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Dealing with extremely shy student (Read 2912 times)

Offline missionarymama

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Dealing with extremely shy student
« on: February 22, 2015, 11:24:36 PM »
Hi all,
I am a new teacher, just starting out my second year and I have quite a few young students (5-7yo) One little boy in particular is super shy. Most lessons I can't even get him to touch the keyboard or talk to me. He will be fine as we look at his theory book or play a game, but when it comes to actually playing he freezes! This is so frustrating for both me and his mom, who says he plays fine at home. Any suggestions on what to do to help him open up?

Thanks in advance!

Offline diomedes

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Re: Dealing with extremely shy student
«Reply #1 on: February 23, 2015, 12:22:23 AM »
Be patient with him and don't show frustration. He'll come around, once he gets used to you. How many lessons so far?
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Offline fifthelegy

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Re: Dealing with extremely shy student
«Reply #2 on: February 23, 2015, 04:44:42 AM »
Have you tried physically holding his hands and pressing the keys for him? The shy ones are more difficult to deal with I agree but I find what works most for me is making the lesson more personal. Talk to them more, make a goof of yourself, make it fun and if they are hesitant about doing something, ask them to copy you directly or even try doing it for them.
If he pulls his hand away then it may well be an issue other than shyness.
"Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most."

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Offline missionarymama

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Re: Dealing with extremely shy student
«Reply #3 on: February 24, 2015, 10:51:09 PM »
I believe this is my third month with him :( Thank you for the ideas!

Offline quantum

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Re: Dealing with extremely shy student
«Reply #4 on: February 25, 2015, 03:34:18 AM »
Try using the piano to "talk."  Instead of verbally communicating, use the piano to talk to each other. 
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Offline stevensk

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Re: Dealing with extremely shy student
«Reply #5 on: February 25, 2015, 10:25:18 PM »

Dont ask him questions, use nice cosily smalltalk that not requires his responds.
Play together, you in the bass, he in the treble. Play popular tunes (dont ask him which tunes he likes). Try "AxelF" (crazy frog) Harry Potter, Pink Panter, Pirates of Carrabien, Smoke on the water etc  (Ask his parents)

Offline love_that_tune

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Re: Dealing with extremely shy student
«Reply #6 on: March 10, 2015, 01:59:58 PM »
Sometimes I take their right hand turn it over and "talk to the hand".  You know, silly voice, "Now, it's your turn to play all right?  S'allright".  First I talk to my fingers.  I've actually been thinking lately about making a puppet of some kind.  I've put number stickers on fingers, etc. With five year olds, in the beginning, I have imaginary super-glue that I put on each of their fingers so that they can keep their fingers from flying up off the keys.

Three months is quite a while.  Are we sure the little dude isn't terrified?