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#42395 - 07/23/09 08:46 PM Re: four year old [Re: Dolce]
Jacki Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 06/02/09
Posts: 54
Loc: FL
Thanks for the response! Actually, the first lesson, the mom DID sit in, and the child was just as "active" - the mom had to keep telling her to listen to me, etc. I'd thought the child was putting on a "performance" since the mom was there. So for the 2nd lesson, the mom sat in the other room and the child DID behave much better. But today - the mom left her here and went to run an errand so she wasn't even in the house. I get the feeling I'm just being tested and need to somehow set some ground rules and remain in charge... just not used to this age bracket yet!

#42399 - 07/24/09 01:53 AM Re: four year old [Re: Dolce]
GailS Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 01/23/06
Posts: 618
With the 4 and 5 year old crowd I find that if I change the tone of my voice to very quiet and serious they will focus on instructions and get the message that it's time for them to calm down and focus.

Transitioning between the more playful activities in MFPA and those that take more concentration is often challenging for students younger then or barely 5 years old.

I find the phrases It's time to and Right Now work well. As in, It's time to stop coloring and look at this page. And my often used, Right now, I need you to get back on the piano bench and sit nicely.

#42405 - 07/24/09 10:47 AM Re: four year old [Re: GailS]
pianoc Offline
Star Member

Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 1088
Loc: Goshen, Indiana
I would second the tone of voice. My mom was a kindergarten teacher, and her favorite days were when she lost her voice and the whole class was whispering because that's all she could do. She felt like they all listened better because they had do.

I would also suggest writing a list of "piano lesson rules" - and let her help make the list. Only 2-3 rules are probably needed, like when the teacher is talking, nobody else is talking, or The Teacher gets to choose...even though this is a private lesson, you can phrase it like a classroom list.

She will likely make harder rules with harsher consequences than you might, so you may need to modify, but I have felt like students who come from families that are not consistent with rules, or who give the children full reign (they choose what to wear, what to eat, what book to read - ALWAYS) they just expect to always be in control. You may have to make a point of these being Piano Lesson Rules - and they should be different than some of the rules at her home, because this is not her home.

Once you have a few, clearly established rules, that you ALWAYS keep consistent, (fewer is better) I think most of your problems will be easy to handle. Unless, of course, you have someome with real behavior issues - not just boundary issues. Then she may just need a counselor, rather than a piano teacher. I doubt that will be the case.

#42413 - 07/24/09 02:49 PM Re: four year old [Re: pianoc]
bnich Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 04/07/09
Posts: 233
I think with 4 year olds there will be always some behavior issues - after all, they are just learning to mind the teacher and get along with others in class, and some will not have any pre-school experience....

#42414 - 07/24/09 09:44 PM Re: four year old [Re: AshleyJane]
John Offline
Star Member

Registered: 03/29/01
Posts: 2454
Loc: Bellingham, WA
With 4-year-olds I always tried to make the next activity seem "so exciting and irresistible" that the child's body and attention was naturally and automatically drawn to the activity - physical and mental change-of-gears.

Of course therein lies the art and constant challenge of teaching this wonderfual age group. For me, drama ALWAYS worked. Keep the musical energy alive, even when waddling over to the piano or back to the floor.

#42419 - 07/25/09 02:32 PM Re: four year old [Re: John]
Jacki Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 06/02/09
Posts: 54
Loc: FL
Thanks so much for the ideas, everyone! I really appreciate it and hope that this next lesson will be better...!

#42510 - 08/07/09 01:50 AM Re: four year old [Re: AshleyJane]
Jennifer Online   content
Star Member

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 1403
Loc: AZ
Randy was in AZ today doing a workshop (was great of course!) and he said to everyone they were hoping for a 2010 release date.
Fun Yearly Incentive Programs and Workshops

#42524 - 08/08/09 12:08 AM Re: four year old [Re: Jennifer]
Un Suspiro Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 07/28/07
Posts: 215
Loc: Texas
Yay for the 4 year old method. I don't think I've ever taught a 4 year before (to my remembrance anyway) . . . but since the method will come out for 4 year olds, than I'd really like to use it. How was the workshop? I wanted to go, but I am in Ft. Worth and couldn't get that far! Went to a workshop for Dan Coates and Gayle Kowalchyk... it was alright, but was sorry I didn't wait until today to go to the Fabers instead of going to the workshop prior. Did I miss anything good?

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