Monday, May 9, 2011

Practicing tricks: 3-armed pianist/violinist

The latest song in WonderGirl's piano book feels like a brick wall.  She's been doing so well, she's actually been teaching herself the last few songs, but all of the sudden, this new song has created a crying, frustrated, angry little girl from what was - well, the exact opposite.  Does any teacher or parent love to hear "It's-so-hard-I-can't-DO-IT-BAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!"?  Because I'm not so much of a fan.  I've been taking it easy - focusing on review to get her confidence up, but today it was time to attempt it again.  Almost instantly she was declaring it impossible, and I was about ready to give up as well, when I remembered this video we'd made:

Before she could get too hysterical, I slipped my arm around her waist and declared I would be playing the left hand for her.  The sensation of a half-hug made her giggle, as well as the novelty of playing differently.  Her attitude changed, she was able to make it through the whole song within minutes and was excited to have conquered the "impossible."  Sometimes what we really need is a hug to clear our head.  I know feeling my little girl giggle and hug back helped me check my growing impatience.

We violin teachers know this is a common trick for violin lessons too - one person takes the bow and the other takes the fingers.  It's a welcome change of pace for a lesson, as well as helping the child focus more on one thing.  Do you have your own bad-mood busters?  I'd love to share them (and use them myself)!


Jane said...

I could tell how I bust Tarzan's bad moods, but I think your mother reads this blog and she doesn't want to know.

Anonymous said...

Excellent advice. I have to think fast during the piano lessons I teach and pull out quick frustration defusers that stop tears with giggles. Holistic thinking lets me see the big picture while working on little frustrating details. Many times I'll act out a verb (often humorously)rather than just say it which surprises 'em every time; and eases the learning curve.
Again, thank you. Love watching how you interact with your children.

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