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OPC... Other People's Children



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 24th 08, 11:56 AM posted to misc.kids
Chookie
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Posts: 1,085
Default OPC... Other People's Children

rant

DS1, now 7, shares a music class with a 10yo girl. She is just rude, mainly
because she has been allowed to get her own way too much, but in part because
her lack of practising does tend to become apparent in class. The presence of
her Mum makes no difference to her behaviour; in fact, it may make it slightly
worse. I couldn't tell you if she really likes doing music or not and frankly
suspect that she wouldn't be able to answer that question honestly any more,
because she is using the music class to pursue another agenda.

Today, she stuck with all her usual foot-dragging and disruption. That is,
when the teacher told them to sit on the floor she played a few bars on the
keyboard first -- every time. When told to do *anything* she mucks around
with the keyboard first, including starting the automatic arpeggios or putting
the volume up. When the teacher wants them to practice their fingering on the
floor, she doesn't do it. You can guess what her Mum does to stop this
behaviour.

Anyway, the teacher had one child play the left hand, and the other the right,
of one of their current pieces. First, DS played left hand while Madam played
right. But when DS was to play right hand, Madam played it far too fast. She
was told to play it slowly -- and played it far too fast again. Last chance
-- and she still played it way too fast.

Her Mum said, "I think we'd better go home if you are going to act like this."
[Oh please, please! I think to myself.]
"Noooo!" One little whine and Mum pipes down.
Did the behaviour improve at all for the rest of the lesson?
Noooo! Same old stuffing around, refusing to cooperate, playing so loudly
that DS (who sits behind her) couldn't hear the teacher's playing, and so on.
I am so sick of it, and I get extra annoyed watching the mother threaten and
fail to follow through!

Last year was almost as bad; we had a skittish little boy in the class with
*his* feckless mother!

Please excuse me while I go and bang my head on a wall a few times. I don't
know how the teacher copes, I really don't!

/rant

--
Chookie -- Sydney, Australia
(Replace "foulspambegone" with "optushome" to reply)

http://chookiesbackyard.blogspot.com/
  #2  
Old September 24th 08, 08:28 PM posted to misc.kids
toto
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Posts: 784
Default OPC... Other People's Children

On Wed, 24 Sep 2008 20:56:30 +1000, Chookie
wrote:

Please excuse me while I go and bang my head on a wall a few times. I don't
know how the teacher copes, I really don't!

/rant


Whatever happened to private music lessons. I was always the only one
in my class. Or is this in school?


--
Dorothy

There is no sound, no cry in all the world
that can be heard unless someone listens ..

The Outer Limits
  #3  
Old September 24th 08, 08:40 PM posted to misc.kids
news[_6_]
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Posts: 12
Default OPC... Other People's Children


"toto" wrote in message
...
On Wed, 24 Sep 2008 20:56:30 +1000, Chookie
wrote:

Please excuse me while I go and bang my head on a wall a few times. I
don't
know how the teacher copes, I really don't!

/rant


Whatever happened to private music lessons. I was always the only one
in my class. Or is this in school?


And why are there parents present at a music lesson? I usually sit in the
car and read a book, or look at the shiny new guitars in the showroom!


  #4  
Old September 24th 08, 10:29 PM posted to misc.kids
Donna Metler
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Posts: 309
Default OPC... Other People's Children



"toto" wrote in message
...
On Wed, 24 Sep 2008 20:56:30 +1000, Chookie
wrote:

Please excuse me while I go and bang my head on a wall a few times. I
don't
know how the teacher copes, I really don't!

/rant


Whatever happened to private music lessons. I was always the only one
in my class. Or is this in school?


There are several good group keyboard curricula, and if they're well done,
can be more effective for the first couple of years of piano study than
individual lessons. It's also more cost-effective for parents. At any level
of piano, having a group component in addition to private lessons can be
beneficial. Pianists often are piaced in a role where they're either
soloists or accompanists, and there really isn't a natural equivalent of
orchestra or band that is available to most piano students (even if a school
has a jazz band, it needs one keyboard/piano player to about 20 other
musicians).

Having said that, my guess is that this 10 yr old really doesn't want to be
there. She's old enough that she might be acting this way in part because of
the age of her classmates-even a 1 year age range seems like a lot at this
point, and usually stays that way until adulthood, so private lessons or
school-based classes often work better, and it may simply be that she
doesn't want to play piano, but mom thinks it's a good idea.


--
Dorothy

There is no sound, no cry in all the world
that can be heard unless someone listens ..

The Outer Limits



  #5  
Old September 25th 08, 02:21 AM posted to misc.kids
Anne Rogers[_5_]
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Posts: 47
Default OPC... Other People's Children

Chookie, sounds like a tricky situation, you have my sympathies.

I was curious about the fact parents were there, because I think that
always creates a difficult environment for the teacher and the parent,
the parent will hold of stepping in, thinking the teacher is in charge
and the teacher isn't as strong as they might be if the parent wasn't
there, though it does sound like the behaviour of this child adds up to
more than that.

