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Extending a highly motivated adult student (Read 13305 times)

Offline valentina65

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Extending a highly motivated adult student
« on: November 18, 2014, 11:27:31 AM »
I have an adult student who is an absolute delight to teach. She is a mother of three and has a high powered professional job.

But I can tell she practises in every spare moment because she has made extraordinary progress in the four odd years I have been teaching her.

She is currently preparing for her grade 8 AMEB exam, having started at about grade four level.

I have been working with her on all the technical work as well as much of the standard intermediate-early advanced repertoire.

How do I keep extending her and help her reach her potential? I've also been encouraging her to perform for friends and family but how can I help her make her music more than a solo pursuit, as I know this is what she would like to do?

She is hard working, musical and committed to improve. I don't wNt her to become stale and lose her obvious passion.


Offline brogers70

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Re: Extending a highly motivated adult student
«Reply #1 on: November 19, 2014, 03:22:31 AM »
Maybe help her find a violinist or other instrumentalist to play with. There is lots of great repertoire at her level, and playing with someone else adds a new dimension to the piano.

Offline stringoverstrung

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Re: Extending a highly motivated adult student
«Reply #2 on: November 22, 2014, 08:39:14 AM »


How do I keep extending her and help her reach her potential? I've also been encouraging her to perform for friends and family but how can I help her make her music more than a solo pursuit, as I know this is what she would like to do?

Organize a concert at your home or were there is a really good piano with your fellow students. Include some younger ones so you have a public (their parents).
My teacher did this regularly. It inspired me a lot. The piano and the fellow enthousiasts...

Discuss the desired repertoire in more depth. Find out trivia about her preferred composers -> you might encourage her to tell you what she wants to play.

Set a goal for pieces that are a bit farther away in difficulty. Say like "we could aim for this in 2 years".

Offline keypeg

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Re: Extending a highly motivated adult student
«Reply #3 on: November 22, 2014, 10:12:06 AM »
Is there any possibility of her going toward something semi-professional?  Accompaniment but for real, rather than "finding an instrumentalist to play with"?

Offline pianoplunker

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Re: Extending a highly motivated adult student
«Reply #4 on: November 22, 2014, 10:37:43 AM »
I have an adult student who is an absolute delight to teach. She is a mother of three and has a high powered professional job.

But I can tell she practises in every spare moment because she has made extraordinary progress in the four odd years I have been teaching her.

She is currently preparing for her grade 8 AMEB exam, having started at about grade four level.

I have been working with her on all the technical work as well as much of the standard intermediate-early advanced repertoire.

How do I keep extending her and help her reach her potential? I've also been encouraging her to perform for friends and family but how can I help her make her music more than a solo pursuit, as I know this is what she would like to do?

She is hard working, musical and committed to improve. I don't wNt her to become stale and lose her obvious passion.



She may want to play music as a solo pursuit and I dont think there is anything worrisome about that. Sometimes a working mother with three kids might just want to sit down at the piano and let loose after a hard day at the office.  This is a gift just as much as anything else.

Offline amytsuda

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Re: Extending a highly motivated adult student
«Reply #5 on: November 22, 2014, 03:24:15 PM »
Being a middle-age amateur with tough working schedules, I thought to offer a different perspectives.

She is hard working, musical and committed to improve. I don't wNt her to become stale and lose her obvious passion.

Passion may come from inside, then, you may not have to worry about it. Did she express to you that she really wants to be a performing musician? Is her motivation coming from the idea of performing for audience? Or is she simply wanting to enjoy music on her own and with friends and family?

While I am not at a performance level at all (I play advanced repertoires like a dead wood), it's funny I do get asked to perform from people who somehow think I am good enough (e.g. neighboring church...). But I never want to perform, because I can never predict my business schedules. It'd add so much stress to think about performing when I may get a huge business project. I do enjoy playing 4 hands with friends or play accompaniments for my husband (tenor) to practice. But ultimately, I just practice as much as I can accommodate even if no one hears me. Since my teacher thinks I am not a performance material, it actually works. I think I will flip out if my teacher puts me to perform. At this moment, I am so motivated to get many Scriabin in my hands, I don't need any other motivator.

So you may want to ask her what are her near term goals and how they fit in her life. She may just keep going without any external outlet. 

Offline bbqu33n

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Re: Extending a highly motivated adult student
«Reply #6 on: November 26, 2014, 02:50:58 AM »
Hi! Your student reminds me a lot of myself, as an adult student and a mother of 4, I've decided to get back to my lessons and have been at it for a couple of months now, after stopping at grade 2ish 20+ years ago :) Wow, 4 years with your student, and still passionate.. that's awesome. I wish we would be the same.

A little recital perhaps may motivate her, introduce to her the idea of have having another instrumentalist accompany her.  But that would all depend if she is interested.  Maybe "feed" her the idea? Hehehe

Good luck :) 

Offline slane

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Re: Extending a highly motivated adult student
«Reply #7 on: December 12, 2014, 02:22:45 AM »
Well maybe she doesn't need extending. She might be happy following the exam path. Next comes CPM right?

Is she playing the repertoire she relates to? Or is she just "doing" the grade book. So much fabulous stuff on the grade 8 syllabus! Is she doing 40 pieces a year? (not 8th grade pieces of course)

But assuming that you're right and she needs to share her music ... I belong to a piano club, or circle, or bunch of old duffers who love their pianos and meet once a month to play to each other. Its very motivating for me (middle aged, mother of 1, former professional something). Although, sigh!, my pieces for tomorrow's meeting are a bit iffy.