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The Things They Say


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#1 JudithJ

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 18:07

I've just received this message from the mother of one of my students:
 

Child:[practising]
Parent: How would you feel about Judith putting you forward for a piano exam - not now, but just something to aim for.
Child:I'd feel like [shrugs shoulders and sighs]
Parent: So you don't want to do an exam?
Child: Why would I?
Parent: I don't know...I guess so you get a certificate and have proved to someone official your level of playing.
Child: Why would someone I've never met before and never meet again have anything useful to say about my piano playing.
Parent: Well they are qualified to test people and work out their level.
Child: That's nice for them...and will they play for me so I can see if their level is any good?
Parent: It's not about their level it's about your level....and you'd get a certificate.
Child: So a piece of paper to say I could play good enough to get a stranger to think I'm okay at playing?
Parent: Yes...
Child: If I want to show my level I will play the piano. If someone wants to see my level they can ask me to play the piano. A piece of paper means nothing...if I got the certificate now and showed it to you next year would it be able to tell you if I'd practiced every day or not at all? My level will change because I practice and a piece of paper won't show that, so as soon as it's given to me it's useless because I might practice all that day and be better the next day or I might never play again and be rubbish. If you want me to have a piece of paper print me a piece with my name on it and I'll get Judith to stick her stickers on it for you so you know how I'm doing.
Parent: It wasn't going to be for me, I thought you would like the certificate.
Child: *sigh* I know how my playing is doing every time I sit down and play mum, why would a piece of paper without any musical notes on it help my piano playing in any way [goes back to practising]


I think that it is quite useful to have feedback from someone who doesn't know you, but other than that I really can't fault his logic. He is such a great child to teach, but this kind of logic does mean that I often have to think outside the box.
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#2 corenfa

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 18:55

^^^ That is so brilliant.
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#3 Latin pianist

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 19:03

Actually in a similar vein I have found myself saying fairly frequently "the proof of the pudding is in the eating.". How refreshing to hear it from a child.
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#4 JudithJ

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 19:23

Actually in a similar vein I have found myself saying fairly frequently "the proof of the pudding is in the eating.". How refreshing to hear it from a child.

That is exactly what the mother said to me. She was delighted that he understood the relationship between practice and progress, and lack of practice and loss of skill.
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#5 jpiano

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 19:49

It's wonderful, sensible talk- should be essential reading for our Education Secretary ...


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#6 moondad

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 19:57

How old is he?

(The child, not the Education Secretary) ;)
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#7 Norway

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 20:05

Me to adult student: So... what's that note called?

Student: A minim.

Me: Err... close, but it has a dot after it hasn't it?

Student: Oh yes...errr...I don't know...

Me: So... what do you call a cow with spots? [In the hope that the logic involved might lead to the correct dotted minim answer].

Student: A Friesian?


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#8 Aquarelle

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 20:38

I had a slightly different conversation  with one of mine - boy aged 11.

 

 

Me.   You did Grade 1 last year and Grade 2 this year  so I think you deserve a rest from exams; We'll do something different next year.

 

Him.   But I want to take Grade 3

 

Me    Do you? any special reason?

 

Him;  Yes. If I don't do Grade 3 I won't practise.


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#9 elliewelly

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 20:38

Ha ha, I love his attitude!  How refreshing.


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#10 elliewelly

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 20:39

Cross post!  Aquarelle... that's very honest of him!


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#11 JudithJ

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 20:57

How old is he?

(The child, not the Education Secretary) ;)

He is 10.

I think that most of his independent thinking is a result of being home schooled.


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#12 Banjogirl

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Posted 29 June 2016 - 07:47

A girl wrote to the paper a few years ago complaining that the first year of her degree was a waste of time because it didn't contribute to her final degree. No concept that you're there to learn whether it's examined or not! Your pupil sounds very wise.


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#13 Dorcas

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Posted 29 June 2016 - 08:28

Out of the mouths of babes and fools . . .

 

I am going to summarise, write and frame the OP's remarks.  So true for life in general, I think.  :rofl:  :woot:  :piano:


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#14 becster

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 20:40

I love the OP quote! Brilliant :D
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#15 xini

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 16:22

This is great. Tempted to post it up on the music corridor walls at school. But I'll probably just share it on social media instead - that is if the OP has no objection?


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