronically late. I do not like it, but I have tried to change since I was a child and it still happens. Since elementary school, I was a stellar, A student, goody-two-shoes, never ever wanted to get in trouble by my teacher, so it was not a matter of "my time is more important", I simply did not and still do not have a good grasp of time and easily am distracted. My first and only detention I ever got was in first grade, for, you guessed it, being late. My high friends still joke about whether I will be late or not. Years later I went to Bible school where I tried very very hard to follow every rule including making it to every single roll call not a second late, but still would manage to be late to things and have to write up papers for discipline lol. I just literally do not have a good sense of time. It should be common sense, but trust me for my brain it is not. I cannot tell you with much certainty how long certain things should take, or how long has passed. I set timers religiously while cooking for every single step (probably would be ridiculous for anyone to watch me cook these days, thanks Alexa) because if I don't, I will easily become distracted and something will burn. So if you can be more forgiving of the late ones, some of us would appreciate it smile My poor husband finds it intolerable as well. Some days, when I have less overwhelm going on in my brain, it is better than others.


Yes, some people were not given all the tools needed to manage time. My problems now as an adult are sligthly different, because I am almost obsessive about never being late from meetings. I think it's because I suffered so much due to my mother being so consistently not in time and when I was a child there were no cellphones...you just had to wait never knowing if something had happened. So I always just make a schedule that is too early to avoid being late. But I do not have any sense of time either so I only cook foods that do not spoil much if forgotten on the stove...

My biggest issue has always been general forgetfullness. I always forgot my books, assignmens or whatever. And since I was a rather smart kid in other ways most adults were annoyed and thought I was just being stubborn or deviant. But I simply could not help it. And I still cannot remember things to do. I have gradually built a system of lists, notes and reminders on electrical devices. Everything has to be written down AT ONCE, otherwise it's forgotten. And it makes no difference how important I feel the task or a person is. Of course I also forget to look at the lists I make, so the smart phone has been quite a life saver. I sent myself an e-mail every time I need to remember something, that works.

I also tell every new employee at work about my deficiency so that if I forget something it's not because I do not care and they should feel free to remind me if something does not seem to happen as promised. And I think I am doing rather well, my perfectionist nature helps. But it's still a source of stress and a lot of extra work that "normal" people hardly can imagine. Expecting a child to handle things well that way is a bit too much to expect imo. Then again if my parents had taken care of things for me, would I have created all the methods I now use to manage? I sort of learned the hard way...


I appreciate these perspectives--a good reminder not to assume that we know the reason, when people do not meet expectations. My ADD daughter is now an adult and has devised various strategies and structures that usually work for her. But as Outo says, I think "normies" often have no concept of how much extra effort it can take to do things they find effortless, or how all those extra steps create many more opportunities for error to slip in. So failures will happen, people may be late or forget (possibly causing more distress to themselves than to those expecting perfection).

Anyway, going back to the original piano subject, I think it's very fair to just end a latecomer's lesson at the scheduled time. But I hope it can be done with compassion.


1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Chopin, Waltz in E minor (op. posth.)
Schubert, Op. 90 no. 2
Mendelssohn, Op. 19 no. 2
Re: Students that exhaust my energy [Re: chasingrainbows] #2741049
05/31/18 05:00 PM
05/31/18 05:00 PM
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Posts: 1,798
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jdw, was there a post about latecomers? I read through 13 pages of replies and couldn't find anything. My original thread is about students who ignore fingerings, tempo, assignment book notations, forget their books and don't practice. It is extremely rare for any of my students to be late. OTOH, the teacher who teaches my piano student before me, arrives late, so my student's lesson with that teacher starts late, which in turn, ends up with me not starting on time with him. By the end of the night, it has snowballed into a huge delay for the later students. I finally had to knock on the teacher's door every week and let the teacher know I had to start on time.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
Re: Students that exhaust my energy [Re: chasingrainbows] #2741064
05/31/18 05:56 PM
05/31/18 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by chasingrainbows
jdw, was there a post about latecomers? I read through 13 pages of replies and couldn't find anything. My original thread is about students who ignore fingerings, tempo, assignment book notations, forget their books and don't practice. It is extremely rare for any of my students to be late. OTOH, the teacher who teaches my piano student before me, arrives late, so my student's lesson with that teacher starts late, which in turn, ends up with me not starting on time with him. By the end of the night, it has snowballed into a huge delay for the later students. I finally had to knock on the teacher's door every week and let the teacher know I had to start on time.


I haven't gone through the whole thread, but I thought Peter's post implied a student was late. Of course, a teacher who arrives late really needs to get her/his act together, and as you say should not be allowed to run over into other people's time.

