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#22623 - 11/15/04 12:48 PM speaking of humour...
Christina Offline
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Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 402
Loc: Canada
x-stitches post about humour at lessons reminded me of a little story I'd like to share, and seeing as how we're just over a month away from Christmas, now seems like the perfect time...

When I was around 18 or 19, I was still living at home with my parents, and I had an absolute sweetheart of a student who was around 8 years old. She was definitely my favourite and always made me laugh. It was a couple of weeks before Christmas and so I asked her if Santa was coming to her house. She kind of looked at me sideways, and asked me if I still believed in Santa. Well, not quite knowing if she was at "the age" or not, or was just testing to see what I'd say, I replied "of course I still believe in Santa." She didn't say anything for a few moments, and then she burst out laughing and said "I think you'd better have a talk with your parents!"

It's very hard to keep a straight face sometimes!!!

any other words of wisdom from students? they teach us a lot as well, don't they???
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"Laughter is the shortest distance between two friends" - Victor Borge

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#22624 - 11/16/04 05:33 AM Re: speaking of humour...
miss beth Offline
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Registered: 09/15/01
Posts: 135
Loc: North Carolina
Me: "Do you know what a tie is?"
da da dum . . .
Student: "The thing men wear." \:\)

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#22625 - 11/16/04 05:39 AM Re: speaking of humour...
miss beth Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 09/15/01
Posts: 135
Loc: North Carolina
An adult student was working on a piece hands separately. As she finished playing the right hand, I asked "What about the left?"
She said: "What about it?!"
That still makes me laugh. \:\)

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#22626 - 11/16/04 06:47 AM Re: speaking of humour...
Susan Offline
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Registered: 01/03/01
Posts: 2168
Loc: Texas
On student asked me how to start. I said put your thumb on C. So he took his thumb and carefully placed it over the C printed in the music.

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#22627 - 11/16/04 06:54 AM Re: speaking of humour...
Susan Offline
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Registered: 01/03/01
Posts: 2168
Loc: Texas
A brand new student looked at me and asked how long is piano season. I was confused and asked him what he meant. He said soccer season was in the spring, football was in the fall, and he wanted to know how many months he would have to do this before piano season was over.
I thought that was funny enough, but when I told him there was no piano season, he blurted out in a very painful voice, "well, how do you quit, then?"
I very kindly told him that his mother would talk to me about it.
Then he looked at me with pity in his eyes and said, "that sounds kind of rude."

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#22628 - 11/16/04 07:38 AM Re: speaking of humour...
pianoannie Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/20/01
Posts: 946
Loc: midwest USA
I was discussing the function and action of the 3 pedals on my piano to an 8 y.o. boy who had been my student for a year or so. I was explaining how the left and middle pedals on my piano work different than his at home since mine is a grand piano. He became absolutely awestruck as he said (very dramatically) "You mean THIS....is a...GRAND.... PIANO?!?!?"
To which I replied "Why yes it is."
The boy was near shock as he said, "You mean I'VE been playing on a GRAND piano here all this time?!?! Why didn't you ever tell me?!?"

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#22629 - 11/16/04 05:32 PM Re: speaking of humour...
miss beth Offline
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Registered: 09/15/01
Posts: 135
Loc: North Carolina
Thanks for the chuckles everyone. Here is mine from today:
Me: "Play this song in your lesson book."
Student, disgruntledly: "OK. Here I go. Playing the TORTURE SONG!"

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#22630 - 11/16/04 06:24 PM Re: speaking of humour...
Carole Offline
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Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 2229
Loc: southern California
You know, I had never thought of this when I start young beginners, but some evidently do not see the name of each PA book up in the corner (lesson, theory, etc). When I write the assignments in their notebooks, they are unsure when I say "lesson" or any other. I had never thought of that before. One parent wrote in big red letters the name of each book. Good idea (but not exactly funny \:\) ).

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#22631 - 11/17/04 06:20 AM Re: speaking of humour...
miss beth Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 09/15/01
Posts: 135
Loc: North Carolina
Carole -- I had never thought of that either. Maybe it would be a good idea to mark each book with a large symbol or if each book were a different color . . . .

