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Teaching 7 year old. (Read 2126 times)

Offline kclee6337

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Teaching 7 year old.
« on: March 15, 2015, 06:46:12 PM »
I haven't been teaching for very long but the students I do have is 10 and up.

I've been teaching on 11 year old who is extremely talented and understands everything i say to him and give to him. His mom recently wanted to get his brother, who is 7 years old into lessons. I usually say no to under the age of 10, but because his brother is so gifted I figured why not?

We had our first lesson the other day, and it was a disaster!!! He wants to learn how to play, but his attention span is minimal to say the least. The lessons are at their house, which is not the greatest because they have a yamaha clavinova with a million buttons which he loves to push every single one during the lesson.

I was thinking maybe of playing some games, but I'm not sure how good that would be, or look to his mom thats paying for the lessons.

The lessons are 30 minutes long and we are using the faber piano adventures.

If anyone has any tricks or tips I can do during his lesson to help him learn and stay focused it would be greatly appreciated.

Offline green

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Re: Teaching 7 year old.
«Reply #1 on: March 19, 2015, 07:06:33 PM »
Train the inner ear, get him singing all of his songs first: kodaly, Gordon are good places to start. But if you insist on sticking a book in front of talent, use some color highlighters and stickers on the keys. Gradually reduce the number of colors you use to the first note of a phrase which they then need to read spatially. Draw a slur over the phrases. Do both, but teach songs he is going to play first by rote singing, having him repeat after you. Singing brings them into the present, and requires enough concentration that they forget about everything else.

Offline rachmanny

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Re: Teaching 7 year old.
«Reply #2 on: March 21, 2015, 10:00:01 AM »
I'm on the same boat with a 7 year old student I have had for a couple of months. He is a smart kid, but sometimes loses concentration and plays with toys during the lesson, presses buttons on the piano,decides he doesn't want to play a passage written as forte,  or completely gives up on something because it is 'too hard'. I would say that if this persists it is good to have a parent sit in a lesson for a couple of good reasons:

1. The child will be less inclined to do monkey business
2. If the child does do monkey business, hopefully the parent will correct that on the spot.

I talked to my student's mother about him losing his attention during class to let her be aware. The next lesson I did feel a slight improvement in his willingness to work, not perfect but it is a process to get them used to practicing, thinking and working.



Offline green

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Re: Teaching 7 year old.
«Reply #3 on: March 23, 2015, 10:56:19 PM »
Don't leave discipline to parents, although I agree they should step in when necessary, you need to set class rules and procedures from the outset. Be in charge.

Offline meli

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Re: Teaching 7 year old.
«Reply #4 on: March 25, 2015, 02:56:26 AM »
I have the same problem with a 7 year old before. She is talented but VERY mischevious, and hyperactive. Goodness, I don't know how we lasted for 3 years! When I first taught her, she couldn't keep still for 5 mins! I have learn't to be more stricter now, and am not afraid to tell her mother if she misbehaves. In fact, I play the game '3 strikes and your out!' e.g. if she doodles on piano, draws on her book, refuses to play etc.. I will call the mother immediately but I always warn her first. She usually calms down after that and begs me not to tell her mother. Another trick I used is to play games to motivate. I guess, make boring things into games for her. e.g. finding notes 'no peaking', playing tick tack toe or hangman for trouble spots, flashcard races, rythym games. We usually start learning pieces by rote first. I even play the game 'copy cat' for that. She has matured now, and I feel less need to play all these games already. The buttons on the Clavinov could be a distraction for young kids. Maybe there's a way to cover it with a sheet or something while teaching?

Offline evkity

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Re: Teaching 7 year old.
«Reply #5 on: November 22, 2016, 06:55:44 PM »
I have the same problem with a 7 year old before. She is talented but VERY mischevious, and hyperactive. Goodness, I don't know how we lasted for 3 years! When I first taught her, she couldn't keep still for 5 mins! I have learn't to be more stricter now, and am not afraid to tell her mother if she misbehaves. In fact, I play the game '3 strikes and your out!' e.g. if she doodles on piano, draws on her book, refuses to play etc.. I will call the mother immediately but I always warn her first. She usually calms down after that and begs me not to tell her mother. Another trick I used is to play games to motivate. I guess, make boring things into games for her. e.g. finding notes 'no peaking', playing tick tack toe or hangman for trouble spots, flashcard races, rythym games. We usually start learning pieces by rote first. I even play the game 'copy cat' for that. She has matured now, and I feel less need to play all these games already. The buttons on the Clavinov could be a distraction for young kids. Maybe there's a way to cover it with a sheet or something while teaching?

Hi, i have a similar problem now with some misbehaves from a little student. But I'm a new at this job and maybe it's boring and i'm still looking for a better approach. I'm wondering what kind of games do you use - can I find them on internet?

Offline samlindholm

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Re: Teaching 7 year old.
«Reply #6 on: November 22, 2016, 07:32:27 PM »
I have about three 6 or 7 year old piano students. Some of them focus incredibly well because that's just their personality and I have a few others who, when I ask them a question, will just say, "I don't know." (In this case, it's a student who says "she doesn't know" something just because what we're learning is difficult and she is afraid of failing by giving me the wrong answer. She's kind of a perfectionist. It took me a while to figure this out.)

What I'm learning with these young ones is that they all have different personalities just like older students but they just don't have the same learned ability to focus or to work through even mental problems (like learning beginning theory.) It's like they're still "learning how to learn" sometimes.

I have to approach each one of them a little differently, but for the very stubborn ones or the ones that want to give up quickly because "they don't know," I really focus on leveraging humor to teach them like, "yes you do silly! You just told me the answer to the same question over here..." or challenging them do something difficult and making sure to praise them when they're done. I play games. I don't underestimate the power of just letting them experience the piano even if what I really want to do is teach them theory. I make them play loud and soft, high and low, imitate me, or learn to figure out a simple melody by ear (like "Mary Had A Little Lamb.")

I give them mental breaks, too, with something else that is actually educational (but they may not be aware of that). Jumping between different learning tasks seems to help the ones that have a hard time focusing.