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Supporting busy students

How would you support your students if they have been good students (Level 11) but then their home practice time got bumped by their school work and their commitment to school activities, and they are still committed to piano lessons? This is a group formed by two sisters (high school and middle school). The younger sister, who can definitely do very well if she practices, is usually the one who drags down the progress. And of…

Coaching students through Level 4 valley

I am seeing a pattern of students growing restless in Level 4 and at the beginning of the reading process. This is usually around two years into lessons, and seems to coincide with students entering middle school. I feel sad to see them give up then, as they are not really self-generating, and seem to have "lost the dream". Do you have any suggestions for helping them find their inspiration again? One idea I had was…

Non-compliant teenagers

I'm going to be real. I feel like firing two teenage students that never do what they're told despite both parent and method coach enforcement every single week. Mom's committed. We have had the talk for a couple months and I'm on my last rope. Any tips on teenagers? I also spend extravagant amounts of time dismantling patterns for them and neither of them cares. None of my other 27 students have this problem. [answer…

Busy teen student and critical music teacher

My 15-year-old student started school band last September playing vibraphone and has been very consumed with rehearsals, competitions, and a critical band teacher who wonders "what kind of piano teacher did not teach her to sight-read". Her practice time if infrequent (mainly due to band) so we are progressing slowly. Her family is hoping "I can talk to her". I do not want to overstep. Should I just hang in there and progress slowly, put more…

Life coaches for teenage students

Question about life coaches: adult students aren't required to have one, I'm assuming, though it would admittedly help if they did, I'm sure. At what age does that happen? Just when they aren't living at their parents' house? There is a very responsible 16-year-old with extensive piano experience interested in trying Simply Music. His mother doesn't want to come to lessons and would probably just sleep through them. I understand the benefit of the life coach.…

Stressed teenaged student

My sensitive teen cried last night at class and I know she has been struggling but her dad tells me she absolutely loves her lessons and playing piano. Here's the problem, she will only work on songs she loves, only do the things she wants to do, so at the moment it's Lullaby and Billy at the Footy. She has already forgotten Lead Me to Light as she thinks it is too happy. I've asked her…

Keeping teens engaged

I have several teens in my very small studio. I recently lost 2. I do think we are all needing more inspiration in lessons. Do you have insight as to how to keep these busy folks engaged? One of their moms suggested sitting down with them to see about doing more of what they would like in lessons, and I am open to that but want to strike a good balance of everything. My own two…

Engaging parents in lessons with teens

I have a group of teenage students and although parents attend lessons, they are for the most part completely not engaged. I'm at a loss as to how I could include them in the lesson process. I can see the value of doing this in many respects; however, kids this age are also reasonably independent. This class is working through Level 6 and completing the Reading Notes program. I've started asking…

New teacher with special needs student

I'm just getting started as a Simply Music teacher. My first class is scheduled for next week, in fact! I have the possibility of enrolling a 14-year-old student who has no thumbs and a communication problem. He's small for his age, and is of normal intelligence. His mom also said he's very sweet, but very shy. Would I be getting in over my head to take on this student without any prior experience? If I do…

Teaching and coaching your own children

I am desperately seeking help for teaching my own daughter. She is 14, and we have been doing SM in a group for 5 years now, and are in the midst of Level 6. Even though she does not like it, she mostly has been diligent. But lately she has fallen way off of that. Mostly I stay calm and rational and remind her to view it as taking vitamins (“but mom, those actually taste good”)…

Showing articles 1-10 of 24