Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 690140 times)

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Sirius

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I was in piano 12 years and, although I progressed, it was slow and painful. I had a very difficult time "getting" music, my brain just doesn't work that way. It irks me today when I hear other mothers talking about how their kids simply have to learn piano because if they don't, the kids will never succeed in life (paraphrased). But, yeah, the least the kid could do is work in the piano theory book.

I could NEVER read music to save my hide.  Good thing I never had to use that skill in real life!

I've always seen reading music (not piano necessarily, just music in general) kind of like swimming: once you know how, you can't fathom how some other people can't.  If you've never learned, though, it's a complete mystery why some people can be so casual about knowing it  :P

I do think a lot of adults know "notes on top sound higher than the notes on the bottom" - but there's a pretty wide gulf between that and actually *reading* music.

While I've played clarinet since I was 10, I have never been able to get the hang of reading bass clef notes.  I can read treble clef just fine, which is the range in which clarinets play.  Mr. Sirius tried to explain it to me - since he plays the piano it's like second nature to him.  Still don't get it, although I now know where middle C is. 

athersgeo

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I was in piano 12 years and, although I progressed, it was slow and painful. I had a very difficult time "getting" music, my brain just doesn't work that way. It irks me today when I hear other mothers talking about how their kids simply have to learn piano because if they don't, the kids will never succeed in life (paraphrased). But, yeah, the least the kid could do is work in the piano theory book.

I could NEVER read music to save my hide.  Good thing I never had to use that skill in real life!

I've always seen reading music (not piano necessarily, just music in general) kind of like swimming: once you know how, you can't fathom how some other people can't.  If you've never learned, though, it's a complete mystery why some people can be so casual about knowing it  :P

I do think a lot of adults know "notes on top sound higher than the notes on the bottom" - but there's a pretty wide gulf between that and actually *reading* music.

While I've played clarinet since I was 10, I have never been able to get the hang of reading bass clef notes.  I can read treble clef just fine, which is the range in which clarinets play.  Mr. Sirius tried to explain it to me - since he plays the piano it's like second nature to him.  Still don't get it, although I now know where middle C is.

That would be me - I learned to read the treble clef when I was six (recorder) and graduated to the clarinet at 11. When it came time to start music theory and learn the bass clef I was completely at sea and, in the end, that prevented me from going further with it.

I tend to liken it to learning a language - the younger you are when you learn it, the easier it is.

Luci

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...but she still needed to feel "failure", as she saw it.

Why did we see it that way? I can't articulate the reason.

Yes - kids who can do seemingly everything will sometimes lack perspective and character if they never have to deal with frustration when learning something.

Thank you for stating our feelings!

Twik

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I'd like to see children more dealing with "challenge" than "frustration".

If they face challenges, they learn that things can be overcome. If they're faced with frustration, they learn that there are some things that, no matter how hard they try, they can't do. While this is, in its way, a good lesson of its own, it's not something I would want my children to learn before they learn, "Step 1 Failure, Step 2 - analyse and repeat with corrections, Step X, success!".
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Thipu1

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I'd like to see children more dealing with "challenge" than "frustration".

If they face challenges, they learn that things can be overcome. If they're faced with frustration, they learn that there are some things that, no matter how hard they try, they can't do. While this is, in its way, a good lesson of its own, it's not something I would want my children to learn before they learn, "Step 1 Failure, Step 2 - analyse and repeat with corrections, Step X, success!".

I strongly agree that children need challenges rather than frustrations.  A little difficulty can be 'good for the humility', as a teacher of mine once said. 

We know a teenager like this.  He's getting either 'A's or 'F's in his High School courses.  If the
subject is one he knows and likes, he gets the A.  If it's one he doesn't already know and like, he absolutely refuses to do any work and gets the F.

  It's driving his parents to distraction but they're partly to blame.  This kid has never been told that
he is anything but the most perfect and intelligent person on the face of the earth. 

It's a sad situation because he'll be lucky if he gets into a college and he's certainly not ready for the rough and tumble of the working world. 

ladyknight1

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We also know two children (siblings) who are like that. Their father is a good parent and does his best, but according to the mother, they can do no wrong and are perfect angels. One is currently in a pretrial intervention program for drug use and theft and the other has been suspended from school for physical contact with another student during the school day.

