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#14080 - 12/13/00 11:31 AM Attitude
Jalapeņo Offline
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Registered: 11/04/00
Posts: 5712
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[ April 14, 2001: Message edited by: Jalapeno ]

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#14081 - 12/13/00 12:15 PM Re: Attitude
allegra Offline
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Registered: 09/13/00
Posts: 326
he incentive program that I use with my students works for me. I think it is because my sticker chart is on the wall so everyone can see how much practicing everyone else is doing. I also have stamps "GOOD WORK A+ BIG IMPROVEMENT NEEDS PRACTICE' THAT i STAMP ON THE PAGE IN THEIR BOOKS. When they have practiced and get an A+ , I think they do it for themselves, but it is a good feeling to have the teacher recognize their effort. I only use the A+ stamp when they play up to performance standards.

Also I try to find something that they are doing right or something thay have improved upon, no matter how small. I comment on this first before I tell them what they are doing wrong. If I can tell they haven't practice I ask them "Have you practiced this/" They say NO and I say "Did you have a busy week?" They usually have a reason, like a special report or family emergency. I say "Well, try to get more practice in this week, and they usually do.

Another thing I do if they have not practiced is turn the lesson into a practice session. Most of them practice the wrong way. They play through the entire piece from beginning to end, then repeat and repeat, without stopping to figure out where the trouble spots are. I show them how to stop and analyze the spot that is tripping them up. Then I make them practice it 10 times slowly. I say "That's kind of boring to do that 10 times, isn't it. But you are playing it so good now." I had a stamp made at the copy store that says PRACTICE 10 TIMES!!!!!!! I stampe this with red ink above passages that need extra practicing.

I find that my attitude influences their attitude. If they are not practicing enough, they will not make much progress, but at least they will make some progress coming to their lesson every week. I focus on this small amount of progress and praise it .
_________________________
Allegra www.gwwms.com/piano2/homepage.htm

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#14082 - 12/13/00 01:10 PM Re: Attitude
Jalapeņo Offline
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Registered: 11/04/00
Posts: 5712
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[ April 14, 2001: Message edited by: Jalapeno ]

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#14083 - 12/13/00 01:45 PM Re: Attitude
Eric Offline
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Registered: 04/04/00
Posts: 2325
Loc: New York, NY
 Quote:
Originally posted by allegra:
Another thing I do if they have not practiced is turn the lesson into a practice session.


allegra, I think that's a terrific strategy.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Jalapeno:
I find that the students who love piano lessons are going to practice regularly and come to the lessons prepared anyway (even without incentives), and that the ones that don't really want to take piano lessons are going to goof off no matter what I do to motivate them.


Jalapeno,

Not necessarily. They might goof off for years; not practicing much at all...and then suddenly have a surge of interest that wasn't there before. Here's the question: How do you keep 'em interested and involved while they're in the "goof off" mode, in hopes that if they stick with it, they might make a positive change? Or is it hopeless; once a goof-off, always a goof-off?

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#14084 - 12/13/00 03:40 PM Re: Attitude
Jalapeņo Offline
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Registered: 11/04/00
Posts: 5712
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[ April 14, 2001: Message edited by: Jalapeno ]

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#14085 - 12/13/00 08:30 PM Re: Attitude
Jason Offline
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Registered: 05/14/00
Posts: 2019
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I mostly reward students by being very pleased when they do well.

I don't use stickers or prizes or anything, but I make it a point to let my students know that I'm VERY HAPPY when they practice hard and come prepared.

Children are much more interested in how an elder feels about them than what an elder gives them.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)


www.pianoped.com

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#14086 - 12/13/00 09:59 PM Re: Attitude
Arlene Steffen Offline
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Registered: 06/20/00
Posts: 2972
Loc: Fresno, CA USA
I try to direct the praise right back at the student's work and what the results of that work were. It doesn't matter if *I* am happy, necessarily. Their goal should not be to make me happy.

Praise needs to be very specific, I think. "Susie, your are such a good girl for practicing so well!" is not the way to go.

However, "Susie, your hard work really paid off! You managed that difficult section so easily this week. Tell me how you practiced it, because it was obviously a very smart way to do it," allows Susie to be proud of her own efforts. It acknowledges her thought process + the time and physical effort invested.

I make it a goal to experience success with the student musically, technically and intellectually at every lesson. It doesn't always happen, but if I set out to do it, it happens more often.

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#14087 - 12/14/00 07:39 AM Re: Attitude
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
Those are very excellent distinctions (imo) that you make there, Arlene. Praising the work or process vs. praising the child is most important since it does not accidentally screw up their self worth by subconsciously giving them the message that they are what they do and are only OK if their accomplishments are perfect.

Along the same thought-line, I make the same distinction when requesting improvement for something. Example: if they do something bad (like poor or non-existent practice) the attention is placed on straightening out the poor practice vs. giving them the message they are a bad person because they did not do it our way.

Achy wheezy Lisa, who's on the computer cuz her back won't allow her to lie down anymore

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#14088 - 12/14/00 08:09 AM Re: Attitude
Jalapeņo Offline
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Registered: 11/04/00
Posts: 5712
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[ April 14, 2001: Message edited by: Jalapeno ]

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#14089 - 12/14/00 11:02 AM Re: Attitude
Eric Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/04/00
Posts: 2325
Loc: New York, NY
 Quote:
Originally posted by Lisa Kalmar:
Praising the work or process vs. praising the child is most important since it does not accidentally screw up their self worth by subconsciously giving them the message that they are what they do and are only OK if their accomplishments are perfect.


Lisa: BRAVO!

The good thing about stickers is that they go on the music. It's clear when they earn the sticker it's for their good work on the piece! I don't see stickers as a "reward" but more as a means of record-keeping, so that both student and teacher can look back and see a clear record of which pieces were mastered on what date.

In terms of the "goof-off"; I have to believe that each and every one of us has the ability to change. I've had overweight friends finally wake up one day and deal with their weight issue. I've had friends who had problems with alcohol for years, finally conquering the problem later in life. I'm just too much of an optimist to believe that a student who is a goof-off will always be that way. As long as I can keep them engaged and interested, I have faith that one day they'll be "ready" for the more serious dedication required.

And if not, well, hopefully they've enjoyed their lessons and will at least take with them positive memories and have a lifelong love of music!

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