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Unfocused day-dreamers #2747372
06/27/18 06:29 AM
06/27/18 06:29 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 29
Sydney, Australia
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Slowdown Offline OP
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Hi all,

Just wondering if any of you have any wonderful or unexpected suggestions for helping young students who are unfocused day-dreamers to concentrate better in lessons. I’m talking about students who are around the ages of 5-12. My intuition is that sometimes it’s the most creative students who are the most restless and “absent” during parts of their piano lessons. They love music, enjoy playing their pieces, come to lessons happily, make interesting observations about works they are studying (and life in general) - and it interests me to wonder if I was the same way (somewhat restless and unfocused) as a young piano student myself ...

A couple of examples:
+ I have a 7-year-old who is very bright and musical - a talented improviser. But he finds it almost impossible to sit still even for two minutes in our lessons. Sometimes he will finish a piece and I’ll try to tell him a couple of things he’s doing well and then a couple of things he could improve - and frequently he’ll play as I’m talking, or do something else that makes it obvious he’s not absorbing what I’m saying. If I pull him up, he’ll tell me that he is listening, so I ask him to repeat what I just said and he can’t. It’s all an inefficient waste of time and, when I have to repeat things two or three times, it cuts down what we can cover in lessons by about two-thirds.
+ I have another student, about nine, who is also very intelligent. He’s doing theory work way beyond many of my students who are in their teens. But in lessons he finds it difficult to concentrate. Quite frequently, during a discussion of a piece or musical concept - or even while playing a piece - he will suddenly say something completely unrelated (“we’re having a sleep-over tomorrow”; “it’s my friend Jacky’s birthday this weekend”).
+ Another student comes to mind who is a couple of years older, but another talented daydreamer. His eyes will often dart around the room when I explaining something. And I’ll often revise a new concept at the end of the lesson and he has forgotten the very thing I told him ten minutes earlier.

Obviously part of it is just being so young: time - getting a little older and a little more mature - may ultimately be the only solution.

These are some other things I try:
+ Just telling them. “James, focus!” / “Are you listening to me?” / “Please don’t play while I’m talking - it’s rude!”)
+ I try to mix up the lesson for young students so they are not sitting staring at a page of printed music for too many minutes at a time. For example, doing some written work, tapping the rhythms of a piece on bongo drums, aural drills (allowing them to get up off the piano bench), work with flash-cards, little quizzes, improvisation - and occasional moments of humour and off-topic conversation.
+ Carrots/sticks. (“I’ll give you an extra sticker if you can sit nicely from now to the end of the lesson” / “No more stickers today if you play while I’m talking one more time”)

I don’t think the problem is the repertoire; as I said these students are musical, clever and like their pieces. And as a teacher I think I’m very good at expressing concepts in language understandable for student’s age/level/ability - so I don’t think that I’m speaking “above their heads”.

Any suggestions appreciated.
-Paul


Piano teacher, journalist, AMEB examiner.
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Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: Slowdown] #2747415
06/27/18 08:46 AM
06/27/18 08:46 AM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,119
Virginia, USA
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TimR Offline
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Is it possible for you to talk less?

I notice this drifting off is often related to times when the teacher is talking. If you talk past the time you've lost the student's attention, there's no telling what direction their mind goes. This is SO easy to do, because you want to explain your point thoroughly. But often a bright child picks it up faster than you realize, and you keep explaining away while they want to try it out and play.

It does seem that most of your description relates to times when you are talking, rather than times the child is playing.


gotta go practice
Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: Slowdown] #2747417
06/27/18 08:58 AM
06/27/18 08:58 AM
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Moscow, Russia
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Iaroslav Vasiliev Offline
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Have you tried explaining something in a form of a dialogue? For example, 'James, how do you think it's best to play this phrase? Why? And what if I'll play it like that... What will you say?' Ask more questions to draw their attention and to make them analyze what you say.

Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: TimR] #2747420
06/27/18 09:05 AM
06/27/18 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by TimR
Is it possible for you to talk less?

I notice this drifting off is often related to times when the teacher is talking. If you talk past the time you've lost the student's attention, there's no telling what direction their mind goes.

+1

None of my teachers were much into talking. And they never 'explained' to me what I was doing well. If I played well, they said "Good!" (- no need to tell me which bits were actually 'good') - then immediately got me to play again the section that needed improvement, or needed more work. And so on.

Kids like to be kept physically busy, not listen to monologues.