We had a similar situation with DD's gymnastics last year, there was one
child who pretty much took all the teachers time to get him to behave
and as a consequence she had to let him get away with some of the less
bad stuff, like sitting safely, but somewhere he wasn't supposed to sit,
we then had a problem, because DD would see him sitting somewhere she
quite fancied sitting too and go an join him! The difference was, it was
clear that the teacher and the parent were well aware that it was a
troublesome child and the class only had a couple of months left to run,
so though I moaned to DH everytime, we had also made the decision that
we'd just not sign DD up for the same class next session rather than
complain to someone at that time.

In the end I think that's the choice you have to make, it's not fair
that your DS should have his class disrupted like that, but your choice
is to not let that bother you and focus on how much he does get out of
it, or approach the teacher (or someone who is above them if they
exist). You could suggest to the teacher that parents are encouraged not
to watch if you think that would help them and if not, you can always
remove yourself to avoid stressing yourself out!

Cheers
Anne
  #6  
Old September 25th 08, 12:27 PM posted to misc.kids
Chookie
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Posts: 1,085
Default OPC... Other People's Children

In article ,
"Donna Metler" wrote:

Whatever happened to private music lessons. I was always the only one
in my class. Or is this in school?

There are several good group keyboard curricula, and if they're well done,
can be more effective for the first couple of years of piano study than
individual lessons. It's also more cost-effective for parents. At any level
of piano, having a group component in addition to private lessons can be
beneficial.


Donna is correct; it's a small-group curriculum. The owner was a music
teacher before joining the franchise (I discovered one of her ex-pupils in my
Breastfeeding Association group!) and strongly supports small-group learning
because of the opportunities from learning from each other, performing in
front of a small audience, and for ensemble work. Yes, it is also
cost-effective.

Having said that, my guess is that this 10 yr old really doesn't want to be
there. She's old enough that she might be acting this way in part because of
the age of her classmates-even a 1 year age range seems like a lot at this
point, and usually stays that way until adulthood, so private lessons or
school-based classes often work better, and it may simply be that she
doesn't want to play piano, but mom thinks it's a good idea.


I see a number of things going on. I am sure Mum dragged her to lessons;
there is an elder sister in another class who looks like the classic Good
Girl. Throw together a strong will, a rather pliant mother, the usual lack of
desire to practice, and (I suspect) a high but hidden level of perfectionism,
and you have a recipe for music class refusal. The pity is that she is so
used to trying for negative attention that she probably no longer really knows
what she wants out of music.

--
Chookie -- Sydney, Australia
(Replace "foulspambegone" with "optushome" to reply)

http://chookiesbackyard.blogspot.com/
  #7  
Old September 25th 08, 09:47 PM posted to misc.kids
Rosalie B.
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Posts: 984
Default OPC... Other People's Children

"Donna Metler" wrote:


Having said that, my guess is that this 10 yr old really doesn't want to be
there. snip, and it may simply be that she
doesn't want to play piano, but mom thinks it's a good idea.


My second child was like this. She had private lessons (sequenced
with her sister) and she did not like to practice the piano. It was
the same in ice skating, horseback riding, sewing and most things. She
wasn't as good at some things as her older sister because her sister
was older and had better small motor coordination so she got disgusted
and wouldn't try. She hates sewing now and won't do it. She quit
riding at least three times. She once started to walk home from the
riding stable (10 miles) when I dropped her off to take a lesson
because she was determined that she wasn't going to ride. Riding
scared her, but each time she didn't want her sister doing something
she wasn't doing and would go back

The things where her sister got tense trying to do well, she would be
loose as a goose and do better than her sister (ice skating and
swimming). She was extremely competitive, very emotional and very
strong willed. Her sister was more compliant although she didn't
like it when she was beaten either. After she graduated from HS, dd#2
stated that her goal was to graduated with a higher class rank than
dd#1, and dd#1's comment was - I didn't know it was a competition!!

In any case, I often had instructors refuse to teach her. Piano was
one of those things, and so was ice skating.

One of the reasons that I decided physical punishment was not the way
to go (although it was how I was brought up), was that she would
defiantly say "That didn't hurt", although I knew it did. I had to
pick my battles.

If the child doesn't want to play and the mother wants her to,
threatening to take her home is not a punishment, and probably an
action that the mom doesn't want to take although maybe she thinks she
ought to due to the other parent's attitudes.. How about just
unplugging her keyboard if it is too loud? Is that possible? Or
some incentive to get her to want to behave.

  #8  
Old September 26th 08, 12:03 PM posted to misc.kids
Welches
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Posts: 849
Default OPC... Other People's Children


"Rosalie B." wrote in message
...
"Donna Metler" wrote:


Having said that, my guess is that this 10 yr old really doesn't want to
be
there. snip, and it may simply be that she
doesn't want to play piano, but mom thinks it's a good idea.


