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Re: What is the most frustrating thing about being a piano teach [Re: Iaroslav Vasiliev] #2749654
07/06/18 04:28 AM
07/06/18 04:28 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,985
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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AZNpiano  Offline
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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
And it's something that I personally noticed, too. Very talented kids are sometimes born and grown up by mothers who dreamed of music but lacked musical abilities.

The connection is tenuous at best. I've taught many talented students, and if I were to map their parents' musical abilities, it would be completely random.

Meanwhile, for the Unteachables that I somehow continue to teach (for $$$), I really don't care if their kids become famous pianists. That's the least of my concerns as I continue to scream "F-SHARP!" that falls on deaf ears.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
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Re: What is the most frustrating thing about being a piano teach [Re: pavane1] #2749740
07/06/18 11:32 AM
07/06/18 11:32 AM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 106
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NMKeys Offline
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I don't think it has anything to do with the mom's possession or lack of talent. I think it is more organization and structure. Kid's with potential can fail because of lack of practice. Some with no "natural talent" succeed because of sweatwork.

I think the mother in the above story saw what was missing in her education and supplied it for her daughter.


Private Piano Instructor M.M.
Re: What is the most frustrating thing about being a piano teach [Re: TimR] #2749784
07/06/18 02:16 PM
07/06/18 02:16 PM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 166
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pavane1 Offline OP
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I wrote a post on my parent's blog about that. I had a clever student that would just hit that record himself and hit the playback button.

His sister finally told on him.
http://pianoparents.net/10-ways-to-tell-when-your-child-is-not-really-practicing-the-piano-2/

Last edited by pavane1; 07/06/18 02:17 PM.

Doreen Hall
www.palomapiano.com
Re: What is the most frustrating thing about being a piano teach [Re: pavane1] #2758938
08/16/18 02:17 PM
08/16/18 02:17 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 252
USA
missbelle Offline
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I had a realization this summer-
taking time to sort through the myriad of books I have collected at yard sales and estate sales and teacher discount music stores-
I have SO much music, and worksheets, and curriculum!

BUT-
my "best" students are not getting the "fun" pages, and all the worksheets, and I sat down to wonder why.

Well, because most of the pages I kept collecting were "new ways to teach note values, naming notes, theory pages with coloring, etc..." pages to make it FUN, plus, find some way to reach the child when at home. Parents that are clueless, I tell them, if you see a tabbed and dated this week page not done, that means child needs to do it. Even if you can't tell a scale from a chord, you can LOOK and SEE if a page is written on.

MEANWHILE-
My "good" students do not need car races for naming notes, or color match fun pages for counting rests, BECAUSE THEY ALREADY UNDERSTAND AND INTEGRATE THE CONCEPTS AS THEY CONSISTENTLY WORK AND PRACTICE.

see, once a child knows basic algebra, they do not need to keep on having homework on simple addition.

see, once a child knows the basics of reading music, they do not need to keep on having primer level homework.

They have learned and moved on.

Once you are up to chapter books, you do not look at the kinder primer wax paper books. Your appetite has grown, and you are ready for discussing plot development, relationships, foreshadowing, etc...

Same for music.

Once you are up to reading music and vocab, you do not need to look at the individual notes and name them, or need the cute pictures to remember "f" for forte. Your appetite has grown and you are ready to discuss themes and variations, changing dynamics and expression, music history and styles, sight reading, composing, applying what you have learned, etc...

My "older" students are benefitting from my music collection- one is working on various National Anthems and with mom is doing a home school study of nations. Another loves hymns. Another has found his heart in jazz and blues. One girl is all things Disney.

My perpetual beginners sometimes do not even realize that they are getting the Same Lesson Over And Over And Over And Over because it is presented differently each time.

So, I keep collecting "new" ways to present "old" lessons, hoping to find the magic to get a child to practice.

(And, if they ever transfer away from me, the new teacher can see how much I worked. And that I wish them the BEST of luck, because they will not have a "Transfer Wreck" but a child belonging to the Family called "Unteachable" under the Genus of "Music Babysitter/Fits the Schedule.")




Last edited by missbelle; 08/16/18 02:19 PM.

Learning as I teach.
Re: What is the most frustrating thing about being a piano teach [Re: missbelle] #2760057
08/21/18 10:55 AM
08/21/18 10:55 AM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 65
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mostlystrings Offline
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Originally Posted by missbelle
My perpetual beginners sometimes do not even realize that they are getting the Same Lesson Over And Over And Over And Over because it is presented differently each time.

So, I keep collecting "new" ways to present "old" lessons, hoping to find the magic to get a child to practice.

I would present the "same lesson" in a "new way" if the student's understanding is faulty. If the student could do something in today's lesson, but can't do it in next week's lesson, that is different from if the student couldn't do it today at all. In the first case, a new way may or may not help (again, student could get it in the lesson, then not reinforce with practicing, and come back with it forgotten). For the latter, it's on me to try a different way or an easier step or something.

Re: What is the most frustrating thing about being a piano teach [Re: missbelle] #2760284
08/22/18 11:55 AM
08/22/18 11:55 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,985
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
7000 Post Club Member
AZNpiano  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,985
Orange County, CA
Originally Posted by missbelle
My perpetual beginners sometimes do not even realize that they are getting the Same Lesson Over And Over And Over And Over because it is presented differently each time.