However, the posts questioning assumptions about what makes people late are still valid.


1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Chopin, Waltz in E minor (op. posth.)
Schubert, Op. 90 no. 2
Mendelssohn, Op. 19 no. 2
Re: Students that exhaust my energy [Re: chasingrainbows] #2741905
06/04/18 12:02 AM
06/04/18 12:02 AM
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California
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oh bennevis, you just can't understand, timers don't work if you don't remember to set timers. Planners don't work if you forget to plan or look at the planner. Appreciate it Jdw, there is an enormous amount of energy required to do things that normies find, with often a tone of annoyance, "not that hard"..
I'm the same way as you Outo at work! I'm a perfectionist and know I will forget so I write everything down too. I would love to maintain that level of perfection in my non-work life but it would require an enormous amount of energy and that's probably why I haven't done it yet. But will keep trying.

ok last hijack of this thread..


Piano Teacher in Training
Re: Students that exhaust my energy [Re: hello my name is] #2742271
06/05/18 12:07 PM
06/05/18 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by hello my name is
oh bennevis, you just can't understand, timers don't work if you don't remember to set timers. Planners don't work if you forget to plan or look at the planner. Appreciate it Jdw, there is an enormous amount of energy required to do things that normies find, with often a tone of annoyance, "not that hard"..
I'm the same way as you Outo at work! I'm a perfectionist and know I will forget so I write everything down too. I would love to maintain that level of perfection in my non-work life but it would require an enormous amount of energy and that's probably why I haven't done it yet. But will keep trying.

ok last hijack of this thread..

Well, if you have a problem and others don't have that problem, they will never fully understand that problem.

But the flip side is that having a problem often becomes an excuse for not doing something about the problem.

I understand though. A few weeks ago I knew I had to be up the next day early. It was on my mind. I stuck past on the stove, set the timer for 11 minutes, then forgot about the pasta and the timer, went to bed, fell asleep. Not good for the pasta, the pan or the stove. wink


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Re: Students that exhaust my energy [Re: chasingrainbows] #2742291
06/05/18 01:43 PM
06/05/18 01:43 PM
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I'm going to try something - to go on a tangent to try to get at what's being talked about. I don't know if it will work.

Aeons ago I took a course on a bunch of things lumped together under a title "learning disabilities", which has become a misused and misunderstood term. A lot of it had to do with how people process things and function. For example, we have the thing popularly called "dyslexing" where "cat" "tca" "tac" jumble because visual sequencing/orientation doesn't work. Or "p b q d" mix up - I have a bit of that. Then there is sequencing (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th.....) - a guest speaker described to us that he switched to zippers because buttoning buttons (and remembering shopping lists, or following step-wise instructions, or order of operations in math) was impossible for him. The point is this: When a person's "processing of things" is different in these kinds of ways, then things that are "easy" to everyone else, are extremely difficult for them. The most frustrating and infuriating thing for these folks is to be told, "All you have to do is ..... Why can't you just do so." What makes it even harder is that many of these folks are not stupid - in fact many are highly intelligent. So it's "You're not stupid. Why can't you get this?!"

We usually talk about these things in terms of education. But they affect real life as well.

An incident I will never forget. The school I taught in thought it a good idea to have "family week" with activities that were supposed to promote self-esteem in a troubled rural area. Kids from K-7 were lumped together, with family (siblings, cousins) in the same group going from classroom to classroom with the same activity. Mine was this: Get a partner to trace your silhouette (head) on black paper with white chalk. Cut it out, glue it on white paper, and write "I'm proud to be me." So this very intelligent 15 year old boy from Special Ed is in one group - I know nothing about him. He's just a kid in this group. His LD is that he cannot trace or follow shapes. He literally cannot cut out the shape of his silhouette. He's 15. Little 5 year olds are doing what he can't do. So he covered by being a smart-ass, and I told him to "behave". After our class, while standing outside the next classroom he put his fist through the window of the door. Was rushed to Emergency to have his hand stitched up. Nobody had told me!

Later his LD teacher told me about him. Very intelligent, articulate, and extremely aware that he couldn't do things that were easy for others. It affected being able to write letters and numbers, even if he could read at a high level and do math beyond his years. I could picture how humiliating my "proud to be me" activity (that I'd been told to do) had been for him, and how ironic! Mortifying.

Sequencing: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th ..... Planning your time and staying within a schedule in a linear, scheduled world .... big problem. I've got it in spatial things. I have walked on an unfamiliar route in a neighbourhood I've been in for 30 years, come upon a familiar street at an unexpected angle, and not recognized it. I stopped accepting interpreting assignments after I was an hour late for one when I got lost: on another, there was an hour lunch break and I knew I wouldn't find my way back to the hotel conference room. I was in my fifties and aware. I told staff "I have a learning disability that disorients me in spaces. Please lead me to the conference room." After that, I declined work where I'd have to travel.