BTW, the best orchestral conductors are the ones who speak very little, according to my violinist friend who plays in a well-known London orchestra.


"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: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: Slowdown] #2747427
06/27/18 09:28 AM
06/27/18 09:28 AM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 106
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Even though the 9 y/o can do the work of an older teen, that doesn't mean he has the maturity of the older teen. He is still a 9 y/o. Even though he can do it, doesn't mean he will understand it at that level. Do less paperwork and more "real stuff". Get him (them) playing. You can label it later.


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Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: Iaroslav Vasiliev] #2747428
06/27/18 09:40 AM
06/27/18 09:40 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 68
Canada
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I let students know that one of the only rules in my studio is that they must not play while I'm speaking. If they start to play while I'm giving an instruction, then I immediately stop talking and remain silent until I have their attention. Some students require more "training" than others, but I have found this pretty effective.

Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Have you tried explaining something in a form of a dialogue? For example, 'James, how do you think it's best to play this phrase? Why? And what if I'll play it like that... What will you say?' Ask more questions to draw their attention and to make them analyze what you say.

I also like to approach the lesson as more of a dialogue-- guiding the student rather than lecturing. This allows a student to demonstrate their knowledge and keeps them engaged.

Obviously the teacher has to give some instruction/explanation, but I think it's best to keep it short and to the point, especially for younger students.


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Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: Slowdown] #2747432
06/27/18 09:58 AM
06/27/18 09:58 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
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USA
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For kids who know how to read, write brief explanations in their assignment book while they are playing, then have them read the instructions back to you when they're done playing the piece. That keeps them engaged for the whole time--the playing part and the instructional part of each piece.

When you need to offer verbal instructions (for non-readers or in other situations), direct their eyes to where they need to be by saying, for example, "Look at me while I speak," and point to your eyes, or "Look at my hands," and wait for them to look down at your hands, if you're teaching, say, correct hand/finger position.

Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: TimR] #2747441
06/27/18 10:48 AM
06/27/18 10:48 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,762
Orange County, CA
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Originally Posted by TimR
Is it possible for you to talk less?

I notice this drifting off is often related to times when the teacher is talking. If you talk past the time you've lost the student's attention, there's no telling what direction their mind goes. This is SO easy to do, because you want to explain your point thoroughly. But often a bright child picks it up faster than you realize, and you keep explaining away while they want to try it out and play.

It does seem that most of your description relates to times when you are talking, rather than times the child is playing.

Geez, by your expectations, ALL of my students will be daydreaming during lessons.

The less mature the student is, the more talkative the teacher needs to be.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: Slowdown] #2747451
06/27/18 11:07 AM
06/27/18 11:07 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,762
Orange County, CA
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Originally Posted by Slowdown
+ I have a 7-year-old who is very bright and musical - a talented improviser. But he finds it almost impossible to sit still even for two minutes in our lessons. Sometimes he will finish a piece and I’ll try to tell him a couple of things he’s doing well and then a couple of things he could improve - and frequently he’ll play as I’m talking, or do something else that makes it obvious he’s not absorbing what I’m saying. If I pull him up, he’ll tell me that he is listening, so I ask him to repeat what I just said and he can’t. It’s all an inefficient waste of time and, when I have to repeat things two or three times, it cuts down what we can cover in lessons by about two-thirds.

There are several possibilities here:

1) The kid is too young to be having lessons! Wait three years and maybe he'll be ready.

2) Are you being too nice? Kids such as this one like to push boundaries. I don't let them get away with anything. Poor behavior choices almost always come from bad parenting, and there's very little you can do about that. So STOMP on it.

3) The kid has ADD or ADHD or some condition.

Now, when you say the kid is a "talented improviser," what do you mean exactly? The kid can improvise stuff that actually sounds good? If he truly enjoys this, maybe you can use it as an incentive. For example, if he behaves well for the entire lesson, you can let him improvise the last 3 minutes of class.


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Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: Slowdown] #2747462
06/27/18 11:33 AM
06/27/18 11:33 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,212
Canada
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Originally Posted by Slowdown
A couple of examples:
+ I have a 7-year-old who is very bright and musical - a talented improviser. But he finds it almost impossible to sit still even for two minutes in our lessons. Sometimes he will finish a piece and I’ll try to tell him a couple of things he’s doing well and then a couple of things he could improve - and frequently he’ll play as I’m talking, or do something else that makes it obvious he’s not absorbing what I’m saying. If I pull him up, he’ll tell me that he is listening, so I ask him to repeat what I just said and he can’t. It’s all an inefficient waste of time and, when I have to repeat things two or three times, it cuts down what we can cover in lessons by about two-thirds.

