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#14376 - 04/03/03 10:04 AM Re: 6th grader blahs
MadisonR Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 03/01/03
Posts: 21
Loc: South Carolina
You have no idea how good you all made me feel reading all the threads. I just did not feel "so alone" after reading the problems we all seem to share.
I want to add the problem I am having at the moment. I have a 9 year old girl who goes through at least three different personality changes during a lesson. She, at one point absolutely refused to play what was required in a piece of music. A passage divided between the hands. She devised a way to do it all with her left hand and it sounded horrid!!! I explained that it was incorrect and her response to me was, "I am not doing it the way it is written. I don't want to and I am not doing it. It is stupid." Another time she announced to another student and mother, "I don't practice. I hate it." I have spoken to her mother and I get, "She is going through a very difficult time." Yeh! ! Not to mention moi!

I had another boy who stood up in the middle of his lesson because I said he had to review a piece for the next week and screamed at me, "NO, NO, I WILL NOT DO IT. YOU WON'T MAKE ME. And he kept on screaming at the top of his lungs. I quietly got up. Went and got his mother and said, "Thank you but, No Thank you." Mind you the mother came in and said, "Are you unhappy, Connor? Is something wrong. You know Mommy doesn't like to hear you scream. I asked her to please leave that there was no way I could even deal with this type of behavior. I have never been afraid of any student in my entire teaching career, but I was afraid of that child. His eyes had a coldness that really chilled me. Thank goodness they are gone.

I do agree that around the 5th and 6th grades the children go a tad bit wacky. I also have a girl that played so beautifully it would bring tears to my eyes when she played a finished composition. Now, she brings tears to my eyes for the opposite reason.
I sometimes get so frustrated that I want to throw in the towel and listen to DVD classical music. But, then the next one comes in and something wonderful happens during a lesson and I see sunshine.

Ours is not an easy profession. Thanks for all the wonderful posts. They certainly do help.

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#14377 - 04/03/03 10:15 AM Re: 6th grader blahs
MadisonR Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 03/01/03
Posts: 21
Loc: South Carolina
To NancyK. You are my kind of teacher. Fantastic. I am going to institute your idea. I wonder why I didn't think of that years ago. I probably would have more hair on my head! You get the star of the week award.
Madison \:\)

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#14378 - 04/03/03 07:00 PM Re: 6th grader blahs
Shirley Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 03/02/02
Posts: 309
Loc: Denver, Colorado
I can tell you what becomes of these kids later if they are not brought up sharply - they become the young lady in an intro college course I was teaching who, after an hour exam, came upfront and slammed her test paper down on the table and said, "How am I supposed to finish this test when there wasn't enough time?" and then, after a few curse words, stomped out of the room. I guess I was a bit stunned, but I wouldn't have been had I been aware of these stories you are telling. I still believe there must be a special place in the afterlife for music teachers!

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#14379 - 04/07/03 01:37 PM Re: 6th grader blahs
NancyK Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 03/27/03
Posts: 644
Loc: North Dakota
Thanks for the reponses back to my no practice, no lesson policy. Sounds like some of you do a similar thing already. I begin teaching in about 30 minutes and two of my problem students come today. I'm curious to see how they've done this week and if they come prepared. It occurred to me that one mom in particular likes it the more strict I get with her son. It seems it takes the pressure off of her somehow though I'm not quite sure how, since I am not there in their home to make sure he is doing the necessary work. She doesn't seem to like to give him consequences so leaves some of that up to me. I really don't appreciate that much. I'll just stand by the rules for now and if he doesn't get very many lessons then mom and dad may decide to implement something at home. I'm hoping. I did try to drop this student FORMALLY over a year ago and the mom was very upset that I was "firing" them. For whatever reasons she begged for me to continue with him and I did so under MY RULES which they didn't conform to still, so I now have even more rules. This student is probably my hardest case ever in 20 years. For now he is still coming but if necessary I will drop him with NO MORE chances and no referral to another teacher as I would not want to put another through what I have been through. I would tell them how to go about finding another teacher period.
If any of you have more ideas or for those of you who mentioned you want to try my idea...please share and /or let me know what happens. Thanks!

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#14380 - 04/10/03 08:38 AM Re: 6th grader blahs
dlinder Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 689
Loc: Ohio
Along with the blah's, the attitudes, and the ditzies, let's not forget the discovery of perfume/cologne!!! I had a student this week that I thought I was going to have to pull out my emergency gas mask! \:D

As far as the ditzies, one of my teenage girls was trying to get the pedal on one of her pieces this week. After showing and telling her about 15 times that you play the note first THEN quickly lift up the foot and put it back down, she finally looked up at me and said, "Oh you mean you PLAY the note first?" My mind was throwing out a million smart responses, but I managed to just say, "Exactly!" I'm sure my eyes must have said something altogether different, though! :rolleyes:

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#14381 - 04/10/03 03:43 PM Re: 6th grader blahs
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
The perfume/cologne must have affected her ability to follow directions. ;\)

 Quote:
Originally posted by dlinder:
Along with the blah's, the attitudes, and the ditzies, let's not forget the discovery of perfume/cologne!!! I had a student this week that I thought I was going to have to pull out my emergency gas mask! \:D

As far as the ditzies, one of my teenage girls was trying to get the pedal on one of her pieces this week. After showing and telling her about 15 times that you play the note first THEN quickly lift up the foot and put it back down, she finally looked up at me and said, "Oh you mean you PLAY the note first?" My mind was throwing out a million smart responses, but I managed to just say, "Exactly!" I'm sure my eyes must have said something altogether different, though! :rolleyes:

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#14382 - 04/10/03 06:04 PM Re: 6th grader blahs
NancyK Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 03/27/03
Posts: 644
Loc: North Dakota
dlinder.....your post made me laugh. It made me remember a very similar story with a student of my own. I've told the story a few times and everyone just roars with laughter...maybe you will enjoy.
I had an adult student a couple of years ago for a VERY SHORT time. I could see immediately that I was in for trouble. At her first lesson (and she was a VERY beginner) I was showing her the black and white keys (she knew NOTHING) and had her play a few exercises with/for me using the black key groups of two then three like many of the beginning books do. She had GREAT difficulty doing these! In her book (it was an adult beginner book) the first few pages had some exericses like that and had illustrations to help with the playing. It even stated.."using the BLACK keys...etc." I went over it with her and assigned that exercise for one of her first piano playing experiences. WELL.....the next week she came back and proceeded to show me how she had practiced telling me how difficult it was..she didn't quite get it, she said. I thought to myself, "OK this will be tough if she didn't even get this." I had her go ahead and play the black key exercise BUT she proceeded to play it ON WHITE KEYS in a totally different fashion!! I had no idea why. When she finished, trying to be as patient as I could be, I showed her again what we had done together and how they should be played. I showed her the picture in the book, showing the exercise and I showed her where it WAS WRITTEN (and I had underlined.."using the black keys". She looked at me and in all seriousness said, "OH, you mean when it says play on the black keys I am supposed to play the black keys?" !!!!!!!! I was stunned! I did NOT say to her all I was thinking ..AUGH!!!! But I calmly said.."yes, if it says black keys you should play on the black keys! I demonstrated again and she tried it with MUCH difficulty. This woman was about 45 -50 years old and was a teacher's aid for 1st Grade, working on her teaching credential!!!!
She was hit and miss in attendance for a few weeks, with strange reasons, then stopped all together. It was interesting to say the least.

[ 04-10-2003: Message edited by: NancyK ]

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