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#22632 - 11/17/04 07:20 AM Re: speaking of humour...
shannonspiano Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 694
Loc: WI
I had a student a few years ago who told me she couldn't practice that week because she had lost her piano. She was just starting and working on a cheap keyboard. She did find it the next week under her bed.
Or another family who just couldn't practice because their piano wasn't plugged in. a better quality digital. And i'm thinking.... you're in 1st grade I'm sure you can plug it in. Later I learned it was nowhere near the outlet as they were in the process of remodeling, and it actually needed an extension cord.
Or another digital excuse for not practicing all summer.. the keys wouldn't work. I can play them but no sound comes out. It took mom 2 months to call and get that fixed. Just imagine how long they wouldn't have practiced if I didn't require a few lessons during the summer.
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#22633 - 11/17/04 08:42 AM Re: speaking of humour...
Carole Offline
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Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 2229
Loc: southern California
Shannon, I have had that same scenerio with keyboards. The parents wouldn't get it fixed and wouldn't and wouldn't.....You'd think they would knowing they are spending money on lessons (or at least find something else). However, haven't we all had inquirers asking about piano lessons with no piano (of any kind)at home? They seem to have the idea that you don't practice between lessons???

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#22634 - 11/17/04 11:18 AM Re: speaking of humour...
shannonspiano Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 694
Loc: WI
It works well to ask where they will be practicing as there is no piano at home. I don't mind the students' STARTING on cheap keyboards... but they do have to have more than 61 keys. This gets them right away from wally world.. as most of those only have 61 keys. I suggest that the family keep an eye in the paper for an instrument that is less costly, Or renting.. You'd think that if you want a child to learn to play that child should have something to play on at home.
The joys of digital.. I have yet to have a student loose their piano when it's an old upright. And the whole keyboard won't break at the same time. unless there's a fire...
It can be fun to burn an old piano. The strings make a great place to burn hotdogs. Of course I won't suggest doing this to anything but those old pianos often found at church camps.
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#22635 - 11/17/04 04:06 PM Re: speaking of humour...
ChristyA Offline
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Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 270
Loc: Midwest
 Quote:
It can be fun to burn an old piano. .[/B]



My dh used to be a piano technician, and he told me that he'd heard of piano technician's conferences, or some kind of get-together, where they have fun destroying an old piano. I'm sure that must be fun after a frustrating time tuning one of those ancient uprights.

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#22636 - 11/17/04 04:12 PM Re: speaking of humour...
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
This thread is cracking me up. Keep the stories comin'! \:D

Does anyone remember the TV show Northern Exposure when they catapulted the old piano as part of a town activity? That was an all time favorite for us! \:D

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#22637 - 11/17/04 04:36 PM Re: speaking of humour...
PFVTeach Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 09/17/04
Posts: 481
Loc: USA
HA HA HA :0)

I can think of a piano I used one summer at a camp that I would have liked to of catapulted away! Oh it was horrid- you would play the keys and they would either stick or the top ivory would fall off. At one point the soft pedal fell off. Thank God the camp let me go piano shopping before the kids arrived to replace it with something better.

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#22638 - 11/17/04 06:53 PM Re: speaking of humour...
alidoremi Offline
Star Member

Registered: 03/11/02
Posts: 2120
Loc: California
One of my piano classes is a group of K-1st grade little girls. Since I use Yamaha digital pianos in my studio set-up (DGX-500's), I'm able to have the students play using a variety of sounds (like clarinet, strings, electric piano, harpsichord, trumpet, etc... At this week's lesson I introduced a Thanksgiving song I'd written many years ago called "Gobble, Gobble".

So I asked, "What kind of animal makes a 'gobble gobble' sound?"

They replied "A turkey!"

I then began to peruse in my head the different sounds on the digital piano that most closely resemble a turkey (I thought an 'oboe' would be great). So I said, "Mmmm... I wonder what sound would be good for a turkey..."

