Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#14356 - 03/31/03 08:31 PM 6th grader blahs
GeeTee Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 12/26/01
Posts: 391
Loc: Midwest
I've got this 6th grade student who is very talented, a decent practicer, and up to this point really shined in her playing. But since she's hit the beginning hormone stage her playing has become flat. In fact her entire personality (before quite bubbly and positive) has dulled considerably. While her fingers get to the keys just fine, her playing is lackluster. I have to drag the expression out of her. What's funny tho, is 2 yrs. ago she earned my "Musicianship" award at the spring recital for exception musicality and expression in playing.

I'm blaming the age here. All 6ths get a little strange as they try to move out of the kiddie stage and into the cool teen years. Does anyone else see this kind of thing when students get to this age? She's studied with me now since 3rd grade.

Top
#14357 - 04/01/03 06:14 AM Re: 6th grader blahs
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
 Quote:
Originally posted by GeeTee:
All 6ths get a little strange as they try to move out of the kiddie stage and into the cool teen years. Does anyone else see this kind of thing when students get to this age? She's studied with me now since 3rd grade.


Yep. I'm going through that with Piano Kid right now. In many ways, she's maturing nicely \:\) ... but in other ways, she's a pain in the you-know-what. :rolleyes: I survive my children's growing up years by telling myself, "This, too, shall pass." \:\) Hope this helps.

Top
#14358 - 04/01/03 07:24 AM Re: 6th grader blahs
Arlene Steffen Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/20/00
Posts: 2972
Loc: Fresno, CA USA
Oh, brother, do I know what you're talking about! Last year one of my finest students came to her first lesson and by the end of the first five minutes, I knew what most of the year was going to be like. She didn't have the blahs; she had the ditzies. Seems like it happens overnight. This year she's fine. Hormones are such strange things, aren't they?

Wait it out and be encouraging. As Jalapena has said, this, too, shall pass.

Top
#14359 - 04/01/03 07:45 AM Re: 6th grader blahs
GeeTee Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 12/26/01
Posts: 391
Loc: Midwest
And let's add to this the "I don't like this piece" attitude that these early teens decide to begin voicing rather arrogantly. I've always wondered why some students feel so inclined to think that they can dictate what they are or aren't willing to practice/play? Oh, I believe in trying to find music that appeals, but some kids just seem disgruntled with any/everything put before them. I wonder if they do that kind of thing with their school teachers?? And get away with it!! Sometimes I want to just look one of these kids in the face and say "Look Susie, your parents are paying ME for MY expertise in teaching you how to play the piano to the best of your ability using the best available materials. I'm not being paid to appease and satisfy your every liking. Now let me do my job!"

:rolleyes: ;\) :rolleyes: ;\)

Top
#14360 - 04/01/03 08:23 AM Re: 6th grader blahs
Lilla Offline
Star Member

Registered: 10/30/00
Posts: 1573
Loc: Chicago
You might also consider that it's springtime. The kids get kind of distracted and antsy towards the end of the school year. Maybe just a change of pace would help - some easier, fun pieces, or some activity sheets or fun contests. Something to keep their interest.

Top
#14361 - 04/01/03 10:27 AM Re: 6th grader blahs
Susan Offline
Star Member

Registered: 01/03/01
Posts: 2168
Loc: Texas
Sometime I feel so sad that the magical childhood time is gone forever. They become distant and it seems they're not listening to a thing I say. They don't laugh at my jokes, either. They used to think I was a real comic. I feel you can't reach them. Hang in there because it gets better as they grow out of that stage. When they do, they really want to feel the music, and they learn to play with so much more expression. At least this has been my experience over the years. I have a student now who has been with me since she was 4 and she's almost 13 now. We've been going through the same thing as you for about 1 1/2 years. She just kind of blows into the studio and out.

