Adult Students


Senior student and pacing

QuestionQuestion
Stephen R., California

In working with different seniors, I’m routinely finding they want fewer songs on their list (to manage), but more advanced pieces. Has anyone else encountered this? I had a discussion with a lady I teach who is in Level 4, that this is typically the point where it gets more challenging.

She thinks we’re moving slowly because now reading is in the mix, but that is normal at this stage. It does slow down and learning to read via this program unfolds over an extended period of time. The process can’t be rushed, but I’m encouraging her to stick with it to fill in the gaps in her experience, become a fluent reader and a more well-rounded musician. She said she feels she is “at a cross-roads” with her interest, so I’m trying to encourage her to continue. We’ll talk more next week about her goals. She is just over the one year mark with me.

Answer
Kerry V., Australia

I’ve asked my adults if they are interested in the reading yet. Most usually say no. Then I tell them we will revisit it later to see if they are interested. At that stage, playing is more important than reading and I’m fine with that if they are.

I don’t encourage people any more. I discuss what is possible but in the end, it is their decision.

Answer
Heidi M., Canada

Most of my Chinese (adult) students are like that from the very start, even in Foundation 1. They want to skip the simple stuff and immediately jump into the most complex pieces by Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart. Over and over again, I have to patiently explain that we are laying a foundation and need to start from the beginning, though we do some arrangements too to make it more challenging when needed. Eventually they “get” it.

Once they accept this way, they really appreciate it even though they still look forward to the more complex pieces.