Friday, January 28, 2011

How to teach a music lesson to your own kid

Another one of my attempts to use up the leftover Halloween candy.  

I'm going to share today my Greatest Idea Ever.  Really, I'm flabbergasted that this came to me and it has worked like an absolute charm.

One of the biggest issues a teacher can have in lessons with a new student is whining.  They aren't used to sitting/standing there, paying attention for so long, and they inevitably will start asking - "When will this be over?  I'm tiiiiired!"  As a private teacher I can sidestep this, but as a mom, this one is tough.  We can both start getting annoyed with each other and it goes downhill from there.

Except for this gem I am about to share with you.  Pure magic, I tell you!

We sit down at the piano together, and I put 5 M&Ms next to her music.  These are hers for AFTER the lesson.  We go through our lesson, playing, practicing, etc.  If at any time she complains or gets negative, I ignore her and calmly eat one of the candies.  I continue on as nothing has happened.  At the end of the lesson, whatever number of candies are left are for her.  They are hers to lose - and I don't have to get grouchy at her for getting whiny, AMEN!

I explained this to her the first time, and now she is very cautious - I can see her get a little restless, and then she checks herself.  I started with very short lessons - only a few minutes at the most, and now we can go up to 15-20 minutes with only losing maybe one M&M.    It saves me because I can stay positive without nagging, and she leaves the lesson with a (literal) sweet taste in her mouth.  Honestly, I didn't know it would work so well, and I thought I needed 5 candies so she'd at least have one left, but the most she's ever lost were two.  In a while I'll start using less, because she's getting so excited about all the songs she knows that the candy is less of a draw for her.  Which is AWESOME.  It's also handy because I don't let her eat much of the candy she gets at holiday times so we have huge surpluses that we're sloooowly using up.  Last week we broke into the pile of Smarties.  I know people out there all have varying opinions on rewards, so I'm curious to see other ways this could be adopted.  I'm just thrilled it has worked as well as it has!

UPDATE 2/20/14:  Now that I teach two of my own kids, I have to say this is still the greatest bit of inspiration I've gotten, teaching-wise.  I have even tried this with private students, and it works amazingly - especially wee 3 year-olds. We don't use M&Ms - sometimes it's fruit snacks, pretzels, marshmallows, chocolate chips or pennies, whatever the kid is motivated by.  Eventually, they learn proper lesson habits, they forget about the treats and I quietly stop getting them out for lessons.   Now and then they hit a grumpy phase where lessons become a battlefield again, so I quietly get out the treats and stop nagging/arguing/begging, and they magically stop whining.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great Technique! My kid would do anything for M&Ms.

Rosie said...

When my brother, sister and I were little we got what we called a "practice treat" after we practiced or had a lesson. Basically, I practiced for half an hour and got to eat a bowl of ice cream every day! Driving home from our lessons my mom would stop at the mini-mart and gave us 50 cents to spend in the store. It definitely worked for us. And none of us ended up overweight! Amazing!

Master P said...

THANK YOU!!! I love hearing that it worked for someone else! I kinda wish my mom had done a bit more bribing... I mean motivating. ;)

Jane said...

That's such a good idea and so easy. 5 M&Ms is a lot to a 4-year old but it's not a rediulous amount of sugar.
You're a genius!

Anonymous said...

This paragraph is actually a fastidious one it helps new
web people, who are wishing in favor of blogging.

my web site; Funny Clips

Anonymous said...

Wow! At last I got a web site from where I can in fact obtain helpful data regarding my study and
knowledge.

my blog post :: cccam deb

Anonymous said...

Greetings! Very useful advice within this post!
It's the little changes which will make the biggest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

Feel free to visit my weblog ... crack passwords

Anonymous said...

Good post however , I was wondering if you could write a
litte more on this subject? I'd be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Thank you!

Feel free to visit my web-site - Dubstep Videos

Anonymous said...

Hello my friend! I wish to say that this post is amazing, great written and include approximately
all significant infos. I'd like to peer more posts like this .

My homepage; Password hacking

Anonymous said...

