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This forum is becoming depressing - post happy stories about teaching


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#46 jenny

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 15:28

I know this doesn't 'count' as it's not about a pupil, but I have been visiting my daughter and my 3 year old grandson this week and yesterday, when we were on a car journey, he was listening to a song on his playlist (he's only just three but has an amazingly varied collection of tracks that he loves) and he suddenly joined in with a particularly high part of the song, perfectly pitched. My daughter (who sings very well herself) said that he often joins in, usually quite quietly as if just singing to himself. This was really joyous for me! 


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#47 Aquarelle

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 08:54

The story about the Saint Cecelia day concert continues. Pupil A plays the trumpet and as Father W really wants duets rather than solos for his concert I asked A if he thought he could manage a trumpet solo. I know that his lessons are group lessons and in typical French teaching style the pupils do the oom pah pah accompaniments and the teacher plays the solos. So A looked a bit uncertain. However I just happened to have a copy of “Party Time for Trumpet” so I picked the piece with an accompaniment I though pupil d could manage and asked A to bring his trumpet to his piano lesson. Well he certainly could play the notes – but being used to belting out alongside his fellow trombonists it was, to say the least, rather “brassy” – an adjective I usually apply to Wagner (apologies to Wagner fans!)

 

I asked A if he could play more quietly to which he replied that that was difficult on the trumpet. Not knowing the first thing about trumpet playing I couldn’t help. If anyone can I’d be glad for a bit of advice. (Yes  I did think about a mute but he hasn’t got one and I’m not sure if it would be the correct solution anyway.)

Then  when I next saw pupil D I gave him the piano accompaniment and apart from a few bars in the middle he found it reasonably comfortable. This is a boy who doesn’t work much until the last two weeks before an exam so I have a nervous breakdown and he comes out of it all with a good merit. Well that’s that happened at Grades 1 and 2. So I know he can pull it off under pressure. So I have told him he has to know the “difficult” bars by next lesson - or else!I have written another note to Father W explaining all this and asking if the trumpet/piano item would be acceptable.  I can probably arrange a lesson with the boys together the week after next when they will both have had time to learn their parts.

 

I’m finding this all rather enjoyable!


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#48 ma non troppo

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 21:58

 
I asked A if he could play more quietly to which he replied that that was difficult on the trumpet.


Aquarelle, this really tickled me and I laughed out loud. Apologies to trumpeters everywhere!
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#49 thara96

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 12:09

The story about the Saint Cecelia day concert continues. Pupil A plays the trumpet and as Father W really wants duets rather than solos for his concert I asked A if he thought he could manage a trumpet solo. I know that his lessons are group lessons and in typical French teaching style the pupils do the oom pah pah accompaniments and the teacher plays the solos. So A looked a bit uncertain. However I just happened to have a copy of “Party Time for Trumpet” so I picked the piece with an accompaniment I though pupil d could manage and asked A to bring his trumpet to his piano lesson. Well he certainly could play the notes – but being used to belting out alongside his fellow trombonists it was, to say the least, rather “brassy” – an adjective I usually apply to Wagner (apologies to Wagner fans!)

 

I asked A if he could play more quietly to which he replied that that was difficult on the trumpet. Not knowing the first thing about trumpet playing I couldn’t help. If anyone can I’d be glad for a bit of advice. (Yes  I did think about a mute but he hasn’t got one and I’m not sure if it would be the correct solution anyway.)

Then  when I next saw pupil D I gave him the piano accompaniment and apart from a few bars in the middle he found it reasonably comfortable. This is a boy who doesn’t work much until the last two weeks before an exam so I have a nervous breakdown and he comes out of it all with a good merit. Well that’s that happened at Grades 1 and 2. So I know he can pull it off under pressure. So I have told him he has to know the “difficult” bars by next lesson - or else!I have written another note to Father W explaining all this and asking if the trumpet/piano item would be acceptable.  I can probably arrange a lesson with the boys together the week after next when they will both have had time to learn their parts.

 

I’m finding this all rather enjoyable!

Funny! 