The person who has an "LD" of this kind, often also has abilities that most others don't have. The "non-linear" person, who cannot follow lessons or courses that go 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th - and at the end finally puts it all together --- That same person might be "global" - seeing "the whole picture at once", and how everything interrelates. He may be able to work with things and solve things in "mysterious ways" - have an unusual grasp (but not be able to explain any of it to a linear world). He may be a brilliant teacher, or inventor, or gardener.

One of my parents was like that. Absolutely brilliant in things like gardening. Folks drove miles to show their guests the beautiful garden. S/he would be in a nursery or seed catalogue and know which plants to choose, but had to just "do it". Literally didn't know the plan already"there" until in action. It was an absolute nightmare trying to follow instructions, because they could not be set out in any kind of order or list. It came close to fights from mutual frustration. Time and schedules? Really, really hard. Things like supper time, regardless of who cooked.

When I took that LD course over 30 years ago, a lightbulb went on in my head about some of my own quirks. We also learned in an extra workshop that many such people would be labeled "lazy" - report cards abounded with "can do better", "needs improvement", "is certainly capable of doing more". (My early report cards had that.)

Think also of our modern world, and then think of other societies. We are digital, linear,regimented, scheduled, factory-ready-streamlined. That favours one way of functioning over others. A lot of these "disabilities" would be the norm and and advantage in other environments, and those who do really well in our present society might be the ones with a problem. I don't like the word "disability" as in LD - it's more like a "other-thinking" or "other-functioning" of which there are probably many. I also suspect that all of us have quirks, but to varying degrees.

(End of stream of consciousness.) laugh


Re: Students that exhaust my energy [Re: keystring] #2742433
06/06/18 03:31 AM
06/06/18 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by keystring
I'm going to try something - to go on a tangent to try to get at what's being talked about. I don't know if it will work.


It works for those who are interested in researching and learning about the reasons behind other people's "strange" behavior and who are able to imagine things outside their own personal world experience. But a lot of people are not, they find it much easier to label and judge other people from their own existing frame of reference. And they will read whatever you write in a way that fits that frame of reference. Of course we all do that to some extend, otherwise we would go mad. We also tend to have very strong beliefs guiding our perception that do not necessarily develop through extending information, especially when not coming from a strong authority. So basically, you may be have wasted your time providing such anecdotal information, but interesting anyway smile

Anyway, it is of course true that disability is not the best word always in learning, because one can indeed be intelligent, successful and have abilities most people don't, while struggling with something very basic for the whole life. Deficiency is a word often use. Of course the severity also differs greatly and that should be taken into account. I think to call it a disorder or disability is appropriate in some cases.

Re: Students that exhaust my energy [Re: keystring] #2742463
06/06/18 08:26 AM
06/06/18 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by keystring
Think also of our modern world, and then think of other societies. We are digital, linear,regimented, scheduled, factory-ready-streamlined. That favours one way of functioning over others. A lot of these "disabilities" would be the norm and and advantage in other environments, and those who do really well in our present society might be the ones with a problem. I don't like the word "disability" as in LD - it's more like a "other-thinking" or "other-functioning" of which there are probably many. I also suspect that all of us have quirks, but to varying degrees.

(End of stream of consciousness.) laugh



Well said, nice job (and we know how thread drift makes you uncomfortable!)

My disabilities would seem to not suit my current job, but some of my strengths let me work around them. There is always some stress from that though.

One of my management classes required that "360 assessment" that's supposed to show strengths and weaknesses. Of course it only shows those that apply to your regimented scheduled description of work. But the evaluator said something interesting to me. He said people worry too much about fixing the weaknesses, but it's the strengths that make us successful. Only worry about the weakness if it's a "fatal flaw."


gotta go practice
Re: Students that exhaust my energy [Re: outo] #2742500
06/06/18 10:22 AM
06/06/18 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by outo

...disability is not the best word always in learning...


It just happens to be the word we use right now. Just as "idiot," "imbecile," and "moron" were once technical terms for what are now described as degrees of intellectual capacity, all the current terms are likely to be replaced. Maybe this shows the evolution of our thinking about the issues, or maybe it is just academic fodder.