I'm really enjoying the design and layout of your site. It's a very easy
on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often.
Did you hire out a developer to create your theme? Exceptional work!


Feel free to surf to my homepage - Hack Into Twitter User Accounts To Get Data Back

Anonymous said...

This is a topic that's near to my heart... Thank you! Where are your contact details though?

Here is my blog post: require

Anonymous said...

I got this site from my friend who told me regarding this site and at the moment this time I am visiting this website and reading very informative articles here.



Also visit my web blog children model free

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post's to be exactly I'm looking for.
can you offer guest writers to write content available for you?

I wouldn't mind creating a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write in relation to here. Again, awesome site!

My web-site :: dragonvale

Anonymous said...

Now she says it do not work, it lets you do work, however
the doctor rx she actually is using, it will
not work and it is expensive. The following
liquid soap recipes don't include lye or require any special equipment or ingredients. It is best to work with natural acne products, including Aloe Vera based lotions. Have you noticed that the hair is drier and your ends tend to be split because you started using mousse.

my web site; acne supplements

Anonymous said...

Shell cameos have a thin concave spine, using the exception of abalone and mommy of pearl which
might be normally flat around the back and somewhat thicker.
There are many online stores that provide you a wide variety
of rings of unique designs that are perfect for the minor promises.
Some of these can involve phrases which include correct
adore often or eternal appreciate.

Feel free to surf to my blog: promise rings diamond heart -
wiki.insidebci.com -

Anonymous said...

Shell cameos have a thin concave spine, using the exception of abalone and mommy of pearl which might be normally flat around the back
and somewhat thicker. There are many online stores that provide you
a wide variety of rings of unique designs that are perfect
for the minor promises. Some of these can involve phrases
which include correct adore often or eternal appreciate.


my webpage; promise rings diamond heart - wiki.insidebci.com -

Anonymous said...

Hello there, I found your blog by way of Google whilst looking for
a similar topic, your web site came up, it appears good.
I've bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
Hello there, just turned into aware of your weblog through Google, and found that it's truly informative.
I am gonna watch out for brussels. I'll be grateful if you proceed this in future. Numerous people can be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!

Here is my webpage health organization ()

Anonymous said...

It is the best time to make some plans for the longer term and it is time to
be happy. I've read this post and if I could I desire to counsel you few fascinating issues or advice. Maybe you can write next articles regarding this article. I desire to learn even more things about it!

Feel free to visit my web site; red wine supplement

Anonymous said...

Incredible points. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the
great work.

Here is my site; health food stores ()

Anonymous said...

Sweet blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News.
Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo
News? I've been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thank you

Also visit my webpage; weight loss surgery

Anonymous said...

Heya i'm for the primary time here. I came across this board and I to find It really helpful & it helped me out much. I am hoping to provide something again and aid others like you helped me.

Also visit my web-site fat burning cream for women

Anonymous said...

Yes! Finally someone writes about home shopping network jewelry.


My blog post diet

Anonymous said...

You're so awesome! I do not believe I've read through
anything like that before. So good to discover another
person with some unique thoughts on this subject
matter. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up.
This website is something that is needed on the web, someone with a bit of originality!



Visit my page ville hack ::
::

Anonymous said...

Fastidious answer back in return of this question with real arguments and explaining all concerning that.


My weblog - p3 proswing review

Anonymous said...

This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.
I've joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post. Also, I've shared your web site in
my social networks!

Look at my site - Email Sender

Anonymous said...

It's nearly impossible to find educated people in this particular topic, however, you sound like you know what you're talking
about! Thanks

Also visit my homepage - cityville cash

Anonymous said...

Molded cameos might be two colors by the straightforward gadget of pouring 1 color into the mould within a
thin layer after which following that has a thicker layer of yet another coloration.
Prior to the late 19th Century, most men did not even wear a wedding band; diamond rings for women existed,
but were exceedingly rare. In fact, some young teen stars are causing quite
a buzz with something that seems to be far more than just the latest teenage trend.


Feel free to visit my homepage; promise rings for your girlfriend

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...