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#50 Latin pianist

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 12:16

The father of the two boys I teach on a Saturday morning, came to the door this morning and said he had some extra money for me as there was a cheque from March that I hadn't cashed.Not a huge amount but it was very honest of them to bring it.We get so many tales on here of people not paying that I felt it was very heartening to receive unasked for money. Goodness knows where the cheque went.
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#51 Aquarelle

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 20:29

Saint Cecelia - next episode. On Friday pupil S arrived with the accompaniment to a rather obscure clarinet solo. I forgot to write down the name of the piece but it was one of those sort of modern pieces you sort of don't find memorable. I asked S if he had practised it. The answer was "Well, umm, er - a bit." I asked him to have a go.  We came to a stop at the end of the second line after a dozen or so mistakes, hesitations and complete collapses. S looked distraught.

 

He is actually a very conscientious 15 year old boy (yes, there are some!) who likes to get everything exactly right. So I felt the horror rising as I took my pencil and started crossing out all the notes I thought he needn't bother to play. I thought he was going to be a conscientious objector. Then he said "isn't that cheating?".  "Yes" I said, " but it's good cheating because the point is you can't stop!" And I added that that was what he was to do in his Grade 5 sight reading next summer if it looked too hard.  Well by trial  and error we got through the score and by the end of the lesson he was laughing as much as me and crossing out notes for himself! As i told him, many great painters make sketches before masterpieces and we were simply making a sketch. ( I got that from reading examiners' comments on sight reading)  -" There were several note errors but the melody was outlined."  We all know what sins that covers!

 

Well S is going to try to practise with the clarinetist and will report back next Friday. Seriously I am beginning to wonder whose concert this is. Father W must have received my letter by now but has not replied. I wonder if I will get an invitation?


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#52 thara96

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 10:47

My mom was teaching on Tuesday last week. One of her pupils (a 7 year old boy) arrived for his lesson as usual. He is learning music theory too. He is one of her regular pupils. He turned 7 less than two weeks ago. 

At one point during the lesson, he was working on a vocabulary exercise my mom set him. The exercise was to copy out something. He copied out everything correctly without any mistake at all. She marked it after he had finished and was amazed that a 7 year old boy could do that perfectly. No help needed at all. 

He has made progress since he started last year in May of 2018 she said. 


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#53 zwhe

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 20:25

A six year old, who has just started MFPA B. We have learnt C, D & E on the treble clef, so I got her to draw them on the whiteboard. She than drew the next note up, and asked what it was. I asked her if she could see a pattern, and she said "I know, its an F!" She then continued to draw and name all the notes on the treble clef up to G at the top. I love it when the penny drops and they understand how notation works.


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#54 thara96

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 09:17

A six year old, who has just started MFPA B. We have learnt C, D & E on the treble clef, so I got her to draw them on the whiteboard. She than drew the next note up, and asked what it was. I asked her if she could see a pattern, and she said "I know, its an F!" She then continued to draw and name all the notes on the treble clef up to G at the top. I love it when the penny drops and they understand how notation works.

 

A six year old, who has just started MFPA B. We have learnt C, D & E on the treble clef, so I got her to draw them on the whiteboard. She than drew the next note up, and asked what it was. I asked her if she could see a pattern, and she said "I know, its an F!" She then continued to draw and name all the notes on the treble clef up to G at the top. I love it when the penny drops and they understand how notation works.

 

A six year old, who has just started MFPA B. We have learnt C, D & E on the treble clef, so I got her to draw them on the whiteboard. She than drew the next note up, and asked what it was. I asked her if she could see a pattern, and she said "I know, its an F!" She then continued to draw and name all the notes on the treble clef up to G at the top. I love it when the penny drops and they understand how notation works.

 I agree.

 

I was teaching my 6 year old sister music theory on Sunday. I love it when little children master a concept. To help her, I used flashcards to aid memorization. I concur. That moment basically makes me proud. Success after a struggle is always worth celebrating. 


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#55 jenny

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 10:05

I have a young pupil who has recently changed schools and so can't get to me at her usual time because of traffic problems. As I am pretty well fully booked on the days that I teach, both she and her mum were very anxious about her losing her place with me. After some manoeuvring, I managed last night to find a way to fit her in, but it was so gratifying that they both really wanted her to continue with me and were trying everything they could to make it work.  :)   


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