To which four girls replied in unison, "Gobble, gobble!" \:\)

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#22639 - 11/18/04 11:48 AM Re: speaking of humour...
Jennifer Online   content
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Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 1403
Loc: AZ
Your stories of burning and dropping old piano's reminded me of a musical I saw last weekend. We went and saw Singin' in the Rain. One part he was standing and dancing right on top of the keys of the piano! (Yes, it was old...) But you should have seen me cringe.
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#22640 - 11/18/04 03:53 PM Re: speaking of humour...
Carole Offline
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Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 2229
Loc: southern California
I do the same! I can't stand to see any piano-new or old-being trampled on, laid on, sat on, used as a catch-all for fancy flowers or just junk or similarly abused. But that is another topic.

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#22641 - 11/19/04 05:22 AM Re: speaking of humour...
jane 2 Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 53
Loc: Holland, Michigan
This won't have you rolling in the aisles, but it made my family and me smile. Michael is 5 years old and the son of a philosopher. We were doing flashcards. Because it was a beautiful fall day with a nice warm breeze, we sat on the floor by the dining room door in my central city house. Michael said, "It sounds like a fox is rustling in the bushes." I said, "Well, I hear that sound, but I don't think there is a fox out there!" His reply: "I didn't say it WAS a fox. I said it SOUNDED like a fox." \:\) (We laughed together, but I still wasn't positive if he was just being poetic or worrying about a fox, so I assured him that if a fox came up on my porch, we would shut the door very fast!)

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#22642 - 11/19/04 08:50 AM Re: speaking of humour...
NancyK Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 03/27/03
Posts: 644
Loc: North Dakota
In reading I've had several stories come to mind. A few years ago, when a student I have was bit younger, I was asking him to locate
all the C's, G's etc. across the keyboard of the piano. I asked him to locate all the A's and he hesitated then lowered his head to the keyboard and started smelling the keys or so it appeared. I said, "Logan, I asked you to find all the A's for me please. I thought he was goofing off, you know. He said, "I AM, I am sniffing it out!"
Once I had an adult student who I KNEW was going to be tough. The first week I sent her home with some very basic beginner work and explained thoroughly what to do, how to practice etc. In fact we went over all that she was to practice...including hands on with me before she took it home. She was using an adult book and the first lessons were having the student play on black keys. She came back the very next week and proceeded to play somethng TOTALLY different than what we had practiced together or what was on the page. I let her finish and then tried very tactfully to point out her errors. She then said to me with total amazement...."You mean when it says to play on the black keys, I'm supposed to play the black keys?" AUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can laugh now but that day I thought OH MY GOSH! THIS SHOULD BE FUN! She lasted a few weeks.
I have a little Down's Syndrome student and earlier on in her piano carreer she explained to me that the staff was the grapevine and the notes were the grapes! She was very adamant about it! She has said many things that have had both her mother and me wanting to die with laughter. She is very funny and a fun student!
Well...I have two funny stories about my own playing...things that have happened in a performance setting. One year, at Easter, it was decided that the piano would be taken outside and we'd have an early sunrise service on the grounds. It was wheeled onto a sidewalk just outside the door. I was playing (and freezing) when the piano ROLLED AWAY FROM ME headed down the sidewalk!!! It didn't go too far and I just quickly scooted my bench up a foot or two, to catch up to it and came back in best I could and kept going. AUGH!!!!!!!!!! Another pianist in the church who observed the whole thing just roared with laughter..glad it wasn't her. Another time I was playing for a school Christmas program and during the musical a blower came on above me and blew my music off the piano. It landed behind me in a row of people. I tied to keep playing and to this day have no idea what I played but someone kindly picked it up and placed it on the piano for me but when I looked it was upside down! I quickly turned it and tried to find where the director and kids were. Later the director told me that she had NO IDEA any of that had happened. I can only say that at times like that God steps in and plays the music for us until we get it back together. Since then I have always had my music securely in a binder. I NEVER ever go to an outdoor gig on solo piano or with our band without clothes pins or some such easy clip. A breeze will get you everytime!
One last story...a friend recently told me that a student wasn't practicing and when she inquired again about his lack of practice he told her that he couldn't find his keyboard. It was lost! He had no idea where it went and I guess the parents didn't tell him. The hunch is that the older brother sold it in Mexico! The family had gone there. WHATEVER! Think of the book we could write if we put all of our stories together.
Have a nice day!

