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#14403 - 02/22/03 02:31 PM Re: Practice Sheet
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
 Quote:
Originally posted by tomuch2do:
I don't get rid of students for lack of practice, I get rid of students for bad attitude, parents for not paying, or not following studio policies.

While my kids may not be getting through their levels as fast as others, they are all enjoying learning to play, they are learning to read notes and the parents are pleased.

It's working for me.


I do get rid of students for lack of practice. IMO, it's a big waste of $$ & time to work with students who only practice during weekly lesson time. Usually, the lazy students are the very same ones who are frequently absent & whose parents expect make-up lessons no matter what. :rolleyes: It all adds up to a totally miserable teaching/learning situation. My motto is the same as Lisa's: Why suffer if I don't have to? I teach the students who want to learn badly enough to practice once in a while. The lazy students are free to go somewhere else.

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#14404 - 02/24/03 04:53 AM Re: Practice Sheet
Bontempo Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 353
Loc: Belgium/Portugal
Two questions:

There are kids who DO want to learn badly enough how to play the piano but simply don't have what it takes to voluntarily get up from the computer and step into the piano stool to practice. But they are talented and perform well in class. So do you force them to move elsewhere too?

Second, why is your name displayed as JAPALEŅA instead of JALAPEŅO?????

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#14405 - 02/24/03 06:12 AM Re: Practice Sheet
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
I don't think computers or televisions have much to do with it. We have 2 TVs (I never watch either one, but Dr. Pepper luvs his big-screen TV & it's nice to have a small TV for the kids to watch videos) & a computer. There's not a day goes by that Piano Kid & Little Pepper don't gravitate to the piano (without me asking or telling them to) to sit & play. On weekends, Piano Kid manages to fit in several short practice sessions per day. She's always liked the piano, & I think she always will. It's too early to tell, but Little Pepper seems to be just like her. It takes a lot of nagging to get CD Kid to practice, but she's that way about homework & exercise & other things as well. She's just cut out of a different cloth, & I have to handle her differently. I don't think that getting rid of the TV or the computer, or nagging the kids to practice, is the way to go.

Piano Kid & Little Pepper practice more when I go to the piano & start playing. They luv bumping me off the bench. :rolleyes:

Performance opportunities seem to be what motivate Piano Kid. Dr. Pepper just recently bought a camcorder (it's about time), & Piano Kid wants to do a solo recital of Melody Bober pieces, then send a copy of the tape to MB. \:\) I'm sitting there thinking, "Yeah! After the Melody Bober recital, she can do a Faber recital, then a Timothy Brown recital, then..." ;\) \:D It's very difficult to motivate her to practice during the Spring, (I think all kids are this way; weather warms up & they just wanna be outside) but she usually practices a lot during the Summer, so I think taping recitals may be a nice Summer project for her. It'll keep her busy in LC (a new town where she won't know anybody) until school starts in the Fall.

Regarding my username: I had a little problem with my computer the other day & could not post as "Jalapeņo" (long story I don't wish to repeat in this post), so I reregistered as "Jalapeņa."

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#14406 - 02/24/03 06:34 AM Re: Practice Sheet
Bontempo Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 353
Loc: Belgium/Portugal
Allow me to disagree? I DO think computers and TV sets and all the works have a lot to do with it. That's what kids start getting used to in their early years.
Sometimes you want to go to the piano but you just can't stick out from the other things you're doing.... I also feel, as you, that nagging is surely not the way to go.

These kids just need a different type of stimulus to really learn how to find time to practice. And practice sheets, for example, are one of the easier stimulus. Not talking about rewards because, really, practicing is the DUTY of the student. If s/he accomplishes the duty well then rewarding can be an interesting issue.

But there ARE those talented kids who need the stimulus. Either because they're "lazy" (if you want to call it that way) or because they do everything so easily that they actually don't learn to put their effort in. Just my opinion.

About the username:
I was just confused, it could be that someone else was trying to impersonate you and THAT we could not allow! Besides, you're one of a kind. \:D \:D

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#14407 - 02/24/03 06:49 AM Re: Practice Sheet
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
I think PARENTAL INTEREST is the key. Some folks have such screwed up schedules &/or lives, & piano takes a back seat. It's hardly fair to expect a child to take an interest in something that the parents aren't interested in. A few years ago, I gave piano lessons to a little 7-year-old girl who never practiced & who didn't make it to piano lessons unless her mom (an LISD school principal) was in town; if her mom was on a business trip, the father was supposed to bring her to lessons, but most of the time he "forgot." After the first few weeks, when I saw that this girl was not coming to lessons prepared, I approached the mother about whether or not she was practicing at home. The mother's answer was, "I guess she is. I don't know. We're not home to see to it that she practices." :rolleyes: For 11 months I worked & worked to try to motivate this girl to practice, but to no avail. When I finally terminated her lessons, her mother said, "Well, you tried. We've enrolled her in many different after-school activities, but she doesn't seem to be interested in any of them." Poor kid! \:\( She was an overscheduled child who needed less after-school activities & more parental involvement.

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#14408 - 02/24/03 08:56 AM Re: Practice Sheet
Musica Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 02/27/01
Posts: 259
Loc: Montreal, Qc, Canada
This topic is in perfect timing. I had two parents this past telling their boys that if they spent as much time on the piano as they do playing video games then they'd know their pieces. My thoughts were "why are you not putting a time limit on video games" but those were my thoughts. I agree and don't agree, I think parents should allow their children on the tv, on the computer, and on video games however I'm a big believer on limited time. My son 5 does watch tv, and does play on the computer (no video games, hopefully never, but not yet anyway) however he has limited time. When his time is up and yell out "time up" he moand and grunts but too bad. I have not started lessons with him yet but I can see myself nagging him to practice.