I feel so bad for the father and the kids.

Coralreef

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I'd like to see children more dealing with "challenge" than "frustration".

If they face challenges, they learn that things can be overcome. If they're faced with frustration, they learn that there are some things that, no matter how hard they try, they can't do. While this is, in its way, a good lesson of its own, it's not something I would want my children to learn before they learn, "Step 1 Failure, Step 2 - analyse and repeat with corrections, Step X, success!".

This. Making mistakes is normal.  You have to learn from them and adapt. I found that lessons learned the hard way are rarely forgotten.  Of course, I would never compromise a child's safety or health to "life lessons", but consequences for actions (good or bad) are part of life. 

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Elfmama

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I'd like to see children more dealing with "challenge" than "frustration".

If they face challenges, they learn that things can be overcome. If they're faced with frustration, they learn that there are some things that, no matter how hard they try, they can't do. While this is, in its way, a good lesson of its own, it's not something I would want my children to learn before they learn, "Step 1 Failure, Step 2 - analyse and repeat with corrections, Step X, success!".

This. Making mistakes is normal.  You have to learn from them and adapt. I found that lessons learned the hard way are rarely forgotten.  Of course, I would never compromise a child's safety or health to "life lessons", but consequences for actions (good or bad) are part of life.
But forcing a child to do something purely for the purpose of frustrating her is cruel.  WHY would any loving parent agree to that? 

I do not know how to do algebra.  I will NEVER know how to do algebra. This is because algebra was pure frustration for me.  I would spend over an hour a day as a young teen crying over  my homework, because I did not understand what the teacher wanted.  I could give her the correct answer; I could show her how I arrived at that answer.  But it was marked wrong because I didn't do it the "right" way. 

Because of this, I didn't bother with college, other than a few classes that interested me.  I knew that I could never pass a college math course. 

And THAT is what frustration does for a child.

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Ceallach

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I think this is a conversation about semantics more than anything else and how we interpret the word "frustrate".    I agree that challenging a child is really important in order for them to grow into a motivated, interesting adult.   Childhood should be peaceful and happy, but not challenge-free, because IMHO a completely mundane childhood results in a boring individual.     The result of challenges will at *times* be frustration and hopefully as parents/adults we can support the children through that.   I personally don't think the goal should ever be to frustrate a child though.    The goal should be to provide them with age appropriate challenges to learn and adapt and grow.   If they get *too* frustrated they will lose motivation so it will have the opposite effect.   But where that line is will vary with each child, and for each different type of challenge/opportunity.   
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


Dr. F.

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I'd like to see children more dealing with "challenge" than "frustration".

If they face challenges, they learn that things can be overcome. If they're faced with frustration, they learn that there are some things that, no matter how hard they try, they can't do. While this is, in its way, a good lesson of its own, it's not something I would want my children to learn before they learn, "Step 1 Failure, Step 2 - analyse and repeat with corrections, Step X, success!".

This. Making mistakes is normal.  You have to learn from them and adapt. I found that lessons learned the hard way are rarely forgotten.  Of course, I would never compromise a child's safety or health to "life lessons", but consequences for actions (good or bad) are part of life.
But forcing a child to do something purely for the purpose of frustrating her is cruel.  WHY would any loving parent agree to that? 

I do not know how to do algebra.  I will NEVER know how to do algebra. This is because algebra was pure frustration for me.  I would spend over an hour a day as a young teen crying over  my homework, because I did not understand what the teacher wanted.  I could give her the correct answer; I could show her how I arrived at that answer.  But it was marked wrong because I didn't do it the "right" way. 

Because of this, I didn't bother with college, other than a few classes that interested me.  I knew that I could never pass a college math course. 

And THAT is what frustration does for a child.

A good teacher is one who turns frustration into challenge. I've done that several times, but I've had my Waterloos, too. A grad student who *could not* picture three-dimensional interactions, despite all of my graphics, etc. simply could not learn molecular biology. I'd never experienced this before and it was frustration on *both* our parts. I wanted sooo bad to explain in a way she could understand, and she wanted to understand, but it just didn't work. Brains can be wired differently, and there's nothing that can be done about it, except to focus on strengths instead of weaknesses.

