I tweeted yesterday about a conversation I had had yesterday with a 7 year old piano student. It went something like this…
Me: “So, does that sound like a good plan?” (referring to what I would be looking for in his current piece to be considered complete)
Student: “Sorry, I didn’t hear. I was taking an opened-eyed nap like Dolphins do.”
He caught me off guard (he certainly didn’t appear to have been napping!) but, as he so cleverly pointed out, Dolphins do sleep with one eye open! I filed this comment away in my mental bank of hilarious things piano kids say, but I also filed this comment into my “take note” mental bank.
Piano Teaching Tips From the Mouth of Babes
The idiom “out of the mouths of babes” means that young children often have insights that can be remarkable and surprising. This was certainly the case with my young student.
I needed to take note of what his comment was telling me. I was boring him… it was time to change focus. And while not all piano kids have such an eloquent way of letting you know their needs, most children do give you clues and hints that are often mistaken as misbehavior. But what do those clues mean exactly…
The Piano Teachers Guide To Student Misbehavior
We’ve written a collection of posts to help teachers deal with difficult behaviors. So, if you have a piano students who is…
1. In conflict with a piano-playing sibling, click here.
2. Defiant, stubborn, or challenging, read this.
3. More interested in bulldozers and trains, check this out.
4. A frustrated perfectionist, this will be useful.
5. Refusing to practice, you need to read this.
6. Would rather be playing guitar, this might be your solution.
7. Missing a lot of lessons, this could rejuvenate her interest.
8. Wiggly, learn more about a boy I call Anthony.
9. Over-scheduled, check this out.
Some of the most important piano teaching lessons can be learned simply by allowing your teaching practices to adjust and adapt to what your students are telling you (verbally or otherwise).
While the adjustments and flexibility in teaching methods may not always be your own personal preference, you will be meeting the needs of your clients in an efficient and effective way. Listen to the meaning behind their words or actions and learn some pretty powerful piano teaching lessons.