So, I keep collecting "new" ways to present "old" lessons, hoping to find the magic to get a child to practice.

I don't do that. Why work so hard?

I work harder when lessons actually go somewhere, and the student is making great efforts at improving.

There is a difference between lazy students and "below average" students. Some students are both lazy and below average. The latter can enjoy the same presentation of information over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. If nothing sticks, oh well.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: What is the most frustrating thing about being a piano teach [Re: pavane1] #2760588
08/23/18 05:29 PM
08/23/18 05:29 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,924
USA
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chasingrainbows Offline
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USA
One of my below average kids has been taking lessons for 4 years with me. She has spent the last 3 weeks on a simple 4 measure piece in her Level 1 Dozen a Day book. I've taught her numerous ways to practice this simple piece, but she's lost b/c she actually has to move finger 5 from bass C to b (for a V7 chord). For the first time, I thought, maybe I should throw in the towel on this exercise. To add to the frustration, her mom wants her to "play harder music." Seriously? she practices 2 or 3 times a week at most. For 4 years, i've talked to the mom about her need for more practice. IMO, it all boils down to going home that day, after the lesson while the child may still REMEMBER what we've worked on, and going through the assignment, and practicing a minimum of 4 days a week. Of course, I've explained repeatedly what "Practice" actually entails.

Miss Belle, you go above and beyond. I'm afraid that I have less enthusiasm to put that much effort into students who just can't find enough interest to break away from sleep overs and video games to play the piano. Or students who forget or lose their music, or who are watching the clock while I am trying to share information with them.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
Re: What is the most frustrating thing about being a piano teach [Re: chasingrainbows] #2760634
08/24/18 12:12 AM
08/24/18 12:12 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,985
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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AZNpiano  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,985
Orange County, CA
Originally Posted by chasingrainbows
One of my below average kids has been taking lessons for 4 years with me. She has spent the last 3 weeks on a simple 4 measure piece in her Level 1 Dozen a Day book. I've taught her numerous ways to practice this simple piece, but she's lost b/c she actually has to move finger 5 from bass C to b (for a V7 chord). For the first time, I thought, maybe I should throw in the towel on this exercise. To add to the frustration, her mom wants her to "play harder music." Seriously? she practices 2 or 3 times a week at most.

I reserve A Dozen a Day for the worst of the worst students. But even the worst of the worst students won't spend three weeks on those 4-bar exercises, unless there's something seriously wrong with their brain.

If it's pure laziness (which is possible) then by all means spend the next five months on the same exercise.

Some parents think their kids are geniuses when in fact they are dull and far below average. Some parents' intelligence is far below average.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: What is the most frustrating thing about being a piano teach [Re: pavane1] #2760789
08/24/18 06:42 PM
08/24/18 06:42 PM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 498
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Originally Posted by pavane1
I wrote a post on my parent's blog about that. I had a clever student that would just hit that record himself and hit the playback button.

His sister finally told on him.
http://pianoparents.net/10-ways-to-tell-when-your-child-is-not-really-practicing-the-piano-2/


I don’t think it’s genius at all and it strikes a very sour chord with me. My mother-in-law thought it would be really funny to send my son a comic that showed a kid recording himself playing piano and the mom in the other room thought the child was practicing well. My son tried that a week later for about 10 minutes before I caught him.


Yamaha G2
Re: What is the most frustrating thing about being a piano teach [Re: pavane1] #2761964
08/30/18 11:53 AM
08/30/18 11:53 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 252
USA
missbelle Offline
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missbelle  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 252
USA
New school year-
new crop of students-

child can play a bit, came in with ONLY a lesson book and a fun book. No Theory, no Technique/Artistry. Fair bit of rote memory work and diddling around by ear.
Dad seemed a bit put off when I suggested buying more and specific books, but hey, they are already paying private school tuition and for private lessons.

They have a hand-me-down grand.
Since they just moved, dad asked when to get a piano tuner. And, the cost.
But,
since they are moving again in one year, he then told me that he was not going to pay to have it tuned, just to need to have it tuned again.
So why ask? frown

Next was a "transfer wreck" with the stiffest hands I have seen! Like, Frankenstein's Monster! Worked on "holding a bubble" and Karate Kid's "paint the fence" and "rainbow arcs" to loosen the wrist. We finally got something a bit softer than FORTE and mom realized playing banging fast and furious and skipping over rests was NOT good playing.

Did DODGE one potential difficulty-
mom had signed for lessons through the school coordinator (basically, my boss) but was waiting to confirm because of American football practice. Child is 2nd grade. Mom's email is "TeamLastname" and Dad's email is from an expensive luxury car dealership. Go sports! Go dropping name brands and status!
Mom finally wrote back that dad had just signed up child for golf lessons without her knowledge so no time for piano.
Poor kid.

Other lessons went quite well. I think this will be a good year. My "regulars" are as expected, and one has happily been teaching her little brother. He has been chomping at the bit to begin piano! His sister has composed her own music twice now for recitals. 3hearts


Learning as I teach.
Re: What is the most frustrating thing about being a piano teach [Re: pavane1] #2788424
12/06/18 03:23 PM
12/06/18 03:23 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3,824
Tyrone Slothrop Offline
Tyrone Slothrop  Offline


Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3,824
Just mentioning a discussion over here, which might interest some here.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
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