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

Re: Students that exhaust my energy [Re: pianopi] #2742883
06/07/18 06:26 PM
06/07/18 06:26 PM
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Wisconsin, USA
Originally Posted by pianopi
Annoy them every lesson and at every point their fingers misbehave, they miss a staccato, they miss a rest, they play too fast with stopping the playing and mentioning the error. If you're pleasantly, but totally, consistent and constantly break their playing flow to correct their bad habits, they are very likely going to try to obey just to get through to the end of the piece. Use the whole lesson on one messy part until it isn't messy any more, and they are likely to start listening to avoid the frustration of not moving on. And use every lesson to continue cleaning up the same messy part until they start realizing they have to do it at home too just so they can move on.


Excellent post, I was going to suggest the same until I read yours! An instructor I had one time kept me on a Bach Invention for over a year and it irritated me to no end. Now I realize what a great lesson that was because every time you play a piece there could be some little thing you don't realize you are doing wrong and unless you identify and fix the problem you will never realize it is a problem much less solve it.

All the best to you / Steve

Last edited by Lakeviewsteve; 06/07/18 06:27 PM.

Bösendorfer 170
Re: Students that exhaust my energy [Re: Lakeviewsteve] #2743014
06/08/18 10:39 AM
06/08/18 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Lakeviewsteve
[quote=pianopi]Annoy them every lesson and at every point their fingers misbehave, they miss a staccato, they miss a rest, they play too fast with stopping the playing and mentioning the error. If you're pleasantly, but totally, consistent and constantly break their playing flow to correct their bad habits, they are very likely going to try to obey just to get through to the end of the piece. Use the whole lesson on one messy part until it isn't messy any more, and they are likely to start listening to avoid the frustration of not moving on. And use every lesson to continue cleaning up the same messy part until they start realizing they have to do it at home too just so they can move on.


I agree. If this doesn't resolve the problem, you have one final recourse and I would not hesitate to use it. There comes a point where you are respected by your students or you are not. I refuse to have students treat me with disrespect.

I had a student who argued just about every point with me if I corrected her on something or if I worked with her on one technique in a piece. This went on for a couple of years with me thinking again and again about letting her go. Finally we came to one of her recital pieces that she was bound and determined to take at her super fast tempo no matter what I said or examples we listened to on YouTube. She slowed it down the last few lessons, but she let it fly at the recital. I had had enough. I told her at her next lesson after the recital and before she was leaving on a long family summer vacation that she had a choice: either she would respect me and I would continue to teach her or she would not and I would not continue to teach her and that the choice was completely hers (she was in middle school by this point and a very mature young lady.) I told her to think about it over the vacation and come back with her answer.

Her answer - she has been a joy to teach ever since. She just completed her 8th recital with me. We still knock heads every now and then, but she has greatly improved. Some kids you just have to lay it on the line.

Last edited by bmbutler; 06/08/18 10:41 AM.

Bachelor of Music (church music)
Master of Church Music (organ, music education)
Piano Teacher since 1992
Church Musician since 1983
Re: Students that exhaust my energy [Re: chasingrainbows] #2743021
06/08/18 11:18 AM
06/08/18 11:18 AM
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Hi bmbutler, haven't seen any posts from you in awhile. Hope all is well. I am definitely going to follow pianopi's advice, as nothing else has seemed to resolve the issues. BTW, interestingly, the student mentioned in my early posts (guilty of playing too fast, ignoring fingerings, articulation and my instructions and suggestions) is stopping lessons with me after 7 years! I had sent a lengthy email to Dad regarding the issues and noticed significant improvement over the last month. After the lesson last week, dad said they are on vacation for the summer, then stopping lessons due to reasons that I find doubtful (don't want to go into it). Oh, there happens to be a music school closer to home. As has been the case in the past, the next teacher will probably benefit from all the hard work I've devoted to get this child on the right track. smile.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
Re: Students that exhaust my energy [Re: chasingrainbows] #2743022
06/08/18 11:19 AM
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chasingrainbows Offline OP
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Just want to remind posters who defend those who are chronically late, the person is a teacher. Would this teacher hold a job in a school if she/he were late everyday?


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
Re: Students that exhaust my energy [Re: chasingrainbows] #2743023
06/08/18 11:26 AM
06/08/18 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by chasingrainbows
Just want to remind posters who defend those who are chronically late, the person is a teacher. ...

Staying with this OT for a second. I wouldn't be "defending" - but understanding is in order. What is not helpful when a person has such problems as we were discussing, is to say "Well all you have to do....". For example, people who have learning disabilities of various kinds often develop or learn strategies. What others without that problem do will not work for them - and it is not easy for them as it is for others. If you use it as an excuse, that's a poor attitude. But if you recognize a problem rather than hiding it, or hiding from it, that's different.