Top
#14362 - 04/01/03 12:01 PM Re: 6th grader blahs
NancyK Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 03/27/03
Posts: 644
Loc: North Dakota
I too have observed the blahs, ditzies and changes in personality in students who started as young children and grew into pre-teens and teenagers. All I can say is....I watched my own 3 children turn into people I did not know or recognize for a few years, but now as young adults they are getting back to themselves. I think 13 -15 is a very strange time. By 17 I see a definite change for the better and now my youngest of three is 19, lives on her own, as do her two older brothers, and they are all pretty normal people now! I have observed all the same thngs in students. I guess it's up to us to remain consistent...for them.

Top
#14363 - 04/01/03 06:24 PM Re: 6th grader blahs
rainy Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 75
Loc: Seattle
There must be something in the air. Just last Tuesday I had it up to my eyeballs with one of my students who mopes and displays a petulant attitude whenever she has to work on ANYTHING at a lesson. Usually I have the student play the piece they were assigned the week before. After listening I give my comments. I try to say positive remarks first. For example, "Susie, you had all your notes correct and your hand position was wonderful." Next I'll point out any problems I see such as timing, fingering, etc. This particular student will pout, slouch and just have a sour expression. If I try to count with or for her, she will totally ignore me and do whatever she wants.
Last week I asked her if she wanted to take lessons. She said she wanted to quit but her mother said she should continue until summer. I told her I'd talk to her mother about discontinuing lessons immediately. I said there was no sense in wasting my time and her mother's money if she wasn't willing to listen to instruction.
If this was an isolated occurence, I wouldn't have thrown in the towel, but this child runs hot and cold. Frankly, I feel like the weight of the world is off my shoulders. I already moved another student into that spot. It's nice to see enthusiasm again.

Top
#14364 - 04/01/03 09:02 PM Re: 6th grader blahs
NancyK Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 03/27/03
Posts: 644
Loc: North Dakota
Those kinds of students can really be SO exasperating..I agree! I recently asked a 7th grade student, who no longer was practicing at all, in fact was starting to show up with NO books, WHY she was taking piano lessons? This was after many other exchanges with her, her brother and her mother, and nothing positive was happening! She answered with, "because I like to play the piano". I said, "Really? No one would ever know!" She asked why I said that and I told her that usually people spend time doing what they enjoy. Those who like to cook, cook. Those who like to read, read! ETC.!! She got a funny look on her face and then said, "Oh, I see what you mean." It must have made some kind of impression on her because suddenly she is practicing again (it's literally been months) and she is bringing ALL her books. I did however, tell her and a few other students the same thing that week.......PRACTICE WHAT IS ASSIGNED, DO ALL WORK, AND BRING ALL MATERIALS OR YOU WILL RECEIVE NO LESSON THAT WEEK! I have stuck by that and there have been times I simply handed the books (if they were brought)back to the student, told them to practice or do their theory, and I went about my merry way doing other things in my studio during their entire lesson time. It has made a big impression on them and their parents. This was all very recent. I had had it with about 4 students so that was my solution since the parents insist they stay in lessons. I don't give a lesson to them if they haven't done their part. Once they get back in the swing of things I may be a little less strict, but not until practice and bringing their books is the norm again NOT the exception. If they don't like it they are free to find another teacher. This same girl asked about being in a certain event she had participated in in the past and I told her, "sorry, sign ups were over a month ago." She was very disappointed but I told her that I never even considerd putting her in this year because she had been doing NOTHING and why would I think she would work to perform for that? Between that and my new rules for her, she has started to get it together again. I'm glad because she does very well when she puts out the effort.

Top
#14365 - 04/02/03 06:25 AM Re: 6th grader blahs
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
I like the "no practice, no lesson" policy. If I decide to keep teaching (I'm still not sure), I'm going to institute that policy. Maybe that will bring some people around. If nothing else, it will make them uncomfortable enough to either shape up or ship out.

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >


Moderator:  Archivist 
Search

Recent Posts
Top Posters (Last 30 Days)
Newest Members
mypianorotebook, Amber_Bagz, 430725, SKaR, adagiok5
2658 Registered Users
Forum Stats
2658 Members
46 Forums
5771 Topics
62996 Posts

Max Online: 1422 @ 10/03/16 05:11 PM