[ 11-19-2004: Message edited by: NancyK ]

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#22643 - 11/19/04 09:10 AM Re: speaking of humour...
Carole Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 2229
Loc: southern California
Thanks for all these funnies! Made my day. \:\)

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#22644 - 11/19/04 09:29 AM Re: speaking of humour...
xstitch4me Offline
Star Member

Registered: 08/15/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Idaho
Speaking of playing outdoors.....we poor piano players have to deal with so much crap that nobody else has an idea about...I volunteered to play for a middle school choir teacher (who could NOT play the piano at all - go figure teaching choir) anyway, one of the performances was outdoors at the community bandstand....they drug out the keyboard.....yes keyboard....with a tiny stool.....no music stand so I frantically ran around trying to find the director who really couldn't give a rat's you know what about my problem.....I found a music stand behind a tree for some other group, grabbed it and put it in front of the keyboard - which was a little too far away for my liking...anyway I did my best....well in the song "Feliz Navidad"....the director did NOT follow the music and while I was playing I noticed the group was nowhere near where I was with the music.....don't you just die????? I kept playing something...probably the same rhythm as the rest of the song and finally found where she had them....and finished the rest of the song. Well, to anyone in the audience who might have known music - I looked stupid even though it was her fault. I was ready to get out of there when we were done....and on my way out I ran into the director and she says "Be sure to be back in 15 minutes for the second half"....ugh...no communication whatsoever and it was all I could do to go back. Needless to say, that director was no longer at the school the next year...what a flake! Just a suggestion to any future choral teachers.....please play the piano! Doesn't it go hand in hand?????

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#22645 - 12/01/04 08:37 PM Re: speaking of humour...
Syndi Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 04/20/04
Posts: 134
Loc: Louisville, Ky
I'll be honest. I hate keyboards!! I have never had a good experience with them. I wish that they would just sell them as "Toys" and then maybe people wouldn't continue to buy them! I played for a wedding for one of my students about two years ago. It was a beautiful service outside in front of a gazebo. The mother told me that an instument would be provided. It had 61 keys and in the middle of the vows, little lites started flashing in the keys! I've also had pretty much the same situation the past couple of years when I was asked to play at the local mall during the holidays for school childrens choir groups. I arrived only to find 61 keys, no pedal and no speakers. The kids said that as soon as they started singing they couldn't hear not one note that I played! Why was I even there?!? This year i bought my own traveling piano!! \:D I bought a Yamaha P60. It has a great piano sound, few voices, light weight enough that I can handle it, 88 weighted keys and I'm in heaven!!

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#22646 - 12/01/04 08:45 PM Re: speaking of humour...
Christina Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 402
Loc: Canada
hey syndi, you could have turned it into a fancy light show, you just needed a fog machine, and maybe some lasers...
_________________________
"Laughter is the shortest distance between two friends" - Victor Borge

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#22647 - 12/02/04 11:54 AM Re: speaking of humour...
Amily Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 03/26/01
Posts: 547
me: what is the first degree of the scale called?
student: tonic.

me: what is the fifth degree of the scale called?
student: demonic.

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#22648 - 12/02/04 12:39 PM Re: speaking of humour...
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
 Quote:
Originally posted by Amily:
me: what is the first degree of the scale called?
student: tonic.

me: what is the fifth degree of the scale called?
student: demonic.


ROFLMREO! \:D How did you manage to keep a straight face after hearing that answer?

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#22649 - 12/02/04 09:10 PM Re: speaking of humour...
PFVTeach Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 09/17/04
Posts: 481
Loc: USA
Some of you know I teach flute as well as piano. One of my flute students, a 10 year old, recently began to learn to play octaves on her flute. After explaining how to do it properly and demonstrating for her I had her try it out. She did the low note and then the high note. Each time she did the higher note she stretched up on her toes and then back down for the low notes. I could'nt help but laugh. She stopped and asked what was so funny. I explained to her what she was doing and we had a good laugh together.

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#22650 - 12/03/04 07:38 PM Re: speaking of humour...
Syndi Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 04/20/04
Posts: 134
Loc: Louisville, Ky
Christina, I was to busy trying to figure out how to stop the crazy thing to be that clever!! \:D

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