For that age you are probably saying too many things for too long. Here is an exaggerated example of what I got in my teacher training years ago:

Teacher: Pick up your pencils. (looks to see that kids have done so).
Teacher: Open your spelling notebooks to the next new page. (looks to see, etc.)
Teacher: Open your speller to page 9. (holds up her own speller to show what page 9 looks like. Helps Myrtle find page 9).
Teacher: Do questions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 - questions 1 to 6. You may start.
(watches to see if anyone is lost).

(As opposed to: "Do questions 1-6 in your spellers, chapter 7. Don't forget to put the date on top, and check your work before handing it in.".)

How many things you can say at the same time increases with the child's age and also experience.

Btw, for piano I'm a mature and motivated adult, but if a music teacher lists several things, I want to write them down. When you're also trying to coordinate physically, work on the music etc., that is a lot to handle at the same time. And I don't think little kids function that way at all.

Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: AZNpiano] #2747469
06/27/18 11:47 AM
06/27/18 11:47 AM
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Virginia, USA
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TimR Offline
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by TimR
Is it possible for you to talk less?

I notice this drifting off is often related to times when the teacher is talking. If you talk past the time you've lost the student's attention, there's no telling what direction their mind goes. This is SO easy to do, because you want to explain your point thoroughly. But often a bright child picks it up faster than you realize, and you keep explaining away while they want to try it out and play.

It does seem that most of your description relates to times when you are talking, rather than times the child is playing.

Geez, by your expectations, ALL of my students will be daydreaming during lessons.

The less mature the student is, the more talkative the teacher needs to be.


I suspect we don't disagree much. I would imagine you are probably much more directive with a less mature student, and you might talk many times more. But I also suspect you make your comments much briefer. Once you've made your point, every additional word dilutes it. The younger the student, the less words I put in a row. (I don't teach piano, but have worked with children.)


gotta go practice
Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: TimR] #2747518
06/27/18 02:14 PM
06/27/18 02:14 PM
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Gary D. Online content
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Originally Posted by TimR
Is it possible for you to talk less?

I notice this drifting off is often related to times when the teacher is talking. If you talk past the time you've lost the student's attention, there's no telling what direction their mind goes. This is SO easy to do, because you want to explain your point thoroughly. But often a bright child picks it up faster than you realize, and you keep explaining away while they want to try it out and play.

It does seem that most of your description relates to times when you are talking, rather than times the child is playing.

TIM GOT IT!!!!!!!!!

That's exactly what the problem is.

You can't even get people to listen at a meal out without taking out their phones, because they get bored. Same thing happens to me.

It's 2018. It's now a very fast world. As teachers we have to use this speed as a plus, not a punishment.


Piano Teacher
Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: keystring] #2747521
06/27/18 02:17 PM
06/27/18 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by TimR
Is it possible for you to talk less?

I notice this drifting off is often related to times when the teacher is talking. If you talk past the time you've lost the student's attention, there's no telling what direction their mind goes. This is SO easy to do, because you want to explain your point thoroughly. But often a bright child picks it up faster than you realize, and you keep explaining away while they want to try it out and play.

It does seem that most of your description relates to times when you are talking, rather than times the child is playing.

TIM GOT IT!!!!!!!!!

That's exactly what the problem is.

You can't even get people to listen at a meal out without taking out their phones, because they get bored. Same thing happens to me.

It's 2018. It's now a very fast world. As teachers we have to use this speed as a plus, not a punishment.
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by Slowdown
A couple of examples:
+ I have a 7-year-old who is very bright and musical - a talented improviser. But he finds it almost impossible to sit still even for two minutes in our lessons. Sometimes he will finish a piece and I’ll try to tell him a couple of things he’s doing well and then a couple of things he could improve - and frequently he’ll play as I’m talking, or do something else that makes it obvious he’s not absorbing what I’m saying. If I pull him up, he’ll tell me that he is listening, so I ask him to repeat what I just said and he can’t. It’s all an inefficient waste of time and, when I have to repeat things two or three times, it cuts down what we can cover in lessons by about two-thirds.