PastryGoddess

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I'd like to see children more dealing with "challenge" than "frustration".

If they face challenges, they learn that things can be overcome. If they're faced with frustration, they learn that there are some things that, no matter how hard they try, they can't do. While this is, in its way, a good lesson of its own, it's not something I would want my children to learn before they learn, "Step 1 Failure, Step 2 - analyse and repeat with corrections, Step X, success!".

This. Making mistakes is normal.  You have to learn from them and adapt. I found that lessons learned the hard way are rarely forgotten.  Of course, I would never compromise a child's safety or health to "life lessons", but consequences for actions (good or bad) are part of life.
But forcing a child to do something purely for the purpose of frustrating her is cruel.  WHY would any loving parent agree to that? 

I do not know how to do algebra.  I will NEVER know how to do algebra. This is because algebra was pure frustration for me.  I would spend over an hour a day as a young teen crying over  my homework, because I did not understand what the teacher wanted.  I could give her the correct answer; I could show her how I arrived at that answer.  But it was marked wrong because I didn't do it the "right" way. 

Because of this, I didn't bother with college, other than a few classes that interested me.  I knew that I could never pass a college math course. 

And THAT is what frustration does for a child.

A good teacher is one who turns frustration into challenge. I've done that several times, but I've had my Waterloos, too. A grad student who *could not* picture three-dimensional interactions, despite all of my graphics, etc. simply could not learn molecular biology. I'd never experienced this before and it was frustration on *both* our parts. I wanted sooo bad to explain in a way she could understand, and she wanted to understand, but it just didn't work. Brains can be wired differently, and there's nothing that can be done about it, except to focus on strengths instead of weaknesses.

"I can explain it to you, but I can't make you understand" quoth my 10th grade chemistry teacher. 

Kaymyth

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Perhaps I need to frustrate the mom!

I have had the mom sit in on lessons, and she did yoga poses instead of paying attention!   :o

I have shown her the pages to do, labeled and flagged, color penciled, dated, etc...That is when she says, "Oh, I jsut do not know music at all, so she has to do it all on her own."  child is 7.  I have junior high students with parents that could not tell a quarter note from a quart of milk, but they read the assignment notebook and check the pages and listen to the child play on occasion!

As for reading notes, the G clef/treble clef looks like a weird old fashioned cursive letter G.  It makes contact in four places on one line, the second line up.  This marks the G line.  ANY note, whether a quarter note, half note, etc...on this line, will be a G.

For the bass clef/F clef, that funny large dot that then swirls out like a comma with two smaller dots next to it mark the second line down on the lower stave.  The line it marks is the F line, so any note of any duration on that line will be an F.

There are only seven letters in the music alphabet, so you can count the steps up or down to figure out the rest if you just cannot remember anything else.  Yes, there are sharps and flats, and special markings, and fingerings and vocabulary and all that jazz, but...that will come later.

I have taught beginning piano to dozens of students, for several years.  This ONE student I just have not found the magical key...yet...

(It may very well be the mom- the girl also takes stylized horse riding lessons, and they left the week before spring break to go on a very fancy ski vacation.  Mom did not make it to the Christmas recital because she was hosting a fancy party.  I convinced her to have another family member bring the child to play.   Perhaps it is a case of "poor little rich girl.")
 

Yeah, the kid's not practicing.  It's as simple as that.  Sure, she may take a few minutes every day and poke around and the keys, and Mom calls it "practicing", but it's not.  She's not working on the songs, she's not doing the assignments, and so of course she's not learning anything.

I think it comes down to Mom; Mom won't make Precious work and falls back on the excuse of not understanding anything.  The little girl apparently doesn't have any real motivation to learn (which is amazing in and of itself; back when I was teaching piano lessons, I never had a student who didn't look forward to getting the sticker on their page that showed they had passed it; I never underestimate the power of shiny stickers).  I don't know, I think I'd be to the point where I'd tell mother and child that I knew perfectly well that she wasn't working on her assignments, and if she didn't start putting some effort into it, I wouldn't be teaching her anymore.



