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Piano Punishments !?! (Read 1732 times)

Offline mishamalchik

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Piano Punishments !?!
« on: March 04, 2017, 04:04:01 AM »
Today one of my friends was talking to me about how our piano teacher cuts lessons short, or makes them absolute hell (repetition of little segments or Czerny),  when it's clear they haven't practiced sufficiently. Another one of my friends who studies with another teacher had a sparse practice schedule one week and was then subjected to 45 minutes of brutal Pischna exercises.

As teachers, do you do things like this when a student hasn't practiced? Just curious if it's a coincidence, or if teachers actually do have unpleasant things that they bring up in lesson when students have had a lazy week. To be honest, that would amuse me to no end.

It's really weird, I'm meeting more and more of my teacher's other students and I guess they think he's very strict, and I just never got that impression. I mean he's honest, straight forward and has high expectations but I can't imagine anyone thinking of him as a harsh teacher.

Offline vaniii

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Re: Piano Punishments !?!
«Reply #1 on: March 04, 2017, 05:36:59 AM »
When a student does not practise, I use it as an excuse to work on things that would otherwise not be completed; improvisation.

When dealing with human beings, we have to acknowledge they they have a life away from the instrument.

I practise all day most days; I do not expect my non-career musicians to do this. That said, how many of those teachers who expect daily practise actually do so themselves?

Offline benm

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Re: Piano Punishments !?!
«Reply #2 on: March 04, 2017, 09:48:33 AM »
There mighn't be quite an appreciation for the musicality that keeps even the technically tardy at practice.

There's hell.


I have personally thought to make some highly musical studies, if I was to teach or compose to teach. Past handling your hand these are the most fortuitous. After mastering techniques for certain Polonaises (for example), you will never again struggle with flying octaves or what such.  

This i also why I would never consider, even a most novice player, to learn on a bland electric monotone keyboard. It is not sensible to learn on the musically stilted where a drum and maths set is preferrable: Working a horrible but more real piano is better for the soul.

It is probably the drive for musicality, and not even proficiency - however important the consistency must be, that ultimately guides a great player.

Torture the boy.

Offline pianoplunker

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Re: Piano Punishments !?!
«Reply #3 on: March 05, 2017, 12:41:29 AM »
When a student does not practise, I use it as an excuse to work on things that would otherwise not be completed; improvisation.


I like you for posting that. Keeping the student engaged in some way. I have been there as a "bad" student and it makes a big difference to be flexible with teaching/learning.   Both ways.

Online perfect_pitch

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Re: Piano Punishments !?!
«Reply #4 on: March 05, 2017, 01:38:28 AM »
I've had a couple of students who have done literally no practice over months. There have only been a couple, but man it can be frustrating. The worst part is that they don't care that they haven't done any practice, or that they're wasting your time.

I had one student who happily stated she didn't practice, and the reason was 'i dunno'. I had her for 18 lessons, and in the first lesson I showed her how to learn a couple of songs. By the end of the first lesson she could play them HT, albeit a little hesitantly - but you could tell she knew enough to practice at home.

EACH WEEK, she would come back and the notes would be forgotten because she hadn't touched the piano and she wasn't apologetic about it either. I spent the next 17 weeks going over and teaching her the same song, hoping that one day she would come back and play them for me, so we could go onto other material. Never happened. I never taught her anything else apart from those 2 initial songs, and although it was boring on my end (I don't care about her end, considering the half-arsed attitude to piano), I had HOPED that she would have just spent a little time showing me she wanted to learn the piano.

I had another student years ago - same attitude. Then one day she walks in and says 'Since we're moving to california in 3 months, our piano has been packed away in a shipping container, so I don't have a piano to practice on'

Theory... problem solved. What else could I do?



My MAIN point is that despite what their attitude is, I teach them the piano. I don't make it a mission to be evil or boring when they don't practice, but despite the fact that it may be mind numbing, I do what is necessary. At all times, I put in 100% to my teaching, and if the student doesn't contribute anything on their end, then I can hold my head up high and know that I still did my job properly.

Offline Bob

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Re: Piano Punishments !?!
«Reply #5 on: March 05, 2017, 01:40:05 AM »
You could practice/guide them in their practice during the lesson so at least they get something in.

And then if you've given up on them, you could use them to experiment with things in teaching.   If you haven't taught improvisation, try exploring that.  If it's a bust, oh well.  The student wasn't that serious about it anyway.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."