For that age you are probably saying too many things for too long. Here is an exaggerated example of what I got in my teacher training years ago:

Teacher: Pick up your pencils. (looks to see that kids have done so).
Teacher: Open your spelling notebooks to the next new page. (looks to see, etc.)
Teacher: Open your speller to page 9. (holds up her own speller to show what page 9 looks like. Helps Myrtle find page 9).
Teacher: Do questions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 - questions 1 to 6. You may start.
(watches to see if anyone is lost).

(As opposed to: "Do questions 1-6 in your spellers, chapter 7. Don't forget to put the date on top, and check your work before handing it in.".)

How many things you can say at the same time increases with the child's age and also experience.

Btw, for piano I'm a mature and motivated adult, but if a music teacher lists several things, I want to write them down. When you're also trying to coordinate physically, work on the music etc., that is a lot to handle at the same time. And I don't think little kids function that way at all.

That's it. Learn to express more in less time. Get at the important things. Minimum explanation, maximum action.

Even when I play for young students, and I do this frequently, I keep the passages very short. They are impatient to get back to it.

How many people want to hear their friends talk about what they are doing in computer games while they have to sit at the sidelines and watch?


Piano Teacher
Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: TimR] #2747694
06/28/18 02:40 AM
06/28/18 02:40 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,762
Orange County, CA
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Originally Posted by TimR
I suspect we don't disagree much. I would imagine you are probably much more directive with a less mature student, and you might talk many times more. But I also suspect you make your comments much briefer. Once you've made your point, every additional word dilutes it. The younger the student, the less words I put in a row. (I don't teach piano, but have worked with children.)

No, my comments are never brief. Even for the advanced students who work very hard, I could go off on a tangent and unload 50 years of music history on the spot.

Obviously, I have a feel for each individual student and how much they can tolerate my salvo of words. I also use words as a weapon against insouciance. Forceful delivery of the weapon also helps.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: AZNpiano] #2747697
06/28/18 02:53 AM
06/28/18 02:53 AM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 156
England
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by TimR
I suspect we don't disagree much. I would imagine you are probably much more directive with a less mature student, and you might talk many times more. But I also suspect you make your comments much briefer. Once you've made your point, every additional word dilutes it. The younger the student, the less words I put in a row. (I don't teach piano, but have worked with children.)


No, my comments are never brief. Even for the advanced students who work very hard, I could go off on a tangent and unload 50 years of music history on the spot.

Obviously, I have a feel for each individual student and how much they can tolerate my salvo of words. I also use words as a weapon against insouciance. Forceful delivery of the weapon also helps.


Boy am I glad I'm not yr student!!
What you do may make you feel good but goes against the basic rules of teaching anybody anything.
Still,if you're making a living, there you go smile


Last edited by Lillith; 06/28/18 02:54 AM. Reason: typos :(

White Roland FP30
Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: Lillith] #2747698
06/28/18 03:04 AM
06/28/18 03:04 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,762
Orange County, CA
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Originally Posted by Lillith
Boy am I glad I'm not yr student!!
What you do may make you feel good but goes against the basic rules of teaching anybody anything.
Still,if you're making a living, there you go smile

And you based your judgment of my teaching skills on....what....exactly?

And, yes, I'm making a living. What point are you making?


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: AZNpiano] #2747703
06/28/18 03:42 AM
06/28/18 03:42 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,212
Canada
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by TimR
I suspect we don't disagree much. I would imagine you are probably much more directive with a less mature student, and you might talk many times more. But I also suspect you make your comments much briefer. Once you've made your point, every additional word dilutes it. The younger the student, the less words I put in a row. (I don't teach piano, but have worked with children.)

No, my comments are never brief. Even for the advanced students who work very hard, I could go off on a tangent and unload 50 years of music history on the spot.

A major problem in teacher forums is that what a teacher may say in words about teaching may not at all reflect how they actually teach. So I will respond without going in that direction, and just consider what you wrote.

You said that you "can go off on a tangent etc." I'm sure that you can. Anyone with expertise in some area can say many things about what they know. But the question here is what the student can do. Will the student be able to follow what you are saying and hold on to it? Is this lengthy tangent effective, teaching-wise?

But the issue here is a young student,age 7, and a problem the teacher has. At least three people have all said the same thing: young student cannot handle lots of information and lots of words. This is what you seem to be disputing in your response to Tim. But in your argument, you have told us what you can do. We are talking about what the student can do. Are you disagreeing that less words may be more effective for a small child, than fewer words delivered at one time?


Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: keystring] #2747711
06/28/18 04:32 AM
06/28/18 04:32 AM
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Originally Posted by keystring
You said that you "can go off on a tangent etc." I'm sure that you can. Anyone with expertise in some area can say many things about what they know. But the question here is what the student can do. Will the student be able to follow what you are saying and hold on to it? Is this lengthy tangent effective, teaching-wise?

A hardworking advanced student SHOULD be able to take the information and make it useful. I know when to stop.

Originally Posted by keystring
But the issue here is a young student,age 7, and a problem the teacher has. At least three people have all said the same thing: young student cannot handle lots of information and lots of words. This is what you seem to be disputing in your response to Tim. But in your argument, you have told us what you can do. We are talking about what the student can do. Are you disagreeing that less words may be more effective for a small child, than fewer words delivered at one time?

I think I answered that already. Whether you use 80 words or 8 words, if the student doesn't listen to you, no learning is taking place. You have to get the kid to listen first.

I have no idea if the OP will drone on and on using long sentences to a 7-year-old kid. Who made that assumption?


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Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: AZNpiano] #2747726
06/28/18 05:43 AM
06/28/18 05:43 AM
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Posts: 16,212
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I think I answered that already. Whether you use 80 words or 8 words, if the student doesn't listen to you, no learning is taking place. You have to get the kid to listen first.

I think we all agree to getting the child to listen first. However, you seemed to be disagreeing with Tim in his proposal (he was not responding to you at the time) that shorter and less in terms of words is better for a young child for maintaining that assumption.
Quote
I have no idea if the OP will drone on and on using long sentences to a 7-year-old kid. Who made that assumption?

I am sure that none of us wrote about droning on and on. Nor did we make assumptions. We looked at possibilities. In my post on the 27th, I first quoted the part of the OP's post which gave some possible clues. It's still there on the 1st page to read. I gave the example of how I learned to teach young children, in terms of only saying perhaps two things, as opposed to a list which an older child can absorb.

Yes, you have to get the child to listen first. But then also, make it short enough for the young child to be able to continue to follow. That was our point, and it was also Tim's initial point.

Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: Slowdown] #2747874
06/28/18 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Slowdown


A couple of examples:
+ I have a 7-year-old who is very bright and musical - a talented improviser. But he finds it almost impossible to sit still even for two minutes in our lessons. Sometimes he will finish a piece and I’ll try to tell him a couple of things he’s doing well and then a couple of things he could improve - and frequently he’ll play as I’m talking, or do something else that makes it obvious he’s not absorbing what I’m saying. If I pull him up, he’ll tell me that he is listening, so I ask him to repeat what I just said and he can’t. It’s all an inefficient waste of time and, when I have to repeat things two or three times, it cuts down what we can cover in lessons by about two-thirds.


I agree with what has been expressed about too much talking. It is possible that the language you are using is more complex than the kid can easily process. Keep it simple, and use images to support your message. (I'm an adult with a generally competent language system, and my teacher still draws an eye to remind me to look ahead as well as circles and arrows when they might help.)




Originally Posted by Slowdown
I have another student, about nine, who is also very intelligent. He’s doing theory work way beyond many of my students who are in their teens. But in lessons he finds it difficult to concentrate. Quite frequently, during a discussion of a piece or musical concept - or even while playing a piece - he will suddenly say something completely unrelated (“we’re having a sleep-over tomorrow”; “it’s my friend Jacky’s birthday this weekend”).


Everyone has these thoughts. Most adults have learned to filter this stuff before it comes out of our mouths most of the time. Remind the kid of the topic ("Hold that thought for later; we are talking about finger 2 right now.")


Originally Posted by Slowdown
Another student comes to mind who is a couple of years older, but another talented daydreamer. His eyes will often dart around the room when I explaining something. And I’ll often revise a new concept at the end of the lesson and he has forgotten the very thing I told him ten minutes earlier.

For a kid who is "a couple years older" than the nine year old in the previous example, I'd recommend writing notes about each concept you cover. This way you can refer back to it at the end of the lesson and he can refer back to it during the week. I wouldn't worry about his eyes darting around the room.



Originally Posted by Slowdown
These are some other things I try:
+Just telling them. “James, focus!” / “Are you listening to me?” /
+ Carrots/sticks. (“I’ll give you an extra sticker if you can sit nicely from now to the end of the lesson” / “No more stickers today if you play while I’m talking one more time”)


How are these working out for you? If they are not successful, why do you keep doing them?
If it is not working, stop doing it and try something else.