RegionMom

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Kaymyth,

Since I teach at/through the school, I get who they give me, and they pay by the semester.

This mom asked a couple of weeks ago if I had a time open for a second weekly lesson.  But the one or two times I might could put her in, was already occupied with other activities.   Mom would not dream of changing anything else in the busy schedule to well-round out her child. 

The girl adores me, and each week earnestly says she will practice.  I also, have the stickers, including a roller pen that rolls out stamps/stickers!

When I have worked as a sub in this girl's classroom,  she is very scattered and always a step behind, chasing rainbows and caterpillars. 

I figure I have one more year before she either really starts to work or will drop piano for other activities. 

I have enough songs in my bag of tricks to make May's spring recital music sound really "full" or difficult, so to the untrained ear, it seems the student is doing well. 

Mostly, it is a lot of repeats, played in different octaves, or one time hands apart, then together, or playing a duet with them, or changing dynamics, etc...

And if the mom comes this time, she will be jsut so happy to hear how well her child is doing!  Never mind that I have three kindergarten students that started after her and are way ahead.  Her child will be "the most beautiful, in the most beautiful dress, with professionally done hair and the cutest little heels!"


Ah well.   I take what I get.  The girl likes coming, and always has a smile for me.  When I see that smile start to fade, then I will have a more serious talk with mom. 

Meanwhile, I found some new exercises and games to try new angles to get her to retain information.  :)  I am not giving up yet!
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

CakeEater

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I'd like to see children more dealing with "challenge" than "frustration".

If they face challenges, they learn that things can be overcome. If they're faced with frustration, they learn that there are some things that, no matter how hard they try, they can't do. While this is, in its way, a good lesson of its own, it's not something I would want my children to learn before they learn, "Step 1 Failure, Step 2 - analyse and repeat with corrections, Step X, success!".

This. Making mistakes is normal.  You have to learn from them and adapt. I found that lessons learned the hard way are rarely forgotten.  Of course, I would never compromise a child's safety or health to "life lessons", but consequences for actions (good or bad) are part of life.
But forcing a child to do something purely for the purpose of frustrating her is cruel.  WHY would any loving parent agree to that? 


I think I'm using the term 'frustration' differently. I use frustration to mean something that isn't easily understandable. That you don't get immediately and feel annoyed about, probably make a lot of mistakes in before you can really master it.

Not something that is ultimately unlearnable for whatever reason.

I think feeling frustration, and pushing through it, is a really valuable lesson. Not making someone feel frustrated for its own sake, but to give opportunities for learning to work hard to get through a problem.

I taught a young girl who was seriously good at everything. Easily understood classwork, naturally athletic etc. She really wanted to give up learning music because she actually had to practice to master it - she didn't like making mistakes, and found it frustrating that her fingers didn't naturally know exactly what to do on the first, or the second, or the third time through.

I actually excused her from doing homework in exchange for continuing with music, because her mother and I agreed that she needed that lesson in pushing through a frustrating experience. Neither her mother nor I were being cruel.

ladyknight1

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I think this is a conversation about semantics more than anything else and how we interpret the word "frustrate".    I agree that challenging a child is really important in order for them to grow into a motivated, interesting adult.   Childhood should be peaceful and happy, but not challenge-free, because IMHO a completely mundane childhood results in a boring individual.     The result of challenges will at *times* be frustration and hopefully as parents/adults we can support the children through that.   I personally don't think the goal should ever be to frustrate a child though.    The goal should be to provide them with age appropriate challenges to learn and adapt and grow.   If they get *too* frustrated they will lose motivation so it will have the opposite effect.   But where that line is will vary with each child, and for each different type of challenge/opportunity.

Exactly. Many of the posts here that end up in pages of arguments are just differing in terminology.

My DS is very smart. He is almost too smart. I am very grateful for his elementary and middle school gifted studies teachers who challenged him to think about new things and to go farther than what was required to make a good grade. I see the impact that had on him. Now that he is halfway through high school, he challenges himself with AP courses, honors courses and extracurricular activities.

I challenge myself by doing more, and going farther than required in my academic career. It is more rewarding for me.