I hate the question how much does my child have to practice. How many time should he be playing his song? My response is that the quality of practicing is better than the quantity. I explained that I'd rather have the child come to lessons with half the piece learnt close to perfection than playing a whole piece with mistakes everywhere. However a time limit seems to be needed to satisfy parents. So I give them a time limit, but I also tell them that they should spot check their child to be sure they are practicing what is given not flipping through the book or playing pieces they learnt two years ago.

As for assignment sheets I use the one from Wendy's piano studio, just because I haven't had the time to make one up yet. Wendy's Piano page

Most students don't record their practice time nor do they read my practice suggestions. C'est la vie! :rolleyes: Frustrating as it may be.

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#14409 - 02/24/03 09:50 AM Re: Practice Sheet
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
When I was growing up, there were folks at my church who were against TV. My parents' response was always the same: "Be selective about what you watch, set a time limit on how much you watch it, & turn it off when your time limit is up. It has an OFF button." And that's exactly what they did with me. I was permitted to watch TV, but only certain programs, & only for a certain length of time. After that, it was OFF." I do the same with my children. Of course, my parents were home to monitor what I did with my time, & I'm home to monitor what my children do with their time.

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#14410 - 05/31/03 11:41 AM Re: Practice Sheet
GeeTee Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 12/26/01
Posts: 391
Loc: Midwest
I am in the process of revamping my practice/assignment sheets, and after reading the Practice Revolution book, I'm considering adding something other than a practice log for recording practice times. That something is actually a set of statements, one of which is to be checked by the student prior to the lesson. Here are the statements. I'd like to know what you think...I'm looking for more accountablitly on the student's part beyond just recording times. (Most of my students are in Jr/Sr. high too).

1. I have worked hard, accomplished the goals of my assignment, and am prepared for my lesson.

2. I have worked hard but have not accomplished all of my assignment goals; I will need more time on some parts of my assignment.

3. I have not worked as hard as I could have and am not adequately prepared for my lesson.

4. I was not able to practice much this week and expect to repeat my assignment.

Comments??

[ 05-31-2003: Message edited by: GeeTee ]

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#14411 - 05/31/03 03:03 PM Re: Practice Sheet
NancyK Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 03/27/03
Posts: 644
Loc: North Dakota
Hi, this thread has been very intereting to read today. I have been thinking about a new practice record for my students. Come Sept. with all the other new things I am doing I am also going back to using assignment binders that I put together myself with 5 sections, one of which is where I write the assignment. As far as the student recording what they've done I've had the experiences that all of you have shared to one degree or another. Mostly nobody records anything! I'm thinking about all that was shared here but I have to say I agree with Piano Lady!!! I got sick to death of coming up with gimmicks to motivate students. I quit all of it some time ago. I hate all that cutesy stuff and I find it takes precious lesson time to worry about all those stickers and charts!!!!!! AUGH! Needing to spoon feed a student makes me crazy. I do use a few stickers and I do make sure those who are doing their job get recognition. My recital is tomorrow and one student, who I wrote about before, suddenly made a 180 degree turn around after our last discussion concerning her. Something finally clicked with her after a year. She's excited again and practicing and progressing. She is ON HER OWN marking in her assignment book, how many days she is practicing and though she doesn't write down minutes, she has shared with me. She does not know it but tomorrow she is being given a MOST IMPROVED award! Her practice and recording of it will be mentioned. I have others who do practice well, but they never mark their books so I never know when and how often they are practicing. I have found with kids, all kids, that when you reward them unexpectedly, especially publically, and do it sincerely it goes a long way! Much further than nagging the others. I have chosen to ignore them sort of, and give all the attention and praise to those who deserve it. Instead of telling them "if you do this you get that" I just do it undiscussed. Which means they did it without any bribery! If they did it on their own because they were asked to or know they need to then that holds a LOT more weight with me. If they do it for a sticker or some other "prize" well yes they did it BUT.....that doesn't teach the same priciple. Anyway....even feeling this way, I am going to incorporate a few incentives again this summer and next year so those who need spoon fed will stop whining! Including a few parents! BUT....there will be no big deal over it, just the carrying out of it, with certain "rewards" and it will be made known to others through charts or the newsletter I will be sending quarterly. MAYBE when the slackers see that others are doing things,getting ahead and being rewarded for it they'll jump on board a bit. But I will NOT be announcing.."You do this,you get that". Some won't care anyway. But when some shine or are being praised then others may decide they want that too! Today's world seems quite different from when I was a child (I am 46) or even when my children were growing up (ages 24, 21 and 19 now). I just get crazy over all the TV, movies, spoonfeeding, spoiling and rewards everyone expects or "needs". It is not a good thing in my opinion. Someone doing well because they have chosen to and have done a good job and then being recognized for it is one thing... but giving rewards for every little thing, and for nothing except so they can have an award too just gets to me BIG TIME.
Thanks for letting me spout off.

[ 05-31-2003: Message edited by: NancyK ]

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#14412 - 05/31/03 03:12 PM Re: Practice Sheet
NancyK Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 03/27/03
Posts: 644
Loc: North Dakota
My Dad taught me moderation in everything. So Yeah....turn the TV off and turn the computer off when time is up. And as for the parents who sometimes are after me about reward charts and prizes etc. They can do all that in their own homes!!!! Why don't they set up those things regarding practice if they want it so badly? Like I wrote above...I will try my way.

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