Originally Posted by Slowdown
“Please don’t play while I’m talking - it’s rude!”)

Why is this a request? This should be a rule. "When we play, we do not talk. When we talk, we do not play."


I've been trying to change my signature quote for weeks.

Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: Slowdown] #2747927
06/28/18 09:21 PM
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My suggestion: Keep them playing as much as possible during the lesson and most importantly keep interrupting them when you notice something off with their playing so you can help them fix the problem.

Steve


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Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: keystring] #2747963
06/29/18 01:03 AM
06/29/18 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by keystring
Yes, you have to get the child to listen first. But then also, make it short enough for the young child to be able to continue to follow. That was our point, and it was also Tim's initial point.

My point was never to dispute the fact that children should be instructed in short sentences. I break things down to the bare minimum. Even a short command like "Put right hand 3rd finger on treble E" won't work for some kids. You'd have to make sure the kid knows which hand is the right hand, which finger is the 3rd finger, and which key to press down. Anything can go wrong at any segment.

However, I don't think we have enough information to conclude that's the OP's problem with that specific student.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: Slowdown] #2747980
06/29/18 03:08 AM
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OP could be talking about my 7 yo except we don’t live in Australia and she’s not a boy and she can sit still for a long time.

She loves music and has been composing, improvising, and arranging for years. She also respects and adores her piano teacher but she often assumes she already knows what her teacher has to say so she stops listening.

As it has already been mentioned, Socratic method works better for these kids. Maturity helps too. What has really helped my little one is making her aware of her own shortcomings. So I record her practice sessions and she goes to her lessons knowing what she needs help with and when her teachers point out additional issues, she seems more receptive too. She says until she started listening critically to the recordings, she had no idea her physical playing didn’t match what she heard in her head.

Last edited by littlebirdblue; 06/29/18 03:10 AM.
Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: littlebirdblue] #2748011
06/29/18 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by littlebirdblue
She says until she started listening critically to the recordings, she had no idea her physical playing didn’t match what she heard in her head.


This.
I'm not sure it applies to the thread, but I think it is of vital importance. Our head voice can nearly always drown out our physical voice.


gotta go practice
Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: littlebirdblue] #2748014
06/29/18 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by littlebirdblue

What has really helped my little one is making her aware of her own shortcomings. So I record her practice sessions and she goes to her lessons knowing what she needs help with and when her teachers point out additional issues, she seems more receptive too. She says until she started listening critically to the recordings, she had no idea her physical playing didn’t match what she heard in her head.


Good idea. Recording during lessons is one thing that I do not do much of. I can think of a couple with whom I would like to try that.


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Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: TimR] #2748018
06/29/18 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by littlebirdblue
She says until she started listening critically to the recordings, she had no idea her physical playing didn’t match what she heard in her head.


This.
I'm not sure it applies to the thread, but I think it is of vital importance. Our head voice can nearly always drown out our physical voice.


To me it seems perfectly applicable to the thread. It is much easier for this kid to get the message by listening to the recording than through any verbal explanation.


I've been trying to change my signature quote for weeks.

Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: Slowdown] #2748020
06/29/18 07:36 AM
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Recording? As the old credit card commercial said ‘priceless’. There is a huge discrepancy between what I hear in my head versus what I am actually doing. At first, it was disappointing, But I’ve done it so much now that I recognized it just helps me know what really needs work. Right now, I’m just recording using my cellphone


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Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: littlebirdblue] #2748050
06/29/18 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by littlebirdblue
OP could be talking about my 7 yo except we don’t live in Australia and she’s not a boy and she can sit still for a long time.

She loves music and has been composing, improvising, and arranging for years. She also respects and adores her piano teacher but she often assumes she already knows what her teacher has to say so she stops listening.

Her composition wouldn't happen to be a German language opera, would it? And her name wouldn't be Alma Deutscher, would it? wink

My 25yo is as unprepared for lessons now as she was 20 years ago crazy


across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: Unfocused day-dreamers [Re: dogperson] #2748080
06/29/18 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Recording? As the old credit card commercial said ‘priceless’. There is a huge discrepancy between what I hear in my head versus what I am actually doing.


That is my experience too. One of my goals in recording is to calibrate my ear, so that the discrepancy diminishes. I think it is a learned skill that we pay too little attention to.

I also suspect that one of the characteristics of the prodigy is that they learn that listening skill faster, or maybe even have it innately, and therefore can learn faster.


gotta go practice

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