Let it go

Five weeks into fall lessons. The little ones have gone through buckets of pieces – learning new notes and discovering new sounds with every lesson. The advanced students are just scratching the surface of their new pieces – at 5 weeks hopefully the rhythm and notes are becoming secure.

For all the in-betweeners – by now they’re hopefully “done” the pieces we started with, unless they are preparing for an event of sorts. Sometimes, though, something just gets stuck. Notes are going nowhere. Practice, if it’s actually been happening, is obviously ineffective. You’ve given the same instructions for 2 or 3 weeks and nothing is happening.

Maybe the piece is just too hard. Time to put it on hold and say we’ll come back to it (may or may not happen but it makes the student feel better).

Maybe the student just doesn’t like the piece – can’t find any connection. There’s the tricky balancing act – the wire between exposing them to different styles, knowing that as they get better at it they will like it more – and accepting that they just don’t like it and probably won’t. It’s OK. There will be more Sonatinas.

I’m sure Mary Gae George  would say the piece was probably not prepped well enough at the lesson. Not the student’s fault.

Time to let it go.


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About LaDona's Music Studio

Musician, pianist, teacher, blogger.
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8 Responses to Let it go

  1. Oh! Do I know how you feel! This just happened to me this week- I gave a student a duet part for an up-coming event. I really thought she’d be able to handle it. Nope. She came to her lesson for 3 weeks in a row making pretty much zero progress…..it was like that movie “Ground Hog Day” where every week it was like starting the piece all over again from day one. This week, I just told the student, “You know what? I don’t think I like this song anymore. How about a new one instead?” She was THRILLED!

  2. Gabriele says:

    I am venturing a question you might consider. I have a transfer student who is an intermediate student but over the last few weeks I see a problem arising. He corrects as he goes and the piece feels disjointed and bumpy. I have looked for obvious places where fingering puts him in an awkward jam and he has corrected some of those but my thought is that he doesn’t hear how often he stops the flow of his music by correcting. I think it is a habit. Have you ever encountered this issue?

    • I’m sure we’ve all encountered this issue. It’s tough – they really do need to get through the whole piece without correcting a mistake – I just say that they have to practice both ways – correcting and not correcting. See Grace’s comments below, than thanks for stopping by and reading and commenting, Gabriele.

  3. Grace Miles says:

    I’ve definitely encountered this issue! In fact, I recall that I was a ‘corrector’ myself. Have you asked him why he corrects himself and explained why he shouldn’t do so? A lot of times it’s just out of habit, and other times the kids don’t see the ‘whole picture’, so explaining it outright helps tremendously. :)

  4. Habit, yes. Good idea – asking the student why. Thanks, Grace!

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