My second child was like this. She had private lessons (sequenced
with her sister) and she did not like to practice the piano. It was
the same in ice skating, horseback riding, sewing and most things. She
wasn't as good at some things as her older sister because her sister
was older and had better small motor coordination so she got disgusted
and wouldn't try. She hates sewing now and won't do it. She quit
riding at least three times. She once started to walk home from the
riding stable (10 miles) when I dropped her off to take a lesson
because she was determined that she wasn't going to ride. Riding
scared her, but each time she didn't want her sister doing something
she wasn't doing and would go back

The things where her sister got tense trying to do well, she would be
loose as a goose and do better than her sister (ice skating and
swimming). She was extremely competitive, very emotional and very
strong willed. Her sister was more compliant although she didn't
like it when she was beaten either. After she graduated from HS, dd#2
stated that her goal was to graduated with a higher class rank than
dd#1, and dd#1's comment was - I didn't know it was a competition!!

In any case, I often had instructors refuse to teach her. Piano was
one of those things, and so was ice skating.

One of the reasons that I decided physical punishment was not the way
to go (although it was how I was brought up), was that she would
defiantly say "That didn't hurt", although I knew it did. I had to
pick my battles.

If the child doesn't want to play and the mother wants her to,
threatening to take her home is not a punishment, and probably an
action that the mom doesn't want to take although maybe she thinks she
ought to due to the other parent's attitudes.. How about just
unplugging her keyboard if it is too loud? Is that possible? Or
some incentive to get her to want to behave.

Rosalie has a good point.
My family was close friends with a family of 3 girls. the older 2 did a lot
of different things and stuck to them. But the youngest would take something
up, decide it was too much work and drop it a few months later. Eventually
the dad put his foot down and said (I think it was over playing the flute)
that she was going to continue (and practice) until he said, rather than
moving on as soon as it got at all hard.
Maybe this could be the type of situation. I don't think (as a parent) you
should decide that where it effects other people or children in the way you
describe. If it was me, I'd choose something with private lessons (or
similar) and make sure the teacher was aware of it, so they could have the
knowledge to deal with it.
It is possible the teacher does know more into the situation (and wouldn't
be free to divulge to other parents) and action out of the lessons is taken.
I think I'd request to move lessons when a space came available in another
group.
Debbie


  #9  
Old September 26th 08, 03:14 PM posted to misc.kids
Beth Kevles
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Posts: 269
Default OPC... Other People's Children


Hi --

I'm not sure why the school (where the lessons are taking place) doesn't
have a behavior policy. In most places like this, children who are
disruptive are simply removed from the class, no refunds given. If the
school lacks such a policy, you might suggest that they make one. If
they DO have such a policy, ask that they enforce it. In either event,
nothing will change if you fail to bring the problem to the teacher's
attention. If this child is so disruptive that YOUR child isn't
learning, you need to speak out and, if steps aren't taken, request a
refund. (Requesting a refund will certainly get their attention.)

--Beth Kevles
-THE-COM-HERE
http://web.mit.edu/kevles/www/nomilk.html -- a page for the milk-allergic
Disclaimer: Nothing in this message should be construed as medical
advice. Please consult with your own medical practicioner.

NOTE: No email is read at my MIT address. Use the GMAIL one if you would
like me to reply.
  #10  
Old September 26th 08, 10:13 PM posted to misc.kids
Anne Rogers[_5_]
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Posts: 47
Default OPC... Other People's Children


My family was close friends with a family of 3 girls. the older 2 did a lot
of different things and stuck to them. But the youngest would take something
up, decide it was too much work and drop it a few months later. Eventually
the dad put his foot down and said (I think it was over playing the flute)
that she was going to continue (and practice) until he said, rather than
moving on as soon as it got at all hard.


I think there's a very subtle difference between allowing a child to
find the right instrument and keeping them at one for the sake of them
doing an instrument. I tried violin and piano, and pretty much had to
continue doing one, which turned out to be piano, I am glad my parents
did put that pressure on, because I've gained so much from it, but
equally, not having a great ear (though it's reasonable know, I think I
developed it from all the piano playing), violin was too subtle for me,
I also don't have great coordination between the two hands, so piano was
more challenging than some instruments might have been, so I might have
got more out of a wind instrument, but who knows, it was subtle on the
boundary between making me doing it and letting me try too many things.
My husbands parents in the interests of not doing that would only let
their kids try one instrument and unfortunately my husband chose trumpet
(or cornet, maybe) and possibly didn't have a good teacher or good
advice about mouthpieces or maybe was even out of the range of lip
shapes suitable for a small brass instrument, but it didn't work out and
the poor guy got no more music teaching, when he's actually quite
musical and is a good, but untaught singer. Neither set of parents
really knew anything about music, so I suppose the one good thing is
between us we now know a fair bit about how things can go wrong for
someone who is fairly musical and how to get the best out of a fairly
average child who enjoys it!

Cheers
Anne
 




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