Otoh, if this can lead us to have some understanding of students with such difficulties, that may be a good thing.

I don't know if it applies here - probably not. As I said, this is sort of OT.

Re: Students that exhaust my energy [Re: Kenji13] #2750137
07/07/18 11:05 PM
07/07/18 11:05 PM
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Some posts around here on which I wanted to react (hope no one gets offended).

Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by chasingrainbows
This boy has been playing way too fast since he for the last 6 years- since he was 7 years old. I shudder to think of the future lessons as he is entering his teens! eek


That reminds me of the story about two kids playing a duet. One of them got up and left, because he was the fastest, and finished his part first.... ;-)

I'm wondering what was the reaction of the other musician through all this. Did he try to catch up? Did he watch at the other thinking he was a moron and didn't understand the meaning of "playing a duet"?

Originally Posted by Gary D.
My whole point was about setting up things right, from the start. Being tougher - not mean, just tougher - on students in the first year or so sets up a standard. I'm not talking about ridicule, sarcasm or intimidation, because those things mean (for me) instilling fear. That's the last thing I want.


I agree so much with you!
I'm a little dissapointed that my first teacher let go so much of my bad habits.
If I decided to take lessons in the first place, it was so I won't get bad habits, because someone will be pointing them out to me. But this it is not what happened.

I get that teaching to aldults is not the same as teaching kids though.

Originally Posted by Kenji13
Maybe it is good this way, so that students can learn what is good and what is bad. Also, students learn something useful from bad teachers.


You are making me realise that I did learn some things about myself from my first teacher and maybe, in fact, it was ok to start the way I did.

Yes, my first teacher was giving me way too challenging pieces for my level, but I had so much fun that maybe I wouldn't have gotten that passion for the piano without this. I've butchered Rachmaninoff's prelude in C# minor, but I had fun playing it and I'll go back to it in a few years.

And, at it end, I realised that I wasn't happy with the fact that I wasn't able to "finish" my pieces. I had to stop practicing them because I couldn't get any further, but I couldn't play them to my satisfaction. And that makes me more cautious now not to tackle pieces that are way too challenging because I know I can't take them to performance level.

I'm also happy that life had made me change teacher early. I haven't realised until I changed teacher that I was lacking so much technical abilities and that I had so much bad habits. Having the chance to take the right track only after 18 months of piano playing was almost a blessing. Because I wasn't going to change if life didn't make me to. I was perfectly happy with my teacher, because I wasn't concious of all this.
My former teacher moved out of the city and gave me the reference to my current teacher. And he choose well!

First lesson with my current teacher was hard. We had some email exanges before the first lesson. I told him a little bit about my background (piano experience, previous musical experience, pieces I've played on the piano, pieces I was currently working on, etc.). At the first lesson, I've played him Bach's invention no 8. He was impress that I was playing that with 18 months of piano experience, but he also told me that I wasn't pressing the key correctly, that I was lifting my fingers to high, etc. This made me feel like a fraud. I've told him all about those pieces I could play... but I felt like it wasn't true, in fact, that I could play them. Pressing keys, isn't the most basic thing about playing piano? Shouldn't I know how to do that properly after 18 months? I've started to be embarassed to play in front of him.
(Looking back at last year recording, I see how bouncy my fingers were!).

In the following week, I had to get myself together and just tell myself that it was an opportunity, that I was lucky I've been point out my problem now and not 10 years later, that it will be easier to fix it now than later and that I was better starting working on it right away!

So I guess, all in all, my first teacher did bring some good things, like the willingness to play advanced repertoire and some conciousness of the bad that can come from tackling to hard repertoire compared to our level.
And I now love my current teacher, who is very thorough (we took the whole hour today on one page of music I'm starting to learn. Placing the fingerings, the nuances, the articulations, the dynamics, ...). Maybe sometimes too much grin , as we never go through more than 2 pieces a week and I'm practicing 5 pieces at once for my exams. So it can easily take a month before we check a piece again, which is a long time when there are mistakes to fix.

That doesn't answer at all the question you were asking though.
I think that if you feel you are hindering your students, you should refer them to someone else.
But it is a tricky question.

In my current situation, I don't see the day my current teacher will be hindering my progress. But I feel like it is easier for the teacher to be concious of than it is for the student. At the piano, often, you don't know what you don't know. So you don't know what you have still to learn, what your teacher can teach you, and so on. And I would always be grateful to a teacher that recognize his limits to help me go further in my playing.


My piano journey from day 1
Started piano on February 2016.
Pieces I'm working on :
- Mozart's K545, 1st and 3rd mov
- Tina's theme from FF VI piano collections
- Debussy's Golliwogg's cake walk
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